I do social media, content and communications at Location3. I geek out on these topics, as well as writing, grammar, books and crafting. Connect with me for more digital, grammar and crafting goodnes:
Visual content is becoming increasingly important in digital marketing. It’s not only what users prefer to engage with and share, it’s also what is being prioritized by social networks and search engines alike. Don’t believe us? Just take a look a these seven reasons why visual content should be part of your digital marketing campaigns.
90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and is processed 60,000x faster than text.
Facebook launched a new targeting feature last week—Facebook Partner Categories—which will allow brands to reach users based on their activity across the web and based on their offline behaviors and purchases, not just on Facebook.com. Facebook began slowly whitelisting accounts through Power Editor starting Wednesday, April 10.
Partner Categories is using data from third-party providers, including Acxiom, Datalogix and Epsilon. As with all Facebook targeting parameters, no personal information is shared among Facebook, data providers and advertisers. The advertiser is simply shown estimates of audience size based on various categories (e.g., “Women’s Fashion & Apparel Buyers” or “Magazine Subscribers”). Currently, there are some 500 different categories to choose from, and you can layer on Facebook’s other targeting options to further define exactly whom your campaigns reach.
As you roll over the target groups, you are presented with a specific name, estimated audience and info link to learn more about the specific group. For example, the targeting group “Donate to Charitable Causes” is described as “people who are interested in donating to charitable causes” and “includes anyone who has made a donation of any type.” The details also show the source of the data (e.g., this one states “self-reported from surveys and donations”), allowing you to get a better sense of the validity and accuracy of data.
Some use cases for partner categories include:
Plus-sized Clothing Company
Target the Plus-Size Apparel category, and layer on age group, and birthday week targeting to provide a special discount to these users.
Target the Upscale Travel and Personal Services category, then layer on high HHI, geography, higher age groups and college graduates.
Target specific occupational industries or roles, then layer on other demographics and interests to hone in on the most relevant audience.
We are excited to take advantage of this new targeting option for our clients’ campaigns. The continued improvements to Facebook’s targeting features and ad interface is extremely encouraging, even though there is still a long way to go before it’s on par with AdWords or other self-serve platforms.
Partner Categories will be rolling out gradually, so if you don’t have access just yet, sit tight for a short while longer. For those that do have the feature and have implemented, have you started to see any results or improvements yet?
Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) came up with new guidelines for bloggers and social media users to disclose sponsored content or free product samples in exchange for reviews. You can read the full text (it’s surprisingly light and there are fun examples at the end), but below is the quick and dirty on what brands need to know for their blogger outreach programs.
Most of these changes affect what bloggers do on their blogs or social media channels. This is typically out of our control as an agency working on behalf of brands, but what we can do (and you should, too) is address these issues with all bloggers we work with as the blogger may not know the guidelines have changed. The FTC is more likely to go after a big brand rather than one blogger if they find noncompliance; so cover yourself by addressing it first (and in writing). That way if the blogger does know about the updates and just does not want to comply, at least you have proof that you tried to do the right thing.
1. Proximal Placement is Priceless
A disclosure must be placed adjacent to the claim or item being advertised. Therefore, you can no longer include a general disclosure page on your website and include a link on all product review blog posts. The disclosure must be included in the actual review, and in close proximity to any positive or negative claims about the product.
“Imitation” must be adjacent to “pearl” as not to mislead consumers.
2. Disclosure Bookends
Most bloggers are already familiar with placing some type of disclose at the bottom of each article indicating when they have received product or discounts in exchange for reviews or sponsored content. While we don’t provide sponsored content (that’s a Google no-no and a link no-follow), we do work with bloggers on product reviews. Disclosing the relationship is always discussed with the bloggers we work up front, and we have written about product disclosures for bloggers in the past.
According to the new guidelines, bloggers must include the disclose at the bottom and the top of the post, bookending the actual review or piece of content to ensure readers know the full extent of the relationship. While this is not a huge change, it is imperative you discuss the update with bloggers before agreeing to sending product for review.
In the article above, the blogger does not disclose free product until the end of the post. New guidelines state it must go at the top and bottom of the article.
