What We Can Learn from the Death of Facebook’s Sponsored Results

Farewell, Facebook Sponsored Results… we barely knew you. Although these ads were first launched in August 2012, Facebook is decided to pull the plug. In an official statement from Facebook:

In keeping with the goal of streamlining our ad products, starting in July, advertisers will no longer be able to buy sponsored results. We’ve seen that most marketers were buying sponsored results to advertise their apps and games, and we already offer mobile app install ads and page post link ads on desktop to achieve these same goals.

From the very start, there were strong supporters and opponents of having ads in searches. Some said that the ads were destined to fail, while some businesses saw small success from early campaigns. Here are a few things we can learn from Facebook’s efforts:

The Need to Monetize
Like their archenemy, Google, Facebook’ success is based on advertising. Although Facebook is free to use, users can expect some degree of advertising as the price of using the social networking site. The debate comes when asking the question when is there too much advertising? Facebook has seemed to have answered that question because not only were Sponsored Results killing the user experience, but they were failing to monetize these ads effectively.

Listen to Customers
Users were already complaining about inundated with regular Facebook ads. It’s another thing to take that next step and begin to integrate these sponsored advertisements into their social feed and search results.

Advertisers (aka the money makers) were also failing to see the right amount of ROI on Facebook Ads. And this doesn’t just go for small businesses. Big companies like GM have openly commented about how Facebook Ads weren’t a right fit for their marketing mix.

Testing is Important
Facebook’s next step involves developing new and better formats for ads so that they are fully able to take advantage of the new Graph Search. Another reason Facebook’s Sponsored Results didn’t work well as its other ads is that it wasn’t targeted to each specific user but rather, what they happened to type in.

Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
Without trying, you’ll never know what you can achieve. This isn’t a post to toot Facebook’s horn but rather, a takeaway for the complicated world of paid ads. Facebook took a risk with Sponsored Results but knew when to end the ads because they weren’t working out for users or businesses. The key is knowing when to stop and move on to something bigger and better. And as Albert Einstein once said, “You never fail until you stop trying”.

Who Clicks on Internet Ads?

too many ads Ads over here and there… but who really clicks? As a business owner, your worst nightmare just really might come true if customers aren’t clicking on your ads. This infographic takes a look at banner ads and here are some interesting findings:

– Users ages 55 and older are most likely to click
39% of people clicked an ad because it showed a product that they were interested in or it made them interested in a product that they hadn’t previously considered
54% of people don’t trust most online banner ads they see
61% of people don’t click because they don’t want to be distracted
31% of people are worried that their internet behavior will be tracked

With all this uncertainty it’s understandable why companies might choose NOT to participate in using paid ads. Last week, GM made a huge announcement that they would no longer be participating in Facebook advertising. This was a big decision and must have been based on the fact that they weren’t getting a reasonable return in their whopping $10 million budget in Facebook ads. Some marketers criticize GM for completely abandoning ads on Facebook and let’s face it, competitors like Ford must be really enjoying it.

An argument can be made that all businesses must utilize Facebook ads but that’s simply not the case. This argument can also be made for Google paid search ads, text ads, display ads, geo-targeted ads and more. When it comes to a small business, it’s even more important to do the research, as most don’t have an extra 10 million to spare.

If you need help before planning an extensive search ad campaign, we can help evaluate all your options so that you can get the best return on your investment. Make sure to contact us with any questions.