Friday, June 22, 2012

Google ads vs Facebook ads: comparing apple and orange

Facebook has not figured out how to monetize its 900 million user traffic.  Not just yet.  It may sound like a simple problem.  After all Google was able to create its ads platform relatively early in its history.  Why is it that Facebook is having such a trouble creating successful advertisement platform?

Jeff Rosenblum, chief executive officer of Questus, offers one clue as to why this might be.  He suggests that Google helps advertisers to convert traffic to deals at the bottom of the sales funnel, while Facebook is all about creating customer engagement at the top of the sales funnel.  Showing banner ads on Facebook is not really the best way to leverage interactive user traffic.

Rosenblum is illustrating an important point.  Google is and has been important tool for consumers to research and evaluate available products.  When people want to find out about something the first place they start their research is Google.  While they are searching Google can use the opportunity to serve relevant ads to searchers.  It's all about the timing.  Google can spot when consumer is searching for products, and can promote its ads.

What about Facebook?  When people get on Facebook, they are not interested in researching or evaluating products.  They are getting on to Facebook to interact with their friends and discover content.  Because people don't think about product research and evaluation, they don't generally click on banner ads on the side.  People are conditioned to ignore banner ads showing up on the side.  Effectively serving banner ads on Facebook can be no more effective than serving banner ads on news website.

Where Facebook can make a difference are two areas:

1. Engaging in a conversation with customers

2. Creating interesting content for customers to share

To use Facebook right, marketers have to understand Facebook is different from traditional ads platform like Google.  There has to be thoughts put in ahead of time to plan and execute the right marketing campaign that delivers in these two areas.

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