The Feature Spotlight blog series highlights and discusses the use cases for new and popular features within the Marin platform. Today we’ll be taking a look at the recently released Facebook Campaign Wizard, a time-saving feature for social advertisers.
One Year after the Facebook IPO
It’s been a busy year for Facebook since their IPO last year, as highlighted in our recent infographic. There have been many innovations, with a strong shift towards more socially relevant and mobile-centric ad technology. As Facebook advertisers have become more sophisticated, their best practices have also matured. Marin has captured and presented these best practices in our new report, The Marketer’s Guide to Driving ROI from Facebook Advertising: Top Tips for Building Awareness & Generating Financial Returns. This paper reviews the top tips gathered from global advertisers and agencies using Marin Software to manage their Facebook advertising.
The Facebook Challenge
While Facebook’s ad innovations have grown at a rapid pace since the IPO, social marketers continue to face scaling challenges when creating new Facebook campaigns—building out effective audience targets and generating engaging creative at scale is still very resource intensive. Large advertisers leveraging hundreds of images, ad creative, target audiences, and campaign combinations struggle to build high quality Facebook campaigns that drive successful ROI.
The Facebook Campaign Wizard makes it easy for Facebook marketers to create new campaigns and ad creative. The step-by-step interface provides a quick and easy, streamlined workflow for creating successful Facebook campaigns. Four simple campaign creation screens guide users through building a new campaign, setting audience targeting, generating creative, and deploying automated bidding. With Facebook’s ever-changing environment of new ad types, formats, and placements, Marin’s Facebook Campaign Wizard makes it easy for Facebook marketers to stay ahead of the curve and get the most out of their social advertising initiatives.
For more information on Marin’s Facebook Campaign Wizard, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s been one epic year since Facebook went public. Let’s take a look at the top ten milestones since the Facebook IPO. Enjoy and share!
Earlier this month, Facebook announced a new social-based home screen experience for Android devices called Home. Though Facebook has insisted that they aren’t developing a new phone or operating system, Home certainly comes close and stands to change the way consumers and advertisers engage across Android phones and tablets. Let’s take a look at how Home’s immersive experience will impact the way advertisers engage on-the-go, social consumers and what risks stand in its path to success.
What Does Home Do For The Consumer Experience?
According to Mark Zuckerberg, the goal of Facebook Home is to “transform your Android phone into a great social device.” To do this, Home unifies the user’s News Feed, messages, and notifications on the home screen of any Android device. This friends-first experience makes Facebook messaging the centerpiece of communication, reducing the need to use voice or texts to engage with your social circle. Because of this intimate and socially-immersive environment, Home differentiates itself from any other smartphone experience in the market. As a result, it’s caught the attention of social advertisers as a new and highly relevant way of engaging their customers.
How Does Home Impact Advertisers?
With users spending more time on their mobile devices, and with more competition from other forms of entertainment and communication like music, gaming, video, and texting, Facebook has felt the impact of an industry shifting to mobile consumption. However, even with consumers’ fragmented attention, the average Facebook mobile user in the US still spends an average of 30 minutes per day on the Facebook app. Home is primed to dramatically increase this level of daily Facebook engagement, and this is great news for advertisers. Marin believes that Home will:
What Risks Does Home Face?
Home will be an uphill battle for Facebook with multiple risks involved. With development resources committed to monthly updates and a tablet version still in the works, Home could limit Facebook’s focus on their mobile app, impacting the user experience for the vast majority of Facebook’s users and slowing down innovation within the app. Additionally, Home might not scale. Competing with Apple and Samsung won’t be easy, since these companies have figured out their distribution models and have developed a loyal following. Finally, Google could change their licensing agreement for Android, making it difficult for Facebook to continue innovating on Home. Though it remains unclear if these risks will become a factor, for now, Home remains an intriguing piece of mobile technology that will undoubtedly have the attention of advertisers throughout 2013, and possibly longer.
A lot of people “Like” Facebook. According to ComScore, the social media behemoth ranked as the top destination on the Internet in December 2012, edging out Google. So, when Facebook announced changes to its News Feed, advertisers took note.
One thing that’s dogged Facebook the last year or so is the stigma that the social site isn’t ideal for performance marketing. While we certainly agree advertising on Facebook leans towards branding and it isn’t quite the performance marketing nirvana like search is on Google or Bing, our data hints at Facebook’s potential. In fact, in Q4 of last year, we saw US Facebook advertising take on search-like performance characteristics.
Today, Zuckerberg and company revealed a new News Feed. Pictures and videos will now not only be displayed more prominently, but rather than a single News Feed, users will be able to filter their News Feed by Friends, Music, Photos, Games and other topics.
It’s all in an effort to provide users “more choice and more control.” As a result, targeting and ad visibility on Facebook has taken a step closer to the performance marketing utopia. There are three critical changes that advertisers should be aware of:
How do you see the new changes to Facebook’s News Feed improving ad performance?
