Consider these facts:
- Digital ad revenue in the U.S. grew by more than 20% last year to a record $72.5 billion. (IAB)
- Google and Facebook accounted for almost 100% of all the growth in U.S. digital ad revenue last year. (IAB)
- Google and Facebook are predicted to make $106 billion from advertising this year—almost half the world’s digital ad spend. (eMarketer)
Should you be using one or the other? Or both? Which one and why? Here are 7 key criteria to decide:
- AUDIENCE: Searchers or friends and fans? Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average. This translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year. For Facebook, 28 billion people log on daily, an 18% increase year over year. Both numbers are huge. But the Google user is looking for something specific. Facebook’s audience is looking to find out what others, mostly people they know, are doing and saying.
- MESSAGE: Needs or interests? With every Google search query, someone is looking for something to meet a need. Google is trying to answer that question, based on keywords for the product or service that meets that needs. And the advertiser with the most competitive bid for that keyword. On Facebook, people share almost every conceivable detail of their lives. They consume content that aligns with a huge range of personal interests, beliefs, ideologies, and values. And Facebook knows better than anyone, what are their interests and value to best connect with a business’ solution.
- BUDGET: Keywords or campaigns? Both Facebook ads and Google AdWords are very affordable because both are based on Cost Per Clicks (CPC) set by a predetermined budget of your choice. The Google budget is based on keywords and the bid for those keywords. With any ad buy, Google lets you know the bid for a keyword that gets the best ad position. Although costs are fixed and controllable, there are a few variables to manage to get the best value for your ad investment and not overpay. Facebook simply lets you know what you will spend by day for the predetermined budget on your choice. However, Facebook asks you to first answer questions about what you are trying to do. Is it create awareness, drive conversions, generate likes? There is less risk of overspending but there is some specific direction that has to be decided first.
- MEASUREMENTS: Media or social? Measurements are different so there is a learning curve. To measure effectiveness, Google Adwords uses more traditional digital media measurements like: impressions, clicks, click-through rate, and conversions. Facebook uses metrics based on social interactions like: reach, engagement, page views, and likes. Although both measure conversions, Google AdWords allows for multiple conversions.
- TYPE OF BUSINESS: B2C or B2B? Facebook is more consumer-oriented because people log-in frequently to see what their friends are doing. While they may log-in from work so business interests are also on their mind, Facebook is inherently more B2C. Google is both B2C and B2B because it is based on keywords that represent a need that either a B2C or B2B target is searching.
- BUYING CYCLE: Top or bottom of the funnel? The stages of the Purchase Funnel are: awareness, opinion, consideration, preference, and purchase. Because Facebook is more interest-oriented, it is more of a top of the funnel-advertising solution. Google AdWords, being more needs-based, is in the bottom of the funnel.
- ROI: Return on ad investment? With either Facebook ads vs Google AdWords, the tracking system is established to track your visitors from their initial contact with your ad, whether they went to the desired destination you drive them and took the action you meant for them to. You should know how many who take that actions result in a purchase. If you do, you will know the ROI of your ad investment with either Facebook ads or Google AdWords.
Do these criteria help you decide which is better suited for your needs? Do you need help with your Facebook or Google ad buy?