3. Tweets Are Not Exempt
Neither are Facebook status updates, Google+ posts, Vine videos, Tumblr posts, Instagram photos, and whatever other social media network was created in the time it took to write this sentence. Any social media post that has been sponsored or obtained through free or discounted products, regardless of the channel or the poster, must also contain the words “ad,” or “sponsored.” But the use of #sp or #spon is no longer accepted, as the FTC does not think the general public know what those hashtags mean.
For example, if a blogger is tweeting about the review they wrote after receiving a free product, they must include a quick note about it. Something along the lines of: “Ad: Check out my new review on The Bunny Bjorn…”.
The first tweet does not comply with the new guidelines because @JuliStarz does not indicate it’s an ad or that results are atypical directly in the tweet. The second tweet adheres to the new guidelines.
This can be tricky with the limited space in Tweets and other social media posts. But make sure to stress the importance with bloggers and social media users (again, in writing). Offer some suggested tweets or Facebook posts they can use to ensure compliance.
4. No More Cryptic Shortened URLs
When using a hyperlink to lead to a disclosure, customize the link and make it obvious rather than using string of letters and numbers that bit.ly or other tools spit out. The FTC also asks users to:
“Label the hyperlink appropriately to convey the importance, nature, and relevance of the information it leads to; use hyperlink styles consistently, so consumers know when a link is available; place the hyperlink as close as possible to the relevant information it qualifies and make it noticeable; take consumers directly to the disclosure on the click-through page; assess the effectiveness of the hyperlink by monitoring click-through rates and other information about consumer use and make changes accordingly.” [this one makes us nerd out!]
The new guidelines also address:
Prominence — don’t bury disclosures on page or site
Distracting factors in ads — don’t let other parts of the ad or page get in the way of the disclosure
Repetition — when the bookends just aren’t enough, repeat the disclosure multiple times throughout “as needed”
Multimedia messages and campaigns – if you have a video with product claims, the disclosure must be included in the video, not just on the landing page or in the video description; same goes for audio files, animated videos, augmented reality, and any other type of content
Understandable language – avoid legalese and jargon
The updates are not actual laws, they are merely guidelines set forth by the FTC to provide a more open and honest consumer experience. You can choose to comply or take the risk, but know that just because it isn’t law, doesn’t mean the FTC can’t take action on your brand or the blogger, both of which could have major financial and reputation repercussions.
Note: I am not an attorney and Location3 is not a law firm. The above information is a summary of the new FTC guidelines, but does not qualify as legal advice. Seek legal counsel to fully understand these new FTC guidelines and how they apply to your brand.
If you’re familiar with improv comedy you know the phase “yes and.” It’s meant to keep the flow of the skits moving along smoothly through potentially awkward transitions. I’ve been hearing this phrase a lot lately. It popped up on an episode of Marc Maron’s WTF podcast (I’m obsessed. If you haven’t listened, do it!), it was referenced again in a SXSW session and our President mentioned it was a large part of Google’s SXSW presentation. I’ve been thinking a lot about this phrase and how to apply it to all parts of my life, but it also got me thinking about comedic principles and their broader applications.
Fittingly, at SXSW this year, there was a big comedic presence. Lots of shows, panels and events around comedy. I’ve always been a bit of a comedy nerd, but have recently been really interested due to the influx of comedy podcasts and the great comedy scene in Denver.
I wanted to draw some analogies between comedy and digital marketing, and initially thought it might be a bit of a stretch. But the more I thought about, and the more SXSW sessions I attended on similar subjects, the more I realized they are extremely similar.
On the surface, comedic content is what is shared the most. According to one study, “humor was employed at near unanimous levels for all viral advertisements. Consequently, this study identified humor as the universal appeal for making content viral.” And while I don’t agree with using the term “viral” to describe content (to paraphrase Peter McGraw from The Humor Code in the SXSW “Comedy Tech: How Funny Stuff Shapes Our Future” panel, “videos aren’t viral. Viruses are viral. Videos are just popular.”), I do agree that funny content is what is being shared most often. That’s why Ford hired Joe Lo Truglio to star in their Ford Escape campaign, that’s why the Old Spice commercials were such a hit, and that’s why the Harlem Shake has been making people laugh (and cringe) nonstop for the past couple months.
