Is your Facebook ads strategy the same as it was a year ago?
The world of social media is constantly changing.
[easy-tweet tweet=”Change can be a good thing. But, not staying up to date with social can be detrimental to your marketing strategy and your business.”]
If you are advertising on Facebook, staying on top of the various changes is all the more important.
This article will get you up to speed with the latest Facebook updates.
1. Dynamic Creative
It is all important to accurately split test your Facebook ad variations.
A new tool, Dynamic Creative, takes the fuss out of testing multiple versions of a single ad. This allows you to run ads that deliver a higher ROI.
Before Facebook introduced this feature, you had to create entire ads and manually test each one individually to find the one that resonates best with your audience.
With Dynamic Creative, you can automatically split test different variations of your ads. This will determine the variations that get the best results based on the attributes of your target audience.
Dynamic Creative can split test up to 30 different features of your ad creative. This includes five ad descriptions, five ad titles, five CTAs, five ad texts, and 10 videos or 10 images.
In the end, automated split testing is not only less time-consuming. It also lets you show the right ads to the right audience, which improves your ROI.
A major challenge for most digital marketers or advertisers is identifying the marketing channels or efforts that lead a customer to take a specific action. This is known as attribution.
Being able to attribute certain customer actions allows you to measure your ROI accurately from different marketing channels. It can be a great help in making informed decisions on your Facebook ads strategy. For example, when a customer buys a product or subscribes to a service to a particular marketing channel.
The customer journey is rarely linear. “Joe Bloggs” might visit your website from a different platform (offline or online). Joe may leave the website, and then revisit the website many time, each time using different devices, before he makes a purchase decision.
As such, it can be quite difficult to attribute the customer’s purchase decision to one particular medium or channel. In the absence of this attribution, how do you know which marketing channels/efforts are working and which ones are not?
The new Attribution tool gives you more clarity about the customer’s journey. This allows you to match your marketing efforts to specific conversion events.
3. Facebook Stories Ads
Over the last few years, Facebook Stories has taken the world of social media by storm. It looks like this trend is here to stay. In fact, Stories might even become more popular than the traditional news feed.
It is against this background that Facebook launched Stories Ads, which seems to be a promising source of ad revenue for the company.
That aside, given the massive popularity of Stories, brands too stand to benefit significantly from Stories Ads. Stories Ads are a great opportunity for combining the power of storytelling with advertising.
Just like Instagram, Facebook Stories Ads are non-invasive, appearing seamlessly on your Stories stream. The best part is that you will have access to the same Facebook ad targeting and reporting tools for Stories Ads. This means you can keep track of your advertising efforts.
4. Video Creation Kit
Due to the popularity of video as an ad format and a content marketing tool, Facebook has introduced the Video Creation Kit. This allows advertisers to repurpose images into video ads within the Ad Manager.
So, if you have invested a lot in creating amazing image assets and wondered how to keep these in your marketing pipeline, the Video Creation Kit might be just what you need.
To get started with the Video Creation Kit, head over to one of your campaign’s Ad level and select the video/slideshow option.
Open the Video Creation Kit by selecting the “Use Templates” option. This tool lets you create videos in different styles depending on your campaign goals.
The two main styles are square or vertical. Facebook opted for these two formats as they fit better into the newsfeed and would, therefore, deliver higher engagement rates.
In addition to the video style, you can choose the theme and template for your video. Again, depending on the objectives of your campaign you may want to do a product demo, sell products, or promote different features and benefits of a product.
The Video Creation Kit lets you use up to ten images to create video ads that can run for 6 to 15 seconds.
5. Facebook Stories CTAs
While Stories are, undeniably, a powerful storytelling tool, they do not have much conversion power on their own.
For this reason, Facebook has released several stickers that you can add to your stories as a Call-To-Action (CTA).
First of all, it is worth noting that Stories are now available for business pages. If you are not yet using this tool, now is a good time to start.
The new CTA stickers let you transform your stories from mere images or videos, into powerful conversion assets. With the new stickers, you can add CTAs such as ‘Get Directions’, ‘Shop Now’, ‘Book’ to your stories. This will encourage users to take certain actions that support your marketing goals.
6. Augmented Reality Ads
For the last couple of years, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and machine learning have been thrown around as buzzwords.
Unsurprisingly, augmented reality ads have been a long time coming and soon they will be accessible to advertisers globally.
Facebook recently launched its augmented reality ads, which take brand-user interactivity to a new, exciting level. The new AR video ads will appear like the normal ads that users see on their news feeds, complete with a call to action.
