[ADVERTISING TEST] What’s better? Facebook advertising or Google AdWords?

Estimated read time: 4 minutes

You might be interested in this article if you:

  • own the marketing budget
  • are a digital marketing leader
  • run the social media marketing program
  • are a digital advertiser

Advertising can help us accelerate our digital marketing strategies. Create that awesome and highly relevant content and then put some money behind it to get it in front of the right audience or to get it back in front of people who have shown interest previously.

Facebook ads and boosted posts allow us to reach the people who already  like our page and of course we can run highly targeted promotions. We can target marketers for example or event planners in countries that we want to visit and speak in. Looking for a job you could also target recruiters in the locations where you might consider taking a job. In theory that all works really well.

One time I was doing a workshop in Miami that was for  bloggers to turn their blog into a book. So I targeted Miami area bloggers with a Facebook ad. Facebook was really good at reaching them but not so good at converting them to click or sign up.

Google Adwords is Google’s advertising  platform and allows you to target people by what they search for or you can also remarket to people who visited your website.

That means people who visited your website get served an ad on other sites that they’re visiting with the goal to bring them back to your site.

To get help with your remarketing strategy contact me here now.

Bonus tip: To start remarketing, place  the Google AdWords code on your website. If you run on WordPress there are a number of simple plug-ins that  make the process easy.

Remarketing is a good strategy when you already have a decent amount of traffic on your website and you are trying to connect and engage with those who have already shown interest deeper.

I’m currently running a number of ads under this strategy on Google Adwords:

In about a week those ads were served over 105,000 times with almost 900 click-throughs.

With a .8% click through rate the cost per click is about 21 cents. Total cost: around $180.

And it would’ve been even lower had and I not turned on the option to serve the ads to look-alike audiences. See, what Google AdWords does is once they have a good size remarketing audience from your website they start assembling a segment of similar people who haven’t been to your website yet. Of course there’s several million in that group so once I started serving the ads to them the bill started running up  much faster. I targeted that look-alike audience  for a day but then decided that I would like to conserve some of the budget available.

The swearing ad is the one I was running  on Google AdWords and Facebook. It clearly has a little too much text to be considered a best practice on Facebook but nonetheless I wanted to see the results for the same ads on both networks.


In my Facebook test, 700 people reached and each click to the blog post cost me $1.57. Not super cheap.


In AdWords one click cost me under 20 cents -so eight times cheaper than Facebook.

From a budget perspective it’s really a no-brainer to go with AdWords. But is it working better than social media-which obviously is still dominating the digital marketing headlines?

That of course depends on your definition of working.

In the one week I have been running both of those tests website traffic is up slightly:

Not all of the slight increase came from the  campaigns but I know that not all user behavior is linear and it certainly had some impact in addition to direct traffic.

Some CMOS and digital marketing leaders likely are wondering which one actually converts to more business! After the first week it appears that the AdWords traffic is converting more. It also depends on which ad they’re seeing. 

The blogging ad isn’t necessarily looking to convert somebody right now. It’s really looking to get people back to the site to continuously establish the site as a go to resource in their mind.

The other two ads obviously are more conversion centric and are selling something. Of course, another thing to remember is that the financial entry point to buy a book is much lower than the entry point to hire me to help with content marketing strategy.

So one thing to remember is that advertising works with repetition. That’s why companies still run ads on TV, post billboards and do other advertising. It’s about the repetitiveness of seeing them and associating the brand with something. It adds credibility long-term and keeps the brand top of mind for when people actually are ready to buy.

We will see how it works long term but for now I am planning on keeping the AdWords campaign’s going and stopping the social media campaigns.