Take a Fresh Look at Facebook Advertising

Don’t look now, but Facebook is an advertising juggernaut. They’re not quite Google, yet. But they are getting closer.

Latest estimates put Facebook’s share of digital advertising revenue at approximately 22%, with Google at 38%, and Amazon – the next highest company – at 7%. Facebook’s ad revenue has nearly doubled since 2016, despite the negative press that has surrounded the company for the last half-decade.

If you’re not a Facebook advertiser currently, you might be asking yourself why. Perhaps you are one of many marketers who have tried Facebook ads in the past only to abandon them soon after. Well perhaps you should look again.

There are three big reasons why Facebook continues to grow their share of the overall digital ad market:

  1. Their audience continues to grow

  2. They have invested in new options for advertisers

  3. Instagram

In truth, all three are connected. Their audience continues to grow because of apps that many people don’t necessarily think of as Facebook. But WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram have all seen user growth even while the main Facebook community suffers the backlash of the media. And all three contribute to Facebook’s ad revenue haul.

But none more so than Instagram, which has seen its share of ad revenue grow from roughly 10% of all Facebook revenue in 2016, to more than 20% of all Facebook revenue last year.

And that’s because it’s working. Companies are seeing success.

If your company is not familiar with all the different advertising options that Facebook offers, now is the time to dip your toe back into the water. The tools are there. And if you don’t use them, you are ceding that channel to your competitors.

What Happens When Amazon or Facebook Comes After Your Business?

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It can be scary at times looking over your shoulder at a larger company that seems to have the intention of swallowing you whole. There are sharks in the tank that are gobbling up the rest of the fish, growing ever larger, taking over new terrain, all in the hopes of being the biggest and most powerful.

These sharks have names. They are called Google, and Amazon, and Facebook, and to a lesser extent Apple and Microsoft. They are tech giants, born to do one thing, grow.

They cross different industries and seem each to have economy-dominating aspirations at times.

And so you, with your little business, which is quite successful now, is constantly at risk of being pushed aside by one of these giants. Should they decide to enter your market and compete for your customers, what should you do?

1. Don’t Panic

I know they’re big and scary and as soon as they announce a new product or service it makes waves. But you are not in trouble just yet. The worst thing you can do – for your business and your health – is overreact and do something that doesn’t make sense. The best thing for you and your team to do is be patient. It’s business as usual until you have a clearly defined strategy for how to proceed.

2. Do Your Research

Get to the bottom of the threat. Make sure it is a threat. In the initial hype or announcement, a lot can get lost in translation. Do your best to look under the hood and find out exactly what you will be up against. It is only by knowing the details about their plans that you can develop your response.

3. Determine How You Win

There is a reason why you have been successful to this point. You are doing something right. Do you know what that is?

Your unique value proposition is the reason why customers do business with you in the first place. One of the sharks might go after your business, but they might not understand the real reason your customers chose you. So identify what you do well, and focus all your energies there.

4. Focus on Making Customers Happy

Your existing customers are your best defense against any impending threat. So long as they are happy, you won’t lose them. And with a customer base, you have an attentive audience and an army of potential sellers.

Continue to put your efforts into delivering on your promises and turn your customers into advocates on your behalf.

5. Consider Reaching Out

Often, when one of these tech giants first enters a new market, they may be looking for an easy win. And that might mean they are looking for existing companies to buy out.

Maybe you have no interest in selling. But then again, maybe you do. And if that’s the case, it never hurts to get in touch via a lawyer or experience sales agent.

The Growing Importance of Google and Facebook

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If you are in the marketing world, you probably already know what I am about to say. You probably think that I’m a few years late with this post…

But here’s why it’s still timely – the problem (if you consider it a problem) is getting worse.

I’m talking of course about the growing importance of Google and Facebook. These two behemoths are collectively responsible for over 60% of digital advertising revenue in the United States. No other company accounts for more than 5%.

Google and Facebook are not just Google and Facebook. They are Instagram, Whatsapp, YouTube, Gmail, DoubleClick, and more. And they continue to gobble up smaller companies for their technology and platforms all the time.

It would not come as a surprise to see the market share of these two companies continue to grow in coming years, based on existing trends. Could they own 70% of the online ad marketing? 80%? 90%?

What are the implications of two companies controlling such a large percentage of the advertising market?

We are already seeing the publishing industry suffer for it. Every other company/website that relies on advertising dollars to survive is going to struggle to compete for those dollars when more and more of them are going to these giants.

And for advertisers themselves, it could mean higher prices and increased competition. With fewer options to go to for prospecting, you will find that you are competing not just within your own industry but against all companies aiming to make the most out of those two largest channels.

If you are not feeling the squeeze now, you will soon. So make sure you know how to optimize and get the most out of these critical sources of new customers.

