NEWS AND TIPS
Author: Joshua Brennick
As social media evolves, more platforms come about and studies are conducted, there is a misconception that one of the original social media platforms is not worth the time anymore. This false claim is in regards to the social media giant we know as Facebook. Yes, Facebook has had its rocky times over the past couple years and that can surely play into this false narrative that it’s not an effective marketing channel anymore but before you hop on that train, there are a few things to understand. First, the rumors may be saying one thing but you have to look at the statistics and recognize numbers don’t lie. Second, any professional digital marketer knows that each platform offers a different form of communication and it's all based on what industry you are in that will decide what platforms you should focus your time and budget on. One thing that is for sure though, Facebook is not dead and still offers great marketing opportunity for brands.
While this growing rumor continues to spread, we continue to see through research how the amount of money brands allocate to Facebook advertising continues to grow each year which contradicts what is being “said” in the marketing world. In a world where doing your own research to find the answer is often the best route, there are two basic truths that brands cannot deny: 1) They’re always testing everything because they have to and that includes new social media platforms, and 2) after considerable testing and budget shifts, brands more often than not come back to Facebook fueled by a fierce desire to scale. Facebook advertising — when contextually relevant — to 2.32 billion folks still works.
The old school question of allocating advertising dollars to social media is no longer a matter of “if” but “where” and “how much.” If you expect your brand to stay relevant and compete with competition, you have no choice no matter how much you dislike social media. This fact is more important than ever before given 68% of American adults report that they are Facebook users and about three-quarters of those users access Facebook on a daily basis. This is a MAJOR opportunity to build your brand awareness in a cost-effective way.
One reason why Facebook is and always will be a leader in social media marketing is because they make it a point to continue to evolve the ways a brand can engage with consumers. This is important because never has there been a time where user behavior changes so fast. The platform also offers marketers deeper opportunities to shift focus from “fancy metrics” to actionable results linked to business objectives. Facebook’s value for marketers can be broken down into three key differentiators:
1) Endless segmentation and targeting opportunities are abundant. Facebook offers businesses a many different ad formats and thousands of possible ad targeting opportunities. Diversified and comprehensive strategies can help you tap into new fanbases and communities and greatly scale in a short amount of time.
2) While many people assume Facebook reigns supreme at targeting at specific primary audiences, the platform can work just as well for mass secondary reach, which can sometimes be more important than driving primary experiences. The same can be seen for Facebook-owned Instagram, which is growing in prevalence and sophistication. Strategically targeting new audiences with eye-popping marketing messaging (especially through high-growth video and mobile video formats) is now only limited by ambition and creative.
3) It’s considered to be a top channel for discovery. Product or service discovery traditionally took place at the e-commerce level and was rooted in consumers searching for products that they knew they wanted on search engines. With billions of images and videos shared daily, the 24/7 shopper is now discovering products more often across social media causing consumers to stop scrolling and ask, “What’s that?” creating impressionable moments of discovery. Add to this — traditional desktop-based principles of search are no longer natural points of entry in today’s mobile-first app economy. This is where Facebook has been an under appreciated source as an effective search channel. For example, in 2018, over 56% of Facebook’s Story users have browsed the brand’s website to get more info after seeing a product/service in Stories. In an age where device connectivity is more important than ever, consumers today are expecting to find that imitable Amazon-like experience just about everywhere.
Facebook has easily maintained its place as the leading social platform, reaching 60.6% of internet users. Interestingly but not surprisingly, the Facebook family of apps helps facilitate this complex discovery process to spark the consumer’s interest as it is the top source of online discovery for shoppers. An advantage Facebook has over the second most popular social site for product discovery (Pinterest) is its ability to manage multiple discovery mediums (text, images, videos, etc.) This includes the ability to stream live video which is projected to continue to grow. This can be attributed to the fact that video outperforms images. It grabs your audience’s attention in the newsfeed and holds on to that attention for longer than a post, leading to greater engagement rates. There is a mounting interest in Facebook live and long-form content. This is good news for brands since live video offers the potential for new creative approaches to marketing for businesses of any size and scale given almost all of Facebook’s 1.5 billion daily users access it via mobile. In 2017, Facebook had launched a dedicated video channel (Watch) were it hosts longer-form, original video content across multiple genres, from drama and comedy to documentary. It’s clear Facebook has a strong desire to reinvent itself as a hub for video, which could lead to bidding wars for content such as live sports. Early reports suggest the company has reserved a “few billion dollars” to spend on global sports deals, which bodes well for the entire advertising community.
Making a connection between your target customers and your brand requires new ways to not just stand out to the right audience with the right message at the right time, but also to build on that connection and create a solid, trusted relationship. While Facebook withstands punch after punch in the regulatory ring, it’s clear the platform still delivers on ad spend. The key is to identify when and where to pivot towards the ever-evolving customer obsession. And, Facebook does this well. All of these services align with the consumer’s very first spark of interest: helping people get to better things, faster. This is why Facebook will continue to work.
JBrand Media was founded in 2013 by Joshua Brennick, 2019 recipient of The Nashua Telegraph "40 Under Forty" award, with the purpose of helping educational institutions and businesses utilize digital marketing to achieve their marketing and sales goals. Since the launch in 2013, JBrand Media has provided successful services to many clients in various industries ranging in size from small to large.