The landscape of marketing has changed ever since Facebook launched Facebook ads in 2007. From being a social network site where people could connect with each other, Facebook became an ideal platform for small-medium businesses to advertise their products and engage with their buyers. With its wide reach and with over 2.41 billion Monthly Active Users (MAUs) as on June 2019, Facebook is an important platform to consider while planning your marketing strategy. Its laser-sharp audience targeting options and other options such as location-based marketing and re-marketing campaigns had made it a hot favorite among marketers.
However, things changed drastically last year, when Facebook announced that the organic reach will be limited. Mark Zuckerberg announced, “You’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.” He wanted to stick to the core idea of why Facebook was started - to connect and share with the people in your life.
This essentially meant that marketers could no longer rely on organic reach for marketing. They had to invest money in advertising.
As marketers started getting used to the idea of promoting their products and services through paid promotions, Facebook threw one more curve-ball. It announced that in a bid to ramp up its privacy rules across its platform, Facebook will soon allow users to control the data it receives from other apps and activities about their online activity.
Currently, commercial websites send details of the user who visited the site to Facebook, prompting them to show them ads related to the products they were searching for.
Once the new tool rolls out, users will be able to see a summary of the information sent by apps and websites to Facebook and disconnect all the information from their account.
Facebook said, "We expect this could have some impact on our business, but we believe giving people control over their data is more important."
What does it mean for marketers?
Once the users get control of their data, they may most likely prefer not to be bothered by ads on their feed and disconnect all the information from their account. Before that happens, we recommend that you reduce your dependency on Facebook and start looking for alternative ways of reaching your buyers.
Here are a few alternatives that you can try:
Google Search Network:
Google search network is a group of search-related sites and apps where your ads can appear. So, when you advertise on Google’s search network, your ad will feature near or above the search results when someone types a keyword relevant to your business. You can also experiment with the ad types by choosing between text ads, dynamic search ads, shopping ads, and image and video ads. As everyone on the internet uses Google products, Google search network can be an ideal platform to advertise your brand.
In June 2017, Adam DÁngelo, the founder and CEO of Quora, revealed that the Q&A site received over 200 million unique visitors every month. Quora is widely used by people to find answers to their queries. By following communities and topics related to your niche, you can find questions where you can subtly promote your brand and answer them. For example, if you are a growth marketer, you can find topics relevant to growth marketing and answer them. If you have written a blog related to that question, you can add a link to it in your answer to lead the person to your website. If your answers are engaging and relevant to their query, people might be keen on following you and may even go to your website to know more about you. However, here’s a piece of advice - ensure that your answers are genuinely useful and relevant to the question and do not sound as though you are doing a sales pitch.
Twitter is primarily used to discuss the trending topics and events. However, it can also be a great marketing tool. With features such as live streaming, multiple image embedding, and capturing email addresses through ads run on the platform, Twitter enables you to optimize your marketing strategy. It is also a brilliant platform to monitor what your clients want and provide solutions that address their needs or pain points.
If you are a B2B marketer, you absolutely cannot miss LinkedIn marketing. LinkedIn is a more niche social media platform as compared to other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat. What started as a social network platform for professionals has now evolved into a sophisticated marketing platform. You can run LinkedIn ads to generate leads, do Account-Based Marketing (ABM), or create brand awareness. With over 260 million active MAUs, LinkedIn gives you powerful tools to reach out to some of the best companies in the world for business.
If you are a startup, especially a SaaS or IT company, Product Hunt is your place to be. A platform of technology geeks and first movers, users upvote products they love and try out the ones that look interesting. The ones with major upvotes get the Product Hunt Boost. With more than 2 million users visiting the website, Product Hunt is an excellent platform to create awareness about your product. Some brands have even reported getting over 10,000 site visits within 24 hours of launching the product on Product Hunt. However, remember that you have to be very smart in advertising your product on the website. With new products launching every hour, understand how the marketing is done on their website, and incorporate it into your strategy accordingly.
So, here we go, five alternatives that you can leverage if Facebook rolls out the control data feature. Marketing evolves quickly, now even more rapidly with technology updates. So, do not obsess about a single platform. Combine technology, creativity, and multiple strategies to make your marketing more effective.
Need help in strategizing your next campaign? Contact us.