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Clash of the titans – Facebook VS AdWords

Natalia Merzlikina
Natalia is an international wanderer with endless love for Digital Advertising. Originally from Russia, studied and worked in New Zealand and now loving it in Australia. She is always hungry for learning something new and for chocolate. If you need something done very quickly she is happy to take chocolate as a little bribe.

Facebook and Google have been in the game for a while now.  AdWords has been around for 16 years and has by far the most developed system and offers a wide variety of products. While Facebook joined the game 4 years later in 2004, but it gathered so much information about the users prior to entering the advertising world that it surpasses AdWords in some ways. Here is the $1 million question: which platform is going to grow your business, increase revenue, and drive more customers?

So, where shall we start… First of all, let’s look at your target market and whether they are likely to be using Google or Facebook.  This entertaining infographic from socail4retail.com displays the difference between Facebook and Google+ audiences. The data represented below is from 2011, but it gives detailed insights of how the user audiences looked back then. To imagine the current audience, consider how much data has been obtained by both giants, how many kids grew up using this platform, how many parents were influenced to jump on the platforms to be up to date with the world and their kids.

Full infographic here

 

Who is using Facebook?

In 2011, we could say mostly there were Generation X (1965-1976) and Millennials (1977-1995). Nowadays, I am more than confident to say that we have Baby Boomers (1946-1964) involved just as much as Centennials (1996 and born after). It is essential to also consider the socio-economic development of the country where your ads are running. However, for the most part, having four generations on Facebook is beyond plausible and it has happened. There are currently 1.325 Billion active users on Facebook which is roughly 17% of the world population so your target market is likely to be there somewhere.

There are a lot of businesses that can benefit from advertising on Facebook. Facebook is great for fashion, entertainment, health, recreation, beauty, cosmetics and even manufacture Facebook provides advertisers with a rich network of people, their friends, their families and beyond. It allows creating audiences that are unique and specific to your business. It is a great tool to reach your ideal buyers. Or at least test and identify who is your ideal buyer.

Who is using Google?

I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t know what Google is! There are about 300 – 500 websites created every minute and all of them have something to offer. From services, to literature corners and photography clubs. Who can be using Google – everyone.

When it comes to businesses owners who would like to start advertising on Google, that people already know about them and we just need a little boost from the ads. If you keep in mind that there are 300-500 websites created every minute.  The competition is skyrocketing. Your website, your ads, your keywords – everything plays a huge role in your total quality score. The better the quality score, the better your chances of coming up on the top of the page. However, if your budget is small, doesn’t matter how great your structure is, you will be missing on some of the traffic. AdWords is very budget sensitive, by the end of the day AdWords is a $$$ making engine.

Who are your customers? Those who are looking for specific products. Those who take time to research and make a cautious decision to purchase a product they like and they are familiar with. The era of uneducated customer is gone, the era of the smart buyer has come. You need to make sure your business is ready.

Which platform is better?

A better question to ask is: what your business goals are?

I strongly discourage advertisers to choose only 1 platform. Instead of coming up with an answer like “Facebook will be better for you and the type of services you provide”. How about something like “We need to test and see”. I do believe that AdWords is a good starting point for most of the users, however it entirely depends on the business and their final goals. However, the essential goal of any business is to create a flawless and ultimate omnichannel experience for your current and future loyal customers

By the end of the day, AdWords and Facebook work better together going hand in hand with your business and financial goals. Testing and trying doesn’t hurt. Embrase the two ginormous platforms and use data to your advantage.