Facebook, Google, Amazon: Which Ad Channel Is Right for Your Ecommerce Brand?
GUEST POST AUTHOR: Callum Mundine is part of the marketing team at oneegg.com.au, an adwords management agency in Sydney. He is an Amazon marketplace & white hat link building specialist, and has launched multiple successful brands on Amazon.com. Callum like his eggs boiled.
There are many different ways in which Ecommerce brands can get their products in front of consumers, but advertising success depends on several things. Quality content, great images and videos and SEO all factor highly, but using the right advertising channel for your brand is all important.
It isn’t always easy for Ecommerce brands to know which ad channel would work best for them. The first step is to understand the process that buyers go through before making a purchase. This is how it typically rolls out:
- Awareness of the product
- Familiarity with the product
- Considering the product
- Purchasing the product
- Brand loyalty
You should also consider how the major advertising channels work so that you choose the best platform for your brand. Today’s three main ad channels are Facebook, Google and Amazon, and they all offer different advantages. For example, Google and Facebook are where people tend to go for product discovery and research. Amazon is usually where they’ll purchase the products.
Let’s take a look at the channels in more detail:
One of the great things about Facebook is that you can use it to make people aware of your products. This platform allows you to target audiences carefully, choosing who you reach out to and when. You can create tailored advertisements with specific audiences in mind.Retargeting is also possible on Facebook.
You can create social and display ads that grab the attention of users reading articles and checking updates. If you create videos for Facebook, there is the added advantage that your videos will play automatically (unless users change their settings for this). This means they’re more likely to see your video even if they never planned to.
Teaser videos that don’t actually show the product itself are useful for luring customers to your site for a purchase. Note that you will need to be clever with your content and the message you deliver, due to the sheer volume of competition.
One drawback is that competition for consumer attention is very high on Facebook. You will need to shell out quite a lot in marketing costs to get anywhere on this platform, and mainly that will just be to create awareness and familiarity.
Another is that although you can now have an ecommerce store on Facebook, it’s not the most popular purchasing channel. People are far more likely to go to Amazon or Google when they want to make a purchase, as they can compare options and prices easily on those platforms.
Furthermore, because users probably won’t buy from Facebook, you could have a hard time tracking the purchase path; this means it’s hard to know how effective your Facebook ads have been.
Google is a great advertising platform in many ways. It is one of the first places people will go when they want to find out about a product or brand. If there is an issue to be solved, Google is the number one place to start.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) orPay Per Click (PPC) allow brands to display product ads or text that will show up right at the top of users search results. This means you can get your products in front of the exact people who are looking for them, with little effort.
Ultimately the user is looking for a solution (your product), so they are much more likely to make a purchase – especially if your ads include decent offers. This is a great way to get consumers onto your website where you can both encourage them to sign up to your mailing list and showcase other products that may be interesting to them.
Your reach only goes as far as consumers who are actually looking for those products; if they weren’t already interested, they probably won’t come to know about your brand or products through Google. It’s much more difficult to target this way and Google ads are expensive.
You’ll also need to understand SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in order to rank highly in the search results. The same goes for your ads; you must know how to use keywords if you’re going to get anywhere with these.
People won’t know your site exists unless you make it very obvious to them. Although SEO can be daunting to learn, it’s just a case of time and patience. Creating proper title text and unique product descriptions is a good start; as is allowing people to write product reviews. If you learnhow to do effective SEO, you’ll be one of the first brands people see when they search for your type of products.
Amazon is all about the purchase and it’s very quick and simple for people to purchase your products there. People who go to Amazon usually already know what they want and are ready to buy it. With over 500 million products available, people know they’ll find what they need on Amazon.
Amazon offers consumers the best product comparisons and deals, but advertising works here because shoppers may be open to alternative products before they commit to buying. It actually works out cheaper to advertise on Amazon than the other two channels, as you’re more likely to convert consumers, and at a lower cost.
Provided that you use an effective keyword and bidding strategy, it will be easy for people to see your ad and products, leading to purchases.
Amazon’s ad programs are quite new, compared to the other two channels. Facebook and Google have been developing theirs for many years. With Amazon, you can onlychoose between three types of ads:
- Headline Search – for showing off multiple products at the same time and customizing the ad copy and click destination
- Product Display – for brands with products serving a specific niche or highly defined interest group, and running campaigns against competitors
- Sponsored Products - for highly reviewed brands with with keyword targeting experience and a decent budget
Reporting is pretty limited on Amazon. You can’t get custom report dates, so it’s harder to analyse promotion performance, for instance. Similarly, data is scarce. You can’t do any retargeting, which doesn’t make much sense on a platform that could make this so easy.
To conclude, choosing the right ad channel depends mainly on how you want to engage prospects. If it’s brand or product awareness you need (or specific targeting), Facebook is the one. If you need a massive publishing network and strong analytics, Google is the one. If you want to go straight to the top of the purchase cycle, Amazon makes sense… but ultimately, there is no reason you shouldn’t use all three channels, if you have the marketing know-how and budget.