“The secret to social media success is to think and act like a member first, and a marketer second.” – Mari Smith, Facebook Marketing Expert
Great advice, Mari – but does Facebook really follow the formula of “think and act like a member first and a marketer second?”
The platform has become such a vital marketing tool that Facebook is actually managing to capture a portion of Google’s ad revenue. This is not only because 47% of people leverage ad blocking technology, but because Facebook touts such a diverse spread of ad experiences for brands to leverage.
While advertising on Facebook is an effective avenue of driving sales and generating new prospects, there is still a better and more user-friendly solution available to marketers: Influencer marketing.
Let’s explore some of the key differences between the Facebook ads and influencer marketing as well as why leveraging influencers is a more fruitful strategy.
Visibility, Pricing, and Trust
Facebook ads are seen by millions of users every day. As increasingly compelling and feed-integrated ads emerge, they are starting to look less and less like ads and more like status updates from a user’s network.
Despite this fact, brand ads still reach a minimal audience if the right elements are not in place. This is in accordance with Facebook’s relevance score for ads.
Even with the chameleon-like nature of these adverts, many people still feel that they are intrusive to their social experience. All in all, eyeballs do not equate to sales.
When talking about influencer marketing, however, these individuals are not bound by the same restrictions. More importantly, these folks are sought out by their audiences who enjoy interacting with their content. And if the influencer is prone to making videos, that content will actually receive a boost in feeds as it is prioritized higher by Facebook’s algorithm.
As for cost effectiveness, most view influencer marketing as a hefty investment, hence why many opt for Facebook ads. In Fanatics Media’s experience and research, however, the cost per thousand impressions (CPM) for Facebook ads clocks in at $7 – $12. Compare that to the average CPM for influencer marketing which lands around $5 – $10.
When examining cost per click (CPC) Facebook is still the costlier choice as that averages $0.28 versus influencer marketing’s $0.16.
The most important point to consider, however, comes by way of trust metrics. As it currently stands, 84% of millennials (the most active group on social media) don’t trust advertising; hence the ad blockers.
In the influencer marketing arena, these social superstars are trusted 92% more than even the best ads. In fact, influencers are so credible that a recent study found that Twitter users trust these folks almost as much as their real-life friends.
But wait – there’s more!
Longevity and Discoverability
The entire point of influencer marketing is to create long-term results. That’s almost never a benefit to traditional advertising.
Just like all others, Facebook ads run for a finite amount of time (the length of the campaign) and then disappear quicker that a Snapchat post.
The content influencers create, however, is forever; especially when it comes to blogs and videos.
Video content, such as YouTube videos, lives on a creator’s channel for as long as that portal exists. This means that videos continue to gain views and drive sales and conversions long after a campaign has ended.
The discoverability of this content is not just limited to digging through a creator’s channel, either. Videos are constantly served up to users within the platform and YouTube videos also turn up in Google’s SERPs.
To put things plainly, you just don’t get the same longevity or discoverability out of Facebook ads as you do with influencer-created content.
This is not to discourage you from using Facebook ads; they are an effective tool. Facebook ads play an important role in your overall marketing strategies, but the next time you consider launching an ad campaign, use the modality as a supporting role to your influencer-led efforts. Pairing the two, and allowing influencers to do the heavy lifting, will produce the most prosperous results for your campaign.