Right now the advertising industry is in the middle of a seismic shift in the way dollars are spent. Brands and agencies are moving billions and billions of ad dollars away from print and broadcast platforms, focusing those investments instead on digital advertising and especially social media. Of all the big networks, Facebook has been the most successful in capitalizing on this trend.
Facebook has been accepting advertising in one form or another almost since its inception. But in 2007, it launched Facebook Ads. A native platform, Facebook has been tweaking and tinkering with it ever since, adding very granular geographical and demographic targeting tools, and integrating mobile ads, as well as video. Thanks to all of this work, Facebook Ads has matured into a very powerful platform, empowering brands and agencies to connect with audiences through precisely targeted, high ROI ad content.
Here at Iris Inc., we’ve been able to help our clients capitalize on Facebook trends, meeting or beating the results of the industry as a whole by combining insights and analysis, with innovative Facebook advertising strategies and old-school marketing know-how.
Here Are the Facebook Trends We’re Tracking This Year
1. Ads That Look & Feel Like Content’
According to Business Insider, native ad (ads that look and feel like the regular, so-called natural content that surround them) revenue is expected to hit $13.9 billion in 2016, up from just $4.7 billion in 2013. Native ads are designed and formatted to look, feel and read like the content that audiences come to a platform to consume. By mimicking that look and feel, we create a smoother, more welcoming advertising experience for our audiences. Social media advertising is a huge factor in this trend, and Facebook ad revenue alone is expected to account for $8 billion by 2017. Native ads draw much better click-through rates than more traditional banner ads, and are even more effective on mobile devices.
2. Local Awareness Ads
One of the biggest Facebook trends of 2015 was the rise of geotargeted ads. And we expect hyper-local ad targeting to continue to grow in the coming year, as the platform continues to sharpen its focus. Iris can now help our clients reach demographically relevant audiences with ads targeted to within a mile of specific locales.
This ability becomes even more powerful when combined with mobile-optimized tools and buttons like ‘learn more,’ ‘shop now,’ ‘click for directions,’ or ‘click to call. These more specific calls to action are great for conversions, because they let your customers know exactly what they need to do go get your product or service into their hot little hands as quickly as possible.
This is one of the Facebook advertising strategies that in one recent campaign, helped us to bring our client’s cost-per-click rate in at 35% cheaper than the industry average!
3. High-Engagement Native Video Ads Replace TV Ads
One Facebook trend that’s become obvious to even casual observers over the last couple of years is the growth of native video. According to industry news source TechCrunch, Facebook currently generates 760 years of combined video watch time every single day. This has proven very attractive to brands and advertisers, as Facebook is clearly positioning itself to grab a big chunk of TV ad budgets in addition to eating print advertising alive.
4. Carousel Ads
Carousel link ads combine a number of rotating image ads allowing a reader to swipe through up to five images. This allows a brand to interactively promote more than one offering in a single space. This has proven to be an effective Facebook advertising strategy, as according to the company, carousel ads drove down cost-per-conversion (30-50% lower), and cost-per-click (20-30%) rates significantly.
5. Call Buttons
In 2015, Facebook introduced click-to-call buttons in its ads, allowing businesses that rely on phone calls to get right to the point with their calls to action. This is especially powerful on mobile platforms, where it’s inconvenient to ask users to fill out a web form to capture information. With more than 500 million Facebook users browsing on their cell phones (a number that we expect to increase dramatically), it makes sense to capitalize on this feature rather than try to work around conversion funnels designed for the desktop.
The Keys to a Successful Facebook advertising strategy
Looking at all these trends as a whole, the most important takeaway is that high quality, engaging content is still the most powerful tool at your disposal. That’s why our own Facebook advertising strategies include such a strong focus on design and content creation.
These factors can make or break your ROI. And while we can never absolutely guarantee clobbering the industry averages, we’ve been able to consistently deliver great results for clients with paid social media advertising.
Get involved with the Facebook Ad revolution now! And find out how our turn key social solutions can drive your business growth.