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  • Writer's pictureChhaya Ranka

Facebook VS Google Ads - What's the difference? Learn Digital Marketing for Free Part 2

You will not believe how I got to learn Digital Marketing for free. I am not doing a course. I am learning it from the internet and from folks at work. After going through so many articles, sitting through so many meetings at work, I am telling you everything you need to know about and learn Digital Marketing for free! To understand the basics, go through this post - the very first post I wrote about Digital Marketing. In this post, we are discussing the key differences between the most common ad networks: Facebook and Google. Facebook Ads and Google Ads are two of the most prominent digital advertising platforms, each with distinct features, targeting options, and use cases. Here's a comprehensive comparison on facebook vs google ads highlighting the key differences and when to use each platform:


facebook vs google ads
facebook vs google ads

1. Platform Nature and Purpose - facebook vs google ads

  • Facebook Ads:

  • Platform: Social Media.

  • Purpose: Primarily used for brand awareness, engagement, and social interactions. Ads appear in the news feed, stories, and other placements within the Facebook ecosystem, including Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network.

  • Google Ads:

  • Platform: Search Engine and Display Network.

  • Purpose: Primarily used for intent-based marketing, capturing user interest through search queries. Ads appear in search results, YouTube, Gmail, and across a vast network of partner websites.


2. Targeting Options

  • Facebook Ads:

  • Demographics: Age, gender, location, language, relationship status, education.

  • Interests: Pages liked, hobbies, favorite activities, lifestyle.

  • Behavior: Purchase behavior, device usage, travel history.

  • Custom Audiences: Target users based on email lists, website visitors, or app users.

  • Lookalike Audiences: Reach new people similar to your existing customers.

  • Google Ads:

  • Keywords: Target users based on search terms they enter.

  • Demographics: Age, gender, parental status, household income.

  • Interests: Affinity audiences (broad interest categories), in-market audiences (users actively searching for specific products/services).

  • Remarketing: Target users who have previously interacted with your website or app.

  • Customer Match: Upload data to reach users across Google properties.


3. Ad Formats

  • Facebook Ads:

  • Image Ads: Single image with text and link.

  • Video Ads: Short videos, including in-stream and story ads.

  • Carousel Ads: Multiple images or videos in a single ad.

  • Slideshow Ads: Lightweight video ads made from images.

  • Collection Ads: Feature multiple products in a single ad unit.

  • Lead Ads: Collect user information directly within Facebook.

  • Google Ads:

  • Search Ads: Text ads appearing in search results.

  • Display Ads: Image or rich media ads shown on the Google Display Network.

  • Video Ads: Ads shown on YouTube and other video partner sites.

  • Shopping Ads: Product listings appearing in Google Shopping and search results.

  • Responsive Ads: Automatically adjust size, appearance, and format to fit available ad spaces.


4. Ad Placement

  • Facebook Ads:

  • Within the Facebook Ecosystem: Facebook News Feed, Instagram Feed, Stories, Messenger, Audience Network.

  • Highly Visual Placements: Ads are designed to blend into the social media experience.

  • Google Ads:

  • Search Engine Results: Ads at the top and bottom of search results pages.

  • Google Display Network: Ads across millions of websites, apps, and Google properties.

  • YouTube: Video ads shown before, during, or after videos.

  • Gmail: Ads in the Promotions and Social tabs of Gmail.


5. User Intent

  • Facebook Ads:

  • Passive Intent: Users are not actively searching for products but are open to discovering new brands and products while browsing social media.

  • Google Ads:

  • Active Intent: Users are actively searching for information, products, or services, indicating a higher purchase intent.


6. Performance Metrics and Optimization

  • Facebook Ads:

  • Engagement Metrics: Likes, shares, comments, and reactions.

  • Reach and Impressions: How many people see your ads and how often.

  • Conversions: Actions taken on your website or app, tracked via Facebook Pixel.

  • Custom Metrics: Metrics tailored to specific campaign goals (e.g., video views, lead form submissions).

  • Google Ads:

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): Percentage of users who click on your ad after seeing it.

  • Conversion Rate: Percentage of clicks that result in a desired action.

  • Quality Score: Google’s rating of the relevance and quality of your keywords and ads.

  • Cost Per Click (CPC): Amount you pay for each click on your ad.

  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): Cost to acquire a customer.


7. Cost Structure

  • Facebook Ads:

  • Auction-Based: Bids based on the objective, audience, and competition.

  • Cost Per Click (CPC), Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM), Cost Per Action (CPA): Various bidding options depending on campaign goals.

  • Google Ads:

  • Auction-Based: Bids on keywords and placements.

  • Cost Per Click (CPC), Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM), Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): Similar bidding options, with the addition of Cost Per View (CPV) for video ads.


8. Use Cases

  • Facebook Ads:

  • Brand Awareness: Great for reaching a broad audience and building brand recognition.

  • Engagement: Suitable for driving engagement and interaction with content.

  • Lead Generation: Effective for collecting user information through lead ads.

  • Retargeting: Reach users who have previously interacted with your brand.

  • Google Ads:

  • Direct Response: Ideal for capturing demand and driving direct conversions.

  • Search Intent: Best for targeting users actively searching for specific products or services.

  • Shopping Campaigns: Highly effective for e-commerce businesses.

  • Video Advertising: Leverage YouTube for video ad placements.


Summary

Both Facebook Ads and Google Ads offer unique advantages and can be used complementarily depending on your goals:

  • Use Facebook Ads if your objective is to build brand awareness, engage with your audience, and create visually appealing ads that integrate seamlessly into the social media experience.

  • Use Google Ads if you want to capture active search intent, drive direct conversions, and leverage the extensive reach of the Google Display Network and YouTube.


By understanding the differences and strengths of each platform, you can create a balanced and effective digital marketing strategy that maximizes your brand’s visibility and performance across the web.

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