How Advertising on Facebook & Instagram can boost your TV Marketing

We live in a world where mobile devices are an intrinsic part of daily life, and as such digital media consumption is no longer linear but far more multi-layered.

For the first time, digital ad spend has overtaken TV. Traditional TV viewership is on a steady decline while more and more users turn to alternate devices. However, television remains a multi-billion dollar industry, with many marketers still listing it as a key channel in their overall strategy.

What’s important to bear in mind is that modern TV-watchers simply do not have the same undivided attention as they once did. A whopping 81% of US viewers use a second device whilst watching TV, and Facebook sees a three-fold spike in usage during TV ad breaks. These viewers may be messaging friends about what they’re watching, or simply looking for a distraction during the ad breaks, but one thing is for sure – the television does not have their undivided attention.

So, how do you regain their consideration to make sure your TV marketing dollars don’t go to waste? You have to go where their attention is – Social Media.

By combining the unparalleled reach of television with the engagement and personalization of Social, you can create a cross-channel strategy that increases target audience penetration and creates a significant uplift in brand awareness. A study by the Advertising Research Foundation even found that adding digital to a TV campaign can produce a “kicker” effect of 60% higher ROI.

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While their attention may be spread across multiple platforms, today’s consumers are still hyper-visual. They don’t want to read a lengthy piece of content about a brand. Instead, they want to see the brand in action.

By incorporating Facebook and Instagram Advertising into your digital strategy, you can complement your television campaigns by distributing and re-enforcing the message to make it stick. Here’s some tips for you to get started:

  • Use clips, stills and messaging from your TV campaigns to create ads on Facebook and Instagram, creating cohesion across channels and increasing brand recall.
  • Leverage the Facebook Pixel to collect data of website visitors, and segment that data to remarket to those who have visited your site during ad breaks but dropped off once their show resumed.
  • For multi-location brands, consider localizing certain aspects of your campaign, such as copy and media, to drive maximum relevance with each of your target audiences.

While multi-screen strategies are still hard to measure, it’s fair to say that by getting in front of your audience where they spend most of their time can only benefit the efforts of your television marketing.

Stay tuned for our next Blog about navigating your way to Facebook ad acceptance.

Success with Facebook Ads: Is it as Easy as You Think?

By now we all know that Facebook’s advertising capabilities are extremely accessible when it comes to doing it yourself – you can create your Business Page for free, and then with little effort start running ads with as much or as little budget as you like, to pretty much whoever you like, wherever you like.

Sure, I’d definitely say it’s easy to create and launch an ad on Facebook. But is it easy to do it well, and in such a way as to see significant return on investment? Not so much.

To give you an idea, these are the kind of questions you should know the answers to in order to run a well thought-through Campaign, that is likely to give you real, business-value results:

  • Do I want to run an Awareness ad, a Consideration ad or a Conversion Ad?
  • Do I want to include an offer in my advertising?
  • Do I want to use a Custom Audience in my targeting? Would this be better than demographic, interest or behavioral targeting?
  • Where do I want to place my ad?
  • Should I set my budget to Lifetime or Daily? What’s a good budget?
  • Shall I optimize for link clicks, leads, daily unique reach or impressions?
  • Do I want to be charged for clicks or impressions?
  • Do I want standard or accelerated delivery for my ads? Should they run continuously in my set time frame, or only at key times of day?
  • What format do I want my creative? Carousel, Single Image, Single Video, Slideshow, Canvas or maybe Collection?
  • What makes a good ad image? How do I best describe my offering in the limited characters I have available?
  • Which Call To Action button is best suited to my objective?
  • How do I analyze the results and use my learnings to better my next campaign?

Know all the answers? Awesome! You’re all set to go make your business some money with Facebook Ads. Don’t? Let’s break it down and see if we can bring some clarity to some of these key factors.

Objective

On the surface, this one isn’t rocket science. Do you want an ad that increases awareness of your offering, boosts consideration of your offering, or converts users to your offering. You should know that. But which ad type is most effective for each of these three objectives? There’s no straight answer for that one – it depends on your industry, your business, your budget, and your expectations.  You can learn loads more about the different ad types and when to use them in another post by Tiger Pistol’s Laura Sebo.

You also need to consider the long game – of course you want loads of new customers straight away. But will loads of users who’ve never heard of your business jump on board and convert at the first site of your ad? Unlikely.

Many people expect Facebook Ads to be a miracle cure, providing them with immediate ROI where other marketing has not. And while you certainly can get incredible results on Facebook, you have to be clever about how you go about it – running a one-off campaign targeted at the people you think will like your offering just won’t cut it in the long run. You need a well thought out strategy that looks at getting users through the funnel over a period of time, adapting with each campaign to produce a steady increase in customers and ever-increasing ROI.

Offers

Again, simple on the surface. Do you want to use an offer as part of your advertising as an added incentive? Some say no, it cheapens your brand. Some say yes, an introductory offer may help persuade users who are unaware of your business to give it a chance. Is an offer relevant or appropriate to your business? Is it an efficient way of getting new customers or will it just see an influx of one-off buyers rather than loyal, returning customers?

