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A Look at Facebook’s 2019 Advertising Revenue…And What It Means for Your Staffing Firm in 2020

Facebook 2019 Ad Revenue | 2020 Facebook Ad Revenue Projections
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The following transcript was taken from InSights, a staffing and recruiting podcast from Haley Marketing Group dedicated to providing quick-hitting takeaways on Social Recruiting, Content Marketing, and Employer Branding. To listen to the episode, click play on the player above or visit the episode page [InSights] Acquiring Clients in 2020


Brad Bialy: Just this past week, I saw a tweet from Jon Erlichman of CTV National News that broke down Facebook’s ad revenue each year for really the past decade. Now, for the sake of this segment, Matt and I are going to share some thoughts and ideas into what that means for your staffing and recruiting firm. But before we get to that, I want to share a bit of data.

Brad Bialy: So if we look at Facebook’s ad revenue each year, starting with 2015, $17.1 billion collective ad revenue for Facebook, 2016, $26.9 billion, 2017, $39.9 billion, 2018, $55 billion, and an analyst estimate for 2019, because it hasn’t been compiled yet and released for Q4 is $69.4 billion, if we look at Facebook’s ad revenue for each year.

Brad Bialy: So what does this mean for your staffing and recruiting firm? Well, it means if you want to advertise on Faceboook, you might have to open up your pockets a little bit deeper. If we think about the competition level and we think about what we’re doing on Facebook, the dollar that was working in 2015 isn’t getting stretched as far as it is in 2019 and 2020 now.

Should Staffing Firms Invest in Facebook Advertising?

Brad Bialy: So Matt, I’m going to pass this to you. From a recruitment marketing standpoint, we’ve discussed on Insights that Facebook ads are incredibly impactful. Does this data scare you? Should we pivot this money elsewhere or should we continue rolling into Facebook and joining the others that are advertising on the platform?

Matt Lozar: This is interesting because in the last segment we talked about LinkedIn. And LinkedIn is very organic right now, very similar to where Facebook was five, seven, even three years ago. So the shift is one part that I think is interesting. The other part is, to answer your questions, should you spend money on Facebook? I’m going to answer a question with a question and break a rule, is your audience on Facebook?

Matt Lozar: If they are, we’ve got to spend money. And from that recruitment side, we launched a Facebook recruitment program end of 2015 in re-recruiting, and that spent about $5 a day. If you’re doing that now in 2019, your dollar doesn’t go as far.

Matt Lozar: As Brad said, they went I think from 15 billion to 69 billion and it’s just the literal cost per click is going up. The cost to have your ad displayed, the number of impressions they do, a measure is a cost per 1,000 CPM. That’s going up.

Matt Lozar: It’s just the cost of doing business is going up and if you think your audience is on Facebook, yes, you have to promote it because we’ve talked on past episodes of Insight, is organic dead on Facebook, I think it was the end of October. And it’s close to dead, but it’s very single-digit percentage of your followers. So if your audience is there and you have the right strategy, it might be the only way to get staffing and recruiting content out there because you’re competing with such compelling content from other industries outside of staffing and recruiting.

Brad Bialy: I don’t know if you saw the light bulb turn on over my head, but you made a comment about how Facebook ads are just a standard cost of business now, that is incredible. Just that little take right there I think is a ton of value for every listener. If you’re thinking about your annual marketing budget or even if you’re thinking about your annual recruitment marketing budget, think about how that’s grown year over year since 2015. As the cost of business grows, so does the cost of business on Facebook.

Brad Bialy: I remember when I started at Haley Marketing Group, I was talking to a client in one of my first weeks and they had said that, “Facebook’s really child’s play. Facebook isn’t for business, it’s not the right avenue.” And more importantly, they alluded to the fact that you couldn’t really accomplish anything on Facebook. At that time, seven years ago, Facebook was such an organic play that you could get away with just posting a blog and hoping that people click and come over or people see a job post. It wasn’t as big as it is now, and it was still big then.

Brad Bialy: The cost of business on Facebook has grown as more individuals and as more businesses see the opportunity that lies on Facebook. So we’re not saying that you should abandon that and jump ship and go somewhere else. It’s just if you want to compete in the crowded newsfeed, that is Facebook, well then you got to pay for that.

Running Facebook Ads that Compete with the Entertainment Industry

Brad Bialy: If you think about it Matt, we’ve said this before, anybody could have a billboard in Times Square, but for $10 it’s not going to be the largest billboard there. It’s going to be on the back of a garbage can. It might even be on the bottom of that garbage can. That’s the same as a Facebook ad.

Matt Lozar: I have two points here and the first one is, the thing that you’re competing with, kind of like that Time Square analogy is, think about just sports, think about music as Brad always says, celebrities, the election’s coming up where a ton of money is going to get poured into Facebook, so you’re competing with that. Also, on the organic and paid side, like if there’s really good organic content, Facebook’s going to show that because it keeps people on Facebook and they engage with it.

Matt Lozar: Before you totally shift the budget and get scared and think you can only do paid on Facebook, one area that I think is working well with the right jobs is Facebook jobs, organically. If you’re posting manufacturing administrative call center, though that level of job, it’s working very well.

Matt Lozar: There was a client we work with, it’s a paint producer job or some kind of job in a warehouse and we did put a little small budget behind it, I think it was $75 or a $100, they got 71 applications, and I’m sure some of that was organic. But if you just post jobs organically on Facebook, that content’s working very well because I don’t think a lot of companies are doing it. You have to be very careful with it. We talked about that actually on our last episode, and that’s the one type of organic content I do think is working well for staffing agencies and recruiters.

Brad Bialy: And again the premise of this segment is not to scare you into moving those marketing dollars, those recruitment marketing dollars from Facebook and distribute them somewhere else. There is still valid benefit from staying on Facebook. Really the point of this segment is unseen and heard as we always do, is to chat about something that we’re seeing. Whether that’s directly in the industry or related to digital marketing and recruitment marketing.

Brad Bialy: So as we look at that cost of business growing on Facebook, and Matt, I’m going to probably still that for one of my presentations coming up here. I love that thought. As we see that growing, what we’re challenging you to do is be mindful of what advertising budget you’re allocating to Facebook and possibly consider bumping that up.

Brad Bialy: Again Matt, this might even come back to last week’s episode of Insights where we talked about the cost per application. If you’re allocating ad dollars to Facebook and boosting jobs, what’s the cost per application from that? Are you having strong ROI? If you are, then yeah, you should double down and invest more marketing dollars.

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