Online advertising · Startups

Facebook vs. Google for ads?

Nishant Dogra UI/UX Designer at Blog Sparks Network, Inc

September 27th, 2016

Which channel is more effective for an early stage startup that is operating in the fintech industry? 
Thanks so very much!

Bambi Weavil Expert Social Media, Marketing & PR Strategist ★ Creating + Building Lasting Impressions for Businesses, Brands & Events

September 27th, 2016

Depends on your target and your strategies.  Are you building awareness or hunting for investors?


Vishal Wadher CEO & President at atmosol

September 27th, 2016

atmosol has generated some great insights into Google Ads vs Google Shopping here

- https://webstore.atmosol.com/google-shopping-vs-adwords 

And here is a case study on leveraging Facebook Ads

 - https://webstore.atmosol.com/facebook-ads-conversion-tips-for-ecommerce-retailers.html

Hopefully between these two articles you might get better insight into these paid media channels and why you ought to use on vs the other.

Pauline Kalil Chief Digital Marketer

September 27th, 2016

Agreed. If you are targeting consumers: Facebook. If you are targeting Businesses: Linkedin. Only use pay-per-click if you have a solid strategy for what people will search for. For example: are they solution-aware, or even problem-aware. What would they be searching for. 

James Linden VP Business Solutions at Kochava

September 27th, 2016

There's a lot of questions that need to be answered prior to offering solid advice.  As Samuel eluded to is this B2B or B2C?  Are you looking to run just mobile ads, SEM/SEO, display, email etc?  Are you running offline ads as well?  What is the goal of the campaign?  To drive leads?  To drive acquisition?  What are your ballpark paid UA budgets?  What types of create are you looking to run?  Video?  What's your target demo graphic?  Women, 25-49 tech enthusiast etc? 

Google and FB are both viable options for driving effective users/acquisitionsbut these questions need to be addressed firsthand. 

Jean-Marc Thomas Regional Business Director, Key Accounts Asia Pacific at iProspect

September 27th, 2016

Facebook Ads and Google Ads are different, as you are either pulling or pushing your ads in front of the consumers.
With Fb, you may ba able to target the consumers based on their interest and discussions, but are they willing to hear your message.
With Google, you will present your ads when they will be looking for a service or product you might be selling.
So each platform interacts with the consumer at a different stage within their purchase cycle.
They are both complimentary. It all depends on your acquisition strategy and if you are willing to bait them at early stage (getting for sure lower direct sales, but more engagement).

Bryce Hamrick Product Vision / Biz Strategy + Tech Chops

December 22nd, 2016

If you're only doing one, Facebook is where you should put your advertising dollars in today's marketing landscape. There's a few couple for this:


(1) You need to start building brand awareness, credibility, and a social following. Unfortunately you can't really do this without ad spend because unpaid organic reach is basically extinct on Facebook. Putting ads and boosted posts has the side-effect of growing your social following and reach, which comes in handy down the road for demonstrating credibility, and also gives you a place for your fans to identify themselves—i.e. community building.


(2) Again, credibility is key. You don't want to put an ad in front of someone that just says, "Hey you, buy my stuff!" You need to offer something of value first, and one of the best ways I've found to do that is to build content that is relevant, timely, and provides real value to your audience without asking for a dime in return. Facebook allows you to do that, and to measure it. Then you can retarget those people and follow up with your sales pitch, after they're warmed up. You can use this strategy with Google too, and you should, but I've found it works better on Facebook for most businesses.


Google is great for finding an audience that is looking for your product/service right now. And that may be what you're looking for, for example if you're offering a product that directly competes with a brand that already has a lot of traction, Google ads can help you put your pitch in front of people your competitors have warmed up. For many businesses, though, a heavier focus needs to be placed on building market awareness of the problem you're offering a solution to.


I haven't spent a lot of time with LinkedIn ads, but I will say that Facebook works tremendously in the B2B space as well. The reality is Facebook is where most people, regardless of profession, spend a LOT of their spare time consuming content and it can be a golden opportunity for getting your content in front of the right audience. Anecdotally the only people I know that spend any real amount of time on LinkedIn are recruiters and the unemployed.

Samuel Caink Entrepreneur & Freelance consultant

September 27th, 2016

Fintech means nothing. Is it B2B or B2C? What is your objective ? Awareness, sales ?

Karel Geenen Ondernemer met passie voor marketing

September 27th, 2016

The big question is if your customer is actually looking for you product (or not). If this is the case, I suggest you use Google AdWords. If they don't search for you product or are not aware of their "problem" yet, Facebook Ads can be a better choice. However, this also depends on the type of customer you are targeting. If it is more professional and B2B maybe LinkedIn or Twitter ads are a better choice.

Michael Burack

September 27th, 2016

Will someone please explain the last post to me...:-))

Pierre Bradshaw Revenue Focused Digital Marketing Professional

September 28th, 2016

Hi Nishant, I know lots of folks think that social isn't good for B2B but it's not true. I've done several B2B finance related campaigns successfully via social (over $50mil rev generated) as well as as much via standard PPC Google/Bing.

For a startup I'd say social is a great way to go. The initial costs are relatively cheap. It's amazing for branding and telling your story also. It also makes it fairly easy to create your remarketing/retargeting audiences for other platforms.

The way you would think about it is totally different than a PPC strategy though. On Adwords, (Search and GDN) you are creating a pure ad most of the time. On social you are telling a story, discussing a solution to a pain point or some other way that connects to the viewer.

If you create the right kind of creative, preferably video, you will be able to generate clicks views for as low as low as a half a penny each and then be able to remarket to those viewers. You can get the clicks down to the 15 to 30 cent range also to get them to your website where you should be entering them into the signup funnel, capturing the email and also dropping the retargeting pixels on other ad platforms you might use.

Now, I don't know the price points of your service, if your offer a trial or if it's some other model but the methods of customer acquisition isn't usually dramatically different.

After a relatively cheap spend on Facebook (or Youtube) you should have set yourself up for easier advertising on all the platforms while generating money and also testing your landing pages to be ready for a larger scale ad spend.

Oh, and if anyone is wondering, the actual CPA (for the full sale) via social is usually cheaper than via Adwords initially. It takes a much larger spend for testing to get it to a competitive level if you go with Adwords first.

But hey, YMMV. Good luck with it whichever way you decide to go.

PS: Don't overlook native ads. With a content strategy it might be cheaper than everything else. Don't try it on your own though. Hire someone for that.

FYI: Linkedin is great but the scale isn't close to Facebook's yet. The quality is magical but it is more expensive for the handfull of clients you'd get. If you are looking for the first small batch of customers to get you into the game for funding then it is possible to get that amount from Linkedin with less of a learning curve than Facebook or Youtube.