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Why is it so hard for small businesses to advertise on social media? (Part 1)

4 mins read

Let’s start this post with a few interesting stats…

74% of consumers rely on social media to make purchasing decisions.

There are currently over 50mm small businesses and organizations that use Facebook to engage with potential customers, yet only 3mm of those users are actually advertising on the platform. That’s a huge gap!

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We say it a lot, digital advertising isn’t easy but it’s an essential component for any small business that wants to grow. There are different options out there that can help you achieve successful customer acquisition through advertising on social media, but if you’re a small business owner many of these options aren’t within reach.

We’ve put together a 4-part series of blogs that will explain why it’s so difficult for SMBs to advertise on social media and what they can do about it. For this first post we’re going to jump right into the meat of the story, why the heck is it so hard for SMBs to use platforms like Facebook to advertise?

The reality is status quo options that people are used to using are clearly not cutting it. Let’s take a look at what they are and why they are not working.

DIY:

Advertising directly on each social media platform is an option that can get very expensive very fast, and if users aren’t targeting the correct people they won’t have a high conversion rate, essentially wasting their time and money. Think of the stat mentioned above, there are 47mm plus businesses who are on Facebook but aren’t using the advertising option. This is either because they can’t afford it or don’t understand how to use it.

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(insert cliche confused person at computer photo here :p)

Agency:

SMB owners can hire a digital ad agency to help them but this entails hours of meetings with the agency so that they can understand a business’ brand goals, and numerous emails back and forth between both parties about the creatives etc. Most importantly, traditional ad agencies are insanely expensive. You will get what you pay for, whether it’s a lot or a little. The budget of a small business doesn’t allow the needle to move, it’s common for a traditional agency to spend its resources on “more important accounts”. Another issue with a traditional agency is that they work 9-5, account managers are away from their desks a huge majority of the time whether it’s in other client meetings, on breaks, away on vacation or at home sick…the downsides of being a human! (wink wink, nudge nudge we have a solution to this).

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Existing SaaS solutions:

Other options are digital advertising dashboards, they can be very complicated if the user has no prior advertising experience, and although they are cheaper compared to a traditional agency they can still be pricey because users are expected to already have their ads created, meaning they would need to pay for a third party like a graphic designer or advertising agency to actually create the ads – costs that are in addition to the price they are paying to use the dashboard.

Dashboards work best when users have moderate to extensive experience in digital advertising. If customers don’t understand basic terminology like CPC,day parting or don’t know their demographics or how to setup proper optimization methods they will unfortunately be left with a trial and error situation which will waste a lot of their time and money, something SMB owners can’t afford to do.

 

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All of the above mentioned digital advertising options are good at what they do, but they aren’t beneficial for SMBs. Needls. was founded after recognizing that SMBs have been polarized for far too long with little to no options when it comes to advertising on social media, but we’ll dive deeper into that later in the series.  

Next blog will go over some of the status quo options that currently exist and their pros and cons, what they excel at and what they’re shortcomings are so you can make informed decisions when it comes to your digital advertising

 

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