Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads – which works best for B2B companies

Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads - which is best for B2B companies

When it comes to B2B marketing, online advertising is becoming more critical, especially with situations like the COVID-19 pandemic highlighting the drawbacks of huge expos and trade shows. With that in mind, staying up to date with the latest digital marketing trends is crucial for B2B. For instance — in the tussle between Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads, which should B2B companies opt for? We’ll give you a rundown of the pros and cons below.

Google Ads Advantages

One of the primary advantages of using Google Ads is its sheer volume. After all, there’s no search engine more popular than Google’s. The platform’s name has become a verb that’s synonymous with online searching. Each day sees more than five billion searches via Google worldwide, a volume that’s only set to increase in the future.

From a B2B marketing standpoint, the level of intent contained in a search is a big plus here. When someone searches for professional services or B2B products on Google, their intent is often quite clear. For example, if someone searches for “best B2B marketing agency in San Francisco,” or best CRM software” their intent is clear.

This intention that’s embedded in their searches has value. By using the right ad copy and selecting the right keywords, you can zero in on people who may be in-market for your product or service.   

We should also note that Google is somewhat better suited for B2B queries. It makes sense. When people are researching a work-related service or product, they’re more likely to use Google than to go to Facebook or Instagram.

However, all of this doesn’t mean that Facebook doesn’t have its merits as an ad platform.

Facebook Ads Advantages

When it comes to Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads, you’d be surprised just how well the latter performs, at least when things are viewed from the right perspective.

For instance, it may seem that Google’s searches come from users with a more focused intent to purchase or to hire your company for its services. And while it’s true that Google Ads may be viewed with more intent, Facebook Ads are good at creating intent.

To be more specific — Facebook is a platform we use in our downtime or when we’re procrastinating at work. But that doesn’t mean that work-related ads aren’t useful here. Just think about all of the professional epiphanies and ideas you’ve had while casually browsing Instagram or Facebook. Placing the right ad here can create a more focused and powerful intent to interact with your company.

Also, Facebook lends itself to a more precise audience targeting than Google. The reason for that is apparent — while Google tries its best with Google Plus, its social network didn’t take off. In comparison, people use Facebook to share the most intimate details, including things like their brand preferences, personal tastes, etc. While this may not seem as crucial from a B2B marketing perspective, it can be quite useful. Creating a look-a-like audience on Facebook, based on your existing customers or website visitors can be quite effective.

Apart from that, it’s worth noting that Facebook is often more cost-effective compared to Google. On average, the cost-per-click rates are just more affordable on Facebook, particularly for niches like insurance or finance. So, if you don’t have a huge marketing budget to work with, Facebook can be a great starting point.

Finally, keep in mind that Facebook is a far more visual platform than Google. That means you have more freedom in creating aesthetically pleasing ads, which showcase your services or products in an exciting way. Facebook’s collection or carousel ads give you more room to use multiple visuals to provide a more focused message. Plus, the story format that you can use on Facebook and Instagram is a valuable marketing tool if utilized correctly.

Downsides of Google Ads

Now that we’ve explored the good sides of Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads, it’s time to look at the other side of the coin. More specifically, we’ll see what the downsides of using Google Ads are first.

Namely, certain topics or niches that produce higher volumes of searches on Google aren’t easy to advertise for on this platform; the competition can be insanely high, and the CPC rates rise to ridiculously expensive levels. Corporate attorneys, mortgage service provides, insurance companies are some of these areas. With a limited budget, succeeding via Google Ads is far costlier with brands that aren’t yet well-known.

Also, if your brand is incredibly unique, you may have the opposite issue – lower search volumes than you’ve expected. After all, Google Ads still relies on people searching for specific keywords related to your niche. If you’re marketing a completely new product or service category, there might not be any search traffic for it. In that case, going with Facebook Ads and targeting the most relevant professionals may be a better choice.

Downsides of Facebook Ads

For the purposes of B2B marketing, the visual nature of Facebook Ads can be a double-edged sword. Depending on your industry, it’s either a significant advantage or a head-scratching challenge. Sure, selling skincare products with visual cues is incredibly easy. But when it comes to a B2B marketing environment, some of the more complicated products and services don’t lend themselves well to short visual presentations.

Plus, there is the added expense of creating ad artwork – images or videos – for your campaign.  On a visual platform like Facebook, your ad artwork is critical to getting clicks. On the other hand, Google search ads require nothing more than a short few lines of text.

We should also mention that, in many technical respects, the Google Ads platform is just more advanced. This platform has been around for almost a decade longer than Facebook Ads, meaning that their reporting, attribution, and other solutions are more accurate and usable.

Author Bio: Graham Wells is a freelance digital marketer and author, mostly associated with companies like WP Full Care. When he’s not writing about PPC platforms and SEO optimization, he enjoys kayaking and hiking in the wilderness. 

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