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4 Facebook Alternatives Advertisers Should Consider

Steven Bond

Strategy Director, Forum One

In June, a coalition of civil rights organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, Color of Change, and Sleeping Giants, launched the #StopHateforProfit campaign, which seeks to pressure Facebook into changing how it handles hate speech and misinformation. To date, more than 400 organizations have publicly pledged to not advertise on the social network in July. In this post, we’ll explore 4 Facebook alternatives advertisers should consider in July and beyond.

1. Pinterest

Pinterest’s mission “is to bring everyone the inspiration to create the life they love.” Their advertising policies reflect that vision of a positive social network, from not allowing any political advertising to partnering with the World Wildlife Fund to identify and block ads that promote “products designed to inflict physical harm on animals in the name of training.” They’ve also chosen to write and publish their Advertising Guidelines in a format that’s a pleasure to read and understandable to the general public, rather than the lengthy legal text favored by other social networks

Similar to Facebook, advertisers can purchase ads on Pinterest using a self-serve platform. Pinterest is a place people go when they’re actively looking for new products and ideas, so the most successful campaigns inspire or excite people to try something new. In fact, a study by Nielsen found 98% of “pinners” try ideas they find on Pinterest, far more than the 71% average for social media platforms.

2. LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s mission “is to connect the world’s professionals to allow them to be more productive and successful.” The Microsoft-owned social network isn’t as restricted as Pinterest with their Advertising Policies, but has taken clear steps to protect their users and discourse on the platform. For example, the platform doesn’t permit political advertising or advertising from prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

People typically don’t check their LinkedIn account multiple times per day as they would Facebook or Instagram, which can result in markedly higher costs on the platform. Appearing on LinkedIn makes a notably more serious and professional statement about the organization as your ad appears alongside leading institutions and thinkers and reaches people in a moment where they’re engaged professionally. One significant advantage of LinkedIn campaigns over other platforms is that people almost universally list an accurate employer. Forum One has run highly successful campaigns seeking to influence policymakers employed at specific government agencies or institutions using Linkedin.

3. Hulu

In June 2020, Hulu announced it would begin selling ads via a self-service ad platform similar to Facebook and Google. Advertisers can currently apply to join a beta cohort, and broad access is expected soon. Many large advertisers have continued to advertise on television despite more sophisticated targeting available on digital alternatives because they can ensure their ads do not appear on controversial content or next to comments.

Unlike traditional TV targeting, which is predominantly based on the TV show and the time when it airs, Hulu plans to offer audience-based targeting comparable to social networks. The new offering will also be less expensive than on traditional TV with campaigns starting at $500. Because people typically watch Hulu’s content on larger screens and with the sound on, their ad offerings are ideal for campaigns focused on brand awareness and storytelling.

4. Podcast

In an era where content on popular platforms like TikTok and Instagram Stories is at most 15-seconds, podcasts provide a far more in-depth and immersive experience. The format of having a host speak in your ear for 20+ minutes naturally builds a strong connection with the host and content. As a result, the perceived endorsement of your brand can be powerful

Advertising on podcasts offers organizations the opportunity to directly support content creators and diverse voices. While podcast advertising can be purchased on self-serve platforms, we find the best results when making the extra effort to work directly with the creator to identify the ideal partnership. Podcasts typically offer two ad formats—a 15-second pre-roll before the content or a 60-second mid-roll in the middle of the content—and pricing is based on CPM, meaning per 1,000 downloads.

Evaluating the companies & communities your organization supports

Whether your organization participates in the #StopHateforProfit campaign or not, now is a great time to observe and learn as others experiment on new channels and formats. It’s also a moment for organizations to think about who they support via their ad spending and the communities and conversions where their brand is being displayed.

Written By

Steven Bond

Strategy Director, Forum One

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