Do you want browsers, or do you want buyers?

All small businesses address the problem of gaining new customers at some point in their journey. The obvious answer recently has been to turn to the internet. There are two avenues that people heavily lean towards in digital marketing: Social Media and Google (search). When you are deciding on where to look for leads first, Google should be the answer for a simple reason.

The Diagram seen here shows the consumer buying process. For example, when I get hungry:


1. I’m hungry

2. Restaurants near me?

3. Burritos or Steak?

4. Obviously Burrito, it’s lunch time I’m not an animal

5. Is the stomach pain worth it?

Don’t get me wrong Social media is a powerful tool for brand awareness, community involvement and is effective in running ads as well. However, small businesses oftentimes need a place to start when looking for new customers. That place is Google.

When marketing on Facebook you find consumers on the stage of recognition of needs (I’m hungry), when you market yourself on Google you find customers who are in the information search, evaluation of alternatives and purchase decision stages. To say it simply, more people will buy a product if they are actively searching for it and are making decisions about a certain need. At that stage, they are buyers, not browsers.
If your goal is to put a budget towards finding new customers Google ad spend is the place to start. If your goal is to put your budget towards gaining awareness for your brand, then Facebook ads are a great option. Most companies have both options, on a small business budget, find buyers.

It’s best summarized by the founder of Octohub Scott Sanderson, “Get better leads first, that’s what search is.”