While Google ads used to be the standard in online advertising, we’ve seen a significant rise here in Facebook ads over the last few years, which has created some questions as to which platform is best for advertising. The short answer is that it depends. But we’re going to break down each ad giant so you can decide if one, or both channels are best suited for your advertising spend.

The main reason that advertising with Google and Facebook has become so popular is that these are the platforms on which consumers are spending a considerable amount of their time. “Google it” (google is now listed as a verb in the Merriam-Webster dictionary!) and “find them on Facebook” have become common phrases to describe how we search for information online. Whether browsing the internet for a specific product or service, or endlessly scrolling through your Facebook account, there are billions of people, including your potential customers, in both of these spaces every single day.

Before we break down each online advertising platform, it’s important to know that as a whole, online advertising is a great way to help your business get in front of the right people. A few other benefits of online advertising include:

– Brand awareness: making your brand top of mind
– Lead conversion: turning curious browsers into customers
– Authority: being the expert in your specific field
– A high return on investment: getting more money back than you spend

Now, let’s break down each ad giant and discuss the benefits of putting your advertising dollars with them.

Google Ads

Because Google is the world’s largest search engine, it means this is where the vast majority of consumers are searching for products and services. One of the greatest benefits to advertising with Google is the sheer volume of searches that take place on this platform, that’s 2.3 million searches per second to be precise.

How does it work?

Essentially, you are paying for each time that someone clicks on your ad and this is known as the cost-per-click. You create ads based on specific search terms and then drive that targeted traffic straight to your website. Google ads are really best to help drive traffic with the intent to purchase or act now.

Here’s a breakdown of our online advertising benefits and how Google stands up:

Brand Awareness: There’s not a lot of opportunity to brand your ads in a graphic form, but you can use the copy of your ads to help viewers get a feel for your company based on your language and tone, and of course your company’s name and URL.

Lead Conversion: The great thing about online ads is that they can link to just about any page on your website. This means that you can send people to an opt-in page, a sales page, your online store, or wherever is most relevant based on the ad copy and your intent with the ad, meaning which action you want them to take.

Authority: There’s a positive association about showing up on page 1 of Google. This is the ultimate real estate listing for online advertising, which instantly brings a sense of credibility to your company. Think of how many times you’ve really explored beyond the first or second search result page. Probably not many times, which is why so many companies are willing to pay to be seen first.

ROI: Google estimates that on average, for every $1 spent on ads, businesses generally make $2 in revenue. This number is going to depend on your industry, the quality of your ads, and how much focus is put into maintaining your ad account.

facebook-adsFacebook Ads

There are 2.23 billion monthly active users on Facebook making this platform a “favorite hangout” for many. Whether you are marketing to consumers or even other businesses, you can bet that your target audience is on Facebook in some capacity. One of the most significant benefits of advertising with Facebook is not just the number of users but the ability to highly customize the audience to whom your ads are shown, like say people with a specific job title, hobby, income level, and favorite book. This type of targeting allows you to pay less money per click, and really hone in on your target market getting in front of very specific eyes.

How does it work?

With Facebook being a social network and not a search engine, there’s a slightly different approach to the way the ads work. With Facebook ads, you can select from a number of different advertising goals including brand awareness, sending traffic to your website, generating leads or encouraging sales. Similar to Google ads, you would select a daily budget and then Facebook would charge you each time someone clicks on your ad.

Now let’s break down the online advertising benefits for Facebook:

Brand Awareness: You can display a photo, graphic or even a video with your ad on Facebook. Additionally, your company’s profile picture will display which is another opportunity to showcase your brand. Facebook takes the prize in terms of helping build brand awareness through online advertising.

Lead Conversion: Just like Google ads, you can direct Facebook users to an opt-in or sales page, thus making your ads a great opportunity to turn curious consumers into actual customers. But in general, Facebook ads don’t tend to generate as many direct sales as Google ads because people are not typically on Facebook to buy now.

Authority: This is where compelling copy is going to help your company stand out. With Facebook ads you have plenty of room for writing longer posts to accompany the ad. You can take advantage of this real estate to showcase your expertise.

ROI: Facebook’s return on investment very much depends on the quality of your ads, how they are perceived by the audience, and what industry you’re in. Unlike Google ads, your Facebook ads might not yield as high of a direct ROI because like we’ve previously mentioned, the intent is different. Facebook returns might be best calculated based on how many impressions and clicks your ads get versus how many direct sales that you get.

As you can see, both of these platforms are great options when it comes to online advertising for your company. The intent is slightly different but the benefits do not fall short in either space. We believe testing out both platforms is a great way to create a well-balanced online advertising strategy. You’ll be building brand awareness on social media and targeting those ready to buy on search engines. It’s a win-win! This will also enable you to measure the results of each campaign and make future adjustments to your spend depending on which platform yields the most favorable outcomes.

Need help getting started? Be sure to contact our digital advertising experts at Sabre today to set up your online ads and launch your next campaign.