But in reality I'd be saying that in a weak attempt to make my own Facebook advertising more effective.
Lemme tl;dr this in three bullets:
- It's far easier for non-sophisticated advertisers to waste money.
- The ad platform is pretty technical and nuanced
- Notice I didn't mention facebook in the previous two bullets? That's because it's true for anywhere you buy ads, even print or flyers, radio or direct mail.
So to reiterate:
For any given paid advertising channel, it is far easier for non-sophisticated people to waste money as it is to see significant ROI. Any place you can buy ads is far more technical and nuanced than people who don't live and breath it could every imagine.
Beyond that, I think a lot of people have been jaded by the multitudes claiming that they can help businesses with social media. If you are stating that there is some fraction of 1% who do actually grasp some deep, esoteric knowledge required to succeed with Facebook campaigns (or with other channels like Google), then OK. But, I would think that to be a massive problem for Facebook, Google, etc. That is, the overwhelming majority of their customers (lacking the required knowledge) would eventually realize that the ROI just isn't there for them.
Perhaps that will yet happen with some of these channels. If so, perhaps FB will be among the first to implode, as there are many who don't find the same abysmal metrics with Google, et. al. as they do on FB. So, even from a relative perspective, it still seems that FB is deeply flawed.
How much facebook advertising have you managed? I hope it's a lot if you're going to call out "fundamental flaws" and "large portion of ad spend...likely wasted...on what is effectively fraud."
I've managed many millions across a handful of companies. Has their been issues? Yes, just like every other channel.
You're spot on about being jaded though.
Wading through the masses of BS is a huge pain.
75% of the people probably give up, 20% outsourced to varying results, 5% nail it in-house or via finding the right partner.
But that 5%-15% of potential advertisers that lock it down?
That's 80% of the ad spend right there.
One Expedia is worth 100,000 small businesses to Google.
Google, Facebook, et al have all tried to simplify their ad products to capture more potential advertisers at different levels.
But in doing so they arrive at a Catch 22 though...
To make it simpler, they hide sophistication and advanced options. The very options that are needed to drive campaigns with meaningful ROI. But those options are also over the head of the SMBs.
So what are they supposed to do?
Not sure what you want me to say here. I don't believe the author's experience is isolated, nor is that of others who have demonstrated/reported the same. Your suggestion that they should use more "sophisticated targeting" to circumvent fraud is odd. Targeting should be for optimization, not fraud avoidance. How about instead FB fixes the fraud problem?
In any case, by your own admission, most people don't possess this sophistication anyway, so it follows that they would likely be significantly affected by this fraud problem. Hence, you haven't refuted my statement, but supported it.
>How much facebook advertising have you managed? I hope it's a lot if you're going to call out "fundamental flaws"
Really? OK. Well, personally, I have only my own company's test cases. But, I can read and I don't think it's a coincidence that my experience corroborates that of many others. I'm actually also paraphrasing you (in part) when I say it's fundamentally flawed. I think it's a pretty big problem if only you and your cousin Bob, along with two other people who live on a mountain somewhere possess the esoteric knowledge required to create a successful campaign.
And, now you've explicitly stated some of the flaw, with this: "To make it simpler, they hide sophistication and advanced options. The very options that are needed to drive campaigns with meaningful ROI. But those options are also over the head of the SMBs"
You don't see a very serious problem there?
In general, what you're saying throughout your post just doesn't make a lot of sense to me. You gloss over fraud and lay out all of these problems with FB advertising, then you conclude that it's not fundamentally flawed. Instead, the problem is with the huge percentage of people who simply don't know how to use it. For what other product would this premise lead to this conclusion?
This video is sensationalist, a large portion of all internet advertising is click fraud, no one is arguing against that; however, that doesn't mean you can't get results from social ads if you have the right expertise.
I don't know what kind of budgets you have managed, I have personally devised campaigns with millions of dollars in spend for brands, and they worked out very well. Of course, the targeting we did was very advanced and impossible to do for most people.
The truth is you (and majority of the people who posted here) have spent negligeble amounts of money testing and have read very little on the subject and even less time on putting down a strategy. I have a newsflash for you - marketing is hard and you are not entitled to results, just because you throw $50 on facebook ads.
Interesting that you know how much time and money I've put into it.
It's also, interesting that you know what other means of advertising I've employed and am using for COMPARATIVE purposes.
Marketing is hard? No kidding. I have been marketing online for over 10 years and have driven well over $500M in sales during that time. Now, maybe you've done more than that with your FB ads, but I would say that I'm qualified to speak on my experience.
>You want to achieve meaningful results when competing with people who are vastly more prepared to you.
No. The person to whom I'm responding stated that very few people know how to succeed with FB's product. If FB is marketing a product from which the overwhelming majority of their customers don't get value, then something is wrong with the product. I'd think that simple statement to be obvious but, then, here you are.
>Why do you feel entitled to making facebook work?
Again, you know me so well. I don't feel "entitled", though Facebook certainly wants me to feel that way. Again, if the overwhelming majority of customers find the product ineffective, then there's a problem with the product or Facebook's positioning of it. I call that fundamentally flawed. You can call it a success.
