AdWords VS Social Media

Recently in one of the daily newspapers there was an article discussing the value of AdWords versus Social Media. What direction should you take?

AdWords are paid Google advertisements appearing at the top of any Google search. They are distinguishable by the prefix ‘Ad’ appearing before the entry. Often on popular products the AdWords are also visible on the right hand side of the page.

Adwords campaigns are not cheap. A typical campaign costs between $1000 and $5000 per month. Some companies spend up to $100K per month – major retail brands.

The discussion centred on for a new business which methodology is most successful – AdWords or Social Media? It was then followed by the ‘new’ business entrepreneur discussing the merits of Facebook v/s Instagram.

The established AdWords user business was happy with the results. For a business successfully using AdWords and engaging in a professional monitoring and bidding system this is quite understandable. The effect is somewhat cumulative. AdWords (or keywords) are bid for – daily – and by being an ‘early adopter’ the business owner has ensured they are ‘on top’ of the market. By default the early users are the ones who have set the price for their keywords.

The new user has to discover which keywords work best for them and then determine with the budget they have which ones to bid on. For instance, the phrase ‘Lawn Feeder’ may cost $2.50 per click thru. Is it worth spending that 25 times a day if your profit on that product is only $2.20?

In the article, the young lady opting for Social Media had attempted to enter the AdWords market but found over a year it simply wasn’t working for her, the better option was social media.

Reading between the lines, her reasoning was that it was free. On this basis she dissed Facebook, her reasoning being that she could not get the volume of people she could on Instagram.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Facebook own Instagram. By taking photographs of her new fashion items (in fashion you always have good photos available) and posting them on Instagram ,the lady was able to reach 70,000 viewers per photo – free – each time. Those with long memories will remember a time when the same thing was possible via Facebook. So what changed? Facebook became a Commercial operation when Mark Zuckerberg listed on the stock exchange. Facebook has gradually introduced ‘paid for’ access to its market – Facebook users. In Australia that’s 9 million people per day logging into Facebook.

So in reality one party was paying for their advertising (AdWords) and one party was looking for Free Publicity. There really is no comparison. What I recommend to my clients is do all three – use AdWords, Facebook and Instagram as well as others such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Allocate a recommended budget and use professionals or employ someone qualified to carry out your campaign. Digital Marketing currently accounts for up to 70% of all advertising spend and will only consolidate and increase.

Facebook are getting bolder. The company is preparing to take on Google it would appear. In June they have introduced a new advertising function. the ‘Facebook for Business’ team now offer a ‘Call Now’ click thru button that enables people in proximity to your business to call you – from their Facebook Newsfeed. Ads can be tailored to suit ‘Local Awareness’ and a Facebook campaign can be developed to assist in this.

It will enable your business to reach people when they’re near you, target the right audience and ultimately control advertising spend by being more effective locally.

So who was right and who was wrong? For both parties they were ‘happy’ with their results. Going forward, I would suggest both will be adjusting their strategies radically in the near future. For the AdWords aficionados? Their medium is quietly being outgunned and overtaken by other web strategies based around keywords, social media and Google’s Hummingbird algorithm measure. For the lady in fashion using Instagram? Good luck to her but I’d wager within 12 months she will be required to pay similar fees to those Facebook requires. The App’s first requirement is to gain a mass audience. Once it is consolidated you will start to pay.

Digital Marketing is fast paced and super quick in introducing the next advance in technology. It also cashes in quickly, so be prepared to pay to benefit. But make sure you’re part of it – every new variety should be captured on Instagram. Potted Colour, containers, vegetables ,herbs, shrubs, trees. Use it, use Facebook, and use whatever you can. Be present online – constantly. You will be rewarded. In the old days your shop had to be located on the High Street. Welcome to the cyber High street – this is where the traffic really is now and you and your business need to be there.


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