Why should you care about social AR ads? Because this ad format is in line with what consumers are demanding right now. It’s an ability to test your products without them leaving their house.
So with Facebook AR ads, users just need to press the ‘tap to try on’ button on the ad. This activates AR and, through their mobile camera, the user can see how the product actually looks on them in real time.
Other than sheer convenience, what AR ads offer is the ability for users to personalise items and visualise how items would look on them or their environments (e.g. home). This can, in turn, increase purchase conversions.
One of the major challenges consumers face is inflexible return policies. This is frustrating especially when you bring home an expensive item and then find it is not a fit. So, giving consumers the ability to first try your items in real time can increase trust in your brand and subsequently, encourage purchases.
Another powerful aspect of Facebook AR ads is that users will be able to capture their AR images and share these with friends. After all, Facebook is all about connecting with friends and family. They will definitely come in handy when you need product recommendations from people you can trust.
7. Video Metrics
Video consumption behaviour among consumers change regularly. As such, Facebook updates its video metrics often to allow you to get the most out of your ad budget.
One significant recent update relates to how Facebook measures video views. In the past, re-winds were counted as though they were unique video views. However, in reality, a new view is different from having the same user view a video many times. Bundling these two different types of views together does not give an accurate picture of how people are interacting with your video ads.
With the new updates, you’ll be able to separately see the number of people who viewed your video for 3 seconds, 10 seconds, and those who rewind or watch the video again when it reappears on their news feed.
Prior to this update, video view metrics were based on the percentage of the video each user viewed. However, the new updates make it easier to measure the impact of your video ads by focusing on the content that users are viewing the most on each video ad campaign.
Just being able to understand the precise ways that users are interacting with your videos means you can organise your ads in a way that encourages users to complete watching the video.
Another significant metric update is the introduction of Video Play. This lets you track the number of people who saw and played your video ad and those who, for some reason, did not play the ad.
For example, poor connectivity or a user’s ad settings could prevent your video ads from playing. Video Play lets you identify the reasons why some users are not playing your ads so you can find alternative ways to reach these users with your video content. All of this is vital to your Facebook ads strategy.
8. Pixel For Groups
As the popularity of the news feed declines, Facebook groups are taking centre stage in a big way. This is hardly surprising because, for many users, their main motivator for being on Facebook is to be part of a valuable community.
However, until recently, marketers have been unable to really benefit from groups, due to a lack of tracking, reporting, and advertising tools.
So far, marketers have had access to Group Insights, which has been a great tool for tracking the audience growth of a group. Now, Facebook has gone a step further and introduced Pixel for Groups.
Pixel for Groups allows you to use your Facebook ad pixel to gather data on how members interact with your website, including their individual conversion path. This, in turn, helps you to build an email list that lets you nurture individual members down the sales funnel in a way that would not be possible to do in the group.
Facebook Watch rolled out internationally in August 2018. So to date, most marketers outside the US have only had about six months to try out this promising feature.
If you have not explored what Watch is all about yet, it is not too late.
So what is Watch?
Watch is Facebook’s interactive video streaming service. The service offers a platform where users can discover shows and content creators, interact with creators, and bond with fellow fans and friends. Users can also see which videos their friends have shared or liked.
Facebook Watch offers personalised recommendations on videos a user might like to watch. For example, based on what their friends are watching. As users watch video content, they can comment and interact with other viewers in real time.
Other streaming services focus on full-on films and series. Whilst YouTube is more oriented to shorter how-to videos. With Watch, Facebook is setting its eyes on lighter but long-form video content that has a community feel. Quite simply, it encourages real-time conversations.
What is in it for marketers?
As viewers increasingly shift attention from TV to online video, Watch offers marketers an opportunity. They can start creating and sharing their own community-centred video content on the world’s biggest social media network.
A key aspect of Watch is the presence of mid-roll ad breaks. Just like on YouTube, marketers who sign up to the Ad Breaks program will be able to monetise their video content. This is certainly one to include in your Facebook Ads strategy.
Facebook Ads Strategy
Today, there is little doubt that Facebook is among the world’s most important advertising platforms. When done right, your Facebook ads strategy can pay off significantly. But to pull this off, you have to stay up to date with trends that matter the most. This can make a big difference to your Facebook ads strategy.
One thing is certain: video, artificial intelligence, and storytelling will continue to dominate all aspects of digital marketing. Facebook will certainly be a pioneer when it comes to providing innovative services and features to support these trends.