A lot of times people will ask me whether they should advertise their startup business using Google or Facebook. The answer I usually give them is Google, but there are some exceptions to this rule.
Google (and Bing) are generally the best two platforms to start advertising your business on if you have a limited budget, and the main reason behind this is user intent. Because people are actively searching for things, it is easier to sell to them by creating a Search Campaign and targeting higher intent keywords.
On the flip side, I would recommend Facebook if you have a business or product that is really outside the box, or interesting. If you have something that can generate a bit of excitement and buzz you will have a big edge on this platform. Boring B2B products tend to do poorly, as do products with hefty price tags, so consider Google if you have one of these.
Another reason I would recommend Google and Bing to people is that the learning curve is lower, especially if you are just planning on creating search campaigns. Display can also be insanely profitable, but the learning curve is very steep if you want to be able to get positive returns. Once you get Google display under your belt however, you can scale your business at a very rapid pace, and with CPCs that are much lower than search.
Google also gives you a lot more creative control when it comes to the ads you choose to display. Facebook prefers image-heavy ads, with as little text as possible. If you try to include too much text, you have to pay much higher CPCs. Google, on the other hand, gives you much more creative control in the banners you display which is great, because you can create something really different that stands out.
The last reason I would recommend Google is the ability to scale. With Display Campaigns you can target users across the web wherever they go. Facebook on the other hand is limited to its’ own ecosystem and a small amount of inventory outside of Facebook which pales in size compared to the GDN. You will often hit a wall with Facebook where getting more traffic becomes very challenging. With Google it is always easy to find more targeting ideas and audiences to go after.
TLDR Version of the article is this:
- Google (and Bing) tend to perform better for most business because there is higher intent.
- Facebook is good for cool, outside-the-box products that can generate some buzz.
- The Google Display Network offers a lot more scale as you can target users across the web while Facebook is limited to its’ own ecosystem.