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Which are better for you?
In many instances, Facebook and Google are competitors in the same space vying both for online viewers and advertising dollars.
From a practical standpoint, Facebook and Google are platforms that any sharp business owner could use at the same time to increase visibility and lead generation in the quest to build their customer base.
The strategies for each are different because the processes and performance for each are also different.
No matter which one you choose - or even if you choose both - you can generate some great leads and revenue on your ad spend when you work them properly.
Here’s an overview of what you need to know about both of them to execute a strong lead generation strategy for your real estate business.
What are the differences?
Before we dig too deeply into this conversation, it’s important to understand the main difference between the two lead-generation platforms.
1) Google (Google AdWords)
Google AdWords is a “paid search” platform where advertisers use Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising to generate leads.
AdWords is the “big kid on the block” as it is the largest and most well-known PPC platform available to online marketers today.
The majority of companies and individuals using paid search advertising do so on Google using Google AdWords, despite the existence of Bing and Yahoo.
2) Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads is known as what is called “paid social”, which stems from paid advertising on social networks.
Facebook has the largest number of active monthly users on its platform of any social network on the face of the planet. As a result of that, it’s become an extremely attractive online lead generation approach for many companies in a number of industries.
Also, both of them have a huge reach when it comes to helping advertisers spend their money in order to get in front of Internet users.
This, however, is where the similarities end.
Paid search helps companies find customers using keywords and paid social helps them find customers based 1) on things in which they’re interested and 2) on their online behavior.
More simply put, where Google AdWords helps you identify new customers with which to work, Facebook helps new customers find you.
This is a key distinction that I don’t want to gloss over.
If you invest in PPC or paid search advertising, you may secure prospects who could be further along in their research and process for selling or buying a house. This is because they’re online, actively searching for, and then clicking on, solutions to their “problem”.
It’s not a guarantee, but it’s a higher probability that they’re likely to make a move soonerthan a lead you generate from a paid social advertising campaign.
On Facebook, your prospect may be online, connecting with friends, playing games, making a post, etc. and see your ad while they’re doing all of that.
They may click on your ad, but their intent in being online may not have been to check out your ad and/or find out more about you and your company.
Again, no guarantee here either. I’m just sharing that you may get a quicker return on your advertising dollar with a PPC ad in certain situations and it’s a good thing to know before you spend your hard-earned money.
The Case for Google
Google is number one when it comes to online advertising. More than 3.5 billion people per day perform some sort of search on Google every day. Its ability to give advertisers a marketplace where people are actively looking to make a purchase is unparalleled.
Google receives about 40,000 searches every second, totalling more than 1.2 trillion web searches every year.
And, when you add the fact that it has an ever-growing proprietary artificial intelligence that helps searches find what they’re looking for, it’s not hard to see how Google is going to continue to grow the volume of its already huge number of searches.
In fact, once Google knows your prospect is looking to sell a home in your market area, it will automatically do everything possible to send information, ads and details via banners, search criteria, real estate agent information etc. to that seller prospect about selling a home any time the prospect is online.
To make things even better, Google divides its advertising options across two networks: the Search network and the Display network.
The Search network is comprised of the Google search engine where any advertiser can bid on millions of keywords and phrases to catch the attention of future customers.
The Display network, which gives advertisers the option to use visual advertising like banner ads, encompasses virtually the entire Internet. It’s a great way for companies who are looking to grow their brand and generate leads as well.
Recently, Google has started offering ad styles that are customized to the specific needs of different types of businesses. They are more detailed than text or banner ads and they provide high resolution images, interactive map data, videos, etc.
Google truly gives real estate agents the opportunity to differentiate themselves and generate a legitimate number of quality leads no matter what you’re trying to accomplish. Plus, with Google’s consistent efforts in implementing new advertising formats and features, agents will be empowered to reach even more sellers and buyers to generate new business.
The Case for Facebook
Like Google, Facebook has a some serious pull with a huge worldwide audience. Facebook has well over 1.5 billion active users month in and month out (roughly 1/5th of the world’s population).
So, if you’re looking for sellers in the number one selling subdivision in your marketplace, you can generate those leads.
It may be a bit narrow for a Facebook search and ad campaign...but you can go that narrow.
You really can.
The real strength of Facebook advertising and marketing just might be in how powerfully visual a platform it is.
Rather than the virtually emotionless, text-driven PPC ads from Google, Bing and Yahoo, top Facebook ads combine video, pictures and other visual content on targeted users News Feeds to evoke powerful responses to their ads.
When you blend messages that touch multiple senses, you have the ability to make your ads more compelling and effective.
When a seller prospect and see and hear the testimonial from a client you helped, they can be impacted at a much deeper level over reading the text for an ad they would click to get the value of their home.
Remember, they may not be on Facebook looking for the value of their home, so they might not be a “now” seller. That said, you can still have a tremendous amount of impact on inspiring and influencing prospects to look more closely at your for the job of selling their home.
Which one is best for you?
Both Google AdWords and Facebook Ads are extremely effective advertising platforms that work with almost any real estate lead generation campaign and budget.
Ideally, you should look at them as being complementary vs adversarial when it comes to considering them for your business.
Between Google’s immense reach and Facebook’s visual strength, you can find a way to make both of them work in generating leads.
The important thing to remember is that you must get a bang for your buck, so to speak, no matter what platform you use and to that end, you need to understand what kind of lead you’re getting and in what stage of the “buying” process” your lead is based upon which platform you use to generate the lead.