Facebook advertising presents a world of new possibilities for many small business owners.
The ability to target ad viewers by demographic categories, geographic locations, and personal interests make it an attractive advertising option. But when you combine that with its cost-effectiveness, Facebook advertising becomes nearly irresistible to the average small business owner.
Yet despite its benefits, Facebook advertising isn't appropriate for every company or product offering. The nature of Facebook ads make them a better fit for some business models than for others. Still, for the right company Facebook can offer an effective advertising resource. Here are just some of the business models that have found success advertising on Facebook.
- Local advertisers. One of the drawbacks of online advertising has traditionally been its inability to target consumers in the local economy. Rather than spending big money on an unfocused online campaign, local businesses preferred to advertise in local papers. Facebook ads address this challenge by allowing advertisers to select a geographic preference that can be narrow or as wide as they desire.
- Brand marketers. Facebook ads have the ability to drive home your company's branding efforts. If you select the cost per thousand impressions (CPM) advertising option, your advertising dollars will be spent putting your brand in front of as many targeted Facebook users as possible–at a price that is pennies on the dollar compared to other branding campaigns.
- Data miners. Some companies are using Facebook to effectively mine data and contact information from targeted customers. By offering something for free in a Facebook ad, users are encouraged to click through to a website where they enter contact information in exchange for the offer. If your company relies heavily on e-mail marketing campaigns, a strategic Facebook ad can substantially boost your list of qualified e-mail addresses and promote your business at the same time.
- Niche providers. Facebook's ability to narrow advertising down by individual interests is a potential gold mine for small business owners. The real advantage of this is that it removes the guesswork that's typically involved with targeting online advertising by keyword. Instead, you can focus your ad according to users' self-defined interests. The next time you log on to your Facebook account, take a few minutes to examine the ads that appear on your page. It's likely that they will closely relate to the interests you described in your profile.