With tentacles that reach far and wide throughout society, Facebook is renowned – infamous in some circles – for its ubiquitousness and pervasiveness.
From the elderly grandmother down the street to the fast-talking businessman that never seems to be off of his phone, Facebook has saturated nearly every corner and facet of modern life, making it an advertiser's dream when appropriately leveraged.
One of the platform's newer features, Marketplace, is Facebook's answer to Craigslist, an area-specific hub where people and vendors can sell their wares to others within a specific region, localizing its reach within a vast and far-reaching network.
Although advertising is new to Facebook Marketplace, obviously ads are not new to the platform itself. However, that doesn't mean advertising practices that are successful in other places on the platform will necessarily work well within Marketplace.
To that point, there are specific things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to advertise on Marketplace or devote your ad spend elsewhere.
Context Is Important
People using Facebook Marketplace are there for a particular reason – to buy and sell.
Marketplace isn't the spot to wax poetic on your political philosophies, discuss your favorite brand of frozen pizza, or post pictures of a kindergarten graduation ceremony.
The Marketplace corner of Facebook's platform is unique in that respect, in that it exists solely for commerce and not for communication.
Therefore, advertisers must remember the audience is already of a particular mindset and that square pegs usually don't fit well into round holes. In other words, consumers are there to buy and sell so advertising within Marketplace will likely be most effective when selling products rather than content or ideas.
While there's always a place for expanding brand awareness and identity, Facebook Marketplace is probably not the best forum for advertisers to employ an indirect or esoteric feel.
Take a micro approach rather than a global, macro one and demonstrate the usefulness of the product and not the brand's backstory or conceptual yearnings.
To that point, advertisers should think of Marketplace as a well-placed booth in a crowded and promising swap meet. The most successful vendors at that swap meet will be the ones that understand their audience best, not trying to sell the crowd an expensive Italian sports car while being surrounded by discounted sweatshirts and cubic zirconia jewelry.
Don't Forget the Analytics
Although, as discussed, there are some distinct differences between advertising on Marketplace and other areas of Facebook's platform, there are still some similarities that should not go unnoticed.
First and foremost, Marketplace advertising still shares the insightful analytics platform that can provide such a powerful sense of direction for advertisers when appropriately utilized. To that point, it's always a good idea to test your Marketplace ads for impact and results.
When generating your Facebook ad reports, make sure to choose Placement as one of the performance metrics to analyze to gauge how well your ad spend is performing on Marketplace relative to News Feeds and other areas of the Facebook platform.
Whether your ad spend is devoted to Marketplace, News Feeds, or an entirely different platform, its sole mission is to engage and convert.
If it just so happens that your particular business is not well-suited for Marketplace, both your attention and money are probably best spent elsewhere. Of course, that idea is not exclusive to Marketplace but any digital channel in the vast online environment.
Marketplace Best Practices
As with any digital advertising channel, if you choose to test the Marketplace waters, it's always best to go in with a pocket full of best practices to use as guidance. For that reason, here are a few things to keep in mind when venturing into these new advertising waters.
Don't Treat Marketplace Like It's Craigslist
While a novel and useful idea when first introduced, many people now view Craigslist as an open forum for fraud and other nefarious hijinks.
Therefore, an effective Marketplace ad is one that immediately establishes trust and transparency. In this particular case, brand awareness regarding the product itself and not so much the vendor can play a pivotal role in an advertisement's success.
Advertising name brand products can instantly create a level of trust that otherwise would be lacking in generic or nonbranded goods.
Vendors themselves can establish trust with the audience through transparency, utilizing links to a homepage or reviews that speak to their trustworthiness and reliability.
Choose Creative Wisely
Depending on the nature of the product you're advertising, you want your creative to carefully balance between attention-grabbing visuals and blending in with the overall product category.
You want the creative to look professional and enticing but not to the point where it's a distinct outlier – in the negative sense – relative to everything else on the page.
Put differently, on a page filled with sofas sitting in someone's living room, your creative shouldn't feature a handmade leather couch sitting in a luxurious, palatial estate. Viewers still need to be able to readily imagine the product fitting nicely into their lifestyle.
Be Timely With Your Responses
If your ad prompts interested buyers into an SMS message, email, or Facebook direct message to contact you, be as quick and thorough with your responses as possible. In this type of environment, it's often the companies that respond first that get the business.
If you have trouble keeping up with response, think about using automated platforms like SMS bots that can keep the lead warm while you concentrate on running your business.
Facebook's Marketplace can represent newer, greener pastures for brands that suit it well and proceed in an organized and results-oriented fashion. Keep these tips in mind and your advertising efforts are on track to be as productive and successful as possible.