If you’re looking to advertise your business online, you might be trying to decide whether Google AdWords or Facebook pay-per-click advertising is a better option.
I’ve used both successfully. So here is my assessment of the pros and cons of each.
AdWords and Facebook: Similarities
If you’re a small business, Facebook paid ads and Google AdWords are both a great way to get instant access to your target audience. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad. So it’s easy to track and measure your spending.
AdWords and Facebook: Differences
Google AdWords is an excellent way to reach people who are actively searching on Google for your products or services. This makes it great for service businesses such as web design, and pretty much any other type of service business – plumbers, appliance repairs, dentists, tourism businesses etc. are just some of the businesses that I have helped with AdWords campaigns.
So, people who click on an AdWords ad tend to be in a frame of mind to buy.
On the other hand, people go on Facebook primarily to socialise. They don’t go to look at the ads but they are quite open to being distracted by an ad if it catches their attention.
So you need to be more creative with your Facebook ads to attract people away from their prime activity of socialising. Facebook ads are great for products or services that people are not actively searching for – they might not even know they exist. For example, I’m using Facebook ads for a client who is selling a unique product that is an alternative to candles, called ‘Winelights’, which most people don’t know about. But a Facebook ad is a great way to get the word out.
Google AdWords has Display Network advertising, which is similar to Facebook, in that your ads are shown on other websites. Again, you need to be more creative with your ads to catch people’s attention.
Which One Is More Cost Effective?
Google AdWords has been around for 10 years and is getting more and more competitive. The cost per click can be several dollars in some industries (for example, I’m paying up to $10 a click to advertise web design in the Christchurch market).
Facebook advertising is much newer, less competitive and the cost per click is much lower (I’m only paying 85 cents a click to advertise my business on Facebook).
On Facebook, with a budget as little as $5 a day, a small business can generate a considerable number of new leads. It’s like Google AdWords was 10 years ago, so it’s a fantastic time to take advantage of the rates while they’re still low.
Which One Provides Better Quality Leads?
With Google AdWords, because people are seeing your ad after searching specifically for a related subject, they tend to be better quality leads – in the sense that they are in the frame of mind to buy right now.
Facebook, on the other hand, will generate leads who are interested in what you are selling (otherwise they wouldn’t have clicked your ad) but they might not be ready to buy right now. So you can waste a lot of clicks on “tyre kickers”.
However, the secret I’ve found with Facebook is to try to capture the name and email address of people who click on your ad – so you can follow them up later. You can do this by offering something free in return for a name and email – e.g. a free consultation, free report, free sample of your product etc.
Then you need to follow up regularly until the person is in frame of mind to buy.
Can You Do It Yourself?
You can certainly learn Google AdWords and Facebook on your own, if you have the time and inclination. But you need to be prepared to lose money while you’re learning. (I certainly did when I started with AdWords five years ago.) There are many traps for young players, and both platforms can be merciless in hammering your credit card if you don’t know what you are doing.
On the other hand, if you hire an expert to do your online advertising, it can actually save you money because they know the shortcuts, the best practices to use and can also set-up tracking systems to monitor your results.
What Can AdWords and Facebook Do For Your Business?
When you get either of these advertising platforms set up correctly, they can generate a steady stream of ideal customers for your business. There’s a bit of work in the setup phase and a certain amount of ongoing tweaking is needed. But once they’re ticking over, they’re like an online sales person working for you 24/7.