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When people think about online advertising strategies, Google is usually their first priority. Their main focus is to be on page one of Google…and Google Ads is the quick and easy way to achieve that goal.
Google Ads is a fantastic platform, of course, and it should be part of almost every online marketing strategy. But things change quickly in the online world, and Facebook has come a long way in the last few years.
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Facebook advertising started out as an interesting curiosity, something to spend some test dollars on. Now it is a giant money-making machine that is snapping at Google’s heels. More than that, it is a highly-sophisticated advertising system that offers mind-boggling opportunities.
If you are still stuck in the Google Ads-only mindset, here are 10 very good reasons why should test the waters with Facebook advertising:
#1. The Ultimate in Granular Targeting
Without doubt, this is Facebook’s trump card. Everything changed for Facebook in 2013 when the company started forging partnerships with major audience data providers.
These deals gave Facebook access to a vast wealth of information about hundreds of millions of users – transforming its ability to target the right people in the right places.
This development spawned entire new industries. T-shirt platforms such as Teespring grew in leaps and bounds, with their sellers targeting very specific audiences by demographics, age and interest – and then creating products especially for them.
In just a few minutes, you can create a T-shirt aimed only at women aged 25-35 who live in San Francisco but love the Dallas Cowboys. Then thanks to Facebook’s granular targeting, you can run ads to that precise audience. It’s no surprise that the conversions can be astounding.
Whatever your business, you can be sure that your audience is hanging out on Facebook. With precise targeting, you can address your ads only to those people who are likely to be interested in purchasing. Is that a game changer or what?
#2. Lower Cost per Click
Google Google Ads is awesome at reaching people at the moment when they are actively searching for your product or service. But it’s a very competitive business, and you have to pay through the nose to keep your ads visible. Can you believe that the cost per click for some keywords is approaching $1000? Ouch!
Right now, Facebook ad clicks are still considerably cheaper than Google Ads clicks overall. In 2016, the average CPC for Facebook ads was $0.28, while a typical Google Ads click would cost you $2.32, making Facebook clicks 88% cheaper.
That’s a little while ago now, so the numbers may have changed, but Facebook is still likely to be a much more cost-effective option.
#3. Rapid Innovation
The pace of innovation in the Facebook advertising platform is astonishing. Just a few years ago, the system was a little clunky and limited in scope. Now it’s the most advanced marketing platform on the planet…and the changes keep coming.
Facebook continues to launch new ad formats, new placements and new features at a dizzying pace. Google continues to innovate, too, of course – but the changes in Google Ads don’t match the frenetic progress in Facebook.
It’s clear that Mark Zuckerberg and his team clearly understand that their success depends on helping advertisers achieve maximum ROI.
#4. Scalable Advertising
If you have ever tried to scale an Google Ads campaign, you probably know that things can go wrong very quickly. You may have a campaign that converts brilliantly when you stick to tightly-focused keywords.
But when you try to scale by including broader keywords, conversion rates go down the toilet. The same problem occurs with placement ads. Once you get beyond websites that are clearly focused on your niche, the results may become dismal.
By comparison, scaling is much easier on Facebook. Once you have a campaign that converts, you can create a Lookalike Audience of people with similar interests and demographics. Facebook does an excellent job of figuring out who your potential buyers are.
While the conversion rates probably won’t match the original campaign, these audiences can still be very profitable. What could be better than a marketing partner that actually goes out finds good prospects for you?
#5. Retargeting on Steroids
Yes, Google Ads has retargeting – or remarketing in their jargon. And it’s a useful feature, for sure. But the basic Standard Remarketing system is…well…basic, while getting to grips with Dynamic Marketing takes a bit of work – and your options are still limited.
By comparison, the Facebook retargeting system is a cornucopia of wonderful options. And the whole system is easy to use and understand. You can use a wealth of parameters to create the perfect custom audience to retarget with your ads.
You can narrow the audience down to the prospects most likely to convert. For example, that may be people who meet ALL of the following:
Talk about hot prospects! Heck, if you can’t sell to that audience, you might as well pack up online marketing and get a job flipping burgers.
