Google Vs Facebook Ads: How To Pick The Best And Save Money

Google Ads Vs Facebook Ads

You are here because you want to know which, between Google Ads and Facebook Ads, is the right platform to promote your business. I’m also assuming you already have a website for your business and fully-optimized accounts on major social media platforms. In case you have neither, please check out the resources below:

  1. Why your business needs a website urgently 
  2. 7 advantages of using social media for business 

Google Ads Or Facebook?

Without wasting your time, the answer to your question is:

Use Google Ads to get immediate sales (target people for what they are seeking right now). On the other hand, go for Facebook Ads to promote brand awareness (target people for what they like ie based on interest). 

Put differently, Google helps customers to find your business while Facebook helps you to find prospective customers. The key phrase being “prospective customers”, in the case of Facebook Ads, and “Ready customers” when referring to Google Ads. 

Look at Facebook ads as hunting/looking for customers (marketing your products and or services) and Google Ads as setting a trap for customers (making available what they are ALREADY looking for). 

That’s it!

But to simplify your choice, let’s take a deeper look into each platform from in terms of stats, pros, and cost implications. 

Important Google and Facebook Stats

Google 

  • There are 2bn active Google users, approximately 4m searches every minute.
  • Google owns over 80% of search traffic 
  • Online Ads increase brand awareness by 80%
  • 46% of the searches click Google ads, of which 50% make a purchase. In fact, 35% of those who click ads purchase a product within 5 days 
  • Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 spent on Google Ads
  • 70% of mobile searches convert in less than 60 mins. 

Facebook 

  • There are 2.4 billion active users on Facebook (91% of all social network traffic) of which there are 10m Kenyans (with 5m daily users) 
  • The average time spent on Facebook is 38  minutes, with 96% being on Mobile phones. Over 80% of Facebook users are there to connect with friends and loved ones 
  • The average engagement rate for a post is 3.6%, organic reach standing at 5%. The average conversion rate (likes, comments, shares, and clicks) for Facebook ads across all industries is 9%
  • Categories like Retail, technology, apparel, legal, fitness, and beauty have a higher click-through rate with retail and fashion topping the chart. Employment and Job training, finance and insurance, home improvement, industrial services, and education have the lowest click-through rates. 
  • The lower the click-through rate the higher the cost per click. The average cost per click is $1.6 (about 100/-).
  • There are more men than women on Facebook. 70% of those on Facebook are aged between 18-34  years most of which have post-high school education. Persons aged 65+ are the fastest-growing group on Facebook. 

When to choose Google Ads over Facebook

As powerful as cheap as Facebook Ads may be, it cannot compare to Google Ad if:

  1. You want immediate sales i.e. you want the cash register to ring. 
  2. You are looking for high-quality leads and high-paying clients

When to pick Facebook Ads over Google

There are times when Facebook Ads is the best, especially when:

  1. Your goal is to reach the maximum number of people possible, to get some engagement and build-up brand awareness, go with Facebook
  2. All you want is web traffic or social media followers, go with Facebook/Instagram

Other factors that can determine your ad platform include the available budget and the product you are promoting.

For instance, with a budget of less than $10 a day, you are stuck with Facebook. Not that you can’t spend as little as $2 a day on Google Ads, just that the result will be least impressive. 

The recommended minimum daily budget on Facebook is $5 while the recommended daily budget on Google ad is $30 though I’ve seen some people make do with $10 a day. So, use Facebook Ads if your monthly budget is below $150 and Google Ads if you can spare at least $300.

For best results, however, spend at least $1000 a month on Google and $450 on Facebook 

The industry also determines which platform you’d be advertising on. For instance, Facebook (especially Instagram) gives better results for apparel (fashion) than Google Ads. On the other hand, e-commerce does better on Google Ads. 

Pros and Cons Google and Facebook Ads

Why Use Google Ads (Pros)

  • You only pay for ad clicks (that means, Google doesn’t charge you for impressions and no spending when you pause the ad) 
  • It works almost instantly (with some getting leads within an hour or a day or two) 
  • Superior geographical targeting (you can drop on your map and Google will serve the ad within the radius you’ve set) 
  • The reward for best-optimized ads (the more engagement the better the position and the cheaper the cost per click) 
  • You can compete with the big boys (as long as your ad is performing well, Google will put it above the rest irrespective of advertising budget) 
  • Easy scaling (you can start with a lower ad budget and increase it as you make a profit) 
  • Buying intent (people who click your ad are already looking for your product/service and are likely to buy) 
  • Powerful reporting (you will get one of the most detailed metrics out there) 

The Cons of Google Ads 

  • It’s expensive (while you can decide how much to spend, you may not get good results with budgets lower than $500 a month) 
  • Steep learning curve (setting up a campaign may be easy, but monitoring and making changes as the ad runs is quite a time consuming and mistakes may cost you a small fortune)
  • Targeting is limited to keywords, location, and language (if you are looking for female marketers aged better 24 – 35, Google Ads will be useless)
  • Designed out of the box to make you spend more. Their suggestions and ad express will mint your budget faster with hundreds of unqualified leads. 
  • Very strict and ever-changing rules. Meaning you can set up your account on Monday, get a warning on Tuesday and have your account permanently banned from the platform. 

