Rolf Rencken

"Facebook Ads vs Google Ads – Which One “Ads” Up To Better Value?"

The average adult makes around 35 000 choices every day. Still or sparkling? Chocolate or vanilla? Hit the snooze button or the gym? The problem with choices is that we’re not always one hundred percent sure that we’ve made the right one. Especially if both options look pretty good. Take digital marketing, for example. When deciding where to place our advertising spend, do we choose Google Ads or Facebook Ads? How can we possibly decide between the two, and if we pick one, aren’t we missing out on the huge opportunities presented by the other?


It’s a valid concern, because both are great options. Google Ads and Facebook Ads are probably the two biggest names in online advertising right now – and for good reason.


Facebook is the world’s largest and most popular social media platform, with around one billion daily users, and about two billion active members. Processing over 3.5 billion searches every day (that’s a staggering 40 000 queries a second), Google is by far and away the world’s largest search engine.


Thanks to this incredible popularity, Google Ads has pretty much become the generic term for paid search. But that doesn’t mean it’s the obvious choice for your digital marketing campaign. Facebook is hot on Google’s heels when it comes to video platforms, for example. Although YouTube (owned by Google) is still hanging on to first place, it’s starting to glance nervously in its rearview mirror. Facebook Messenger is also responsible for poaching a considerable chunk of market share from Google’s Gmail. Facebook is even refining and improving its search capabilities to the point where it’s now giving Google Images a run for its money when it comes to image searches.

So Which One Do I Choose – Google Ads Or Facebook Ads?

The good news is this: You may not actually have to choose! There is no digital marketing law that says you have to pick one or the other. So, you can use both! But that’s not the end of your decision making. Your next choice to is work out when to use Google Ads, and when to use Facebook Ads. To help you, let’s look at each platform in a little more detail.


Facebook Ads (Paid Social)

If Google Ads is a generic term for paid search, Facebook Ads is synonymous with paid social. It’s the perfect way for businesses to find relevant customers and target them with adverts or offers to convince them to buy. In fact, it is this ability to pinpoint and target specific Facebook users that really sets Facebooks Ads apart. You can, for example, market your ads exclusively to Afrikaans and Xhosa-speaking men over the age of 50, who live more than 200kms from a big town, and farm ostriches. The more you drill down your details, the more likely it is that your ad will resonate with users.


When it comes to cost, pricing varies depending on your industry, the size of your audience, and the timing and optimisation of your ads. It’s important to craft your ads well and monitor their performance. Poorly targeted campaigns that are left to their own devices can quickly become very expensive.


Google Ads (Paid Search)

Essentially, with Google Ads, you’re paying for the potential to find new customers who are searching for the type of service or product you’re selling. When you use Google Ads, you bid on specific, targeted keywords and phrases in text-based ads. The idea is to ensure your specific PPC (pay per click ad) appears next to the results of a search query.


One of the most attractive aspects of Google Ads is that the frequency with which your ads are displayed is not influenced at all by the amount you spend on advertising. The important thing is the quality and relevance of your ads, not how much money you spend. If you have a high quality, relevant ad, it’s highly unlikely you’ll have to bid as high as a company with less relevant, poorer quality offerings. The reason for this is simple - the more relevant an ad is to a user, the more they will trust Google as a search engine. And the more they trust Google, the more they will continue to use it.


At the end of the day, some things are just better together. Gin and tonic, milk and cookies, salt and pepper…it’s the same with Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Advertising strategies that harness the combined strength of both platforms are undoubtedly more effective than those using just one.



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