Beyond the obvious, how else is comedy related to digital marketing? How can you apply the principles of comedy and “yes and…” to your content marketing campaigns to increase success?
In addition to The Humor Code session, “What’s So Funny About Innovation?” with Baratunde Thurston and Paul Valerio and “Transitioning Alternative Comedy to TV” with Chris Gethard, Fred Armisen, Marc Maron and Scott Aukerman helped me to solidify some thoughts on the commonalities between comedy and digital marketing. Following are seven ways to apply comedic principles to digital marketing.
1. Know Your Audience
Understanding the vibe of the crowd is essential in having a successful comedic performance. Are they happy or hostile? Did they laugh at the previous act or are they demanding more? The same is true of digital marketing. You need to understand who you are trying to reach with your marketing efforts. You need to understand the demographic details—what is their age group, HHI, geographic location, do they have children? But you also need to understand the psychographic details—what motivates them and makes them tick? What value can you provide in their lives? This all leads to their digital behaviors, which allows you to create a well-rounded brand persona that guides the content you develop and distribution channels for effective content delivery.
Knowing your audience is one of the most essential elements necessary to guide your standup act and your digital marketing strategy.
2. Don’t Expect Everyone to Get It
You can’t make everyone laugh at a show. And you can’t reach everyone in digital marketing. Peter McGraw stated that funny is the intersection of benign and violation. If something is benign—just an observation on the everyday—it’s not going to be funny. If something is a violation of the everyday, a gross or offensive view of the world, it’s also not going to be funny. But that sweet spot between everyday and offensive, that’s where funny happens. Some people might enjoy more benign humor (like Seinfeld fans) or some might enjoy more violating humor (like Sarah Silverman fans) but you can’t expect everyone to get it all the time.
According to Peter McGraw and The Humor Code, funny is the sweet spot between benign and violation.
The same goes for digital marketing. You rarely have broad appeal and high success rates. Oftentimes, it’s better to create a very niche campaign that will appeal specifically to a smaller group.
3. Timing is Imperative
The perfectly placed pause before a punch line, the rapid cadence of a lively raconteur—timing can make or break a joke in standup and sketch comedy. Timing of digital marketing is important just the same. Releasing a product or service at the same time as, say, a new pope is announced, will kill any potential buzz. Know what else is going on in the world and in the lives of your target audience, and time your announcements to get the most attention.
Mitch Hedberg’s “That Tree Is Far Away” Joke. Hedberg’s timing and delivery was unique and made him stand out from other comedians.
4. Learn to Grow from Failure
Comedians often talk more about their failures than their successes. Maybe it’s the nature of those that go into comedy—oftentimes dark and troubled people. But it’s also because they know that failing is how they learn to succeed. Digital marketers cannot be afraid to fail. New tools, technologies, features and methods are developed daily. And if you are risk averse or waiting on others to pave the road and work out the bugs, you may miss a huge opportunity to do something amazing and successful.
Conan O’Brien’s 2011 commencement speech at Dartmouth where he stresses that you cannot be afraid of failure and that nothing is more liberating than having your worst fear realized.
5. Embrace New Tools and Technologies
Comedy podcasts are huge right now and many comedians will say that Twitter has completely changed how they develop their standup acts. That’s because they have embraced new tools and technologies to gain awareness and work out jokes. Consider how Louis CK released his most recent album—he produced the album himself and released online by allowing users to download for a significantly lower price than if he’d gone traditional routes. And other comedians have followed suit, realizing it gives them better control of the content and distribution, and gives their fans a better experience (and price).
Michael Ian Black of The State, Stella and Wet Hot American Summer fame co-hosts the podcast, Mike and Tom Eat Snacks.
New tools and technologies are continually being created for the digital marketing industry. In fact, it’s why we exist. But we can’t stop this forward motion by becoming stagnant or locked into certain tech for too long. I don’t recommend simply jumping from tool to tool every other week (trust me, researching new social media measurement and management tools could be someone’s full time job). But stay open to the new software being released continuously and how it can improve campaigns.
