If there’s one point that was driven home at the 2016 Facebook Global Partner Summit, it’s this: Whereas five years ago Facebook was built for generating Page Likes and engagement, today it’s evolved into a platform for driving real business results. And as the social network continues to mature, brands and advertisers can employ it to achieve just about any business objective.
Here’s a look at how businesses should adapt to succeed when it comes to Facebook and Instagram ads, as well as a sneak peek of what’s to come.
The shift to mobile.
Mobile devices help us manage our lives, stay connected and, most importantly, discover. Thanks to mobile, people are open to more than ever before. But with that, people also have greater expectations. Everything on mobile should be relevant — otherwise, it’s intrusive.
Consider the following statistics:
- 73 percent of people say their mobile device is always with them
- On average, people check their phones 150 times a day
- 72 percent of people use mobile as their primary source for product research
- 90 percent of people access mobile while shopping in a store
- 57 percent of people access mobile while they watch TV
- There are more mobile phones than there are people in the world
- People pay more attention to video ads on mobile phone versus TV, and distraction is lower
What does this mean for advertisers? If your team isn’t rallying around mobile, then you’re missing a massive opportunity. Ads within Facebook’s mobile News Feed need to be meaningful, valuable, personal, relevant and actionable. Remember, mobile allows for users to not only discover, but also take action. Advertisers must keep this in mind when building an ad experience.
The importance of video.
Video has become a preferred medium for Facebook Ads. In fact, it’s one of the most powerful media that brands have to tell their stories.
- There are 8 billion views per day
- Power of sounds like radio, visual impact of TV
- Viewers are not lost forever, thanks to video remarketing
However, that’s not to say advertisers should reuse TV video assets for Facebook and Instagram. Remember, videos are automatically muted in the News Feed. So if your content doesn’t get its point across without sound, then it’s not right for these social networks.
What can users and advertisers expect in the future?
For one thing, Facebook will harness the popularity and power of messaging apps. Facebook Messenger is expected to grow to 2 billion users by 2018. In the coming months, expect to see ads on the cross-generational app. Facebook has identified that users are 53 percent more likely to shop if they can message business. It therefore presents a multitude opportunities, including acquisition and upselling. You’ll also meet “M” — a new virtual assistant within messenger. “M” is an artificially intelligent machine that learns in an effort to help brands.
Virtual reality — namely Oculus — will also play a role in the future of Facebook Ads. If mobile is the dominant platform today, consider VR to be just heating up. It can be used for a number of applications — including shopping — in addition to gaming, which is where it’s dominant today. Avatars will allow users to come together in one spot and interact in the VR world.
In the much nearer future, Facebook plans to roll out the following enhancements to its current suite of products and ad types:
- New objectives and templates to simplify the creation of Canvas Ads
- Auto populating Carousel Ad cards with product images taken from landing pages
- Improved integration between Lead Generation Ads and Messenger
- Local Awareness Ads that automatically customize ad creative based on the user’s location
- Local retailers will be able to attach local inventory to Dynamic Ads, meaning users will see in-stock products and local prices
- If it’s not in stock, the ad will find and display the next closest location that does have the product in stock
- Offline conversions API to connect with point of sale to determine if users are making a purchase based on Facebook Ads
Needless to say, the Ferocious Media team learned quite a bit at the 2016 Facebook Global Partner Summit. The I future of Facebook advertising is here, and we strive to remain ahead of the curve.