Think Global – Act Local – a cliché that is now true in digital media.

24 Apr

By Tim McKane

Facebook is huge. You knew that already, but we are talking really huge here. Their latest figures show an increase in revenues for the quarter up 72% to $2.5 billion – that is 2.5 with nine zeros after it.

The big growth – mobile ads. Mobile ads for Facebook are promoted posts on the news feed for those accessing their account on their tablet or phone. And it is a click through cost, so a successful ad, that generates a lot of clicks generates a lot more money for Facebook. Facebook were a bit slow off the marks with mobile, but now they have caught up and then some.

Facebook, Twitter, Google and Linkedin are the first truly global media channels. This has only occurred to me, and I am not sure why, but there you go. They are making money from almost all corners of the world. We buy media space on Facebook (and the others) for our clients in Northern Ireland, and target them based on location, interests and other profile information that we use to target effectively. All over the world there are agencies like ours that are buying space for their clients, as well as those that buy directly, and with every click on an ad, there is a little click on that money counter in Facebook HQ. It is just that we have a population of 1.7 million and in India 100 million people are on Facebook and the US user base is 146 million.

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146 million people that you can advertise to, getting them to click through to your landing page to buy,register, or give you an e-mail address.

No media channel in the past had a worldwide audience or potential sales opportunity. Newspapers, television, radio and outdoor were all localised. There were major media companies, but they were conglomerates of multiple titles and channels, not single title world wide audience media channels.

The numbers are reflecting this. Facebook now has over 1.1 billion users. Smartphone access to Facebook is now seeing a revenue growth of 59%. This means that the accessing of ads is through mobile devices. You can see a large advertiser in the US getting a bill from Facebook for thousands of clicks  – the ad was targeted well, the copy was good, the image was strong, and that one ad generated $50,000 dollars at a click rate of 50 cents – or whatever. Which is why bid management is so important in digital campaigns. In a small country, it will make a small different, in a large country, with a much higher number of people in the catchment audience, the impact is huge. A cent on a click through of 100,000 is $1000.

The media is both global and local. You can access it wherever there is wi-fi, anywhere in the world. You carry it around in your pocket. You check it regularly. And, look, there’s an ad.

But it is also why the days of using Facebook to try and generate free brand awareness are coming to an end. There are so many pages trying to get onto people’s newsfeed that they are cancelling each other out, and advertising is becoming the only really effective way to use the digital channels.

Growing and growing. That’s the digital world, and that is why you need to get in and get going. Now.


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