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Google Ads and Facebook Ads for Business: Do You Have to Choose?

Google vs. Facebook for Business: Do You Have to Choose?

When I was a kid, soft ice cream stands were a big deal.

Every spring, family-owned shops would open for the season and I would stand in line at the window to order my favorite frozen treat: a chocolate-vanilla twist with chocolate sprinkles.

The teenage girl at the window would ask, “Vanilla or chocolate?” But, my reply was always the same: “I’d like a twist, please.”

Why choose between the two when I could have them both in the same cone? Chocolate by itself was good, but twisted together with vanilla made it even better. Add sprinkles and it was my favorite summertime treat.

This classic ice cream twist makes me think of digital marketing. (I know. My mind connects threads of information in odd ways; but this time it’s actually useful, I promise.)

In any effective digital marketing strategy, multiple elements work together to attract new clients, boost sales, increase leads, and create loyal customers. Google AdWords and Facebook Ads are both effective ways to promote your products and services.

It can be challenging to determine which platform is best for your business; for your specific advertising needs; to best reach your target audience.

So, do you have to select one or the other?

Can you benefit from using both?

Why choose chocolate or vanilla when you can have them both in the same cone?

ice creams

You don’t have to choose; you should use Google AdWords and Facebook Ads for a more comprehensive approach to digital marketing.

Google Ads and Facebook Ads have different strengths and benefits that work to promote your business. Let’s take a minute to discuss these so you can gain a better understanding of how each platform works.

First, Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) is the biggest pay-per-click (PPC) advertising program available today, on the world’s most widely used search engine.

All over the globe, people use Google to search for things they need, or to find more information, more than 3.5 billion times each day.

As all these queries are being made, Google Ads uses keywords (the most common words people enter to search for products or services) to determine which ads will be displayed along with each list of search results.

So, if you search for “soft ice cream,” you might see a Google ad for Ben & Jerry’s, or a commercial soft serve ice cream maker, because “ice cream” is a common keyword phrase people use when they’re searching for these items.

If someone clicks on your ad, you pay for that click. And, even if nobody clicks on it, they still see your ad in the search results.

Facebook Ads are different from Google Ads in that instead of appearing in your search results online, they appear on your social network. Since 2 billion people use Facebook every month (the largest social network in the world), you can build your own custom target audience and potentially get your ads in front of a whole lot of people who use Facebook and are looking for products or services like the ones you offer.

Facebook Ads track users’ behavior, preferences, and demographics to display your ads to people who would most likely benefit from becoming your customer.

young business woman

Essentially, both Google Ads and Facebook Ads are matchmakers that create relationships between businesses and customers.

Are you beginning to see the benefits of using each of them to promote your business?

Perhaps you’re wondering how much all this online advertising is going to cost to actually produce an equitable return on your investment.

Fortunately, relevance is king, not your budget.

Since Google does its best to match a search query with companies that are relevant to what people are looking for, you don’t need a ton of money to get your ad in front of a large audience.

In fact, relevance ranks over riches.

I’m sure Ben & Jerry’s ad ranked first because, let’s face it, their name is synonymous with ice cream. And, their website is undoubtedly optimized with keyword phrases containing the words, “ice cream” so Google can easily detect their relevance.

Along with Ben & Jerry’s, my search inquiry for “soft ice cream” also returned several ads from commercial soft serve ice cream makers and equipment distributors I’d never heard of.

That’s the beauty of Google AdWords’ emphasis on relevance — you can be a little guy and still get noticed alongside the big corporations.

Where Google uses keyword phrases to determine who sees your ad, Facebook Ads consider users’ preferences, behaviors, and values. Since Facebook users share nearly every detail of their lives with friends and family members, advertising on this social network offers many advantages to businesses.

happy friends eating

Basically, you set the parameters for your audience and Facebook puts your ad in front of those who best fit your custom(er) description. This is uniquely possible since people openly share their likes and dislikes in their news feed. It gives Facebook advertising incredible insight into precisely who should see your ad so those particular individuals can take action and become your customer.

You determine your daily advertising budget, so without spending a fortune, Facebook puts your ads in front of a significant number of people within your ideal audience.

So, you don’t have to choose one over the other.

Instead, make the most of your marketing budget by using both platforms to reach even more potential clients.

And, if you’ve never had the pleasure of enjoying a soft-serve, chocolate-vanilla twist, I highly recommend it.

Getting started on each platform can be a little overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the world of online marketing and advertising. Request a call from one of our Certified Digital Marketers. We’d love to help you get started.


Patience is the former director of marketing and communications for Solutions 8. A phenomenal content writer, copywriter, editor, and marketer, she has played a prominent role in helping Solutions 8 become an authority in the Google Ads space. Patience is also the co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Google Ads Agency and You vs Google.

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