With the world’s largest search engine and the world’s largest user base respectively, Google and Facebook are the titans of digital ad targeting. Each has its own advertising model, and many businesses find that it’s a very difficult decision to choose which one to use in their marketing mix.

So how do these platforms work and what sets them apart from each other? We’ll discuss the differences below.

Paid Search vs. Paid Social – Both Google Ads and Facebook use a cost-per-click (CPC) pricing system, but target users differently. Facebook serves ads to users based on individual qualities that match those of your desired audience such as demographics, interests and behavior (purchase history, device usage, digital activities, etc.). While Google Ads advertisers may narrow their audience by demographics (age, gender, location, language, etc.) — Google Ads primarily serves ads based on keywords that Google users are searching or content they are browsing.

Intent vs. Interest – Google Ads’ keyword targeting system serves ads to users have already expressed intent to learn about a product like yours in their search and browsing history. Facebook Advertising takes the opposite approach, allowing you to serve ads to users who aren’t necessarily searching for your product, but match your customer profile based on the interests shown by their Facebook profile and online behavior. In other words — Google Ads helps you find customers, and Facebook helps customers find you.

Brand Awareness vs. Lead Generation – Google Ads are perfect for reaching customers when they’re ready to buy. You’ll probably pay a little more per click because you know that whenever they see your ad, they’re already looking for a product like yours. Facebook Ads reach customers who probably don’t even know you exist yet, but are more likely to remember and return to you when they are ready to buy.

While Google Ads and Facebook Advertising are often positioned as competitors, they can actually work together to deliver amazing results. Contact us today to learn how you can harness the power of both.