Have you heard about advertising? Your competition uses it to boost their sales.
Nowadays, everything is online, and if it’s not online, it’s out of reach for most users. Whether it is due to their commotion, they are unaware of your product or service, or some other reason.
Of Course, advertising of any type is not a perfect solution for everyone. So the first step is to determine what your business needs based on what you are offering, who needs it, and what the goals for the future.
Once the whole business plan is set up, it’s time for advertising.
So, Facebook vs. Google ads. What platform is best for your business? Or is it a combination, and in what ratio?
Let me take you through Facebook vs. Google advertising and their benefits and differences
What are Google Ads, and how do they work?
Google Ads is an online advertising platform developed by Google. It allows the creation and management of online advertisements.
It offers a variety of ad formats that can appear on platforms and websites. With a variety of ad formats, Google Ads accommodates diverse campaign objectives. Advertisers can set a budget for their campaigns, target specific demographics, locations, and interests, and track the performance of their ads through metrics such as clicks, impressions, conversion rates, conversion value, and more.
Google Ads offers a powerful platform for businesses to reach their target audience and drive traffic, leads, or sales to their websites or physical stores.
Characteristics of Google ads
An array of ad formats tailored to different business goals ensures the desired message is conveyed effectively and delivered to various users.
Mostly used ads:
Text ads / Search ads
Search ads are a cornerstone of digital marketing. They provide businesses with a dynamic platform to connect with users when they search for products, services, or solutions. Through Google Ads, advertisers can strategically bid on keywords, ensuring their ads appear in search results. This intent-driven approach captures users actively seeking information. By leveraging the power of Google advertising, it’s possible to tap into the immense potential of online search behavior to drive targeted traffic and conversions. Allows businesses to showcase their products and services to a wide audience actively searching for solutions.
They function through the concept of intent-driven advertising. Search ads connect businesses with users who are already expressing interest by entering specific search terms into Google’s search engine.
By selecting relevant keywords, ads appear when users search for those keywords. This targeted approach ensures that the ad reaches users at the right moment, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion.
This is the most direct link between what users are looking for and the product or service provided.
Visually engaging banners and images are placed on the websites within the Display Network. They’re used for brand exposure and capturing attention even when users aren’t actively searching for the product or service.
Key features of GDN are:
- Content – visually engaging and effective for capturing attention
- Reach – vast reach across different websites, apps, and platforms
- Targeting – Target users based on demographics, interests, behaviors, search inquiries, or visited web pages
- Re-targeting – re-engaging with users who previously visited our website
Due to various ad formats, large audiences, and visually appealing ads display advertising is a perfect tool for building brand awareness and sending the desired messages to a large sum of people.
Hosted on YouTube and across partner sites, it allows engagement with users using dynamic visual content. They’re great for showcasing products, storytelling, and generating emotional connections with viewers.
Top benefits of using video ads:
- User attention – better than with other types of content
- Visual Appeal – showcasing products, services, or brands with more than static images
- Storytelling – Combining visual and audio helps create an emotional connection with the audience
- Easier explanation of more complex concepts – enabled demonstration without predetermined maximum of allowed characters per ad
How do Google ads work?
Google Ads operates on an auction-based model where advertisers compete for ad placements. An auction is triggered every time a user performs a search or visits a web page that’s part of the Google Display Network. All advertisers with relevant ads are eligible to participate in the auction, and then Google calculates an Ad Rank for each eligible ad. Ad Rank is determined by factors like bid amount, ad quality, and ad extensions. The ad with the highest Ad Rank wins the auction and is then displayed.
Bidding strategies in Google ads that help to allocate the budget accordingly to the desired target:
- Manual CPC – sets individual bids for each ad group
- Target CPA – aims for specific conversion costs
- Maximize Clicks – sets up bids for more clicks
- Target ROAS – optimizes bidding for selected conversion value
- Enhanced CPC – still a manual option, but gives more freedom to Google in determining the value of bids
- Target impression share – sets up bids to aim specific desired percentage of ad impressions
- Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) – Set a bid for every thousand impressions
- Maximize Conversions – sets up bids to allocate a maximum of conversion within a budget
The power of Google Ads is the ability to showcase offers but also the capacity to provide measurable results and conversion tracking. To measure the effectiveness of campaigns, tracking and reporting tools are provided. Conversion tracking allows monitoring users’ actions after clicking on ads, whether it’s making a purchase, filling out a form, or signing up for a newsletter. This data is used to optimize campaigns and allocate budget strategically.
Insights and its benefits:
- Insights – track specific actions users take after clicking on the ad
- Data-driven decision-making – accurate data is used to make an informed decision
- Campaign effectiveness – separates campaigns by the ability to perform using ROI (return on investment )
- Opportunities – gives insight into trends, patterns, or seasonality
- Continuous Improvement – discovers weak points in advertising and gives information where improvement is needed
What are Facebook Ads, and how do they work
There can hardly be a person that hasn’t heard of Facebook. But how about Facebook advertising and all its benefits?
Facebook Ads are paid messages on a dynamic platform with an accent on two areas: reach and visual storytelling. These aspects create a powerful tool for a wide range of businesses. Ads also come in various types of formats, which allows for capturing the audience’s attention with alluring and interesting content, and the Facebook algorithm has such precise knowledge about its users that targeting the right audience should not be a problem. That can be achieved by targeting an audience based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. Where each category consists of numerous subcategories.
Characteristics of Facebook ads
Facebook Ads offers a wide range of ad formats and auction options for effective reach and goal completion. Each ad form, from basic picture to video or carousel ad, serves its purpose and, with proper optimization, drives proper conversion for your business.
Mostly used ads:
Probably the most popular ad type on the network. A single-image ad with a photo designed to capture users’ attention and highlight the top value of the offer. Text added next to the image elaborates the whole offer to the ones who are interested.