So, you say you went off and built a slide-rule, strapped on a rocket pack, and obtained a PhD in psychology and statistics, and an MBA in marketing. Now, Facebook Ads work for you. Great! So I guess it was me and the other 90-something% of Facebook's ad customers who were wrong after all. We should just do what you did.
Listen, FB sells the product. Funny thing: they don't recommend the MBA, PhD, or even consultants. In fact, they hide important features because they are so unusable for the vast majority of their customers. This is tacitly misleading people into believing that what they see is sufficient for success with their product.
So, FB itself is telling you there's a big problem with their product, and this doesn't even consider the fraud issue in the OP. But, you just carry on defending them.
No, I'm saying that you marketing is a field like every other and should be treated like it. It's like me saying "Oh, C++ is so stupid, I can't do "X" with it, although this book says it's comprehensive. Btw, I'm a mommy blogger".
I will give you the benefit of the doubt on your accomplishments and tell you that if you are good at marketing facebook is a goldmine. Go read whitepapers from success stories. Read Gary Vaynerchuk's stuff. Be super precise with your targeting (like laser precise). Think differently about facebook traffic. Get in the mindset of your customer when he's on fb. You are not looking to fulfill a demand. You are looking to create it, so all your efforts should be completely different from adwords for example.
There are 2 groups of people who whine about facebook ads - marketers who fail to adapt and people with 0 knowledge about marketing/advertising.
We're not talking about the field of marketing. We're talking about a specific product. One of many available products that consistently underperforms for a lot of people (including those with experience in the field of marketing).
>it's like me saying "Oh, C++ is so stupid, I can't do "X" with it, although this book says it's comprehensive. Btw, I'm a mommy blogger"
No. It's not. It's like me saying "I have many years of successful marketing experience, using many tools, channels, and approaches. I have found fundamental flaws with this particular product. Many others seem to be reporting the same."
Which is, of course, exactly what I did say. But, you seem to be pretty determined to stick with your worldview.
>I will give you the benefit of the doubt on your accomplishments
My $500M+ in sales and I thank you.
>There are 2 groups of people who whine about facebook ads...
So, you don't even allow for the fact that perhaps something could possibly be wrong with the product, or even that FB ads may simply not be the right channel for every product/business. I understand that you feel very strongly about FB ads (or more accurately that you have disdain for those who don't love them as you do). But, you have to realize that when you make categorical statements like that, it's hard to take you seriously.
You don't sound like a marketer to me. Usually marketers are not put off by barriers to entry, they are enthralled by them.
I personally am happy that chimps can't make facebook work. Less competition for me.
I agree. I think.
>You don't sound like a marketer to me.
>I personally am happy that chimps can't make facebook work. Less competition for me.
Well then, it sounds like you have it all figured out. Carry on.
Basically, I have to create the targets extremely specifically, and then Facebook lets me advertise to them. Unfortunately, I haven't had the same success with Facebook's pre-set targeting criteria.
Facebook's advertising tools promote the page like system too much and are too complex for non-specialized workers, I think.
Buying Facebook likes for a Facebook page is a subset of ads. You're definitely driven towards it in Facebook UI, but if you're Amazon or NetFlix or Expedia or whoever buys billions of ads nowadays, you still buy clicks to your site and bid on CPC basis.
Anecdotal evidence (visiting facebook.com on the Web, seeing 7 ads on the right-hand side) suggests very few businesses actually pay for likes on pages. My current advertisers are tdameritrade.com, amazon.com, fijiairways.com, digitalsherpa.com, getdrip.com, att.com, tahoeaccommodations.com, none of them having a Like button underneath the ad.
So, even if it is technically possible to do well in a given media, if it is really hard to identify who is a genuine expert in that media due to it being new and full of snake-oil merchants, then you are likely to do better in a more established field.
I'm going to get crucified for this, but paid advertising is somewhat analogous to software engineering/developers. There are many languages/platforms/technologies out there. Some old, some cutting edge. Each one most likely has it's own syntax/terminology, patterns, approaches etc.
So when hiring a full stack engineer, you look for someone who cuts pretty deep across a few key areas, but can also roll up their sleeves across the stack if need be. Example: Ruby Expert, Getting into Angular, and knows how to provision AWS if need be.
Same thing with full stack marketer. If you know Google Adwords, Content Marketing and a bit of PR are your core, then optimize your hire for that.
There are literally hundreds of "startups" doing that for social media advertising. Hundreds for search. Hundreds for display, and not just regular display, but RTB(sarcasm)! There are tons of startups doing it for native ads. And don't forget video, seo & content marketing among others.
Add on to that, the partner/provider lists of "startups" that sit on top of one or many of those tools.
And let's not forget about the 1000s of agencies out there to roll it all up.
There are tons of snake oil salesman, and many good tools and people in that list. But as with pretty much any ecosystem, it's 80% crap, 10% meh, 10% bam.
And there is no one right answer. Just like no absolute answer to Python vs Ruby.
So whenever I see articles like, "facebook ads bad! look what they're doing!"
Change it to, "facebook ads bad! Look at all the things I'm doing wrong, but don't even know enough to know I'm doing wrong!"
Arguably it's easy - if their advertising works then they're good. If you notice a marketing company then they're doing things right to some extent (at least WRT your demographic).