The Marin Customer Spotlight series profiles industry leaders and provides an informed perspective on current topics and trends. Last week, Jeff Ferguson, CEO at Fang Digital Marketing, sat down with us (virtually) to discuss the state of Facebook advertising and the future it holds for online marketers.
Marin: What are your thoughts on Facebook’s recent announcement around their new targeting options (email lists, etc.) using Custom Audiences? How effective do you think this will be in engaging and converting more Facebook users? How do you see businesses using this functionality?
Jeff: I think this is an immensely powerful tool for Facebook advertisers. The ability to reach out to your existing prospect or customer based on another marketing channel, especially one that is designed for social interactions like Facebook, will allow marketers to increase conversion retention, and share of requirements (repeat purchases).
Although one of the examples that Facebook provides for this type of tool, which is running a campaign to get more likes, would usually be seen as a waste in and of itself, in this instance, since you’re trying to get likes from prospects or existing customers, the value of those likes would actually be of some worth. Once that interested audience is within your circle of conversation, you can continue that conversation to close the deal or get them coming back for more.
Marin: Facebook continues to explore additional revenue opportunities – with new audience options, ad types and device targeting – to promote more advertising spend.
Jeff: First and foremost, I know that Facebook is in the business to make money – period. Discussions around how that they should limit their attempts to create revenue for their company and their investors are just not based in reality.
That said, I give major praise to Facebook for not only trying to find the proper balance of revenue generation and user comfort, but doing such without the fear of failing. Unlike many businesses who seem to get stuck in a single design, a single ad format, etc. because it’s working (or worse, “always worked before), Facebook is putting it all out there to find that perfect match of making money, making its customers, that is the advertisers, happy and keeping its users from feeling they are just the vehicle for making Zuck richer.
Jeff: Facebook is still an evolving animal, especially when it comes to its interfaces for its advertisers. Facebook ads were clearly designed with a single, self-serve attitude in mind, which was fine for the smaller advertisers they had when they started, but it’s time for them to grow up and make that interface work for the Enterprise and the Agency. Marin Software allows that type of access for management of bids, ad testing, and much more, and all within the same interface where we manage our paid search campaigns.
Marin: With news feed ads receiving more attention, most recently with the introduction of Facebook’s mobile ad placement, how have you seen advertisers capitalizing on this opportunity and how have you seen users respond? Is there a compromise that needs to be made as more ads are delivered in a limited mobile landscape?
Jeff: I have seen advertisers capitalize on the mobile front, but it’s mostly early adopters. There is a tremendous opportunity on this front for a variety of brands, products, and services, to start that conversation with Facebook’s most active segment, but as usual, it’s usually the little guys and the agencies themselves who put it out there first to see how it could work.
I don’t think there needs to be a compromise as much as a balance, and there is a difference there. The balance should be based on testing both the advertiser’s ability to get their message across to an audience and that audience’s ability to use the product in such a way that keeps them coming back again and again.
Kudos to Facebook for continuing to innovate. The recent release of Custom Audiences has started to bridge the gap for marketers who’ve been trying to find their “known” customers on Facebook. Having come from a background working in consumer analytics and digital marketing, I am all too familiar with loyalty programs, CRM databases and customer profile segmentation systems.
With the advent of Facebook advertising, the problem has become tying an individual’s information from these systems to his or her respective Facebook profile. Marketers have almost had to start over when it comes to Facebook advertising. Though they have access to and can target basic demographics or behavioral profiles, reaching specific individuals on Facebook has been nearly impossible. This is where Custom(er) Audiences has changed the game.
I keep referring to Custom Audiences as Custom(er) Audiences for this exact reason. Marketers can now target their known customers from other systems of record by tying their customers’ email addresses or phone numbers to their Facebook user profile. By simply uploading these email or phone lists into the Facebook Power Editor, marketers can create custom audience lists.
Now marketers can understand whether customers they may have targeted through email or other offline channels are fans of their page on Facebook – and, if not, target them with highly relevant ads. Furthermore, marketers can create lists for exclusion from Facebook campaigns, which can help to prevent redundancy. While there may still be some tweaks to be made around Custom(er) Audiences (e.g. avoiding competing Facebook advertising campaigns), I think this feature will be invaluable for marketers in terms of aligning their Facebook advertising campaigns with other advertising channels, allowing them to create a seamless customer experience.
A couple of months ago we announced the capability within Marin Software to target Facebook ads to either the right-hand channel or the News Feed—and you can further target either the News Feed on desktop or mobile devices. Along with this functionality come more granular campaign controls and some interesting performance statistics for each placement type.
