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Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads: Where to Focus Your Efforts


If you’re reading this blog, chances are you know the importance of digital advertising. Digital advertising empowers your multi-location business to share its message with a larger and more targeted audience, expanding your reach. When it comes to digital advertising, the big question is, where should your multi-location business focus its efforts? There are so many channels – it can be impossible to decide where to spend your valuable time. Throughout this blog, we’ll look into the key differences between Google and Facebook ads, explore the benefits of both, and help you determine which ads would best fit your business’s goals. 


A Brief Look Into Facebook and Google Ads


When looking at Facebook and Google ads, you’ll recognize a lot of similarities. For instance, both Facebook and Google have billions of active users, providing your multi-location business with many options when it comes to targeting. If your business only has the budget to run ad campaigns across one of the two platforms, though, it’s essential to look at the high-level differences between the two. 


Facebook advertising is managed through the Facebook Ads Manager tool. When it comes to multi-location marketing, Facebook has the tools you need to create ad campaigns across business locations. For instance, through FB you can deploy localized creative, copy, CTAs, etc. for each individual location you serve with various campaign objectives. Facebook ads have five objectives – reach, traffic, conversions, catalog sales, and video views. One of the first steps in setting up an ad campaign is choosing the objective. Audience targeting comes next. For more details, read our blog post on Facebook advertising strategies.


It’s important to note that some of Facebook’s targeting options will soon change due to Apple’s iOS14 update, but these updates will primarily impact Apple users. The new update will now include a pop-up when users download an app asking them if they want to opt out of data tracking. This will impact Facebook’s targeting options, but there will still be various ways for you to choose your target audience on Facebook through profile data, location data, and demographics. For more information on Apple’s new iOS14 update, check out our blog on the topic. 


Although the iOS14 update will have some impact on Facebook’s targeting options, you’ll still be able to split ad campaigns by Apple and non-Apple users and also choose whether you want to target your audience on their mobile devices or desktop. While Facebook Analytics is also slated to shut down in June, Facebook has a variety of other reporting options that provide you an in-depth analysis of ad performance, so you can understand what’s working and what’s not and make adjustments based on the data. Facebook ads are ideal for a variety of campaign objectives. Facebook ad campaigns can increase brand awareness, drive engagement, generate leads, and increase registrations to events. 


On the other hand, there are Google Ads. There are many types of Google Ads, however, we’ll focus on the Google Ad Words pay-per-click advertising that allows businesses to display their ads on Google’s search engine results pages (SERP). When you search on Google, the results you see at the top of the page are typically ads. For your business to appear in the ads, you must bid on keywords that are relevant to your business or industry. Your bid is part of what Google considers when deciding whether or not to show your ad on the SERP, but the ad’s relevance is also a big factor. The more related your ad is to a Google search, the more likely it is to appear on the SERP. 


It’s important to note that Google has ad options that are great to test at the local level as well. Google also offers local service ads and local inventory ads. Both of these ad types are based on a pay-per-lead, not a pay-per-click model. They rank businesses on the SERP based on positive reviews and proximity to the searcher. As you can see, Google ads are a great way to drive more traffic to your website and increase brand visibility. 


Key Factors to Consider 


While there are benefits to both, it isn’t easy to choose one over the other without looking at a few factors your business should consider. 


1. Your Budget 


For any marketer, the goal of an ad campaign is to increase your return on investment (ROI). You want to get more money out of the campaign than what you put into it. There are so many factors that can go into determining how to maximize your budget. First, consider how you’re charged for the ad. While Google Ads charges your business on a pay-per-click or pay-per-lead basis, your budget can be a little more flexible on Facebook. For instance, on Facebook, you input your budget and Facebook tries to evenly spread the budget out across your selected timeline. There are also various objectives you can set your campaign to on Facebook, so instead of bidding on keywords, you could be paying for cost per engagement, reach, or traffic. So, if the keywords your company wants to bid on through Google Ads are expensive, your money may go further on Facebook. On the other hand, if the keywords are relatively inexpensive, it may be worth testing an ad campaign on Google. 


Each platform allows you to set a daily budget, but it’s up to you to determine where your money would go further. Next, consider what type of advertising will resonate most with your audience to ensure the maximization of your budget. Facebook will enable you to conduct more experiences and decide what types of campaigns most efficiently engage your target audience. With Google Adwords, they are very simple text-based ads, however, you can target specific keywords, which typically means that you reach people who are already interested in what your business has to offer. 


2. The Stage of The Buyer’s Journey


If your multi-location business wants to run a brand awareness campaign, Facebook is the place to go. Facebook is not a platform where people have the intention to buy a product or find a service, but a localized social presence is vital to drive upper-funnel brand awareness and establish authentic connections with your local customers and community. This area of marketing has become essential for new product and service discovery, making it a great place to advertise to people who are in the awareness and consideration phase of the buyer’s journey. 


As you can imagine, Google is on the other side of the spectrum. Google receives over 3.5 billion searches every day. This vital marketing area is the first place consumers turn when they have a defined need. If your multi-location business wants to reach an audience that is further down the consideration stage or even in the decision stage of the buyer’s journey, Google is the place to advertise. 


3. Data From Previous Campaigns 


Has your multi-location business already tested various types of advertising campaigns? What has worked best for your business in the past? If you haven’t already used digital advertising, is there any competitor data you can look at? Knowing what has worked best for your business or others in the industry can help inform your decision. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t test other types of ad campaigns to see if they are more efficient and engaging, but if you’re on a tight budget and found something that works, why not stick with it?



Get Started Building a Winning Ad Campaign 


You’re now equipped with all of the information you need to make an informed decision on whether Facebook Ads or Google Ads would better suit your business’s needs. If you don’t find success in your advertising campaigns right away, give it time. It can often take a period of trial and error to get your campaigns up and running effectively. SOCi Ads PLUS is also an excellent option for businesses looking for support in managing their ad campaigns across 100s or 1,000s of business locations. 



SOCi Ads PLUS allows your multi-location business to deploy a single ad that will auto-populate with local text and images across all of your locations. The tool also enables your business to track and compare social advertising spend for regions and individual locations, and gain critical insights to allow national and local marketing teams to optimize campaigns across business locations. Digital advertising is essential, and SOCi is here to help. For more information on how SOCi can help your multi-location business launch successful ad campaigns and strengthen other areas of your localized marketing strategy, request a demo today!



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