Which is it: Amazon Ads or Facebook Ads?

In reflecting further, it becomes clear to me that the possibility of having my book discovered (albeit maybe not purchased) is much higher in terms of permutations on the Facebook platform than on Amazon ads. With Amazon ads I might choose 2000 keywords to bring up my book. With Facebook I have literally millions of possible sorts (database sorts) that I can create and try with a few simple clicks. For example, I can choose an audience of a certain age, a certain gender, a certain country, with certain interests, with other interests that further include or exclude and etc. ad nauseam. The truth telling, though, comes in the intent of the viewer. With Amazon ads, we can probably presume the viewer is there predisposed to buying a book. But on FB we can't assume any such thing. They might see our ad while announcing the birth of a niece or a snap of a lobster bisque on their table–tasks that place zero relevance on our ad that happens to pop up then. Knowing what little I do know about SEO, it can probably be stated that discoverability on Amazon will only happen on the first three pages of ads. After that they fall off tremendously. So discoverability on Amazon depends on being on page one to three of the sponsored ad search results while discoverability on Facebook, while maybe higher because of the defined database sorts Facebook can make, is very achievable but the intent of the viewer will probably be very different (who do you know who goes on FB to buy a book?) than the presumed intent of the Amazon viewer.

For me, I understand Facebook, I get good data feedback almost in real time, and I can adjust my ads/audience/spend/bid etc. on the turn of a dime. On Amazon, the interface isn't dialed into to any particular “time-slice” that I can grasp–results might be lagging from a few minutes to a few days for all I can tell (probably closer to the latter) and the only real method AMS gives me of acquiring an almost-same-day glance at my ad's efficacy is by looking at its spend for the most recent period and making assumptions from there, assumptions that may or may not be accurate. Amazon, in truly Amazon fashion, is extremely stingy with the data I need to make a business-like choice about advertising. FB, on the other hand, gladly provides me with probably more data than I know how to use, all of which is modifiable in the tabular displays that allow me to choose lots of different variables.

To say that AMS is over-sold is easy enough: if my search term and bid land me on page 37, I'm wasting my dollars. On the other hand, to say FB is over-sold is, to my way of thinking, somewhat misleading because with FB I can always change the audience and bid and even the ad itself to separate myself from the masses who might be using, for example, an interest composed of “John Grisham” and “legal thrillers” and an include of kindle devices. I can polish that ad and its audience to an extreme degree of efficiency like AMS cannot begin to compete with.

I hope I'm not coming off as a FB supporter because I'm not. I've wasted as much money there as anyone.

I am reminded, in the end, that my best advertising seems to be (1) a new book, that is (2) noticed to my mailing list. Maybe my best spend on FB is the building of my mailing list at this point. Food for further thought

  • April 17, 2017
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Robert - November 11, 2017

Most writers I know find FB ads ok for building a mailing list, for book sales, not so much.


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