So, you’ve got X amount of dollars in your marketing budget and you’re trying to decide how best to spend it. You recognize that advertising is essential for your brand, but you’re not exactly sure where to put those advertising dollars so that you get the most bang for your buck. You’re pretty tech and social media savvy, but when it comes to choosing between platforms like Google and Facebook, there’s still a lot you need to learn.

That’s okay. You’re not alone. The world of online advertising can be pretty confusing and it’s hard to determine what’s going to do you the most good. It’s also important to recognize that there’s not always one answer to questions like “Do I advertise with Google or Facebook?”. Sometimes the answer is “it depends” while other times it might differ from year to year.

Of course, the main difference is clear. One is a search engine and the other a social media platform, so there’s going to be obvious differences. Let’s take a look at some of the basics first and then we’ll offer you some reasons why one might be better than the other for YOUR business.

Google ads

Google is, by far, the most popular advertising platform in the North America As a matter of fact, data shows that about 40 percent of all digital ad spending in the United States and Canada is channeled into Google ads.

Google Ads (once called Google AdWords) is a “paid search” platform, which means that if you’ve placed an ad it will appear in search results. When you choose pay-per-click ads (PPC), they will show up above your organic search results or sometimes to the right. Advertisers only pay when someone clicks on their ad, hence the name.

Facebook ads

Facebook can be a wonderful place to advertise. Why? Because the average Facebook user clicks on somewhere between 12 and 15 ads per month. Furthermore, the audience you’re reaching is very diverse and hails from around the world, so if ads are crafted well, you can garner a huge audience through this popular social media platform.

With Facebook ads you can be very specific about your budget and the people you reach. For example, you can select how much you spend per day or over the lifetime of the ad (i.e., $10 per day for 7 days). You can also target a specific audience. For example, if you’re advertising something that appeals to middle-aged, suburban women, you can choose parameters that allow you to reach that group.

So, which one makes sense for me?

Well, to figure that out, let’s look at some of the differences a little more closely.

  • Targeting – This is the main difference between Facebook and Google. Google ads target users totally based on keywords. With Google, you know what your potential audience is searching for and have crafted the ads knowing that they’re looking for your kind of product or service. With Facebook, you are more focused on demographics as well as interests, past behaviour, and more. Targeting is very precise, though the people you reach may not SPECIFICALLY be looking for you or your product. However, if you’ve set up your targeting parameters correctly, you should be able to get your ad in front of those who will be likely to take action.
  • The buying “journey” – Because Google ads pop up based on keyword searchers, chances are those who click on these ads are further along on their buying journey or their research. That makes them more likely to click because they are consciously looking for the product or service you offer. Conversely, with Facebook, you’re positioning your ad in front of someone who is not familiar with you and who isn’t specifically looking for what you offer. Because they didn’t seek out your product, they might be interested in more information but not yet ready to buy. With Facebook, you rely more on impulse buys to generate income.
  • The ultimate goal – With Facebook ads, you’re getting your brand out there. Because your Facebook audience came to FB to chat with friends, not to buy your product, it’s more likely you are building brand awareness rather than generating lots of immediate sales. However, with a Google ad, your main goal is to sell, sell, sell. Those who searched for keywords related to your product know what they’re looking for and are more likely to click.

Who’s the winner?

It’s likely that there isn’t a clear overall winner, though there may be a winner for your type of business. If you can picture how either Facebook or Google can help you realize your goals, then you should choose one over the other. Some businesses try both, at least for a little while, to determine which works best for them.

At Watershed9, we can help you decipher the sometimes-confusing world of internet advertising. Let us sit down with you and help you figure out whether Google or Facebook works best for your type of business and your budget. For a no-obligation consultation, call us at 604-337-1449 and speak to one of our marketing experts or fill out our contact form.