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Facebook Ads vs. PPC Marketing: Which is Better?

There are myriad ways to reach out to customers online and expand your reach, but a question we hear again and again at SBC comes down between two of them. Which is better, Facebook Advertising or PPC?

Each platform offers its own unique advantages, and we have many great articles on both of them. For the sake of comparing them head-to-head, however, we will look at them in terms of reach, targeting, and analytics.

Facebook Advertising

First of all, yes, we know that some forms of Facebook Ads technically are pay-per-click advertising.


Facebook has an enormous user base, which has aged over time:

  • Facebook boasts a reach of over 1.23 billion users.

  • The largest group of Facebook users are age 25—34, accounting for 29.7% of total users.

  • The next highest is 35—44 years old, and the third is 18—24.

What does this mean? Essentially that Facebook is no longer just a website for college kids. It is a vast and varied audience that is gaining purchasing power in the marketplace.

Audience Targeting

With such a vast and diverse network at play, it is very important that Facebook Ads are able to target specific audiences.

Part of what sets Facebook Ad targeting apart from PPC advertising is the fact that Facebook users are on a social network and will volunteer valuable information about their worklife and behavior that would not otherwise be apparent.

These can range across demographics such as:

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Education

  • Workplace

  • Job titles

  • Location

  • Interests

  • Behaviors


Facebook Ads are priced competitively anywhere between $.16 cents per click to just over $1 dollar depending on the industry. They roughly average $.65 cents. This means that a budget in the lower range—hundreds of dollars, rather than thousands—can be strategically used to make a real impact on an inbound marketing campaign.

Regularly spending a couple of hundred dollars each month on Like Ads and boosted content can help put an audience in place for when your company is ready to make that next big push.


Facebook is a digital platform and with tracking pixels, Facebook insights, and Google Analytics, we are able to track and analyze the return on investment (ROI).

Using this technology takes the guesswork out of whether or not social media is directing traffic to your page. You can know exactly how boosted content, Like Ads, and conversion ads are performing by utilizing these reporting tools.

Facebook Ads Bottom Line

Facebook is an inexpensive, yet significant, way to raise brand awareness, build up an audience, and help gain website traffic. It offers analytic data and the ability to track return on investment.

The number of click-throughs on an advertisement and direct conversion from follower to lead is typically less than that seen with a Google pay-per-click campaign. This is with the notable exception of discounts for business-to-consumer and ecommerce sites (cosmetics, restaurants, hospitality, etc.).

Google Advertising


With over 1onebillion users, there is no doubt that Google Advertising can directly and dramatically expand a business’ reach. It can also let you quickly enter the online marketplace in a short period of time (while SEO for a website may take months or years).

While there are other advertising networks, none have matched the reach or market share of Google, so we’ll be talking about advertising on that network. In terms of pay-per-click advertising, Google AdWords is king.


Pay-per-click advertising on Google allows you to create text or image-based advertisements that reach people based on their interests and their search terms.

  • For text-based search ads, you are essentially bidding on keywords and phrases that are relevant to your business and then refining your demographic from there.

  • For image-based display ads, you are essentially bidding for placement on sites that match the interests of your target audience.

While Google AdWords may not be able to target a person’s specific job title, as you can with Facebook Ads, Google advertising does target based on demographic information such as:

  • Gender

  • Age

  • Income range

  • Location

  • Day of week

  • Time of day

Ultimately, this means that with a strategically allocated budget you have a highly advanced ability to target your advertisement’s audience to reach thousands of users that are likely to not only click on your ads, but also to become customers.


Google AdWords gives you a high degree of knowledge about what people are searching for in your industry using the built-in keyword planner as well as a great deal of insight about that traffic:

  • How many people are seeing your ad (impressions)

  • How many people are clicking your ad (click-through rate)

  • How many people are actually converting into leads (conversion rate)

  • Your cost per lead

This information can tell you about people’s interests within your industry, as well as their interest in the content you are providing them about your goods and services online. Potentially one of the best advantages of using Google Adwords is that it offers a great deal of insight into your market.


While AdWords allows you to control the cost per lead and budget for a campaign, the campaign itself is an ongoing process that takes continuous configuration. Also, this does come with a price tag that typically starts north of $1,000.

PPC Ads Bottom Line

Pay-per-click advertising on the Google network allows you to target the demographic of your customer while also allowing you to serve them an ad for a product or service at that exact moment they are searching for it. It is a relatively quick way to enter the market, raise brand awareness, and target a specific audience for direct conversion into leads.


In short, a great inbound marketing campaign will combine both Facebook advertising and pay-per-click advertising.

  • By using Facebook Ads, your brand can be viewed by a vast network during both working hours and leisure time to increase knowledge of your brand in the marketplace. It will also increase website traffic and SEO for minimal investment.

  • By using PPC Advertising, your brand can expand its reach dramatically and draw attention to your product or service at the exact moment that a customer is searching for it on the Internet. These ads can be precisely controlled and targeted to increase your return on investment, but often take a little more capital to gain traction.

If you are looking to start digital advertising and you would like to find out more about strategically running an inbound campaign using these tactics, reach out to us here.

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