For a B2B service business with an online advertising budget, choosing between using Facebook and Google can be a little bit challenging. They are both effective, but they approach promoting your company from differing angles.
In addition to some very different foundations, they also offer some unique abilities. Taking their individual strengths and weaknesses into account is vital when you plan your online marketing strategy.
A solid understanding of what they are great at will help you to get the most from your budget, and reach people who are the most likely to click and convert.
What Google Is Great At
The first thing that Google AdWords offers you is options and a huge market reach. The most basic form of advertising they offer is text based, and will match searches to keywords that you can bid on.
The big advantage that Google offers is the near-monopoly they enjoy in the world of search engines. Google performs about 40,000 searches every second, and serves almost every country on earth.
When you begin to use Google's AdWords marketing tool, your company will get immediate exposure. People can click right from their search page, making it a one click connection between you and your potential client.
You can also specify what time of the day your ads will be shown on Google, which can really help a campaign that seeks to sell a time-specific service.
For example: A restaurant that is having dinner specials would be able to take advantage of this aspect of Google's AdWords programme.
Google AdWords Pros:
- Massive prospect base
- Lots of control over daily budget and cost per click (cpc)
- Instant access to their platform
- Many targeting options: days of week and time of day, regional, browser dependent
- Advertising options: search network, display network and remarketing
- Synergies with other Google sites: YouTube and Google Shopping
What Google Isn't Perfect For
Nothing is perfect and Google is no exception. In the case of Google AdWords, its basic level of advertising is limited to text. For some business this isn't really a huge limitation. But if your company relies on unique looking works, this could represent a major limitation.
Another problem some businesses find with Google's AdWords is the cost. The system that Google uses is a little complex. If you are not aware of how it works, you can spend a lot of money generating clicks. It is always handy to have a partner such as JDR on your side to help manage your campaign and keep your spend to a minimum.
This is a pretty major downside if you decide to go it alone, and represents a large problem for implementing a marketing program with Google. The flip side is that you can cap your daily spending, and keep track of how the adverts are being used. It is extremely realistic to get a fantastic ROI from AdWords – thousands of companies do this – but it does involve careful management and adjustment over time.
- Steep learning curve
- Potentially expensive
- Limited format if using text-only ads
- Limited space in ad (three lines of text, now with 2 headlines in 2017)
- Ads can be irrelevant to target market unless you use negative keywords
Where Facebook Shines
Facebook gives you a very different angle for paid online advertising. When Facebook delivers your adverts, they are directed with laser-like precision at exactly who you identify as you’re demographic.
Another area that makes Facebook really attractive to some advertisers is the ability to deliver media rich adverts. With their system you can direct photo and video based promotions to exactly who you want.
People put a huge amount of personal information on Facebook, and this allows you to be specific with your marketing push.
It is also a relatively inexpensive way to reach people, and combined with its targeted delivery, Facebook does offer a compelling option for online adverts.
- Ease of use, much easier than Google
- Tracking ability is concise
- Instant traffic
- Many useful targeting options: region, age, interests, income bracket, town etc...
- Gets your ad in front of people early on in buying processing
- Cost effective, with an affordable CPC
- Ability to use visual media
What Facebook Lacks
Facebook is an incredible place to advertise many things, but for the B2B sector it hasn’t yet reached full maturity. This is really the largest drawback to Facebook advertising.
People go onto Facebook to look at pictures from their niece's wedding. They do not generally go looking for 3PL logistics providers or accountancy services. Not that Facebook can't help you if you are in the B2B sector, but it may take a lot more work than another form of promotion.
Besides that, there are some minor issues with how the adverts are targeted, and in some cases the price you pay can be slightly higher than Google.
- Can be expensive, but no worse than Google
- If using daily budget caps there is no option for time based targeting
- Hard for B2B to use effectively. It can be done, but you will get quicker and stronger results when working with a specialist B2B marketing agency.
How To Decide?
There is truly no right answer for which platform is objectively ‘better’. Given the huge difference in the capabilities, any decision would have to be situation specific. If you are in the B2B sector, then in our opinion you need to go after Google AdWords first. They will let you reach a market that is broad, relevant, and not social media driven.
For those businesses who can take advantage of highly specific demographic targeting and multimedia ability, Facebook is ideal.
Perhaps the most important thing is to learn how to manage both the systems before you dive in. If you don't understand how to optimise either one, you will end up paying a lot more than you need to. Wasted money in advertising is the same thing as missed opportunities, so spend wisely. Working with JDR on a bespoke marketing strategy can help harness the strengths of both Facebook and Google ads to drive more customers to your business. Get in touch to discuss your requirements with one of our specialists today.