It’s a safe bet to say that you use either Google or Facebook every day. Probably both! With 63,000 searches being made every second on Google, and Facebook serving 2.89 billion active monthly users, it’s easy to understand why your business needs these powerhouses included in its online marketing arsenal.
That said, there are key differences between these two major marketing platforms, and one might be a better fit than the other for your business. Let’s explore the differences between Google & Facebook marketing, and discuss how both can help you achieve your marketing objectives.
The main differences between these two giants can be summed up by one comparison: needs versus wants. Google caters to needs by responding to searches that the user has decided to make themselves. Facebook caters to wants by putting your brand in front of an audience who may want your product or service.
This simple difference demands that advertisers approach each platform uniquely, and think carefully about ad messaging, ad targeting, ad placements, and return on investment.
Both platforms can be used to engage a user with an ad or post that will then redirect them to your website, but why they choose to click on your ad is dependent on how you can cater to their needs or wants. For help on how to create more effective ads, check out one of our older blog posts, the Ad Creation Cheat Sheet.
Depending on your industry, you will find substantial differences in the conversion rates for both platforms. Google, in my experience, provides better conversion rates. Why? It’s likely due to the intent behind the searches conducted. For example, if I search “plumbers near me”, I am most likely looking for a plumber right now! This means that the ads and search results that I interact with have a high probability of getting my business.
On Facebook, I may see a plumber advertising their business, but probably don’t need their services at that exact moment. If you’re looking for an immediate return on investment, Google may be a better option.
On the other hand, brand recognition is a huge advantage in any market. Customers are more likely to choose a company they are familiar with over competitors, and may even specifically search for them, whether thought Facebook or Google. Brand familiarity helps create credibility, which is a powerful tool for driving conversions, and Facebook is an excellent way to boost your brand familiarity. This means that the strategy on one platform can and will tie into the other.
How often have you made a purchase after seeing the product only once? We can all claim to not be impulsive by nature, but Facebook’s ad delivery can be a very persuasive tool to promote these impulses.
Using Facebook’s powerful targeting metrics, you can get your product in front of a very specific audience. Via sponsored post or a website ad, you can direct users to your website, after which you can retarget that same audience, reminding them to finish the purchase later. Earlier this year, Facebook altered the way this works, changing the scope of some of their targeting options. This is why it pays to have an expert in social on your side who is up to date with current online marketing movements.
Google has similar Display & Remarketing campaigns that ‘follow’ users as they browse the web, reminding them of something they may have left in a cart, or simply re-emphasising a given brand. It could be argued Facebook’s placement is more effective, as it’s harder to ignore anything that appears in the middle of your newsfeed.
Regardless of delivery styles, Display & Remarketing are no-brainers for an influential and effective campaign. Give your audience a reason to consider your brand over a competitor and give them a way to come back to your site to complete their purchase or view a new product or promo.
We’ve discussed some of the contrasts between Google and Facebook, but it’s important not to forget that one can inform the other, and they work best synergistically. Once you start a branding campaign via Facebook, you are likely to see a subsequent increase for those brand terms on your Google ad campaigns.
Without getting too much into the details, the fact is that most users like doing their research before making a purchase. This means it’s paramount that your online strategy makes it as easy as possible for your audience to get familiar with your brand and its offerings, as well as making it super easy for them to find you.
Before you can be searched, people need to know you exist. And if you want to be found, you have to visible.
This goes not only for your brand, but also for your products, services, promotions, and your point of difference. Ensure that you are highly visible on both Google and Facebook, and recognise user intent and expectations when using each platform. If you can cater to both their needs, and create wants, then you’re in a leading position, no matter your industry.
Subscribe to our blog and get awesome digital marketing content sent straight to your inbox.