Comparing Different Digital Marketing Platforms: Google Search vs. Google Display vs. Facebook vs. Email Marketing


A decade back from now, most people couldn’t even fathom that digital marketing or online marketing would become such a phenomenon. There’s been a paradigm shift in the marketing world, from traditional marketing to online marketing. Most huge organizations and brands initially resisted moving to digital marketing but as the storm took over almost the entire world, they were forced to become part of the growing trend.

Today, we have a plethora of online platforms allowing us to reach potential customers in a variety of ways. From Google’s Display Network and Search Marketing to Facebook’s numerous advertising methods, digital marketing is all over the place. And, you cannot deny the fact that digital marketing has given business an easier and cost-effective way of connecting with their target market. But, the million-dollar question here is, which platform is exactly the best when it comes to marketing your products or services online? Well, the answer is actually not a straightforward one. Technically, it depends on your objective. So, let’s dive right into it and see which platform is best for what objective and how much would it cost.

Google Search

What’s it Best For?

By far the most effective marketing platform, Google Search connects you directly with someone looking for the products and services you are offering. This is the best way to target a potential customer who is already on the lookout for a product that you can offer. This type of lead is well-informed and already nurtured by reviews and information online. So, you wouldn’t have to go through a bulk of leads to filter out the ones that qualify. In most cases, with Google Search ads you get qualified leads.

What’s the Downside?

It’s highly expensive. Comparatively, a lead on Google Search is approximately 10 times costlier than that on Facebook or Google Display Network. So, you are paying a high price for quality leads.

What Purpose is it Best For?

Google Search is best for lead generation. If you are spending a fortune on getting customers then you ought to ensure they are potential buyers.

Google Display Network

What’s it Best For?

Google Display Network is probably the most cost-effective advertising platform online. You can easily get leads for around $5. Compare that to Google Search where an average lead costs around $50. However, it has its downside. With Google Display Network, leads are not nurtured or well-informed. They could be anyone. For instance, if you are advertising a marketing course, Google will place it on a job site and you would be flooded with thousands of resumes of people looking for jobs. Lead generation purpose defeated. Therefore, Google Display Network is best for two major functions of advertising: Brand Awareness & Re-Marketing.

What’s the Downside?

While cost-effective, Google Display will give you a heart attack if you are trying to generate leads from it. Lead quality is relatively low.

Facebook Marketing

What’s it Best For?

Let’s address the elephant in the room that is Facebook/Instagram marketing. In the past decade or so, if any platform has come close to Google in terms of advertising spend its Facebook. This is the reason why approximately 67% of social media marketing is done on Facebook annually. Facebook offers almost all forms of advertising methods such as lead generation, brand awareness, website clicks, etc. However, it is a consensus that even though Facebook offers lead generation, it is not as effective as Google Search because the lead is not qualified. Unlike search marketing where leads search for your products to sign up or buy, Facebook simply displays your products to users who may or may not be interested even when they land on your page and fill the signup form.

In terms of cast, Facebook lead generation costs almost 10 times lesser than Google Search. This is the reason why social media marketing is mostly used for brand awareness and Re-marketing and not lead generation unless you are running an eCommerce shop.

What’s the Downside?

Facebook has detailing targeting options. You can literally select the age group, job type, interest and much more of your target audience. However, despite all these benefits, the fact that your ad is displayed to leads that may or may not be interested makes Facebook less effective than Google Search.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is probably one of the oldest forms of digital marketing and yet the most effective one. With email marketing, marketers are able to generate sales on up to 89% of lost leads. According to Google, on an average a lead visits a web page 7 times before making a decision. This is where email marketing kicks in. If you are able to acquire the email address of your visitors, you will not only save thousands of dollars over time by building an email list of potential customers but you will also be able to use it for Re-marketing purposes to try to convince your visitors to turn to customers.

What’s the Downside?

Email marketing is tricky. If you simply buy data from data companies and run emails, you might not see the results you were hoping for. The trick is to only use email marketing for Re-marketing or reconnecting with your customers on potential offers. Email marketing should never be the starting point of any digital marketing campaign. It should only be used for Re-marketing. Yes, it is quite inexpensive but to get the best out of it, you need to use it only for Re-marketing.

To Conclude…

Digital marketing, in its entirety, is the practice of utilizing multiple digital platforms for marketing. Every business has different needs and a digital marketing plan should be built accordingly keeping in mind the pros and cons of every marketing platform.