6. It’s Still a Man’s World, but Watch Out for the Women
The digital marketing industry is still skewed heavily male. One quick glance around the Austin Convention Center for SXSW could tell you that right away, and more than one-third of public companies have zero women as senior leaders. The comedy world is the same way. It’s male dominated, but the women that succeed are amazing—Joan Rivers, Janeane Garofalo, Lisa Lampanelli, Tig Notaro, Maria Bamford, Sarah Silverman, Kristen Wiig, Amy Poehler (I could go on for a while here).
Just a few lovely ladies of comedy.
Strong, intelligent, driven and successful women are becoming more and more prevalent in digital marketing as well—Marissa Meyer, CEO of Yahoo!; Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook; Amber Naslund, president of SideraWorks; Chloe Sladden, head of media at Twitter. Despite some recent controversies, I still see these women as extremely motivating and inspiring, and hope that women can continue to make great strides in the digital marketing world.
7. Yes, and…
This last one is not always a large part of digital marketing, but it should be. It’s how we should approach strategic direction of digital marketing campaigns. It’s how we should develop new tools and software. It’s how we should have discussions with risk adverse clients. It’s how we should work with staff and internal teams. Replying “yes, and…” will always keep this industry moving forward and keep everyone open to new opportunities.
Tina Fey cites “yes, and…” as the reasons for her success not only in comedy, but in life as well.
What other ways can we apply comedic principles to digital marketing? Please share your thoughts below.
On Thursday, March 7 Facebook announced some major changes to newsfeed. It’s the first major renovation of the service since Timeline was released last March. These changes are designed to get people to interact more frequently with newsfeed and other information that greets users upon login.
Giving users more control
Like a newspaper, Facebook’s updated newsfeed has a bold front page, which is divided into a host of feeds, or sections. This setup gives users more control over what stories they see. The new feeds include:
All Friends – includes all updates from your friends
Photos – shows you nothing but photos from your friends and the Pages you like
Music – updates you about the music you like and the songs your friends are listening to
Following – provides latest info from the pages and public figures you follow
Most Recent – now shows all most recent updates in chronological order
The game feed has not changed.
Facebook’s clean, mobile-inspired design pushes photos front and center to create a more immersive user experience. Images are now considerably larger, and associated options, such as liking and sharing, are gathered together in one module. Shared items from third parties are also larger now, so you can see head shots of friends and other Facebook users who interacted with the same content. Upcoming events stand out more as well. The bigger-is-better mentality also carries over to locations, so if you’ve tagged a place or a location in a post, the post will include a map. Facebook’s new look will be consistent across desktop, mobile and tablet devices so users won’t feel lost. And it’s resemblance to Instagram will be familiar to users.
How brands can leverage the new newsfeed
This new design means advertisers can reach people in more visually engaging ways. Here are some tips for brands from Facebook on how to leverage News Feed changes…
Think about your visuals
Brands have a more visually stimulating way to showcase content. Use this opportunity to get people engaged. For example, a restaurant can get people hungry for lunch by showcasing today’s special right before lunchtime:
Get discovered with “Following”
With the new “Following Feed,” users can discover more content from the Pages they like and the people they follow. Stories on “Following” are shown in chronological order.
Make sure your cover photo tells your story
For both organic and paid Page Like stories, the photo that Facebook will now display is the Page’s cover photo. This change is designed to provide more context about the page. All the more reason to make sure your cover photo is eye-catching and visually representative of your brand:
Do not include contact info, such as website URL, email, phone or mailing address
Do not include calls to action, such as “Get it Now” or “Tell Your Friends”
Do not include references to Facebook features (e.g., “Share on Facebook”)
Do not include arrows or text that directs users to particular apps or other Facebook features
Design update, not algorithm
This rollout is a design change only—no updates have been made to EdgeRank, Facebook’s ranking alogrithm. So while it will not improve reach, it should not negatively impact it either. So, brands may still find the need to promote posts to ensure newsfeed placement.
Is there a negative impact?
