Yellow pages vs Facebook ads – should you cancel your print listing?

If you’re a small business owner with a modest marketing budget, every dollar you spend has to be worth the investment.

For decades—before the web, Google, and social media transformed the nature of marketing—buying an ad in the local Yellow Pages was a reliable way for people to find a business. The fact is, these days most consumers across the globe use the web and review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Amazon, or even Yellow Pages online to discover products and services in their area.

Consider these recent stats: more than 88% of consumers use online reviews when deciding to make a purchase, and 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Comparing an old-fashioned business directory with Facebook ads is a lot like comparing apples and oranges. Although they both offer customers a way to find you, a phonebook won’t let you micro-target your demographic, reach potential customers around the world, or easily track your ROI—crucial for making better, more strategic future advertising decisions. 

Facebook ads: a full list of pros

As of November 2017, Facebook boasts 65 million business pages and 5 million advertisers each month. In the second half of 2017 alone, advertisers spent more than $9 billion on Facebook ads.

Here are a few more reasons you should consider re-allocating your Yellow Pages budget to Facebook ads:

  • They’re affordable, with the lowest cost per 1,000 impressions compared to any other online advertising opportunity. Just set your budget and you’ll be charged per clicks or impressions, up to your maximum limit. (That means if your budget is $100 but only $80 is spent on the ad’s performance, you’ll only be charged $80).
  • They can be micro-targeted to maximize results—so the more you know about your customers, the more effectively you’ll be able to customize your ads for greater appeal (e.g. location, age, gender, employment status, annual income, hobbies)
  • They offer valuable analytics to monitor each ad’s performance, so you know exactly how well your investment is paying off or if you need to tweak your ad strategies
  • Facebook offers plenty of resources online to help you plan and design more effective campaigns.

Tips for creating your first Facebook ad

When designing a Facebook ad, you’ll need to make some key decisions at each step of the process.

Facebook offers ten campaign objectives and a variety of ad formats to choose from based on your primary goal for each ad, as well as your target audience.

Take a look at Facebook’s handy beginner’s advertising guide—and be sure to check out Hootsuite’s
complete guide, too—to help you make your first campaign a success.

Final thoughts

The keys to successful marketing, no matter which strategy you choose, are tracking results and above all, consistency. Once you discover your audience’s sweet spot with the right kind of Facebook ad, simply maintain your efforts and reap the rewards.