Google and Facebook advertising platforms dominate most of the web advertising budget. There is a fundamental difference between how these two platforms operate and how they deliver your ad message to potential audience.

Lets analyse this with an example. Say, we want to advertise online for a brand that sells hair grooming products.

Google Ad example:

Google advertising works on a very simple rule – keyword matching. Google identifies your potential audience right when she types her query in the search box. Based on the context of the keyword, google displays relevant advertisements.

In our example, If a visitor is searching for hair grooming saloons in her nearby locality, there is every potential chance that she might be interested in knowing more about a new hair grooming product in the market. In most cases, the searcher would directly search for “hair grooming products”, which makes the ad placement even more straight forward. The marketers skill lies in identifying the search keywords used by their potential audience.

Keyword identification is more of a trial and error game. We will identify the right keywords over a period of time based on the click through rates and visibility generated by our ad. Google also plays a big part in helping us identify the right keywords for our product/service. Google gives high priority to advertisers and ads that use proper matching keywords. We must always remember that Googles’ main business model is to provide relevant search results and it holds good for advertisements too. Relevant ads with relevant keywords will always get more visibility.

Facebook Ad example:

Facebooks strength lies in its user data. Using various combinations of data points, it is possible to bring your potential audience within a common basket and show advertisements to that particular segment of audience.

Coming back to our example, assuming we want to target females who are interested in hair grooming, we can target our potential audience by the following ways in facebook,
> Her interest / liking towards hair grooming product / pages
> Her friends who like hair grooming products
> Her friends who like our brand
> Her interest towards a celebrity who had recently endorsed our brand
> Age, Sex, Location, Education, Marital status, Language and profile related information
Using these information, it is possible to bring your potential audience into a virtual basket. Our assumptions added with relevant user data can help us target our potential users in Facebook. Again, our success or failure depends on how well we use these data points and our ad message to create awareness for our brand.

Hence Facebook is good for creating awareness to new audiences whereas Google helps to close a sale when your potential audience comes with a need. Unlike traditional media, these two platforms provide excellent analytics reports that will help us understand the ad performance to a great extent and fine tune our advertisements continually.