How to Turn More Facebook Followers into Paying Customers

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If you’re like most companies today, you have a Facebook page. You also are not 100% sure why you have a Facebook page. You may have a few vague answers if someone were to ask you why you have a Facebook page:

  1. It’s part of our social strategy
  2. It’s 2017, everyone has a Facebook page
  3. We use it to build a sense of community around our brand

But deep down, you probably want to know how to turn more of those people who follow you and engage with you on Facebook into paying customers. As marketers, we want to know the ROI.

There are two problems with this desire of ours. First, the strategies that have worked for us on other digital channels are almost definitely not going to work on Facebook. Second, the way we measure the success of other channels won’t work on Facebook.

To solve for the first problem, we must build a new strategy. And to solve for the second, we have to change the way we measure success.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to Facebook for brands. But the actions listed below are key parts of the most successful strategies that have been developed to solve these problems to date:

  1. Give people a reason to engage with your brand – perhaps you offer the kind of content they can’t get anywhere else. Perhaps you offer special deals, discounts, contests, and other promotions. Perhaps you highlight their work or lives in some way. Whatever it is, you have to give them a reason to come after you build it.
     
  2. Spend the money necessary to grow your reach – many marketers don’t want to hear this but nowadays it’s almost impossible to significantly grow your audience on Facebook without paying to advertising or boost your content. The key is to be smart about how you spend that money, targeting the right content and ad types to your target customers.
     
  3. Drive people to your website – it’s all well and good to create a piece of content, or engage with fans in ways that are contained to Facebook’s platform. But the real impact to your business will come when you get people off of Facebook and onto your website. You can do this with links to content or new product information.
     
  4. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) – the path to conversion on your website should be well thought through and constantly tested for weaknesses. Conversion rate optimization is the process of fine tuning this path so that more of the people who land on your website turn into customers. Start by analyzing the data you already have and see where people are most likely to drop off. Get an outsider to traverse your site and find out how to do it. Then start filling in the gaps and making it easier for visitors to find what they need.
     
  5. Drive sales with promotions – though Facebook is not, and should not be treated as, a sales channel, that does not mean you can drive business with valuable offers. Take advantage of post and ad types that highlight discounts and time-specific offers that are exclusive to your Facebook followers.

The State of Social Media Advertising

Social media marketing, broadly speaking, is made up of two distinct strategies – brand pages (organic) and advertising (paid).

While past advice in this area has focused mostly on the organic area, the truth is that most brands find it very difficult to perform well in this area. Organic social media marketing is harder than it ever has been before, and in that type of climate, most brands still get it wrong.

At the same time, the paid side of social marketing has grown up and established itself as an effective way to reach customers in many different industries. And so, it’s time for marketers to ensure that they are getting the most out of social media advertising.

Facebook

Facebook is the largest social network and a well-established advertising channel. With a wide array of self-service options, brands can target Facebook users both on and off the Facebook website and app, in their newsfeeds and the right-rail. Target advertising based on demographics, interests, page likes and more, with different formats, like video, carousel, lead generation, and click to convert.

For more information, check out these tips for advertising on Facebook.

Instagram

Instagram is owned by Facebook, and all advertising is controlled directly through Facebook’s ad platform. Options continue to be built out to support brands who want to target users of the photo sharing app. And all Facebook advertisers have the option of sharing their ads on Instagram as well.

If you are interested in advertising on Instagram, you should read more here.

Twitter

Twitter advertising is less about direct conversions or lead generation, and more about branding and awareness. Brands are able to promote topics or tweets in order to gain exposure, followers, and clicks. These promotions can be targeted based on location and other demographics, as well as interests and follower data.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s audience is there for reasons that are more specific than some of the broader networks like Facebook and Twitter, and due to that its advertising potential is limited to certain types of companies and reasons. Many B2B businesses have been able to use LinkedIn for lead generation campaigns as the targeting options are robust for company type, size, industry and job roles. You can target people with ads in someone’s feed, banners on an individual page, and sponsored In-mail.

https://blog.kissmetrics.com/guide-to-linkedin-ads1/

Pinterest

Just like LinkedIn, Pinterest’s users are using the service for a specific reason. Most commonly, these are shoppers looking for products and ideas, in spaces like home design, fashion, and event planning. Its heavily-female audience is an interesting place for brands looking to reach more of this creative-minded consumer. Brands can pay to promote pins and target them to users based on interests and activity on the site. Learn more about Pinterest ads here.

YouTube

Some people consider Youtube a social network, others put it into another category. But for brands looking to reach a larger audience online, Youtube has become a go-to spot for advertising. Brands can create and promote their own channels, create video ads that run before other content, and show banners alongside videos to people watching on the website. Because these ads are delivered by Google, the platform and targeting options are quite robust. While generally more expensive than Google search ads, Youtube is a great place to engage people with more dynamic content.

Snapchat

Snapchat has made a number of moves recently in an effort to court more advertisers. Their options are still changing and most of them are not self-service, unlike most of the others mentioned above. Currently, brands can sponsor stories, geofilters, and lenses, as well as create full screen ads that appear in between the regular snaps users view from friends. Its early days for Snapchat advertising and most smaller companies should wait to see whether or not this channel is an effective one before trying it out.