We all know these two giants and how they have dominated the online marketing world. However each of them is unique in features and how marketers use them. So the question to which one is best ends with another question on what you want to achieve. The ultimate is of course to make sales and both are important.
Google wins the battle on which is more effective but it doesn’t mean facebook isn’t important. The statistics show that Google has more successful ads conversion than facebook because Google hits it where it matters. When people search for a product and service and your ads appear it makes sense for them to check it out. As for facebook people are usually socializing and looking into pictures and statuses. Their eyes don’t hit the ads as much. Also Google has a wider reach with its display network and mobile devices.
Judging from this you may think Google has won the battle but with the facebook page and the new sponsored ads which is more mobile friendly it is giving Google a good run for its money. The one place where facebook wins the battle is that Google is involuntary and facebook is voluntary. When you like a page it is because you already have a connection with it. You have tried their product or your friends have recommended it. Facebook plays well with using the connection in your friends list. When you see your friends are interested in something it gets your attention as well. It cashes in on the best marketing tool which is word of mouth.
We learn in marketing about branding and its importance along with sales promotion to boost sales. One has a short term goal and one has long term. Google and Facebook are similar to it. Facebook is great in building brand than Google and Google is more effective in boosting sales. So while facebook shows a less conversion rate than Google it is because facebook strategies should be for long term gains and the results will take some time to show. Again when you have come across a website through Google you also check their facebook page to see how the interaction is which adds more credibility. So, Facebook and Google work hand in hand in online marketing.
Coming to the technical side of advertising in these platform facebook has much simple and cheaper in comparison. Google has a complex platform for advertising with keywords, contextual targeting, placements, demographics etc. (I may have given you a headache by now) but it is this complexity that makes it more effective and a wider reach.
From what you have read so far the argument can go one and you may not reach any conclusion. We can still be argued on what kind of product you want to advertise about. For events and parties facebook is much better than Google while in direct selling of other products and service facebook lacks the resources.
With Facebook buying off whatsapp and Google previous aquisition on Youtube we can always expect more. They are innovators in online marketing and we need to understand their mechanism and how we can use them to our advantage. The bottom line is both of them are great marketing tools and there’s a reason why they dominate the online market.