I don’t have to tell you that marketing is a multi-channel affair, and it’s dominated by Google and Facebook.
They’re each powerhouses in their own right. And while they may compete for internet users attention, they shouldn’t be competitors in your marketing strategy.
In this article, I’ll give you a few tips on how to combine your Google and Facebook audiences for more effective campaigns.
The Benefits of Cross-Channel Marketing on Google and Facebook
Search and social are natural complements.
It’s where people spend most of their time – 75% of it, to be exact.
Because of that, the advertiser’s who take advantage of the two platforms will likely see higher views, click-throughs, and conversions.
But combining the two is a far more effective way to push awareness and sales.
In fact, customers who click both social and search ads are 2x more likely to convert than users who click just one.
And, a recent Kenshoo study showed that paid search audiences which were already exposed to Facebook advertising generated a 30 percent improvement in return on ad spend and a 7 percent uplift in CTR.
Oh, and did I mention customers who click both search and social ads tend to spend more?
So I highly suggest you take the cross-channel approach.
Note: To use a lot of the tactics below, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the Facebook Pixel and UTM tagging.
The Facebook Pixel is a piece of code you place on your website to help track conversions from Facebook ads.
UTM tagging is a way to inform Google Analytics of the path a visitor took to get to your site. For more on that, read my full article here.
Now let’s dig into some tips and strategies.
Cross-Channel Marketing: Reinforce Your Goals on Facebook and Google
To make the most of your cross-channel marketing, everything you put out should work to support the same goal.
That means that the ad formats you select on either platform should mirror each other in objective.
Take a look at the image below.
It represents each stage of the sales funnel, and which ad formats correlate to that stage.
So, if I were an e-commerce store running ad campaigns to increase conversions, I would combine Google Shopping Ads with Facebook Store Visits.
Cross-Channel Marketing: Leverage Search Query Data
This is one of the greater benefits of cross-channel marketing.
See, users are typing exactly what they’re looking for into Google, and as marketers, you can use that information to better target and optimize your ads – on both search and social.
One way you can do that is to use search information to better tailor your ad copy.
So if you see that users are clicking on your search ads after searching for specific queries, you can then use those search queries to form more relevant social ads.
For example, if you sell furniture and a large number of your audience is searching for “modern decor,” you can feature that phrasing and imaging in your Facebook ads.
But that’s just the beginning.
Use Facebook to Retarget Users From Search Ads
I’ll spare you my full remarketing spiel here.
After all, if you’re running campaigns on Google and Facebook you’re likely already familiar.
But there’s a lot more to remarketing than just displaying your ads to past visitors.
And one of the best ways to use it? Is through cross-channel marketing.
Basically, if someone found your website through a search ad, you can use what they searched for to target them on Facebook.
Here’s an example from Wordstream of a Facebook ad that displayed to people who searched for “ebay templates” on Google.
Pretty cool, right?
And it’s not even all that complicated to set up.
First, ensure your Google ads are sending users to unique landing pages.
These landing pages should be set up with one of those UTM tracking codes we touched on earlier (read more about UTM tracking + Facebook here).
Then, you’ll navigate to your Facebook Ads Manager and over the Audience tab.
There, you’ll create Custom Audience of people who have visited the specific landing page tied to your AdWords ad.
Here’s what Wordstream’s set up looked like when creating the ad above:
But again, we’re not done.
Cross-Channel Marketing: Create a Lookalike Audience That Aligns With Search Queries
You can also take that custom audience a step further (and reach a lot more people) by creating a Facebook Lookalike audience.
Again, I won’t go into too much detail about the power of lookalikes, but I’m a big fan of these and highly suggest you do some experimenting with them.
Lookalike Audiences are based off custom audiences, and are built to target users similar to those in your existing custom audience.
So, if I have a custom audience built to target a certain search query, I can then build a lookalike audience based on what my site visitors were searching for.
This opens up a world of opportunity.
Say, for example, my search query custom audience only had 1,000 users on it. By building a lookalike audience, I have the ability to target 10,000+ users who are similar to those searching for what I have to offer.
The set up will be similar, only this time you’ll select Lookalike audience in the Audience section. Then, choose the Custom Audience you’re basing it off of from the dropdown.
Use Facebook’s Interests and Behaviors Data to Reach Customers on AdWords
One of AdWords biggest advantages is that users performing a search on Google generally have high buying intent.
The downside? It doesn’t come with near the demographic and interest targeting info that Facebook can provide. The sheer volume of users and information collected – from relationship status, likes and dislikes, education, etc. – on Facebook provides advertisers with extremely powerful and specific targeting abilities.
But they can be used for more than just Facebook. By turning market segments in Facebook into audiences on Google, you can bring that targeting information into your AdWords campaigns.
First, you’ll need to create an Audience in Facebook with all the relevant targeting options. Pay special attention to the Detailed Targeting to choose specifics regarding work, interests, and behavior.
But before you start running your ads, remember how we talked about UTM tracking?
This is where it starts to come into play. You’ll need to attach it to your campaign by setting one up in Google and listing Facebook as the source.
The URL generated is the one you’ll use with your Facebook campaign.
Then, the users that click through to that landing page from your Facebook ad can be used in a remarketing list in AdWords.
For full set-up instructions, click here.
Cross-Channel Marketing: Combine Google Shopping Ads and Facebook Ads
We talked briefly about searcher intent.
Mainly, shoppers on Google have high buying intent. And for e-commerce businesses, there’s no better way to bring in serious online dollars than with Google Shopping Ads.
But on Facebook, not so much.
And it makes sense; after all, no one really fires up Facebook to go shopping.
They aren’t there to browse or buy your products, and purchase intent on the platform is pretty low, all things considered.
But that doesn’t mean it can’t help your e-commerce campaigns.
By showing ads to people who have searched for or clicked on you Shopping ads.
Think about it this way: though people on the search network generally have purchase intent, it doesn’t mean they’re ready to purchase right now.
That’s especially true if you’re advertising big-ticket items like jewelry, name brand clothing, automobiles, etc.
Usually, people do some shopping around before sealing the deal.
But while they do that shopping, you need a way to keep them interested in your brand.
That’s where Facebook comes into play.
If someone shows interest in your Shopping ad but doesn’t purchase, you can try a different outlet and reach them, instead, on Facebook.
(Note: this is remarketing strategy you’ll also find on the Google Display Network, but it can be equally effective on Facebook).
You can set this up using the same UTM tracking process as before. Just include in the shopping ad’s landing page URL, and target URL visits in Facebook with the same UTM link.
Wrapping Up Cross-Channel Marketing
There are many good reasons why cross-channel marketing should be a part of your strategy, especially when it comes to Facebook and Google.
Together, they drive the most marketing dollars and see the highest results from users.
You can use the intel gathered on either channel to enhance the other, whether it’s through search queries, Lookalike Audiences, complementary objectives or driving purchase intent.
Just remember: Facebook + Google = results.