Google enjoys the largest market share of any search engine, it is the largest and most popular pay per click advertising platform in the world. Facebook, on the other hand, is the largest social media platform.
There has been a lot of hype about the rivalry between the two platforms, the reality is that both platforms can complement each other and should form part of your integrated digital marketing strategy.
Google Ads (paid search)
- Google enjoys the widest reach on any online advertising platform, it has a marketing share of over 92% worldwide, its closest rival Bing enjoys only 2.45% market share. Google records 3.5 billion searches every day, that about 40 000 a day. If you are looking for an audience, you will find it on Google
- Targeted with high conversion rates, Google shows ads based on what people search for, the ads match the keywords that people type when searching for things. Google is effective because people are searching for things they are interested in and have the intention of buying.
- Google offers a wide range of advertising formats, advertisers can choose between traditional text-based search ads, display ads (banner ads) or shopping ads retailers/e-commerce websites. No matter what you sell, the chance is that Google would have an ad format to suit your needs.
- Highly competitive and extensively used. There is fierce competition for keywords which has resulted in high prices. It may be expensive, particularly for small businesses with limited budgets.
- The quality of your ads and the content on your website reigns supreme when it influencing Google ranking your ad over the completion, and not necessarily your advertising budget.
- Not ideal for unknown products, if you are offering disruption products which are new to consumers and no one is searching for them because they are unknown, Google won’t be the best platform for advertising. Facebook would be an ideal platform to use.
Facebook Ads (paid social)
Facebook has a global audience, in fact over 2.3 billons user and counting. It is also an incredibly large databank because it collects all sorts of data from users. Facebook knows a lot about its users, it collects all sorts of demographics about its users, the pages you like, your friends, your location, your interests, your birthdate, your educational background and so on.
Since Facebook knows its user’s behavioural patterns, it has an incredible ability to zoom in and only show your ads to consumers with interest in what you are offering.
- Highly visual and great for brand awareness, Facebook discourages text heavy adverts. In fact, it recommends that you do not use more than 90 characters in your ad. As a result the ads are highly visible and are attention grabbing when they appear on the user’s timeline.
- Unmatched targeting options, the beauty about Facebook is that you can target consumers based on the interest, characteristics and demographics. For example, if you are a company selling accounting services, you can target small business owners only and so on.
- The buying cycle may be long, depending on where your audience is on the buying cycle, closing them in the qualified leads may take long
- Unlike Google Ads, Facebook users are not actively searching for products or services, as a result, they may not act immediacy upon seeing your ads. However, visual repeated exposure to your brand message builds familiarity and trust amongst targeted users with interest in your product offer.
So which one should I use? Google Ads or Facebook Ads?
Both platforms are highly effective when it comes to building brand visibility, generating leads and increasing sales. If driving traffic to your website and generating lead quickly is your object, then Google Search Ads will help you achieve that quicker. On the other hand, Facebook ads are great for creating top of mind awareness and building engagements with your audience.
Our view is that both platforms should be seen as complementing each other, instead of being viewed as adversaries.
So which one should you use? It depends on what you want to archive and the resources you can allocate towards reaching your marketing goals.