When it comes to online advertising, the power of getting your business on both search engines and social media can’t be beaten.
Let’s take a look at the numbers: 84% of the online U.S. population uses Google search, and 81% of U.S. consumers use search engines to look for a product or service to buy. Every day, 3.5 billion queries are searched on Google in the U.S. alone.
What’s more, nearly 70% of the online U.S. population is on Facebook, and 37% is on Instagram (and Instagram is growing fast). More than 130 million Americans use Facebook Messenger, too.
This means that by using these two platforms — Google and Facebook — together, you have the potential to reach, well, almost everybody.
Google offers enormous reach, and high-intent search queries drive high clickthrough rates (CTRs) as well as direct conversions. Facebook also offers enormous reach, and while you can’t directly target user intent in the same way, that’s made up for by the ability to target the specific audiences who are most likely to convert.
The question we often hear: Which platform is better?
In this post, we’re going to show you why that question is a little misguided. Paid search ads on Google and Facebook ads aren’t dueling forces, but instead, complementary strategies that you can use in tandem to maximize returns on your online advertising campaigns.
What Is Paid Search?
First, let’s talk about what paid search is and how it works for small businesses.
Paid search is a way to advertise your business on search engines like Google and Bing. With paid search, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad within search engines. Paid search advertising goes by many other names including search engine marketing (SEM), search advertising, pay per click (PPC), and more.
The basis of all paid advertising on search engines is creating an ad campaign, identifying the specific keywords you’d like to appear for, and then bidding on those keywords to get your ad displayed in those results.
PPC ads typically show at the top of the search results page and can also appear in Google’s 3-pack.
PPC works for small businesses because it allows you to quickly get seen on top search engines like Google and Bing for searches related to your business. The robust targeting options paired with the high search intent from those looking for businesses on search engines results in a highly effective digital marketing strategy for businesses of all types.
What Is Facebook Advertising?
Because most of us are Facebook or Instagram users, you’ve likely interacted with Facebook ads at one point – you may have even taken an action from a Facebook ad (I know I have!).
Facebook advertising is just what it sounds like – a way to advertising on Facebook. Facebook ads can appear in a lot of different places within Facebook, including directly in the News Feed, on the righthand side on desktop, in your Instagram feed, in Stories, and more.
This graphic from Facebook shows the various ad placements available for Facebook advertising.
Facebook allows small businesses a lot of flexibility when it comes to creating and running their ads. There are a variety of Facebook ad types to choose from, plus the ability to get specific about the audience you want to target with your ads.
How Paid Search & Facebook Advertising Work Together for Better Marketing
Now that you have an understanding of what paid search and Facebook advertising are, we can get to the good stuff: Why they work well together!
Here are five reasons to consider:
1. A Combined PPC + Facebook Advertising Strategy Boosts Results
We already know that running a marketing strategy that encompasses multiple tactics is your best bet at reaching consumers across the web. So, it’s no surprise that running paid search and Facebook advertising together can boost your results.
In one study, businesses running both Facebook advertising and paid search campaigns saw improved PPC clickthrough rates, lowered cost per click, and more clicks per combined campaign spend.
And, our team recently found that businesses running both Facebook ads and search ads decreased their cost per lead by 3-29%.
PS: Did you know you can run Facebook lead ads to collect leads directly from Facebook? Learn more about it here.
2. Running Paid Search + Facebook Ads Improves Your Audience Targeting
You can use the data and insights you gather from one tactic to help with the other and get a better grasp of who your actual target audience is. For example, you can specifically target consumers who have clicked on your paid search ad with Facebook ads.
This gives you an incredible way to increase your chances of converting a potential lead into a customer.
You can also use the information you’re able to see from your paid search campaigns to adjust and refine your audience targeting on Facebook, so you know you’re targeting users who are most likely to become your customers.
(PS: Integrating lead generation forms into your landing pages that you use with your PPC and Facebook advertising campaigns can help you collect valuable first-party data that you can use to improve your audience targeting even more.)
