As it turns out, online advertising is more complicated than you may think. It’s not something that you can just “set and forget.” That’s a reality that many small-to-medium-sized businesses are learning and attempting to deal with every day. With online advertising, there are many factors that come into play when it comes to setting up an ad on Facebook or Instagram. There’s the matter of who you want to target your ad towards, which itself has several layers of complexity–age, location, gender, likes/interests, etc. There’s your budget and making sure you allocate it effectively. There’s having proper landing pages for your visitors to view when they click your ad. And there’s the ad copy and design too.
For a small-to-medium business this is already a lot of work to handle for just a single ad–and this doesn’t take into account more granular details such as A/B testing, figuring out the ideal time of day to run your ad, etc. Frankly, the whole thing is very overwhelming for most people. Which is why I was intrigued when I spoke with Michael Koral, the cofounder and COO of a company called Needls. Koral and his team have built a platform for businesses to easily manage their ad campaigns by essentially taking all of the things I just mentioned above and automating them.
How does Needls work?
During our call, Mr. Koral demoed the Needls platform for me, walking me through setting up an ad campaign for the first time. It’s remarkably easy to setup. You can tell the team has spent a great amount of time figuring out how to simplify the process and eliminate the headaches.
Once configured, Needls does the heavy lifting, it will automatically create, target, and optimize your digital ads as well as distribute them on Facebook and/or Instagram. But it doesn’t stop there. Needls utilizes machine learning techniques to figure out the best time of day to run your ads and will also provide reports with recommendations to improve your ads. Additionally, the Needls technology will also monitor social data, including tweets, status updates, and other social media posts to look for purchase intent amongst consumers. This means that if you run a wine shop in NYC and use Needls, and then someone from NYC tweets about wine, they will be targeted with your ad.
Managing an ad campaign on Facebook and/or Instagram takes hours of time, something most small business don’t have to spend on such things. Needls mission is to cut down the amount of time that needs to be spent on managing an ad campaign, while ensuring that you are running the most effective campaign possible.
The company also recently released another feature called Needls.Engage which posts relevant organic content to your Facebook page. If you’re interested in checking it out for yourself, the service starts at a very reasonable $100/month + 10 percent ad spend charge (though you can signup and get started for free). I have to say, after my demo and call with Mr. Koral, I was impressed. They have built a solid product. One thing of note: if you do give Needls a shot, try it for at least 2-3 months as it will take some time for all the optimizations to start clicking on all cylinders.