Facebook’s creative shop_ what can it do for small businesses (and itself)_ _ fast company _ business + innovation

Baked founder Matt Lewis never thought about hiring an ad agency to help boost holiday sales at his three bakeries in New York City, but he did want to run some kind of campaign this year to get people to preorder pies for Thanksgiving.

A former ad man himself, Lewis thought he was capable of making social media content that was good enough to draw in some customers. Gardening In the past, he’s hired photographers and considered hiring a design agency to spruce up the Baked website. Basketball court size But the costs are high. What is the fastest pitch in baseball A photographer would cost him $1,500 a day, and a video shoot, about $3,800 a day. Facebook login history “We don’t really have those funds,” says Lewis, whose warm smile and calm demeanor might lead you to think he’s a yoga teacher, not a baker. Paving expert “There’s no return, or the return would be so small after you’ve paid everybody out. Irrigation association It wouldn’t be worth it.”

This past fall, Lewis participated in a 12-hour, Facebook-hosted workshop to learn how to create dynamic ads and general content using a mobile phone and some apps. Fantasy football team names funny Prior to the class, Baked’s Facebook page was largely comprised of static photos of swirly cake tops and colorfully iced cookies. Fences by august wilson But with a budget of $50, a little arts and crafts, and the help of Facebook’s Creative Shop, Lewis was able to produce more dynamic content. Little league pitching mound distance Using cardboard, fabric, clamp lamps, and production mobile apps, Lewis and his team learned how to shoot stop-motion videos, add moving graphics to still shots, and cut together appealing product videos.

The ads appear to be working. Uw softball Baked’s staff was instructed to ask new customers where they heard about the bakery and, Lewis, says, “Almost unanimously, everybody who had never heard of us was either from a friend or from the Facebook ads.” Baked saw a 40% increase in pie sales compared with Thanksgiving 2015. Pro landscape companion In addition to the preorder campaign, Baked ran a series of Facebook ads to attract new customers. Gardening tips for spring “We had a 70% increase in capturing email addresses as well as actual physical addresses,” Lewis says. Irrigation association show “And then we actually lowered our cost of [customer contact information] acquisition by about 32%.” The Creative Shop

Facebook’s Creative Shop is not the single, centralized place that its name implies. Maryvale baseball park Rather, its 150 employees are scattered around the company’s many offices worldwide and have been helping major brands develop Facebook-specific content for roughly seven years, says its director, Tom Brown. Rock garden ideas Most recently, the Creative Shop worked with Airbnb to advertise its new Experiences product via a series of live tours of cities led by Airbnb hosts. How to pitch a baseball The videos, all roughly 30 to 45 minutes long, take potential customers through activities that only locals might know about, like cooking classes in Miami, marine explorations in Cape Cod, and a performance art workshop in Paris.

In the last year and a half, the Creative Shop has drawn together a four-person team to create tools and tutorials for small businesses like Lewis’s bake shop. Water garden supplies near me The experiment was part of an effort to see if tutorials might push small and local businesses to engage more with the platform, whether through paid advertising or organic content. Evans landscaping “[Small businesses] don’t think that they have the equipment in order to create great content. Fantasy football 2016 draft That they don’t have the money to spend to hire somebody else and they just don’t have the knowledge,” says Keara Tanella, SMB Lead at Facebook’s Creative Shop. Japanese landscape painting “They’re not creatives at heart. How to lay a patio on soil They’re not advertisers. Youth football leagues near me These are small to medium business owners.” To test her hypothesis, Tanella brought together three merchants to try out a series of instructional videos aimed at helping them make beautiful content on the cheap. Wild pitch frisco The businesses included Lewis’s Baked as well as eyewear company Felix Gray and hair product specialists Twisted Sista.

Small businesses are becoming increasingly important to Facebook as it strives to become the single platform for consumers to coordinate the concerts, book clubs, birthday parties, and myriad other events that make up your offline life.

In the last year, a series of features have cropped up to this effect. Pitched roof house Now when friends post restaurant recommendations, Facebook plots out each suggestion on a map published at the top of the post. Facebook mobile site Beneath individual suggestions, users see a card with the name of the business, its rating, price range, and a link to its own Facebook business page. Spring training arizona map This year, Facebook also broke out events into a standalone app and integrated ticket purchasing through Ticketmaster and EventBrite.

