Let me clarify at the very start that these two worlds are not mutually exclusive. In a world where budget and financial constraints do not exist, I strongly feel that both Facebook ads and Google AdWords should exist side by side.
However, pockets are often not very deep for startups like ours! Clients have limited spending budgets when it comes to online paid advertising. There are times when you have to choose and pick the most effective one. The question is, which one is better suited for you and your purpose? As obvious, there is no single answer!
There are some parameters that I will explore in this blog post. In some, Facebook takes the upper hand and vice versa. Before I roll out those parameters, here are some stats for you to chew on. This will enlighten you on how prolific the growth of both Facebook and Google has been in the last couple of years. It is only because of their growth that the choice becomes all the more loaded.
Forbes tells us that Facebook has seen a rise of 50% in ad spending on the social media giant since 2015-2016! AdAge cites a less impressive story for Google with an increase of about 17% since 2014-2015. Both owe their phenomenal growth to the rise of mobile devices and targeted marketing.
Before any other fact, let’s talk money! It is way cheaper to advertise on Facebook than on Google. If we calculate the cost per click (CPC) of both these platforms, Facebook turns out to be 88% cheaper than Google. The average cost of a click on Google in 2016 was $2.32 as opposed to just $0.28 on Facebook.
The conclusion is a no-brainer: if you have limited finances earmarked for paid online advertising, it is wiser to opt for Facebook. They will give you more value for your limited bucks.
Additionally, there are some industries that cost heavily in the CPC department on Google AdWords. The more common ones include legal matters, higher education, healthcare and finances. If you belong to these industries, you will be better off on Facebook ads.
There is another consideration where Facebook steals the cake: brand awareness. Being a social media network where people hang out all the time and share or suggest content, developing brand awareness is easier on Facebook than Google. It all depends on your objective for online advertising. For brands looking to build up their name and value, ads on Facebook are better suited.
At the same time, if online sales is your primary objective, Google AdWords will be of greater help. People who are searching for your business or products on Google are usually doing so to make a purchase. They are deeper into the buying funnel than just casual information searches. If you stress on advertising heavily on Google, you will close more sales and generate more online revenue.
For new products and launches, the strategy has to be somewhat different. It may be that you are moving in a zone with little or no search volume on Google. In such a scenario, the AdWords spending may look lower but you will not generate any sale or even awareness about the product. AdWords is somewhat blindsided in the absence of a workable search volume. Facebook ads can help you out in these times, like I mentioned above about developing brand awareness.
Moving forward, let us take you to an example. Approach this as a buyer. You see two ads on Google: one from an established brand name and another from a rank newcomer. They are advertising for the same genre of product. Which one are you more likely to click? The general trend is that the click will belong to the bigger brand. This shows that lesser known brands have their work cut out on Google AdWords. It makes more sense to build up some brand value through Facebook ads before venturing into AdWords.
Like I said at the very onset, there is no single answer for this question. So depending on what works for your brand, you have to make a choice. I have only laid out the options for you!