Are We There Yet? Harnessing the Mobile Highway of Facebook Advertising
September 4, 2013
It’s summertime and you’re on the road with your folks, sitting in the backseat of the family wagon with a gas station soda and your sister. As the billboards float above your passing car like giant flags, you sleepily scan them: an ad for a local radio station; the soda you’re drinking; the soda you’re not drinking; a new sitcom.
Today, two decades later, you’re on the train to work, the same favorite soda in one hand and your smartphone in the other. You browse the morning’s headlines, scroll through your Facebook News Feed, and pause over an article your sister posted by Canon about new progress in the field of digital photography. You tap it and start reading as your train heads underground.
Advertising has come a long way since your backseat car days. Standard modes of advertising – like billboards, posters, and radio and TV commercials – can’t keep up with today’s consumers, who crave personalized, content-rich ads that target their specific interests and needs. There is a new frontier in advertising that transcends traditional physical and broadcast space, and that is the mobile, social frontier, featuring Facebook as its key player.
More and more businesses are choosing to advertise with Facebook rather than (and in addition to) more traditional avenues, in part due to its effectiveness, cost, and wider reach. Companies who choose to advertise with Facebook set goals and a budget, with the choice to pay for impressions (CPM), clicks (CTR), other actions (CPA), etc. The ad will be paced predicated on the budget, goal, and window of time the campaign is active. The global average CPM for Facebook ads is one-tenth that of non-Facebook ads and every dollar spent on Facebook ads returns $3 on average for advertisers!
Companies who run a strong campaign with engaging content ensure a future of interaction with users who will continue to see and like their posts. As Facebook’s user base grows, companies will likely see even more impressions! The abilities to hand-select a budget and to choose whether to pay for CPM, CTR, or CPA gives advertisers room to mold a Facebook ad campaign exactly to their liking – while reaching 1.1 billion users daily.
Facebook ad campaigns are not only engineered to align with the budget and methods of a company – they are designed to target specific populations. Using its Open Graph technology, Facebook swiftly targets users with interest in a specific product, whether it be a vacation package to Maui, a new bicycle wheel, or a pair of sandals. Let’s say you have been searching the web for the best deal on a pair of summer sandals but have not yet made a purchase. Facebook can zoom in on this information to provide you with the most personalized user experience using the Facebook Exchange (FBX), offering ads from online shops like Zappos that not only feature shoes in general, but feature the exact or similar sandal to the one you have been searching.
In addition to precision targeting, Facebook encourages advertisers to provide their customers with engaging content. Rather than bombard users with flashy product placement, companies devise articles that contain relevant content. Remember the Canon article on digital photography you were reading on the train? That is a perfect example of a company providing its fans with engaging, shareable content that is substantive and personalized.
And how about that shareable content? Users respond to messages that come from friends about engaging with a particular company – for example, if a friend shared a photo of a berry crisp from a local bakery, you are much more likely to click on it than if it appeared as an ad in the right-hand side column. After all, Facebook is a social place filled with friends.Referred Intent taps into the trust and confidence a user has in one’s Facebook friends to refer a story.
In this day and age, advertising on Facebook is a necessity. Bygone are the days of watching billboards float past the car window. Advertisers must harness the growing power of social, while taking advantage of its low cost and wide reach, to seize the new type of consumer who desires trust, expertise, and substance in ads.