Are SMBs going to turn to middlemen to handle their Facebook advertising? As four million SMB advertisers know, Facebook advertising is accessible, low commitment and inexpensive. It is fairly ideal for promoting local awareness and events.
Facebook also delivers an audience that’s much less fragmented than search engines. From a vendor’s point of view, it tends to be much more profitable.
It’s also an increasingly well-rounded platform. Many SMBs are already working with Facebook’s SMB lead ads, local awareness ads and Website click ads. New features coming up include coupons/offers; brand awareness with embedded video; carousels with multiple ad options; and boosted posts.
What are the pros of working with Facebook? Its targeting is especially strong. So-called “lookalike audiences” can greatly boost an SMBs reach. SMBs can also use Facebook to close the loop on people who visit their site, or if they can provide snippets of lead information to Facebook (names, phone numbers or emails). Facebook’s strong reach leads to a match rate of 50-70 percent.
And the potential cons? All these offerings require a learning curve and practice. And given that the success of campaigns often depends on 2x or more frequency…the logistics of building on successful campaigns aren’t always easy to accomplish.
Facebook also isn’t the perfect solution for every need. It isn’t yet a real marketplace or directory where people go just before they buy something .“People don’t go to Facebook to make decisions,” noted AdEspresso’s Armando Bondi. “They go to Facebook to avoid making decisions.”
At Borrell’s LOAC West last week in San Francisco, a group of tech vendors – including AdEspresso, as well as GotU, Acquisio, Tiger Pistol and CitizenNet — discussed the challenges of maximizing an SMB’s presence on Facebook, and the programs that they have developed as middlemen for local media and directory players.
Many of the companies that provide marketing for SMBs are already utilizing some of these platforms. GotU, for instance, is already providing its Facebook platform to 18 Yellow Pages companies and related SMB resellers – mostly in Europe. With the support of these kinds of vendors and the local ecosystem, Facebook is likely to take an even stronger role with local/smb marketing.