Why use Facebook Ads (Pros) 

  • One of the most inexpensive platform to market on (you can test the system with as little as $5 a day. 
  • Extremely flexible targeting options (you can target people based on behavior. For instance, you can target women, age 40-50, from Nairobi who likes dancing) 
  • Extensive analytics (Facebook will lay bare every detail/metrics about your ad. From reach to engagement to click. Everything worth knowing about your ad will be there. 
  • The largest mobile audience (over 70% of Facebook user access it via phone making one of the best places to promote app/software downloads
  • Retargeting capabilities (unlike other ad platforms, Facebook allows you to show ads to those who’ve visited your website. This means more leads. 

The Cons of Facebook Ads 

  • Uninterested audience (people are not on Facebook to buy your product or service, they are there to connect with loved ones, like their photos and learn about their latest achievements…so while your ad will reach a large audience, a very small percentage of those will have the time to visit your ad. fewer will engage
  • Takes time to learn and get it right (while  
    you can get work around some of the cons of Facebook Ads, there is no shortcut to the learning curve. You’ll collect consumer intelligence data, define a personal and install Facebook pixel…these are not easy and also consume time…it’s why most Facebook ads fall flat) 
  • Negative feedback (getting instant feedback on your products or services is great, but when most people chose to drop negative feedbacks, you stand to lose business as others will take their negative review as the gospel truth without ever trying your product 

You can see that both platforms have their benefits and drawbacks. The key to choosing the right one, however, remains your budget, industry, and goals.

Other Online Marketing Platforms

Let say for some reason you are not interested in using either Google Ads or Facebook Ads, here other social media advertising platforms you may want to try.

Instagram Ads

There is a reason why celebrities and young people love Instagram; it is a place to show off. From the latest fashion to automobiles, millennials are actively following their idol’s success as they share their photos too. You can target that curiosity

Instagram gives you several ad formats. You can choose from story ads, photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, collection ads or ads in exploring; there is an option to meet your taste and needs.

With a cost, the same as Facebook, but a higher conversion on fashion and app installs, Instagram is a platform you don’t want to miss.

Drawback: The people you may want to target (especially older people) may not have an Instagram account, to begin with

Twitter Ads

People go to Twitter to hear from someone they trust or in whose opinion they are interested. That’s why Twitter ads target you for who you want to hear from. Your ad should have your target audience’s idol so as to resonate with them and increase engagement.

Advertise on Twitter if you need feedback about your business. Just make sure you have a scroll-stopper (something that your target won’t resist retweeting or liking) otherwise you’ll get no engagements at all. 

One of the advantages of Twitter over Facebook ads, for instance, is that you pay for engagements only not impressions. While this may cost more, you are guaranteed that your money will get you engagement

Drawback: People on twitter are the most impatient, they won’t stay on your tweet let alone your target site. In other words, expect low conversion

LinkedIn Ads

Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn is not for friends and families. It is where professionals meet to share their achievements and interact with future employees or employers. As such, you are not going to advertise consumer products. On LinkedIn, you are selling something that will be of benefit to the professionals e.g. a course

Simply put, LinkedIn ads target people for what they do.

Find what your target audience job is, where they went to school and who they work for then sell them a high-value product or consultancy service. Yes, LinkedIn ads allow you to refine your target along those lines

Drawback: LinkedIn ads are not cheaper and you’ll make very little progress unless you sell a high-value product

Quora Ads

There are three main questions and answers sites namely Reddit, Yahoo Answers and Quora. Of the three, Quora has some of the most detailed answers from people who are experts in their field. 

While Quora allows ads on their platform, not everyone or just any ad can feature there. The same way Quora is strict about the quality of answers on their site is the same way they are with the ads. Meaning, all ads including the landing pages are reviewed and approved by human beings.

Since Quora Ads targets you for what you want to know, you may want to find out what topics your prospective customers are interested then target them.

Drawback: Quora Ads is not for small businesses, going for a narrow topic will get you almost zero clicks and since Quora Ads are non-invasive you must really offer the best solution to make people leave the free answers for your site.

Conclusion

Online marketing can be simplified into two categories namely sales and leads. For sales, go with search engine marketing, in this case, Google Ads though there are other search marketing options out there. For leads(meaning you have time and money to hunt for customers) go with Facebook ads.

Read Also: Other Search Engine Marketing Platforms

Now, from what you’ve read, both Google Ads and Facebook Ads have steep learning curves. It takes time to get it right and costs more in the meantime. So, why not concentrate on running your business and let’s handle the digital marketing for you?

We have the experience and the expertise to generate qualified leads while saving you money in the process. Talk to us today or drop us an email and let’s build your customer base together.

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OgolaAuthor posts

Ogola is a Digital Marketer with interests in Web Design and Development, Graphic Design and Freelance Writing. When not sharing helpful articles on this or other blogs, Samson spends time with family watching movies.

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