#6. The Ability to Target Fans
We all know what happened to Google Plus. That is, not very much at all. The mighty Google turned out to be pretty hopeless at creating a social network. And the upshot of that is that Google has nothing that compares with Facebook Pages.
When you run ads on Facebook, you are likely to pick up some likes as you go – creating another valuable asset that you can advertise to. Once you have a reasonable number of likes, you can turn them into a custom audience and run ads to your most engaged fans. These are likely to be among your best converting audiences.
#7. Free Sharing of Your Ad
If you want free ad impressions from Google, you are going to have a long wait. It’s never gonna happen. Things are different on Facebook, though. People who see your ad can share it in the same way they share any other content on Facebook.
That means possibly thousands of ad impressions for free. Thank you, Facebook! But it gets better. When your ad is shared, you are getting an endorsement from the sharer.
Now your ad has been upgraded from a commercial to something that comes with a personal recommendation – that’s a massive improvement that will bring you more clicks and conversions.
#8. Find Customers Who Need You…But Don’t Know it Yet
If you are a plumber who offers emergency repair services, then you need to be advertising in Google search, for sure. Google Ads will bring you customers exactly when they need you, and that’s awesome. Google is the undisputed of matching hungry buyers with providers who have a solution.
But what happens if the phone doesn’t ring? If nobody needs emergency plumbing this week, how are you going to pay the bills? That’s where Facebook advertising comes in.
Now is the time to target hot prospects in your neighborhood – choosing the demographic that is most likely to respond. Advertise to people interested in Bed, Bath & Beyond and offer them a discount on a new bathroom.
There’s a whole universe of prospects ready to buy from you if you have the right offer. With Facebook advertising, you can figure out who they are and make that offer today.
#9. Fewer Problems with Ad Blocking
There’s no doubt about it, ad blocking is becoming a serious problem. Hundreds of millions of people already block ads, and the numbers are rising rapidly. Ad blocking software easily spots the ad code on AdSense sites and stops them from being seen.
Google simply has no answer to this, except to cave in and pay millions of dollars in extortion to the ad blocking companies. That gets some of their ads whitelisted.
Facebook is not immune to ad blocking either, but it is in a much better position to combat it. Facebook delivers the content, including ads, on its own platform. So the ads blend in as just another piece of content, making them hard to filter out.
Ad blockers have to resort to clunky workarounds such as pattern recognition, and these are doomed to fail in the long run. Facebook easily has the resources necessary to play ‘whack-a-mole’ with whatever blocking strategies the ‘enemy’ devises.
#10. Very Few Issues with Click Fraud
I know many advertisers who have abandoned Google Google Ads because fraudulent clicks are driving them crazy. Another guy who spends hours every day monitoring his IP logs for suspicious IPs that need to be blocked.
I suspect he is losing lots of business through false positives, inadvertently preventing real customers from reaching him. Unfortunately, that is the lot of the Google advertiser.
As an Google Ads advertiser, you face two main issues. One is competitors trying to burn your daily ad budget by repeatedly clicking on your Google Search ads.
The other is networks of ‘clickers’ driving up their own revenue (at your expense) by generating thousands of fake clicks on AdSense ads. While Google has measures in place to combat such problems, they are easy to circumvent with proxies, incognito browsers and simple software.
Facebook is not vulnerable to either of these problems. So while the odd story about Facebook ‘click fraud’ surfaces now and again, there is little evidence that you have much to worry about. You can be reasonably confident that your Facebook clicks come from real people who have seen your ads and responded.
Can You Have the Best of Both Worlds?
Clearly, there are many good reasons why Facebook has become such a popular choice for advertisers. But we don’t need to throw the baby out with the bath water. Google Ads obviously still has an important role to play in online marketing.
But for all the reasons listed above, my ad spend on Google Google Ads has more than halved, while my Facebook ad spend has easily tripled. My experience is that a well-optimized Facebook campaign can produce a return on investment that I only ever dreamed of with Google Ads.
So if you are still firmly in the Google Ads camp, maybe this is a good time to check out what Facebook has to offer. You are sure to be impressed by what this platform can do for you.
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