Advertising bout – Facebook Ads vs. Google AdWords

Year after year, I get a lot of queries from hotels, restaurants, and small businesses – which one is better between Google Adwords and Facebook Ads?

The fight for the best advertising platform is crucial – there are around 3 billion internet users in the world, and the right platform can make or break your direct revenue stream. Both platforms have knockout punches up their sleeve, and the debate rages on.

While both services have their merits, the benefits differ according to the budget, targeting, and strategic goal.

Check out the battle and find out which competitor you should be using for your hotel.

Round 1 – Budget and Cost per Click (CPC)

Usually, the CPC for Google Adwords is a little higher than Facebook Ads. According to AdEspresso and Wordstream, the average CPC in Q3 of last year was 0.28$ for Facebook, and 2.32$ for Google. If you have an independent hotel, with a small advertising budget, you will get more bangs for buck with Facebook ads. Round 1 goes to Facebook!

Keep in mind that clicks are not everything; there are other factors to consider such as conversions. In many cases, I have seen lower costs per leads through Facebook.

Round 2 – Defining objective

Once you have determined your budgets and costs, plan what you can achieve from this advertising spend. In my experience, Facebook is the best bet for increasing brand awareness and demand generation. However, if you want to capture demand, or generate sales and leads, AdWords is your champion.

The reasoning is simple, with Google; the guest is searching what you want to sell. So the intent to book is already there. But once again, consider all costs first.

Round 3 – Stage in the guest’s journey

Understanding where your potential guest is in the booking journey will also help you decide which platform to go for. If you want to capture guests in the moment of looking to book a stay, Google AdWords is your best bet due to the high level of intent from your audience. However, if you’re trying to bring more awareness or consideration to your offering, then Facebook ads can help you target those with a current or unknown need for your hotels.

This is how both channels can complement and fuel your hotel’s growth!

Round 3 – Service maturity and overall search volume

This point is so obvious; I don’t understand why hoteliers overlook it. If your hotel has a new restaurant or service, and there is very little or no search volume, then Google AdWords, or paid search, will most likely not generate a ton of traffic and therefore is unlikely to perform. Before you rule out AdWords completely in this scenario, you may consider bidding on a series of keywords which describe a problem that new feature solves. My advice is to test out bidding on what your service solves rather than a service that very few have been exposed to.

For example, the Tile app, a Bluetooth tracker, was one of the first apps of its kind. But the keywords “Bluetooth speaker” generated much less results than keywords like “lost my keys”, “find your phone” and “find your wallet”.

In most cases I advise hoteliers to start out on Facebook ads to generate awareness about your rooms, features, and amenities, explain what problem they solve, and develop brand recognition. Then, you’ll generate demand to set you up for more success when it comes to Google AdWords.

Final round –Who wins?

The winner, if you want immediate sales is Google Ads. But if its brand awareness and lead generation that you want, Facebook is the clear winner. Also, after going through these rounds, you will observe that there is not a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to online advertising platforms. Before taking a decision, take a step back and analyse what you want to achieve from your investment and your available marketing budget. All other factors are secondary.

If you have read this far, do check out the #AskAviArya show. Click here to watch the episode where I give hacks to measure and calculate your overall digital marketing spend. It will help you get overwhelming ROI response!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *