Facebook Remarketing vs Google Remarketing: Which is Best for Your Membership Site

Remarketing allows you to target ads at those who’ve engaged with your business in some way. By displaying ads to individuals who have already visited your site, completed a free membership trial, viewed your page on social media, or joined your mailing list, you ensure your ads reach a target audience, which increases the likelihood of membership sign-ups, as well as keeps ad costs down.

So, should you run ads on Facebook or Google? It depends. In this article, we look at the remarketing ad features both Facebook and Google offer, and help you decide which service is right for your membership site. Let’s get started.

Facebook Remarketing

Facebook remarketing involves displaying Facebook ads to current customers, past clients, or those who have shown an interest in your business or website. Advertising on a social network can be extremely beneficial, as social proof (being present on social media) is what leads customers to trust a brand or to try a product or service. Let’s take a look at some of the noteworthy points of Facebook remarketing.

Ad Reach

Facebook Ads are targeted at audiences on Facebook, Instagram, and Audience Network. Facebook now has over two billion people using their platform monthly, and over 500 million Instagrammers use that app every day. Therefore, the likelihood that your target audience is present and will be exposed to your ads on these channels is high.

Ad Formats

Facebook gives you a range of ad types to select from, including:

  • Photo Ads—Use a single image with text to grab viewers’ attention.
  • Video Ads—Make an impact and tell a story through video.
  • Carousel Ads—Display up to ten images or videos in one ad, each with its own link.
  • Collection Ads—Show a collection of features, services, or products in one ad.
  • Slideshows—Use motion, sound, and text to engage your audience.


Ad Sources

To create a remarketing ad campaign on Facebook, first create a Custom Audience, or target audience of those who have already interacted with your business. By creating Custom Audiences, you’ll reach and reconnect with these potential customers or clients through Facebook ads.

Facebook uses customer information you provide or that can be collected via the Facebook Pixel or SKD, to “source” the data used for your Custom Audiences. Let’s have a look at these sources in more detail.

Contact ListsOne option is to display Facebook ads to people you already have contact information for, i.e., email addresses or phone numbers, to create a Custom Audience. Whenever these individuals are present on Facebook, your remarketing ads appear in their news feed.

Website VisitorsAnother option is to create a Custom Audience of those who have already visited your website. To do this, install the  Facebook Pixel, a snippet of code, on your website. Facebook can then track website visitors and display your ads to them.

Facebook Pixel data can also be used to further target your remarketing campaign, aiming specific ads at users who have performed a particular action on your website—i.e., viewed your landing page—but did not subscribe to your membership site. By reconnecting with this audience through Facebook ads, you encourage them to revisit your website, increasing the chance of a sign-up.

App UsersYou can also use Facebook to target those who use your app. To do so, install a snippet of code in your app, called Facebook SDK. You can then remarket to this Custom Audience via your Facebook ads.

As you can see, in creating the right Custom Audiences, you ensure your Facebook ads are reaching those who have an interest in, or have already engaged with, your membership site in some way.

Let’s next look at Google remarketing and find out how it compares.

Google Remarketing

Google Remarketing


Google AdWords provides an effective remarketing service, though with some notable differences from Facebook.

Ad Reach

One of the crucial benefits of Google AdWords is its large-scale reach. The people on your remarketing lists can be reached on over, two million websites and mobile apps, and ads can be displayed on numerous devices. This ensures that even if people leave your membership site, you can still reach them and promote your website.

Ad Formats

There are a number of ways to remarket with Google AdWords:

  • Standard Remarketing – Show ads to your past visitors, customers, and leads, as they browse sites and apps.
  • Dynamic Remarketing – Take remarketing to the next level by showing tailored ads to people who have performed a specific action on your site.
  • Remarketing for Search Ads – Show ads to people who have previously visited your site as they perform follow up searches on Google.
  • Video Remarketing – Show ads to people who have interacted with your videos or your YouTube channel.

Depending on your ad type and goals, you can create text, photo, video, or app ads. Ad features can include customized layouts, interactive elements, animations, links, and much more.

Ad Sources

Another plus to choosing Google AdWords is the number of sources you can select your audience from. Ads can target people from a pregenerated contact list, people who have visited your website or app, as well as anyone who has engaged with your content on YouTube. Let’s look at these audience sources in more detail:

  • AdWords TagOnce the Google AdWords tag (a small snippet of code) is added to your website and apps, Google can track your visitors and display your membership site ads to them after they have left your site.
  • YouTubeRemarket to people who have engaged with your YouTube channel and watched your videos.
  • Google AnalyticsImport audiences built in Google Analytics and remarket ads to them.
  • AppCreate remarketing lists based on current app users and in-app purchases.

Customer Data: Upload customer contact details, like email addresses, and then remarket ads while they browse Google Search, use Gmail, and more.

So, Which One?

The remarketing service you choose very much depends on your membership site’s niche and audience. Let’s summarize some of the key areas we have mentioned to help you decide:

  • Ad ReachGoogle has by far the furthest reach—90 percent of internet users worldwide—making it, on paper, the better choice. That said, if your target audience is found hanging out on Facebook at all hours of the day, Facebook remarketing is the logical choice.
  • Ad FormatsFrom single-image ads to video and more, both Google and Facebook provide a range of stunning design options.
  • Ad SourcesGoogle has the upper hand on ad sources. However, the winner here depends on the actions of your target audience. (To help inform your decision, consider who you want to target and how they have previously interacted with your membership site).
  • PriceThe price of ads can vary between Google and Facebook and will largely depend on your niche and the type of traffic you are targeting. Both services allow you to set a budget, but Google also provides a variety of automated bidding strategies to help you improve ROI.

Now that you have a decent understanding of how remarketing works on both Facebook and Google, which service will you choose?

Do you have any questions on remarketing? Please ask in the comments below.

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About Joe Fylan

Joe uses WordPress to create websites of all types and loves sharing his experiences of using this software with other users. If you need a steady stream of great content for your website, or you want the latest WordPress news and reviews check out his writing services and WordPress blog.