Thinking about getting started with paid digital ads? Both Facebook Ads and Google Ads are popular online platforms for businesses to advertise their products and services. Both platforms use a pay-per-click (PPC) model, where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. This allows businesses to only pay for actual results, rather than simply displaying their ads.
One key difference between the two platforms is the way they target ads. Facebook Ads uses a system based on demographics, interests, and behaviors, allowing businesses to target ads to specific groups of users. The Facebook Pixel allows the Facebook Ads platform to better target people based on goals which may include lead generation, website traffic, or conversions. Google Ads, on the other hand, uses a system based on keywords, allowing businesses to target ads to users who are searching for specific terms. This means that Google Ads is generally better for reaching users who are actively looking for your brand or its products or services near the time of their point of purchase, while Facebook Ads is better for reaching users based on their interests and behaviors or for creating brand awareness.
Another difference is the type of ads that each platform offers. Facebook Ads offers a variety of ad formats, including display ads, video ads, and product-based carousel ads, as well as options for sponsored posts and sponsored messages. Depending on the creative, ads are optimized across the Meta ad platform which includes Instagram posts, stories, Reels, and more.
Google Ads, on the other hand, offers text-based ads that appear in search results, as well as display ads on the Google Display Network. Google now also offers Performance Max campaigns which are designed to complement keyword-based Search campaigns to help advertisers find more converting customers across all of Google's channels like YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps. Performance Max drives performance based on specified conversion goals including target CPA or ROAS, delivering more conversions and value by optimizing performance in real-time and across channels using Smart Bidding. Performance Max combines Google's automation technologies across bidding, budget optimization, audiences, creatives, attribution, and more.
In terms of cost, both platforms operate on a bidding system, where advertisers compete for the placement of their ads. However, the specific costs can vary depending on the specific keywords or demographics that a business is targeting. In general, Google Ads tend to be more expensive due to the high level of competition for popular keywords, while Facebook Ads can be more affordable for businesses targeting specific demographics or interests. Even so, it's important to set spending on a daily basis that's sufficient to allow for learning across the Facebook ad platform and then for bidding in the ad auction that will drive sufficient traffic, leads, or conversions relative to your product's AOV. Setting a daily budget that's far below your product's AOV will result in a very delayed learning process and little success in bidding against advertisers with much larger budgets vying for the attention of the valuable customer you're trying to reach.
Overall, both Facebook Ads and Google Ads are effective platforms for advertising and great to use in combination, but they each have their own unique strengths and limitations. Depending on a business's specific goals and level of brand awareness, one platform may be more suitable than the other.
Upgrade your digital ad skills with Facebook and Google's own certification courses
Want to learn more about Facebook Ads? Facebook offers its own certification course you can start today.
The Google Ad certification course can be found here.