Among advertisers on Marin Software, we have seen higher click-through rates (CTR) for ads served on the mobile News Feed versus desktop ads. TBG Digital, a global marketing and technology company specializing in Facebook advertising and social media, is seeing similar results. They just released their Global Facebook Advertising Report for the third quarter of 2012 highlighting the following metrics:
“. . .this quarter sees Mobile News Feed ads receiving CTRs almost 23 times that of ‘Desktop News Feed + Right Hand Side’ ads (1.290% versus 0.057%). Targeting Desktop and Mobile News Feed together fares even better with a CTR of 1.468%.”
However, even with the higher CTR for mobile News Feed ads, Marin continues to observe higher costs per click (CPC) for ads targeting mobile News Feed versus ads targeting mobile and desktop News Feed. This appears to be a result of the limited advertising space on mobile devices, which limits the number of impressions for mobile News Feed ads. We’ll likely see these trends continue to fluctuate as this feature has only been live for a few months.
Who knows, Facebook may even break out mobile into Smartphone and Tablet devices in the future to further refine placement targeting. In any event, we’ll continue to track these performance statistics to see how the market plays out as more advertisers adopt these different targeting options.
Defining Ad Blindness and Ad Fatigue
Facebook ads are delivered more frequently now across what are becoming smaller target audience segments. As a result, when your ads go unchanged, your Facebook audience begins ignoring your ads and at a very rapid rate. They become “blind” to the constant barrage of a static visual input. This ad blindness is further compounded by Facebook’s preference to deliver ads that are expected to perform well from a click-through-rate (CTR) perspective. As your ads’ CTR drop due to ad blindness, Facebook lets them participate in fewer auctions, and as a result, your overall impression volume drops. This is what’s known as ad fatigue.
To combat ad blindness and ad fatigue, Facebook advertisers need to generate engaging ads, monitor click metrics and continuously test and rotate new ads. Leverage these three best practices as you optimize your Facebook ads and, with the right tools in place, they’ll go a long way towards making Facebook ads deliver profitable returns for your business.
1. Generate Engaging Ads
With all the social content on Facebook today and because a single ad can be served to the same user multiple times a day, it doesn’t take very long for ad blindness to set in. Your ads need to stand out and quickly engage your audience’s attention. Unique value propositions, differentiations and calls to action are all important to your ad copy. However, it’s the images you select that can be the difference between the onset of ad blindness and a click-through.
The most successful Facebook ads utilize engaging and colorful images. Adding a red, yellow or orange border to your images creates contrast against Facebook’s blue and white interface, and is an effective way to draw attention to your ads. Keep in mind that many successful Facebook ads aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing; rather they do a great job of grabbing attention and engaging your audience. These images can range from happy people and easily identifiable logos to plain text overlaid on a colorful gradient background.
2. Continuously Test and Rotate
With all the images available at your disposal, continuously testing a variety of ads to the same audience can help you hone in on the most impactful image for a particular message and audience segment. Keep in mind that even a “perfect” Facebook ad is vulnerable to ad blindness and ad fatigue. When optimizing, the goal shouldn’t be to find the best performing ad; rather it should be to find the type of ad that performs the best. This is only possible if you’re always testing, rotating and measuring the performance of new ads.
3. Monitor Click Metrics
In order to proactively combat ad blindness and ad fatigue rotate ads on a regular basis, but also focus on decreases in impressions, clicks and CTR. These three metrics can expose ads that might begin to suffer from ad blindness (decreases in clicks or CTR) or are already suffering from ad fatigue (decreases in impressions).
Set up automated reports and alerts across all of your active Facebook ads to warn you of large decreases in impressions, clicks or CTR. For example, if an ad experiences a 30% decrease in impressions per day after three days of going live, it’s time to rotate in a new ad. If impressions have remained consistent over the last three days, but CTR has dropped 15% each day, consider generating a new ad. Enterprise-class solutions, like Marin Software, can dynamically rotate images, headlines and body text when impressions, clicks and CTR drop below custom thresholds.
As a follow up to our blog post in June, I’m excited to announce that mobile-only ad targeting for Facebook is now available in Marin Software. Marketers now have the option to use placement targeting to position their Facebook ads either on the right-hand side of the page or within a user’s news feed. This enhancement not only provides you with greater control over where ads appear on a Facebook page but also allows you to specifically target mobile users with Sponsored Stories.
A recent study showed that users spend more time on Facebook Mobile than on the Facebook website; it would behoove marketers to begin focusing more of their online advertising dollars towards this growing mobile audience. Marin has built out this feature support understanding the inevitable shifts in Facebook advertising spend and the ways marketers manage their campaigns. We hope you find this new functionality beneficial to your Facebook program.
Last week, Marin exhibited at the second annual AllFacebook Marketing Conference in San Francisco. The two-day conference, which included case studies and real-world perspectives, gave attendees an inside look at the latest Facebook tools, apps, demographics, research and advertising opportunities.
A few of our customers had the opportunity to share best practices and case studies on the panel, “Facebook Ads: Can They Promote More Than Just Likes?” Take a look at the presentation slides from Kevin Ryan, CEO at Motivity Marketing, below.