How Are Facebook Ads Different from Google Ads?


It’s a common question that comes up because clients want to know which to do. But, it’s really not an ‘either/or’ situation when it comes to running Facebook Ads and Google Ads. While Facebook and Google are competing for marketing ad dollars, they do not compete as similarly for the individuals being marketed to. For marketers, these platforms actually work together to build the funnel. To know what ads fit where, consider ‘What does it mean to build a funnel in marketing?‘ Marketing strategies should use both Facebook Ads and Google Ads at the same time.  


You Really Should Be Doing Both and Here’s Why…

Consider how we, as consumers use Facebook and Google. Facebook is where we go to be entertained, connect with friends and family, and scroll through to see what’s going on in the world. Google is where we go to search for a product, service, or answer to a question and we already have an idea of what result we want. These services have two different uses.

Therefore, generally Facebook Ads and Google Ads fill different parts of the marketing funnel. Facebook Ads are more top of funnel because even when not necessarily in a buying mood, we are influenced by what we see and that affects buying decisions. Potential buyers at the top of funnel are becoming aware of a brand. This brand awareness and storytelling through Facebook Ads will strengthen trust with customers when they’re ready to buy.

Google Ads speak to the bottom of the funnel because searchers are already in a mindset of wanting what they’ve searched. The potential buyers who are searching Google often need a product or service right now and want to know what is available. Being positioned to become that buying option means that also having Facebook Ads running is advantageous because buyers may already be familiar with your product or service.

Overall, the main difference between Facebook Ads and Google Ads is where potential customers are in the funnel. Using both together will move buyers through the funnel towards that final conversion.


marketing funnel

Don’t Break the Funnel

Those only doing one or the other ad platform really have a broken funnel. The ad placements and marketing spend can’t work together to convert. Only running Google Ads risks potential buyers seeing an ad but moving on because they don’t 

recognize or trust the brand. Facebook Ads build up that familiarity and trust so that when a product or service is needed, and thus searched on Google, the choice is obvious. Conversely, only running Facebook Ads risks not having your product or service placed when a potential buyer searches on Google for it. There are always people at different levels of awareness and understanding of a product. Running both Facebook Ads and Google Ads influences buyers at all stages of the funnel.



Understanding Ad Placement Costs

Another thing to understand is that ad placement costs can seem high if the program isn’t set up well. The cost per click is lower on Facebook Ads and since 95% of people don’t make an immediate decision to purchase their first website visit, Google Ads could get expensive. Google Ads will convert faster when simultaneously running Facebook Ads that familiarize buyers with the product or service.


It is Possible to Use Only One Ad Platform, But…

It is possible to fill a marketing funnel running different types of ads that both build awareness and convert in only one or the other ad platform. By designing different ad strategies Facebook Ads can convert and speak to top of funnel, middle of funnel and bottom of funnel. It’s possible to do the same funnel building with Google Display ads as well. However, keep in mind that these are two different networks and have different uses. The best marketing strategies use both Facebook Ads and Google Ads together. Show potential buyers an intentional series of ads and conversions will flow through the funnel more smoothly. Make your ad strategy work by completing the funnel from first introduction to conversion.

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