Google Ads vs Facebook Ads


Ponder for a moment some of life’s crucial questions - Coffee or tea?  Coke or Pepsi?  Chocolate or vanilla?  Google ads or Facebook ads?

Wait,  you mean you don’t think Google Ads or Facebook ads is one of those crucial questions?  

Well, if you are trying to market your e-commerce business online, indeed it is.  And figuring out which is right for you can make all the difference in the world.  

I’m going to show you why Facebook ads are the choice.

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Google ads are simply keyword based.  There are search ads, display ads and shopping ads. 

You provide Google a list of keywords you think people would use when searching or browsing for products like yours.  Google will then show ads to users who either:

  • Search using those keywords (search ads and shopping ads)
  • Browse websites that contain those keywords (display ads)

As they are keyword based, Google ads are great for finding people who already have some interest or shopping intent related to products like yours.  And this is awesome, because who better to advertise to than people who actively want what you are selling?

I’ll tell you who - people who don’t know that they want what you are selling - until they see it.  

Facebook ads are different. They allow you to proactively target people based on their interests, hobbies or demographics.   

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They also allow you to create “Lookalike Audiences” - audiences of people who share similarities to either a list you provide - such as a customer list - or to people who have performed desired actions such as visit your website, buy your products online, or add your products to their shopping cart. 

Think about that for a second - you can target people who Facebook knows share a bunch of similar qualities with your current customers - but who may never have heard of you and are not providing any current signals that would cause you to find and advertise to them, such as a web search.

This is an immensely powerful tool for brands advertising on Facebook. 

Here’s an example.  Let’s say I am looking for a new pair of shoes.  I might google “best walking shoes” - and in that case advertisers will target me with Google ads for their shoes.  Fair play.

 But, even though I like shoes, 99% of my life I am not actively looking for them.  So, while I am always happy to buy a cool pair of shoes, there’s only a fraction of the time where I can be found if you are using Google ads.  Not so Facebook ads.

 Facebook will know that I’ve previously shown an interest in shoes.  

Or, even if they don’t know, perhaps a shoe company has uploaded a list of their customers to Facebook and it turns out I have a lot in common with their customers.  

In either of these scenarios a Facebook advertiser can find me with an ad for their cool new walking shoes, but a Google advertiser will not.

I call this Active vs Passive Advertising.  

Google is Passive Advertising - the advertiser is waiting for the user to step up and self select themselves as interested in your product.

Facebook meanwhile is Active Advertising - the Facebook advertiser knows there are tons of people out there who would like their product if they only knew about it. They don’t plan to wait around for those people to make the first move.

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Put another way, Google ads are great for meeting demand.    Facebook ads are great for creating demand. 

If you are a fashion or apparel brand what do you think is the bigger opportunity for you?  Maybe you sell skirts that generally appeal to women 18-35.  Is your best option waiting for women 18-35 to search for “cute skirts” - or is it getting a video or gallery of your best stuff in front of tens of thousands of women between 18-35 who share a bunch of tastes and characteristics with your actual customers...even though they did not type “cute skirts” in to Google? 

Creating demand through Active Advertising is a much, much larger opportunity than waiting around passively to meet it.

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There are a lot of other great things you can do with Facebook ads - such as build a funnel which tells a story to potential customers using multiple touchpoints. 

For example, you can create a video that introduces people to your brand and products, then send people who watched the video a follow up ad of a gallery of your best ones.  

Finally, as the coup de grace, you can use Facebook’s secret weapon, Dynamic Product Ads.

We’ve already seen that being able to advertise to users who don’t know they want your product until they see it is a great differentiating feature of Facebook ads.  But if you think Facebook cedes the advantage to Google regarding ads to people who have stepped up and declared themselves interested in your products, let me present Dynamic Product Ads.

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Dynamic Product Ads, or DPA for short, are ads that show a user the very product or products they chose to look at or add to their cart on your website.  By having the Facebook pixel, a little snippet of code, on your website, Facebook can tell the exact products a person looked at or added to their cart but did not buy.  You can then set up automated ads which show people those exact products.  This is DPA.

You might think that showing people products they have already added to their cart - or even just looked at - without buying wouldn’t be so powerful.  And yet it is.  We live in a busy, fast paced world, and most users will be looking at your products on their phone.  There are any number of reasons they might be intrigued by a product but not buy it right then.  

Maybe they are on the bus and got to their stop.  

Maybe their kid just got home and is yelling for mom.  

Maybe a text came in and they got distracted.  

Maybe they liked it but need just a little reminder of how great it is to tip them over in to buying it.

Whatever the reason, DPAs are a powerful ad product that is another huge differentiator between Google and Facebook.  It’s not uncommon for us to see ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) or 15, 20, even 30x.  



Think about that - how would it feel to make $30 for every $1 you spend on these ads?  That’s realistic with DPA.



Put all of that together and its clear that Facebook is an incredibly powerful platform--


If you are an e-commerce business – especially in fashion and apparel – looking to grow your revenues Facebook is the clear solution.

Are you an established e-commerce or lead generation business that needs help with your Facebook ads?  Learn more about our services and results today!