Keying in the above headline Google will return thousands of articles, posts, comments, links and videos on the great Facebook vs. Google battle. It is an interesting debate since both the Facebook Ads and Google AdWords have provided marketers with never-before access and tools to grow their business with small marketing budget.
AdWords is successful primarily because the ads are linked to keyword searches. So if the keywords happen to be,”canon auto focus camera, mumbai” and you happen to be a dealer in Mumbai who’s selected these keywords, your ad will show up. It’s an almost perfect mapping of ‘intend to purchase’ and your company.
AdWords began as a perfect solution for small businesses, but has since been swamped by the multi-billion dollar budgets of big corporate. In the example state above, you could be competing with the same keywords with canon, Nikon, Sony, Samsung, Croma etc., thereby increasing your cost. Still AdWords unique ability to serve up relevant ads to its searchers and connect its audiences with unprecedented. With over 60 billion searches happening everyday, AdWords is not going away any time soon.
So, where do Facebook Ads come in? Facebook offers a unique ability, that of narrow targeting. Because of all the information we provide Facebook at the time of setting up your profile, the company is able to offer unprecedented targeting options. Continuing our earlier examples of cameras, if you want to target 20-something professionals in Mumbai, male or female. You can reach your exact target audience. This level of targeting has not been available earlier, and it’s the USP of FB Ads. But you reaching a passive audience; they may not be in the market for a digital camera.
Another drawback of FB Ads is the state of mind of the user. When we are facebooking, we are probably there only to socialize. An Ad at that time won’t achieve high click through rate (CTRs).FB has partly solved this ad by providing both CPC ads (you only pay when user clicks on your ad) and CPM ads (cost per thousand impressions: you pay irrespective of click). ACPC ad insures that only those seriously interested in your product will click on it, and therefore increases ROI. CPM ads are useful for marketing campaigns where visibility, not leads, is a priority.
Another advantage of FB ads is the fact that you can use the ad to build fans on your company’s/products FB page; i.e., you could actually use them to increase your fan base. How so? A fan of your FB page is a long term prospect. Getting one person to like your page also increases the potential of his or her friends becoming aware of your page, thereby increasing the networking impact. Google AdWords has no such impact. It will drive traffic your way when your ads are running, but its back to square one when your campaigns end.
Eventually, your ideal platform would depend on your objective and budget. Here’s a quick clue: FB ads are relatively new and, therefore cheaper than Google AdWords. But that could change very soon. So, hurry.