January 17, 2017

Facebook Ads + AdWords: Doing both efficiently for more ROI

Published: 17 January 2017 
Source: Pixal Marketing

Facebook and Google are the obvious choices for businesses looking to run ads. After all, Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second, and Facebook has 1.3 billion daily active users. Furthermore, Facebook only recently announced ads in Messenger. It makes sense that any business would want to reach out to that huge audience. So your options are to either pick one service over the other, or use both cohesively and efficiently. While both are advertising platforms and they can seem similar, Facebook Ads and AdWords actually have numerous differences. However, businesses can use these to their advantage to increase their ROI.

But first, it’s important to understand:   

What is ROI and how does it work?


ROI is the ratio of your net profit to your costs. It allows you to see the effect the advertising is having on business and be able to see the results. ROI can be measured by:

(Revenue - cost of goods sold) / Cost of goods sold.

So why does it even matter? Calculating your ROI can show you how much money you’re making, and how you should spend your budget. Certain aspects will have higher ROI than others, which will show you what area to focus on and which areas need improvement.

To improve your ROI, it’s good to know what isn’t working. Often the cause of a lower than expected ROI will be:

If you’re trying to increase your ROI, there are some things you’re going to want to implement to get the best results, such as:

  • Targeting the right audience: results are achieved because of more than an optimized ad. Before you even make the ad, make sure you’re targeting the right audience. Develop your marketing strategy with your target market’s demographics in mind. Keep in mind what they will respond to and build your advertisements around that.
  • Focus on engagement metrics: when you’re trying to raise brand awareness, you will focus on metrics such as how many likes and visitors you are getting. However, this doesn’t correlate with ROI. You need to ignore these metrics and instead focus on engagement metrics. Metrics to focus on instead include comments per post, likes per post, shares per post and engagement rate per follower.        

Measuring and tracking

Source: Freepik

If you’re considering using both services, then the most important thing is going to be measuring. After all, you don’t want to be paying for both services and have one far outperform the other? Then there’s no point paying for both, you might as well invest all your money in just one service. So what are the best services for measuring results? Here are a few worth checking out:

AdWords has it’s own conversion tracking, which can be set up fairly easily. Simply copy and paste a snippet of code onto a specific page on your website. People that then click on your ads will have a cookie placed on their computer. If they reach the final page after making a purchase, the cookie will be sent to Google servers and registered as a successful conversion.

Facebook has what it calls Tracking Pixels. This makes it easier for you to undertake conversion tracking, as well as optimisation and remarketing.  

Increase AdWords visibility for converting Facebook customer


You’re going to want to use both Facebook and Google to capitalise on new customers. After all, it’s easier to gain a repeat customer rather than a brand new customer. Therefore, if the user is part of your top converting Facebook audience, you can increase the visibility of your AdWords PPC search ads by increasing your bids. The customer is a strong converter, so chances are they will convert again. This is useful if the business has a high volume of conversions from Facebook ads.  

Combine targeting   

Facebook has impressive targeting options. Perhaps one of the most effective targeting options is the custom audiences. There are several types of custom audiences, including:

  • Customer List: a list of emails, phone numbers and Facebook User IDs, which Facebook will then match with it’s existing users.
  • Website: this uses a Facebook Pixel tracking code on your website. You can then target your ads to people who have visited a specific page on your website.
  • App Activity: target people going by what activity they undertook on your website.
  • Lookalike Audiences: once you have created your custom audience, Facebook gives you the option for “lookalike audiences.” Facebook will analyse what users on its database have in common with your current customer list. It will create a list of users who are very similar, but who have yet to interact with your business.

So what does this have to do with AdWords? Once you have targeted your lookalike audience with ads on Facebook, you can create a remarketing list on Google Analytics which is based off the UTM tags for Facebook’s lookalike audience ad set. The user may be curious about your product after seeing the ad on Facebook, so make a ‘top of the funnel’ keyword campaign. Finally set the ad groups in this campaign to ‘target and bid.’ If you don’t want to run a whole campaign, you can also use your customer list off Facebook to apply bid adjustments on AdWords.

If you already have Google Analytics data, you can also use this to help decide which audiences to target on Facebook. Google Analytics will show you the age and gender of your top converting users, which can be used to narrow down the audience on Facebook.

Combining both Facebook Ads and AdWords means your targeting should be more accurate, and therefore you could expect to increase conversions and ROI.

Ben Maden

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