September 7, 2012 by Craig Robinson - 5 comments
For some people who enjoy reading different charts and graphs comparing Google AdWords to Facebook’s Marketplace Ads, there seems to be no contest. Yes, the truth of the matter is that Google has more ad effectiveness for what Google is. Then again, that’s because of what Google is – an entire search engine that is able to span the Internet. Facebook, on the other hand, is only a lone network. Sure, they have millions of other companies and sites associated with them, but Facebook users use Facebook; everyone can search Google. So there isn’t an accurate comparison.
Or is there? You see, once you compare them platform-to-platform and start looking at the metrics that actually matter to advertisers who would use Facebook to bolster their brand, you start to see something entirely different. You start to see how Facebook bests Google in the most important categories.
You could spend an entire day reading dozens of different articles and viewing different charts about what it is that exactly separates the two services. The real test is in how they actually break down to target their audience, however. And while Google might be more widely used, because it’s a search engine as opposed to a social network, ad campaigns all come down to targeting, and this is why Facebook is able to trump Google on ad effectiveness.
With Google, you’re attempting to drive people to a destination. That destination isn’t on “Google” per se; it’s just your site. On Facebook, you’re driving within the network and can drive outside of it. Thus you can narrow the focus tremendously. Your fan page or business page can pick up a head of stream through likes and sharing and unique content within the social context of the Facebook framework. You have many different filters that can be applied to help you keep this focus as narrow or as broad as you wish. It’s much easier to reach the right audience, and the word-of-mouth factor is exponentially increased on a social network when compared to the Internet at large.
Google might have different ad formats and more options than Facebook, but at the end of the day you’re relying on what people decide to search. This means you constantly need to be on top of your research across the board, all to drive people to a destination. With Facebook’s 900 million users, however, you have something of a comparable size with much more focus. Google’s search terms and ad formats and other features provide more options, but Facebook provides a much more streamlined approach for targeting your market.
At the end of the day, you don’t really have to choose. You can run a Facebook campaign while still advertising with Google AdWords. Though for the sake of argument, it looks like Facebook wins in the categories that matter the most.