This year facebook will take close to $4 billion dollars in revenue from advertising. With many condemning online advertising as annoying, overlooked and offering a poor return on investment, why does facebook appear to be flourishing with so many brands getting involved?
If one in every ten people on the earth were hanging out in one place, wouldn’t you want messages about your product, disease area or service to be there as well? No matter which patient or healthcare professional demographic you are trying to reach, you can be sure that there will be facebook users matching your description.
Facebook captures a large amount of information from their users, including their age, location and interests. All of these characteristics can then be used by brands to carefully select the population you want to show your adverts to.
For example, you could select only 50-60 year old males that live within 50 miles of Paris and that have liked pages dealing with diabetes to see your adverts. Or you may wish to target doctors in London for a medical meeting you are holding. In theory this makes it a win-win for advertisers and facebook users.
Just like bidding at an auction, where you decide how much to spend on each item and how much you want to spend in the whole day, facebook allows you to control exactly how much you spend and on which adverts.
There are several benefits to this spending structure. First, if no one clicks on your adverts you don’t spend anything! Secondly, it allows you to quickly identify which adverts are resonating with your audience and optimize them accordingly.
Although the same legal/regulatory hurdles that you encounter for online communications will apply to facebook adverts – remembering of course to consult regulatory bodies specific to each country you target – they offer a great opportunity to provide targeted communications to a broad, global demographic.
Whether or not some digital commentators are overzealous with their suggestions of facebook overtaking Google advertising, it may offer a great opportunity to raise your brands’ awareness amongst your target audience and drive traffic to your website. After all nothing ventured, nothing gained…especially when you get what you pay for.