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Facebook Ads VS. Google Ads 2018: Which platform do I use?

by | Advertising, Marketing, Social

There are billions of people on the planet, millions on the internet, thousands potentially interested in you. But, how do you reach them?


You see ads everywhere and might not even realize it. They’re in your morning newspaper, your Facebook newsfeed, littering the side of the sports page you frequent, and on the top results in Google when you ask a question.

With so much potential, a business owner can be at a loss for where to start. In this article, we break down the two most popular and powerful forms of advertising and walk you through best practices on using each.

Overview of Facebook ads vs Google Ads

Online advertising can be confusing. To make things worse, Facebook and Google are constantly releasing new features to improve the quality of ads and the experience of users. To understand which platform will be best for your business, you also need to know how they work.

To be successful, Facebook’s Ads need to work like a funnel. A large targeted audience, dictated by your budget and your market, starts at the top. Your ad will be shown to them, then those who interact with the ad will be sent further down the funnel. An interaction could mean a click, alike, or a percentage of your video ad watched. You then retarget these qualified people with new content containing a call to action (CTA).

Facebook Mobile Ad Example: Sponsored Ad

It’s important to show these people your new CTA content 7-12 times. Your job as an advertiser on Facebook is to show potential customers what they’re missing out on, it will take time to convince them. Like anything, you need to spend the time to build trust. Depending on your niche, only about 2-7% of the qualified people will actually buy.

Keep in mind the intentions of Facebook users, they want to catch up with friends and be entertained, not to be sold to. This means that most of your content should provide value, especially the content people see higher in the funnel. However, as people grow more accustomed to you, stronger messaging is a must.

Google Ads is different. The intention of a Google user is to have their question answered. Using Google Ads, you can target certain keywords inside a question to have your ad show as the answer.

Keywords inside Google help narrow your audience from the entire searching population to only the relevant potential customers. The more keywords you bid on specific to your market, the more relevant the audience that will see you. Of course, it’s never that easy. Your ad campaign has to be general enough to get traffic, but specific enough to have a relevant and interested audience.

When it comes to buying something, there are two ways people use Google: for consideration, and for buying. The consideration phase is especially important because it is the optimal time, and cheapest, to make your impression as a business. You then are able to convert the searchers into customers through retargeting them when they reach the buying phase. For the “buying phase,” things are a little tougher. Because there is less traffic, and the traffic has a high intent to buy, marketers bid very aggressively to get people to their websites over their competitors. If your budget allows it, we recommend targeting both the questions about the service you offer that can lead to customers, as well as the customers who are ready to buy.

When do you use paid ads?

All the time, but for different reasons. The first and foremost reason is to sell things to customers.

The more relevant people that see your ad, the more traffic you will get, period. The general idea is to be known by your potential consumer audience and to be trusted as a brand.

Paid ads are the safest and most cost-effective way to test a new market for your business. When you create an ad, you can test how audiences respond to products very inexpensively. This flexibility allows brands to expand into new markets, offer new products or services to new audiences, and track success in real time. Unlike older forms of media, like television or print, the upfront investment doesn’t have to be as great. If something isn’t working, it’s easy to just cut it.

Another motive behind running paid ad campaigns would be to jump-start or grow your business. Placing relevant, interesting, and engaging ads where your audience will see them is the perfect method for growing a business.

Putting it all together

Growing your business is as simple as putting people into two groups: people who trust you, and people who don’t. By increasing the number of people who trust you, you will be able to increase your sales. In Facebook, this is done by building an engaged customer base, and in Google, it is by giving people what they are searching for.

Which is better, Facebook Ads or Google Ads?

Trick question. Both are fantastic and provide unique opportunities for your business.

But, which platform should you use?

It depends on what your goal is, your budget, and the type of business you have. Let’s start with the qualities of each platform.

Nobody goes to Facebook to shop, they go to connect with their friends and to be entertained. That being said, brands can still sell. How? By building trust.

Facebook for businesses is about showing consumers why your product is great and what they’re missing out on. They’re not on Facebook because they are looking for a product or service, they’re on Facebook for information and value. Brands need to give value first and sell second.

The unique thing about Facebook is the targeting abilities. Since Facebook continually collects a large pool of data about each user, you can target specific groups of people. For example, if you are a dentist looking for more clients, you could target parents with young children from a certain age range in and around your city. If your target demographic has clearly defined interests, Facebook is incredibly powerful.

Google users have an entirely different intent. They go to Google to have a question answered. Using Google Ads, you can target certain keywords inside a search to have your ad shown as the result for what they are looking for.

Google ads should always be used when people are searching for what you offer, especially in a local area. Businesses like plumbers and attorneys are difficult to advertise on Facebook because people don’t know they need them before an issue arises. A rule of thumb is, if you can’t target the qualities and interests of individuals you are looking for, Google ads is the way to go.

With Google ads, all you can focus on is keywords inside queries. Google Ads is a time investment to start. It requires research and testing to set up an effective campaign. But it is hands down the best place for service-providing companies to find customers. Your customers are looking for you, you need to be found.

The most important thing about each platform is that both will take time. Google will be more of a time investment initially, but to run a successful campaign anywhere, it takes constant monitoring. Facebook is about branding yourself as a business, creating a trusting audience, and showing them what they’re missing out on from you. Google Ads are about answering each and every question a potential customer has, showing up where they are searching for you, and providing evidence of your quality.

