South by Southwest

Social media guru: Facebook video is the best ad buy for your money right now

Serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk says businesses should begin to innovate in this time of crisis by thinking outside of current strategies and concepts that have always been available.
Mary Stevens | CNBC

If you want to get the word out about your business on a budget, you should consider putting your money and time into publishing Facebook video ads.

That's according to Gary Vaynerchuk, founder of VaynerMedia, an 800-employee digital marketing company that works with Fortune 500 companies like General Electric, Budweiser, Toyota, Revlon and Unilever. He's a best-selling author and has more than 3.5 million fans across his social media channels.

"When you are David and you are playing against Goliath, you have to do David tactics. And our little slingshot with a rock right now is Facebook ads," said Vaynerchuk, speaking at the SXSW Conference and Festivals in Austin, Texas. Facebook ads can be run by zip code which helps target a very specific audience, he says.

When you are David and you are playing against Goliath, you have to do David tactics. And our little slingshot with a rock right now is Facebook ads.
Gary Vaynerchuk
founder of VaynerMedia

"The under-priced tactic in the market for everybody here — B to B, B to C, start-up, Fortune 50 — the under-priced attention to the target that you are looking for as we stand here today is Facebook video," says Vaynerchuk.

You don't need to have a large budget to produce videos, either. You can start with a smartphone, says Vaynerchuk.

The entrepreneur helped grow his parents' wine business from $3 million in annual revenue to $60 million by launching a web show, which became so popular Vaynerchuk appeared on NBC's "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" to teach the host about wine. Still, he says he looks back and can only think about how he could have grown the business even faster if he had invested in the best advertising for the value, which, at the time, was Google adwords.

"When I stand up here and say I built my dad's store from $3 to $60 million, I always feel that it should have been $250 million, because what I didn't do was spend all my money on Google adwords in 2001, '02 and '03," says Vaynerchuk. He knew doing so would have been smart, but he didn't "realize how historically amazing" those rates were at the time.

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Facebook video right now is what Google adwords were in the early 2000s, Vaynerchuk says.

"We are paying $6 to $13 CPM [cost per thousand impressions] on Facebook right now that are going to be $50 to $80 in 36 and 48 months and everybody is going to be sad that they didn't jump on it," says Vaynerchuk.

Vaynerchuk clarifies that the most efficient marketing is not necessarily the cheapest. "The Super Bowl commercial is the best deal in marketing. Like, not even close. At $6 million a pop, a steal!" A good Superbowl commercial is worth between $20 and $40 million, he says. Meanwhile, digital banner ads and pre-roll ads that run before online videos are the "worst s--- ever," he says.

"I am an attention-ist," he says. "I just look at prices."

In addition to targeted Facebook video, Vaynerchuk says that having influencers, or individuals with lots of followers on Instagram, promote your brands is also "really grossly under-priced awareness right now."

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