A Look Back at 2013 – The 4 BIG Things Facebook Added for Advertisers

A Look Back at 2013 – The 4 BIG Things Facebook Added for Advertisers

January 7, 2014

Facebook added a heap of new features for advertisers in 2013.

CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, went into the year with three primary priorities: build the best mobile product, build a platform with new services that leverage the social graph, and build a strong monetization engine. And then quickly got to work. Facebook rolled out improved targeting, objective-based ad buying, more options for mobile, and improved measurement capabilities (just to name a few).

With so many new and promising options for advertisers (and so little time!), we’ve highlighted the four features Facebook added in 2013 that should be top of mind for advertisers in the New Year:

1. Mobile App Ads

The introduction of mobile app ads focused the lens on mobile Facebook users. Within months of launching, mobile app ads drove over 145 million app installs. While most of the notable growth was in games (a consistent metric for app installs), UK communications company O2 used mobile app ads to reach #6 in the App Store during a three-day marketing sprint on Facebook. But the value of mobile app ads doesn’t end there.

According to a study by Localytics, 66% of app users opened an app between only one and ten times before deleting it. In response, Facebook added deep links to mobile app ads to drive in-app engagement. Simple Call to Action buttons like “Listen Now,” “Play Game,” or “Shop Now” take users directly to select content, like streaming music, updated game levels, and timely retail sales.

Once an objective is selected, the new system recommends the best ad-types and tracks the success of the chosen goal. In addition to this conceptual streamline, Facebook has standardized the look and feel of each ad, with more focus placed on the image, and increased access to objective-based analytics in its Ads Manager Tool, complete with breakdowns for the number of times the objective was met – i.e. increased “likes” – and the cost per objective reached.

Couple this with advanced targeting, including the ability to target users based on device and operating system, and it’s no surprise that this product has proven wildly successful for developers to reach the right audience, at scale.

2. Simplified Ad Offerings

2012 saw Facebook’s arsenal of ad products scale with the company’s growth; however, marketers soon found themselves overwhelmed with 27 types of ads. To combat this issue, Facebook restructured its ad offerings into 8 simple objectives, categorizing ad types based on campaign goal, rather than presentation, in the News Feed. The categories are
:
fb 8 categories smaller

Once an objective is selected, the new system recommends the best ad-types and tracks the success of the chosen goal. In addition to this conceptual streamline, Facebook has standardized the look and feel of each ad, with more focus placed on the image, and increased access to objective-based analytics in its Ads Manager Tool, complete with breakdowns for the number of times the objective was met – i.e. increased “likes” – and the cost per objective reached.

3. Updates to Custom Audience Targeting

Introduced in late 2012, Facebook’s Custom Audience targeting lets advertisers create new audiences comprised of current customers, prospects, and individuals who have established a relationship with the brand in the past. 2013 saw the global rollout of Custom Audiences, and the addition of two new key features.

Mobile app and website Custom Audiences let advertisers target ads optimized for engagement to individuals who previously visited the brand’s mobile app or website. A new reporting option from Facebook that compares the purchase behavior of customers who saw an ad on Facebook versus those that didn’t makes it easier for retailers using Custom Audiences to measure ad-driven offline sales.

4. Partner Categories

Much like Custom Audiences, this ad offering leverages third-party data collected from companies like Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon to show ads to people on Facebook. However, these audiences aren’t based on stated interests, but on products they browse and buy across mobile and desktop platforms, both on and off Facebook. Categories are available in Power Editor and the API, and include timelines, purchasing preferences, and a host of indicators to provide an audience of proven consumers.

Chris Kilbourne, at TOFU Marketing, tracked his success with Partner Categories in incredible detail. Impressions decreased (from over 5 million to 700,000), but the conversion rate went from 1% to 10%. Conclusion: The same ad budget ($2,000) reached only 15% of previous audience, but increased conversions 10x over!

To Summarize…

Facebook embraced the changing landscape of mobile advertising through precise targeting and mobile app ads optimized for engagement, while simplified objective-based ad buying and reporting redefined how advertisers conduct and measure native campaigns. Thanks to the focused ad offerings in 2013 on the world’s largest social media site, it’s never been easier to reach your desired audience.

Here’s looking forward to what Facebook has in store for 2014!

Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc.