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Facebook vs. Google vs. Linkedin vs. Twitter: Who Is Better for Advertising?

Social media advertising has become a popular phenomenon in the recent years. With billions of people using social media from all over the world, it has become one of the best mediums to advertise businesses and products. The most popular social media advertisement platforms nowadays are Facebook, Google Adwords, Twitter and LinkedIn. These platforms are continuously in the process of developing innovative and advanced ways of targeting the customers.

Advertising on social media ensures you reach out to your target audience effectively. The important question is which of these social media platform is better for your business advertisements? It mostly depends on the type of your business and your target audience. Though there are several others factors as well.

Facebook Advertising
Facebook is the most popular social networking site with more than one billion users. A Facebook advertisement is not search based but the best thing about it is that it allows you to target your specific audience. Facebook has immense information which has been collected from its users like interests, occupation, education, location, age and gender. This means you can target people from a specific country, between a certain age range with interest related to your business. Since there are several demographics to choose from you’re more likely to reach a specific audience.

The most popular form of advertising at the moment on Facebook is ‘Promoted Posts’. A Promoted Post is a regular post you’ve posted on your business page and that is shared to a set number of Facebook members. You can use CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions) or CPC (cost per click) bidding. The managed services of Facebook advertising are as below:
• Designing the Offer
• Targeting Audience
• Strategy Reach
• Creation of Ad Copy
• Creation of Landing Page
• Lead Qualification
• Optimization and Analytics Reporting

Google AdWords
Google Adwords is a search based advertising social media platform. In Adwords, you can target your audience through keywords that they enter in Google search. Google Adwords provide you with an option of placing your ad on Google search network or place an ad through display partners. Though advertisement on Google is complex and expensive but it is very successful. Google Adwords is best for advertising for broad demographics.

Google Adwords is best for timeliness and relevancy. Google Ads have a significantly long lifecycle as compared to others because the ads appear to individuals while they search for related keywords. Not everyone sees these ads at the same time except when they look for the same information. The best thing about Google Adwords is that a campaign is more effective when no constant updates to the copy are made.

The managed services of Google Adwords are as below:
• Research of Keywords
• Re-structuring/Structuring of Account
• Optimization and Creation of Text Ads
• Geo-targeting
• Transparency
• Weekly or Monthly Performance Report in Detail
• Conversion Tracking

LinkedIn Ads
Advertisement on LinkedIn is really targeted. It can help you in selecting the people you want to reach in the professional space in terms of decision making levels, role, department, job functions, revenue, size of company, industry verticals and location. You will be able to advertise within a specific industry in a specific country with certain annual revenues and in this, you can target certain posts and departments.

With LinkedIn, same as with Google Adwords, the more your target, the more specific target audience you will reach and the more expensive your ad will be. Through LinkedIn, you can target the largest professional audience in the world by spreading awareness for your business, strengthening relationship with existing customers and attaining leads. LinkedIn offers three types of advertising services – Target Display Ads, Social Ads and Targeted Status Updates.

The managed services of LinkedIn ads are as below:
• Creation of Effective Ads
• Management of Group Ads
• Target Audience
• Landing Page Creation
• Improve and Measure

Twitter Ads
Twitter is the most underdeveloped platform for advertisement as compared to the other three. Twitter is an advertising platform for large brands through ‘promoted trends’, ‘promoted accounts’ and ‘sponsored tweets’. You have to pay per impression in order for your sponsored tweet to appear on top of the feeds. In Twitter’s search engines, hashtags are incorporated for some search terms. Though this platform is still undeveloped for advertising purposes, it still shows a lot of promise and can gradually offer advertising opportunities for smaller brands by promoting your business account and tweeting to individuals who are unaware of your business but have interests related to your business.

Twitter advertisement is done in three ways:
Promoted Accounts – promotes your business profile and offers more exposure to building followers who may be interested in what your business has to offer. Promoted accounts are best for promoting big events and capitalizing during certain periods of the year.

Sponsored Tweets – you can highlight a certain status update. This option is best for offering deals, building voice of the brand, spreading awareness and sharing content.

Promoted Trends – Thorough this option, your hashtags and topics will start appearing at the top of the list of Trending Topics. Through this you can build your brand through association and spread mass awareness about your business/product or events.

Closing Words
In conclusion, the social media advertising platform you select depends on your budget, type of business/product, your target audiences and how you want to reach them.

Facebook ads are the easiest and cheapest, but are best for promoting your business page, spreading awareness and interacting with customers.

Google Adwords is expensive but is best for businesses or products that are unique.

LinkedIn is affordable and is best if your target audience is professional individuals.

Twitter is good for big brands and is cheap but can be confusing.

On Facebook and Twitter, you have to continuously keep updating your ads while on LinkedIn and Google Adwords is highly recommended to not change anything if everything works fine.

The best thing to do is to launch a small test campaign with a minimum budget and experiment with all four social networks for a certain time. Evaluate the results and go for the one (or maybe two) platforms that proved to be more successful in the experiment. All these social ad platforms have something different to offer and can prove to be successful once you find the right one for you as per your requirements.

