The better question to ask is “why not pursue both channels?” But sometimes pursuing both isn’t currently an option.
That’s usually true for businesses that have limited ad dollars and bandwidth. You may not have the time to master and monitor two channels and you worry that if you split the budget between the two platforms you’ll get a lower return than if you focused on one for now.
Those are valid thoughts and it’s actually a question I get from people a lot.
If I had to make a blanket recommendation without considering any factors surrounding your business, I’d probably lean toward Google Ads.
Because of Google Shopping, primarily. There’s just no easier way to drive sales for e-commerce right now so if your time or budget is limited and you need to drive new sales, that’s the best place to start usually.
But there are other factors that might change that. For example…
Do you already have existing traffic coming to the site?
If so, your first step should be to maximize the return from that traffic with bottom of funnel (BOF) and middle of funnel (MOF) campaigns.
To get the biggest bang for your buck, you should set up BOF and MOF campaigns in Google AND Facebook. If you do it right, budget shouldn’t be a concern and just about any bandwidth should be able to handle it.
If you have existing traffic, you need to use that to fund top of funnel (TOF) campaigns to gain new traffic. That benefits you from a cash flow perspective and from a strategic perspective. Don’t make the mistake of starting with TOF ads.
On the other hand, if you don’t have any existing traffic (for example if you open a brand new store), I would still recommend setting up BOF and MOF campaigns first, but if you’re just absolutely pressed for time and budget, then you could start with Google Shopping.
Is there a compliance factor?
Some products just don’t play nice with certain channels and it’s not always the same products for all channels. Google has strict restrictions in place for health-related ads that make BOF and MOF targeting pretty much impossible.
In that case, it’s best to follow the path of least resistance and focus on the channel that will make life easiest for you.
Having said that, most products can be advertised on some level in most channels. Once you max out the easier of the two channels, circle back and look for ways to get on the other one.
And don’t discount Bing. If you can’t do much on Google, max out what you can with Bing since their rules are usually less restrictive.
Do you have a natural draw to one over the other?
If you have a natural draw to one of the two platforms, go with it! It could be that you just “get” one channel better or you understand the nature of that particular beast better.
Or maybe you’ve already invested time in learning about one of them or you’ve already gotten familiar with the interface.
If any of those are true, again, follow the path of least resistance for now and then circle back to the other channel down the road.
Grab A Coin
If none of the issues above apply and you still don’t know where to start, maybe just flip a coin! If you follow my free training or my paid training on either channel, you’ll see results so it doesn’t matter where you start.
But let me emphasize, it’s best if you can start from the bottom of the funnel on BOTH channels and work your way up from there. Unless you have a compelling reason not to do that, I strongly recommend pursuing both Google and Facebook simultaneously from the bottom and working up.