Facebook and Google are both big players in the online advertising world. Google’s advertising for 2010 brought in revenues of a cool $30 billion. In 2011, Facebook took in a comparatively paltry $4 billion – an increase on 2010 but still nowhere close to Google.
All in all, around $600 billion is spent every year on advertising. Around $66 billion of that is targeted at online advertising.
With online shopping becoming more and more common, and an increasing number of people using crowdsourcing via social media and online searches to investigate everything from legal services to floor scrubbers before they buy, advertising online is becoming essential.
So, if you have decided to start advertising online, or want to expand your existing online presence, how do you choose between Google ads and Facebook ads?
Facebook has 845 million active users, while Google reaches over 1 billion unique users each and every month. One way to help decide between the options is to look for data on how your target market interacts with each site.
For example, if you target a particular location, how many people from that area use Google and Facebook?
What is the Goal of Your Advertising?
Both Facebook and Google allow you to target specific audiences and demographics based on things like location, interests and so on. However, you need to consider what it is that those people will be doing on the website.
When people use Google they are by definition looking for something, whether it be a product, a company or information. By contrast, Facebook is primarily a social site where people generally browse and interact socially. This is reflected on the click-through-rate that ads have on the different sites, or how often people will click on an ad when they see it – it is much higher on Google.
So, if you are trying to sell a particular product or service, Google may be a better bet. However, for long-term brand awareness, exposure and relationship development, Facebook could be more suitable.
How Targeted do You Want to Be?
Google offers a wealth of options for targeting ads, from language to location to the all-important keywords. However, it is not discounting Google’s abilities to admit that Facebook has more information and opportunities for targeting.
If you want to target a very specific niche and do so more often than when they are searching for something related to that niche, then Facebook could be best.
Of course, there is always the option to advertise on both sites, either as a long-term strategy to take advantage of both site’s advantages, or as an initial foray from which you can assess which has a better return for your business.