Facebook Ads versus Google PPC: Which Is Better For Your Photography Business?

Let’s say you have a little extra money this month and you want to take it and use it for advertising your photography business.

Should you invest in a Google PPC (pay per click) campaign? Or should you use it for Facebook Advertising?

On the surface, both have incredible backing and a lot of statistics to support them.

  • Facebook has 845 million active users, who as a whole post over 1 billion posts per day.
  • Google is said to have around 1 billion searches per day.

Which puts the two fairly equal when it comes to people you can potential market to. Yet that’s where the similarities end.

When you head to Google, you are actively looking for information. You head to Google with a question or thought in mind, ready to find the answer. You add in keywords looking for results. Which means you’re just as likely to click on an ad as you are natural results – if it provides you with the answer you are looking for.

With Facebook, they rely on “push” marketing when it comes to getting their ads in front of visitors. People on Facebook aren’t raising their hands asking for information; they are there to keep up with their friends. They want to hang out. Clicking on an ad means removing themselves from the conversation. And in many cases its not something they are willing to do.

So the two right off the bat are completely different. If you’re going to jump in an advertising campaign on either one, you have to approach them differently.


With Google, you have to think like your customers. What are they searching for? What could you advertise to make them want to click on your ad?

Dig Deeper: How To Run A Successful Pay Per Click Campaign

Let’s look at an example to see how you should approach a Google campaign. We’ll assume we are a photographer trying to boost up our clientele for model portfolios.

Our average client will head into Google and use keywords like “model portfolio photographer” to find someone to help them. We want to be there. And if we know they are using the key phrase “model portfolio photographer”, chances are that’s exactly what they want. They need someone with the experience and expertise to help create a dynamic portfolio that will help get them modeling jobs.

So we know our ad should use keywords that showcase our talents as a model portfolio photographer. When I typed that into Google, this is what I found:

Google makes it easy to create as many ads as you desire, and focus each ad to select keywords and phrases. Yet we can see a wide variety of the results here simply don’t match up with this keyword. Would someone looking for a model portfolio really trust a dog photographer? So these are wasted ads. They aren’t targeted enough to attract attention. And more than likely won’t be clicked on.

But if you target the ad correctly, and you ad the information people want, like this ad:

Then you have a much higher potential of getting your searcher to click on the ad.

With Google, they are there for information. They are out looking for something and want to connect up with the right person for the job. They want to spend money. They want to give you business.


With Facebook, you have to make people think beyond what they are on Facebook for, and give them something so amazing they have no choice but click on it. They aren’t there for information or to find a solution to their problem; they are there to talk with friends. You must “push” the appropriate content in front of them in order for them want to click on your ad and take the next step.

Facebook ads are generated based on an individuals demographics. The ads on my Facebook account will be different than yours, simply based on the information I use to populate my account. So when I list my business summary, likes, interests, favorites books, and so on, Facebook adds that all up and develops my own personal profile. When business owners go to the Facebook Ads program and begin building their ads, they start checking off who they want to advertise to. Men, women or both? Age? Geographical location? Interests? It goes on and on, developing the demographics right in front of you as you make your choices.

In our example as a model portfolio photographer, our goal would be to have our ad appear on profiles where the person may be interested in updating or creating their very first model portfolio. Which means we would really have to know how to define our target market. Are they male or female? What age is most likely to come in? What are their interests?

With Facebook you only pay if they click. But if you want new clients, you really want them to click. Its not so much about selling to them as it is attracting attention.

“Model Portfolios from $100” probably wouldn’t work. Even if a “model” is on her Facebook account regularly, she might not be thinking about purchasing a new portfolio while she’s there. She’s chatting with friends.

Instead, you want to entice her with ideas.

“Is your model portfolio getting you the highest paying jobs? There are three easy ways to find out.”

Facebook isn’t about selling. If you try and sell, you will lose.

Dig Deeper: How To Grow Your Photography Business With Facebook – The Best Demographics In The World

Facebook is about curiosity and finding things you’ve never seen or read before. Its about sharing things of value with your friends.

So that’s what your ads should be about.

Which is better?

That depends on your goals.

Right now, both systems work in similar manners. You tell how much you’re willing to spend daily and/or monthly. You can watch your ads and make changes quickly. You can determine how long you want them to run. They both charge per click, meaning you won’t have to pay unless someone clicks on your ad.

With Google, they are actively looking for you. So your goal is to “sell” them on what you do. With Facebook, its more about attracting them as they spend time on their account.

Different approaches. Yet both may be worth your time and money if its in your marketing goals.

1 thought on “Facebook Ads versus Google PPC: Which Is Better For Your Photography Business?”

  1. Excellent advice to those getting their Modeling portfolio started, our website http://www.photomodel.com/ is a place where anyone can upload Modeling portfolio to help get found. its a worldwide site that also has a network of professional photographers who can also help to build a portfolio to help get you started on your way to ‘becoming a next top model!’


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