Facebook’s efforts to get more attractive to advertisers are resulting into multiple new ways of advertising. Recently we heard forecasts that in the middle of 2017 it will hit the limit it has set on the number of advertisements that can be shown in the main app’s news feed. (read more) Recently a survey shows that advertising content is significantly outperforming organic on Facebook.
For this reasons, let’s go through the different ad formats available at the moment before Facebook announces the new ads they are working on.
First of all, it’s important to define the goal of your advertising and this is how the Facebook advert builder starts the conversation:
1. Brand awareness. Here your choice is very wide – from image, video, carousel and slideshow ads to the full immersive canvas ad experience. The Canvas experience for example would be a great way of telling a story. It has to opportunity to expand the ad on the whole screen, use video, header, footer with call to action.
As Instagram is now part of Facebook, you can enable your ads to be visible on both platforms. Instagram provides great audience when it comes to building a brand. Different from Facebook, Instagram still offers the feeling of content curated specifically to the visitor’s taste.
Depending on what region you are targeting I would recommend you first think about the average speed of mobile internet there as these some of these features require good technology and high speed internet to get the maximum. For developing markets, I would recommend exploring formats like carousel or slideshow, as they require less internet data.
2. Lead Generation. When it comes to actually getting people to sign up or perform any valuable task on your website, Facebook is still not offering much, but there are developments coming up in this direction.
The good old newsfeed ad which has been running for a while now is getting to the limit of its performance. Here a clear call to action is the main factor. If you are targeting the correct audience, it might be a good lead magnet.
Since recently Facebook announced the Lead Ad which is raising the hopes of advertisers. What is great about this format is that once a visitor clicks on the ad they get to a repopulated form with their email and names which they have used to sign in Facebook. This one click sign up action is making it really easy for mobile users, as they don’t have to go out of the app in order to complete a form.
Currently there are tests running on Messenger to create sponsored message ads similar to these offered by LinkedIn. It seems that at the moment Facebook’s main focus is on creating a very short and easy customer journey which will allow people to subscribe and buy through Facebook which as fewer clicks as possible.
3. Social Proof. Other type of goals can be to increase attendance to an event, boost likes on a comment or get more page fans. These are all closer to branding awareness goal and as i discussed in one of my previous articles can have variable success. Having a lot of sign ups on your Facebook event does not necessarily mean a lot of physical guests attending. Also even pages with thousands of likes are not a guarantee for a lot of sales.
These features do have one big plus which is the building stone of Facebook – social proof. In case you have just started a new page or launched an event and you want to attract people, boosting your post can break the ice in the beginning. Because people tend to like what has been liked by others and flock to what seems to be enforced by the majority, having small numbers on social media makes you look unattractive. In such cases even small investments can bring good results and after hitting a certain number of likes the ball starts rolling.
No matter what your goal is, Facebook has something to offer and even though your lead generation might not be the best, it is crucial that you are present on social media and engage with your visitors there. As long as you are clear about your marketing goal, the rest is just simple.