How Are Paid Search and Facebook Ads Different?

Mar 28, 2018 | Marketing

Audigy is excited to be rolling out a more robust Facebook advertising program to our membership, with an emphasis on lead-generation ads. With this more focused program, we have been met with a lot of questions. Many members have asked us: What is the difference between my paid search (PPC) and my Facebook lead ad campaign?

At first blush, they may seem pretty comparable. You determine a monthly budget, you advertise to prospective patients, and then leads are received by phone or form submission. It may seem redundant to have two significant budgets for lead generation.

Let’s break down the biggest differences between the two platforms and the importance of advertising on both.

User Mind-Set

A clear difference between these platforms begins with the user mind-set.

Users on Google are actively searching for answers. They may be searching for a particular product, information about their hearing loss, or a comparison between products. These users have a clear intent to pursue either information or services within hearing care.

Users on Facebook are passive observers. In many cases, the user has not indicated that they are looking for hearing care services. These users are scrolling through the Facebook news feed looking at pictures of friends and family and are presented with your ad.

This may seem like it puts Facebook at an immediate disadvantage. However, you are just tapping into two very different groups of people.


Let’s break down how these two audiences are created and why they are different outside of mind-set.

User audiences are self-identified on Google. The moment I perform a search, Google serves me an answer based on my query. Through Google AdWords, we target users based on their search queries. We build our target audiences based on keywords and demographic information.

User audiences on Facebook are selected. When building a Facebook ad campaign, we can target existing fans of our Facebook pages, friends or family members within their network, or a specific group determined by demographic, interests, or purchase behavior.


Targeting features on both platforms have some overlap but differ in important ways.

Advertisers can target users on Google not just by keywords but with demographic and user information. This data is collected by Google as you interact with different websites and when you perform searches on Google.

This includes identifiers like:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Language
  • Prior user behavior on Google
  • OS or computer type

Advertisers can target users on Facebook by demographic information, interests, and purchase behavior. This data is collected by Facebook as you post on their website, talk with friends, visit other websites, and read/engage with content. Facebook also purchases information from marketing companies that includes your purchase behavior and habits.

Facebook allows us to target identifiers like:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Language
  • Interests (sports, music, health and beauty products)
  • Purchase behavior
  • Income level
  • Network-related criteria (i.e., friends of fans of your Facebook page)


One final differentiator between the platforms is how they deliver ads to prospective patients and the format of those ads.

Google paid-search ads have two parts. The first part is the text ad that’s displayed on the Google search results page. The ads allow for custom copy, extensions that provide additional information, and click-to-call.

Once clicked on, the users are taken to a relevant landing page. This landing page is a single-page website with relevant information about the topic they clicked on. Landing pages push the user either to make a phone call or submit a contact form.

Facebook lead ads have two parts as well. The first part is the text and visual ad that’s displayed on the right-hand sidebar or in the news feed. These are completely customizable and require a visual to go with the ad to engage users. There are many formats that can be used, including a carousel format that displays multiple photos.

Once clicked, the users are taken to a matching landing page, very similar to our paid-search landing pages. The only difference between these pages is an added layer of visual cohesion; we match the Facebook text and visuals to the visuals we use on the landing pages.

Why Run Both?

Hopefully, that helped distinguish how the two tactics are different. Running both paid-search and Facebook advertising allows you to target two very different audiences. You are reaching people in very different phases of the marketing funnel. You are also able to target and reach different people based on their intent or their behaviors.

Leveraging both tactics makes sure you have a brand presence on the web and can encourage prospective patients to learn more about your brand.

If you have any additional questions about these two services, please contact your marketing manager or email [email protected].