In the ever-evolving world of digital marketing, Facebook and Instagram stand out as platforms with massive potential. But are they right for every business? Josh spoke to social media ad expert Dahna Borg from Bright Red Marketing who shared her expert advice on all things social media marketing.
Maximising Your Business Potential With Facebook and Instagram
An Insight with Dahna from Bright Red Marketing
Is Facebook a One-Size-Fits-All Tool for Businesses?
Dahna emphasises the significance of the target audience, noting that Facebook and Instagram ads are particularly potent for consumer brands with higher profit margins. However, businesses with slim profit margins might find the cost per purchase challenging due to the high cost per acquisition.
The Complexity of Business Evolution
Many businesses might have operated for years but are out of step with current technological trends. Some might even be reliant on outdated methods like Yellow Pages ads or fax machines. These businesses aren’t startups; they’re financially stable but could be perceived as being stuck in the past. So, what should their budget look like if they want to embrace modern platforms like Facebook and Instagram?
Dahna explains, “It varies. We’ve got clients on anything from $20 a day to $2,000 a day. For someone just starting with Facebook ads, you could begin with as little as $5 to $20 a day. But it’s essential to understand the strategy behind it. Randomly boosting posts can be wasteful. If a business is serious about growth, they should consider professional help, as Facebook ads can be quite intensive.”
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The Misconception of Familiarity with Platforms
Josh notes a frequent sentiment: “My nephew is good at Facebook.” To which Dahna responds, “Being familiar with a platform doesn’t equate to mastering its marketing potential. Even someone connected to a mega agency might not apply the right strategies for smaller businesses. The importance of strategic understanding cannot be overstated, especially with the potential expenses involved.”
Knowing Your Business Niche
Dahna highlights the significance of aligning your business with the right agency or professional. “It’s essential to find someone familiar with your sector. For instance, a business selling car parts needs a different strategy than a fashion brand. While we specialise in e-commerce, B2B ads are a completely different ball game.”
Understanding the Nuances: B2B vs. B2C
When businesses venture into the digital marketing world, it’s crucial to understand the distinct strategies that different sectors demand. Dahna makes a clear distinction, stating, “There’s a vast difference between B2B and B2C. In B2B, your primary audience comprises other businesses. In contrast, B2C is all about catering to individual consumers. The strategies, audience targeting, and creatives for these two segments differ dramatically.”
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Selecting the Right Agency: An Investment in Success
Dahna warns against the pitfalls of blindly diving into Facebook and Instagram advertising without the proper guidance, especially when businesses are allocating significant budgets. She remarks, “You might be spending more on the agency than on the actual ad budget, which makes it challenging to remain profitable. Ideally, when you’re testing the waters, you’d want to be around the $100 to $200 a day mark. This allows you to assess your audience and creative approaches effectively.”
Experience Matters: The Difference Between User and Strategist
Josh chuckles at the common refrain about younger family members being tech-savvy. “Your nephew might be adept at using the platform, but there’s a world of difference between being a user and understanding the intricacies of Facebook and Instagram as marketing tools.”
Dahna agrees with Josh. “Exactly. Many from the Gen Z feel they’re adept at social media because they’ve grown up with it. But when it comes to the detailed strategy and data analysis required for effective marketing on these platforms, hands-on experience is irreplaceable.”
Choosing the Right Platforms: To Be or Not to Be
It’s a reality of today’s digital age that businesses feel an incessant pull to be present on every new platform that emerges. But is it really beneficial for a brand to spread itself thin across multiple platforms or should they be channelizing their energies into the most effective ones?
Dahna strongly emphasises the value of the latter approach. “The digital landscape is vast, but it’s essential to remember that not every platform will be a fit for every business,” she states. “If you’re in a sector like IT, which isn’t inherently visual, platforms like Pinterest or Instagram might not be the best fit. However, more professional platforms such as LinkedIn might be ideal.”
Josh jumps in with a pertinent observation about the business he mentioned earlier. “They’ve been successfully running for 30 years with traditional marketing techniques, but there’s always room for optimisation. And that comes from focusing on platforms that work best for them.”
Dahna nods, “A lot of businesses make the mistake of half-heartedly being on a platform just for the sake of it. But if you can’t offer value and quality content on a specific platform, it’s better to forgo it entirely. In the digital realm, quality always triumphs over quantity.”
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The Illusion of Set and Forget in Digital Advertising
Josh’s next observation hits upon a critical misconception in the world of digital advertising—the illusion of the ‘set and forget’ strategy. “In my experience,” he notes, “even if you’re just starting and your spending is minimal, a digital ad campaign requires constant attention. From monitoring algorithms and trends to tweaking ad content, it’s not something you can simply set up and ignore.”
Dahna concurs, sharing an anecdote, “We recently had an inquiry where the client wanted just the setup and then planned to check on it once a month. But digital advertising, especially on platforms like Facebook, is dynamic. If you’re investing significantly, daily oversight is almost mandatory. Even if you don’t make changes every day, monitoring the data is crucial.”
