Google or Facebook: The Great Advertising Debate

Marketers with limited budgets want to know: where can we invest a reasonable amount of money with a great ROI. Foremost on digital marketers’ minds is the question of which platform might yield more revenue: Google or Facebook? It’s a tough question to answer as there are many variables, including target audience demographic, budget size, ad quality, ad frequency, and product type. Both services have an enormous user base, but that doesn’t mean they’ll both return on your investment equally.

Pay per click ads and Free marketing

Both Google and Facebook tend to use pay per click (PPC) advertising. Wordstream, and internet marketing software company, explained PPC this way: “It’s a method of advertising based on search engines. . . . You can bid on keywords that relate to your site’s content and display text ads on the results pages when someone searches on those keywords. When visitors click on your ads, you pay the amount you’ve bid on the keyword.” Thus, popular key words are likely to cost more, but also have a potential for higher return. On average, there is a .1% average click through rate for banner ads in the U.S.  Each website also has free marketing options. Facebook has fan pages and Google+ has Business Pages.

The key is in your purpose

The key to determining which platform to use is in your purpose. Google searches are very quick visits, best for selling products. According to Wordstream, “Our research shows that Google is the better choice for display advertising because it has superior CDC performance, improved ad targeting options, and an enormous array of ad formats that Facebook lacks.” People doing Google searches can identify search results that are paid for. If they click on them, they know they expect to be sold to.

Facebook sessions, on the other hand, last much longer. People are on Facebook to socialize, not to be sold to. This is why Wordstream suggests, “Facebook [is] preferred for building brand awareness or sending a specific message.” Another advantage of Facebook is it “allows advertisers some unique targeting options such as creating a message specifically crafted for fans of Arrested Development, or for college alumni groups.” So if you want to be really specific with your focus and are interested in making brand connections and relationships, Facebook is the way to go.


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