For small businesses with a limited budget, it can be hard to decide how to distribute your advertising budget. Money and lack of time are often the two biggest problems small agencies face.

So how do you reach your online target audience all while staying within your financial limits?

In a 2014 study conducted by Neustar, social media advertising was found to be the most effective form of online paid advertising for increased impressions, clicks and conversations at extremely low costs. As the popularity of social media advertising increases, it’s no wonder why most businesses tend to allocate around 28 percent of their marketing budget to social media advertising.

Typically, business turn to either Facebook ads or Google AdWords to market and advertise their business; however, there has been much debate on which one generates more traffic to your business for a reasonable price.

Facebook ads are a great example of a “paid social” ad. The company has become highly competitive and a potentially lucrative element for many businesses digital advertising strategies with the highest number of monthly active users on any social media. When it comes to Google AdWords vs. Facebook ads, the difference is clear; Google AdWords helps your business find new customers while Facebook ads helps new customers find your business.

Let’s break down the ads into four (4) main categories: Ad’s, targeting, platform, and cost effectiveness.

  1. Ad’s: It’s most likely you will find a significant difference in the two ads. In Google AdWords, the body of your ad is limited to 70 characters not including the headline. Facebook allows up to 135 characters in addition to the 25-character limit headline.
  2. Targeting: Targeting is essential to making any advertising campaign successful. Businesses and cooperation’s know how crucial it is to target the right audience. Google AdWords works by targeting with keywords primarily. Then they target location and language. When you create Facebook ads, you have a multitude of options to help your ad reach just the right people. Facebook gives businesses options such as age, gender, location, an individual’s interests, birthdays, education, language, occupation, relationship status, connections to certain groups, and much more. This feature allows businesses and companies to pinpoint exactly who they want to target a specific ad towards, making it much more accurate and user friendly than Google AdWords.
  3. Platform: Google is a search engine while Facebook is a social community. This means that the way the two present your ad to audiences are completely different. With Google, keywords dictate who can see your ad based upon what the user searches for. With Facebook, targeting is based on different criteria (see #2). Because Facebook is community based, there are other ways to expose your service to people. Facebook’s specific targeting method allows businesses to target specific consumers and users with each ad as well, giving them the upper hand in platform approach when compared to Google AdWords.
  4. Cost Effectiveness: Currently, Facebook offers the lowest cost per 1,000 impressions when compared to Google AdWords. Google charges approximately $2.75 per 1,000 impressions while Facebook charges business around $0.25 This makes Facebook extremely cost effective for businesses looking to target a specific group of audiences for very little.

Food for thought: Because of Facebook’s “likes” option which allows users to “like” a post or page, businesses can gain “permanent” clients to their page. This allows businesses to advertise to their followers through Facebook posts or promotions for free.

Overall, both Google and AdWords are powerful platforms that cater to each business differently.