Deciding Between Facebook Ads and Paid Google Search for Brand
If you’ve been paying the slightest bit of attention, you’re likely already aware of how much pay-per-click search and paid social media ads have changed in recent years and even the recent months. Businesses of all sizes now have an easier time than ever of finding their intended audience in a way that’s effective and affordable. While such advances are great, it can put business owners in a bit of a bind trying to decide which method is right for them and their business goals.
Making matters even more difficult is the fact that Google Adwords and Facebook Ads have become more nuanced for both the betterment and detriment of business owners. Understanding the differences and similarities between the two digital marketing/advertising methods can provide a big dose of relief as well as clarity for entrepreneurs and marketing leaders.
The Paid Social Advantage
Some of the benefits linked to utilizing paid social networking ads include:
- Connecting With Customers From the Beginning: If you’ve just started your marketing campaign, you can increase your chances of reaching your target audience and converting them into lifelong customers and advocates of your brand. This is accomplished through Facebook and other social media ads that appear in the user’s news feed. Even if individuals aren’t currently in need of your products or services, they soon might be. When shoppers are in need of whatever it is you offer, you stand a better chance of earning their business with a social media ad.
- Pinpoint Niche Audiences: Another plus in the paid social ads column is taking advantage of the layers of individual data available from social media platforms, which isn’t always the case when it comes to search engines. This is especially beneficial if your business sells products or services for a niche audience. As an added bonus, you don’t have to worry about going head-to-head with other companies as you all vie for keywords. This is because you’re aiming at specific consumer characteristics.
- Generate Discussion and Optimize Content: Generating content and discussion topics won’t do you much good if you’re unable to truly engage with your intended audience. Paid social ads are great for engagement because you can draw in traffic to your company and share content assets. Additionally, social ads are a great way to encourage discussions regarding your services or products.
- Add Vim and Vigor to Your Marketing Message: Social media platforms have more dynamic messaging when compared with pay-per-click search ads. It’s no secret that eye-catching graphics and messages have become quite popular in recent years. Do yourself and your business a favor by taking advantage of this trend.
Benefits of Opting for Paid Search Engine Ads
With pay-per-click ads, you’ll enjoy such advantages as:
- Target Consumers Who Are More Likely to Buy: Successfully finding your desired audience members is all well and good, but finding ones who are serious about purchasing your services or products is even better. Something to bear in mind with Facebook and other social media platforms is they’re most popular with casual consumers. Those who have a concrete intent to buy are more likely to jump on a search engine to see if they can find the company that has exactly what they’re looking for.
- Cross Paths With Consumers in Need of a Specific Service or Product: Search engines like Google make it easy to type in mid and long tail keywords and keyword variations, making it easy for consumers looking for a specific service or product to find exactly what they need from companies that offer that exact item rather than an option that’s merely “close enough.”
- Operate on the Same Playing Field as Your Competitors: While you’re well aware you have plenty of competitors out there, you may not be so clear on how to accurately position your services or products against them. The glory of pay-per-click ads is it’s easy to make shoppers aware of the many options they have for businesses that offer whatever it is they need. What’s more is you’re in a prime position to bolster your brand creativity and gain a foothold on the search engine results page.
- Stand Out in the Local Market: Rather than constantly think about your competitors “out there,” don’t forget about the ones in your own backyard. Shoppers are now more keen to support local businesses, so why shouldn’t one of those businesses be yours? This is especially important if you have a traditional brick-and-mortar location, which consumers are likely to look for through a search engine rather than a social media platform. Even better is the fact that you can also net more phone calls through “click to call” ads. Should you choose to go this route, make sure your business and phone system is properly set up.
Now that you have a better grasp on the difference between search engine ads and social media ads, it’s time to determine which is likely a better fit for your business and company culture.
Schedule a Meeting With Yourself
The first thing you should do when deciding between Facebook ads and Google search ads is look at your current marketing/advertising strategy. Is your goal to touch bases with consumers in the early stages of your strategy, or are you okay with doing so later? Is it overall business content you’re looking to promote, or sales? Are you aiming for targeted audience members with specific interests, or targeted audience members looking for a specific product or service? The answers to these questions will help you start to form a framework, a skeleton of sorts that you can fill in with the muscles, vessels, organs, and skin of a more full-bodied and refined strategy.
During this one-on-oneself meeting, be sure you’re fully honest with yourself in regards to your answers as well as your capabilities. You’ll also want to think about the future of your company. Are the answers to the above questions in line with your ultimate long-term business goals as well as the short-term goals meant to help you reach those long-term goals? It’s much more beneficial to see your marketing and advertising strategy as a lengthy marathon rather than a quick sprint. Anything worth having is sure to cost an abundance of time and effort, so be sure you and your business are fully prepared.
Overall Return on Investment
An analysis of your return on investment (ROI) will bring you one step closer to deciding between your ad avenues. That being said, prevalent industry ROI patterns have yet to be discovered in order that business owners know for sure the full effectiveness of the two ad strategies. One of the largest reasons for this is there’s so much variance that dances between audiences, goals, location and the like.
Here is another situation in which you want to tighten your focus, specifically on your online marketing efforts. In order for the following strategy to be at its most effective, you’ll want to test drive both paid social networking ads and search engine ads, if you’ve got the financial resources to do so. If you’re giving strong consideration to paid social media ads, it’s a good idea to set up analytics in order that you can get an accurate measure on your ad goals. For pay-per-click ads, keep a close eye on the overall customer experience starting from the first click-to-call up to the final purchase.
Once you’ve gathered all necessary data on the two strategies, it’ll be easier to see which works best for your specific industry and business model. As you’re looking over this information, you should also take note of offline media and display network advertising and any other channels available to you.
The Best of Both Worlds
One essential thing to bear in mind is there’s a good chance your business benefits best from a hybrid approach with these two ad options; this is often the case with most companies. As you can see above, each strategy comes with its own unique set of benefits, and combining those benefits could provide you with the results you’re looking for.
If yours is a smaller business or you simply lack the proper financial resources, you may not have the luxury of taking both roads on your journey to marketing and advertising success. Should this be the case, some deep research is necessary to make the best of your investment, time and assets. Find out what other businesses in your industry and those that are the same size as yours are doing and which approach seems to be the most effective. While there’s a good chance you have to tweak your game plan to better suit your needs, you’ll at least have a place to start. As time goes on, you could find you’re able to choose the ad road not taken.
Recent technology and business tools have become more multi-faceted than ever, which can come with more than a bit of confusion and twists and turns. By consulting a map and planning your route carefully, you’re sure to reach your final destination with a minimum of setbacks.