Have we missed the f’booking boat? Facebook Advertising for Business

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Amazing results from Facebook’s advertising business.

No, actually I take that back. There were some astonishing, astounding results for Facebook today. Also note the use of the word ‘for’.

So what, it doesn’t affect us.

Well unfortunately, for most businesses it does affect you as it means you may have missed the boat.

Which boat have we missed?

Here is the best way I can summarise it, using my own story about how I missed a fairly similar, big boat many years ago.

I’ve been working in sales and marketing for over 24 years now, Not bad for someone under 40. Of those 24 years, the last 15 have been at the leading edge of marketing.

Basically, I get bored really easily.

Here is a list of some of stuff I have been fortunate to experience over the years..

  • Delivering the first large scale commercial b2b email marketing campaign in the UK
  • The development and deployment of one of the first cloud based CRM platforms in 2003
  • Launching the first online customer data analysis engine
  • Joining Linkedin in 2004 – one of the first members in the UK

There are others, but being honest, it’s a bit boring, though it illustrates the fact that I haven’t missed much.

But when Google Adwords launched, I admit I didn’t get it.

Maybe I was too embedded in the data driven marketing world, but back then I just missed it. By the time I caught on however, it was too late.

Where was that boat again?

I had a conversation with one of our clients. He told me that he had been using Adwords since the early 2000’s. Despite him being in the UK, his account was and still is based in $, because back then there was no UK version. He also told me that he used to pay just 1c per click!

Inspired by his story, as I was just getting into Adwords, he then told me that he stopped using Adwords several years previously, as it had become too expensive.


And I was just starting?!?

Facebook Advertising for Business

When Facebook launched advertising, determined not to make the same mistake again, we immediately gave it a try.

The clicks were REALLY cheap, but as we mainly worked in b2b, we didn’t feel that it matched our audience that well.

Instead we talked to clients about it and then launched a training programme to help them understand the potential. We also covered using Linkedin and Twitter, though many were still doing ‘training’ that involved setting up an account and adding your name.

Almost none of the people we approached did anything about it.

Social Networks are free to use aren’t they?

Many explained to us that “Social networks are free to use. Why would anyone pay for advertising on them? People don’t use a social network to be advertised to?”

Memories of my own early 2000’s Google misconceptions came flooding back.

“Surely search engines are free to use, no-one would pay to advertise on them. Who goes on a search engine to see advertising?”

Facebook’s Remarkable Results

Wind forward a few years, Facebook just announced the following statistics:-

  • Cost per impression up 186%
  • Cost per click up 35%
  • Revenue per click up 83%

That means three things:-

  1. Facebook advertising works.
  2. It is getting more and more expensive all the time..
  3. If you haven’t done it yet, you are way behind the curve and it is going to cost you a lot to catch up.

On the face of it, these numbers look great, but not for you. They are however, fantastic for Facebook.

No doubt the 5% of businesses who have been using Facebook to advertise are now considering what to do next. You see the next wave of Facebook advertisers are the followers, not the leaders. The early adopters won’t want to be paying those kind of rates, so they will move on.

Whereas the early adopters now have spreadsheets of stats to make decisions based on their existing campaigns, the ‘next’ Facebook Advertisers have nothing and it is going to cost many, many times more money to build up that picture.

The Certainty of Marketing

One certainty in marketing is that the leaders in marketing tend to make the money before the mainstream get involved. At that point, the clicks cost much more, the conversion rates drop and the ‘new’ advertisers, will be explaining how ‘we tried it but it didn’t work’. Obviously, plenty will spend money on it without measuring the return on investment, I guess these will be the long term advertisers…

It happened to direct mail, email marketing, telemarketing, Adwords, affiliate marketing and it will eventually happen to Facebook Ads – saturation. Maybe there is still time, but don’t you wish you had been doing this when the clicks were just 10c?

Do you want to lead or follow?

If you want to discuss this or some of the other marketing that early adopters are moving to. post a comment or send us an email or enquiry. You could even ring us – that costs very little these days…


About the Author:

Jim Lawrenson has spent 20 years working with clients including many of the FTSE 100 as well as hundreds of SME's to develop their B2B Sales and Marketing. From training people to sell at the age of 17, to becoming Director of the largest outbound marketing company in the UK, his innovative approach to marketing means that his clients are always ahead of the competition.