Q: How do you beat Facebook and Google at their own game?

A: You don’t! Stop playing their game.

Poor Facebook, their stock dropped about 20% last week. And CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth dropped by more than $5 billion. Funny thing though, SMB’s across the country have more confidence in Facebook, and will be using it more than ever in 2018. (Check out today’s Pie Chart of the Week.) And Google continues to offer new services for local business. As they change their advertising branding from AdWords to Google Ads, they are now automating some of the advertising options for SMB’s like targeting and images, all aimed at increasing local business usage. (Check out today’s Good To Know, below.)

We can’t control these things. We can only be good, make that great, at what we do. And while FB and Google are two of the things we want to be great at, our services and capabilities continue to expand well beyond both. In fact, our menu of services is beginning to look downright “agency-like.” Take a look at the chart below, showing the breadth of marketing services offered by local media companies, (from a survey of Local Media Association members.)

I’m not sure it’s fair to really call ourselves an “agency.” But the ability to be agnostic when it comes to creating and delivering a marketing solution is a strong attribute. And it allows us to position ourselves in a way where we are not really competing with Facebook and Google.  That’s the beauty of our ever-growing menu of services. We don’t have to rely on advertising alone. A number of local media sites generate more than half their digital revenue from services. They are choosing an alternative route to advertising alone, providing more holistic solutions to local businesses.

There’s no big moral to the story this week, no big “AHA” moment. As the Coastal North Carolina sales team closes out this round of Best of the Best sales, it’s the perfect time to devote attention to local businesses and their full marketing needs. Services should be considered in many recommendations. No, we shouldn’t be in competition with Facebook and Google. We are using them for broader and deeper marketing solutions, going beyond advertising needs to help local businesses. And that is something we CAN control.


Pie Chart of the Week-Local SMB’s Spending More with Facebook.

From Borrell Associates’ 2018 Local Advertising Survey, comes more news about the love affair between local business and Facebook. In spite of all the negative news surrounding FB, local businesses will be relying on it more than ever in 2017.

  • 70% of local SMB’s surveyed consider FB as, or more effective than last year.
  • 78% of local businesses surveyed will participate with Facebook in 2018.


Mom’s Library

(what’s your mom been reading lately?)

  • Google makes things even easier for SMB’s. Google has rolled out its first solution under the Google Ads brand, and it’s directed at SMB’s. This is a fully automated solution for creative, targeting with goals of phone calls, website visits and requests for directions. I strongly urge reading this, it’s directed at our customers. Check it out on SearchEngineLand
  • Local publishers looking more like agencies for growth. Local media properties are selling a broad spectrum of services to help SMB’s. It’s not just advertising anymore. Read more on this on Digiday.
  • Ever used the word “Algorithm” and still not know what it means? Here’s a great glossary of digital terms that you may hear often but might not know exactly what they mean. (This will make you look like a genius!) Check this out on SearchEngineLand.

Your MOM Knows Best 

  • BTB (Before The Blog) editions of the MOM online newsletter are now available on the About page (for GateHouse employees only), available from the menu in the upper right hand corner.
  • Check the menu navigation up top, it’s an easy access for reports and contacts that you will need to keep handy. These will be updated as we go. MOM knows all!
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This is your MOM, at least at work that is.

Author: David Prizer

Digital media executive and thought leader, emphasizing local and small business strategies. 20 years of experience in metro and community markets. Still watching Seinfeld reruns and holding out for a Cubs-White Sox subway series in my lifetime.

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