Nextdoor Launches A Consolidated Ad Platform And Expands SMB Features

It’s your friendly neighborhood ad platform.

At least, that’s the pitch by Nextdoor, a social network of neighborhood residents and businesses, as its advertising business matures.

Nextdoor launched a consolidated ad platform called Nextdoor Ads (if you can believe it) on Thursday, which brings self-service tech and new formats and features to all of its local and small businesses. Previously those tools were only used by enterprise advertisers like Home Depot.

The platform also brings together category-specific products Nextdoor built in verticals like real estate, medical and dental services and home and gardening.

“We heard from SMBs that they want an experience that more closely resembles what we offer to large advertisers,” said Kiran Prasad, Nextdoor’s chief product officer.

One change is that local businesses and service providers (plumbers, electricians, barbers, florists, etc.) can now reach Neighbors (Nextdoor’s term for users) within 30 miles, up from the previous 10-mile range. They have more ad format options, too, including the ability to add a link to the advertiser’s own site or landing page.

Nextdoor doesn’t have the shiny targeting and optimization capabilities of other social walled garden-type ad platforms. There is no audience network to extend ads to users across the web, or CRM custom matches that create lookalikes, Prasad said.

Nextdoor’s pitch is as a foil to those platforms – a breath of fresh air for local businesses that must be on Google and Facebook, but find no enjoyment in it.

Nextdoor spans 69 million accounts, with 36 million weekly active users, the company reported in Q1 2022 quarterly earnings last week. So it’s no Google or Facebook, but it has a keen edge for small businesses.

“The biggest thing we hear from small businesses is that they want to create an online presence,” Prasad said. They set up a Facebook and Instagram … but start with near zero followers and struggle to grow at all, even if they pay to promote the account. They set up a website. Crickets.

Nextdoor doesn’t require a business to reach a critical mass of followers, say, or to pay to have any traction whatsoever. A pizza chain can create an account and start posting to the local neighborhood feed.

Another advantage, according to Prasad, is that business features and users themselves on other local platforms are often skewed against business owners. For instance, Nextdoor doesn’t have “reviews” or star ratings, as you’d find with Google, Yelp or other local service platforms. It uses “recommendations,” he said, so positive posts are displayed on the account but the owner doesn’t live in dread of negative reviews panning their business.

For Nextdoor, the challenge is to convert free small business account users to paid ad platform customers.

There are 2.8 million business and local service provider accounts that already exist on Nextdoor, Prasad said. However, the company doesn’t disclose how many have made the jump to advertising.

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