Facebook Ads or Google AdWords?

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When it comes to paid online ads Facebook and Google are your two best bets, generally speaking. Yes you can spend money for ads on other social media platforms and do a few other digital ads, but good old Facebook and AdWords are probably the easiest to use and can meet the needs for the widest range of industries.

The question is, which one should you go with? To properly assess these two options you need to look at the cost, audience, and intent.

Cost

Both offer pay-per-click (PPC) options, which means you only pay if the potential customer clicks on your website. The price you pay for each click is decided by an auction system. Facebook and Google use separate auction formulas, but they’re fairly similar. Explaining exactly how the auction system works would take an entire blog unto itself. What you need to know now is that part of the auction system is competing for click with your competitors.

With AdWords the competition is based on the keywords you pick. So the cost per click will depend on the search volume of each keyword, think high school economics supply and demand. PPC on Facebook is based on the audience and reaction you want.

We started doing work for a local Tulsa insurance company a while back. When we were creating their marketing plan we decided to go with Facebook Ads because it was much more cost effective. Had we gone with AdWords we would be competing with the likes of State Farm and Allstate, paying close to $30 a click. On Facebook though, we’re only paying a few dollars a click at most. In a highly competitive industry, sometimes Facebook can be your best friend.

Audience

When you make a Facebook ad you can create an incredibly segmented audience. You can designate income, gender, hobbies, interests, relationship status, and education level. It can get real creepy real fast. This allows your audience to be precise and targeted.

On the other hand, pretty much everyone uses Google and not everyone uses Facebook. It is the most used social media platform by far, but it pales in comparison to the amount of users Google has. There are more than a billion Facebook users, but Google processes around 40,000 searches every single second.

While Facebook allows you to be targeted, it doesn’t do you any good if your customers aren’t on Facebook.

Intent

A fundamental difference between Facebook ads and Google ads the audience you reach on Google have intent to buy because they’re actually searching for help, while the audience on Facebook may or may not be looking to buy.

This can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. If you do it right, Facebook can be a great way to do some branding and introduce yourself to new customers who have never heard of you.

Knowing whether to run Facebook or Google Ads isn’t always an easy decision, because one isn’t inherently better than the other. Your industry, competition and audience needs to be assessed by a Tulsa social media company before any decisions are made.

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