Partner with Google to Grow Your Business Online

In most of the English-speaking world, Google is one of the largest search engines. In addition to the important role it plays in facilitating online searches, Google also offers various features that businesses can use to boost their online presence.

Google enables online businesses to connect with their local customers, to set up online ad campaigns, to set up online payment methods, and to access free Analytics about their online business. Here are just few of the Google features you can leverage for your online business:

Google +
Google Plus for Business is essentially Google’s social media service. The platform allows businesses to create a profile where they can communicate and engage their customers. While Google Plus is not yet as influential as Facebook is, an increasingly large number of social media users are joining the platform and remaining active. Google Plus features such as Google Circles allow businesses to create a social community that they can continually engage.

Google Plus allows businesses to create ads and campaigns that are highly targeted. Instead of sending out the same messages to different audiences who may use a different language or may be based in another country, it is best to hyper-target your audience. This is what Google Plus allows you to do; through the creation of Circles, you can categorize your audience according to their interests and demographic characteristics. You can then send them targeted and valuable messages.

Through Google Plus, you can share photos, videos and links with your social community. You can also host hangouts where you can conveniently communicate with your customers face to face irrespective of their location.

A new and interesting feature is the Direct Connect feature that allows web users to find a business’ Google Plus pages through the Google Search engines. You can simply link your Google Plus pages with Google search and the pages will appear for relevant searches.

Google Plus Local
Google Places is Google’s location based service that allows businesses to position themselves in a way that local consumers can easily locate them. While businesses with a physical presence will benefit more from Google Place, businesses with online operations can also leverage this feature. To get your business listed and for it to appear on Google Search, you need to provide an address; it is possible to use your Post Office address if you do not have a main physical storefront.

According to Google, up to 97% of web users are searching online for local businesses. Increasingly, they are using their mobile devices to conduct these searches. Google Plus Local listings allow customers to find you when they are looking for the type of product or service that you offer. Consumers can also share your product images with their friends and family. Additionally, you can follow the social conversations that your customers are having and respond to these comments in a timely manner.

One of the reasons Google Plus Local is essential for online businesses is the fact that local consumers are using their mobile devices to find business and content. When consumers search using their mobile devices, Google results show both online and local businesses. This allows users to find out about your products and services even when you are solely based online.

Another reason to consider Google Places for your online business is that Google is constantly adjusting its page ranking algorithms. As such, if you have valuable content in your website, your online business will continue to enjoy suitable page rankings at the search engine result pages. Importantly, you should fill out all the details in your business Place Page to rank higher in the search pages for Google Places.

Google Wallet
If you have an online storefront, you need a convenient payment and checkout structure. Installing Google Wallet in your website or e-commerce site allows your customers to pay using this feature for the products they purchase from your site. Businesses that already have a payment processing system in place can still use Google Wallet for their e-commerce stores. Customers only need their Google account username and password to make payments.

Google Wallet offers convenience for both the business owner and the consumer. The consumer can pay for products immediately without navigating away from the site. Google Wallet is optimized for mobile websites and allows further convenience for your mobile consumers. There is no cost for installing Google Wallet on your website and customers do not incur any costs either.

An additional feature is Google Merchant Center, which allows businesses to display their products online. The product listing is accessible through the Google Shopping portal as well as in Google Product Ads and Google Commerce Search – all these are Google’s online shopping and reviews portals.

Importantly, Google Shopping enables online consumers to find your products easily through Google. As an online marketer, Google Shopping allows you to attract a wider range of prospects as they search for products at Google search. Google Shopping also enables you to manage your product listing by allowing you to update the information to make it relevant for your customers.

Google Adwords
Google Adwords is a free and valuable tool that allows online businesses to advertise their services at the search engine result pages. Unlike organic search marketing, paid advertising through Google Adwords allows you to place your ads for competitive keywords.

The Adwords program allows businesses to target their audience according to their location and for keywords that web users are likely to use to search the business. Adwords also allows you to include your business URL through which web users can click to reach your website.

The program works on a pay per click basis such that when a web user clicks through the ad to your website, you will pay Google a fixed amount for every click through. Adwords can be effective in boosting your site’s visibility. By having a strategic Adwords campaign in place, you can increase relevant click throughs thereby expanding your prospect and customer base.

Google Analytics
Measuring the progress of your online business could never be easier with a free tool such as Google Analytics. Google Analytics simply allows you to track, monitor and to analyze your website data and site visitor activities. Some of the metrics you can monitor and analyze include:

Sources of Traffic: Google Analytics allows you to determine how site visitors arrive at your site. The tool allows you to determine other websites and platforms that have linked to your website and the key phrases web users are using to find your site.

Visitor demographics: Google Analytics enables you to assess the number of site visitors, their location, their activities on your site, their browsers as well as the language spoken by the visitor.

On-site Information: Google Analytics enables you to assess on-page features such as your content, landing page, navigation as well as internal links.

