Courting SMBs, Facebook Integrates Its Ad Platform With Wix Email Marketing

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Facebook has been hard at work trying to incentivize SMBs to use its self-serve ad platform, and the latest push comes in the form of a collaboration with web development platform Wix. The companies announced this morning that businesses using Wix ShoutOut, Wix’s email marketing app, will now have the option of creating a Facebook Page-post ad from within the ShoutOut platform, which will automatically use the email’s content and images to fashion the Facebook ad.

For Wix, which has 67 million users and powers millions of small business websites, the idea is to become more of a one-stop shop for SMBs, giving them the ability to seamlessly adapt an email marketing campaign into a Facebook ad. For Facebook, the goal is to get more SMBs using its ad services in a way that feels like a fairly natural extension of what they’re already doing.

Facebook has been avidly courting SMBs (particularly in the past year), but its partnership with Wix is something of a landmark event, and the first of its kind for the social network. What this means is that although Facebook has an API that enables sites like Salesforce to tap into its platform in order to create a Facebook ad, there’s no other site with which Facebook is offering full support.

“Facebook has gone beyond standard API integration by providing full support in the email creation flow,” said Mike Manning, a spokesperson for the social network. He declined to comment on why exactly Facebook partnered with Wix or whether it will team up with any other web development platforms in a similar way in the future.

Eric Mason, director of strategic marketing communications at Wix, says that the company approached Facebook after learning that Wix users were interested in adding social media marketing to their advertising mix.

“People came to us and asked for additional things like Facebook ad [creation], and at the same time we watched the interaction with Wix tools and how they were being used,” Mason says. By giving business owners the option to launch a Facebook ad campaign without leaving the Wix ShoutOut platform, Wix is fostering a familiar and convenient set-up.

Setting up a Facebook ad on Wix works just as it would were you to create an ad on Facebook itself, Mason says. An SMB is prompted to select an age group, gender, and location and budget. And Wix, Mason points out, doesn’t take any cut of the cost.

“It takes a few hours to get it launched and moving but then you can go on Facebook and see it,” Mason says, adding that Wix worked closely with Facebook to streamline the process.

It’s a clever, somewhat subtle move on Facebook’s part as SMBs that were only thinking of getting out a newsletter, may pause to consider a Facebook campaign once that email is out, and the process will be automatically taken care of by Wix with the existing content

If Facebook succeeds in romancing SMBs with this tactic, it could potentially beat out Google in the self-serve ad game, at least in some cases.

“The first thing I thought when I [heard this news] was, ‘This is another way to get SMBs to not spend money on Google’,” says Local SEO Guide’s Andrew Shotland. “Your average SMB only has so much money to spend on digital marketing every month. If they’ve got this integrated Facebook upsell, they may be more likely to just spend their money there, and Facebook is making that easier for them to do.”

More generally, Facebook’s integration with Wix speaks to the social network’s slow but steady buildup as an SMB ad platform.

“It looks like Facebook is getting pretty serious about more SMB revenue,” Shotland says. “Think of this as another brick in the wall.”

Nicole Spector is a Street Fight contributor.