3. A Paid Search + Facebook Advertising Strategy Gives You More Chances of Getting Seen (When It Counts)
We know that the majority of consumers begin their searches on search engines like Google, but we also know that 76% of Facebook users visit the site daily, and the average user spends 50 minutes per day on the site or in the app. Plus, 48% of consumers use some form of social media and search engines to make purchase decisions.
By running both paid search and Facebook advertising, you’re enabling your business to reach more of your target audience and increasing your chances that your brand will be seen at the crucial times they’re making purchasing decisions.
4. A Paid Search + Facebook Advertising Strategy Allows You to Better Allocate Your Budget
For any business owner, there’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re not seeing ROI for your marketing budget. When you spend marketing dollars, you expect to see it coming back into your business – with a significant return!
When you rely on one – or just a couple – of local marketing strategies to grow your business, you’re not able to fully maximize your budget. As we’ve mentioned, the best marketing plan includes a multichannel approach that allows you to reach customers where they’re spending time online and at any stage of the customer journey.
Running paid search and Facebook advertising together allows you to do just that. You’re reaching customers in two places they’re frequenting – search engines and top social media sites, and you’re able to track your marketing spend for both of these channels to measure results.
5. PPC + Facebook Advertising Help You Reach Different Marketing Goals
One of the unique features of Facebook advertising is that it allows you to create ads based on specific goals — called ad objectives. These objectives include awareness, boosting a post, becoming a fan of your business page, making a purchase, and more.
The goal for pretty much all paid search campaigns is clicks and conversions – you want searchers to see your ad, click on it, and take an action of some kind.
By running both paid search and Facebook advertising, you’re able to focus on different marketing goals that all lead to the same outcome – getting prospects to become a customer.
A user may see your ad for your Facebook page on the app and start following you. From there, you’re able to nurture them with content and build a community they can participate in. At some point, they may conduct a search for your business, where they’d see your paid search ad and might click to become your customer.
Essential Tips for Effective PPC + Facebook Advertising Campaigns
Now that you know how well these two marketing strategies work together, you probably want to get started! But, before you do, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Keep Your Brand Message Consistent
Running paid search and Facebook advertising together can help increase your brand awareness – especially if your messaging is consistent across platforms. This means displaying your business name the same, using similar messaging or sharing your mission statement, and keeping branding consistent in your ads and landing pages.
Don’t Get Too Granular with Your Targeting
For both paid search and Facebook advertising, the more specific you make your targeting, the more you can expect to spend and the fewer people you can expect to reach.
For PPC campaigns, pay close attention to the average cost of the keywords you’re bidding on as well as the average cost per click.
For Facebook advertising, try not to get too specific with your audience, or your budget may not be able to spend, and you may not see the results you’re hoping for.
Set a Timeline to See Realistic Results
Paid search and Facebook advertising are great marketing strategies because you can start seeing results quickly, but your results will likely improve over time. Just like with any new marketing strategy you start, determine a realistic timeframe for desired results and try not to pull your budget or stop your marketing completely before that time.
Run Multiple Ads
It’s difficult to get a sense of the full potential of your marketing campaigns when you’re only running one or two ads. For both paid search and Facebook advertising, it’s recommended that you run a couple of different ads so you can A/B test and maximize your budget across different initiatives and goals.
For example, you may run paid search ads for each of your service lines for your healthcare practice as well as a Facebook ad to boost your business page and grow your audience plus a Facebook ad for a new patient special. By spreading your budget across multiple ads, you’re able to reach a wide audience for a wide range of goals.
Don’t Be Shy with Discounts & Promotions
Discounts and promotions are ideal to include in any ad campaign you’re running. For your paid search campaigns, you can promote any deals, specials, or incentives you have. For your Facebook advertising campaigns, you can highlight specific sales or promotions you’re running to entice more customers to your business.
Get Started Loving PPC + Facebook Advertising
By using paid search and Facebook advertising together as part of your marketing strategy, you can increase your chances of getting seen by prospects and converting them into customers.
The potential reach you can achieve by getting your business on search engines and Facebook (+Instagram) could be just what you need to take your brand to the next level.
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