As with everything, there is a negative side to these changes. If users end up spending more time in the new feeds and less time in the main newsfeed, brands may need to make up for that lost reach by promoting content. This is already a problem on Facebook, and these updates could make it more necessary.
The new newsfeeds also have the ability to filter the feeds, and may begin to filter down the feeds to show only content posted by friends, effectively reducing reach to zero.
What can your brand do now to take advantage of the new layouts and newsfeeds? First, sign up to get on the wait list for newsfeed, as Facebook will be rolling out the new design very slowly over the coming weeks on web and mobile. Visit www.facebook.com/newsfeed to get your name on the list.
How do you see brands leveraging Facebook’s newsfeed updates?
The ‘About’ tab now consists of separated sections (e.g., Story, Places, Links, Contact Info). Information can be easily updated by clicking an Edit button in each section. All fields are the same though; there are no new fields for enhanced or additional information. As always: you can share specific fields with specific circles, or keep them just for you. This is for both brand pages and personal pages.
Local Reviews Tabs
In addition to your photos, +1′s and YouTube videos, there’s now a place for all your Local reviews. You can highlight your favorite restaurants, or hide the tab completely via settings. This is only for personal pages, but may drive awareness of reviews and ratings for local businesses if users begin to leverage these highlighting features.
Larger Cover Photos
Cover photos are much larger than before (up to 2120px by 1192px), and they display in 16×9 when fully expanded. You can create one large image, or create a sort of collage with several smaller images. This format also removes the issue we were finding with the profile photo overlap, which cut off a large portion of the cover image in the old format.
For Google+ Local Pages (formerly Google Place pages), the cover image defaults to a Google map with a pinpoint at the location of the business. Clicking on map cover image takes you to Google maps where you can get directions.
Nice to see Google putting some energy into Google+ again, especially after all the buzz last summer that only slowly died off. I wonder if it means they have a renewed interest in the platform itself (and not just how it impacts search results) moving forward. I predict we’ll start to see more changes here soon. Or maybe we won’t actually see them, but will start to feel them as Google further integrates Google+ into it’s platform.
What are you thoughts on the new changes, and what they mean for Google in the near future?
Yesterday, Facebook announced the release of Graph Search, which will allow users to search Facebook using personalized, social data. If you’re looking to find a local restaurant that is recommended by your friends and people they trust, you might search for “denver restaurants liked by friends and friends of friends.” Or if you’re planning a trip to Italy and want to find the most picturesque spots, you might search for “photos of friends taken in Rome, Naples and Venice.” Or if you’re the jealous, stalker type, you might search for “ex-girlfriends of my boyfriend that lives in my city.” Whatever your situation, you will be able to do it soon.
According to Mark Zuckerberg, Graph Search will be very different than searching on Google. “Web search is designed to take any open-ended query and give you links that might have answers. Graph Search is designed to take a precise query and give you an answer, rather than links that might provide the answer.” As you might expect, Facebook is not working with Google on fine tune their search functionality.
Following are a few sample screenshots from Facebook:
Facebook Graph Search launched immediately in beta, and did not indicate when the full rollout would take place. During the beta, Graph Search will focus on four areas: people, photos, places and interests, with more features added in the future. Graph Search pulls from profile data of its 1 billion users to populate search results, and delivers items that will be unique to each user’s search parameters since each user’s friends and affinities are unique.
Graph Search functions within the current search bar. All results delivered will be from content already shared with users, therefore, Facebook states there are no privacy concerns. After the personalization layer, comments and engagement will be the next ranking signal (e.g., photo results will be sorted by engagement, with the ones with the most like and comments appearing toward the top).
If Graph Search cannot deliver a result, results will be pulled from Bing web search, but still displayed within Facebook. Bing explains the integration in a blog post:
“Now when you do a web search on Facebook, the new search results page features a two-column layout with Bing-powered web results appearing on the left-hand side overlaid with social information from Facebook including how many people like a given result. On the right hand side, you will see content from Facebook Pages and apps that are related to your search.”
Bing Web Search Results in Facebook Graph Search
“Imagine searching for Jay-Z concerts on Facebook, and not only finding Facebook content, but also web results from Bing including concert tickets, news about the tour and other web results—annotated with Facebook Likes and Shares. We think this is a powerful combination.”
