This post was co-written by Gordon Donnelly and Kristina Simonson.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, you’re likely finding yourself in one of two camps. You’re in the heart-shaped-box-of-chocolates camp or the solo-pint-of-ice-cream camp. The late-night-Casablanca-for-two camp or the gently-sobbing-Narcos-binge camp. You’re getting gnocchi in an old Italian neighborhood or you’re getting thrown out of a Buffalo Wild Wings. There’s nothing wrong with either. It’s just the nature of the thing.
Ditto for digital ads. Every advertiser has their favorite. And among viable channels, Google and Facebook are the perennial big players. But whether you’re Team Google or Team Facebook, if you live and die by your favorites, and you don’t get the two platforms to work together, you run the risk of creating a funnel that’s stunted, neglected, and hemorrhages leads.
The wholesome union of Google Ads and Facebook Ads is one we here at WordStream can get behind. That’s why this month, we’re hosting a webinar to discuss just how perfect Google and Facebook are together – and just how important it is to use both in your marketing strategy. Tune into the webinar Feb 12, and take a look at the preview below to get started.
Due to the Reach and Brand Awareness campaign types, cost per thousand impressions (CPM) bidding and optimization, and myriad placement options (including Instagram), Facebook gives advertisers unparalleled ability to drive brand awareness – and, in doing so, fill the top of their funnels with net-new prospects.
Advertisers can use Facebook to drive ad delivery to prospects who will not only see their brands for the first time, but actually remember their brands. Establishing ad recall is vital when establishing relationships with prospects; and establishing relationships is a vital part of ultimately driving conversions.
Google Ads offers a wide range of campaign types and placements to help you expand your reach to gain brand awareness. Depending on your marketing goal, you have a range of campaign types to choose from: Search, Display, Video, Discovery, Shopping, and Universal App. Each campaign type and placement ensures that you have the opportunity to capture reach and brand awareness where it makes sense for your business; whether that’s tied to an active search, an in-market audience, or a related YouTube video.
Facebook is a bit like the Display Network. Users browsing on these networks don’t have the same level of commercial intent as users browsing on the Search Network, because they’re not actively searching for the solution your business offers. Now, that does not mean Facebook is worse for engaging prospects; it simply means that the prospects you engage on Facebook will have a different level of intent than the prospects you engage on Google. Both are important, and, in fact, you can use Custom and Lookalike Audiences in Facebook Ads to build a large, cost-effective prospect pool that you can either convert directly from the platform or remarket to in Google Ads.
You’ve heard it from us before, and we’ll continue to say it: Audiences on Google are becoming more and more crucial for your Google Ads strategy, particularly on the Search Network. Gone are the days of only targeting audiences through keywords and topics on the Display Network. Now, you have extensive options to strictly target or observe new and existing audiences across your Google Ads campaigns. You can leverage these audiences to tailor your offer, message, and bid to optimize your return on ad spend.
Facebook provides an excellent opportunity for advertisers to capture new prospects and move existing leads through your marketing funnel. Starting with the campaign objective, advertisers have the opportunity to go after each step of the traditional marketing funnel: awareness, consideration, and conversion. You can take this cross-funnel strategy to the next level by pairing the right account structure, audience targeting, and campaign settings to each of your funnel stages.
Not only does Google offer an extensive reach for advertisers, but it also gives advertisers the opportunity to drive traffic, convert leads, and close new business. You can mirror your marketing funnel through the different campaign types that Google has to offer. Here’s an example to consider:
First, build out an in-market audience to drive brand awareness at a low CPM via YouTube. Next, build out a remarketing list of video viewers and remarket them through a Display campaign with a top of the funnel offer. Now, you can build out an audience for the converters who come through this campaign and remarket to them again with a product-centric offer. While these campaigns are running, you can add your audiences as observation in your relevant search campaigns. This way, you can bid more aggressively and understand the relationship across campaign types and through the search network for that audience.
Now, with three different tactics, your campaigns have achieved reach, awareness, engagement, and conversions. You’ve effectively moved potential prospects from the top of your funnel to the bottom. That’s just one example of how you can leverage Google as a cross-funnel channel to reach your marketing goals.
