Advertisers of all sizes know that Facebook is an easy way to reach and engage consumers. In the past, this has been particularly helpful for small and mid-sized businesses (SMB), as well as brands marketing on a local level. These businesses could start their own pages, gain followers and then message target audiences to stay top-of-mind and make themselves part of their customers’ online community.
While that worked for some time, Facebook has evolved to the point where SMBs and local marketers can no longer rely solely on this so-called “organic content” to effectively reach their audiences. Changes to Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm have made it harder for these posts to be seen by consumers over the years and more recent updates have led to a 5 percent drop in time spent by users on Facebook, according to the company.
These changes aren’t necessarily great news, but they don’t negate Facebook’s value as a marketing channel. What it really means is that SMB and local marketers simply need to adopt strategies that increase their chances of engaging with audiences on the network.
According to Mike Proulx, the chief digital officer at the advertising agency Hill Holliday, the first thing advertisers need to do is stop posting organic content. No one sees these posts, so they’re a waste of time and money for marketing teams. Instead, Proulx advocates developing promoted content that is “helpful, relevant, meaningful and personalized.” This requires media budgets being spent on nearly every Facebook post, he writes in Ad Age.
Another big tactic that Proulx recommends is leveraging the wealth of data available on Facebook to find and target customers (or those who look like them) with those relevant and personalized messages. This is the most crucial component for any local or SMB digital ad campaign in 2018, whether that is on Facebook, Twitter or across the open web. The ability to use data to understand and find audiences is a difference maker, and one that can result in healthy return on investment for advertisers of all sizes.
For some in the local marketing and SMB space, the idea of buying media, using data and then making adjustments to achieve their desired results might seem overwhelming. Yes, Facebook and other social networks offer self-serve tools, but better results are more likely to come when working with someone who knows how to pull the levers correctly.
AffinityX offers Facebook advertising services, giving marketing providers all of the support they need to help their SMB and local marketing clients get campaigns off the ground. This includes creative services and campaign management. All the partners need to do is sell to their clients and AffinityX can take care of the rest, working to develop the campaigns, understand the target audiences and execute the buys, ensuring that the SMBs and local marketers are getting the most out of the opportunity that Facebook offers.