Local businesses depend on local advertising to get the word out about their business. This could include local radio shows, local newspaper, and billboards. These methods of advertising have been around for decades, and it had definitely been the prominent method of advertising before digital marketing became available.
While these methods could still work for your business, the main concern that I have as a digital marketer is there is no method of tracking the performance of these ads. Yes, the business will see if it worked by one metric: the final sale. Because there is a limitation on the metrics that are tracked, there is a huge limitation on understanding what works best for the local demographic and the brand of the business.
Before we get too deep into the discussion, we can briefly go over the pricing of different forms of ads.
Traditional Advertising Method Pricing
Rates for advertising can vary depending on the population of your local area and the advertising agencies that are offering them. We will take Gaithersburg, MD as an example, which has a population of about 67,000 people.
*These numbers could vary as rates may have changed since it was last reported*
According to gaebler.com, local newspaper ads in the Kensington Gazette can cost about $28 per column inch with an estimated audience of 7,000 readers. So, a 4-inch by 10-inch column ad may cost $1120. This isn’t considering the cost for the time period you want and the cost of potentially hiring a copywriter and designer.
As for billboard advertising, this can vary depending on the size and the exact location of the billboard. While there aren’t any pricing available to view online in this particular area, it can likely cost over $1000 for a 4-week period.
Radio advertising is estimated to cost $396 for a 30-second spot on the WASH-FM radio that covers the DMV area. Pricing could vary depending on the time slot and length of time it runs on the radio channel.
How Far Can Facebook Ads Go?
Pricing on Facebook ads can vary depending on the chosen settings for the ad campaigns. Running an ad campaign under the objective of “Reach” can be significantly cheaper than “Conversions” if you are simply looking to reach as many people as possible. If you don’t know what I’m referring to here, just know that different settings on Facebook Ads have different costs.
Within the DMV area, $10 could reach close to 5000 people, so with a $1000, you could potentially reach the entire population of Gaithersburg many times over. BUT, this wouldn’t necessarily mean that there were any significant conversions for your campaign goals.
The return in conversions you get from these Facebook Ads depends on various factors including the targeting, the copy of the ad, and the picture or video that was used.
The biggest advantage to Facebook Ad marketing compared to the traditional methods is that you have complete control over how that $1000 is spent throughout the way. You can stop ads that aren’t working at any time, and readjust as needed to improve the performance. You have direct control over the voice of the content that’s being pushed. You can even retarget the people that have shown some interest in your ad. Plus, you can interact with the people that engaged with your ads.
In the traditional methods mentioned above, you pay a single time upfront and the rest is a mystery. You have no way to adjust your ads, no metrics to tell you how it can be improved, and no qualitative and quantitative feedback to tell you if it worked at all in the end.
Will it work better than traditional methods?
The answer to this question largely depends on the quality of the content, the targeting, and various other factors that may be out of your control.
If you have tried Facebook Ads but failed to see any significant result, this should not be a sign to claim that it will not work for you. Part of the process is testing and iterating different aspects of your ad campaign to continuously refine the ads.
There are plenty of businesses that were entirely built through social media marketing, which shows the potential for many forms of businesses to leverage this opportunity.
The core of any form of marketing is understanding how people communicate in the modern age and where they spend most of their time. In the past when most eyes were glued to TV screens or ears to radio speakers, it made sense to place ads on those platforms because it attracted a lot of attention. A lot has shifted since then, so shifting our methods of communicating with the masses makes perfect sense.
The pricing on Facebook Ad marketing is not here to stay as it is. As more and more companies will begin to understand the value of this tool, the market will compete to have their ads in front of their target audience.