Facebook gives you the ability to convert a lot of leads for a relatively low cost. Facebook converts at a significantly higher rate than Google (9.21% compared to just 3.75%), and Facebook lead ads in particular give lead gen advertisers the ability to convert leads at an even higher rate. An internal review of our customer data here at WordStream showed a 12.54% conversion rate; this compared to just 10.47% when using Conversion campaigns to send prospects to a landing page to fill out a form. Therein lies the feature that makes Facebook lead ads so effective—when your prospect engages with the ad, a lead form opens up within the Facebook app. Thus, your prospect doesn’t need to navigate to a new browser window and wait for a new page to load before submitting his information. Facebook lead ads are a highly valuable lead gen tool.
Not much can beat the quality that comes with search intent. If a prospect is searching, it means they are actively looking for an answer or help with their query. This makes them a better prospect for your business to engage than a more passive prospect. You can balance your ad spend through a range of campaign types on Google to bring in the top-notch quality while reaching your quantitative goals.
A person searching for SAT tutors is far more inclined to click than the casual targeted user.
Facebook and Instagram are perfect places to showcase the most visually poignant sides of your brand. Story ads in particular give you the ability to reach prospects in the format in which they are probably most comfortable consuming content: full-screen, vertical, and on their mobile devices. If you’re choosing to use Facebook to optimize for brand awareness or reach, and then using Google to convert prospects later on (when they’re toward the bottom of the funnel), Facebook is the perfect place to set the tone with compelling visual assets that you can then call back to with consistent messaging in your search ads.
Brand alignment can make or break your prospect’s experience. If you are reaching them across the Google networks with inconsistent messaging, creative, or brand value, you can risk driving confusion and losing trust with the prospect. Therefore, it’s crucial to employ your cross-funnel strategy with ads that deliver a consistent message and stick to your brand guidelines. This way, you can deliver an experience that impresses and delights prospects at each and every touchpoint.
It’s crucial that you are constantly testing to gather new insights for your advertising strategy on Facebook. Thankfully, Facebook makes testing easy and scalable by offering split testing and test & learn. From audiences, placements, campaign settings, creative, and messaging, your account can benefit from trying new things and applying these learnings.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to testing in Google Ads. To take out the guessing, you can use campaign experiments or ad variations to easily set up and track your tests. For example, we rely on campaign experiments to prove out account changes that hold the greatest risk, such as bid strategy. Then, we can take the results of this experiment to consider our bid strategies across our account and understand which campaigns would benefit from the same results.
Not only does Facebook drive lower CPMs than Google, so you’re paying less per thousand impressions, but it also drives lower CPCs ($1.72 compared to $2.69 on the Search Network). Still, the comparison here is not exactly apples to apples: because clicks are inherently more qualified on the Search Network than they are on Facebook, advertisers should be more willing to pay a premium for clicks on Search. Depending upon your objective, then, Facebook is the perfect place to focus on driving inexpensive clicks to build audiences for remarketing and nurture. That will ultimately allow you to generate a lower bottom line CPA and a higher bottom line CVR (Conversion Rate).
No matter what your advertising goal is, Google is a channel that you can’t miss out on. With over 40,000 search queries processed each second, users are constantly taking to Google to digest content, answer their questions, and make purchase decisions. The first step towards your advertising goals is being present during your potential prospects touch points across the Google networks. And once you know how Google Ads works, and how to optimize your performance, the opportunities to adjust your strategies to reach your KPIs are endless.
We covered a lot here, but there’s so much more to a successful cross-platrform strategy with Google and Facebook. Join us for our live webinar on February 12 to learn everything you need to know. Sign up for the webinar today!
Gordon Donnelly is an SEO jedi who proudly honed his chops at WordStream for 5+ years. Today, you’ll find him at home in Boston, building Triple Whale’s world-class e-commerce analytics platform, or helping businesses of all sizes grow through SEO, advertising, and content marketing.
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