Digital Go Fish: How Can You Reel in Customers Using Facebook or Google?

Much like a fisherman out on the deep sea, a marketer has at hand an endless stream of methods to choose from to reel in customers. But, what they ultimately use depends on the environment they are in and what customer they want to go after. Moreover, a marketer’s level of skill and budget will impact the gains made at the end of the day.

So, where does one start with their “fishing” expedition? What are the best or trendiest tools currently available? Well, for starters, let’s continue with the fishing analogy and say that the deep sea is like the Internet. Teeming with more than 2 billion users, the Internet has an estimated 62 percent of people who are using it for research purposes and 58 percent who use it for shopping. In this space, Facebook Ads and Google AdWords are two powerful and popular tools used in the modern age to attract consumers and heighten brand awareness. But they both require a level of understanding, cohesive strategy and allocated budget in order to yield the desired results.

To help you decide if either Facebook Ads or Google AdWords as an online marketing tool is the best option for your business, we will breakdown the following:

  • What are the capabilities of Facebook Ads and Google AdWords for marketing purposes and how do they work?
  • What set of skills and budget will you need to use them?
  • What are the pros and cons for using either method?
  • How can you align your business with the online marketing tool that will best suit you?

Facebook Ads and Google AdWords Tools At a Glance

If we were to describe Facebook Ads and Google AdWords in the most simplistic terms, we could say:

  • Google AdWords works like a deep sea fishing net (reaches a broad audience based on their online searches)
  • Facebook functions like a fishing pole (hones in on individuals based on their interests)

The Grand Net of Google AdWords

What’s not so simplistic is how Google AdWords uses the Pay-Per-Click strategy to execute its online marketing.  The process entails using purchased keywords, which is a string of the descriptive words used in searches for a particular product or service.

  • First, the premise is that you research the phrases or keywords that are highly searched in relation to your industry or business.
  • Then you use these so that when a user inputs those keywords into the Google search bar, your business ad appears right next to the top of Google’s search results.
  • If, and only when, the user clicks on the ad it will drive them to a URL you designate it to go to and you will pay for using the keywords that drove them there.
  • You can find an estimate for the minimum amount you’d need to set for your daily budget in order for your ad to appear as often as possible for your current set of keywords. Note that the recommended budget estimates what amount is needed to achieve the number of clicks that your ads could receive in a day, based on how much traffic is available for your current keywords.

This takes advantage of Google being the largest and most popular search engine in the world. However, it is critical that you use Google Keyword Planner, a function of Google AdWords, which helps you identify what the popular keywords are. Often times, the keywords you assume will net in the most traffic are not indexed as the most popular ones in Google Keyword Planner.

So, if you own a pizza restaurant in San Antonio and you want to advertise you would:

  • First use Google Keyword Planner to figure out what the most used words are when a consumer is looking for a pizza restaurant in said city.
  • Then, you would use Google AdWords to create a campaign.
  • Start with setting up a budget.
  • Continue with designing your ad.
  • Following that, inputting what keywords you want to use.
  • Finally, monitoring the campaign to analyze its performance.

Google AdWords is an ideal method to use when a consumer is in research mode. You can finesse your campaign further down by geographic location, and days and times of the week in which you want your ad to appear. Furthermore, Google remarketing, also known as retargeting, can display ads to users based on their previous web activity. However, you can’t designate exactly who sees your ad because it can’t target a person based on their psychographic profile, such as lifestyle, interests, values, and opinions, which are also important components of marketing.

Cue in The Facebook Ad Fishing Pole

Facebook Ads are a formidable opponent to Google AdWords. The social media darling is the number one social networking site with three times as many unique visitors as its closest competitor, Twitter. According to Pew Research Center, 757 million people login to Facebook every single day on their desktop or mobile phone. Indubitably, the process of creating a Facebook Ad is much simpler for a novice to navigate than Google AdWords. You can build an online campaign that targets by age, gender, location, interests and so much more, which you can’t do on Google AdWords.

If you wanted to advertise your pizza restaurant via Facebook Ads, per Facebook using PowerEditor:

  • You would begin by creating a campaign, which is refined by setting up multiple objectives such as getting people to visit your website, increasing page likes to grow your audience and build your brand, promoting your page posts, etc.
  •  Next, you would create ad sets representing the audiences you want to reach in each campaign. For instance, in the campaign built around driving traffic to your restaurant’s website, you could create one ad set for people who are on your email list, and another for people who’ve expressed interest in attractions near your pizza restaurant.
  • When it comes to budget, you can choose between a daily or a lifetime budget, as well as a cost per thousand impressions bid (CPM) or cost per click bid (CPC). You’ll only pay for the clicks or impressions you receive, up to the amount you set for your budget.
  • Finally, you’d create ads for each ad set. You can create multiple ads within each ad set, making sure each ad is targeted to the same audience while delivering different images, links, video or ad copy. This can help you learn which ads are resonating with each audience and, in turn, create better-optimized campaigns.

Facebook is used as a place for people to hang out and catch up with their friends, so advertising via Facebook is the ideal method if you want to leverage on word-of-mouth advertising. You can break a trust barrier with a targeted consumer more easily when they see that their fellow friends also like your business. Furthermore, you can increase the frequency of how many times your ad appears to them, which helps establish a level of comfort and strengthens the brand awareness in the consumers mindset. Like Google Adwords, Facebook Ads also use the Pay-Per-Click method, so if a user clicks on your ad it will lead them to a URL that you designate, but you will also need to pay a fee for each click. Therefore, determining your budget for your ad is as important as the design of the ad itself.

Will Your Fishing Method Make You Sink or Swim?

By now your head is swimming in a sea of online marketing lexicon, but is it making sense to you? Do you understand your business needs, target consumer, budget limitations? Do you think that one stands out as a better method over the other? Do you want to use both? In some cases doing a test trial with both Facebook Ads and Google AdWords can help you see if one is more effective, or if using both tactics in unison will strengthen your campaign.

On the other hand, if you are overwhelmed by the concepts, continue to educate yourself on the topic. You can also get in contact with experts and agencies alike that live and breathe online marketing. They can also help you manage, whether you choose one or both Facebook Ads and Google AdWords, what’s a good budget to start off with, what look and feel your ads should have, which target geographic location or likes/interests you should hone in on. Most importantly, they can help you monitor your campaign as it fares on and help you change the course of the strategy if you are not getting the results you want.

At the end of the day, whether you choose to take on Facebook Ads and Google AdWords yourself, or you decide to enlist the help of a professional, being aware of all the tools you have at your disposal is important for any business owner so that they don’t feel they are stranded out at sea.

Written by: Ivonne Vega

Ivonne Vega is part of the communications team at esd & associates. Her background in public relations, graphic design, marketing and social media range the gamut from working with food and beverage, health and financial sector clients. She is also well experienced in marketing to the bilingual Hispanic market and the general market with below and above-the-line advertising strategies.

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