Should Facebook Ads Replace Your AdWords Campaign?

Now that Facebook has officially passed Google as the most visited site on the web, their advertising platform becomes more attractive than ever. However, even with their steady climb to the top, many online marketers remain skeptical of the advertising performance Facebook can deliver. Do consumers pay attention to ads on social networking sites? And are those clicks converting? These are just some of the questions surrounding Facebook ads and their effectiveness.

I’m not going to spend much time comparing Facebook to Ad Words as a great posting already exists here. I instead want to focus on the effectiveness of each type and its place in the online marketing mix. There are several ways to measure the results including branding, conversion rate,CTR, ect but for this case study I chose cost per conversion as my metric of success.

This test was performed using a restaurant (chain) client with the primary conversion being a downloaded coupon on the landing page. The test ran for 1 month using Facebook, Google search and Google display targeted to only 3 major U.S cities. The same creative was used for both the Facebook and Google display ads to ensure the comparison was as true as possible. The same daily budget cap was also applied to each channel. After the 1 month test, the following results were compiled.

Being a huge search marketing and Ad Words advocate, I was very surprised by these results to say the least. I expected the higher impression totals, but it was very interesting to see lower cost per clicks and the resulting cost per conversions.  While this is just one isolated test using precise geo targeting and small budgets, it’s hard to ignore the returned data. So, should Facebook Ad’s replace your Ad Words campaign? No, but it should be given more attention than it’s currently receiving. Stay tuned for tips on how to get the best performance with Facebook ads.