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AdWords or Facebook: That’s the Question!

Find out more about similarities and differences between AdWords and Facebook in this useful article!

There has been a great deal of discussion lately about whether AdWords or Facebook Ads are more effective. The reality is, each has its place depending upon your vertical, audience, and purpose. Lets take a look at the differences and how they work so you can decide which will work best for your approach.


While both advertising platforms have the ability to help companies build their brand, their approaches are completely different.

With Facebook, the process takes a little longer. Most customers are not going to click on an ad or sponsored story the first time they see it. Over the course of several interactions a customer is able to see what that brand is about before clicking through to their website or Facebook page. This builds a level of comfort and relieves some of the pressure on landing pages and websites.

With AdWords, the website will likely be the first interaction users have with the business. This initial interaction with the brand will decide if the visitor chooses the company or looks elsewhere. For that reason, a great initial experience is vital. Brands have just a few seconds to demonstrate why the visitor should choose them.

Long-term & Short-term Demand

Demand duration is the most significant difference between AdWords and Facebook marketing.

AdWords is a fantastic platform for short-term achievement. Marketers spend a lot of cash researching keywords in the research stage of the purchasing funnel. That can add up quickly, but you tend to get a faster return on your investment.

Facebook, on the other hand, is designed to build brand awareness slowly. The likelihood of someone searching for a specific product is thin. But after seeing the ad a few times, the target market may get familiar with the brand, which can lead to sales. Facebook can still leverage the demand fulfillment side, but its chief advantage is getting customers into the feed to be given habitual updates.

Some more difference between Facebook ads and Google Adwords

  • Google Ads on the search results page are contextual while Facebook Ads are targeted according to demographics.
  • Google Ads on the search page are CPC and text based while Facebook ads can be either CPC or CPM and you can include an image with the ad body.
  • Facebook offers targeted display ads but you are reaching an audience you have to motivate to stop what they are doing and click. Google Ads (on the search side) are shown to searchers who are farther along the purchase process. They have intent to act upon their search.
  • Facebook ads are great for driving awareness to a targeted group, sort of like a mini-billboard.
  • Facebook makes it easier to maintain a continuous relationship with the user thorough social media updates. With Google you end up taking the user outside the Google network and thus the focus tends to be more transactional.
  • Facebook Ads are more like Google AdWords Display Advertising. They can be effective shouldn’t be confused with search. I would view them as complementary.

Most of the time choosing between Adwords or Facebook is not an either/or decision but something that you need to test to find out what works for your business. Remember, continuous testing is the secret of any successful marketing campaign!

Category Social Media
Rocco Baldassarre Founder & CEO at Zebra Advertisement

Rocco Baldassarre is a digital marketing consultant and entrepreneur. He is best known for being the founder of the award ...

AdWords or Facebook: That’s the Question!

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