For Amazon private label sellers looking to bring in new sales, external traffic - reaching out to customers on channels outside of Amazon - can be a winning strategy.
While there are countless channels you can advertise your products on, Facebook and Google are without a doubt the heavyweights. Paid ads on both these channels are used by brands big and small, and are proven to work when done right.
Naturally, many people make the comparison between these two channels. There are various opinions on which is best. That’s exactly what we’ll look into here: in which situations Facebook Ads or Google Ads are the best option for Amazon sellers.
First, understand that a large majority of Amazon sellers don’t promote outside of Amazon. The majority utilize keyword research, listing optimization, and Amazon PPC ads to rank higher and get more visibility on Amazon. They have little idea how much opportunity external traffic offers.
Driving product sales from external channels is a great way to get a leg up and also get more organic traffic on Amazon. The reason why is simple: getting your products in front of larger audiences means more sales. More sales translates into higher rankings.
If you’re proactive and get people to your Amazon listing, you’re going to see a positive correlation in rankings, which in turn helps you sell even more. It’s a valuable flywheel effect.
Another great reason to drive traffic? You get to build your own audience, and in the process, build a brand. Wanna know how to start building a long-lasting brand? Check out our interview with Ezra Firestone!
It’s one of the perilous things about selling on Amazon. You’re essentially renting your traffic. Amazon owns your customers, and you’re not allowed to market directly to or contact them.
This means Amazon can cut your traffic off at any time.
Driving external traffic gives you a way to collect contact details from current and potential customers alike. If you get people to opt in to your list - such as email or ManyChat - before sending them through to Amazon, you’ll begin building a powerful marketing asset.
You can use this contact info to market your products, kick off cross-sells or upsells, ask for reviews, and much more.
It’s totally within Amazon’s terms, too. You simply need to add them to your list before they officially become an Amazon customer.
Let’s talk about some of the ways Facebook and Google differ so we can properly judge which is the most effective in which situation.
There are, however, some areas where they differ.
Method of targeting is one of the biggest differences.
Facebook’s audience targeting options are extremely deep. You can target demographics, behaviors, and interests to get ads in front of your ideal customers.
For example, you can target men between the ages of 25-34, living in Canada, who work in Business & Finance, and have a birthday in June.
They also give you the ability to target specific lists of people (you can upload your email list to target them), or people who have taken specific actions such as liking your page, watching a video, or visiting your site.
Google Ads are primarily keyword-based. Meaning you’ll create a list of terms you want to target and bid to have your ads show for these terms. For example - “resistance band set” or “buy fish oil 1000mg”.
Usually when we talk about Google Ads, we’re talking Google Search Ads (formerly AdWords), which are fully text-based. However, there is also the Google Display Network, which shows visual ads on partner sites.
With display ads, you can also layer your targeting with demographics and interests. However, it is not as powerful as Facebook’s audience targeting.
Google Ads are Pay-Per-Click (PPC). Just like Amazon Sponsored Products ads, you pay each time someone clicks on your ad.
Facebook Ads charge by impression. Each time your ad is served to someone, such as in the news feed, in Instagram, or Messenger, you’re charged - even if no one takes any action (such as clicking your link).
Facebook Ads are interactive and visually-driven. When you run one, making it visually stand out and quickly grab attention is a must. For this reason, video ads usually perform very well on Facebook if you have the resources to create them.
Google Search Ads are the opposite, as they are completely text-driven. The effectiveness of your ad relies on how relevant your keywords are and how well-written your copy is.
Google Display Ads are somewhere in the middle, with both a visual and keyword element.
Facebook Ads are often a good platform for top of funnel advertising (people who aren’t actively searching for your product or a solution to a problem), while Google Ads are a good mid-funnel channel.
Since you create customer avatars for Facebook Ads, they’re very effective at bringing awareness to your brand (i.e. top of funnel).
With Google, you need potential customers to be somewhat active in searching for something - they need to at least be aware of a problem or be looking for a specific type of product.
Facebook can also function as a bottom of the funnel marketing channel as well. This is by way of retargeting - serving ads to people who have given you buyer intent but haven’t purchased yet, such as an abandoned shopping cart or product page view.
It can be hard to put retargeting into work if you’re an Amazon seller, since you can’t target people who took actions on Amazon.
There’s no “one size fits all” answer to this question. It depends largely on what you’re looking to accomplish as well as what assets you have to work with.
Use Facebook Ads to proactively go out and find new customers. It’s a great platform to grow brand awareness, particularly with people who aren’t actively looking for your kind of product.
In most cases, it’s the best platform for a product launch. You can get in front of a lot of people quickly, by way of robust audience targeting options. Combine it with a good product offer, and that’s usually going to give enough sales velocity to jumpstart your organic search rankings.
Facebook is also a good option if you already have assets, such as an email list, a ManyChat audience, or your own site with the Facebook Pixel installed. These assets make it much easier to build focused Facebook audiences, which is often the biggest problem for people new to Facebook Ads.
Use Google Ads for an evergreen ad strategy that targets mid-funnel keywords. You won’t get the same quick exposure you can with Facebook, but it’s something you can turn on and run long-term for a sustained sales boost. All the while you can build an audience from your Google Ads campaigns, which is incredibly valuable.
Google Search Ads are often the best way to go - they’re more straightforward than Display Ads, which is important if you’re new to off-Amazon ads.
Be aware, this is generalized advice - the best way to tell which is best for you is to test each channel yourself. Run campaigns on both and observe your results. You may find one channel works better for your business than another.
Google and Facebook Ads are two powerful ways to drive traffic and sales to your Amazon listing. Both have the potential to put your ads in front of a huge audience and give you advanced targeting tools needed to reach new customers.
As for which is better, that answer differs from business to business. In general, Facebook is a great option for growing brand awareness as well as for situations like product launches and flash sales.
Google, on the other hand, is a powerful evergreen ad channel, which gives a steady sales boost over time.
The best advice is to test it for yourself and find out what yields the best results. Happy selling!
Curious how to write effective ad copy that grabs sales? Then you need to check out our Around the Track series! This 3-day long video training series goes over every step of your FBA journey from finding, sourcing, and listing successful items. Read about it here!
Discover opportunities. Maximize your sales. Grow your Amazon business!