These new tools are just the beginning. Pitch meaning in music Eventually, Facebook wants its platform to do everything, from booking a hair appointment to finding the right holiday gifts at a local store. Baseball pitcher stats This will be harder to pull off than mapping out a recommended restaurant, though VP of Ads and Business Platform Andrew Bosworth thinks it’s merely a matter of striking the right partnerships.

“We’ve got all the sides of the marketplace, we just don’t have the stuff like the connector,” he says during an interview in New York. Softball clipart He means that while Facebook has buyers and sellers, it doesn’t have the infrastructure for transactions. Small front garden ideas on a budget To become a commercial hub, Facebook needs the right integrations.

Right now, the Mobile Studio represents an opportunity for Facebook to draw in incrementally more ad revenue through small businesses. Espn major league baseball scores yesterday But eventually, once the company figures out a way to better link consumers to businesses using its platform, those small business advertisers could act as the “connectors” Bosworth spoke of.

Despite soaring ad sales in 2016, Facebook CFO David Wehner said during Facebook’s third-quarter earnings call that investors should anticipate slowdown in 2017 because the network will soon max out on the number of ads it puts in front of users. Baseball pitcher workouts Ad load, which is Facebook lingo for measuring how many advertisements it can pack into feeds, has been a big driver of growth for the company, so when it reaches its limit, Facebook won’t be able to sustain the same revenue jumps it’s been making.

As a result, the company is pushing its premium video ad products more. Francesca battistelli holy spirit Since it can’t stuff more static ads into feeds, it’s hoping to grow the number of video ads. Irrigation Recently Facebook began testing ads that roll out midway through a video. Softball junk Now, Mobile Studio is part of the effort to grow the Facebook stock of video ads.

By teaching small businesses how to make more effective video content on the cheap, Facebook is encouraging businesses to spend a little extra to promote it. Gacebo The hypothesis is that if businesses know they have good creative that drives sales, they’ll be willing pay to promote it and extend their potential ability to reach customers (rather than just posting organically). Drip drop plumbing Baked, Twisted Sista, and Felix Gray represent just three of the 60 million businesses with Facebook accounts, and the social network is keen to make all of them paying advertisers. Facebook mobile cover photo size So far, only 4 million of the businesses on Facebook advertise (Baked, Felix Gray, and Twisted Sista are among them), but they spend big. Espn fantasy baseball keeper rankings In the third quarter of 2016, Facebook pulled in $6.8 billion in advertising revenue, up 59% from the same period a year before. Facebook live logo The Google Dilemma

Facebook has one major competitor when it comes to the small business arena: Google, a company that not only earns more digital ad revenue than Facebook, but also has been pursuing small business ad spend for a lot longer. Evergreen landscaping For years now, Google has courted businesses as a way to build out its index of services and stores. Fantasy football team names 2015 As it’s driven deeper into shopping, the tech giant has continued to create tools for businesses to help drive both online and offline sales. Usa softball roster “A lot of paid search in the retail space has converted over to our shopping format,” says Allan C. Sprinkler system design Thygesen, Google’s global head of SMB sales. How to lay flagstone patio “I think that is just a more compelling format and a better experience both for consumers and merchants.”

And Google is also staying ahead of innovation for small businesses. Garden city community college In June, before the launch of Facebook’s Mobile Studio, YouTube rolled out the Director’s App: guided video creation for small businesses. Free indoor basketball courts nyc It enables people to create a short, relatively professional looking video about their business in under 10 minutes. Timber merchants near me This all gives Google a natural advantage. Peach aviation Internet search still plays a vital role in most people’s shopping process; it’s how 60% of people research potential purchases, according to Synchrony Financial’s Fifth Annual Major Purchase Consumer Study.

So the question is: With its Mobile Studio tools, can Facebook convince small businesses with limited ad cash to spend that its platform is the most valuable? That may be a matter of how big the company plans to scale its small business efforts. Close out bats Right now, the Creative Shop is reaching out to small and medium businesses via targeted advertising on its platform, webinars, and live workshops. Free indoor basketball courts near me “We’ve created videos that show how to actually remix content using your phone and send them out in ads in the news feed to small business owners,” says Tanella.

This, after all, is Facebook’s edge: the ability to place hypertargeted ads within a news feed. Softball drills for 8u If that translates into increased visibility for businesses, then it may very well be worth the ad spend.

[A previous version of this story misstated Andrew Bosworth’s title and misspelled the business name Felix Gray. Football positions The correct title is VP of Ads and Business Platform.]