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Facebook vs AdWords: What’s Right for Your Business?

Running a business? If so, you know there’s no escaping the need for advertising. You also probably know there’s some truth to that old “spend money to make money” saying.

Spending money on marketing and advertising is inevitable. The real question becomes where should you spend that money.

In this article, we’ll take a look at Facebook vs. AdWords, and their advertising options. We’ll also talk about which platform will suit your individual business best.

Facebook Advertising

Facebook can be an exceptional platform for advertising. Nearly 50 percent of Australians use Facebook every day, and a shocking 2.23 billion people worldwide log onto the platform every month.

That adds up to quite the audience. Facebook will also choose who to target with your ad, based on their analytics and algorithms. This means your target audience may not need to be actively looking for you to experience your ad. It will be brought directly to them via their feed if they look like a good match.

Are you wondering if those elements make Facebook advertising the better option for you?

Consider these other pros of using Facebook as your advertising platform.

  • You can determine the parameters around your marketing campaign—location, behaviours, demographics, and more can help you optimise your ad campaign.
  • Extremely friendly to the mobile-user audience—nearly 1.75 billion users access Facebook on their mobile devices every day.
  • Powerful analytics allow you to keep track of your campaign and modify it for optimal performance.

That’s not all Facebook has to offer when it comes to advertising. Facebook users turn to their feed multiple times a day. Each time, you have an easy opportunity to have your brand and advertisements repeatedly exposed to Facebook users. This increased brand awareness can lead to more customers.

Another great thing about Facebook advertising? It’s incredibly affordable. For very little money, you can have an extremely targeted and effective ad campaign.

AdWords Advertising

Google AdWords used to be a really easy option for marketing. It was an affordable way to customise your marketing, and get a great return for your investment.

In recent years, though, the price-per-click for AdWords advertising has increased dramatically. There are still plenty of good reasons to turn to AdWords. However, it’s now easier than ever to lose money when advertising through AdWords.

So why stick with Google AdWords for your marketing? There are some undeniable benefits to choosing to advertise with AdWords.

  • AdWords allows you to choose very specific keywords to really target your audience.
  • If someone uses those unique keywords during a Google search, your information will appear with—or even above—Google’s organic search returns.
  • A click through the use of Google AdWords will deliver your potential client directly to your web page to shop.

The perks don’t end there with Google AdWords. Google has an incredible audience. In fact, 40,000 search queries happen on Google every second. Being able to reach even a fraction of those searchers could provide you with a pretty impressive audience.

Google AdWords also allows you to track important measurable data to see how effective your advertising has been. You’ll be able to target audiences by location as well as keyword use.

Being able to customise your ad campaign—right down to when you want your advertising to be seen—can help your advertising dollar stretch further.

What Platform is Right for Your Business?

You may think about it like this—AdWords will help bring more customers to your business. Facebook, on the other hand, will help bring your business to more customers.

Both of these approaches to advertising can be valuable and successful. The real question will be which approach is best suited for your business.

Still aren’t sure which platform that is? Take a good look at the kind of business you’re running. This can help you determine which platform—and which approach—is better suited to you and your business.

B2B Marketing

If you’re a business marketing to other businesses, you’re usually working with a specialised product. Generally, when dealing with niche products like this, you’ll have a more limited audience.

For this reason, you’re likely to experience greater success with an ad campaign focusing on companies that are already looking for you. With this in mind, most B2B marketing needs are best met by Google AdWords.

Worried about the cost that comes along with AdWords? While the price-per-click may be high, don’t forget to keep in mind the likelihood of a sale happening. Factor in what that sale will net you. Frequently, you’ll find the price-per-click is negligible when compared to the return in B2B marketing.

B2C Marketing

Is your business marketing directly to customers? If so, you will likely see the best return for your investment on Facebook advertising.

The price-per-click involved in a Google AdWords campaign can quickly deplete advertising funds if you aren’t seeing a good return. When you’re selling directly to customers, you’re likely to attract a lot of traffic that doesn’t make a purchase. Thats why your landing page and website play such a vital role. What they say and the way they look can mean the difference between a sale or a visitor disappearing, never to be heard from again.

If you’re tracking non-purchasing potential customers to your website and it’s costing you money, you’ll be out of pocket. Moving towards a Facebook campaign can provide the great exposure you’re looking for. In the process, you’ll still get the website traffic you’re looking for—and save yourself the price-per-click cost.

In fact, using Facebook for your advertising needs can cost you just cents per impression. You’re likely to reach a greater audience and attract potential clients who weren’t actively looking for your product. 

Exceptions to the Rule

Like all complex things in life, you can expect there will be some exceptions to these general rules. You may experience different results if your product falls into one of these categories.

Niche Products

As we’ve discussed with B2B marketing, a niche product will have a specialised audience. In these instances, you’re less likely to appeal to a wide variety of Facebook viewers. Even if you’re a B2C business, you may find that AdWords fits your needs more appropriately than Facebook.

If you work with a niche product, you’re likely to have fewer competitors as well. This means you’re likely to be returned early on in a Google search. In turn, you’re probably going to receive quite a few clicks from people looking to buy your product.

Return on investment is going to drive your marketing decisions. It’s not impossible for Facebook to be a good tool for your business. It’s just more likely you’ll find a consistently good return on investment when using AdWords for your niche product business advertising needs.

Expensive Products

There are a few things working against you if you plan on using Facebook to advertise your expensive products. The first is, again, your target audience for expensive products will be a smaller group.

The second big difficulty using Facebook as your advertising platform? It’s that purchases stemming from Facebook ads tend to be impulse buys. Most expensive purchases are far from impulse buys.

Your expensive purchases are usually well-researched. When a person is ready to make their purchase, they’ll go ahead and search using the Google search bar. This is where Google AdWords can give you what you’re looking for in an advertising platform.

Factor in Current Data

Still aren’t sure where you and your business will best be served by investing your advertising money? Don’t be afraid to look at the current data. Platforms are evolving every day—don’t get left behind because you’re using outdated information.

Have you tried both advertising platforms? Don’t forget, your data is equally important to factor in. If you’ve found unusual success in one area or the other, don’t try to fix what isn’t broken.

While you’re attacking your advertising strategy, don’t exclude the possibility of using both AdWords and Facebook. You may find one that works better for you than the other. That doesn’t necessarily mean the other platform can’t still bring in business.

Advertising at a Glance

Wherever your advertising pursuits take you, you’ll likely want to sink your effort into one or the other of these big names. They don’t need to be your only advertising avenue, though.

Still sorting through Facebook vs AdWords as your main advertising platform? Don’t forget to consider Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest as supplementary advertising opportunities.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for guidelines for executing your advertising strategy, consider following these:

  • Running a B2B campaign? Focus on AdWords. Interested in trying a Facebook campaign? Consider allocating 10 to 20 percent of your monthly advertising budget, to see if Facebook can be beneficial to you.
  • Running a B2C campaign? Focus on Facebook—unless you have a niche product or one that costs more than 500 dollars. Interested in testing other markets? Take that 10 to 20 percent of your advertising budget and try additional avenues to round out your advertising campaigns.

Advertising doesn’t have to be a headache. Invest some time into planning and gaining a solid understanding of what makes these platforms—and your customers—tick. You, too, can start to see your advertising money reaping in more return than ever.

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