Facebook & Instagram Ads vs Google Ads

The world of advertising is changing and so are the tools we use. We are seeing an increase in social media marketing and advertising but it doesn’t mean other digital ads are dead. For starters, there are so many different ad types – Facebook ads, Instagram ads, search ads, display ads, small ads, tall ads, hairy ads, bald ads. You get the idea. But let’s hone in on Facebook and Instagram ads vs. Google Ads. Each have a similar concept but they reach different audiences and have different purposes.

Google Ads

Google Search Ads

Let’s begin with Google Search Advertising, a few lines of text that can have a great impact on your business. You’ve seen it before – you most likely saw it today. If you Google something, the search result page that appears will display both organic results and paid results. Look at the top 1-3 results. Is there a small “AD” underneath the title? That’s a search ad. A digital advertising agency will research the keywords that consumers use to find a product or service. Based on that research, they will choose relevant keywords and create text ads around them – like “plumbing services” or “best Napa wineries.” Advertisers then bid on these terms and set a maximum of how much they are willing to pay for a user to click on their ad. Google will then decide which ads to show based on the bid and quality of the ad. This is a pay-per-click method and 60% of clicks come from these results.

The benefit of Google Search Ads is when consumers are searching for a specific service or product on Google, you know they are already in the market for this item. They are ready to buy. If you choose the right keyword which is specific enough to target the right audience but general enough to reach a good amount of people, you will most likely get a few clicks that will lead to a sale. For example, pretend you are an attorney in Sonoma and you run Google Search Ads using the term Sonoma DUI defense attorney. Chances are, people searching something similar to this phrase (like Sonoma DUI lawyer) will see your ad and will click on it. You offered a solution to their search at the right place and time. As a digital advertising agency, we understand it’s all about your audience problems and solving those problems at the right time.

So how much does it all cost? It depends. A click can cost anywhere from less than a dollar to multiple tens of dollars depending on the competitiveness of the keyword. You can be sure that a keyword phrase like “wineries in Napa” is going to be much more expensive than a term like “organic wineries in Oakville.”

Google Display Ads

Display ads work a little differently. They come in a few different dimensions and will show on websites and apps. A digital advertising agency can use display ads to target people based on demographics, location, behaviors. They can retarget website visitors and make sure that if they visited your site, they will see your ad later in the day. They can also target people based on a certain keyword that is relevant to your business. Display ads can be images, videos, and more. Display ads are usually pay-per-1000-impressions. The average click through rate is 0.02-0.05%. Often, every 1000 impressions can cost $4-5 and you’ll receive 2-5 clicks for a few dollars. If you target correctly, a few dollars can get you 1000 impressions and more than 5 clicks. This is a more budget-friendly option that Google Search ads but your goal is more awareness, not directly conversions. Display ads are great for getting your brand name out there and a digital advertising agency can create visually appealing ads to attract customers.

Facebook & Instagram Ads

Shifting gears pretty drastically, Facebook and Instagram ads are a whole other animal. Our digital advertising agency has seen a large increase in social media marketing. (PS: Facebook now owns Instagram and the Facebook Ad manager integrated Instagram as well. It’s safe to refer to Facebook and Instagram ads as Facebook ads.) It’s important to first understand why people use Facebook and Instagram. Social media is for social networking – most likely, people aren’t on Facebook to find a plumber. The intent to purchase isn’t as high as with Google Search Ads. There are billions of people on social media making it the perfect platform to find your niche market and speak to them. Running Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads can be great for brand awareness, promoting engagement, and retargeting (especially for eCommerce).

Facebook also excels when it comes to mirroring your existing audiences. Through Facebook ads, you can actually target people who “look like” your existing customers. These are called “lookalike audiences.” This is a great social media marketing tool which can help you find people interested in your brand.

Facebook ads allow you to advertise in Facebook newsfeeds, Instagram feeds, Facebook and Instagram stories, and Facebook messenger. You can reach a wide variety of people and target down to their specific interests. Best part of all, Facebook ads are very budget friendly. You can go a long way with $50 but you might also move mountains with $500.

So which is better?

The answer depends on your business, your audience, and your goals. What is your goal? Are you trying to generate leads, sales, etc? Then both platforms can help. If you want brand awareness or social following, then Facebook and Instagram ads will achieve that goal. If you want to attract people towards the end of the funnel, Google Search Ads work well. In the end, it takes research and time to determine the right advertising strategy. Make sure your digital advertising agency or social media marketing company understands your business goals and audience needs.


Blog Updated: 2/16/22 Read it Here

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