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Feb, 03 2011

Google or Facebook THE AD-VANTAGE IS YOURS

When it comes to online advertising, two big names, Google and Facebook, click instantly. Both have their own advertising programmes and individual advantages, but if you ask which one to choose, we'll say, study both the models well and let your product

The economic slowdown had forced companies to resort to low-cost marketing and promotion options that made the world wide web (www) more attractive. Today, presence on the internet has become indispensable. Remaining “signed-in” is much more than a trend, it's a way to remain connected with your customers. You can notify up-to-the-minute activities and people can share their feedback.


Visibility Costs Nothing

To initiate an online campaign on  Facebook, one can create the company's account in just two simple steps, which incurs no cost. Updates can be posted about new events, latest news and a buzz can be created amongst people by announcing discounts or schemes. This increases the fan base on  Facebook. The page can be promoted on the company's website so that people visiting the site can further follow the events Facebook. One can also upload pictures of the products or the stores to attract more customers. Creating and maintaining this page or account does not involve much of an effort and can be done without an additional resource.

Listing on 'Google Places' is another way to increase visibility for the business. Google offers placing the business on the satellite images of the area when a search query is made. It is a free service where one needs to enter the contact information of the company. One can also share extra information. For instance, category of business, contact person, hours of operation can be incorporated. Additionally, one can also upload store pictures and videos of recent events.

With the current online population in India as high as 81 million and the same projected to be around 237 million by 2015, online visibility is no longer a luxury but a substantial tool for marketing with no substitute available in terms of reach and scope. Presence on prominent search engines and social networking websites will enhance a company's chances of grabbing regular attention of the target customers.


Advertising Campaign for less than Rs 1,000

Advertisement campaigns on Facebook and Google are what marketers are turning to. The waters have been tested and they have proved to be extremely worthwhile; easy to develop and run, precise in delivering their own report card and most importantly, economical to the extent of being cheap. An advertising campaign can be initiated in less than Rs 1,000 a month on both Google as well as Facebook.

A business executive once said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.” Well, this holds no significance in the context of online advertising. The benefit that these advertising campaigns offer is that both Google and Facebook display the performance of the advertisement in the form of graphs, giving the precise information regarding the RoI on these advertisements. Further, one can also edit the advertisement being run at any point of time. Based on the analytical data generated, one can make necessary changes if needed, to drive more people to the advertisement.


How to go about it

Google is one of the most successful internet companies in the world, while Facebook has also grown amazingly popular in the recent years. Because of the popularity of these two sites, web marketers are looking at them as good places to advertise because of the huge number of people who visit their sites daily. Both networks have their own advertising programmes. Here's a step-by-step guideline on how to create an online advertising campaign on Google and Facebook.

Define Customers

Facebook enables the companies in identifying the exact target audience by letting one segregate based on the country, city, demographics, including age, gender, education and workplace. Further, segmentation can also be psychographic, based on the likes and interests. Friends of those connected can also be targeted. On every step, one can see the exact number of audience being targeted with the present selection.

If one chooses to go through Google AdWords, customers can be defined as per the language, country, state or city. This lets one decide when, where and to whom the advertisement would be shown. If the product is not region-specific, the advertisement is shown to everyone searching for it.

Getting the Price

While creating the advertisement on Facebook, one can decide between the cost-per-click (CPC) and cost per million impressions (CPM). The cost per click lets one pay for each time the reader clicks the advertisement. This is primarily chosen by people who have higher RoI in the form of conversions as the objective. However, if the objective is brand-building or brand awareness, one can pick the CPM option, wherein one pays for every 1,000 times the advertisement appears, irrespective of whether it's clicked or not.

For Google AdWords, one needs to pay Rs 250 as the one-time account activation fee to get started. The advertiser sets the limit on how much is he willing to spend on the advertisement each day. The website shows the advertisement as often as possible up to that limit so that the number of clicks one receives does not exceed the daily budget. Advertiser is charged a small portion of the budget each time someone clicks on the advertisement. So, one only pays for the clicks on the advertisement, based on the cost-per-click (CPC).

Designing the Campaign

The advertisement on Facebook appears on the right hand side of the screen. It can be built in a single click, providing the title, a brief description accompanied with a picture. The advertisement can be connected to the company's website or it can navigate to the Facebook's official page, where Facebook gives the 'like' option. A click let others know that the advertisement has been liked. This works like a positive word-of-mouth and gets more and more people to like it. Landing on the company's website can significantly impact the conversion rate though the destination one chooses won't necessarily affect the basic advertisement statistics.

On Google, an advertisement can be created by giving an apt title and a two-line description of what the company is doing or what is the product all about. It is vital that this data must be precise and attractive, since it would drive the traffic. More relevant the advertisements are to people, more likely they are to click on them. Lastly, the advertisement is connected to the website. So, clicking the advertisement navigates one to the company's website. What one sees on the top and on the right hand side are the sponsored links related to the inquiry made. Google AdWords run an auction to help decide which advertisements to show. Different advertisers might bid for the same keywords and Google shows the most relevant advertisements to the prospective customers. To determine which advertisements will show, Google looks at both keyword bids and advertisement quality.

Choosing the Keywords

This is a very crucial step while designing an advertisement on Google. On Facebook, the advertisement is ready to be displayed once it is designed. The keywords are chosen, depending on what the prospective customers or the audience would be typing in the search query. Based on that, the advertisement would appear as a search result. Google, through its keywords tool, can help in identifying keywords appropriate for the advertisement. Some other advertisements might be using the same keywords, so when one wants the advertisement to appear alongside particular keyword searches, one has to place a bid, i.e. specify the maximum amount one is willing to pay each time a potential customer clicks on the advertisement. This is called the maximum cost-per-click (max CPC). Google considers all competing bids entered for a given keyword when deciding which advertisement containing that keyword should appear and where they will appear on a given search results page.


Face off

Rahat Jain, Partner at SKJ electronics and systems, shares, “The Facebook is mainly being used by us for brand-building. It did not really got us clients but that was never the motive. We got 38 lakh impressions last month on the Facebook. I also advertise on Google, which gets us the actual clients and serious leads.”

Since on the Facebook, a person signs in primarily for connecting socially, the probability of looking or clicking on the advertisement is too low. Google search is a much better option in that case because that is need-based. So the RoI or conversion is better.

Kshitij, Founder of Bookstacks, shares that he had put an equal amount of money on Google AdWords and the Facebook CPC campaign and found the Facebook delivering better RoI. “The Facebook 'fan page' and the 'Like' button are very powerful. A properly executed Facebook campaign will have a long-lasting effect than any other Internet advertising,” he says. A fan on the Facebook will last for months or even years and can influence his friends in the long run. Google AdWords is the fly-by-night, one-time campaign, which lacks visibility and the human aspect of marketing. Moreover, the option to segment and target the most appropriate audience gives extra credit points to the Facebook. When deciding which medium to choose, Facebook or Google, the point to remember is, what matter is your target customers and the motive of your advertisement. Choose what works for you.

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