Under heavy scrutiny for lax monitoring and neglectful management of hateful and inaccurate content, Facebook is reaping the repercussions. 

Facebook has been brought under a spotlight for the mishandling of misleading and hateful content. Civil rights groups have joined together to organize the “Stop Hate For Profit” protest, encouraging brands to pause all spending advertising for the month of July on Facebook, as well as the Facebook-owned platform, Instagram. #StopHateForProfit campaign brings awareness to the hate speech that has been overlooked for far too long. Concerns were also raised to marketers about the inability to regulate and manage the content that would appear next to branded campaigns – adding brand safety to the list of concerns with the popular media channel. 

Brands such as Ford, Starbucks, Levi’s, Adidas, NorthFace and more have jumped on the boycott bandwagon. As we wrap up the end of the month, over a thousand brands have participated in this movement to raise awareness and plea for action. Although this is not the first boycott against Facebook (previously seen in 2013 and 2017), this has been the largest and longest to date, as some brands have announced that they will continue the demonstration through the end of the year. 

While several of the participating companies have paused advertising spend on Facebook’s platforms, many have strategized to reallocate the available budget to other marketing channels. Below we have gathered only a handful of possible alternatives that can effectively and efficiently drive brand awareness at scale.

social media cube

Google Display Network

Google Display Network includes a multitude of advertising mediums that each have unique assets that can boost brand awareness and campaign engagement. Reaching around 90% of all internet users, Google Display Network should already be a significant element to most digital strategies. The Google Display Network has many ad options including:

  • Display Ads

Across Google’s extensive network of websites, advertisements can be placed in various places throughout the webpage. These advertisements are typically formatted to appear as Native Ads, thus they do not obstruct the users’ experience and are more likely to have high engagement. 

  • Video Ads

Through Google Display Network, advertisers can set up video campaigns on YouTube. In fact, the number of small and medium-sized businesses that advertise on Youtube has doubled in the past two years! Video campaigns have unlimited creative potential that will capture viewers and drive awareness. 

  • Email Campaigns 

Marketers can utilize the Google Display Network for email marketing campaigns specifically with Gmail. Google Sponsored Promotions, allow for a programmatic form of email advertising that places sponsored emails at the top of the “promotions” folder on Gmail, targeted to in-market users for a product or service. Additionally, traditional email campaigns are effective when implementing the best practices, read our top 5 tips for optimizing your email marketing campaigns! 

Connected TV/OTT

Connected TV and Over The Top (OTT) advertising is a newer platform that has been grabbing brands’ attention and ultimately, capturing millennials and Gen-Z consumers. Through SmartTVs, streaming services, and internet-connected devices giving traditional screens the ability to stream videos, brands are able to reach targeted audiences at scale. CTV is an increasingly popular method featuring unique targeting capabilities to enhance the quality of viewers, engagements, and more. Viewership on these devices has recently surged due to COVID-19. 

Paid Search

Paid Search is an advertising method through channels like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Amazon that can advertise products, services, and brands as a whole through their search engine result pages. These types of ads can support consumers who are lower in the sales funnel and are searching with specific keywords to address their needs. This means that audience segmentation can be much more complex and personalized to better resonate with the consumers it reaches. 

Paid Social

Social Media has brought communities together with more ease than ever before. As brands have cut spending through Facebook and its affiliated platform, Instagram, many look for an easy alternative to switch over to. Snapchat and Tik Tok have both established ad capabilities with unique audience targeting options. Another social media platform that is a newer opportunity for marketing campaigns is Pinterest. Users can easily spread brand awareness by saving and sharing “pins” with their network of friends and family. 

In-App Programmatic

As smartphones have become the norm, developers have also continued to create technologically dynamic applications as well. Many apps display targeted ads through their platform, aimed at relevant consumers based on the application’s content. In-App campaigns have seen high engagement on average and have gained more consideration by marketers due to a recent increase in female app usage. 

So What Does This All Mean For Advertisers?

There are a plethora of marketing channels that are very similar in layout, ad management, content, and ability to support various campaign objectives. Outside of these circumstances, it can always be beneficial to reevaluate your budget and reallocate to other mediums when opportunities arise. 

Civil rights groups, like the Anti-Defamation League and NAACP, offered several recommendations to better execute hate speech management. All of the changes projected to occur surely won’t be completed immediately, but there have been reports of Facebook already appointing a new civil rights leadership position to oversee the changes and overall improved company structure. 

Moving into August, some brands are beginning to return to Facebook, balancing the need for corporate social responsibility with the need to drive performance during a state of economic uncertainty. It will be interesting to monitor the brands that continue to hold out on Facebook through the remainder of the year, and how their ad dollars may be reallocated among other marketing channels. There will absolutely be a trickle down effect that will alter the way many small and medium sized businesses advertise. The only question remains – what will this effect be?

If any of these alternatives interest you, or you would like to reevaluate your digital marketing strategy with professional consulting, get in contact with AVX Digital’s team of experts or visit avxdigital.com for more info. 

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