E-Commerce Marketing: Display vs Facebook Ads

When it comes to the world of online advertising, both Google Display and Facebook Ads are popular options that advertisers tend to use. The two companies have a big rivalry, but which is actually better? Which option can help you more effectively? This article will guide you through the argument of Google Ads vs Facebook Ads, how each platform works, and why you should use both for your digital marketing strategies. 

What is Display Advertising? 

First, what exactly is display advertising?

Display advertising refers to the process of advertising a product or service through visuals like images and videos on networks or websites such as the Google Display Network and Facebook. Display ads are placed in the form of a banner, image, and text ads.

There are a bunch of different forms of online display advertising: 

  • Banner ads: The oldest and most traditional form of advertising, banner ads usually appear at the top of websites in a “banner” format. 
  • Interstitial ads: These ads appear as web pages that are served to users before they are directed to the original page that they requested.
  • Rich media: These ads include interactive elements, such as video, audio, and clickable elements. 
  • Video ads: The YouTube advertising platform, as well as social networks like Instagram and Facebook, have opened a whole new avenue for marketers through video advertisements. 

Google AdWords is split into two networks: the search network and the display network. The Google search network allows you to place ads on Google’s tried and true search engine, where you can reach users while they are searching for specific keywords and phrases. On the display network, it is a little more passive. Businesses instead place online display advertising on a huge network of sites across the Internet, where it can reach users while they shop, browse or even read. 

Businesses who want to get into online display advertising have two main choices to choose from: Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Next, we will discuss Facebook Ads vs Google Ads and what each is used for.

online display advertising

What is Google Display Network?

The Google Display Network (GDN), formerly known as Google Content Network, is the world’s largest display advertising network for placing banner ads on Google web properties. This includes places such as YouTube, Blogger, and Gmail. It also includes a network of over 2 million other websites such as USA Today and NY Times.

What are Facebook Ads?

Facebook Advertising, aka Facebook Ads, helps marketers increase visibility for their ads, build brand awareness, and measure clearly defined metrics and campaign goals to create organized campaigns in the future. Facebook advertising creates and runs ad campaigns using the Facebook Ads Manager tool to reach your target audience based on their location, profile data, and demographics. You can also choose where you would want to run your ads. This could include Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and/or Audience Network. You can also choose your target device type – mobile or desktop. It also allows you to track and analyze the performance of your ads. Facebook ads are especially effective for increasing brand awareness and engagement. 

What’s the Difference: Google Ads vs Facebook Ads? 

The most important distinction between Facebook Ads and Google Ads is that one is paid search and one is paid social.

Google Ads is Paid Search 

Google is the world’s largest and most popular PPC or “pay-per-click advertising” advertising platform. The Google Display Network is so popular that it has also become known as simply “paid search.” Paid search focuses on targeting certain keywords based on the use of text-based advertisements. Advertisers who use Display bid on keywords, which are specific words and phrases included in search results by Google users. 

Facebook Ads is Paid Social 

Facebook Ads is a prime example of “paid social,” or the practice of advertising on social media platforms. This is largely because Facebook has the highest number of monthly active users of any other social network in this world. Even though Facebook Ads is similar to Google Display in that it uses both platforms to promote business through the Internet, this is where their similarities end. Unlike paid search, which helps businesses find new customers through keywords, paid social helps users find businesses based on things that they are interested in and their behavior online. 

The bottom line when it comes to Google Ads vs Facebook Ads is that Google Display helps you find new customers. Meanwhile, Facebook Ads help new customers find you. 

The Strengths of Google Display

A Big Audience 

Google is considered the leader in online advertising, fielding more than 3.5 billion sales queries every day. Google offers advertisers access to an unprecedented amount of users who are looking for goods and services. The amazing part about this is that this search volume is likely to increase, along with the potential for advertisers to reach new customers. There is no other search engine that can offer the audience that Google can. The vast potential of prospective customers alone makes Google an excellent addition to your digital marketing strategy. But, when combined with Google’s accurate search results, it’s easy to see why Display is such a popular choice. 

Google Display Focuses on Quality and Relevance of Ads 

The more relevant that an ad is to the user, the better the experience they are likely to have. Google Display rewards relevance and quality above all other factors. This is why smart advertisers with relevant, optimized, and high-quality ads rarely have to bid as highly as advertisers with poor ads. Certain keywords cost more than others, such as those in the financial industry, which have some of the most expensive of any professional sector. How much advertisers have to bid will depend largely on the quality and relevance of their advertisements.

Facebook ads vs google ads

The Variety of Ad Formats 

Google Display network first launched in 2000, and since then, they have progressed with how many ad formats they have. Ad extensions, site links, social proofing such as user reviews, location targeting, shopping ads, and a whole bunch of other features are available to advertisers. This offers so many levels of customization and control to the advertisers. This is good because no matter what you sell or to whom, you are sure to find something that can fit you. This can make your goods or services more appealing to your target market. Google is continually implementing new ad formats and features, which can reach new audiences and drive new business. 

The Strengths of Facebook Ads

Big Global Audience 

Facebook has more than 1.55 billion monthly active users, which is more than one-fifth of the world’s population. People share almost every detail of their life online on Facebook. This means that through Facebook, you can target incredible niche audiences. One of the most powerful applications of Facebook Ads is Facebook’s “lookalike audiences.” These lookalike audiences have similar interests, likes and demographics to the people already visiting your website. Its retargeting data can allow you to push specific products to people who already view your ads.

display advertising

It’s a Highly Visual Platform 

Did you know that 90% of all information processed by the brain is visual? Knowing this, Facebook Ads are at a big advantage. Unlike pay-per-click advertising, Facebook Ads are all visual. The very best Facebook Ads blend in with videos, images, and other visual content in user’s news feeds. This helps advertisers to promote goods and services with visual ads that are so compelling. Facebook is constantly evolving to make sure that they support a superior marketing platform to offer users a great experience. 

High Return on Investment 

One of the best elements of Facebook Ads is the potential for return on investment. The budget of an advertising campaign on Facebook will vary widely depending on a large variety of factors such as scope, messaging, and overall campaign objectives. Facebook Ads are affordable, which makes them very attractive to small businesses and companies with small resources. You get a good value out of using Facebook Ads. Cost is one of the most important things to consider when deciding between Facebook Ads and Google Ads. 

google display network

So, Which One Should You be Using?

The short answer is that both of these are very powerful advertising platforms that can fit nearly every type of business out there. Using both paid search and paid social is a great advertising strategy for any business. 

Think about these three questions to decide which one to use: 

  • Which is a better fit for my budget?
  • Which one is a better fit for the product landscape that I’m in?
  • What stages of the buyer journey am I targeting? 

There’s not one specific situation where one platform is better over the other. It is important for businesses to analyze their options and know their goals before choosing Google Ads vs Facebook ads. 

Ads on Google and Facebook help you gain brand exposure and reach new people who are interested in your business. By running these paid ads, you earn more leads and conversions for your business. If you have any more digital marketing questions, do not be afraid to reach out to SEO Design Chicago today!

FAQs about Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads:

  • What is display advertising?
  • What is the Google Display Network (GDN)?
  • Is Google Ads better than Facebook Ads?
  • What is the difference between paid search and paid social?
  • Which platform has a better return on investment?  

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