I finally got round to visiting Internet World yesterday which I make a habit of slotting into my calendar every year. It may be quite a salesy event, but I always come away with some great contacts and a better good insight into what’s going on in the digital world.
These types of tradeshow can be a mixed bag and Internet World is just that. At one end you have established, industry names who promote themselves and their products with professionalism. At the other end you have those who promote themselves with glamour girls a Del Boy mentality. You also have great people like Tony Wood from Vision With Technology whose stand was so busy this year. In the matter of disclosure he is a personal friend, but I’ve worked with him on a number of fantastic projects which his company launched with fantastic results.
So, plug over, on the established side I went to see the social giant Facebook to chat about their PPC and how I could better promote my business. The purpose was to hear it from the horses mouth and not base my theories on what I’d read in the trade press. And I’m glad I did.
A quick chat about the basics had me nodding – yes, I have a page; yes, I am promoting it on other on and offline channels. But an invite to look under the hood of their advertising platform had my inner geek salivating.
One thing that was confirmed was that it’s pretty much the Google approach to paid advertising. Rightly, if it ain’t broke why fix it. But where my interest peaked was with how you can target your advertising. Where Google targets advertising by search term, Facebook targets by a persons interests. And it doesn’t just stop at that – you can drill down even further. Take the example I was given – target by age, location, etc. and then by the interest golf. You can leave it there or you can drill down to PGA, courses, and more.
“So what” you may ask, and “that’s not that different from Google“. Well, in part you’re right. Google does allow you to target a number of search terms and their variants, but Facebook’s way allows direct targeting to a person who is already interested in that term. By this I mean when displaying a result on a Google search that person may have got the term wrong, or they may be looking for something for someone else, etc. Anyway, with Facebook you are getting your ad directly in front of someone who is guaranteed to like it as it’s in their hobbies and interests, and because they’ve given over so much of their personal data to Facebook you can directly target the demographic for your product or service. That, in my view, trumps Google. This is data that marketing departments would kill to get their hands on. Well, maybe not kill, but pay data firms lots of money for.
And no, I don’t work for the PR firm Facebook have allegedly paid to slander Google. I just think this is a refined way of targeting ads. Especially if you take into account the possibilities – target by ‘Likes’, Fan Pages, friends likes, networks…..
Facebook is still fairly new to the advertising game, and anyone who’s seen The Social Network will know how anti this Zuckerberg was. But even with a ‘small’ 250 member team in europe, they are a major contender in this field and one to be thrown into any digital marketing mix.
Here’s a good article from Mashable which takes a look at the difference in revenue for Google and Facebook: http://mashable.com/2011/05/12/facebook-google-revenue/