Facebook vs Google: Which Should You Advertise On?

facebook vs google sun icon

With 2.27 billion monthly active users on Facebook and 40,000 searches happening every second on Google, there are plenty of opportunities to get your business in front of potential clients.

Digital advertising can be a confusing world, and if you’re pitting Facebook vs Google, this is an intense match-up. Having a visible presence in one of these giants means big business when your campaigns are set up properly.

How do you know which one to choose?

Continue reading to find out who comes out on top. Will it be the social giant Facebook or heavyweight paid search champion Google?

Facebook vs Google – the Truth About Where Your Advertising Dollars Should Go

As we dive into this article, you are likely to already have your own favorite in mind. You know who you think is going to win the battle, but it might not be as clear cut as you think.

Before we get into which of these platforms you should use, you need to understand them a little better.

Facebook Paid Social

When your business advertises on Facebook, you pay Facebook when someone clicks on your advertisement. You see these ads in your news feed, on your sidebar and now in your messenger inbox. For users, this might be a little annoying, but for markets – it’s heaven.

We’re in the messenger inbox!

On Facebook, your ads are shown to people interested in topics and things related to what you’re advertising. You can choose very specific demographics, interests and more when setting up your ads.

If you “boost” your posts on your Facebook page, you don’t have as much power, but if you go into the Ads Manager for Facebook, there is a lot to choose from. All of the options can be a little confusing, but once you get a handle on it, you can really zoom in on the people you want to advertise to on Facebook.

Google Paid Search

When your business advertises on Google, you set up a list of keyword terms. You can also set up a list of negative terms that you do not want people to find you for when they search. 

You can’t be sure the demographic or the interests any of these people have. All you know is they are searching for your specific keyword. When they search for your keyword they see a text ad that you’ve put together, and if it is appealing, they click, and you pay for the click.

Setting up Google AdWords campaigns can be rather tricky, so we won’t go into things like quality score, bidding strategies, and other complicated things. We are going to focus on which platform is the best for you to use for your business’ digital marketing needs.

The Benefits of Using Facebook Paid Social

When you compare Facebook to Google, they are the new kid on the block. They haven’t quite got the kinks ironed out of their ads program, but they are low cost enough that they can compete with Google. 

Lookalike Audiences

The biggest advantage you’ll see if you decide to advertise on Facebook is that you can get very specific about who you are advertising to on their platform. You can retarget so precisely that you can follow up with anyone that has come across your Facebook pixel on your website.

You can even use your current audience to find more people like your current audience. Finding people on Facebook that look like your current audience is called a lookalike audience and can be a very lucrative opportunity.

Let’s say that you have an audience of people that have bought your product. You can take the audience of people that have bought your product and advertise to a lookalike audience.

The audience is very much like the people that have already bought your product. Since these audiences are so alike it is highly likely some of these people will consider purchasing your product.

Let’s Get Visual

Your company can create ads on Facebook that fit right in with all of the other visually appealing posts on the site. While there is a “sponsored” disclaimer, the ads look like they fit into the site. Unlike Facebook, when people see AdWords in search, you know they are in your face blocks of ads.

When you have visual ads at your fingertips, you can create compelling ad campaigns using photos, videos and more.

Potentially High ROI

If your company is on a shoestring budget, Facebook could be the perfect place for you. If you have an advertising budget of $5 per day, Facebook can help you get results with just that $5 per day when campaigns are set correctly. 

The ability to get very specific with who your audience helps reduce the amount you will pay when people click on your ads. Taking time to hone in on your audience can stretch your marketing dollars and give you a high ROI potentially.

The Benefits of Using Google Paid Search

As the world’s search leader, Google has been dominating for many years and with no end in sight. Since this search engine is such a giant, it boasts a massive audience that they can put right at your fingertips.

When you use Google AdWords, you can choose to advertise on the search network or the display network. The display network is great for driving brand awareness, but we will focus on PPC in this article.

May the Best Website Win

Since Google has a quality score system they go by, even the “little guy” has the opportunity to be on the first page of Google ads. Your company can’t simply place the highest bid and come up at the top of the search results.

Google wants to serve the best ads, so if you want to show up at the top of the search engines, your website needs to be high-quality and highly relevant to the search term. Failing to deliver a great website that is highly relevant will drive up your cost per click (CPC), and you may never hit the top search that you want.

It is true that different industries have higher costs per click because of the competition, but the quality score has a lot to do with how much your company has to pay.

Many Ad Choices

If you want choices, you have plenty of them with Google AdWords. You still have to choose compelling text to use for your ads, but there are different places and different ways to position your ads.

Shopping ads are one of the ways you can get your products noticed when users are actively looking to buy what you are selling. Your ads can also contain social proof from user reviews; you can target locations and customize your ads in other ways. 

Google goes even further by formatting ads to the needs of different business types. Depending on your needs you can insert visual elements like images or maps to help people find your location.

Leaving your ads to plain text means you’re missing out on many of the latest developments for advertisers on AdWords.

Which Platform Should Your Business Use?

Facebook and Google are both paid advertising giants that can open up new audiences to your business. Now that you understand how both platforms work and some of their benefits, you may want to work with both platforms.

When Facebook and Google are paired together properly, they don’t have to be competitors. Instead of thinking of these giants as competitors, think of them both as your company’s allies. Both platforms have their unique strengths, and when your company sets up a digital marketing strategy to employ both, you can achieve a lot of visibility.

The best thing you can do before making any decisions on which platform to use is to decide what your goals are.

If your goal is to build brand awareness only, you might choose to go with the Google AdWords display network. If you want to find people actively searching for your product or service, then Google AdWords search might be the best for your company.

Facebook social ads will be a good fit if you want to target people and create lookalike audiences specifically.

It all starts with a goal and look at your budget to see what is possible for your company at this point of growth.

Take the Pressure off Your Team

Unless your team has been highly trained in setting up and maintaining a Google PPC campaign or a Facebook ads campaign, both can be confusing. As you can see after reading our article on Facebook vs Google, these platforms take a while to learn the ins and outs, and your company may not have time to wait for those results.

If your company needs to see results right away, the best thing to do is to allow experts to handle the setup and maintenance of your campaigns. Instead of stressing out over poor performance, contact us today to see how we can help you with your digital marketing needs.

Sun Icon - Digital Neighbor

Want to learn even more?

Whether you have a simple question or want to have a deep conversation about your digital strategy, we’re all ears. Contact us today for a chat or to learn how we can put our digital marketing expertise to good use for your business.