The Complexities of Paid Social Media Ads and Paid Search: A Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Ads and Google AdWords
Over the past few years, the landscape of paid social media ads and paid search has undergone a radical transformation. Companies now have a broader and more efficient reach towards their target audiences than ever before, thanks to innovative ad formats, increased targeting options, and more proficient tools for measuring results. However, with this increased power and complexity comes new challenges. Many companies find themselves struggling with how and when to use platforms like Google’s AdWords and Facebook Ads effectively.
Why Facebook Ads are Worth Considering
When it comes to Facebook Ads, one standout feature is audience targeting. With over 1.86 billion active monthly users, Facebook has collected a massive amount of data about its users. While Google targets users based on keywords and topics, Facebook takes it a step further. Their ad system targets people based on their beliefs, behaviors, habits, demographics, ideologies, and particular set of values they uphold. This allows for precise audience targeting based on a number of different characteristics.
Another strength of Facebook Ads is the social engagement aspect. The platform encourages potential customers to interact with, comment on, and share various types of interest-based content. Advertisers can leverage this engagement to create entire campaigns focused on generating more comments, likes, and shares. This makes the Facebook platform effective not only for company branding but also for interacting and engaging with current and potential customers.
Furthermore, Facebook Ads offer specific ad types such as Lead Ads and Local Awareness, which provide exclusive opportunities for marketing that are not easily replicated with Google AdWords. Additionally, Facebook Ads have a lower cost per click (CPC) compared to Google AdWords, with the average CPC rarely exceeding $2. While AdWords may have a somewhat higher conversion rate, it is possible to achieve a decent conversion rate using Facebook, especially due to the cheaper clicks.
Pros of Facebook Ads:
- Easy setup
- Capability to reach users early in the buying process
- Cheap cost per click
- Easy campaign tracking
- Excellent control over maximum CPC and daily budgets
- Instant traffic influx
- Immediate ROI
- Numerous targeting options
- Use of graphic and video ads to pique the interest of the target audience
Cons of Facebook Ads:
- Can be more expensive than Google AdWords if not properly set up and maintained
- Lower conversion rates due to reaching customers early in the buying process
- No option for ad timing (times of day, week, month)
- Mostly applicable for B2C companies
The Power of Google AdWords
One of the main features that sets Google AdWords apart from Facebook Ads is keyword targeting. As the biggest search engine on the internet, Google has the most available users. This allows for targeting customers who are actively searching for your service or product and those with high intent to purchase. With AdWords, you can create ad groups and campaigns centered around specific keywords and produce ads relevant to the search queries users actually make.
This key difference between Google AdWords and Facebook Ads lies in the fact that Facebook helps customers find you, while AdWords helps you find potential customers. Google’s Display Network covers over 2 million individual websites, giving you the potential to reach a vast audience. Ads can be displayed in mobile apps, while users browse their emails, and even while watching videos on YouTube.
While creating video ads is simple with Facebook, Google offers a unique feature that sets it apart – YouTube. With around 1 billion active users, YouTube allows you to create specific marketing campaigns based on interests, demographics, ad placements, specific keywords, and more. Video ads are not only great for generating brand awareness but also for allowing users to interact with them in various ways. Despite Google AdWords offering better reach and higher conversion rates, some targeted keywords can be expensive compared to Facebook Ads.
Pros of Google AdWords:
- Enormous potential audience
- Easy-to-track campaigns
- Excellent control over daily budgets and maximum CPC
- Instant traffic influx
- Immediate ROI
- Better conversion rates
- Different targeting options such as time of day, week, specific regions, and websites
- Numerous advertising options
Cons of Google AdWords:
- Can be costly if not set up correctly
- Time-consuming setup and maintenance
- Limited ad space
- Depending on the industry, very high CPC
Remarketing and Retargeting Options
Both Google AdWords and Facebook Ads offer remarketing and retargeting options to advertisers, allowing them to display ads to users who have already visited their website or interacted with their brand.
Google AdWords remarketing helps advertisers stay connected to their target audience even after they leave the website. With Google’s vast network, marketers can present ads to potential customers while they browse different parts of the internet, increasing brand exposure and trust in the product or service. Remarketing also offers a lower cost per click compared to normal marketing campaigns, making it an excellent tool to increase conversion rates.
Similarly, Facebook Custom Audiences allows advertisers to create lists of users who have already interacted with their brand. These lists can include past buyers, current customers, high-value customers, and more. Facebook Custom Audiences excels in its ability to narrow down potential customers, allowing for carefully created ads to be displayed to a selected group of individuals.
Choosing the Right Platform: Using Facebook Ads and Google AdWords Together
Both Facebook Ads and Google AdWords have their strengths and weaknesses. Choosing one over the other can be challenging, as they offer unique results that depend on your specific advertising goals. Instead of selecting one specific platform, it is often best to use them in a complementary way. The best advertising strategy utilizes all available assets to produce the best results.
By leveraging the precise targeting options and social engagement of Facebook Ads, companies can effectively reach their target audience, generate engagement, and build brand awareness. On the other hand, Google AdWords’ keyword targeting and vast network allow businesses to tap into a larger audience actively searching for their products or services.
In conclusion, the complexities of paid social media ads and paid search have transformed the advertising landscape. Facebook Ads and Google AdWords offer unique features and advantages, making them valuable tools for businesses. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each platform, companies can develop a comprehensive advertising strategy that utilizes the best of both worlds to achieve optimal results.