The key to understanding the difference between Facebook Advertising and Google’s ad platform, is understanding what each platform delivers. Think of it like this — If I have a company that sells high-end bicycles am I in competition with the used car lot down the street? After all, we both sell transportation and given that my potential audience has limited resources, every dollar they spend there is one dollar less that they have to spend on my product.
Looking at it more closely, however, you’d quickly realize that my bicycles simply aren’t in competition with that car lot. We server two different audiences and two entirely different purposes.
The same is true for Google and Facebook. Google is about demand fulfillment. People search, then they buy. Facebook is about demand discovery. While that has a longer path to purchase and generally speaking a lower conversion rate, it offers a bigger opportunity especially for the inbound marketer.
Let’s say I’m a company that manufacturers clothes dryers; Cliff’s Clothes Dryers. Dryer is an established search term. People looking to buy a washer or a dryer will search for my product by name and if I have an established reputation as a manufacturer they might even search by company name. If, on the other hand, I’ve invented a new Microwave Dryer that uses 50% less energy and dries your clothes in 1/3 the time, I begin my marketing campaign with zero demand. How man searches do you think there are for microwave clothes dryer? How can there be demand for a product no one knows about?
This is where Facebook comes in, because with Facebook’s audience targeting I can push my ads to a very specific demographic, such as female home owners ages 25-45 everywhere in the US. I can even target homes of a certain value or early technology adopters, those most likely willing to try a new clothes drying technology.
Demand generation vs. demand fulfillment. You see?
Another way I can use the power of demand generation with location-based targeting. If you have a brick and mortar location versus an online store, you can use Facebook as a tool to educate potential customers to your real-world presence.
So you see, it’s not about one being inherently better in all cases than the other. It’s about using the right tool for the job. You could certainly build a house with nothing buy packing crates, a hammer and a saw. Why would you? Combining the right tool for your intent and for your customer profile will make building you business as easy as using power tools makes building that house.