Google and Facebook—it’s a safe bet to say that you use at least one of these platforms every day. With 75,000 searches being made every second on Google, and Facebook serving 2.5 billion active monthly users, it’s easy to appreciate why your business needs these powerhouses included in its online marketing arsenal.
That said, there are key differences between these two major marketing platforms—besides the obvious—and these can potentially make one 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. On the other hand, Facebook caters to wants by putting your brand in front of an audience who may want your product/service.
This simple difference means advertisers have to 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 our previous blog post, 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 conversions 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, ideally 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 particular moment. So, if you’re looking for an immediate return on investment, Google may be a better option.
On the other hand, brand recognition is always going to be 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, potentially on both Facebook and 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 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. Using a 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.
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 Branding & 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.
By creating the want, and getting users familiar with your brand and offerings, you can drive conversions much more effectively. A well-planned remarketing campaign can even create a sense of urgency, employing the use of ‘FOMO’, the ‘Fear Of Missing Out’.
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. Generally speaking, I’ve found that once you start a branding campaign via Facebook, you are most likely going to see an increase for brand terms on your Google campaigns.
Without getting too much into the importance of tracking Attribution, the fact Is, in most cases 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.
When creating a campaign, consider that 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 point of difference. Ensure that you are highly visible on both Google and Facebook, and recognise the user’s intents 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 what industry you are part of.
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