Facebook Ads vs Google Ads – Which Is Best for your e-Commerce Brand?

By Ted Parry 2 February 2021 4 minute read
One of the biggest questions that I get asked as a digital advertising consultant is ‘Where should my business put its marketing budget? In Facebook or Google?’ Often the cookie-cutter answer to this question is ‘Test, test, test’, in the majority of cases, this is actually the correct answer as you can never pre-determine results from advertising activity 100% of the time. You have to have a solid strategy and execute diligently.

However, there is actually an easier way to determine which channel would be the most effective. First, let’s delve into how people often make purchase decisions.As you can see from the above graph, people first become AWARE of a product, they then show INTEREST, after that DESIRE/INTENT, then ACTION. It’s often stated that Google ads became an extremely effective form of advertising, because people knew what they wanted, and thus searched for it. Thus, Google ads sits lower down the funnel and is more about demand capture, whereas Facebook ads is more of a discovery platform where you influence emotion to generate demand.

However, Facebook has a tool that enables you to capture some of the most profitable traffic you will see, especially as an e-commerce brand, and this is in the form of Dynamic remarketing. The return on dynamic remarketing is often 10x ad spend. Therefore, even if you have a brand than lends itself well to Google Shopping with a large product range, you should be running dynamic remarketing ads. In fact, there are very few examples where you shouldn’t be running this activity.

An example user journey:
So, if Steve has decided to embrace lockdown, goes to their garage to get on his roadbike, but in the process find he has a flat tyre, he has two options. Go straight to Amazon, Halfords or one of the core retailers, or do a Google search.Steve knows his bike is a road bike and has a presta pump and thus decides to do a Google search.Upon doing so he reads an article that covers bike pump reviews and discovers that one of the more popular brands is the topeak handpump, which leads to another search.This was in essence a purely logic decision. Tyres are flat I need to purchase a bike pump.Another example on the other end of the spectrum is:If someone had headphones that were okay, but not great, good copy and imagery would evoke an emotional response of loss and gain. Humans are more motivated by fear / loss than they are of gain.

‘Don’t ruin your favourite songs with old worn-out headphones.Hear every base drop, drum beat and note in unbelievable qualityPurchase the Bose® 700 Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphones’

This comes down to the basis of want vs need and emotion vs logic.

Demand Generation vs Demand Capture
One core component of whether a brand should invest budget into Facebook or Google ads comes down to total addressable market. The higher the total addressable market (TAM) on search, the more active customers there are, equalling higher monthly searches.

This is where keyword research massively comes into play. If your brand has a solid product, solid positioning and you know there are 100,000 searches a month, that is a large market that can be addressed by running Google ads.

However, it may be the case whereby there are very little searches for a product as it’s a newer product. In this instance generating demand on paid social would be the better option to stay top of mind while the market grows. It’s also extremely likely Facebook has a wide plethora of interest targeting that get to the heart of your niche.

Range of Product
Another important factor as to whether you should invest in Google or Facebook ads comes down to another important factor not often discussed … range of product. A wide product range lends itself well to Google Shopping and text ads.

Longer tail keywords often have less competition within the auction, and due to this, equalling cheaper clicks. This often means potential for more profitable traffic on a larger scale. When running Google Shopping or Dynamic Text ads where Google essentially choses what to bid on based on your website copy, you can find some real hidden gems.

Leverage of Social Proof
As marketers we all know that social proof is one of the biggest human motivators. Simply put Facebook and Instagram beat Google hands down in this department. You can be a lot more visual and emotive with Facebook ads, meaning that the social proof is more likely to make a bigger impact overall. If you have a brand that can leverage this social proof, then 9/10 it’s much more effective to go down the paid social route and run Facebook ads.

In conclusion, there are no pure black and white answers to which digital ads channel you should be choosing.
However, there are certainly a few variables that can help your decision:
  • Logical Purchase – Google Ads
  • Emotional Purchase – Facebook Ads
  • Established Market with search volume – Google Ads
  • Niche Market with minimal search volume – Facebook Ads
  • High Range of Product – Google Ads
  • Few Products – Facebook Ads
  • High Social Proof – Facebook Ads

Next Steps – Get A Digital Ads Strategy Document
If you’re an e-commerce brand with a digital advertising budget of at least £1,000 per month, Amore Digital can craft a digital ads strategy. This document would underpin which channels we feel would be a good fit for your business.
A strategy document would also uncover:
  • Campaign Structure
  • Audience sizes & reach
  • Competitor Research – Spend levels, Ad Copy & Creative, Keywords
  • Ad copy & Display Images & Video formats/storylines
  • How budgets will be split between channels and campaigns
  • Steps to optimise the campaigns
To grow your e-commerce business and get the right foundations in place, use our contact form or email hello[@]amoredigital.co.uk to get in touch today.

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