Considering that just about half the world has access to the internet, it’s a testimony to Facebook’s popularity that 26.3% of the world’s population accesses Facebook. It is no wonder; therefore, there are as many as 3 million advertisers across the world using the Facebook platform to promote their business. But there has been some chatter about how Facebook is no longer as effective today, or even that it is good for reaching out to retail customers but not for a B2B initiative. It is unwise to take any of these two extreme views (one, that Facebook is the best marketing solution available, and second, that Facebook has lost its edge). So I looked into the issue dispassionately. I tried to take a neutral view of the issue, and bring you both the advantages and disadvantages of using Facebook ads and marketing. But before we do that, let us look at the important aspects of Facebook Marketing.
What is Facebook Marketing?
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Facebook Marketing?
- 2 Facebook Marketing Best Practices
- 3 Advantages of Facebook Ads and Marketing
- 4 Disadvantages of Facebook Ads and Marketing
- 5 Conclusion:
When a visitor logs in to Facebook, Facebook ads might show up on the news feed, and also on the panel on the right of the page (along with messenger and a lot other placement types). Additionally, you can also place your advertisements on the mobile news feed of Facebook, in instant articles or in the audience network. The use of Facebook to promote a particular business could be through organic placements on different Facebook pages or the paid advertisements, and both these put together refer to Facebook marketing. You can read our previous post about how to make a Facebook ad easily.
Facebook Marketing Best Practices
It makes no sense to gauge the advantages and disadvantages of anything unless it is being done right. The same goes for Facebook marketing. Unless the effort is made to do it correctly, the listing of advantages and disadvantages might be erroneous. Here are a few things one must take care of:
- Two years back, almost 70% of Facebook users used to access Facebook through their smartphones. In just 2 years, before the end of 2018, that figure has gone up to 95%. That is why all Facebook ads and other marketing efforts for Facebook should be responsive so that they can be easily accessed.
- It is important to make use of A/B testing or split testing principles after making a few different designs. That will enable the most productive advertising and promotional layout to be used. Regular testing followed by continuous modifications would ensure that the best combination is achieved.
- Before getting into the actual design and creation of Facebook ads and marketing campaigns, it is important to divide the target audience into useful segments. That will help you devise campaigns and ads targeted at specific segments, making them more productive.
- Facebook analytics and algorithms have become very advanced, giving you insights into several aspects of your target audience. You need to make use of all these data assets before you get down to designing your campaign.
Now that we have gone over some of the basics, let us try and gauge the advantages and disadvantages of Facebook ads and marketing.
Advantages of Facebook Ads and Marketing
1. A Large Number of Users
Whenever you are trying to promote your business, it is important to target the right people who should see your ads. But you can’t survive only by targeting specific people. Over and above the targeted ads you also need to look at reaching out to the greater mass, so that the reach of the ads can be increased organically. And Facebook has no dearth of people for you to target your promotions to. This strength in numbers is something that no one else can match Facebook on.
2. Lesser Ad Spend
Even though you need to spend money on Facebook ads, the amount is significantly lower than the money you might need to spend on other digital initiatives. With somewhat lesser ad spend, you can place more posts (words) of text and also more number of images. At a very rough estimate, you can easier get by with $1 a day on Facebook to more than $4 a day on LinkedIn or Instagram, but it really depends on the niche.
3. Greater Engagement
The way Facebook is designed, it encourages reactions from the viewer, thus making your ads more interactive. Someone who doesn’t like your products or ads can also find Facebook a nice tool to be vocal about his or her dislike of your products or ads. But this can be used by you as a way to turn things around. And then there are those who like your offerings, whose likes, comments and shares will spread the good word.
4. Easier Monetization
The flexibility of Facebook ads allows you to convert warm leads at the perfect time to convert them into actual sales. The segmentation will allow you to ensure that the right campaigns are directed at the correct people so that you can quickly see revenue being generated.
5. Encouraging Repeats
The beauty of Facebook is that it is so engaging to its users. So, if someone likes your gods and services, then the conversion to a sale is not the end of the story. You can encourage the customer to come back and provide a review of the product he or she liked, which will, in turn, generate new conversation with more prospects. It might also provide the opportunity to encourage the converted customer for a repeat purchase.
6. The Avalanche Effect
We know all about how an image or a post or a video becomes ‘viral’ within a few hours. Your Facebook offers the opportunity of your ad gaining momentum like an avalanche and growing bigger by the hour, provided you have done your targeting and segmentation right.
7. More Interaction
The structure of Facebook allows you to make it more interactive. You can reap the benefits of using buttons like ‘subscribe’ or ‘submit’ to begin a fruitful engagement with the visitor and subsequently convert it into sales.
When you post a Facebook ad, you have the option of creating a Facebook pixel. Once your viewer has seen your ads, this will help you in understanding what the viewer did after that. The viewer might share the ad, click on it and browse a bit, or simply walk away to some other ad. This is in addition to the Facebook Analytics Tool you can use to gauge effectiveness.
Last but not least, the control you have on your ads is a big advantage with Facebook. You can control the way your ad budget gets spread out, and you also get full control over what content plays on your ads.
Disadvantages of Facebook Ads and Marketing
Everything can’t be all good or all bad. With so many advantages, do not get fooled into thinking that Facebook Marketing only has advantages. Here is a quick look at some disadvantages.
We mentioned this before, and it is a problem that can hurt you more if your advertising campaign is not the best in class, or if there is a problem in your product or service. The criticism would be in your face and would be seen by all visitors. Like good comments work in a crescendo and add up, the same thing happens to negative comments, and the negativity just piles up.
2. Shifting Algorithms
In order to keep out black hat SEO tactics, Google and other search engines keep making changes to their algorithms and ranking factors. By the time you created a new marketing plan, you might see that some of the devices you used in the campaign actually fetched you negative points instead of boosting your ranks or bringing you revenue.
3. Not Very Easy To Understand
Facebook advertising and the bids for ads are a little difficult to comprehend for someone who is doing it for the first time. In fact, it takes several tries before they begin to make sense. In that period, a new business owner might have wasted some money on the wasted bids.
4. Shorter Attention Spans in a Crowd
This disadvantage is actually the amalgamation of two different disadvantages. First, people are growing more and more impatient and would hardly spend a few seconds on a page before they move on. It is becoming increasingly difficult to grab their attention and then monetize their engagement. The second thing is that the competition is increasing and there are scores of advertisements vying for the attention of the same set of Facebook users.
5. Higher Engagement Demanded
We keep talking about how Facebook ads must generate more engagement from visitors. But Facebook marketing also demands greater involvement from the person who is placing the ad. The likes and shares need to be monitored, and the comments need to be responded to in good time. If the comments are queries or complaints, then they should be responded to the fastest. Since you don’t know when and where the next complaint would come from, you need to be on your toes always.
On balance, it is fair to say that despite some unavoidable disadvantages, Facebook ads and Marketing are weapons that no digital marketer’s arsenal should be without. Facebook ads and marketing in general are still superior and continues to grow. It has been profitable for ourself and a lot of our clients for a long time, and hopefully this will continue.