Two of the biggest sites for online advertisers are Google and Facebook. Both may offer tremendous value to advertisers, but each service’s utility depends on how it is used. This two part article will point out the strengths and weaknesses of each advertising venue in the specific areas of branding and sales.
Branding vs Selling:
Branding is the process which makes consumers aware of a product and creates an image of the product and its users. Think of our difference is perception of Subarus and Jaguar. They suggest very different lifestyles. The truth is the same person might drive each one. However, branding has creatied powerful and uniques images for each one.
Selling is the process which makes consumers purchase products. Sales can be driven by price, by availability, by utility. It may even be driven by branding.
Different media are effective at supporting different parts of the marketing process.
The services that attract users to Google (search) and Facebook (social media) affect the way users respond to advertising on those sites. Visitors to Google search spend less time on the site than users of Facebook. Google users know what they are looking for before they log onto the site. Once the sought after information is found they leave Google. Facebook users do not know what they are looking for before they login other than they would like to know what their friends are up to. Once logged on, users are drawn to photos, links and status updates. It is easy to get lost bouncing around in Facebook’s world.
What does all this mean to online advertisers? It shows that Google and Facebook advertising exist to serve different functions. Google’s motivated/directed users are likely to buy a specific product. Somebody who searches “buy 2003 Toyota Camry” is much more likely to click on a car dealer’s ad about used Toyotas than someone who is surfing Facebook.
Facebook users might be less motivated buyers than Google users but they still offer an opportunity to advertisers. Facebook users’ extended visits give advertisers the opportunity to build a brand.
Building a brand for a new product can be very difficult because potential clients often do not know what the product being advertised is. It takes time for potential customers to understand a product and even more time to decide they actually want it for themselves. Facebook lets advertisers plant a seed in a consumer’s head in a way Google can not. If a Facebook user keeps seeing the same ad for a new film then he/she might click the ad to see the to the trailer. Without the Facebook ad the user might not ever know the movie existed Facebook has the ability to create a desire that the customer never considered before.
Selling a product has a different set of challenges, the primary of which is getting the consumer to part with his money. Google advertising is geared toward people who already know what they want. What it offers them is instant information about the product being considered, advertising that may be highly targeted, and, very often, the opportunity to purchase the desired product immediately. A consumer who has the opportunity to buy a desired product in a competitive and transparent environment can be a powerfully motivated individual.
To sum it up, the score looks like this.
Branding: Edge Facebook
Selling Specific Products: Edge Google
In the next couple of days we will look at the strengths of Facebook vs Google in the area of exploding area of remarketing.
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