Key features for Photo ads:
- Visual – the most important part of the Facebook ad, the first thing that catches the user’s eye and the one and only chance to make someone stop for long enough to read the full offer
- Ad copy – think of it as a sales pitch. It needs to attract attention, and now that we have the attention, it’s mandatory to keep the interest of the reader and create a desire for the product or the service. The grand finale of good Ad copy is a call to action that will trigger users to take action right away
- Call to action – except in the Ad copy, can be used in the headline of the ad or as a CTA button
A powerful tool that uses compelling and engaging ad format for building brand awareness, driving engagement, and influencing purchasing decisions. The key is to create a video that resonates with the desired audience and drives them more efficiently toward expected action.
As for the key features of video ads, Ad copy and Call to action are the same as in Photo ads. Two out of three most important parts of the ad. However, visual is where the biggest difference is. Video content is highly engaging and can capture the attention of viewers more effectively than regular image ads.
An ad format that allows the showcase of multiple static images in one ad, each one with its own landing page link. Quite an effective way to highlight multiple products or offers. The downside is that all images are gathered under the same Ad copy, which needs to be created to include info about everything displayed.
Instant experience ads
These ads provide a full-screen ad format and are fantastic for showcasing products, sharing stories, and driving engagement. They provide a rich experience that captures users’ attention and engages them with ads in different experiences from Image or Video ads.
Key features for instant experience ads:
- Content – captivating, full-screen experience with various possible combinations of images, videos, and landing pages
- Tamplets – predefined templates for easier setup or free-form for creating from scratch
- Diversity – allows incorporation of various different elements such as images, videos, buttons, text, carousels
- CTA – The importance of the call to action is the same in every type of ad; what makes it special here is the customizable CTA button
- Engagement – Once opened in full-screen mode, the ad encourages users to engage and explore
How do Facebook ads work?
Facebook Ads also operate on an auction mechanism. The auction considers factors like bid amount, ad quality, and user engagement. Winning the auction isn’t guaranteed with the highest bid, but the relevance and quality of the ad have a significant influence. This whole operation is run through Facebook’s algorithm.
Campaign objectives in Facebook ads that help to allocate the budget accordingly to the desired target:
- Awareness – maximizes reach and is used for increasing brand awareness
- Traffic – The landing page is a must-have for this objective. It drives users to the selected destination
- App Promotion – Have an amazing app? Find the right audience that will install it and use it
- Engagement – sometimes sales is not the only or most important goal. This optimization will help find an audience that will engage with the ad or Facebook page
- Leads – for those who don’t sell finished products for a predetermined price but need to have contact with the client to set up an appointment or finish some customization
- Sales – Have a webshop that doesn’t change products too often, and have a plan to run a campaign over some period of time? This is all you need!
This whole story only makes sense if there is some tracking of performance and budget consumption. Facebook Ads Manager offers a variety of insights into performance and even the ability to create custom metrics for those who need them.
Depending on the optimization of the campaign and the final desired goal, several basic metrics are mandatory to keep an eye on:
- CTR – gives almost real-time insight into what your audience thinks about your ad. The higher the percentage, the more the audience is interested in what you’re showing them. Low CTR will, as a side effect, have more expensive advertising. If CTR is low, try with new creative. However, with time, even a good ad will have a drop in CTR, and that is a signal to change something
- Purchases and Purchase ROAS – There is no good or bad number in general. It’s individual for each client. It’s determined for each business separately, but quite important numbers for those selling something
- Frequency – How important is it for an audience to see an ad? It depends! Are we trying to sell them something or we’re just sharing some information with them? Is it something they need to think over for some time before making the decision, or can it be decided on in the same minute, and after the action is taken, there is no need to show that ad again?
There is no simple and single answer that will work for everybody and/or in every situation. However, that diversity allows optimization and customization to fit the needs of many different businesses.
Facebook vs. Google
Google is the world’s largest search engine, and we can think of the Google Ads platform as an online marketplace. Unlike Facebook, it generates concrete search inquiries from those who know what they want and are actively looking for it. Successful Search campaign depends on choosing the right keywords and the creation of relevant ads and landing pages. In addition, there are Display and Video formats for awareness and remarketing, but they generally don’t generate as many conversions.
The intention of Facebook buyers is similar to Display ads. The targeted audience doesn’t actively search for advertised products or services. However, the biggest difference is that the audience is likelier to shop on Facebook right after seeing an ad than on the GDN platform. Facebook also gives the possibility of more different ad types to capture attention. While Google remarketing campaigns depend on website visitors, Facebook can connect with both website visitors and Facebook and Instagram page engagers.
Facebook vs. Google Ads cons
Facebook ads are more likely to lead to user fatigue and don’t have a search intent audience.
Google ads won’t have the same visual strength as Facebook ads, and there is high competition for popular keywords which leads to a higher cost per click.
Facebook vs. Google Ads Formats
- Short and direct text and ideal for immediate conversion
- Image ads displayed across Google’s Display Network can be placed on relevant websites
- Video ads engage users on YouTube and partner sites
- Visually appealing image ads, with a higher ability for emotional connection with an audience
- More engaging video format perfect for storytelling
- Special ads such as carousel or instant experience that allow a whole new level of interaction with users
Facebook vs. Google ads – When to use them
- Awareness stage – Although it can also be done through Google Display ads, this stage will probably be more effective with Facebook ads (of course, it depends on the type of product, services, and audience that needs to be reached)
- Consideration stage – Here is where Google ads will take the main lead. Now that we have awareness, users will start researching products or services more.
- Conversion stage – Both platforms! The key is to understand the goals and the path to their realization and then to choose the most adequate audience. A comprehensive marketing strategy will make the most of Google and Facebook ads.