With limited budget and limited time, should you focus on Facebook (800 million engaged users) or Google AdWords (75% of the search market)? You can see that Facebook (blue) and Google (red) ads both gain interest – but where should your put your energy?
And what’s the difference anyway?
The What of Facebook and Google Ads
Google runs their advertising through the Google Adwords brand.
When someone searches for a keyword, then your advertisement is matched to that keyword and appears at the top or to the right of the search.
In addition, your ads can appear in the Google network (banners and text ads on websites are usually part of this network).
Facebook ads have a similar look and feel to a Google ad. They display on the right side of pages on Facebook – and try to get people to ‘like’ your Facebook page, so that you can then advertise promos, stories, etc in their stream.
The cost is paid per like – you can also ‘sponsor stories’ that will the circulate around the social network – trying to get traction.
Pros of Facebook Ads for Small Business
- You get digitized word of mouth advertising from people’s ‘friends’
- You get to remind returning customers about your service/product (returning customers are more profitable than new ones)
- You get cheaper branding than traditional brand exposure (billboards, TV, etc)
- You get to advertise directly to your ideal target customer (with Facebook demographics you can choose very precisely)
Cons of Facebook Ads for Small Business
- People aren’t on Facebook to buy and research (imagine your mascot sitting in the living room with a family talking about pictures)
- You don’t show up when people are looking for you
- Facebook ads can be pricey versus AdWords because of big companies doing huge campaigns. For example, if you and Delta want to advertise to single women between 25 and 30 who ‘like’ travel…guess who’s going to win that ad?
- You aren’t dealing with a mature, complete platform (fewer best practices)
Pros of Google AdWords for Small Business
- You advertise exactly when people are looking for you. If someone wants ‘flower shop athens, ga’ – You can be there.
- Very cheap, targeted, and focused – in fact, the more relevant your ad is – the less you pay. A local flower shop can go head to head with 1800Flowers with the right AdWords management.
- Search is the main way people browse the internet
- AdWords is a dynamic platform, but has plenty of best practices
- AdWords can be used for branding across the Internet with banner ads
Cons of Google AdWords for Small Business
- No long-term relationship built for returning customers
- Takes time, data, and good AdWords management to get qualified leads from your target customers
DDB provided a market research report that 84% of all Facebook ‘likes’ are from returning customers.
With that in mind – you might view Facebook and Google as friends rather than competitors.
Google builds awareness and gets new customers, while Facebook allows you to maintain that loyalty and get them to come back.
So, Facebook Ads or Google Ads?
For now, your small business should give Google your money and give Facebook your time. And keep thinking about your marketing options.