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AIM Facebook Versus Google & Ads Versus Posts

Realbase 26 Apr 2022

Facebook versus Google Ads. Posts versus Ads. Who wins?

There is no doubt that both Facebook/Instagram and Google are the global leaders in digital advertising. Both platforms are sophisticated and highly capable - but which one is best for property marketing? While we’re on that line of thought, are social media posts better than paid ads, or visa versa? Let’s start by looking at the strengths and weaknesses of each platform.

Definition of terms

1. Facebook / Instagram

With around 70% of people boasting a Facebook and/or Instagram account, it's certainly made massive inroads into our collective psyche. It’s not uncommon for people to spend hours a day looking at their feeds, and through their actions, Facebook learns a lot about what interests you. This allows ads to be targeted cleverly, and also allows Facebook to learn & adjust ad targeting for each property as they observe who is interacting with those ads - this is called machine learning. Facebook ads work well for property, which is why every single AIM package includes Facebook & Instagram ads.

In terms of cost, you can look at this in several ways. How much for each ad impression, how much for each click on the ad, and how much for each person taking a greater interest in the property after clicking on the ad. Facebook’s cost per ad is substantially higher than Google Display ads, but their cost per click and per enquiry are almost the same as Google. We love Facebook ads, but we don’t think they’re enough on their own. Why? Well, 70% of people have accounts - meaning 30% will never see your ads. But in truth, whilst we all know Facebook/Instagram addicts, many people use the platforms far less - so in reality, you will miss out on much more than 30% of the potential buyer pool if you only use Facebook.

2. Google Display Ads

A display ad is a visual ad that appears on websites and in apps as people surf the net or use those apps. Because almost everyone ‘surfs the net’ sometimes, it addresses a very large percentage of the population. In the case of AIM’s ads, these are 100% on brand, meaning when people see your ad they will remember your brand more readily than they will for generic ads or ads on Facebook.

Google Display ads are great for creating local area awareness inexpensively - which helps find passive buyers. Google perhaps knows the most about your actual interests because it not only can see which websites you visit, but also what you’re searching for. This means that Google ad targeting is very good, and like Facebook, it uses machine learning to improve each property’s ad delivery by learning more about what type of people are engaging with the ads. Google ad costs per ad impression are much lower than Facebook’s, but the rate at which people click on ads is lower as well.

This is no bad thing because people seeing your brand at scale online is highly advantageous in attracting future sellers. Google ads only cost when people click on them, and the cost of each of those clicks, and the ultimate cost of someone taking more interest in your property after clicking, is almost the same as Facebook. For this reason, we rate Google Display ads very highly and also include them in every single AIM package.

3. Google Search Ads

Everyone uses Google Search, it's the single most used discovery tool in the world by a massive margin. Many AIM packages include Google Search Ads, and that's a great thing because they work so well. Why? Well when someone searches for something, ads are displayed at the top of the search results. Assuming the ad appeals, and is related to the searched words, someone clicking on that ad is doing so very deliberately. This is why more people clicking on search ads go on to make enquiries, when compared to Facebook or Google Display ads. Google Search ads are also more expensive than either Facebook or Google Display ads. We think that Google Search ads are a smart investment, and recommend packages that include them to everyone who will listen.

4. Social Media Posts versus Paid Ads

If you look at the data (and we have a lot of it!) ads outperform social posts by a significant margin when it comes to generating enquiry and also website visits. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t post your properties on your social media channels - you definitely should. Remember that ads, whilst they work better because their targeting is much more advanced, don’t live on your Facebook / Social Media pages. All pages should have content, and it makes sense to post your listings to your business Social Media pages as well as run paid ads.

Fortunately, AIM can do this automatically for you, saving you the trouble of doing it yourself, and also saving you the ‘mistake’ or reposting a link from an external website that will take anyone clicking away from your own website pages. Social Media pages are often viewed by potential sellers as they try to get a picture of you, so if you’re not religiously posting what you're selling, it’s a lost opportunity to impress.

Which approach is best?

There is no clear winner, and a blended approach where your ads and posts are in as many places as possible is unquestionably the smartest approach. Forgive the AIM plug, but AIM will do all of this for you, automatically and effortlessly. Cover all your bases and cast the widest possible net to capture buyers for your listing, and to impress as many future sellers as possible. Now that’s a winning strategy.

Keep an eye out for other articles on digital marketing, it's fascinating stuff! To browse previous articles, click here.