11,200 Individual Ads
2.2 Million Clicks
0 Happy Marketers
“Facebook Advertising Performance Benchmarks & Insights” is the latest whitepaper from Webtrends and it brings some sobering news. In short, Facebook ads aren’t turning out to be the gift to marketing we’d hoped and maybe Eric Schmidt was right, Google has nothing to worry about.
The most telling piece of information is contained in this chart. Basically, it shows that clicks have declined and prices have risen.
A big part of the problem is ad burnout. Because Facebook serves ads based on interest, the same ad is served to the same person multiple times over a few days. The study saw that people began to ignore the ad after only a few viewings. They counter this with Google search ads which only appear when someone is searching for that information, thus reducing the number of times the ad is seen, and thus, ad burnout.
Facebook’s one saving grace is the addition of the friended ad. Ads that have been “liked” by a friend received more clicks and they lasted three times longer before burning out. The problem with this is obvious, as a marketer, you have no control over who “likes” your ad. The best you can do is present a product or ad that is engaging enough to grab the audience — but isn’t that always the goal?
What categories of ads perform best on Facebook? Webtrends has a chart for that and it shows that media, entertainment, tabloids and blogs get the most bang for their buck. Travel and cars also fared well. On the downside, healthcare, financial services and oddly internet and software suppliers would have been better off taking their business elsewhere.
The takeaway from all of this is that Facebook isn’t the miracle marketing vehicle many were hoping for. For those in the entertainment arena, who have compelling ads that people like, it could be more profitable than the same dollars spent on Google.
It seems to me that comparing Facebook to Google ads is something we shouldn’t even be doing. Facebook is a completely different animal, so shouldn’t they have a completely different way of handling advertising? By allowing folks to “like” an ad, they’re on their way to putting the social in social marketing but they still have a ways to go. The future has to hold something more than alphabet soup (CPM, CPC, CPA, CTR, ABC and OMG).
What do you think?