Google PPC vs Facebook Advertising

The showdown... or is it?


Our commentary: A slightly different format to usual as I am interested more in hearing people's experiences and thoughts in this post.

The recommended link below will take you to a discussion group for news businesses which has some really interesting comments around which channel provides a better ROI (Facebook or Google PPC). I found this article interesting for a number of reasons both from a personal & professional standpoint as advertising within social networks is both quite new & controversial. Before I give my opinion on the matter (next week) it would be great if you could participate by leaving your comments / experience with Facebook advertising vs Google Paid search below.

I'd be interested in your thoughts on any of these:

  1. Reach gained
  2. Brand perception / building
  3. Your experience with both systems
    • What were your motivations to use Facebook
    • Did you drive people to a fan page or your website?
    • How long did you use the system (or are you still using it
    • Key metrics - Impressions, clicks, bounce rates, sign-ups, sales, conversion rates, customer loyalty
    • If you use Facebook personally how do you find the adverts vs those in Google search results

I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts, Chris.

Recommended link: Facebook vs Google PPC

Share your thoughts

  • This is a real good read. Thanks!

  • Useful to think through this Chris, since although search volumes aren’t decreasing in Google, for me Facebook gives an opportunity for creating awareness outside of Google, particularly for products or services when search volumes are low.

    There was nice case study of Facebook Advertising in New Media Age this week which shows the strengths and weaknesses of advertising in Facebook. I’ve included a summary in the new edition of my books and thought I would share here also.

    Facebook ad campaign case study
    Saxo Bank is a global investment bank with headquarters in Denmark specialising in online trading and investment across international financial markets.

    Saxo Bank uses Facebook’s standard advertising units to advertise three products: Forex Trading, CFD Trading and Saxo Premium Account. It uses targeting by finance-related, sporting and luxury keywords which may be used in people’s profiles when they express their interest and passion. It also targets by their demographics. Using both of these targeting characteristics enables them to reach around 600,000 people on Facebook.

    Their head of marketing, Stuart Rice describes the advantages

    Facebook ads have a tremendous advantage over Google (which we also use) because we can target people who perhaps use words like ’Rolex’, ’yachting’ or ’shooting’ in their profiles. It enables me to target to a better degree than Google,”.

    Ads are bought on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis because it makes them easier to monitor according to Rice:

    “I just know with CPC what it has cost me when someone click there,” says Rice. “If I bought 100,000 impressions I’d have to spend a lot of time going through the data to see what I got for my money.”

    Campaign results

    Average CPC paid is £1.31 and the CTR is 0.05%. The total clicks for the period 1 June to 1 September for the three Saxo Bank campaigns on Facebook was 4,344 gives a cost of c£6,000, with 7,439,276 impressions.

    I think this case study shows nicely how you can target effectively in Facebook and increase awareness beyond Google, while limiting your exposure through a CPC investment. But it also shows a much lower response rate than than Google Adwords, typical for other Facebook campaigns I’ve seen. This is to be expected since customers aren’t in research or buy mode – they’re socialising! So it’s worth remembering that although not disclosed in this case study, conversion rates are likely to be lower too.

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