Digital Ad Funnels Went on Sale

People are fond of saying that financial crises present opportunities. Here’s a small one I’m seeing.

Coronavirus is affecting the global ad industry, including digital. Analysts are forecasting significant revenue decreases for the two most profitable advertising platforms, Facebook and Google.

Not so much they’ll need a bailout, though,((Don’t worry, the US is saving its bailout money for the cruise ship industry, so it can get back to destroying the planet in the tackiest way possible.)) because both companies will continue to be profitable. 

Meanwhile, what I am seeing anecdotally is a 5% to 15% discount in ad buy costs today vs two weeks ago.

Yet while ad costs are down – lead-generation conversions are not, at least not for my current clients running FB remarketing ads. Mostly SaaS firms.

SaaS and tech entrepreneurs – and especially tech consultancies – are usually reluctant to buy ads((With the exception of Series A/B/C+ funded startups; for them, the growth phase reluctance to invest in advertising gives way to basically throwing enormous amounts of cash at Google and Facebook and seeing what sticks.)). One list reader published a research study in which he found that an unusually low number of consulting firms pursue digital advertising as a lead generation strategy. The number was something like 1 in 63 at the time that I got a glimpse of the research. If 45 of 65 consultancies had the gumption to pursue it, it would, of course, be less attractive.

So even before coronavirus, digital advertising has been an opportunity for niche firms selling complex products and services in a B2B context. Not a strike it rich opportunity, nor a low-hanging fruit one. But something that, properly implemented, can improve the effectiveness and reach of inbound and outbound marketing funnels. 

Add in lower costs and you probably see where I’m going with this – there’s an opportunity now for lean, scrappy digital advertising. Lean and scrappy as in $500/month.

Should you experiment? You should if you have any kind of productized service, or if you have free content products (webinars, studies, ebooks) to get in front of people. Depending on about 20 other factors. But that’s consideration factor #1.

But is there demand? Earlier I said conversions were up, but are people buying? Yes. Does that make right now a perfect opportunity to invest in digital advertising? Not necessarily.

What makes it a perfect opportunity is that it’s still overlooked by firms like yours, it’s cheap right now, and people will be buying 6 to 12 months from now (or so it seems).

And what type of advertising does that timeframe lend itself to? A long-term brand building remarketing campaign that hinges of content marketing products for top of funnel movement. Show your interesting opinions to people who already know about you, maybe start conversations; it not, at least stay top of mind.

Sorry, I jargonize when I talk advertising 🙂

Take action. I would recommend starting your experimentation with AdRoll because it’s low-risk learning that won’t end you up in a pushy product demo or email drip sequence from a BDR. Upload a list of warm leads to FB as a Custom Audience. Use Adroll managed display ads to let those people know about your webinar or guide. And build the funnel that gets leads from point A, the add, to point B, the booked meeting. 

What you’re doing is building and warming up a lead pool which may be ready to buy next year.

Simple, right? No, not at all – which is precisely why it’s an opportunity. 

Here’s to a productive, healthy week ahead,