With Christmas decorations hanging up at most retailers and Neiman Marcus revealing their official Holiday Guide is it safe to say that the holidays are upon us?
And if so, that means that online advertising is about to get a whole lot more expensive. Our budgets aren’t going to feel so big, and decisions need to be for where and when our online ad spend is going.
So which is better, AdWords or Facebook? PPC or CPC? While both can be an excellent fit for either Fortune 500 or local businesses, there are some distinct differences and reasons why you should be using one or the other or even both.
Take a look below at our breakdown and comparisons of the two most popular online advertising platforms. We want to help you decide which will be the best for budget and help accomplish your holiday goals.
Search Vs Awareness
To summarize the differences quickly, Google Adwords is best for reaching customers and Facebook Ads offers powerful targeting capabilities. It comes down to deciding what your end goal is for creating an ad campaign and wherein the sales funnel do you want to target people. From there you can determine what advantage is the best fit for your online advertising purposes.
With PPC you need to do your keyword research, and with CPC you need to do your audience research. Neither ad formats will offer magical results without putting some work into it.
To determine which keywords are going to offer you the best results there are a few things you can do. You can ask people who know your business to describe your product with a small list of words and use those or you can use tools to do this for you. There are a plethora of tools online that will do it for free (or at least a free trial). These tools will do the heavy lifting, they go through and look at the keywords people have already used to reach your site. Picking the right keywords is really important to reach the right person within your sales funnel and when done incorrectly it can be costly.
For your CPC campaign, it is all going to be about finding and defining your target audience. You can spend time running test campaigns using demographics like age, gender, language, as well as interests, location, job titles, and employers, or you can create custom audiences from people you already know are interested in your product.
How so? Facebook lets you upload your prized email list into Ad’s Manager and match those emails with Facebook users (you do have to have at least 100 emails to make it work). Another custom audience you create is by retargeting people who are coming and going from your website by installing a Facebook Pixel. Facebook provides you with a pixel that you can put on any page and then target ads to people who have looked at those web pages and products.
Have you ever felt like a product was following you around the internet? That is retargeting. By default, your custom audience will show ads to people who have visited those pages within the past 30 days, but you can change it to 180 days if you don’t have as much web traffic (as Facebook recommends waiting till you have several hundred visitors to your website before you use this audience to target ads). These are the two best audiences for getting real results from Facebook ads and from there you can create look-a-like audiences with the data Facebook has from your custom audience (but we don’t have time to go into those details today).
Facebook Ads Advantage
- Easy to track campaigns
- Usually pretty cheap
- Reach can be very large
- Control over budget
- Lots of targeting options
- Very easy to set up and use
- Use of image, video text and CTA buttons
- Can target ads for time of day and day of week
- Can target ads on Facebook or Instagram
- Can limit the number of times someone sees your ad
- Better branding opportunities
- Ability to retarget existing customers
- Facebook knows their users very well
- Target people based on who they are
- Good for brand building
- A/B testing capabilities
- Reach mobile audience
- Facebook provides lots of insights
- Multiple ad views and ad styles available
- Facebook is the second most visited website
- Large reach can look good but if you aren’t sure what you are doing can lead to little results
- Usually better for B2C markets
- Could have a lot of accidental or fake account clicks
- Ad blocking technology
- It can be costly if you don’t know what you are doing
- Only allows for so much text before it impacts how many people the ad is shown to
- Detailed tools to measure campaign
- Range of formats
- Level playing field
- Large audience
- Control over budget
- Can target based on region, time of day, days of week and websites
- Targeting people who are further along in your sale funnel
- Usually a faster ROI
- Target people based on what they are looking for
- Good for brand building
- Reach mobile audience
- Google is the most visited website
- Retargeting capabilities
- Can be really expensive especially if not used correctly
- Limited space with ad
- No use of images or videos
- Usually more costly in general
Which Is The Better Deal?
To estimate and understand the cost of an advertising campaign through Facebook ads or Google AdWords, you need to perform a test campaign on each platform (with the same budget) to see which returns are better for your brand.
When running an ad campaign, on either advertising platform, you’re able to estimate the cost of your ads by using tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or Facebook’s Ad Manager once you’ve set up most of your campaign.
It would be hard for us to predict or tell you which one will guarantee the cheapest and best results. There are so many things that can happen and factor into each advertising platform. The results will vary for each campaign but control what you can, which is often the ad content and budget.
There are case-studies that argue both sides; Facebook Advertising is better than Google AdWords and vice versa. The most important thing to remember is where you want to capture people within your sales funnel. If you want to attract your audience at nearly every stage of the buying process, then you need to use a combination of Facebook Advertising and Google Adwords along with PR, SEO, content marketing and maybe even more.
Wrap It Up
When you are utilizing the right advertising platform for your business you will generate the business of your ideal customers. If you have traditionally only used Facebook ads, I encourage you to give Google AdWords a try. It honestly comes down to understanding each platform, setting goals (and a budget) and aligning metrics to measure those goals. There is no right or wrong platform! You get into trouble when you don’t use them correctly.
What is your take? Are you ready to give Google, Facebook or both a try? Get an even better understanding of your campaign’s success and use the Converge Platform to track ad campaigns on our marketing dashboard, learn more here.