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PPC vs. Facebook Ads: Which Is Right for Your Business?

Most marketers and business owners have considered pay-per-click advertising or Facebook advertising as a way of helping grow their business. However, there is a lot of misinformation and confusion as to which marketing channels are most beneficial to helping an organization achieve its goals.

Some companies use both PPC and Facebook to market their organization, while others use one or the other depending on their individual goals.

Pay-per click advertising and Facebook ads are very different advertising mediums that require their own unique approach to drive results. If your organization is debating on whether to allocate your budget to one or the other, then take these points into consideration when choosing Facebook ads or pay-per-click-advertising.

1. Effectiveness at driving conversions across the sales funnel.

The measure of a successful online advertising channel is its ability to drive conversions for your business. Understanding how to best convert users on a particular advertising channel is how your organization can make more informed decisions on which channels would be the most effective at helping your business achieve its goals.

A PPC conversion occurs when a person takes an action with your organization after clicking a PPC ad on a search engine like Bing or Google. A person typically uses the search engines for initial research and for follow-up information prior to making a purchase of a product or service, which are both prime opportunities to advertise your organization’s relevant offerings using a PPC ad.

To convert a user using PPC ads, understand the mindset of your customer in the stage of the sales funnel where they’re looking for your particular product or service in the search engines.

Place a competitive bid on the keywords that best match the phrases that your customer base is looking for by providing a targeted ad to your audience that includes a specific call-to-action for a potential customer to make. Lastly, synch the landing page that a person is sent to with messaging on your PPC ad to create one cohesive experience for a user and to encourage a conversion.

A conversion from a Facebook ad occurs when someone performs an action after clicking on an ad from your Facebook ad campaign. Facebook ads help drive awareness, a purchase, or the download of a resource or an app from the variety of ad unit options the platform offers.

To convert a user using Facebook, understand that a person isn’t on Facebook to do research about a product or service like they are in the search engines, but instead a person is most likely using Facebook to look at photos of their family, chat with their friends, and see what their personal network is up to. When creating a Facebook ad, understand who you’re trying to reach, what their interests are, what action you’d like them to take and cater the messaging, ad unit, and visuals used to the user’s preferences and typical actions on the social network.

2. The cost of conversions.

The SumAll blog has already covered the advertising costs between Google AdWords and Facebook advertising, but the true test to the cost of an advertising campaign through Facebook ads or PPC is running a test on each platform with the same budget to see which returns better results for your company.

When running an ad campaign on either advertising platform, you’re able to estimate the cost of your ads by using tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or Facebook’s ad dashboard once you’ve setup most of your campaign.

It’s difficult to precisely predict which channel will be most cost effective for your organization since there are many nuances to how these advertising platforms work for different types of businesses. The results will vary for most campaigns on these platforms depending on the goals a business is looking to achieve.

3. Usefulness dependent on goals.

When it comes to choosing the right advertising platform for your business, match your goals with the unique feature sets of each platform.

Facebook advertising offers:

  • • Deeper demographic targeting to best match ads to the interests and progress of different audiences across the sales funnel.
  • • Better branding opportunities with creative on Facebook to help drive awareness for your organization in the long-term.
  • • A platform to run your campaigns when looking for long-term conversions and the opportunity to build a relationship with your customers since you’re interacting with them as they perform other actions on the network.
  • • The ability to retarget an existing customer using messaging that directly matches their interest and shopping habits.


Pay-per-click advertising offers:

  • • Contextual targeting to reach your customers more closely to the end of the sales funnel when they are actively looking for your products or services.
  • • A faster return on investment, since many people will convert with their first interaction with a PPC ad since they have a stronger intent to purchase.
  • • Better coordination with your search engine optimization efforts to drive increased visibility for your organization and its offerings.


4. Experiment with both, every organization is different.

In the end, experimenting with a few campaigns on both channels is what will help your organization find out what’s most effective method for reaching your customer base. Many organizations often find that using a combination of pay-per-click advertising and Facebook advertising works well for driving ROI in the short-term and long-term.

Run a few campaigns for a month or two to test out the various ad units, targeting capabilities, real-time bidding structures and feature sets available on both platforms to really understand how these channels can impact your business.

SumAll also recently added Facebook Ads to their list of offered platforms. Connect your Facebook Ads account to track how your ads are performing at the campaign level.

Which advertising platform has your organization found to be most successful for achieving your goals? What strategies has your company used to effectively experiment with these advertising platforms? Share your thoughts below.

Updated November 21, 2017.