Facebook Takes on Search With New Ad Campaign

-Facebook Ad Screenshot-How does Facebook plan on attracting new advertisers? By attacking the number one channel of internet advertising on the web: search. Facebook has launched a new banner campaign that goes directly at the hear of search. There campaign model? Not search but instead banners. The banner campaign suggests that you should “reach your customers before they start searching.”

One of the animated banner campaigns has been embedded below. The banner says “Your business is about customers, not keywords. Reach them with advanced targeting.” It’s clear that Facebook knows who their competitor is and they are now putting a larger amount of resources into competing with search. Just yesterday news of a widening gap in online advertising surfaced.

Interestingly, Facebook’s advertising as well as other social network advertising was left out of the Wall Street Journal article which was a source of much discussion. I’m not sure if that’s because social advertising is still so early or if they decided to group this form of advertising into the “other” category. Whatever the rationale for leaving social advertising out of the article was, it’s clear that search has the best position in advertising on the web.

Should Social Try to Compete With Search?

Social advertising is clearly an alternative form of advertising currently. Typically buyers understand advertising in terms of CPM, CPC or CPA but they definitely don’t understand the new forms of engagement which many social networks offer. Luckily for these buyers Facebook does provide this form of advertising but large buyers should approach Facebook directly as the self-service forms of advertising have significant limits placed on daily spend.

With these new banner advertisements Facebook is clearly searching for smaller businesses with smaller advertising budgets than Fortune 500 companies. It’s interesting to see Facebook going after the smaller guys for money. One has to wonder if making Facebook Ads an alternative to search is really the best solution though. What do you think? Is this proper positioning for Facebook Advertising?