How to Make Your PPC Campaigns Work for You

Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is unique to the Internet and more so for the online marketers. Marketers or advertisers use this form of advertisement to promote their products and services through other people’s websites. Pay Per Click is indeed an essential component of search engine optimization campaigns.

The practice of PPC entails the purchase of sponsored ad links that appear on the result pages of a particulars search engine. When web users click through the ad link, the marketer pays the website owner where the advertisement is hosted. The advertisements that appear on a website are generally relevant to the content within the website.

BENEFITS OF PAY PER CLICK ADVERTISING
While other forms of online advertising keep evolving with the simultaneous evolution of online marketing, PPC advertising still holds presents some advantages for the online advertiser. Some of these include:

Pay per click advertising is much faster than organic search engine optimization: Once the advertising program (for example Google Adwords) approves the advertisement, the ad links appear immediately on the relevant websites. This is unlike organic search engine optimization that may take a long time for the search engines to crawl, index and rank your site at the search engine result pages (SERPS).

Pay per click has a wider reach and offers more room for experimentation with keywords: On organic search engines, you will find that it can be difficult to be ranked in the top 10 listings for the most competitive keywords. However, PPC advertisements allow marketers to choose competitive keywords and to bid for them for higher listings.

PPC advertisement programs allow advertisers to experiment with keywords and key phrases to determine the ones that generate the highest conversion rates: Advertisers can easily monitor, track and adjust the keywords and phrases depending on the analytics about their keywords’ performance.

PAY PER CLICK PAYMENT STRUCTURES FOR MARKETERS
The fee an advertiser will pay when web users click through an ad link will entirely depend on the program the advertiser is working with. Pay per click advertisement is referred to in this way because the advertiser only pays when web users click through the ad link and are directed toward a specific landing page. When marketers advertise through a search engine’s PPC program, the cost per click rates are determined by a bidding structure. The advertiser simply selects keywords and bids on these relevant keywords and phrases. The advertiser who places the highest bid is able to use the specific keyword or phrases for their advertisement.

Pay per click advertising is also applicable in affiliate marketing. In affiliate models, the partner or publisher site is awarded incentives for every web user who clicks through the marketer’s website. In return, the marketer receives platform when buyers and prospects can click through to access the products or the point of product purchase. For the advertiser of a product, the PPC model of affiliate marketing is valuable. This is because the advertiser will only pay the affiliate if the affiliate manages to attract web users to click through to the advertiser’s site and perhaps purchase a product or service. This is also known as pay for performance marketing.

THE BEST PROGRAMS FOR PAY PER CLICK ADVERTISING
All the major search engines have a pay per click program for marketers. The differences in the programs include features such sponsored ads, ad layout and the payment structures for advertisers. These programs include:

Google Adwords: This is the best-known PPC program. It is easy to use for most beginning advertisers and it offer dynamic analytics for tracking your PPC campaign. There are no minimum limits as to what an advertiser can spend on their PPC campaign with Adwords. You simply choose your budget.

Bing: Microsoft’s search engine is a pretty new one but it can offer advertisers better chances of reaching a narrower or more targeted audience. The keyword bidding competition is also less fierce on Bing than it is on Google Adwords.

Yahoo Search Marketing: Yahoo allows advertisers to place PPC ads on websites with content that is highly targeted to the ad. Advertisers may also place sponsored link ads for greater visibility.

OPTIMIZING YOUR LANDING PAGE
Optimizing your landing page is an important aspect of enhancing the success of you pay per click campaigns. In fact , PPC campaigns are more than just creating engaging ad copy that directs web users to the landing page. What happens when they get to the landing page and the visitors do not convert to potential or real customers? Admittedly, up to 98% of site visitors who come to a landing page leave the page without making an inquiry about the products or services offered. The bounce rate for a large majority of websites is an estimated 95%. These are quite high figures that could impact negatively on your PPC return on investment (ROI).

However, marketers can consider several best practices to optimize their landing pages for higher conversions and better ROIs. All it takes is some simple A/B analytics, a proper marketing strategy and adequate planning; this will ensure that visitors to your site have better engagement with the site, leading to valuable conversions.

Here is what you can do to get started with prepping up your site’s landing page for a successful PPC campaign:

Keep the Page Simple: Sometimes new marketers assume that complex pages are better than simple ones. But the truth is a cluttered, hard to use website will put off many site visitors. Keeping your landing page simple means including a single action you want the site visitor to undertake.

Draw Attention: Your landing page is your call to action page. After users click through your ad links they come to this specific page and what they should find is a clear way to get to a product or service or at least a way to inquire about it. Your call to action must be prominent on the landing page. For example, place the ‘sing up’ or ‘download now’ button in a strategic and prominent area on the landing page where all the site visitors can see and click through it.

Break It Down: If, there are several steps involved for the user to take a specific action, break them down into simple steps. This will engage the site visitor and make it easier for them to complete the process and even provide their personal information.

The most functional landing pages are simple and make it easy for users to navigate through the site. Landing pages are far from being static and permanent; on the contrary, they change with time and require your constant input beyond placing a pay per click ad.