Last updated Jun 20th, 2022
Paid social ads work.
According to Hootsuite, 27% of users discover new brands and products through paid social ads.
And Facebook is at the heart of social media advertising.
Of the 2.5 billion users that log in monthly, Facebook ads reach 1.95 billion of these users.
But here’s the thing. Small Biz Trends reports that 62% of small businesses fail when it comes to Facebook ads.
One could argue that Facebook has reached its saturation point. The other more significant problem is that despite Facebook rolling out new features like dynamic ads, the free Ads Manager just doesn’t cut it.
Creating multiple complex and high-profile Facebook campaigns and managing all of them can be very time-consuming. Not to mention the lack of timely support.
For your dynamic ads to succeed, you have to be an expert at marketing and design and technology.
This is where paid social media automation platforms come in.
Smartly is one of the most popular social advertising platforms available in the market today.
Smartly promises that they can make your Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat ads creative and perform better through the power of automation.
But is Smartly the right choice for social media advertising?
We did some digging around to see what Smartly offers, current user reviews on some of the best software review platforms like G2, Capterra, and TrustRadius and uncovered some of Smartly’s top competitors.
This allows us to present a neutral and unbiased look at Smartly’s offering and drawbacks and do the same for the other alternatives.
TABLE OF CONTENTS1. Smartly advantages
Smartly claims to replace the need to use Facebook Ads manager altogether. You can use it on multiple social channels, and their feature set is extensive.
Thanks to their connection with Meta (they are a Meta Business Partner), you can expect some features that other similar platforms might not have.
Smartly sits atop the Meta Business Partner list, and rightfully so. They spend time-solving problems for the ‘creme de la creme’ of the largest Facebook advertisers in the world.
Even though Smartly is a great automation platform, it is far from perfect.
Smartly has a 50k minimum ad spend, and the platform fee is charged as a percentage of it. Since the software is so robust, the cost required for maintenance and support reflects in its pricing.
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But SMBs and lean startups cannot justify the pricing. They usually work with smaller budgets, and a minimum monthly spend and a platform fee is another added expense.
Smartly is more than just a social ads automation platform.
Think of it as a managed service, or even a hybrid marketing agency than a pure platform which, as we’ve already established, may not work for most companies.
Users seem to echo this sentiment in their reviews as well.
If you’re only looking to get started with dynamic ads and don’t need all of the features, it can be hard to rationalize the enormous investment.
Apart from the minimum monthly ad spends and extensive feature set not designed for lean startups, some online businesses also express that the 24x5 support does not fit their always-on schedule.
Several users also report outages and glitches on the platform that make it challenging to deploy campaigns successfully. There are also instances when a feature is available on Facebook Ads Manager, but Smartly’s platform does not feature it immediately.
For larger brands, this is not a massive problem. They typically have in-house social media teams to handle errors. But, this is not the case with smaller brands that are just starting with paid social.
Working with Smartly means you are competing for attention with these global advertisers.
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