My Thoughts on Advertising on Facebook and Google Adwords

Advertise on both. No questions asked.

Here’s what I think about marketing on Facebook and Google Adwords:

  • Facebook targets people, like real people.
  • Google targets search intent. (in a very layman’s term)
  • Undeniably, to a certain extent, both target interest too.

You might have seen some posts that argue about advertising costs between Google & Facebook (read here & here), some said certain platforms have better performance, some said it depends on your campaign objective.

But I’m seeing it differently here.

It has always been about attention.

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There must be a reason why most Malaysians are on Facebook. When I look at my friends and colleagues, opening the Facebook App during lunch seems natural.

I don’t know about you, but I find this to be super mind boggling. And that is exactly why I think businesses really need to get onto Facebook. If most of your audience are spending time on this platform, why not capitalize on this and start communicating with them?

Google Adwords, on the other hand is super passive. People have to search for you, and you try to get them hooked from there.

Adwords to Landing Page
People search based on keywords and the ones appeared in the red box are Google Ads. Upon clicking on any ad, you’ll be redirected to another page which is what we call – landing page.

Personally, I only use Google to google things when:

  • I want to search for new stuff (and go overboard with x9999 new tabs).
  • I remember something but can’t recall the website.

When I look at both platforms, the fundamental difference I noticed is the engaging people VS being present a.k.a. searchable.

But How?

“Look, I understand how both platforms work theoretically, the problem is how?”

I had a chat with a B2B business earlier and I gave it a fair thought, here’s how I think it’ll work for B2B context:

  • I would advertise on both Google & Facebook.
  • Google would be purely lead generation activities, costs 30% of the budget.
  • Facebook, on the other hand, focuses on both lead generation & engagement, which accounts for all the remaining budget.

But why 30/70?

Most B2B keywords are very niche, and most of the time, you would be bidding against your principle which by default, spends a huge load of money across the region.

The idea is to be present on Google, and focusing on engaging local customers and prospects through Facebook.

In B2B context, we know who we want to target to. We know our niche market to the extent that we know what companies we should target, and this is where it gets really interesting.

Facebook allows us to target real people including their workplaces. And I feel that this is really important to B2B business. Comparing it against Google Adwords, which we are guessing around keyword intent, there is no way to pinpoint down to specific employee based on their interest.

That is exactly why I think targeting people directly seems to be a better option here.

Here’s what I’ll do on Facebook:

  • Design a good set of images with variations that talked about the industry problems. It can be in carousell or video format.
  • I’ll craft a few levels with DRIP method, example:
    • First ad – Generic ads as introduction of solution to X companies.
    • Segment companies into specific verticals and go deep into industry pain points.
    • Second ad – Provoke thoughts with “Does your manager knows about this? Show it to him!”
    • So on so forth.

“What if people didn’t update their workplace? And how are we supposed to know if he will show it to his manager?”

My take on this is :- we wouldn’t know the same if we publish an advertorial on The Star Page 57.

We wouldn’t know that too if we were targeting keyword intent on Google too.

The biggest advantage that I see in Facebook is to relate and speak with people directly, and if we were to treat Facebook as our forefront, things would be very different.

We need to service them and educate them, what’s a better site other than Facebook?

But B2B on Facebook? Really?

“Dude, but most B2B businesses aren’t on Facebook ya’ know?”

I know, and that is exactly why B2B needs to get in there, fast.

One of the issues with local B2B companies is the skepticism they have in social media. The fear of materials being copied and distributed by competitors, the fear of losing out, the fear of proprietary knowledge being known by others.

I get it. It takes tremendous effort for people to produce content and it feels really bad to be ripped off that way. And that is why we need to adopt a new mentality.

You can’t change competitor’s behavior in copying, such is business. But what you can control is your execution and service level, which noone can imitate.

The easiest way out for B2B social media strategy is this:

Document the journey to No. 1 in Malaysia. Keep saying things about it.

Many B2B firms would claim that they are No. 1 in something, and that is exactly where things went wrong for them, especially on social media.

When we do a reality check, people don’t really care if you’re No. 1 or No. 100, what people value is really your service level and commitment to them.

It’s about creating content that talks about your service level. If you face difficulties in creating content, fine, learn how to distribute content that are related to your business.

Learn how to slice down an article into chapters and sections which are shareable on Facebook.

Create inspiring quotes that you can use, but somewhat related to your company and vision.

The bottom line is keep telling your customers about your dedication, always come from that angle, just stay real. And that is what I think will work for social media strategy.

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