For all digital marketing experts out there, a moment comes where they wonder about the future of Facebook Advertising and its Effectiveness. Digital marketing in general faces too many challenges regarding effectiveness.
Facebook started in February 2004. Fifteen years and 2.41 billion (monthly) users later, Facebook advertising has become wider and strongly aggressive. We are constantly accepting more advertisements in our timeline, into messenger and throughout all our digital assets.
More and more businesses use Facebook for advertising and spend a remarkable budget. But advertising on Facebook can be tricky and not so easy to see positive return depending on the industry and the goals.
We will admit, Facebook Advertising is popular but that doesn’t make it a good fit for everyone. The return of investment is affected by a variety of reasons. If a brand wants to ensure that Facebook Advertising is effective for their business prosperity then it should try it and calculate the results in action.
It is a common belief that paid media such as sponsored Ads on Facebook can easily bring back huge results and return of investment. In real life this is not the case! It takes a lot of effort and many hours of technical & creative work to apply before you even think to promote your brand on Facebook.
Having said that, it is important to stress out that only with the existence of a well designed website and satisfying organic results, one should consider to invest in Facebook ads. If you start to spend money on a promotion and the visitor ends up in a low quality landing page, how could you expect to win the trust of a potential client?
Many studies have proved that advertising effectiveness score is high on Facebook for specific goals, such as brand awareness or community building etc. But, not for all. There are some sectors that tend to show higher results than others.
For example: Fashion Industry seems to gain more positive return of investment, making Facebook advertising effectiveness look like a unicorn. On the other hand, Healthcare sector face many difficulties and in most cases their advertising ROI is not rewarding.
Effectiveness is not the main goal
I have seen it and heard it in different occasions. There is a myth build around Facebook effectiveness. Let’s define the true meaning of effectiveness.
Facebook is a social media platform. By design it is build to make us believe that it’s the ultimate place to be. The psychology behind it is based on the FOMO. The Fear Of Missing Out.
But what if numbers tell a truth that is not true?
So… all digital marketers deal Facebook as the King of the game. That happens because numbers make quite an impression. But what if numbers tell a truth that is not true?
2.41 Billion as of June 2019. Active users. Right?
Yes, that’s right. But are all these users the people that you actually want to hear your voice? To learn your brand? Are they really your true audience?
Facebook claims that it can actually channel a brand’s goal precisely to the perfect match of audience for each of our paid ad. That is a myth.
Facebook wants to sell ads. Period. So it has convinced all of us that is super effective and is the best advertising platform in the world. They have one of the best marketing strategies of the world. Facebook offers us free access to their platform (to create profiles or pages or groups) and they make us the product of their company.
Have you ever thought what will happen if for 24 hours nobody log into Facebook? It would collapse.
Facebook has no control on the information given by the users. This means that the so called “precise audience” may not be real. Teenagers have proved that the giant of social media isn’t their playground anymore. Therefore, these two factors alone are a strong argument that Facebook Advertising effectiveness lack of transparency and reliability.
Apart of that, also it has no control over the free will of each user. It’s absolutely depending on the illusion that an individual must be a Facebook user if he/she wants to be connected with the world. When the user discovers that can be equally connected through other less invasive options, he/she just flies away.
What kind of effectiveness is that?
When a company loses the power of deep influence over it’s audience, it does everything within its power to gain more control. Facebook turned it’s big eyes upon Messenger.
I send you a private message. You reply. And I reply back. Privately.
Not any more. When Ads entered the Messenger, privacy died.
Ads mean that tools extract information about our preferences. Information is gathered through specific signals. In other words, when we have a private discussion in Messenger, we are not alone. Machines detect our likes or dislikes.
Messenger ads work just like all ads across Facebook platform. They are automatically delivered to the placement that’s most likely to drive campaign results at the lowest possible cost.
People see these ads in their Messenger app. When they tap on an ad, they’ll be sent to the destination the brand has chosen during ad creation. It can drive traffic to a site, app or a conversation with a business on Messenger.
It worths to mention that Messenger users react with discomfort in front of ads inserted into their screens. It’s annoying to have unwanted interruptions during a private discussion. Although users can temporarily hide specific ads, they can not stop them entirety. And that is the definition of forced manipulation.
I don’t know about you but for me this is far from effective advertising, in the context of meaningful and positive communication with my brand’s audience.
The End Doesn’t Justify the Means
The Holy Grail of digital marketing is better ranking.
There is a myth that only traffic helps with rankings. Google has never confirmed that traffic is the major factor of better rankings. But it is common knowledge that there are 2 major parts that nurture higher rankings: The organically driven traffic and the volume of engagement within your website.
No matter how much money you are willing to spend on Facebook Advertising to promote your website, it could never replace the long term benefits of genuine earned engagement from your visitors. As a matter of fact, if you try to promote your website through Facebook Advertising the results will disappoint you. Compare the results with a promoted post or the promotion of your Facebook Business Page. The difference is outstanding! Facebook doesn’t like to drive traffic outside its own platform.
Now try to convince me that Facebook Advertising is really effective. Please, don’t use the number of likes as a significant signal of success. Likes are not clients.
Facebook Advertising suffers from an efficiency bubble from its origin. In my humble opinion, it has no reason to smile facing its future.
No matter how deeply data-driven could eventually become, it will be constantly vulnerable to the test of authenticity. However, the more we focus on “efficiency” the more we lose sight of the big picture.
Trust gets wounded day by day. Users don’t trust what they see in Facebook anymore. Unfortunately, individuals are trained to think that real life is as much unreliable as Facebook’s reality.
That has shifted the interest of brands and forced them to revise their priorities for their future digital marketing strategy. Of course, the rise of digital TV, threatens the sustainability of Facebook Advertising. TV channels have the undivided attention of consumers with the help of amazing visual storytelling.
People are bored with Facebook Advertising behavior and although smartphones are 24/7 on their hands, they prefer to navigate in a different platform. Facebook Advertising effectiveness faces many shortcomings and users have noticed all of them.