Google and Facebook are undeniably two of the largest internet giants of all time. Google is currently the largest internet company and has a market value of $377 billion whereas Facebook is the second largest company with a market value of $157 billion (Statista, 2014). Both companies generate the majority of their revenue from advertising. In 2013 Facebook made $7.8billion in ad revenue (Clarke, 2014) and in 2014 Google made $60 billion in ad revenue, in fact 96% of Google’s revenue comes from advertising (Mohan, 2014).
First let’s assess the advertising similarities between the two internet giants.
Both companies obtain masses amount of online traffic, as the graph from Statista (2015) below outlines, this creates a massive audience and potential customers for campaigners.
Both companies allow you to target consumers based on their demographics and location. And both companies can cater for mobile advertising by optimising ads.
This could be a benefit of Google Adwords, but also possible a downfall, you pay per click. So if no one clicks on your link than you don’t pay, however if you get lots of people click on your link but don’t actually purchase anything than your investment may not be worthwhile. On average the cost per click rate is £0.10 with a click through rate of 0.18% (Google, 2015). Google Adwords is measureable, it shows how many people notice your ads, what your click through rate is and you can even see the conversion rate from a specific advert.
Its flexible, there are so many varied options that allow you to tailor your ad to your desired goals. You can:
- Specify key word match types; so only display your ad to people who search for a specific word.
- Narrow your target market
- Take advantage of Google+ and reach non-search users
- Leverage the display network
- Use ad extensions
The format of Adwords is made to be more appealing than organic results, they appear more engaging to entice more clicks.
When people use a search engine they are typically looking for a specific product, therefore Adwords is almost always relevant and aids with the click through rate.
According to Hansson et al. (2013), one of the major benefits of Facebook advertising is that it is relatively low cost. It allows companies of all size to utilise the site to achieve their branding and marketing goals, whilst potentially reaching millions of consumers. The cost per click rate for Facebook is just $0.45 and retail advertisers experience a 152% return on investment (Jones, 2013).
Facebook advertising leads to brand building. Facebook sessions last longer than a google session, therefore Facebook offers better representation of consumer habits. It also allows for the socialisation of an ad, people can see their friends commenting on an ad and as they ad is always there gradually through several interactions they will get to learn what the brand is about. Facebook ads can lead to ‘like’ pages where special promotions can be conducted and increase the click through rate.
Facebook adverts manager allows you to track from a huge range of metrics to evaluate your ad campaigns success. From North (2014) the benefits include:
- The total number of times your ad was shown (Impressions, the number of different people who saw your ad (Reach) and the average number of times (Frequency)
- The number of clicks or other actions people took, such as page likes, engagement, comments and shares.
- Cost data including average Cost per Click (CPC), Cost per Like and Cost per Conversion based on your specific goals and tracking
The English Cheesecake factory is a success story from Facebook Advertising, here is a link to their story https://www.facebook.com/advertising/success-stories/english-cheesecake-company
To summarise what is the better package, Google Adwords or Facebook Ads?
Google Adwords will gain more sales as people are already in search mode, they are online looking for something in particular whereas Facebook Ads are better for increasing brand awareness.
Clarke, T. (2013) How Does Facebook Make Money?, Money Morning. 09 October 2014 [Online] <http://moneymorning.com/2014/10/09/how-does-facebook-make-money/> [Accessed 15 April 2015]
Google (2015) Adwords Benefits [Online] <https://www.google.co.uk/adwords/benefits/> [Accessed 15 April 2015]
Hansson, L., Wrangmo, A. & Solberg Søilen, K. (2013) Optimal ways for companies to use Facebook as a marketing channel, Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society. Vol 11, Issue 2, Pages 112-126
Jones, K. (2013) Retail Advertisers on Facebook Average 152% ROI; 162% ROI on iOS, Search Engine Journal. 19 October 2013 [Online] <http://www.searchenginejournal.com/retail-advertisers-facebook-average-152-roi-162-roi-ios/73911/> [Accessed 15 April 2015]
Mohan, M. (2014) How Does Google Make Money?, Minterest. 01 December 2014 [Online] <http://www.minterest.org/how-does-google-make-money/> [Accessed 15 April 2015]
North, E. (2014) 5 Reasons Why Your Business Must Use Facebook Advertising, Koozai. 19 May 2014 [Online] <http://www.koozai.com/blog/social-media/facebook-social-media/benefits-of-facebook-advertising/> [Accessed 15 April 2015]
Statista (2015) Comparison of unique U.S. visitors to Facebook and Google from April 2011 to January 2015 (in millions) [Online] <http://www.statista.com/statistics/268252/comparison-of-unique-us-visitors-to-facebook-and-google/> [Accessed 15 April 2015]
Statista (2014) Market value of the largest internet companies worldwide as of May 2014 (in billion U.S Dollars) [Online] <http://www.statista.com/statistics/277483/market-value-of-the-largest-internet-companies-worldwide/> [Accessed 15 April 2015]