Earlier today I represented our team at Facebook’s Boost Your Business event, held at Sonoma State University. It was a pretty educational meeting, and I’m going to give a quick run down of my highlights what came up.
1. Brave New World. Facebook knows where you are. They know what you say, who you’re with, what you do, what you like, and what you buy. They’ve partnered with data services to watch all of your behavior, and can tell what websites you’ve been to and what you did there. Facebook knows you better than you know yourself. Scary, but good for marketing- it means that you can target almost every variable. Ultra-targeting marketing is the new thing.
2. Everything is Organic. Or at least it should be. With all of the information, Facebook wants to make sure that the right ads go to the right people. With all of their automation, the idea is that you want to focus on having compelling content that speaks to your audience. It’s about authenticity. That authenticity leads to engagement, which leads to more reach and more connections. They want to take the advertising out of your marketing, and make it about people. I’m all for that.
3. Measure Results. Facebook provides a huge number of tools for finding out how effective your ads are, including tools that run a tracking script on your website. You can watch the cycle of engagement to conversion all the way through, and tailor your ads as needed so that they are the most effective with the least noise. But it takes work and time to interpret those results.
4. Creativity sells. The example businesses all had some sort of creative, unusual hook as their success story- ‘customer of the week’ campaigns, toilet paper giveaways, anything that stands out as being unusual. So be unusual, but in a way that is right for your brand.
5. Videos are doing well. We’ve seen the metrics for a while, but it looks like Facebook is overshadowing Youtube as the source for video content. I won’t repeat the numbers here, they’re readily available, but it’s big. And video ads take up a lot more screen real estate than anything else, made even more compelling by the movement from autoplay. This is a pretty important one for us, for obvious reasons.
6. They want to help. Facebook knows that small business needs them, and will pay off; they also know that their users prefer seeing local, relevant material to large scale corporate ad campaigns. They want our money, and it’s in their best interest that our money is well spent so that we come back for more. Hopefully that culture lasts, because they seem to be making an honest attempt to create an environment that works well for small business owners, including most of our clients.
So to summarize, marketing is what it’s always been: pick a target market represented by individuals, figure out what they want to hear, and tell them. These new tools help make that go back to its core, getting rid of the algorithm tricking and spamming we saw with the young internet. One thing I thought was neat, but doesn’t qualify as a numbered point, is feeler ads. If you aren’t sure where your market is, or who they are, you can do blanket ads for low cost, watch the results, and create segmented marketing plans based on the feedback you get.
That’s it. As usual, send us an email if you’d like help turning these tools into business.