Google was born in 1998, Facebook in 2004. In that time, they’ve gone on to command 38% and 20% of the digital ad market, respectively. This duopoly has limited our options to reach people, but if you know how to position the right message, for the right person, on the right platform you can create a powerhouse digital marketing strategy.
Where your customer is in the buyer’s journey is going to dictate where and how you use each platform. And that’s going to drive your marketing message. Your customer may start by searching for your product or service on Google but ultimately make their final decision after seeing your ad on Facebook.
The Buyer’s Journey
Knowing how hot or cold your prospect is paramount to what platform you’re going to use and what message you’re going to go with. Eugene Schwartz talks about the 5 different levels of customer awareness in his classic book Breakthrough Advertising.
The 5 levels are :
- The Most Aware: Your customers know your product, want it, and only needs to know when and where to buy it. Examples: Budweiser, Apple, McDonald’s
- Product Aware: A person knows about your product, but isn’t totally sure it solves their problem. Examples: there’s a new massage gun for muscle pain that’s become wildly popular
- Solution Aware: A person knows there are solutions, but hasn’t chosen one and doesn’t know about your product. Examples: the same massage gun for muscle pain
- Problem Aware/Pain Aware: A person knows they have a problem, but doesn’t know they have a solution to that problem.
- Unaware: A person doesn’t know they have a problem, and it’s usually not worth marketing to them.
A problem aware buyer may start their journey on Google looking for a solution to their need, or they may be served a solution on Facebook at the right place and time. Whereas a product aware buyer that already knows about you may be seeking out reviews of your business or can be served testimonials on Facebook.
Let me start by saying we’re comparing ads on the Google Search network here. We could five further into YouTube and Google Display, but for the purposes of this article, we’re going to talk strictly about Google Search ads.
Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second, and it’s literally THE library of the internet with 95% of the search engine market share. If you have a problem or a need, and you need a solution, Google is a great place to start.
So how do you position it for your business?
One thing to understand about traffic from Google is the visitor already knows what they want. You just have to fulfill their request.
So why doesn’t everyone just advertise their business on Google?
They should, but Google is expensive, and going into it with little or no experience can eat up an ad budget quickly with very little to show for it.
Google is perfect for immediate-need service companies like roofing, HVAC, and electricians that handle emergency services.
Think about it: your air conditioner goes out, the last place you are going to look is Facebook (unless you’re looking for a recommendation, but even then you’re still going to look on Google for someone immediately).
People get on Google to look for solutions so they can make a decision. They get on Facebook to get away from making decisions.
With over 1.82 daily active users, Facebook is by far the most powerful social media platform. It’s also favored most by baby boomers, who clock in $548.1 billion in annual spending (the most out of any demographic).
The key to Facebook is giving someone a reason to stop scrolling and take action on your product or service. People get on Facebook to get away from making decisions. Your offer needs to be very compelling to get someone to leave Facebook. It’s also a great place to reinforce or affirm why they should do business with you.
Think about it. A client has just purchased your product, or just booked your service, and you send them an ad with a current customer’s testimonial of why they liked doing business with you.
Businesses that are perfect for Facebook:
E-commerce, Companies with a longer buying cycle, Companies with a unique selling position. Having a unique selling position allows you to stand out in a feed of political noise, family photos, and memes.
But what if there’s nothing unique about my business?
In Robert Bly’s book The Copywriter’s Handbook, he says to find something everyone in your industry is doing, but nobody is talking about. Take that thing and make it your USP.
If your budget is modest, Facebook might be the best place to start, and once you grow that revenue you can look to add Google.
If your customer has a longer buying cycle, you can test starting with Google, and then serving ads to them on Facebook after they’ve visited your website.
With the recent events of 2020 just make sure you are advertising your business on one of the platforms.