When it comes to advertising, the Internet has completely changed the way we do things. As opposed to mass advertising in the form of billboards and television commercials, where you couldn’t truly tell how successful your methods were until the sales came in, Google and Facebook have the users and the tools that you need to get your message out there. So which platform is the best for you to advertise on? Here are a few comparisons to give you more information on which route you should go.
Facebook’s advertising platform allows you to target your ads to very specific demographics and psychographics. You can have your ads only appear to people based on their age range and geographic location, just like Google’s AdWords, but it gives you even more specific profiles like targeting based on a person’s interests (like what pages they like), their level of education, and their workplace.
Google’s Adwords targeting goes a little further, allowing advertisers to target based on a user’s prior browsing history. Contextual keyword marketing lets your ad appear on web pages based on their content, so that it’s relevant to what a user is viewing. It also allows your ad to show up on another site if someone viewed your website already.
Facebook is the world’s largest social network, and reaches more than half of all Internet users. When selecting your budget, you can see how much money will garner you how many impressions of your ad. Google is the world’s biggest display advertising network, and gains billions of ad impressions each month. Again, depending on your budget, you can decide how many people you want to potentially reach, especially on popular platforms that are used daily such as YouTube and Gmail.
Google ads come in 3 different formats: text, images, and videos. Text ads are probably the most popular, allowing for quick, actionable information, and they show up in search results and websites. Image ads capture the most attention, and can include flash based content. If you create a photo ad, be sure to use a related image to your product or service. Video ads are newer, but not the most popular with the audience. Many video ads start automatically, and interrupt the user experience on a website. However, they are nice in YouTube videos.
Facebook ads come in the same form as regular Facebook posts. You can do a sponsored story, which is promoting text, link, or photo posts on your Facebook page. These stories say “sponsored”, but allow for more people to engage in the post by liking, commenting, and sharing. There are also sidebar ads, which can let a user know that their friend “liked” your page, encouraging them to do the same.
Call to Action
To determine the right platform for you, you should decide what your call of action is. Do you want people to visit your website? Do you want Facebook users to like your page or comment on a story? Are you looking for email sign ups or true conversion of customers? Your call of action, as well as your intended audience, is crucial to determine before choosing an ad platform.
Your click through rate, meaning the amount of people who click your ad versus the amount of people who saw it, will determine your ad’s success. The average click through rate for an ad that is displayed on Google’s platforms is 0.4%, and Facebook’s is researched to be 0.051%. That means if 5,000 people view your ad, 2 people will click on it on Google, so even less than that would click on it if it were viewed on Facebook.
So what platform is better? It truly depends on your ad and your audience. If you want to reach specific people and have those people become aware of your brand, Facebook might be the way to go. If you have a product that people are looking for and they’re in the buying stage, Google is believed to be the better platform to go with. Try them both, play with the formats, test, and assess from there.