A recent change in Facebook's newsfeed declutters timelines by delivering higher quality content and engaging content. That's welcome news for people who are sick of endlessly scrolling through pointless posts.
Unfortunately for small business marketers, the change also means that they have to step up their game if they want people to see their Facebook posts, says Alfredo Ramos, head of digital products at Vistaprint.
"Facebook has essentially—and purposely—made it more difficult for those posts to receive views," Ramos told Small Business Computing. The change effectively forces SMBs that want to get noticed into Facebook's paid advertising services.
So how can Vistaprint, a business card provider, possibly help?
From Business Cards to SMB Web Services
Although better known for its affordable business card design and printing services, Vistaprint expanded into the world of SMB website services and marketing when, back in 2011, it acquired Webs, a provider of build-it-yourself products. But prior to that deal, Webs had snapped up Pagemodo, a popular Facebook page builder. (For those of you following along at home, are you still with us?)
With all three businesses under one roof, Vistaprint's goal aimed to make it easier for SMBs to manage their online and social media presence. How? With a strategically aligned suite of tools and services that pack major marketing muscle but are nonetheless easy to use.
"As the digital marketing landscape becomes more complicated, more people need help," he said. Small business owners in particular don't want to wrestle with a growing pile of Web and social tools to engage with today's mobile- and social-media obsessed consumers. And forget about taking the marketing and design courses required to craft attention-grabbing ads.
With Pagemodo's new Social Ads tool, a product "focused around the social-media marketing needs of the social media manager at small and medium sized business," SMBs can create, target, and kick off compelling Facebook ad campaigns that rival those of creative agencies.
Owned by Vistaprint, the Pagemodo Social Ads tool simplifies Facebook advertising for small business.
Facebook Ads Made Simple
Subscribers to Pagemodo Pro and Agency plans have access to the Social Ads tool, which features an "easy-to-use, integrated process" that doesn't require technical design skills, said Ramos. The guided, template-based process comes from years of analyzing what works and what doesn't in social media marketing. "We take those lessons and apply them," he said.
The result is a tool focused on the "quality of the creative," according to Ramos. A major part of the process is delivering visually-engaging experiences.
"We have very robust tools to create high-quality content using high-quality images," said Ramos. This includes professional, royalty-free stock photos and step-by-step design aids. SMBs can also incorporate company logos and their own custom pictures.
The tool also includes a selection of purpose-built ad templates for sales, promotions and other events that small businesses wish to highlight. To ensure those ads reach their intended audience, the Pagemodo Social Ads provides targeting options based on demographics, connections, interests and other factors monitored by Facebook's marketing platform. Businesses can track the success of their campaigns or tweak their strategies with the ad analytics module. And since it integrates with Pagemodo's Post Designer and Cover Photo Designer, SMBs can maintain consistent branding across the entire Facebook experience, and even download designs for their email marketing efforts.
Pagemodo Social Ads is available now as a no-cost add-on to current plans, which start at $19 per month. Its launch coincides with the release of the Pagemodo iOS App that lets you schedule and share content on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn using Apple iPhones and iPads.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Small Business Computing. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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