Marketers around the world have been howling over the loss of most interest-based targets in Facebook Ads over the last 18 months or so. Apple’s war on data tracking for advertising has made Facebook & Instagram ads much harder for many advertisers.

But this isn’t the story for all advertisers.

A lot of advertisers have left the platform

According to Perpetual Traffic in their recent podcast episode 410, there’s been a major departure of certain segments of advertisers from the platforms.

These are generally those advertisers who have razor-thin margins and need highly efficient campaigns to attract conversions without a lot of higher-funnel activity such as Awareness and Consideration.

Many dropshippers and low-margin / high-volume online retailers have left Facebook Ads due to problems with fulfilment and logistics, increased costs and less ability to target highly specific audiences.

We’re talking about drop-shippers and high-volume, low-value retail goods.

You may have noticed a drop in ads from skincare, makeup and fashion brands lately. That’s no accident. They all relied heavily on tracking abandoned carts at their website to retarget, along with very specific interests to narrow down their perfect audience.

With those choices removed, these advertisers have had to try to use full-funnel techniques involving Awareness, Consideration and Conversion stages – rather than skipping to the end and using wasteful conversions ads on audiences that had never seen the product before and had no familiarity with the brand selling it.

The gap that has been left open

While the inflation of 2022 has also been present on advertising platforms like Google and Facebook, I have noticed that Facebook Ads costs per thousand (in Awareness ads) and cost per click (in Consideration & Conversion ads) have remained quite stable this year – particularly once the impacts of the Ukraine invasion and Chinese COVID lockdowns starting to make themselves known to world economies.

So who can take advantage of the gap that’s been left?

Bricks and motor businesses can get great local awareness right now due to the drop in online retailers using Facebook ads. Recent layoffs at Shopify, and the related closure of thousands of small dropshipping and fast-moving consumer goods online retail websites, have left a hole in the armour of online advertising.

This is also reflected in Meta’s recent poor showing in profits and stock price.

So what should a legitimate physical business do?

Use this opportunity to get cheaper Awareness and Reach type ads running that re-introduces you to local audiences. You’ll get more reach and awareness for less. Definitely far less than any radio, television or print medium. And still way less than Google, TikTok or LinkedIn ads.

Oh and I almost forget to mention the fact that Facebook is adding more ad inventory to it’s apps.

  1. There will now be two feeds for you to view. One for discovery and one for the people you follow
  2. If you can’t already, you will be able to boost Reels shortly
  3. The impending return of messaging to the main Facebook ads means an additional place for ads
The opportunity for local physical businesses and higher-margin remote consultants hasn't been this good since 2017.

Who else can benefit?

There’s room here too, for anyone with a high-value, low-volume business who wants to get in front of more people with attention-based and consideration-driven ad types.

I’m talking about coaches, therapists, agencies: anyone who makes a lot from one sale but needs to get in front of many people to get that one sale.

I am currently running a campaign to generate demand for corporate training and government upskilling on digital platforms and in just the first month where I spent $300, it generated $5000 worth of bookings. That’s a 16.6x return on investment.

The opportunity is better than it has been since 2017, just before every coach and consultant flooded the platform to take advantage of low cost-per-thousand views and cost-per-clicks.

Looking ahead, the opportunity is expected to close somewhere between December 2022 and June 2023. So the time to act is now.

The bottom line

Online retail is expected to bounce back in early 2023 when global logistics issues are expected to have cleared, western economies start rebounding from 2022’s price inflation and we start spending more on personal items. makeup, skincare and lots of low-value physical items online.

This means you have a short window with which to take advantage of increased reach. So what are you waiting for?

Dante St James is the founder of Clickstarter, a Meta Certified Lead Trainer, a Community Trainer with Meta Australia, a digital advisor with Business Station, an accredited Digital Solutions advisor and presenter, and the editor at The Small Marketer. You can watch free 1-hour webinars and grow your digital skills at Dante’s YouTube Channel.

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