Facebook Ads vs Google Adwords – the Facebook Targeting Advantage
Facebook and Google are the two biggest internet giants, and each has its own advertising model. Which is best? The answer may surprise you.
Many companies wonder whether they should use Google Adwords or Facebook Ads. As you will read in this article, we believe Facebook targeting holds certain advantages.
At first glance, they look pretty similar:
You have the same opportunity with Facebook ads. For example, you can get 1,000 Facebook fans for your page only for $20 , or you can build your list driving traffic from Facebook ads and increase revenue.
But there are key differences you need to know about. Let’s take a closer look at the two systems.
1) Two different targeting systems
On Facebook, you can choose the audience for your ads by using filters, which allow you to target your audience in three ways: by interests, demography and geography. So your ads reach the right audience and will be seen only by users you have profiled.
Google Adwords, on the other hand, may trigger ads based on user preferences, but Google doesn’t know people like Facebook does. It can’t see what users “Like” or follow, nor can it see data from their personal profile. Relevant ads are triggered primarily by search terms. So when a term like “business courses” is typed into Google, you see ads ads related to… business courses.
On the Display Network, ads are shown on pages with related content. Google understands what the page is about and matches ads accordingly. As with Adwords, you have to bid on keywords, and you have no control over who is going to see your ad. Furthermore, as you can see in this example, the ad might not be an exact match to the website.
2) Facebook Ads vs. AdWords Ads
The Facebook ads creation process is different from AdWords. You target people’s interests rather than their search phrases. You’re targeting people based more on who they are than the information they’re looking for right now.
As you can see from this graph, Facebook tends to show ads based on a user’s likes, while Adwords focuses on keywords. The demographic data on users may also be more complete, so targetting can be easier on Facebook.
But the thing that stands out most is the average cost: Facebook ads, on average, are a third of the cost of Google Adwords.
3) Brand Building
While both advertising platforms offer the ability for companies to build brand equity, they do it in completely different ways.
With AdWords, a click takes you to a company’s landing page, where branding, design and sales copy send a strong signal to the user. If there are tons of ads and hyped headlines, they may question the trustworthiness of the company and immediately click off the site. Google takes note of this, and may lower the rank of the website if too many people bounce quickly.
Facebook advertising allows for leveraging of word-of-mouth and social proof, which are powerful tools in advertising. When people see that a friend already likes a product, trust barriers can be broken down much more quickly than with advertising alone.
With Facebook ads, users see the ads on a regular basis. So, over the course of several interactions, they get to see what that brand is about before deciding to click through to their website or Facebook page. This builds a level of comfort and relieves some of the pressure for landing pages and websites to immediately perform.
4) Demographic and Keyword Targeting
Google AdWords and other services allow for demographic and keyword targeting. But with Facebook, you can target keywords and demographic locations with far more precision.
How? User profiles include their location. When you use geo-targeting, your ads only appear to people whose profiles contain your targeted location and/or location.
Google AdWords doesn’t know as much about your users’ locations or what keywords they are most interested in. They only know what the user is searching for right now. As a result, the probability of your ads reaching the right audience is much lower.
That said, Facebook advertising often has higher clickthrough rates and conversions than Google Adwords.
5) Which one works best?
That’s a personal decision. But here’s what one PPC user experienced when he used both Google Adwords and Facebook ads to promote his own product:
When we launched our product globally we decided to run campaigns on both Google and Facebook. I put equal amount of money on Google Adwords and Facebook for CPC campaigns.
Our product, Shufflr, requires users to download the app and then register.
Overall CPC campaigns on Facebook were more effective and gave a better ROI than Google. There are probably a couple of reasons for that:
On Facebook I could target users by their place of work. For Shufflr we targeted users from technology companies like Google, Amazon, Oracle, Cisco, etc. Probably these users understood the value proposition of Shufflr much better, which led to more registrations.
Shufflr requires users to download Adobe Air. With Facebook I could target users who had shown “interest” in Tweetdeck, which meant they probably already had Adobe Air installed.
We have a Shufflr page on Facebook, which had approx 850 fans. With Facebook I could target friends of people who were already fans of Shufflr. When the friends of people who are already fans of Shufflr page see the ad it shows them below the ad “X likes Shufflr”. This probably lead to better click-thru rate.
The combination of Facebook page “Like” button and the Facebook CPC campaigns delivers better targeting and hence improved CTR’s. So using real-time data on consumers clicking on the “Like” button on the CTR’s for campaigns, Facebook does a much superior job of optimization than Google.
It’s important to keep in mind that Facebook is changing. With new algorithm updates, it’s harder to get the same reach that was available in the past. But if you’re willing to invest by buying ads and/or promoting posts, you may still be able to get noticed by your best customers.
6) Don’t overpay for Facebook ads
Designing your Facebook ad isn’t easy if you want it to be effective. Determining your ad budget and CPM or CPC is as important as the design of your ad. But if you do it right, you can achieve good results with a small budget.
When creating Facebook ads, here are your bidding options:
Cost Per Click (CPC): The maximum you’ll pay per click on your ads. Since distribution is based on an auction format, the amount you ultimately pay for each click will depend on the competition.
Cost Per 1,000 Impressions (CPM): The maximum you’ll pay per 1,000 impressions of your ads. Once again, the amount you pay will depend on competition for the same audience and placement.
Optimized Cost Per 1,000 Impressions (OCPM): Facebook optimizes your ad by showing it to the people most likely to perform your desired action (within your target). Additionally, bidding is automated. Your bid will change dynamically based on competition, assuring that you’ll reach your desired audience.
How to set up the cost per click (CPC) in facebook ads
Some people say that CPC is a low risk because marketers only have to pay for performance, so they have some level of confidence in their return on investment.
This is how to choose the advanced options:
1-Click on the star at the bottom.
2-Click “Advanced Options.”
Then click on “Bid for clicks” and “Manually set your maximum bid for clicks CPC” to test your ads. You can set a $5 daily budget per campaign.
The CPM and OCPM model
A CPM model, used to create multiple impressions, would require very deep pockets to pay for a significant number of impressions or to justify a reasonable ROI. Hundred percent of the risk would be with you.
Jon Loomer in his article, CPM or oCPM When Targeting Facebook Fans With Ads, said that OCPM is better optimized than CPM and he still ended up getting better results. You can read his successful experience with OCPM, with no more than $5 a day.
Google Adwords works best when someone is in research mode. When a person searches for a keyword on Google, the top results will be advertisements related to the person’s search. So you only reach searchers.
However Facebook Ads are about making people talk about your business. It focuses on word-of-mouth marketing. Facebook Ads can not only help you sell, they can also help you build an interactive relationship with your customer.
Which one works best for you: Facebook Ads or Google Adwords? Please let us know in the comments about your experience.