I get a lot of clients asking me the same question, should you be using Facebook/Instagram ads or Google ads or both? Which is going to give you the best return on investment, and generate the most sales and leads for your business?
Well there is no one size fits all answer to those questions.
In this blog I will address when you would use each type of these ads and how using one or both of these paid ad formats can really help:
- drive brand awareness
- get you in front of a wider audience of your ideal customer
- generate leads and enquiries for your business.
What are your marketing goals?
The first question you need to ask yourself is what are your marketing goals? And what are your revenue goals? What are you trying to achieve with paid advertising? Once you have set these goals and objectives the next step would be to identify where is your ideal client looking for solutions?
Are they searching on Google for answers to their questions? And are they browsing on Facebook and Instagram, and what brands are they currently using and interacting with on social media?
Do your market research with your ideal client
So how do you find out this information? Well you will need to do some market research with your ideal client to understand their path to purchase. And then that will help you to decide which paid ads platform will give you the best return on investment.
I will walk you through the main differences between Google and Facebook ads, and then share some examples how I use both in my own business.
And remember that a potential customer needs to have a least 7 interactions with a brand before they decide if they will buy from you or not. Paid ads is one of these touch points.
Facebook/Instagram Ads are great for brand awareness
Facebook ads are a great tool to reach a wide audience locally or globally, and to generate brand awareness. What tends to work well on Facebook for a service based business, is to promote what’s commonly referred to as a lead magnet.
So this is where you give away:
- a free tool such as an eBook or checklist, in exchange for an email address
- or you may offer entry into a free 5 day challenge that you are running.
If you are a product based business Facebook Ads, are a great visual medium as you can showcase your product images and link your ads and images, directly to your website/online store. So for clothing, travel, and beauty brands, Facebook is a great medium because of the visual element.
With Facebook ads there are a few different types of ads that you can run such as:
- single/static image ad
- video ad
- carousel ad – with up to 10 images
- lead form ad.
When you are using Facebook ads, you are placing your products and services in front of your ideal client while they are scrolling. Facebook is a more passive audience, as you are interrupting their scroll with your ad and offer.
On Facebook you can target by gender, location, age range, interests and you can place the Facebook Pixel on your website to build an audience of people who have visited your website. You can also target those who already follow you on your Facebook and Instagram pages.
The other great thing about Facebook Ads is that you can re-target your audience. So let’s say if you own a skincare range. And if a customer has purchased some of your products previously, and then you launch a new product, you can re-target those customers with an ad to drive awareness and purchase for your new product.
Google Ads help to get you in front of an active buyer
Google ads on the other hand, are ads that are shown in the Google search page, based on a specific search term or phrase that the user is looking for on Google. When a browser goes onto Google they are searching for the answer to their specific questions, and they are more of an active buyer, as they are ready to take action now.
So if you are looking for a business coach, you would type in something along the lines of ‘business coaches in Australia’ and Google will show you up to paid ads based on your search. When you click on each Google ads, you can then read more about each business coach and choose the one that is best for you, and you will contact them.
With Google ads, you’re specifically advertising to a user searching for your specific product or service that you offer.
By using targeted keywords and search terms in your ad campaign, your ad will come up be showing based on what the user is searching for, and they are further down their buying journey than someone scrolling through Facebook. Which means they are more likely to be ready to purchase from you.
There are different types of Google Ad campaigns such as:
- Search Network campaign
- Display Network campaign
- Shopping campaign
- Video campaign
- App download campaign.
You could do a combination of these campaigns such as running a search campaign and then re-target those who visit your website but don’t convert, with a Google Display network campaign.
Because as I said earlier, a potential customer needs to have 7 interactions from a brand before they decide to enquire/purchase from you.
Costs & Return on investment
The cost for Facebook ads are generally low-cost and very affordable from a cost per conversion point of view, which is generally less than $5 per conversion.
However your return on investment may not be instant, because if you have captured a potential clients email address via a free eBook, you will then need to nurture them with some email marketing, and social media posts. And the time frame from email capture to purchase can be a few weeks.
Google ads can get quite expensive depending on your industry, with the average cost per click rate being double the price or more then what you would pay on Facebook. That being said, your return on investment is more likely going to be quicker than a Facebook ads, as Google ads typically targets those who are in the decision phase of their buying journey. So they are ready to buy today!
Summary of the differences between Facebook ads v Google ads
The type of buyer
- Facebook browsers are a more passive buyer, and are more likely to be in the awareness stage of their buying journey.
- Those users searching on Google are further along their buying journey, and are probably in the decision phase so are more than likely ready to purchase what they are searching for.
Targeting on each of the ad platforms
- Facebook ads target a large audience based on demographics, interests and activity.
- Google ads target a specific audience based on their search queries so the ad results are only shown when a user types their questions or search terms into the browsers, the results are highly targeted and specific for each search query.
Purpose of each platform
- Facebook ads give the opportunity to help educate the viewer based on what your business sells, and you can nurture them along their buying journey from awareness, to consideration to decision, with a variety of ad formats and messaging.
- Google ads, again are much more specific based on the search, the goal isn’t to educate or create awareness, the goal is to get your product or service in front of the browsers, and then get them to make an enquiry or purchase there and then.
- Facebook ads can be more affordable with a low cost per conversion.
- Google ads can be more competitive based on specific industries but they provide a quicker return on investment, as the browsers is generally ready to buy.
So which ads are right for you?
Now that you understand a bit more about each of the ad platforms and types of ads, next you need to decide which ads will work for you and your specific business.
So to explain this, I’ll use my business as an example. I use both Facebook ads and Google ads in my business, but both have quite different objectives.
Facebook Ad example
I recently released a free eBook “The Ultimate Guide to Small Business Marketing” and I wanted to reach small business owners Australia wide with this eBook. So Facebook/Instagram ads were the perfect option for me to promote this eBook. So I ran a single image ad that links to a landing page, where the user leaves their email address in exchange for the free guide.
The objective for this campaign is to grow my email list. And later down the track I can re-market new services to this email list if I choose to.
Google Ads example
When a medium sized business wants to outsource their marketing, generally they tend to search in Google for “marketing consultant in Perth”. They need a marketing strategy and plan, and then may also want to outsource a range of digital marketing services, all of which are services that I offer.
So Google ads are perfect to attract potential clients looking for a marketing consultant, marketing strategy and digital marketing for their business. So these are the types of ads I have run in the past on Google.
The objective for my Google ad campaign would be to drive enquiries/leads for each of these services that I offer, so I want them to book a call with me.
So as you can see, whether you choose to use Facebook ads or Google ads or both, depends on your goals, objectives and where your ideal client is hanging out and looking for answers.