Online Advertising: Facebook vs. Google

By Dubzz | Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Learn about the key difference between these two online advertising giants.

Both Google and Facebook are pretty big names in the online world. Many people ask “what is the difference between Facebook and Google advertising?”. So here, my aim, is to dispel the myths and outline the key differences that exist between Facebook and Google Advertising.

Pay per click
Both Facebook and Google Adwords offer Pay Per Click advertising; the advertiser doesn’t pay when the advert is seen until the user clicks on the advert. If the viewer doesn’t click on the advert there is no cost incurred. Facebook also offers the option to pay for costs per thousand impressions, or how many times the ad is seen.

Google targets their advertising by context of what the consumer is searching for – and can be filtered further by location, device and browser. Facebook on the other hand targets consumers by demographic such as age, sex and interests, and whether they are already a fan of page, or if friends like the page.

Target market
Facebook’s majority of users sit in the 18-54 years categories, whilst Google has a much wider age demographic using Google for searches. If a consumer uses Facebook the likelihood that they also use Google is quite high, whereas if a consumer uses Google the likelihood that they are also on Facebook is not as high. When compared to Google, Facebook is slightly more limited in the pool of consumers it has to market to. Keep in mind that Facebook is a banned site in China and not so big in some other countries, so if Chinese are your target market for example, Facebook advertising is not the way to go.

Advert Content
Facebook adverts include the use of an image or logo, where Google ads don’t allow for images. Google advertising can add additional information such as a phone number, address, website or Google+ button, while Facebook advertising needs to contain all business information inside the ad itself. A google ad allows 25 characters for the headline, and two lines of 35 characters each, plus URL, phone number and location information, whereas Facebook ads allow 25 characters for the headline and 90 characters for the ad content.

Marketing Tools
Both Facebook and Google offer free marketing tools by way of Facebook pages and Google+. These can be used to extend a campaign, maintain momentum and increase word of mouth exposure following an advertising campaign.

Viewers Intent
Facebook viewers are often on Facebook to catch up, see images, videos, and information about their friends. Google viewers are there for a particular reason; to search for something. This may make Google viewers a lot more receptive to advertising over Facebook viewers where an advert may have little or no effect.

Overall both Facebook and Google Adwords can add a valuable marketing medium to a campaign. They both have the ability to be highly targeted, and clearly measure ROI. Facebook may be better for branding or non-specific campaigns, however Google wins when wanting to sell something specific to people who are looking for it, and therefore already open to it.


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