Facebook advertising experts will meet the same fate as SEOs
Published: September 12, 2014
Author: Alex Houg
My colleague, Dennis Yu, wrote this post, which inflamed SEO old-timers. In a nutshell, he said that social marketing, content marketing, PR, inbound marketing, and SEO were essentially the same thing, if done properly. After all, you’re producing great content and you want to get it distributed. I’m here to say that if you’re doing Facebook advertising, you need to adapt here, too. Some people call this “omni-channel marketing,” which is say companies have to offer a seamless experience to their customers, no matter what channel they choose to interact on. So if you’re running Facebook ads, you’ve got to ensure that you’re:
-Amplifying content to drive the 3 steps of the funnel: audience, engagement, and conversion. And you’re primarily taking content shared across all your channels, whether you have a full-on content management system or a shared set of Google docs. You’re not just running content made only for advertising purposes, like you do via Google AdWords. –Engaging with your clients/customers: You’re doing this not just because it’s the human thing to do, but because in the course of engaging, you’re building your personal brand and collecting content from these customers to re-use. Pro tip: most of the content we publish comes through the discussions we have through client execution and our teaching.
-Driving outreach and exposure with influential distribution channels: If you’re doing a great job with your engagement on Facebook, inevitably the media will be reaching out to ask for your expert opinion. Last week, USA Today asked us to pull some Facebook stats on Ferguson versus the Ice Bucket Challenge. And as any smart Facebook ad folkswould do, we amplified it to media workplace targets to drive more awareness and future media pickup for articles. So a smart Facebook advertiser isn’t just a Power Editor pro, a faceless robot hiding behind a keyboard using an array of tools. He or she must be well-versed in creating content, engaging with customers/partners, and act like a smart PR agent. The SEO people have also had to move beyond their comfort zone of keyword tools and ranking algo discussion, into the world of learning what their company/client actually does as a real, passionate consumer of the product.
The same is true of the Facebook advertiser, who must now be a real user of the product or be spotted as a fraud, no matter how well they know custom audiences and conversion pixels. The simplification of ad sets on September 15th of this year, Facebook’s cross-device conversion tracking, improvements in optimized CPM goal-seeking, and other enhancements are forcing this change.
If you’re an agency, I’d not recommend you brand yourself as a Facebook marketing expert for too much longer, for the same reasons that Dennis describes in his article about SEO. You’re not an expert in Facebook advertising any more than someone else can brand themselves as an expert in problem solving, making friends, or communicating.
Of course, keep all the tricks in your bag on how to run Facebook ad campaigns. Just expand them into these other channels, so you can amplify across them via remarketing and forms of omni-channel marketing. Are you seeing this same shift, too?