Yesterday Facebook beat expectations when it announced second quarter revenues. COO Sheryl Sandberg said on the earnings call that the company was only beginning to penetrate key market segments, including brand and local business advertising.
This morning, as part of its broader ad simplification strategy, Facebook is introducing Facebook for Business, a centralized hub for announcements, case studies and marketer education. It brings together content that was formerly in several different places across the site.
The information on Facebook for Business is organized in several ways: by marketer goals, “solutions” (products/tools) and case studies. The intention is to make marketing information and education on Facebook more accessible, literally and figuratively.
Case studies (“success stories”) can be sorted by business size, marketing objective, industry, product and global region. What this does is provide access to highly specific “templates” or campaign models for marketers to emulate or follow. Facebook informally referred to these cases as vertical “mini-playbooks.”
Using drop-down menus, a local restaurant, for example, could explore case studies involving other small restaurants employing mobile campaigns to successfully drive in-store sales in North America. This is one of the key features of the new content hub.
Beyond the content itself what’s especially interesting is that Facebook is addressing multiple audiences of varying levels of sophistication at one time: “from small businesses to large agencies and brands.” The site is designed to be useful to everyone from first-time Facebook advertisers to highly sophisticated agencies and social marketers.
On the earnings call yesterday Facebook reiterated that a large percentage of its one million advertisers are small businesses. The company added that there are now 18 million local business pages globally. Promoted Posts was created for this audience; and Facebook is trying to bring more SMBs into the advertising fold.
For more sophisticated marketers, there’s an “advanced advertising” area that includes discussion of FBX and Custom Audiences.
Marketers can learn about their options and peruse success stories or they can jump in immediately and create pages or ads. However developer-focused content and related blog posts will remain separate.
Facebook for Business is rolling out today in the US and in English. The content will be translated into other languages and there will be a global launch in the fall, with country specific cases and examples.