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As an entrepreneur, you have to deal with content marketing in order to establish authenticity and brand awareness as well as to achieve long-term objectives. In this context, pay-per-click marketing efforts are especially popular among marketers in regard to achieving short-term success. That's why you're consequently confronted by the question of which of the two advertising titans Google AdWords and Facebook Ads is the best choice for your company. In the following, I will explain the differences between these two very influential advertising platforms and provide a basis for you, that can help you pick the right advertising platform for your company.

The advertising landscape's MVPs: Google and Facebook

Google truly is an Internet giant and is seen as the pioneer concerning the PPC advertising format. The PPC advertising format refers to an advertising format, which requires advertisers to pay for every user click to an advertising medium. The auctioning of advertising spaces is Google's main source of income - more than ninety percent of Google's income stems from said auction. Within a few years, Google's advertising sales have doubled, which can be attributed to the fact that Google enjoys an enormously high user frequency on a global level.
However, Facebook also achieved a continuously growing success concerning the growth of its advertising sales in the last few years.
Just like it is the case in regard to Google, Facebook's growth is tied to the fairly high user figures.
Google and Facebook are currently both standing on the figurative pedestal for websites with the highest user figures. The user activities on the two companies' respective online offerings are inimitably high.
That is the reason that drives advertisers - regardless of the size and sector of their company - are focusing on these two advertising platforms.

The Underdog: Instagram

Instagram is a social media platform that is continuously gaining in relevance. It low-key became an advertising platform, that enjoyed an increase in influence since 2015. The year 2015 marks the year, in which the advertising on Instagram through Facebook had been launched. The user figures have rapidly risen on a global level within the last few years, which is why Instagram's appeal as an advertising platform continuously increases concerning the aspect "advertising audience". Therefore it would be a sensible decision to keep an eye on Instagram and it's growth in the future.

Is Google AdWords a good choice for your company?

Google mainly offers two advertising options. On the one hand there are the Search Ads and on the other hand there are the Display Ads.
Search Ads give you the possibility of bidding on word groups and keywords, that are actively searched by Google users.
Display Ads, however, describe banner ads and ads in general, that are displayed on websites.

The three advantages, that stand out the most when comparing Google AdWords to Facebook Ads, are the aspects of equal opportunity, search-based ads and finally the advertising audience.

The advantage of equal opportunity refers to Google AdWords functioning as an auction platform.
For the ad's quality, other than the desired position and the competition for a keyword, has an effect on the price per click, companies with smaller budgets can cost-efficiently place their ads - however, that obviously is only possible, if the ad is considered to be of high quality by Google. Google's classification mainly depends on how much the keyword, ad and the advertised website correspond with the user's search intent.

The second advantage lies in the search-based ads. While a user searches for a certain service or a particular product - and is therefore very likely to be willing to purchase something, the advertiser can reach the user.
The last important advantage of Google AdWords is the advertising audience, for you can profit from an enormous reach to reach potential clients. With more than 92,500 requests in a period of a second, Google is far ahead of other providers on the Internet.

In case a company offers a product or service, that is actively being searched by users and therefore has a search volume, Google AdWords can be seen as a pretty good option for all companies regardless of their respective size and sector.

... or is Facebook Ads the better choice?

The well-known alternative to Google AdWords is Facebook Ads. When wanting to advertise on Facebook, you should know that it can't be automatically assumed that the users you approach intend on buying something. However, Facebook offers a diversified range of possibility, that enables you to intercept the user's buyer's journey in an earlier stage and also to produce prospects and leads out of strangers.

The three most relevant advantages of using Facebook Ads are the aspects "ad formats", "detailed targeting" and "advertising audience". Facebook Ads has an advantage regarding the ad formats, since it offers Facebook ads to be interlaced with the respective page content - just like Google AdWords - yet Facebook offers a broader range of ads. The most common ad formats are, inter alia, image ads, video ads (360 degree video ads included) and Slideshows, but there is still a vast amount of further ad formats you can choose from. All ads can be modulated independently by using Facebook's Ads Manager.
The detailed targeting is the second advantage of using Facebook Ads. Unlike its rival Google, Facebook doesn't limit its targeting options to mainly geographic characteristics like location, terminal and language, but it profits from an extremely extensive amount of information on its users' user behavior. Demographic characteristics, but also the income, interests, marital status and hobbies can be used by advertisers to address the respective user according to the chosen information. Furthermore, the function "Lookalike Audiences" gives you the possibility of creating target audiences, that are based on the characteristics of actual website visitors, leads or buyers.
The last advantage that stands out is the advertising audience. Facebook can proudly call itself the possessor of the bronze medal regarding the most viewed websites. The social network possesses an unequaled user frequency of approx. 1.33 billion active users per day.
Therefore, Facebook offers you the possibility of creating ads that are of a visually pleasing nature but don't guarantee that you can reach users with an actual intention to purchase. However, Facebook Ads's targeting options enable you to target users that suit the respective buyer personas.

Which option is less costly?

It's not possible to really determine, which of the two advertising platforms is the cheaper one, for the bidding costs of the ad is always dependent on the current competitive situation as well as the marketing objective and ad format - after all, the two auction processes are characterized by a certain dynamic.
Regarding the creation of new leads, it can be observed that the click prices are generally higher on Google AdWords, since search-based advertisement is usually linked with a higher success rate. That is the case, because a user, who searches for something specific, will rather tend to a conversion when the presented ad corresponds to his search query.
The user's intention to purchase isn't as relevant regarding Facebook. The essential factor concerning Facebook's ad placement lies in the users' interests. The prices per click and the conversion rate are lower on Facebook than they are on Google.

Conclusion: Google AdWords or rather Facebook Ads?

After this comparison it makes sense to emphasize the fact, that both advertising platforms play a certain role in the advertising landscape. Said fact becomes apparent when bearing in mind, that the two advertising platforms Google AdWords and Facebook Ads together make up a considerable part of the advertising market. I suggest you to give both advertising options a chance and to try them, so that you can evaluate and finally choose the platform, that is more economical and sensible for your company.

Tobias Dziuba

My name is Tobias and I am the founder and managing director of the Amazon agency Adsmasters GmbH based in Düsseldorf.

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