She elaborates further, “Digital ad campaigns aren’t static. The audience’s reactions to an ad can change over time. Factors like ad fatigue, where people tire of seeing the same ad repeatedly, are very real. Overlooking these aspects can not only lead to inefficient campaigns but also drain budgets rapidly.”
A Word of Advice
The digital world offers an abundance of opportunities, but it’s also fraught with pitfalls for the uninitiated. As Dahna sagely remarks, “It’s not about jumping onto every bandwagon but understanding which vehicle will take your business to its desired destination. And while being adventurous is encouraged, businesses must also know when to seek expert help.”
For businesses, both seasoned and new, navigating the ever-evolving digital landscape can seem like a formidable task. But with the right guidance, understanding, and focus, achieving digital success is well within reach.
The Shift in Content Preferences
Dahna delves into the past to explain the trend. “Static images once ruled the advertising space, but soon User Generated Content (UGC) took the lead, standing out for its relatable feel, giving ads a touch of authenticity,” she states. But as UGC started gaining momentum, its uniqueness diminished. The once genuine feel of an ad soon became a trend everyone adopted, making ads with UGC lose their original charm. The key takeaway? Stand out by being different and avoiding saturated trends. While UGC was revolutionary, the market is now saturated, making its effectiveness dwindle.
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The Agency Perspective: Navigating Change
Adapting to the changing digital landscape requires agility. The strategies that yield results now might become obsolete in a few months. Dana acknowledges this dynamic nature, “We were still reaping substantial benefits from UGC about two months ago, but then the trend died down.” But she insists, there’s no one-size-fits-all. While static images with text overlays are seeing success, videos, especially on Instagram, are prioritised. But the key is quality. A well-produced video can work wonders, but sometimes, a simple, less-polished content piece might resonate more with the audience because of its genuine feel.
Balancing Authenticity and Brand Image
Dana’s experience with a client brings forth an essential lesson: While $20,000 was spent on a professional photo shoot, a blurry iPhone image performed better. Why? It’s relatable. People connect more with content that feels genuine, rather than overly polished and corporate. Testing various content forms is crucial, from organic images to stylised ones, videos to GIFs, to determine what resonates best with your target audience.
Choosing the Right Agency: Avoiding the Pitfalls
The digital marketing industry is rife with self-proclaimed experts. The low barrier to entry means anyone can set up shop, and many claim expertise they don’t possess. Dana emphasises two crucial factors when considering an agency: their experience in your specific industry and the results they’ve achieved. But there’s a caveat.
It’s easy for agencies to cherry-pick their best results and showcase them. Dana warns against getting swayed by outliers, like her own experience of achieving a 300 times return on ad spend – a remarkable but not consistently replicable result. Instead, she advises potential clients to ask probing questions: “What do you do when things go wrong? How often are you monitoring and adjusting the campaigns?”
In a world where anyone can claim to be an expert, asking the right questions and understanding the changing dynamics of content can ensure businesses make the right choices in their digital advertising journey.
Month-to-Month Contracts: A Win-Win Strategy
Josh believes that month-to-month contracts in business establish a fluid working relationship. If there’s no resonance between the service provider and the client, it’s best for both parties to part ways. Digital marketing, especially with organic strategies, often requires patience; and while some businesses may see results in two to three months, others might need a good half-year.
Dahna reflects on her experience, stating that a six-month wait isn’t uncommon. She recalls clients who started to see tangible results only after such a period. And often, it wasn’t the marketing strategy that was flawed but other elements of the business.
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The Multi-Faceted Challenges of Digital Marketing
Driving fresh traffic to your site might seem like the goal, but with increased traffic comes increased scrutiny. A surge in site visits can often spotlight underlying issues like poor onsite conversion rates, unconvincing product descriptions, or even stock management problems.
Josh further elaborates on the importance of holistic business readiness. A well-performing Facebook ad that leads to an increased call rate, for instance, is futile if the business is ill-equipped to handle these calls effectively. The conversation should be solution-based, rather than just centered around the product. The marketing strategy is but a piece of the puzzle, and businesses need to ensure their readiness to handle the outcomes of effective advertising.
Unintended Consequences of Not Acting Fast
Dahna highlights a classic problem that businesses face—timing. She recalls a client who received leads but took as long as two weeks to act on them. Such delays often lead to lost opportunities and a potential decline in brand reputation. On the other hand, Josh jestingly mentions how businesses that run out of stock due to high demand face volatility in ad performance.
Facebook Ads: Not a Magic Pill but a Powerful Amplifier
Both experts concur that Facebook ads aren’t a miraculous solution that can single-handedly transform a business. Instead, they amplify existing business operations. If a business excels at what it does, Facebook ads can heighten its success. Conversely, if a business has inherent flaws, these ads can magnify those shortcomings.
Dahna recommends that businesses dip their toes into Facebook ads on their own before hiring an agency. By doing so, they can gauge the effect of the added traffic and identify potential problems.
Seeking Guidance? Reach out to the Experts
For businesses keen to explore or refine their Facebook ad strategies, Dahna suggests booking a free strategy session via their website. This session entails a comprehensive review of the business’s ad account, identifying strengths and opportunities for improvement.