Facebook Pay per Click Vs Adwords PPC – What is right for your business?

We’re often asked about the differences between social media advertising and Google AdWords. So which platform are you looking to use to advertise? The answer is, as with most digital marketing questions – it depends! Truthfully, both platforms are brilliant, but for different reasons. 

When deciding on using Facebook, Adwords or both,
ask yourself these three key questions…

  • What are you selling?
  • How much investment money do you have to play with?
  • What are you trying to achieve?

Facebook Ads v Adwords

What are you selling? 

We’re blessed with a very diverse portfolio of clients here at ExtraDigital - from corporate consultants to eCommerce stores. The target audience of each of our clients has a unique set of behaviours, demographics and places that they can be reached. From this, it’s clear to see that some products and services lend themselves better to one platform over another.

When to use Facebook

Typically, B2C industries see a very good return on investment for social media as you are advertising directly to consumers. If you have visual products such as skin care treatments or clothing, Facebook advertising is the way to go.


Social media swallows more than a quarter of the time spent online and a third of all internet usage is now happening via mobile a new global report has found.

The average person has five social media accounts and spends around 1 hour and 40 minutes browsing these networks every day, accounting for 28% of the total time spent on the internet.

When to use Adwords

One of the biggest differences between Google and Facebook Ads is search intent. Google searchers are specifically looking for something while Facebook users are shown ads based on their interests.

This is why Adwords better lends itself to the B2B market. Unless you’re really keen, you’re not likely to follow ‘cold storage’ companies if you’re in the food industry or ‘alarm systems companies’ for a building your business is constructing.  

You’re much more likely to see a higher return on investment using Adwords and being present at the point of intent. That said, this is also true for the B2C market which can see ROI from both channels accordingly. 

 social media ads

What is your budget?

You’ll want to consider how much money you have to play with for your campaign, which will influence your decision when deciding on a platform.


CPC (cost per click) is relatively cheap, depending on your industry. (On average, we've seen clients pay no more than 43p per click). However, if set up and managed incorrectly, it can be costly, but less so than Google AdWords.


Millions of companies battle daily to be top of Google – which pushes up the cost of AdWords every year.

Depending on your industry the cost per click (CPC) can be substantial for highly competitive keywords. Some accounts can pay over £15 a click for competitive keywords.

There are ways to reduce the overall cost by targeting less competitive keywords, but the general rule is Adwords costs will always be higher than Facebook ads. 

 paid ads

What are your campaign aims?

Remember, you’re not only advertising to sell, which is the primary aim of advertising in Adwords. Facebook ads, on the other hand, are equally great to drive product or brand awareness and promote it to a highly targeted group of people.

So what are you targeting? Awareness or sales?


As previously mentioned, Adwords can really only be measured by direct conversions, sales, downloads and phone calls. Calculating ROI is much easier than social as an experienced PPC manager should always be able to track the volume of phone calls, enquiry forms and sales from your AdWords spend.

KPI’s include

  • Sales
  • Downloads
  • Enquiry Form receipts
  • Phone calls


When you log in to Facebook, your primary concern is not to find something to buy or to search for information, but to see what your friends are doing, read the news and interact with them. This makes it infinitely harder to prove ROI with Facebook if you’re selling directly on Facebook. Your digital marketing agency should know about attribution and the ‘touchpoints’ that lead to a sale or conversion.

It’s best to measure conversions using the following KPI’s:

  • Shares
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Visits to the site
  • Sales

Here’s a quick summary of the differences between these
two powerful advertising platforms:

ONE: Google ads are perfect for reaching customers at the point when they are showing a high buying intent or to advertise content at a point when they’re at the research and awareness stage of the sales cycle. You’ll most likely pay a bit more per click, but you know exactly what’s going through the searcher’s head whenever they see your ad. Oh, and it's easily measurable.

TWO: Facebook Ads offer powerful targeting capabilities and allow you to reach people who don’t even know your product exists, which means they’re not searching for your solution or brand. This lends itself well for generating more awareness, interest, and desire for your product. And last, but not least, Facebook offers access to a very large audience at a very competitive price, and they’re retargeting option gives more control over who sees your ads and, in at least some cases, have been outperforming Google retargeting campaigns.

Need an experienced hand to run your Facebook PPC campaign? Get in touch with ExtraDigital today.

Tuesday 5th July 2016

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