A decade ago it was easy to sell the concept of digital channels for marketing.
They were cheaper. No, way cheaper. You could see the results in front of you. I mean, you could literally see your customers responding to the ads and measure when they had landed on your website. Everything was trackable, you could spend more to get more and the whole thing could be done without having to talk to a sleazy newspaper sales rep or a slick radio station account manager.
It was magic. And it worked. Our campaigns had a return on investment that we could see. Our websites could show us through Google Analytics just how much extra traffic we’d gained. But then everything changed.
The media, very aware of their declining ad revenues and relevance in this new world, started attacking the digital platforms, accusing them of privacy violations, being the source of all the world’s ills, and generally being evil. Mind you, there was little that these digital platforms were doing that the mainstream traditional media hadn’t been doing themselves for the best part of the last century.
But perhaps the most obvious change has been the cost of doing business with platforms like Google and Facebook. 20 years ago, you’d buy traffic from Google for less than $1 a click. These days, you’d be hard-pressed to get anything for under $4.50 a click if you have any competitors to speak of in your local areas. Automated bidding by big agencies and franchisors has ensured that Google Ads are out of the league of most small businesses.
The bang of digital marketing in the earlier years of the 21st century has since become a slow fizzle, at least to small business owners.
Just how much has advertising online increased by?
The two main metrics in digital ads, the cost per click and cost per thousand views have risen dramatically even in just the last year.
Facebook has surged in cost by a factor of 47 percent on the average price per ad. Cost per thousand views is further up 89 percent. They expect that this will only continue to rise for the rest of 2022.
YouTube, meanwhile, reports that cost per thousand views has skyrocketed by 108 percent – which is the same rate of increase that we’ve seen advertising shift from broadcast television to video-on-demand services like YouTube, Netflix, Prime video and Disney+.
Google tells us that their Programmatic Guaranteed CPMs (cost per thousand views) went up by 198 percent while the cost per click for search and shopping ads jumped 40 percent.
SnapChat’s cost per thousand views went up by 64 percent.
TikTok, inevitably spiked up by an eyewatering 92 percent. Which is basically in line with the growth of attention and user numbers also exploding on the platform.
Is it any wonder that your $35 a week boosting is going nowhere?
Dante St James is the founder of Clickstarter, a Facebook Blueprint Certified Lead Trainer, a Community Trainer with Facebook Australia, a digital advisor with Business Station, an accredited ASBAS 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.