What the Facebook Video Ad Snafu Teaches Small Businesses About Digital Advertising

Earlier this month, news came out that social media mogul Facebook had inflated its reported numbers for video views (overestimating the length of watch rates by up to 60 to 80 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal).

This, of course, sparked a flurry of news activity online, including stories talking about how bad the metrics problem really was (and how far it spans).

It also spurred discussions about the lack of true transparency in digital monopolies like Facebook and Google in terms of business practices and company numbers, something that can make businesses a little wary in their future digital marketing strategies.

What We Can Learn from the Facebook Video Ad Issues

With all that in mind, small to medium-sized businesses everywhere are left wondering what the reporting scandal means for them, especially if they have been heavily relying on Facebook advertising for leads. If you ask us, this whole situation is a good time to rethink strategy and how we’re tracking results. Here are a few tips to consider.

Your website should still be the hub of your marketing.

Since we can’t control all of the intricacies of platforms like Facebook, Google, Pinterest or others, we can’t rely on them to be infallible. Every message you put out in the world—be it through social media, print advertising, word-of-mouth, or some other form of marketing—should always direct people to your own website. Your website is a place where you can put your best foot forward, offer valuable resources to potential consumers, collect consumers’ contact information and best strategize how to reach out to those potential consumers in the future. And, best of all, all of this can be done on your own terms.

Keep track of your own metrics.

While each advertising platform always offers its own metrics system, the Facebook video advertising debacle has taught us that we can’t always rely on those systems. These numbers can potentially be run in ways that favor the companies, and that can lead to businesses putting too much faith in the power of these big data platforms. It’s also incredibly difficult to try to remember or compare metrics across different systems in order to decide what is working and what isn’t. When you keep track of your own metrics, you can house them all in one place. This allows you to easy check for and find the points where your advertising does (or does not) provide the ROI you’re hoping to see.

Don’t depend on just one ad platform or ad type.

Whether it’s Facebook video ads, Google AdWords or display ads, relying on just one type of digital advertisement over another minimizes your potential results. Yes, you should always double down on what you know for sure is working, but you should also continuously test new and different channels to make sure you’re getting the most out of your marketing mix.

Are you looking for answers on how best to use digital advertising to your advantage? We specialize in helping you double your business through a proven, proprietary blend of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and search engine optimization (SEO). Contact us for a free, 30-minute consultation so that we can help you revolutionize your online marketing strategy.

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