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The Pros and Cons to Facebook Marketing

by Kim Purchase
Facebook Ads

It seems that all the news you hear about Facebook is negative. People are leaving in droves, new competitors are edging towards the top, and all-in-all, Facebook seems to have seen better days, and the outlook for the future is bleak.

But is this really the case? Take a quick glance at Facebook’s numbers, and you’ll find that the site isn’t only surviving but thriving. It remains well ahead of virtually everyone else. You can’t claim a website that has 2.75 billion monthly users is failing. They’re doing something right.

This is especially true from an advertising point of view. The ROI of Facebook ads remains deeply impressive, so developing a Facebook marketing strategy arguably shouldn’t just be a consideration; it should be essential.

However, it’d be wrong to say that Facebook ads are all good. Like everything else, there are pros and cons. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the main advantages and disadvantages, so you can make up your own mind about whether it’s something you want to make part of your marketing campaigns.

The Pros of Facebook Ads

We tend to think of Facebook as a social media website that allows people to stay in touch with loved ones. But it’s probably best to think of it as an advertising company. After all, the company makes virtually all of its money through advertising. So you can expect that they know what they’re doing; in 2020, the Silicon Valley giant took home some $86 billion in ad revenue. You don’t get that amount of cash without offering something valuable. So why do advertisers invest so much in Facebook?

Reach The People You Want To Reach

You could spend millions on an advertising campaign. But if the ad is being seen by people who are unlikely to have an interest in your products or services, then those millions won’t get you very far. Facebook has mastered the idea of targeted ads. When you’re launching a campaign, you can select what type of people your ads will be seen by. You can choose the location, age, interests, and more, even down to their smartphone. That’s a level of specificity that would have been unthinkable in the age of newspaper and billboard advertising.

Target Existing and Like-Minded Customers

It’s much easier — and cheaper — to market to existing customers rather than new customers. You should advertise for new customers, sure, but never forget about the existing ones. They already know and like your business, since they’ve bought from you before. That means they’re more likely to buy from you again. Facebook allows the option to specifically target existing customers by using a feature called ‘Custom Audiences.’ Simply upload your data (such as your customer email subscription list), and you can create ads that will be seen specifically by those people.

You can also target ‘lookalike customers,’ too. With this feature, Facebook will put your ads in front of people who are highly similar (in terms of location, age, interests, etc.) to your existing customers. Facebook’s algorithm will tell you that they’re highly likely to be interested in your business. And that helps nudge you one step closer to a sale.

Facebook Ad Account

Excellent Insights

A marketing campaign doesn’t stay still. It requires tinkering and improving. But of course, you can’t make improvements if you don’t know what’s working and what isn’t working. Facebook’s Ad Manager tool gives you access to a whole bunch of useful data that’ll indicate the pros and cons of your specific campaigns. You’ll find that some things are working well and some things aren’t working well; in other words, you’ll know what should stay and what needs to go.

Many Ad Choices

Marketing should be a creative exercise. To help bring your vision to life, you’ll need to have a range of options available to you, not limited to just one type of advertisement. Facebook offers a wide variety of ad placements, so you can use the right one for your campaigns. These include feed ads, search ads, stories ads, and in-article ads. Placement is key, and so is style — videos, photos, carousel ads, and poll ads can all be used for different effects and results.

The Cons of Facebook Ads

If you only read the ‘pros’ of Facebook ads, you’d think it was a gift sent from heaven for marketers. But there are some downsides to Facebook advertising that shouldn’t be overlooked. Let’s dive into them.

Under Siege From Apple

A war is brewing between Apple and Facebook. The latest iOS update for Apple iPhones will nullify some of the power of Facebook’s advertising capabilities because it restricts the ways in which user data can be used. It’s unclear how much of an impact it will have, but Facebook is already working on a solution, so it’s possible that it’ll have minimal impact.

It's Not Cheap

Or at least, it’s not as cheap as it once was. The competition for the best placement means companies have to commit more money than in the past to get their ads seen. However, it’s still cheaper than other advertising options, and there’s usually a decent return on investment anyway.

Time to Learn

Facebook’s marketing tools are advanced, and that means that it can take some time to get to grips with how everything works. This is time that many small businesses don’t have. You can get around this learning curve by working with a digital marketing agency.

The Bottom Line

We’ve called this article ‘pros and cons to Facebook Marketing,’ but the pros and cons are not of equal weighting. On balance, the pros of using the social media site to advertise greatly outweigh the negative points, even if they are important to keep in mind.

If you’re looking to unleash the power of Facebook advertising, be sure to get in touch with us here at CB Digital Marketing. We offer a comprehensive social media advertising service that’ll have you up and running in a smart, results-driven way.

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