What is a Good Ad Budget?

Before you pick an ad budget, you need to answer two questions about your business. First, what is your goal through advertising? You could be aiming to have more clicks on an article, downloads of an e-book, more email list subscribers, or more purchases of your product. Second, how long will your ad campaign be? The shorter the campaign, the higher the cost to reach the same goal.

The price of each kind of conversion goal depends on which platform you use, and what industry your business is in. Let’s look at how to calculate the budget for Facebook first.

Facebook is all about engagement, but how many people are actually likely to engage with your ad? Not many. To calculate an ad budget you have to work backward from your goal. Set a tangible goal, based on data if you have it.

For an example, say we’re advertising a digital marketing coaching program. Since these programs are expensive and have a smaller market, we’ll assume 2% of all our blog readers will convert into leads. We need 1,000 clicks from a Facebook ad campaign to develop a healthy audience to retarget our coaching product with. If our cost per click (CPC) is $0.30, we have to spend $300 to reach our goal of 1,000 relevant clicks. From there we need enough of a budget to retarget these people by showing them promotional content about our program 7-12 times each in the hopes they convert into a lead.

There are a few ways to reduce your ad spend on Facebook. A major way to do this is change the type of engagement you are looking for from your top of funnel audience. It costs less to get views and likes on a post than it does for downloads and clicks. With our previous example, if we were to put out a video about our blog and wanted video views instead of clicks to a different webpage, our cost per result would be down to about $0.03 and our ad spend would only be $30.00 for the 1,000 leads. While this will not provide the same quality of lead, it is absolutely a way to reduce costs. Another way to reduce cost, and to improve conversions, is to produce quality content. The most important aspect of an ad is the quality. You could send all the right people to your ad but still have low conversions if your ad is sub-par. Engaging ads lower costs and are prioritized by Facebook because, in the end, they make the platform a better place for users.

Google Ads are slightly different. Paid Search is more flexible than Facebook ads, your budget will depend on how confident you are in your Google Ads ability and how many clicks you want.

The first step to finding a budget for your Ads campaigns is to do keyword research. Chances are, your campaign will only be successful if you are on the first page above the organic search results. Go to Google’s keyword planner within Google Ads, select the keywords you want to compete for, and view the estimates on “top of page bid” as well as “front page bid.” Using these numbers, and the number of clicks you want from the campaign, you can generate a budget.

Once you set the max CPC, you can estimate your daily budget by multiplying it with your desired ad clicks per day. For example, you have a max CPC of $0.50 and you want 200 clicks per day on your ad, your daily budget is about $100. This may sound like a lot of money per day, but getting relevant and consistent traffic is expensive. Despite the high cost, the clicks, if your strategy is executed well, will lead to a positive ROI. In fact, Having a small budget may actually be damaging to your campaign because it will limit how much traffic you get and how much data you receive from that traffic.

The difficult (and really interesting!) thing about Google Ads is how many factors can influence the cost of your campaign. You can make your campaign incredible specific and targeted to certain keywords, it will reduce the number of clicks you get significantly, but your cost will also be reduced. Or you can opt-in for Google’s other mediums of advertising like the Display Network. The display network is made up of thousands of websites, apps, and on YouTube, meaning your ad will show up everywhere your potential audience is at a lower cost than on the Search Results in Google.

Whether you choose Facebook ads or Google Ads, or both, your budget determines how much traffic you will get. Limit your budget and you potentially limit your success.

What Should Someone Charge to Manage Your Advertising?

Ad campaigns are time-consuming and expensive. Hiring someone to manage your accounts is a great way to combine their skill with your product. But when hiring someone, how do you know what is a reasonable charge?

First, talk with the agency you want managing your accounts, they will be more than happy to explain what they will be doing, ask what you want out of your campaign, and figure out the time commitment.

The industry standard for managing ads is to get a percentage of the ad spend with a minimum of a few hundred dollars. Large agencies or full-service agencies with experience can charge 15-30% of the total ad-spend. Smaller agencies or newer agencies tend to charge 10-15% of the total ad-spend. This way, the more your business benefits from the ad campaigns, the more everyone involved benefits.

If your campaign is really small with a limited budget, you will encounter a flat fee for the marketers, usually around $500. Fees are not uncommon when it comes to advertising.

Set-up fees are the least common and will most likely be waived by the agency in favor of bringing in a steady income by starting on the process anyway. But, since starting a campaign from scratch takes days of intense research and preparing, your marketer might be losing money until your business campaign starts to do well.

The other possible fee would be from transferring your existing campaign between agencies. Agencies sometimes charge an auditing fee to examine the old campaign, set up new keywords lists, and conduct competitor research. Again, if you talk with your ad manager this may be rolled over into the regular monthly payment.

So… Facebook Ads or Google Ads?

Up to you and your marketing team. But what you need to keep in mind is that both are an investment.

To get quality traffic and increased profit to your business, you will have to spend money. Once you spend that money you will have to spend time waiting for the results to kick in. It will almost never happen overnight. And it will never be free.

If you are committed to your goals, then you cannot undercut your ad spend quote. The more money you spend on ads (so long as you do it right), the more exposure your company will get.

If you still have questions or want to see our strategy, call us at (800) 955-9373 or schedule a call here.

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