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Google Ads v Facebook Ads: which is best for my accountancy firm?

Jul 11, 2019

FB ads v Google adsWhen we hear the words Facebook or Google Ads we dream (and hope) that hot leads will start rolling in.

Both of them are advertising platforms that you pay for your ad to be displayed to an audience. And when we’re paying we expect the results.

The words are bounced around a lot. Some people dabble with one platform, and some with both. But you’ll only see results if you set them up correctly and you also need to:

1. Set your expectations. Results take time. Every industry is different and depending who your ideal client is they may be more open to Google Ads than Facebook. Or vice versa.

2. Hone right in on your target audience. Both tools allow a crazy amount of targeting so to get your ad in front of the right people you need to know what they are interested in, location and what content you have that can help them.

3. Test, test and test again. The results won’t just flow in ! You’ll need to tweak your content along the way and keep testing to see what works for you. 

What’s the difference between Facebook Ads and Google Ads?

Here’s a few of the main differences:

  • What is the intent of your target market when they use Google or Facebook? With Google they are searching: they type in the search box to get a result.  This is why creating content is so important, and getting your SEO right, as your content will naturally appear. But it’s also an opportunity to show these people Google Ads that relate to the topic they’re interested in: like your firm! Google uses the person’s search term to create relevant advertisements the person will likely click on.

Example: If someone based in Glasgow types in Xero Accountant, Google will display results based on their location and the words accountant and Xero. They’ll also get Ads from companies that have paid for these key-words.

Facebook is different. As people scroll through their feed they aren’t necessarily looking for the answer to a problem but if they spot your ad (and they fit in the profile you’ve set) and it meets their interests, they may click the ad to find out more. The ads are great for brand awareness.

Example: If your niche is construction companies in England and you want to target this audience, then a construction company owner who lives in Manchester would likely see your Ad in their newsfeed.

  • Ad Targeting: Facebook has an unbelievable amount of data which allows you to be super targeted with your Ads. They can even access data from Google searches if a website has the Facebook pixel installed (most websites have this). From that pixel Facebook can track all of the movements from those webpages and share with you the content that the viewers are consuming.

This gives you the opportunity to then target people based on this data, and their direct activity on Facebook. In a way you’re actually getting all of the data you would in Google but for a fraction of the cost.

  • Ad costs: Google can be expensive to place your keyword at the top of Google Keyword searches, and there’s a lot of competition. Facebook is much more cost effective. The money you’d spend trying to get your Google Keywords top of the list could be spent on content instead, and you’ll gradually start to rank higher on Google organically. Granted short term you won’t get all that traffic that you would from the Ads but long term you’ll get a lot of free traffic.

Start with an offer in your Ad to build a relationship

Once you’ve got your targeting spot on, you need to think about what you can offer in your Ad to start that initial relationship. This concept applies to both platforms.  

Most people are thinking of themselves rather than their audience first (for example “i’ll dash off this guide that will be easy and will be my lead magnet” as opposed to “this is genuinely helpful information I’ve been building for years”).

Do you have a Xero guide for IT businesses? 

Or monthly video tips on using Float that can help creative agencies?

If you don’t have the content yet, use the “They Ask You Answer” concept and pick a topic which a lot of your clients are asking about, that have problems with and have an interest in. Help them solve these issues with your content.

From there you can target them with more free content, before offering your accounting skills once they’ve already got a glimmer into your firm’s expertise.

What’s a realistic Google or Facebook Ad budget?

You can spend a fortune on Ads, but I’d suggest starting with £5 a day budget per platform. This spend is used to show your advert to the audience you’ve selected, and is also a limit to what you want to spend either per day, or for the lifetime of your ad campaign. It acts like a cap so you don’t go over that limit.

For example: If your budget on Facebook is £5, then this Ad may be shown to 140 people that fit the profile you want. But out of that only 6 click so the spend that cost that comes from your budget is only 49p per engagement and £2.94 in total. You don’t pay for those that don’t engage.

Keep in mind that your spend could increase to £500 or even £1500 per month once you’ve tested the Ads and it’s working as you expect and you’re seeing results.

Which Ad platform is best?

Both are great lead generation tools as long as you use them when you’re ready. In my personal opinion I think Facebook Ads will bring you more value, for less investment. Keep in mind that your results will vary from another firm’s results, especially if you have a niche. Test both platforms. Then measure your results.

In reality ads of any kind are not easy. They’re not a quick win. This is hard stuff, and there are people (like Gavin Bell) who have literally built an entire business solely out of advising and helping people with Facebook ads only. You will either need to put in a lot of work beforehand, getting to grips with your target audience, and creating content that you can use in your ads that appeals to them and nurturing these leads….or you will need to hire someone who can help you with that. 

So before you invest make sure you build a solid foundation so you get it spot on when you’re ready. 

And most importantly: content based on what your clients and prospects care about, worry about, ask questions about, is still your best asset whether you do Ads or not!