Which is best for your business, Google AdWords or Facebook Ads?

For many small to mid-size businesses, the question always arises, should I spend my advertising budget on AdWords or Facebook Ads? Maybe both? This is a tough question when you have a limited to small budget.  Most articles you read are probably geared towards marketers but really don’t guide you in the right direction as to what you should do for your business.

What is the difference between Google AdWords and Facebook Ads?

It’s important to understand the difference between the two platforms and what they provide.

Google Adwords – Paid Search

Google Adwords Paid search is one of the largest and most popular pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platforms in the world. It is so widely used that when most marketers and businesses talk about paid search, AdWords is what they are likely referring to. However, there are many other search engine platforms that provide the same service like Bing Ads.

So let’s discuss the question at hand, how can Google AdWords help your business. AdWords focuses on targeting keywords. Those keywords are specific words and phrases included in search queries searched by Google users. When someone searches those keywords, the idea is that your ad will display alongside those search results. The goal for marketers is to optimize your ads at the best cost per click for your target market.

Here is the caveat with AdWords, the bid optimization is complex and depending on the market and how competitive it is for that keyword, you can spend a lot for a few leads. However, with the right keywords, ad and user friendly landing page, you could see a substantial return because you know those you are targeting are searching for your service or product. They are looking for you!

Google AdWords Runs Like a Popular Convention

Google AdWords works much like a popular convention. Like a convention, it targets a certain crowd/market. This brings in businesses who want to promote their services and products to that market. Conventions are very targeted and are aimed at attendees that are interested in what the convention has to offer. The businesses are there to showcase the products and services they offer. Attendees generally have a good understanding of what they are looking for when they attend those conventions. This is the same for Google users, they have a goal in mind when they search queries  and businesses using Google AdWords are tailoring their ads to catch those users and draw them in as a new lead and potential customer.

Facebook Ads – Paid Social

Facebook Ads is just one example of paid social. Like Google AdWords, Facebook is not the only paid social platform, but they are the biggest. Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are some other paid social platforms. The benefit with running a Facebook Ad is that you can also run those same ads through Instagram since Instagram is now owned by Facebook and between the two platforms they have the biggest social networks in the world.

So how can Facebook Ads help your business? Facebook has the highest number of monthly active users and collects lots of information on it’s users from what the users are interested in, how they behave online and users’ demographics. This information makes it easy for you to target and locate your market. Facebook offers you multiple ad placements on their platform such as home feeds, ad columns, and ad placement on redirected articles from Facebook. Though Facebook Ads are becoming highly competitive because of how lucrative it has become, the cost to run paid social ads is a lot less expensive than running paid search ads.

Facebook Ads Acts Like a Billboard

We tell our clients all the time. Facebook is like those billboards you drive by every morning along the interstate on your way to work. You put up the right copy, you target the right territory, hoping to get in front of the right commuters. Those commuters may not be buying now,  but they are going to drive by your billboard enough, that if your business is something of interest and your copy catches the commuter, when they do have a need for your business, they will remember you.

Overall, when deciding what platform to run ads on, know that the main difference between Google AdWords and Facebook Ads is this, paid search helps you find new customers, while paid social helps customers find you. 


***Look for our next article about the difference between paid search and paid social. There is so much to learn!

How to Choose the Right Marketing Agency for Your Business

In our initial consultation with a client prospect the question always arises, “Why should I choose you over the half dozen other agencies soliciting my business?” That is a great question! Why choose us? Are we special? Do we know something other agencies don’t know? Are our prices the best? Those questions can go on and on. The truth is that marketing agencies are a dime a dozen.  Yet we still have to answer the question. Here are a few of the questions we ask businesses when they are unsure to go with us or another agency.

1. Talk to at least 3 agencies.

Yes, that’s right! We tell potential new clients to talk to two other agencies. Hear what each agency has to offer. Each client is different and though you may think they have the same goals, sometimes that is not the case. Some clients what to raise awareness of their business/product/service, others want to generate new customers or clients, but all of them want to grow their business which means seeing the ROI.

In our experience, most clients have different approaches and paths they want to take to achieve their goals. One client might want to work with a agency that takes care of everything so they don’t have to think about it, while another client wants to be very hands-on. Some clients struggle to see the value in marketing. They feel they need it but do not understand the time and investment it takes to produce the results they need, while other clients will throw money at it until it produces. Either way, it’s good to get a feel of an agency to see if they are a good fit with you.

2. Be aware of promises.

It always surprises us how many people we speak to that tell us, “this agency said they could produce 150 leads a month on a $1000 budget. That includes the management of the ads and the ad costs.” Our response is “Wow. You should sign with them.” This always confuses the potential client. You know they are asking themselves, “did they just tell me to sign with a competitor?” Yep! We sure did. Because even if we have generated leads in your market space, to guarantee something so specific before we have even begun, well we are just setting everyone up to fail. Of course we have case studies, but each product, service, market and client is different. What works well in the fitness industry in Miami, FL may not necessarily work in Chicago, IL.

What we are able to tell clients is that we love to communicate. We will keep you informed as to how we are producing; and we want to work as a team with our clients who know their product, service, market and territory in order to produce the best results. We are good at what we do. We hope our competitors are too. But what we don’t do is make promises we know we can’t keep. However,  we will promise to work hard, communicate with our clients to keep them informed so that they can make the best business decisions for themselves.

3. Be aware of the fine print.

It amazes us how many business owners don’t understand what contract obligations are. Even with our new clients, we verbally go over what it means to be in a relationship together, we generally will spell it out for a client in an email, and we ALWAYS tell them to review the agreement and have someone such as their lawyer review it, especially if they are unclear with anything. We encourage them to ask questions so that we can be clear what obligations we have to each other as well.

However, there have been many times we have worked with a new client that has signed some horrific agreement that they can’t get out of, they lose the rights to their own IP, they have to pay for the rest of the year to get out of a agreement or more. A good agency providing good services is always going to have some sort of clause to protect them and the service they provide but it should always be reasonable, make sense and you as the client should understand what that means.

4. Know what you are paying for.

This should go without saying. However, again we are surprised with how many of our clients don’t understand what they are paying for whether it’s with us or a agency they were using before us. It’s important as a client to educate yourself and be aware of what your dollars pay for.

If you are having someone build you a website, ask questions like what does it cost for hosting? Are there monthly management fees? What if I need changes made after the website is built? If you are having someone run online ads for you, ask what portion goes to managing the ads and the ads itself. These are good questions to ask when you are going into any relationship.

We know it can be a little scary to get into a relationship with a marketing agency, but finding the right agency that fits you can really help your business grow. So ask yourself what your objective is, what do you want out of an agency, be realistic with what your budget can produce, and don’t be tempted by promises, advertising gimmicks, or cheap service. Ask questions like, do you feel that this agency will communicate with you? Do you think you are just another client or do they treat your marketing budget like their own? Do they seem honest? Can you afford their service? Or question why their service is so cheap? Ask the questions that matter to you and with those answers you will know who is the best agency for you.