What does this mean for brands? It’s making Facebook even more important as a means for sharing content and engaging with users, and may make Bing a larger focus for SEO and overall search marketing.
Say you are a women’s clothing apparel chain, you’ll definitely want to ensure that you have a Facebook Place page with accurate and up-to-date information. You’ll want to encourage check-ins in order to 1. increase reach and potential for showing up in personalized results if someone searches for “women’s clothing store in San Diego visited by my friends” and 2. increase total volume of engagements on your Place page, which is another layer of ranking signals. Sharing your products, videos, events and other custom content creates more opportunities for appearing in Graph Search results and broadening reach. And who knows what paid advertising opportunities Facebook has up their sleeve. But integrating search queries into Facebook Marketplace, similar to Google AdWords, seems like a natural step and high potential revenue generator for Facebook.
This is particularly relevant for SMBs, franchise companies and multi-unit businesses with a local presence. Local search is growing overall, especially on mobile (BIA/Kelsey estimates that mobile will generate 27.8 billion more queries than desktop by 2015) and with the success that Facebook has already seen with mobile ads (mobile ads generate 13x more clicks and 11x more revenue than web, according to one study).
While Facebook Graph Search is available now, there is still a waiting list to test the beta product. To sign up, learn more and get a small taste of the results, visit https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch.
I tried out a sample search to test Graph Search through my personal Facebook account. The test shows “Friends that live in my city.” I’m quite aware of which friends live in Denver, but it’s interesting to see of all the friends living here and which ones show up first. My guess is that other profile information is being matched to mine to create a (potentially) more relevant experience. The first result is a friend that lives in Denver, but that is from my hometown. I only have two friends that fit these criteria, and I engage with this one more than the other, so I would imagine those factors–direct relevance to my search, profile information, engagement and volume of mutual connections–are what is driving this result. The other two are colleagues of mine. I find it interesting that they show up over other colleagues, who I likely have more information in common with and engage with more often. I’ll have to play more with the beta to get a better understanding of the ranking factors, and I imagine we’ll never be 100% certain as all search algos are mysterious and EdgeRank has always been a particular puzzle.
I am very intrigued by Graph Search on both a personal level and for brands–there are numerous earned and paid opportunities for promoting brands and content, and I look forward to learning more as the product fully rolls out. Stay tuned for updates in the coming weeks.
Facebook has been hard at work this past year, attempting to improve their advertising platform to create a more valuable product for brands and better experience for consumers. Throughout 2012, and especially since their IPO, Facebook has barely paused for quick breath between releases of new ad types and targeting options. Following is a list of the major releases for Facebook advertising over the past year:
Facebook released a new performance metric in May in an effort to better measure the full impact of ads and sponsored stories. “Actions” replaced the “Connections” metric. “Actions” includes all of the information previously counted under “Connections” plus all actions taken by users within 24 hours after viewing an ad/sponsored story or 28 days after clicking on an ad/sponsored story. Actions are only counted if you are promoting a page, page post, event or app on Facebook.
Also in May, Facebook released Promoted Posts, which allow pages to “sponsor” a single post to a larger group of their fans. Promoted Posts show in the newsfeeds of fans and friends of fans, unlike regular Facebook ads that display on the right-hand column of Facebook and can show to non-fans. The posts are labeled as “sponsored” in the lower right corner of the post.
Setting up a Facebook Promoted Post.
Results for a Promoted Post on Facebook.
You can set your budget, and Facebook shows the estimated reach at that amount. Promoted Posts has fueled a continuing conversation on the ethics of making brands pay to reach the fans they have already earned (and maybe even paid for), especially after changes to EdgeRank on September 20, which further reduced the organic and viral reach of page posts.
In June, Facebook opened up mobile placement for sponsored stories to all advertisers. Mobile sponsored stories flow through newsfeeds much the same as regular newsfeed stories, however, they contain a small “Sponsored” notification. Mobile ads are outperforming desktops overall, a result we can confirm with client Facebook advertising campaigns. Mobile ads are quite discreet, too. I’ve spoken with many friends and colleagues that did not even notice that they were seeing ads, even though they noticed the new placement.
