Facebook vs Google for eCommerce: What’s a Better Marketing Channel
Google AdWords was previously the only way to go when it came to paid online marketing for your eCommerce business. However, social media giant Facebook has entered the ring with some seriously impressive features that you shouldn’t ignore. The question now stands: which platform is better for advertising?
Facebook vs Google: Who is Better for Advertising?
Facebook and Google both have a long list of great features that are both shared among them and unique to each platform. Let’s find out which does what better, and what stands out when comparing the two platforms for advertising.
Facebook Ads: Pros & Con
Pro: Advanced Audience Targeting
Facebook boasts a staggering 1.55 billion monthly active users, so if you want to sell on Facebook, it’s probably a good idea. As the largest social media giant, Facebook has an account for almost everyone on the planet. Obviously, this comes with the benefit of having all of their identifying information that you can use for advertising purposes. Facebook allows you to target audiences based on behavior, interest, and demographics based on their actions on the platform. And, on top of all this, Facebook also owns Instagram (so your ads can be targeted with that information as well).
Pro: Visuals are Everything
On Facebook, visuals take precedence. Whether it’s videos, images, or gifs, your ads are able to be visually captivating with a strong persuasive quality on Facebook. There’s also the added benefit of your ads seamlessly blending in with the organic visual content that users will scroll past on their News Feeds.
Pro: Best Bang for your Buck
Facebook’s ad pricing is extremely affordable with highly competitive pricing, making it easy to start no matter the size of your business. The average CPC (cost per click) is much lower on Facebook than Google, and you have complete control over the maximum CPC you’re willing to spend. The minimum ad spend is $1 per day on Facebook, and you can still even get results with that little of an investment.
Con: Mistakes are Costly
If you set up the wrong options or target the wrong audience with your Facebook ads, you’ll end up wasting your marketing budget relatively quickly. While Facebook tries to make it easy for you to set up the proper settings, you still may end up making a costly mistake somewhere along the line.
Con: Reduced Organic Reach
Facebook is changing their algorithms all the time, which means your ads may be getting less and less visibility on their platform. This is especially true now because Facebook has announced their renewed focus on better privacy and organic content for user’s news feeds, pushing your paid ads to the side even further.
Google Ads: Pros & Cons
Pro: Unparalleled Audience Size
Although Facebook is the largest social media platform, Google is still the kind when it comes to search engines. With over 40,000 search queries per second, Google has a massive active audience that no platform has come close to reaching. This means that Google has a huge amount of potential customers that you can get your ads in front of. On top of that, Google has the added benefit of owning YouTube, introducing another audience entirely that you can advertise to.
Pro: Wide Variety of Ad Types
Google AdWords boasts a wide range of ad formats alongside the typical text-based type. There are now options such as the display network, search network, Google Shopping, and remarketing. Google also offers formats that are specifically made for certain industries, such as hotels.
Pro: Detailed Measuring Tools
The analysis tools that Google AdWords offers are some of the best in the analytics industry. They made it easy to monitor the progress and general statistics of our campaigns, showing you where and when your ads are being more or less effective. With these advanced analytics, you’ll be able to make well-informed decisions about the direction of your ad campaigns.
Pro: Budget Control
Google AdWords won’t reward just anyone who pays the most for ads; they focus much more on the quality and relevance of the ads that you’re making and submitting to them. This means that you have a good chance against bigger corporations if your ads have great relevant content in them. Google also allows you to specify a daily budget for ad spending and offers a much faster drive of traffic to your website than typical SEO can give you.
Con: Steep & Expensive Learning Curve
In contrast with Facebook Ads, Google AdWords is a much more complicated platform to learn. This means it’ll be easier to make mistakes when you first start out, and those mistakes are going to cost you more than they would on Facebook. Since you pay per click, if a user clicks on your ad and doesn’t convert, you’ll still have to pay even though you didn’t profit.
Con: Ads are Restricted
Google AdWords has a very strict limitation on how much space your ad can take up. They only allow a maximum of 3 lines of text for search ads, and the only way you can use pictures of videos is through Google Shopping or YouTube advertising.
Con: CPC Can Get Expensive
Depending on the industry you’re advertising in, the average CPC can skyrocket in price. This is because bidding prices for ads depends on how competitive your industry and keywords are. If you bid too low for a highly competitive keyword, you’re effectively wasting your money because you may be relegated to past the first page. In some industries, you can spend over $20 per click for certain keywords.
Facebook’s Best Features
Facebook’s carousel ads are a great opportunity to utilize the influence that visual marketing can have on the platform. By combining visual content and storytelling, carousel ads are able to hold 10 images or videos, headlines for each, links, and a call to action. You can use them to visualize the features of your product, showcase the uniqueness of your brand, feature a current sale you’re having, and more.
