Google or Facebook question

Google is the world’s largest search engine, processing over 3.5 billion searches every day. That’s a mind-boggling 40 000 queries every single second! Facebook is the world’s most popular social media platform, with over two billion active users – half of whom use it every day. It’s no wonder then, that Facebook Ads and Google Ads are the two undisputed giants of the online advertising world. In fact, as the largest and most widely used online advertising network in the world, Google Ads has become so synonymous with paid search, it has pretty much become the generic word for it. Just as “Hoover” replaced the verb “vacuum” and “Kleenex” replaced the word “tissue,” Google Ads is now what we say when we refer to “paid search.”

Most people think that Facebook and Google are keen rivals. Facebook, for example, is breathing down Google’s neck when it comes to video platform dominance. Google-owned YouTube currently holds the number one spot, but Facebook is catching up fast. Facebook Messenger has also taken considerable market share from Google’s Gmail. Facebook is even evolving its search capabilities to the point where it is actively competing with Google Images for image searches.

So you’re forgiven if you thought that when it comes to online advertising, you have to choose either Facebook Ads or Google Ads. Nothing, in fact could be further from the truth. Many businesses are realising the huge benefits that come from leveraging the combined strengths of these two massive platforms.

So let’s dig a little deeper into exactly what it is that makes these two titans so effective when it comes to digital marketing.

Google Ads (Paid Search)

Google Ads focuses on using targeted keywords and phrases in text based ads. When you use Ads, you bid on these words and phrases, hoping that your specific PPC (pay per click) ad will display next to the results that are delivered as a result of a search query. Every time someone clicks on your ad, you are charged a pre-agreed fee. So, essentially what you’re paying for is the potential to find new customers who are searching for the type of service or product you’re selling.

One of the biggest benefits of Google Ads is that the size of your advertising budget has no influence at all on how often your ads are displayed. What’s important is the relevance and quality of your ads, not how much money you spend. Savvy advertisers with optimised, high quality and relevant ads very seldom have to bid as highly as those with poor quality, less relevant offerings. Google places such huge emphasis on relevance mainly because the more relevant an ad is to a user, the more they will trust Google as a search engine. And the more they trust Google, the more they will continue to use it.

Facebook Ads (Paid Social)

If Google Ads is synonymous with paid search, Facebook Ads are synonymous with paid social. Basically, this is the industry term for advertising on social networks. With its massive numbers of active daily users, Facebook is a natural and highly lucrative part of most digital marketing strategies.

Unlike paid search, paid social doesn’t rely on keywords. Instead, it helps users find relevant businesses based on their (the users’) online behaviour, and the things they show interest in (searches, likes and so on). In other words, Google Ads helps customers find businesses when they are searching for a solution, while Facebook Ads helps businesses target relevant customers with adverts or offers to convince them to buy.

Although a relative newcomer to online advertising when compared to Google Ads, Facebook is unrivalled in terms of the sheer vastness of its global audience. In South Africa alone, the number of Facebook users is expected to reach 19.69 million by 2019 – up from 15.89 million in 2016.

And yet, this isn’t even its real strength. Where it really stands out is in the absolute laser focus advertisers can use to target specific Facebook users. It’s possible, for example, to market your ads solely to women between the ages of 25 and 37, who speak both Zulu and English, live within a 30km radius of the Johannesburg CBD and who run curtain-making businesses from their homes or small offices. This incredible granular potential is what sets Facebook Ads apart from any other digital advertising platform.

So Which Is Better – Facebook Ads Or Google Ads?

In much the same way that peanut butter and jam sandwiches taste so much better than just peanut butter or jam on their own, advertising strategies that harness the combined strength and dominance of Facebook Ads and Google Ads are infinitely more effective than those using one or the other. Naturally, the individual strengths of each platform must be played to, but the two are definitely more complementary than adversarial.

If you’d like to know more about how you can harness the combined power of these incredibly effective advertising platforms, chat to us today. We’ve been empowering small and medium business owners for over 10 years, helping them generate and nurture leads and turning them into profitable and loyal customers. We can do the same for you.