The world of advertising is changing and so are the tools we use. We’re seeing a rise in social media marketing and advertising, but that doesn’t mean other digital ads are dead. For starters, there are many different types of ads: Facebook ads, Instagram ads, search ads, display ads, small ads, tall ads, furry ads, and bald ads.
You get the idea. But let’s improve Facebook and Instagram Ads vs. Google Ads. Each one has a similar concept, but they reach different audiences and serve different purposes.
Google search ads
Let’s start with Google search advertising, a few lines of text that can have a huge impact on your business. You’ve seen it before, you’ve probably seen it today. If you search for something on Google, the search results page that appears will show both organic results and paid results.
See the first 1-3 results. Is there a little “AD” below the title? This is a search ad. A digital advertising agency will research the keywords that consumers use to find a product or service.
Based on that research, they’ll pick relevant keywords and create text ads around them, like “plumbing services” or “Napa’s best wineries.” Advertisers then bid on these terms and set the maximum amount they are willing to pay for a user to click on their ad.
Google will decide which ads to show based on the offer and quality of the ad. This is a pay-per-click method and 60% of clicks come from these results.
The benefit of Google Search Ads is that when consumers search for a specific service or product on Google, they know that they are already searching for that item in the marketplace. They are ready to buy.
If you pick the right keyword, one that is specific enough to target the right audience, but general enough to reach a good number of people, chances are you’ll get some clicks that will lead to a sale.
For example, imagine you are a lawyer in Sonoma and you show Google search ads for the term Sonoma DUI Defense Attorney. People searching for something similar to that phrase (like Sonoma DUI attorney) will most likely see your ad and click on it.
You offered a solution to their search at the right place and time. As a digital advertising agency, we understand that it’s about your audience’s problems and how to solve those problems at the right time.
So how much does all this cost? It depends. A click can cost from less than a dollar to several tens of dollars, depending on the competitiveness of the keyword. You can be sure that a keyword like “Napa wineries” will be much more expensive than a term like “Oakville organic wineries.”
Google Display Ads
Image ads work a little differently. They come in a few different dimensions and will appear on websites and apps. A digital advertising agency can use display ads to target people based on demographics, location, and behaviors.
They can retarget site visitors and ensure that if they visit your site, they will see your ad at the end of the day. They can also target people based on a certain keyword relevant to their business.
Display ads can be images, videos, and more. Display ads are generally paid per thousand impressions. The average click-through rate is 0.02 to 0.05%. Oftentimes, every 1000 impressions can cost you $4-5 and you’ll get 2-5 clicks for a few dollars.
If you target correctly, a few dollars can drive 1,000 impressions and 5+ clicks. This is a more cost-effective option than Google search ads, but its goal is more awareness, not direct conversions. Display ads are great for building brand awareness, and a digital advertising agency can create visually appealing ads to attract customers.
Facebook and Instagram Ads
Switching gears drastically, Facebook and Instagram ads are completely different animals. Our digital advertising agency has seen a huge increase in social media marketing. (PS: Facebook now also has Instagram and Facebook Ad Manager built into Instagram. It’s safe to refer to Facebook and Instagram Ads as Facebook Ads.)
It is important to first understand why people use Facebook and Instagram. Social media is for social media: People probably aren’t on Facebook to find a plumber. Purchase intent is not as high as with Google search ads.
There are billions of people on social media, making it the perfect platform to find your niche and talk to them. Running Facebook and Instagram ads can be great for brand awareness, driving engagement, and retargeting (especially for eCommerce).
Facebook also excels when it comes to mirroring your existing audience. Through Facebook Ads, you can actually target people who “look like” your existing customers. These are called “lookalike audiences.” This is a great social media marketing tool that can help you find people who are interested in your brand.
Facebook Ads allow you to advertise in Facebook News Feeds, Instagram Feeds, Facebook and Instagram Stories, and Facebook Messenger. You can reach a wide range of people and target their specific interests.
The best part of all is that Facebook ads are very profitable. You can go a long way with $50, but you can also move mountains with $500.
So which one is better?
The answer depends on your business, your audience, and your goals. What is your goal? Are you trying to generate leads, sales, etc.? So both platforms can help. Whether you want brand recognition or a social following, Facebook and Instagram ads will achieve that goal.
If you want to attract people to the bottom of the funnel, Google search ads work well. In the end, it takes to research and time to determine the right advertising strategy.
Make sure your digital advertising agency or social media marketing company understands your business goals and the needs of your audience.