This highly useful program is able to measure conversions, optimize ads and targeting, and gain insights about the Facebook users who visit your site. All you have to do is install it onto your site, and Facebook Pixel will track all of the actions that people take when they visit your online business. This includes viewing content, adding items to their cart, making a purchase, etc.
Read more about WordPress Facebook Pixel Plugins
Facebook’s most famous feature is definitely the highly advanced and specific levels of targeting that it allows you to do. This comes in three different varieties: behavior, interest, and demographics.
· Behavior Targeting: This type is able to reach individuals based on a variety of online behaviors, including past purchases, intent to purchase, device usage, travel preferences, and more.
· Interest Targeting: With this targeting, you can reach people based on what they’re interested, such as activities, hobbies, Facebook pages they’ve liked, and more. This is based on information that they’ve shared on Facebook via profile updates, the content they share, keywords from their likes pages, apps they’ve used, and as they’ve clicked.
· Demographic Targeting: This targeting type is able to reach people based on location, age, gender, relationship status, work and education, life events, political affiliation, and more.
Facebook has created something called “Engagement Ads,” which are meant to specifically reach the users who react, comment, or share your posts. These ads are perfect for boosting engagement on your Facebook page, making your business seem more legitimate to newcomers.
One of the key aspects of Facebook as a visual-heavy platform is its emphasis on video content. For this reason, video ads are a great way to create memorable and inspirational content that people will remember your brand for. Video ads are also pretty affordable; they can cost as little as one cent per view.
Google’s Best Features
Ads that are made for Google’s search network are great for exposure to search queries. The search network allows campaigns to appear for searches based on the specific keywords entered in the query, showing up at the top of the Google search results page.
This feature of Google AdWords is one of the best ways to massively boost ad exposure. By using the display network, your ads will be shown on websites and apps with content that your keywords are related to. These ads are much less restrictive, coming in the form of videos, images, and more.
Google AdWords boasts a sophisticated and advanced tool for retargeting customers. This allows you to specifically remarket to lost customers and win back a sale, boosting your conversion rate.
This aspect of Google’s ad network is specially built for eCommerce. You’re able to create an ad based around any of your store’s products that will show up for relevant high-intent search queries. Google Shopping results show up right at the top of the results page, giving you maximum exposure to highly likely conversions.
Google’s video ad feature is unique because of how expansive it is. Since Google owns YouTube, your video ads will be able to be shown before, during, and after YouTube videos, along with being showed across the Google Display Network.
Businesses Best Suit for Facebook
· Small Businesses
Because Facebook Ads are easily accessible to those with lower budgets, it’s a perfect platform for small businesses that may not have a huge marketing budget that they can put towards online ads.
· Niched, Unique, Innovative Businesses
Facebook’s highly advanced and specific targeting system makes it a great choice for businesses with unique niches or unconventional products. Instead of your ad only showing up on the unlikely chance that someone has searched a related keyword to your unique product, Facebook will show your ad to those who may be interested in the general niche that your product is in.
· Businesses Focused on Brand Building
One of the better advantages of Facebook Ads is that your ads can be entirely consistent with your brand’s image while also linking to your Facebook page. Users can see your brand’s logo, site URL, and ad image for maximum brand consistency. If you want to build brand awareness, Facebook ads is perfect for that.
· B2C Businesses
Since Facebook Ads are integrated into a social media platform, they’re great for impulse buys of less expensive items after repeated exposure. For this reason, Facebook Ads are better suited for B2C businesses, because businesses that would be marketed towards by a B2B businesses don’t typically feel comfortable making large purchases over social media.
Businesses Better for Google
· Larger Businesses
Because Google AdWords generally costs more to be successful in, it’s a platform that’s better suited for larger businesses with more money to spend in their marketing budgets. This budget will be especially useful in a highly competitive industry, where it costs more to bid on relevant keywords.
· Businesses Focused on Fast Sales
While Facebook is better for brand awareness and consistency, Google ads are much better suited for businesses that want results fast. With AdWords, you’re able to target a much larger amount of people in a shorter amount of time that are more likely to convert. You’ll be reaching a much higher ROI (return on investment) and conversion rater with AdWords in the same time frame as Facebook Ads.
· B2C & B2B Businesses
Both businesses to consumer and business to business types of eCommerce companies are able to be successful on Google AdWords. This is because Google has such a wide reach of audiences and a large variety of ad formats, that it’s able to fit most industry types.
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When it comes to deciding which paid advertising platform you should choose for your eCommerce business, there are a variety of factors that you must consider. Regardless of which one you choose, you should have a good e-commerce website built on an integration-friendly ecommerce template. What we recommend is a perfect mixture of both because of each of their unique benefits. You can build your brand with Facebook but turn to Google to make sales. You can use Google’s ad data to target your Facebook audience. The solution here isn’t to just pick one platform and entirely ignore the other; closing yourself off to the unique opportunities of both would be detrimental. So, look into which platform to focus more of your time and money into, but also don’t neglect the other because there are a variety of uses you can get out of both.
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