Facebook Announces Multi-City ‘Keep It Local’ Campaign Celebrating SMBs

Facebook is announcing a new multi-channel marketing campaign called “Keep It Local,” which focuses on the role of small businesses in local communities. It also doubles as a promotion for Facebook marketing tools and services.

The company says the campaign will “run for eight weeks in four US cities in Columbus, Nashville, San Diego and Sacramento, and includes approximately 120 different small business owners across a variety of content – billboards, television ads and online.”

In the Columbus and San Diego markets the company will also host “Facebook Community Boost” events, which are Facebook’s in-person training events for small businesses.

Facebook has had great success with direct acquisition of small business advertisers, but also has a growing reseller network. The latest available SMB stats are the following:

  • Facebook has 6 million advertisers around the world
  • “More than 80 million small businesses” globally have active Facebook Pages
  • Instagram 25 million Instagram business profiles (most are SMBs)

Through simplification, increasing automation and objectives-based advertising the company is converting more of its “installed base” of organic Pages users into advertisers. Turning more of these SMB Facebook marketers into paying advertisers represents a multi-billion dollar opportunity for the company.

Yet the absence of SMB expertise around bidding, campaign management and optimization still represent barriers for many in getting more deeply involved in Facebook Ads, beyond simply boosting posts. Facebook ad revenues in Q1 2018 were $11.8 billion, about 91% of which were mobile.

Google has recently taken significant steps to expand campaign automation and make analytics and ROI more tangible for SMBs (e.g., store visits reporting). And as Facebook and Google make DIY advertising more accessible for SMBs, traditional marketing services providers need to deliver not only better service but a broader array of services.

There are indications that some traditional SMB marketing services providers are trying to move away from the ad-agency model into a SaaS subscription model. Dex is one example but there are others.

The future of SMB marketing services (and provider business models) is one of the many provocative and critical topics on the agenda at LSA’s forthcoming SMB Tech Adoption Summit in San Francisco on November 7.

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