Facebook versus Adwords: which advertising platform to use?

So you’ve decided on your online advertising budget and you’re ready to get your product or service out there? Great! But which platform is the best match?

For the sake of simplicity, we’ll focus on 2 majors players in a B2C context: Google Adwords and Facebook ads. There are 3 factors determining your choice.

Push versus Pull

The first question to ask yourself: is my product something people generally look for themselves? Or is it a new type of product that needs to be pushed to people for them to take it into consideration?

If your product needs to be introduced, Facebook is the good way to go.

When people tend to actively research your product type, you could get some success from Adwords search campaigns. However, if your product needs to be introduced, Facebook is the good way to go. Alternatively, you could try the Google Display Network: even though their demography is not as advanced and user-friendly as Facebook’s, it can still get you some pretty good results if you use its full potential.

Content marketing versus hard sell

Adwords – both display and search – just don’t allow sufficient space to get creative with content marketing (Youtube being an exception), whereas Facebook is the king of content marketing. So if your product needs to tell a story, you’ll probably want to tell it on Facebook.

Adwords – both display and search – just don’t allow sufficient space to get creative with content marketing.

If your product doesn’t need an emotional layer because it’s utilitarian and has obvious benefits, you can probably skip all that and go for a hard sell, where Adwords is often the winning platform.

Cost

In the end it all comes down to cost. It helps to first define what you’re willing to spend throughout your sales funnel. You’ll notice that Facebook is quite cheap top funnel. You can reach 1000 people with 1-3 euros in Belgium. If you’re serving quality content, your cost-per-engagement will be quite modest too. Google doesn’t explicitly offer campaigns optimised for the top of the funnel. Sure, you could use “Target Outranking Share” bidding, but in most cases advertisers will use click- or conversion based models. These can turn out quite expensive if you just want to generate awareness first.

Bottom line: Facebook does better offering affordable top funnel solutions. Adwords gets quite competitive when moving more bottom funnel. As always: test, test, test.

Have a new product to launch? Or looking to get more online sales or brand awareness for your existing product? We can help. Drop us a line.

Bert Gybels
bert@manversusweb.com

Digital marketeer and strategist with a keen desire to make your brand grow fast online.