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Online Ads: Finding the Right Tool for the Job

Once considered the golden ticket to reach your target
audience, print advertising no longer stands on its own. In this web-enabled
world, most sensible media plans now include Internet advertising because
people are on their computers, mobile devices and smartphones all day.

Though it may be more comfortable to advertise solely in the
online counterparts of your favorite print publications, financial institutions
that want to attract the most targeted audiences should consider Google and
Facebook advertising. Both can open up a world of opportunities to increase
market share based on user preferences, habits and locations, but which is
better? When we break it down, you’ll see one is more effective in building
brand awareness, while the other is better at promoting a specific product.

There are different schools of thought on whether Facebook
can effectively promote products, or if it is primarily considered a tool for
increasing top-of-mind awareness. While a great mortgage rate or an unmatched
checking product can capture one’s eye in a Facebook ad, the social media giant
generally falls short as an online avenue for product advertisements because
Facebook users are typically not there to search for product information. They
are more casual users.

However, for branding efforts, Facebook is the way to go.
For starters, it offers the ability to target your ads based on specific user
interests, fine-tuning your efforts and minimizing wasted views. Furthermore, a
branding ad that is given adequate time on Facebook will be seen repeatedly by
the same user, helping to build awareness of the company and its message —
without the user ever clicking on the ad. Facebook advertising also gains
greater credibility as user’s friends start liking the company page. And since,
based on an average cost-per-click, Facebook ads are historically more
affordable than Google AdWords. They are the more cost effective choice for an
extended branding effort.

Google, however, excels when utilized for a new product
launch. The Google AdWords Search and Display networks can show an ad at the
exact moment that a consumer is looking for that particular product, or a
closely related one. This is achieved by choosing keywords to match your ads
with user search terms. In other words, when a user searches Google by typing
in the keywords you have chosen, your ad will appear. This ability to capture
consumer interest — as people are already actively searching for new products —
makes Google AdWords a better choice for product promotions.