Facebook · Social Media

Should Facebook Ads Replace Your AdWords Campaign?

Now that Facebook has officially passed Google as the most visited site on the web, their advertising platform becomes more attractive than ever. However, even with their steady climb to the top, many online marketers remain skeptical of the advertising performance Facebook can deliver. Do consumers pay attention to ads on social networking sites? And are those clicks converting? These are just some of the questions surrounding Facebook ads and their effectiveness.

I’m not going to spend much time comparing Facebook to Ad Words as a great posting already exists here. I instead want to focus on the effectiveness of each type and its place in the online marketing mix. There are several ways to measure the results including branding, conversion rate,CTR, ect but for this case study I chose cost per conversion as my metric of success.

This test was performed using a restaurant (chain) client with the primary conversion being a downloaded coupon on the landing page. The test ran for 1 month using Facebook, Google search and Google display targeted to only 3 major U.S cities. The same creative was used for both the Facebook and Google display ads to ensure the comparison was as true as possible. The same daily budget cap was also applied to each channel. After the 1 month test, the following results were compiled.

facebook ads Should Facebook Ads Replace Your AdWords Campaign?

Being a huge search marketing and Ad Words advocate, I was very surprised by these results to say the least. I expected the higher impression totals, but it was very interesting to see lower cost per clicks and the resulting cost per conversions.  While this is just one isolated test using precise geo targeting and small budgets, it’s hard to ignore the returned data. So, should Facebook Ad’s replace your Ad Words campaign? No, but it should be given more attention than it’s currently receiving. Stay tuned for tips on how to get the best performance with Facebook ads.

 Should Facebook Ads Replace Your AdWords Campaign?
Erik Whaley is the director of Local Search Traffic, interested in local map listings, local search marketing, local PPC and franchise marketing
 Should Facebook Ads Replace Your AdWords Campaign?

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13 thoughts on “Should Facebook Ads Replace Your AdWords Campaign?

  1. I did a similar experiment, in my case the bid in facebook was incredible low, so I got the same results. Not for B2B tough, where I did got a lot of clicks but none of the convertions.

  2. I guess it can work well in some niches. I still think it would be difficult to make it work for most e-commerce, with the conversion being a ‘purchase’..
    Also – a CTR of 0.2% on Google Search is pretty low…
    Still – I’ll certainly keep an open mind.

  3. I find the my AdWords campaigns work better for long-running, more general ads; whereas the Facebook ads work well for short term, event or promotion-driven campaigns. I also find I have to go in and refresh the ads for Facebook a lot more often to keep them ‘fresh’.

  4. Nice work, I would suggest to you though that the keywords are slightly different between the price and deal based commercial terms performing well in AdWords and possibly the less tangible (fluffier) value props in a Facebook ad. But this has given me a bit to think about and I’m off to test the performance of keywords across the different platforms.

    I think we would all agree that the reasons I go onto facebook vs type in a commercial term into Google are different.

  5. recently i tried both adwords and facebook in UAE for educational category and to my surprise i found facebook gave me more conversions than google.

  6. Just what I had thought. Facebook ads does not work like Adwords. People on Facebook are not looking for products but they are there to connect with their friends and socialize thus clicking on ads is the farthest thing on their minds.

  7. That’s very interesting data there. I agree that Facebook ads should not replace an AdWords campaign but the numbers indicate that it might be a good idea to incorporate them into your strategy. However, the success probably depends on the target audience that you are looking to attract.

  8. That’s very interesting data there. I agree that Facebook ads should not replace an AdWords campaign but the numbers indicate that it might be a good idea to incorporate them into your strategy. However, the success probably depends on the target audience that you are looking to attract.

  9. Very interesting and surprising results. I am sure the nature of the product, i.e. the contextual relevance of restaurants and other social B-to-C products to Facebook, has a lot to do with Facebook’s success in this test. Any similar tests for B-to-B products? National or global sales territories?