Adwords vs Facebook Ads – Where should you spend your money?

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Adwords vs Facebook Ads – Where should you spend your money?

Both are massive platforms with millions of users, but which is best for you? We are going to take a look at different markets and how the 2 advertising giants fair against each other, but first lets take a look at their stats:

Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average (see for yourself here), which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.

Facebook has 1.44 billion monthly active users (March 31, 2015). 

Both are big and a great source of traffic and therefore potential customers, but if you’re on a tight budget where’s best to spend your money?

adwords vs facebook graphic

Question 1 – who is your customer?

First, you must think and really understand who your customer is. Think about your best customer, who they are, what characteristics do they have and try and get a real feeling about them. You may have several different good customers, but I suggest you pick one and concentrate on them and try put yourself in their shoes. Think about what television and films they watch, what events do they go and see. Do they read books? Which books? Newspapers and magazines, or purely online media? The more precise you can be the better, especially if you are on a tight budget.

Question 2 – who isn’t a customer yet?

Say your ideal customer above isn’t a customer of yours, but you know they exist, what would you do get them to notice you? What is it you do that they really like and therefore why they use you? If you are unsure ask them. The answers may surprise you.

Once you have your answers then we can start to think about how we get in front of them. This is where Adwords and Facebook come in, but you can’t start to consider Adwords or Facebook ads until you have answered questions 1 and 2. Don’t worry, your answers to questions 1 & 2 do not have to perfect, but they do need to be specific. We can use Adwords and Facebook ads to test and refine your answers over time.

Google Adwords

So what is Google Adwords best for? Think about your answers and see if they fit in with the information below.

Is your product or service to satisfy an instant need? Is it something that needs to be solved instantly or very very quickly. If so Google Adwords is great. It quickly finds specific targeted answers to a visitor search queries, whether it is an emergency plumber or the need to find the answer to a problem that needs solving quickly. Think about your ideal customer, would they type in your service into Google? Or would they type in the problem your service solves into Google? If the answer is yes to either then Google Adwords sounds a great place to be.

Google ad example

Facebook Ads

So how is Facebook ads different? Remember, think about your answers to questions 1 & 2 and see how those answers fit with below.

Is your product or service something that people consider, research and weigh up before purchasing? Does your ideal client take the time to read up and educate themselves so they are confident in making the right decision? If so then Facebook can be a good place to advertise. You can use Facebook to send many messages to a potential customer about your product or service, not just an instant hit like Google. Consider setting a campaign to slowly drip feed your USP’s and benefits to them.

Perhaps your product or service is something that people don’t know they need yet? Maybe you have a product or service that can save them time or money on a traditional way of doing things, but people just don’t know it exists – if so, they are very unlikely to be typing into Google the problem. If this is your service, then again Facebook can get you in front of the right people and allow you to start educating them about you.

Facebook advert example

Adwords vs Facebook – Which is best for you?

You need to consider the users themselves and their requirements. Those on Google are often looking for answers to a specific question or problem. Those on Facebook are in a different frame of mind, they’re in a more relaxed mood and generally are not thinking about making purchases. But this also has it’s advantages, as you can more easily educate and be helpful, rather than buy now.

Which is best for you, of course, depends on your product or service and your answers to questions 1 & 2, but if you do the exercise and come up with answers, you can then apply that criteria to Adwords and Facebook ads to see which is best for you.

Generally, Google Adwords works best with more commoditised products, ones that people know and understand and can make quick informed decisions on.

Facebook works well to introduce new ideas, educate and raise awareness of new ideas, products or services.

What about Question 2?

The clever bit is how you use the information you gained from question 2. You need this to write you Google Adwords ad or to write your Facebook ad, as this contains the reasons why someone should click on your link, but you can use it in more clever ways.

Remember, if you sell a product which is more a commodity, say garage doors, where there are plenty of people selling garage doors, even though they are never exactly the same, you can use your information from question 2 to advertise on 1 or both platforms, in a clever way.

We can easily write ads for Google Adwords, with USP’s and drive traffic to our website about garage doors, but we can also write ads for Facebook, by writing the same information from a more educational, new ideas point of view and drive traffic to our website.

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