Facebook ads vs Google ads for eCommerce
Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads for eCommerce
In 2020, Google Ads and Facebook Ads are part of most eCommerce founders and marketers' toolbox. Although most beginners will follow a linear approach to both these channels (ad, site, cart, checkout), there are certain things one platform does better than the other, depending on which business you run.
Facebook Ads: A Look Into Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger
With 2.6 billion monthly active users across their properties, Facebook is by far the largest social media platform (or assembly of people, for that matter) out there. That means there is no better place to get in front of consumers, regardless of demographics.
Even better, Facebook users are incredibly engaged. The average social media user spends almost two and a half hours a day scrolling through their feeds, a lot of which is spent in Facebook properties, which include Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger.
Both Facebook and Instagram have mature advertising products, with deep targeting and great engagement. Campaigns for both can be run seamlessly from your Facebook Ads Manager and use similar creative, making it easy to scale. If you target a younger audience (18-40), chances are Instagram has already overtaken Facebook in impressions, conversions, and relative importance.
Now, WhatsApp and Messenger are not quite there yet.
WhatsApp is ad-free. After spending $19 Billion some years ago to acquire it, Facebook has taken its time adding ads to the WhatsApp platform. They have added WhatsApp for Business support, which is great for small, local businesses, but no advertising options quite yet. Although not as popular in the US, WhatsApp is hugely popular everywhere else in the world, with almost 2 billion users using it as their #1 platform for texting.
Messenger now has minimal ad support, with relatively low engagement. Messenger ads drive people to live chat with one of your people, or to a chat-bot, which adds an interesting wrinkle to the way most eCommerce brands think about advertising.
Advantages of Facebook Ads for eCommerce
Interest-based and behavioral targeting.
In marketing, making your ads relevant to the audience you are targeting is half the battle. Nobody does this better than Facebook.
They allow you to target customers based on interests (things they like), behaviors (stuff they do), engagement (stuff they've interacted with), life events (what's happened recently in their lives), as well as job titles, age, demographics, location, etcetera.
This opens up an outstanding amount of targeting opportunities, mixing and matching interests, behaviors, demographics, and more.
Targeting Opportunities for Facebook Ads, Explained
Interests: If you sell high-end handbags, you may want to target people who like specific designers, designer brands, fashion industry events, fashion magazines, and publications who are also women above a certain income threshold. Although you can no longer target income levels directly, you can target your audience based on their zip code's average household earnings.
Behaviors: This is, by far, the most extensive targeting option. For example, if you sell men's grooming products, you can target people who have previously interacted with and purchased products in the same category. This applies to hundreds of other behavior categories.
Engagement: Get some great ROAS, and Conversion % wins by targeting people who have visited your product pages and your cart page. Use Facebook's pixel to record your users' engagement.
Life events: In the wedding business? You can target couples who are planning a wedding, whether or not they've told Facebook. The same way they can predict breakups, they can also predict weddings with a high certainty level.
Facebook still boasts top of the charts engagement
Despite the rise of competitors like Snapchat and TikTok, Facebook (and their other properties) have done an outstanding job of protecting their audiences, while having by far the most mature ad product.
As we mentioned, with 2.6 billion monthly active users, Facebook is more than twice their competitors' size, combined. Users also spend more time on Facebook across the board than on any other platform.
They engage more, click more, scroll more, and comment more, which translates to a very healthy inventory amount. Google's inventory is limited by people's tendencies to search for a specific term, and they have no control over that. However, Facebook can keep you scrolling forever.
Advantages of Facebook Ads for eCommerce
Relatively low CPM
With Facebook being so adept at creating inventory, that means they can offer very competitive CPMs (cost per thousand impressions) while delivering very targeted advertising. Simply put, there is no better bang for your buck online if your goal is to get your logo in front of the right people. Google Display is not as targeted; LinkedIn Ads are exorbitantly expensive.
Facebook knows how to do it.
Easy to operate bidding system
As we mentioned earlier, Facebook owns the most mature social media advertising platform out there and they have done an outstanding job making it very easy for small businesses to start advertising with minimal marketing experience.
They offer simple targeting options that help you meet your goals, regardless of what they may be. If you choose Conversions as your goal for your advertising, Facebook will do an excellent job at delivering sales at an affordable CAC (customer acquisition cost) while meeting a target ROAS (return on ad spend).
In short, Facebook will put your ads in front of people (within your cohort) that are likely to purchase, delivering the best possible campaign results.