In August, Facebook released Sponsored Results, which allows brands to expand reach by paying to have their page or app appear near the top of search results (desktop search only and directing within Facebook only). Brands can write custom ad copy (70 character limit), yet the image and title will be pulled from the page or app. Sponsored Results can be purchased through Power Editor or the Facebook API, and pricing works the same as Marketplace ads. I haven’t seen many Sponsored Results lately, and couldn’t pull one up for the purposes of this blog, which leads me to believe few brands are using it, but it is still available in Power Editor.
In September, Facebook officially launched Facebook Exchange (FBX), an ad-bidding network that retargets users on Facebook after they have visited a particular website or web page(s). FBX is only available through publishers such as AdRoll, Turn and a handful of others. You cannot layer other Facebook targeting on top, such as interest or demographics; it is simply retargeting—a cookie is placed on the user’s browser when they reach a specific page but do not convert, ads are then delivered to that user within Facebook in the right-hand sidebar.
Paid Facebook Offers
In September, a price tag was attached to Facebook Offers, a free product since its launch in February. The Offers product itself is still no cost, but brands are required to purchase at least $5 in advertising to be able to run an Offer (they are still free for users).
Now when setting up a Facebook Offer, you must set a budget as the last step.
Mobile In-app Targeting
For a short time period, Facebook was testing mobile in-app targeting, allowing brands to reach users within relevant apps. Banners or interstitials were served to users that logged into apps through Facebook Connect, and Facebook’s standard Marketplace parameters were layered on top of the app targeting. In late December, however, Facebook pulled the plug on this test to focus on “scaling ads in mobile news feed before ads off of Facebook.”
Customer Audience targeting, released in October, allows you to reach current customers through the use of email addresses or phone numbers. You simply upload your list through Power Editor, Facebook hashes the data against its users to create matches, and you can then layer Facebook’s demo and interest targeting on top of it, creating a highly relevant audience for advertising campaigns. In addition to using this data for Facebook ad targeting, it can provide insights on your customers—demographics, interests, relationship status, mobile usage—which can be used to guide content development, blogger outreach, display targeting, etc.
We have uncovered some interesting insights for a few of our clients by uploading their customer email lists:
HIGHER EDUCATION CLIENT:
49% use an Android phone
36% are parents
30% are married
WOMEN’S APPAREL COMPANY:
59.3% of customers were on FB
88.36% were not fans yet
5.7% were men (used this information to create a gift giving campaign for the holidays)
Mobile App Install Ads
Mobile App Install Ads came out of beta in October, allowing developers to promote their apps in newsfeeds if their app integrates Facebook. When a user clicks on the ad, they are taken to a download page in the Apple App Store or Google Play. Standard interest and demographic targeting is used to reach relevant users.
In November, Facebook began quietly offering a conversion tracking tool, which measures conversion activity generated from Facebook ads on your website. Much like our paid search tracking technology, the Facebook Conversion Tracker is a small line of code placed on your website thank you page that records purchases or other desired actions. The advantage to using Facebook’s Conversion Tracker is that it will show within the Facebook Ad Manager interface along with other metrics for your Facebook advertising campaigns.
In late December, Facebook announced that video ads will be coming to newsfeeds in Spring 2013. The video ads will display in users’ newsfeeds on desktops and mobile devices. While details are still not confirmed, it is likely that ads will be 15 seconds, will begin playing automatically and will expand into left and/or right columns of the page. Targeting options have still not been revealed, but it is likely that advertisers will have the option to show videos ads to users outside their fan base, thus helping to increase reach and exposure. Stay tuned for this new ad option in the new year.
Those are the major Facebook advertising releases and updates in 2012. We’ll see numerous more opportunities in 2013 as Facebook continues to prove it’s value to investors and create a profitable marketing environment for brands. If I missed any other updates, please include in the comments below.
I had so much fun creating the Content Marketing World soundbites images, I decided to do the same with from my recent trip to Search Engine Strategies in Chicago. Below are some of the great insights and quotes I jotted down while at SES Chicago.