7 Strategies to Bring Your Native Advertising into the New Year
January 14, 2014
It’s that time of the year! Time to get your marketing priorities in place for a successful 2014. You know that native advertising needs to be included in your larger marketing strategy, but with so many Facebook changes in the last year alone (and more to come), where’s a marketer to start?
Take a deep breath – based on our experience managing thousands of native campaigns for top advertisers in 2013, we’ve highlighted the seven key concepts to keep in mind when building out a native advertising strategy for 2014.
1. Think Mobile and Desktop
Over 507 million people now access Facebook from mobile devices daily, and advertisers are rightly rushing to buy mobile ad units. Mobile-only campaigns are earning great results, but that doesn’t mean you should completely forget about desktop. These ad units can be just as effective at helping you achieve your goals – and could be more so if you’re trying to register emails or collect information through multiple landing pages, a process that can be onerous for Facebook mobile users. Instead, try targeting a mix of mobile and desktop users to determine the combination that gives you the best bang for your buck. Always be mindful of your budget and CPA (cost per action) goals, and don’t be married to any one platform until you see the results.
2. Hyper-Targeting is Here… Use It!
Facebook has incredibly precise targeting options for advertisers – don’t sell yourself short by only targeting fans of your Page or your competitors! Target groups as broad as “people who like sports” to those as small as one hundred people (think 1960’s horror film buffs). Once you’ve cracked the targeting code for great campaign performance through testing, you can even compete in less-trafficked – and thus less expensive – Likes & Interests categories. Some tried and true strategies: target baseline users, but compare different age and gender brackets, or target groups with interests that are tangentially related to your product or service.
3. Prioritize Creative
With so many images, comments, and content competing for native platform users’ attention, it’s crucial to show users the most compelling and succinct ad creative possible. Rather than settle on one or two “good enough” images, take the time to experiment with new visuals, copy, and formats for a bigger payoff in the long run. A/B test images featuring people against those prominently displaying your company logo to find out which resonates best with your demographic, or try switching up your color scheme – colors that contrast Facebook’s blue and white interface often work best. Lastly, don’t forget about your creative team! They may not be bidding on ads, but they do have great ideas for images and general design.
4. Experiment with Testing
Whether it’s targeting, creative, or ad type, it’s an advertiser’s job is to figure out what combinations of audience, visuals and copy, and ad unit elicit the greatest ROAS (return on ad spend). At Ampush, we start optimizing as soon as we see initial results, and continue to do so throughout the life of the campaign. The results of these tests are often as surprising as they are enlightening (who knew women 36-45 would be your core demographic?), so be sure to set aside some time and budget to experiment with outside-of-the-box targeting and creative. You never know what’ll stick with that retro horror movie audience.
5. Know your Customer Life-Time Value
We find that our most productive clients know the life-time value (LTV) of their customers intimately. By determining the exact dollar value of your specific demographic, you also determine the maximum amount to bid to acquire a new user (or a new fan of your page, or a click to your website) and still make a profit. This allows for added flexibility when bidding, provides greater insight into the value of your various demographics, and ultimately results in an extremely productive ad campaign. Need help calculating your customer LTV? Check out this awesome infographic from KISSmetrics.
6. Stay Flexible
Last year saw major improvements in Facebook’s ad offerings. Our takeaway: always be prepared – Facebook can add or optimize features at any given time, so leave some budget open for experimentation. Even if you’ve identified a high-level goal, such as driving engagement or in-app purchases, be cautious of pigeon-holing yourself into a specific ad offering too early in the year. Ad products often change in line with consumer trends and advertiser feedback.
7. Consider Partnering with a Facebook sPMD
Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developers (sPMD), like Ampush, go beyond just driving results to provide you the high-level insights you need to compete in a fast-changing native advertising environment. The best client relationships are collaborative, meaning an sPMD can help you better understand your customer demographics and most valuable customers, while delivering great performance. The most successful native advertising brands of 2014 won’t just be seeking to accomplish a specific advertising goal, but to better understand who their core demographic is – and who it could be moving forward.
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Albert Eisenberg is a recent Georgetown graduate and a Media Analyst at Ampush’s New York office. Besides driving outstanding client performance, this year he’s looking forward to improving his cooking skills, following the midterm elections, and exploring his neighborhood in Brooklyn.