If choosing between spending your marketing budget on Google or Facebook, which way should advertisers go and why?


In my experience, starting out testing one against the other is ideal (i.e. running campaigns on each and seeing which performs better).

It's also important to look at what your immediate and long term goals are for the spend. Are you trying to sell them something now, keep them engaged for a later release of a product, or some other action?

The key thing to note is that depending on what you're selling and what your keywords are, the bar can be a lot lower in terms of your bid per click if you go with Facebook Ads. Additionally: you can hyper target your audience with Facebook Ads like whoa (Google Ads are more limiting).

Ex: I ran both sets of ads for a new line of ballet inspired barre-wear (targetting both ballet dancers and barre students).

Both Facebook and Google Ads were linked to the sales page.

For Google Ads: I used keywords like "barre-wear" (low search volume) "ballet attire" "activewear" (limited relevance) and about 20 other related terms. The spend to results ratio here was underwhelming.

Keep in mind: I've only been working with Google Ads for a couple of years now. Better results are possible if you've got someone with 5+ years of experience who knows the system backwards and forwards, but for the most part, Google Ads are not DIY friendly if you want serious results.

For Facebook Ads, I did 2 campaigns:

1. Ballet Dancers: I targetted women in major cities (NY, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles), who were under 26 and fans of ballet companies and schools in their city, and also those who were fans of major dance supply companies.

2. Barre Students: I targetted women nationwide who were between 26 and 52, married, above average household income, fans of barre studios in their area, fans of Lululemon Athletica (high end activewear brand), and did a couple of variations on different hobbies and activities to target specifically stay at home moms or wives who were active.

The results: $100 in ad spend // over 150 clicks to the product page // 20 new email newsletter signups // 3 immediate sales // 2 follow up sales within that week (so for a $100 product the ad yielded about $500 in sales that week from individuals who could be potential customers again (and 20 new people to market to for future sales).

Answered 6 years ago


Great question. And. The easy answer for me is this...

Where do your customers (or potential customers) hang out the most?

There are literally hundreds -- at least -- of different places online where you could spend your time and marketing budget.

You'll piss it away if you are not hanging out where your customers -- or potential customers -- hang out.

I experience this daily and keep learning. Let me know if you'd like to chat with me more about this!

Thank you.

- michael vizdos

Answered 6 years ago

You're getting them in two different modes.

For search (google), they are actively seeking a solution.

For display (facebook), they are in discovery mode.

Really you just have to nail down your LTV, look what you can spend to acquire a customer, and start testing where you think you'll do the best with your budget and optimal customer buying mode.

Answered 6 years ago

Good answers above.

Depends who you're looking for, what you're offering, and how the cycle of discovery-to-conversion naturally works.

Sometimes it's appropriate to sidle up next to somebody who's hanging out with buddies looking at funny cat pictures and introduce your brand. In other cases, that's creepy; and the brand would more naturally be introduced where people have more deliberate intentions – learning or seeking something.

Personally, I assassinated myself on Facebook several years ago. So if I were your target customer, you could spend trillions on FB without getting a glance.

Those 2 channels are hardly the only 2, of course.

Answered 6 years ago

The comments above are spot on.

Depends on the type of service/product, where your target group is and the payment strategy as well. Facebook may get traction for freemium or cheap products and help you if you start with a good referral strategy, due to the social element of the network.

Google may target more serious customers looking for an actual solution.

Answered 6 years ago

I'll add a +1 to what others have said: Pick a really small budget and split test Google and Facebook against one another. Evaluate your ROI with each advertising platform, and then create a more robust campaign on whichever gives you the highest return. Once you've benchmarked your numbers and chosen a platform, go learn everything you can about best practices/growth hacks on that particular platform.

Answered 6 years ago

I think it really depends on what you are marketing. Different businesses will get different results. I've tried both and I personally get better results from Google, but that's not to say Facebook wouldn't give you a fair amount of business as well. I'd suggest considering several free sites to boost your business such as LinkedIn, Merchant Circle, Facebook page and possibly Craiglist. Where people tend to fail in my opinion is not being open to many options. Test those options and if it doesn't produce what you want then stop it. Also something to consider is what works today may not work next year so I'd suggest testing those same markets every year or two. Learn your conversion rates if possible. I can tell you what every lead cost me in my business. I can also tell you for every dollar I spend how much I can probably make. It will do you now good if you are just randomly taking business and don't ask the customer how did they hear about you and keeping track of every call. I've been in business 25 years this coming April and I have opted to not pay for advertising like I have in the past. I have made niche websites with key words in each website that attract literally 90% of my business. My approach was to start out with 5 websites and now it's literally up to around 30 that produce most my leads. Again, that may not work for you. Just be proactive and find every available free marketing spot as well as paid and start trying them all. You can always call me if you have any additional questions. Good Luck!

Answered 6 years ago

Depends on your goal. Google Adwords is primarily "demand fulfillment" - because users tell you what they are looking for through keywords on search engine.

Facebook Ads is "demand generation" wherein you target ads to people on the basis of their interests, the pages they like, etc.

Now, where should you spend your budget? I've found that niches where adwords cpcs are pretty high eg. finance etc, it is better to go for facebook because you're not bidding on keywords but to interests. So you can get more prospects cheaper on facebook that way.

But in some niches the cpc are so low that you're better off catering to demand fulfillment through google adwords than waste your money on facebook.

Overall, google adwords gives a better conversion - because it is direct marketing. Facebook marketing is slight indirect in nature but you may end up reaching a wider audience that translates into building your brand.

I hope that answered your question.

- Anant Mendiratta

Answered 6 years ago

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