The Fundamental Difference Between Facebook Ads and Google Ads

In this article you will learn about the fundamental differences between Facebook ads and Google ads, plus learn the concept of Customer Awareness and how that affects your success as an advertiser. We’ll also cover two strategies for combating Ad Fatigue. 

Customer Awareness Timeline

Eugene Schwartz first mentioned the concept of the Customer Awareness Timeline in his book, Breakthrough Advertising published in 1966. Being aware of where your potential customers are in their decision process is a critical step in being a successful Facebook Advertiser.

See the diagram below.

  • Unaware – Person is unaware you exist and has no problem to solve or desire to fulfill.
  • Problem Aware – Person is aware of a problem to solve or desire to fulfill.
  • Solution Aware – Person is aware of possible solutions for their problem or desire.
  • Your Solution Aware – Person becomes aware that you are a possible solution for their problem or desire.
  • The Most Aware – Person has narrowed their choice to a few providers including you.

You’ll notice that most customers need to go through 5 phases of awareness before they decide to purchase anything. As the customer moves from left to right, the less resistance they encounter to doing business with you. My Deep Funnel Marketing presentation talks about how you can present the right content at the right time to your future customers.

The Differences Between Facebook Ads and Google Ads

Herein lies the first and most fundamental difference between Google and Facebook: Google is a “research media.” A user doing a keyword search on Google is actively aware of a problem and possibly aware there are solutions to their problem. They are at a minimum of 20%, but more likely 40-60% on their way to a decision on a solution!

Facebook, however, is an “interruption media.” People do not open the Facebook app to solve problems. Ads that scroll by a user on their desktop or phone are “interruptions” among the pictures of children, reposted Memes, and food selfies.

When prospecting, it’s a valid assumption to place everyone at “Unaware” on the Customer Awareness Timeline.

The second fundamental difference between Facebook and Google is the element of social proof and post interaction.

A Facebook ad is just like any other post on your timeline. People can React, Comment, or Share your ad just like any Facebook post. I cannot think of an advertising medium that is so transparent where the ad we deliver to them has a payload of commentary and popularity votes! (As of this writing, Google has yet to invent a way to Like, Comment, or Share a Google Ad!)

When you have many positive comments, it adds positive social proof to your ad that has an immeasurable amount of lift on the ad response and helps lower the cost. Conversely, an ad with negative social proof will essentially kill the ad and render it useless for the advertiser.

It will be immensely helpful for you to consider all your Facebook advertising as a conversation versus a transaction. When you put yourself in the position of your potential customer and consider where he or she is on the Customer Awareness Timeline, you will have x-ray vision to where to steer the conversation, and you actually can develop a relationship with these folks well before they give you money!

A third difference between Facebook and Google is the concept of Ad Fatigue. This phenomenon is when you run a Facebook ad to a targeted audience and over a short period of time the response and reach drop off dramatically.

This is frustrating to the advertiser who may be used to optimizing a Google ad and having it run for months, even years without any degradation in performance.

There are two strategies for combating ad fatigue on Facebook:

  1. If you are fortunate to have a large enough audience to advertise to over time, you should be able to find an ad or set of ads that will work for months and years. I have several clients that have ads prospecting to Lookalike audiences that have been running 2-3 years. The secret is testing many ads and finding the winners, and then finding the right balance of budget and audience size to maintain a level of performance.
  2. If you have a finite audience that doesn’t change (say less than a million), you’re only strategy is to consistently create new ads. When you have a finite audience that gets used to seeing the same Creative and copy over and over, it’s not only going to get ignored, but it will actually cause them to block your ads and report them (Facebook allows you to “X” out ads so you don’t see them again and tell them why you wish to remove it from your feed!). This action not only harms your ad performance, it hurts your account reputation and puts you at risk of getting put in Facebook jail (account suspended) or at least start to pay a premium for advertising over your competition. The best skill you can learn is to create new ads with new messages that keeps your audience interested and engaged.

If Ad Fatigue is an issue with you, or if you would like to learn more about Deep Funnel Marketing so that you can time your content more precisely to your audience, please reach out to me below.