While it is definitely one of the must-have channels, it is worth it to take a look at pros and cons when deciding if Facebook ads platform is the go-to channel where you should start advertising and not Google or Linkedin. In the long run, you’ll probably have to dip your fingers in it anyway, but lets go through it.
Pro: Huge placement inventory on Facebook and beyond
While it’s clear that Facebook ads should show up on Facebook itself, it’s far from everything. First, they display their ads on most of services that they own like Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and soon Whatsapp will probably join those. What most people don’t know is the fact that huge part of ads you see on mobile apps and websites are also served by Facebook – when you set up ad placements, this goes under “Audience network”.
Pro: Great targeting options that suit small shops & big companies
Facebook has various targeting options starting from simple location, age and gender targeting to interest & behaviour targeting which can be taken to level where you use your customer data to get even better targeting options.
You could find parts of this kind of targeting sophistication on other platforms as well, but in one complete package – not really and not at these prices.
Pro: Easy advertising set-up
While some parts of Facebook advertising definitely need an overhaul, for most parts it compares pretty well to other platforms. While their advertising platform has grown in complexity it’s still true that with some dedication and time on their hands anyone can start running their ads.
The further down this line you go, the more complex it might seem, but for the most part in this case Facebook’s size plays in its favour and a simple Google search will get you to somebody who has had the same issue/question/problem and has found the answer you are looking for. Just don’t get me started on their customer support. 🙂
Con: Time consuming and requires commitment
It’s very rare that even seasoned facebook marketing specialists get everything right with the first try – to find the right campaign set-up (targeting, budgets, creatives etc.) you’ll have to create numerous campaigns and test a lot of variables.
While seasoned Facebook marketers usually get to positive outcomes faster, it will take time and test your commitment, especially if the product/service you offer isn’t flying off the shelves like hot cupcakes.
Con: Cost start low and go high
Until you get to that sweetspot with positive ROI (Return-on-investment), money you spend on Facebook will be an investment in brighter future. But, that’s what digital marketing is – trying out a lot of stuff, disregarding the worst performing, testing some new stuff and then repeating it all again.
Also, depending on your industry, niche, location and various other factors, Facebook advertising can be quite expensive compared to other platforms with less robust targeting options. While Facebook ad costs can be pretty low, you shouldn’t expect that it will always be sunny in the jungle of Facebook ads.
While your first campaign can start at 1€ per day, usually those costs tend to grow – especially when you find the campaigns that bring in real value (though at that point those are not costs anymore, but investments).