Google Ads vs. Social Media Ads

Google Ads vs. social media ads have been a bit adversarial in the marketing world, especially with the long-standing rivalry between Google and Facebook. Both offer unique advantages and a few limitations, making them appropriate for different types of campaigns and goals.

Though the platforms were in direct competition, marketers have since realized the value of including both in their strategies. Learn more about Google Ads vs. social media ads and how you can leverage each in your marketing strategy.

Google Ads

Google Ads are used by brands looking to maximize the lower stages of the funnel and increase conversions. Research suggests that people are more likely to click on a paid ad from a familiar brand, however, so brands need both awareness campaigns and conversion campaigns.[1] In this respect, Google Ads are only part of the overall strategy.

Advantages of Google Ads

Google Ads can be effective due to their incredible reach and can help brands scale rapidly. Here are some advantages of Google Ads:

Fast Lead Generation

SEO and other organic methods are effective, but they take time and patience to see the payoff. Google Ads allow you to target leads and increase inbound traffic quickly.

Massive Reach

Google Ads offers incredible reach and the integration of ad campaigns on Google Search, YouTube, and Gmail, tapping into a huge pool of potential audiences and customers.

Optimization and Transparency

With optimized set bids, Google Ads gives you an opportunity to leverage and position campaigns against competitor ads.

Targeted Audiences

With its sophisticated analytics offerings, Google Ads provides in-depth insights into target audiences. Some of these insights include demographics, popular and competitive keywords, locations, and other details.

While Google Ads have plenty of benefits, it does take a considerable marketing budget and ad spend to maximize the ad campaigns.

Social Media Ads

Social media ads are excellent for boosting brand awareness, making them a top-of-the-funnel focus in the awareness and consideration stages. Customers are looking for more interactions with brands on social media, and ads can help you build a community faster and connect with potential customers.

Advantages of Social Media Ads

Social media ads supercharge the benefits of social media in general, including brand awareness and customer engagement.

Improved Brand Awareness and Recognition

The intent of social media ads is more to get customers familiar with your brand than sell a product or service. Social media ads have wide reach and can show your audience who you are, what you stand for, and what you have to offer, leading to a future sale.

Better Customer Engagement

Content on social media can improve engagement significantly. Social media ads can be used to increase audience engagement and capture the attention of new users to bring them into the fold.

Increased Inbound Traffic

Social media is a powerhouse for increasing inbound traffic. While these users may not be ready for purchase, social media ads can direct them to your website to find out more about your brand and products, subscribe to a newsletter or email list, and read more content.

Deep Audience Insights

Most social media channels have in-depth insights about their users, which you can use to your advantage. Channels like Facebook and TikTok offer tailored audiences to target your campaigns and ensure that your ad spend puts your ads in front of the right people. These channels also offer detailed analytics to improve your campaigns and optimize ad performance.

Improved Brand Loyalty

Social media ads can help you nurture and develop relationships with customers and prospects. As more users see and interact with ads and promoted content, they learn more about your brand and become loyal advocates.

Social Media Channels for Advertising

Facebook may be the first channel to come to mind when thinking of social media, but it’s far from the only option. Newer platforms offer a variety of features and capabilities that can enhance marketing campaigns and improve ad performance.


TikTok has over 1 billion active monthly users, and its one of the most popular apps installed worldwide.[2] While many marketers are ignoring the platform and writing it off as a fun app for the kids, its popularity is growing and it’s recently released new ad opportunities and features.

In addition to paid ads, TikTok offers opportunities with branded challenges, influencer marketing, and partnerships with top content creators.


Snapchat hit the scene with incredible popularity and has since faded into the background, or so it seems. According to the company’s report, Snapchat keeps increasing its user base and offering better opportunities for marketing.[3]

If your target audience is on Snapchat or TikTok, it’s best to investigate the advertising opportunities these channels offer and see if they’re right for your needs.

Leverage Google Ads and Social Media Ads in Your Next Campaign

Both Google Ads and social media ads have value to marketers, especially as complementary strategies. Social media ads are focused on top-of-the-funnel goals like brand awareness, making brands familiar to customers. In turn, customers may respond better to Google Ads, leading them to your website and improving lower-funnel performance like conversions.