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Facebook Ads vs Amazon PPC: Which is Better for Your Online Business?

Your guide to Facebook ads vs. Amazon PPC for online business.

Jameela Ghann
By Jameela Ghann
Anelisa Nokoyo editor profile photo
Edited by Anelisa Nokoyo

Updated May 31, 2024.


So, Facebook ads versus Amazon PPC (pay per click). This comparison is like choosing between two distinct flavors of ice cream—each delightful in its own way. While Facebook Ads excel in targeting specific demographics and reaching a wide audience, Amazon PPC is ideal for businesses selling products directly on the platform, leveraging its vast customer base.

Any PPC consultant will tell you that the two platforms are drastically different. Our goal is to break down these platforms and give you the info you need to make smart advertising decisions. Let's dive in.

Meet the expert

Jameela Ghann is a seasoned online store owner with over a decade of eCommerce experience. Apart from running Alora Boutique, she's also the marketing manager for Fera Product Reviews.

What are Facebook ads?

Facebook ads is an advertising platform provided by Facebook that lets you create and display targeted ads to the social media network's vast user base.

You can choose which specific groups of Facebook users you want to show your ads to based on factors like age, gender, location, interests, and more. Your ads will then appear in different places on Facebook, like in users' News Feeds, on the right-hand side of the screen, or even on Instagram (since it's also owned by Facebook).

Your ads can either be focused on impressions (how many people see them) or clicks (how many people click on them). According to this, you can set a budget for your ads. Finally, Facebook ads come with tracking tools so you can measure the success of your ads.

Pro tip: want to improve your ROAS? Check out our top Facebook Ads experts.

What is Amazon PPC?

Amazon PPC is a digital advertising program offered by Amazon that allows you to create and display ads for your products on the Amazon platform.

To get started, you choose specific keywords or phrases related to your product. This way, when customers search those terms, your ads can appear. To pay for your ads, you have to participate in Amazon's auction system. You have to bid on how much you're willing to pay when a customer clicks on your ad, meaning higher bidders have a better chance of featuring their ads in search results. You only have to pay once a customer clicks on your ad.

You can track your ads' performance on the ad dashboard to determine each ad's effectiveness.

Facebook ads vs Amazon PPC: What sets them apart?

Understanding your audience and intent

Facebook: Consider Facebook as a bustling marketplace, teeming with diverse individuals from various demographics. What Facebook is not is a hotbed for purchase intent. Users flock here primarily for social interactions, sharing, and leisurely scrolling. So, if your goal is to elevate brand awareness or introduce a new product, Facebook content is where it's at.

Amazon: In contrast, Amazon resembles a well-structured department store, where visitors have their wallets poised for action. The purchase intent on Amazon is palpable, as it's a hub for individuals actually looking to make purchases.

Amazon PPC is an ideal channel for products with an established customer base or those geared for immediate sales.

Budgeting and cost dynamics

Facebook: Facebook offers a flexible budgeting landscape. You can tailor your budget to match your specific needs, whether that's a modest investment or an all-out campaign blitz. This makes it a cost-effective option, especially for campaigns centered around brand awareness. However, be mindful of competition, as costs can climb significantly in high-demand customer segments.

Amazon: Amazon boasts a competitive ecosystem. This is what gives the platform a unique ability to leverage existing product demand, potentially leading to a more favorable return on investment (ROI) for your advertising expenses.

» Learn all about Amazon Ads in this simple-to-understand guide or hire one of our amazing Amazon marketing agencies.

Facebook: Facebook, similar to a crowded room, has intense competition across various ad categories. So, it's not uncommon for users to experience ad fatigue, leading to diminishing returns.

Amazon: While Amazon also hosts a competitive landscape within its domain, the level of concentration is notably lower. With over 200 million Amazon Prime subscribers, visitors on Amazon are more purposeful, focusing on products of interest rather than casual browsing.

Crafting an effective content strategy

Facebook: When creating a content strategy for Facebook, imagine it as a storytelling platform—a canvas for creative expression. It accommodates many content formats, including images, videos, and captivating copy. Here, you have the liberty to let your creative juices flow freely.

Amazon: In contrast, Amazon calls for a more direct and refined approach. It's similar to a well-organized product shelf, where users primarily look for detailed product specifications and functionality. Hence, your Amazon product listing should put the features and benefits front and center.

Combining forces for optimal impact

Why limit yourself to one when you can harness the strengths of both platforms? A lot of companies, like Dollar Shave Club, are reaping the benefits of integrating both Facebook ads and Amazon PPC into their marketing repertoire.

A case study: Dollar Shave Club's advertising strategy

The popular brand Dollar Shave Club has some smart strategies that work well for both Facebook and Amazon:

Facebook Promotion: The Dollar Shave Club knows how to make Facebook work for them. They use it to shout out their awesome deals and discounts, like a whopping 50% off on their starter set. This smart move is all about getting people to know their brand and stimulate that first purchase.

facebook ads vs amazon ppc

Amazon Advertising: Now, when it comes to Amazon, they switch things up a bit. They customize their game plan for customers in different stages of their journey. Here, they mainly advertise refills and particular products, all aimed at their loyal existing customers. It's all about boosting those profits with high-margin items for the folks who've stuck around.

facebook ads vs amazon ppc

By grasping these strategies, you can also align your advertising efforts with the various stages of the customer journey on both platforms.

» Optimize your Facebook ads with these incredible tips.

Ad formats and creative strategies

Let's delve deeper into the intricacies of ad formats and creative strategies on Facebook and Amazon:

  • Retargeting capability: Facebook teaming up with Instagram makes for super effective retargeting. Picture this: a user views your video ad, and then, bam, they get a follow-up message with discounts or promotions. Pulling off this kind of move on Amazon is trickier due to the limited integration between Amazon and other platforms.
  • Creative freedom: On Facebook, you have a wide range of ad formats to choose from, giving you plenty of creative freedom. For instance, street interview-style videos, which are designed to attract organic views, can be quite effective. However, this format, characterized by people discussing products, is better suited for Facebook than Amazon.
  • Storytelling: With Facebook advertising, you've got space to build your brand and tell its story. You can create narratives that hook users right from the start, making more people aware of your brand. It's kind of like crafting the opening chapters of a good book. In stark contrast, Amazon's ad format predominantly centers on showcasing the tangible outcomes of product use, often with straightforward visuals. It's like spotlighting the finished masterpiece rather than delving into the artist's creative process.

Unlock the power of paid advertising

The key takeaway is that Facebook fosters an environment where creativity and storytelling flourish, making it ideal for brand awareness and top-of-the-funnel activities. Amazon, on the other hand, shines by spotlighting your product's functionality and value to a ready-to-buy audience.

In the end, whether you go for Facebook ads, Amazon PPC, or even a mix of both, what really matters is understanding your audience, creating messages that grab their attention, and always fine-tuning your campaigns.

» Need help getting started with Facebook ads? Hire one of our vetted Facebook Ads gencies to hit the ground running. Or maybe you need help with more than just Facebook Ads? No worries -- we got you. Hire one of our top paid advertising agencies and start running ads that bring the cash back into your business.