Targeting

The immense detail with which you can target your ads to users is what makes Facebook Ads so special, and unlike any other marketing out there.

But with so many options to choose from, it’s hard to know the best approach. By now you probably have a pretty good idea of your typical customer, so you could just input these parameters into Ads Manager, lining up their demographics, interests and behaviors, and see if they respond. But by doing this, could you be ruling out other potential new customers, without even giving them a chance to consider your offering? Maybe it’s better to start broad. Or you could use that database of emails you have stored away, to see if past customers would consider your new offering. Or maybe a Lookalike Audience of these people? Or perhaps just retarget people who have visited your website recently, because they’re obviously at least slightly interested. But then are you sure you’ve installed your Facebook pixel correctly on your site?

Placements

You could just set this to automatic, because Facebook obviously knows the best place to put an ad. Although, is placing your ad in the right hand column as well as the main feed a waste of your budget? It doesn’t really look that good in there. You could maybe rule out desktop – not many people look at Facebook on desktop these days (do they?). And Instagram is pretty cool, you can put ads on there too, that is if Instagram is appropriate to your audience… And then there’s the Audience Network, Instant Articles and even Facebook Messenger! Do you put your ad in all these places therefore casting the widest net possible, or narrow it down to the most appropriate channels to try and use your budget more efficiently?

Budget

It could be best just to set a daily budget so that you know what you’re spending each day, and then you can just turn it off whenever you want. Or you could set start and end dates, so you don’t accidentally leave it on in the background racking up a big bill. Although it has been said that Lifetime budget can produce better results – Facebook optimizes delivery depending on performance. But what if it was doing really well? You’d probably want it to just keep ticking over bringing in results, rather than turning off at the height of its game. Hmmm. And wait, how much are we even spending here? What’s an appropriate budget for the kind of ad you’re running?

Optimization & Charging

Link clicks, leads, impressions or daily unique reach – in other words do you want your ad shown to people who are more likely to click on it (than the average user, which tends to cost more), shown to as many people as possible (potentially multiple times), or shown to as many unique users as possible?

And when it comes to the breakdown of what you’re paying for, do you want to get charged every time someone clicks on the ad, or every time someone sees the ad? Which would give the best results whilst being the most cost effective?

Scheduling & Delivery

You could have your ads run continuously throughout your selected time period – this is probably the easiest. Although if you’re promoting a specific offer that’s only available on a certain day or at a certain time, is it worth spending budget when the user can’t act upon the ad when they’re shown it? You could instead run the ad at specific times of day, for example if you had 2-for-1 lunches at your restaurant on certain days, you could just run the ads on the morning of those days. But then again running ads on and off like that could mean the ad often doesn’t pick up traction, so you may see better results running a continuous ad…

Format

OK, so we’ve finally decided who you want to show your ads to and how. But what does the ad actually look like? You could just use a single image – clear, to the point, no messing about. But then again having multiple images in a Carousel format could allow you to get your point across better, seen as you only have limited text to work with. You could animate multiple images into a slideshow format – we all know how users are attracted to moving images – so in fact you could just do a video ad (if you have a good video to use). Or else there are those fancy Canvas ads, where you could include text, images, gifs, videos – whatever you like! Now that would impress users. But it might be tricky to create one that looks really good, or at least have the time to do one properly.

Creative

Do you know the best kind of imagery to use in Facebook Ads? Would a user be more likely to click on a really high-quality professional image, or would they rather see a more candid image of your team doing what they do best? Then you’ve got to figure out how best to describe your business, your offering and what you want the user to do with your ad, in very limited characters. They might not even see all the text, depending on what device they’re using and how much you choose to write. Should you be straight to the point and use the ad to get them towards a conversion, or would it be better to go for a soft sell approach, enticing them to your site and allowing your offering to do the talking in its own environment?

Which also begs the question of which Call-To-Action Button is the most appropriate. ‘Learn More’ is a bit wishy washy – it could be better to get them to ‘Shop Now’. Yeah, you may get less clicks, but then the people who do click have shown that they’re willing to potentially buy something. But then, could it be better to use a less direct approach; get as many people to your site as possible, casting the net wider with the possibility of converting those who may not have even considered it originally? Worth thinking about.

Learning & Applying

So now you’ve run your first ad. It went well. You think. Aside from the number of desired actions, and the cost per action, how do you know if your ad has done well? Because, in the world of Facebook advertising there is more to success that the amount of people you managed to send to your website, or the amount of leads you got.

And now what? Do you run the same ad again? Or could you use insights from your last one to make the next one better, reach more people, potentially lower your cost per desired action or get more of them?

As you can see, there is a heck of a lot to consider when it comes to running Facebook Ads. Yes, they can work miracles. Yes, they can give you great ROI, boost your customer numbers, make you money and the rest. But – and it’s a big but – you’ve got to know how to set them up properly, run them properly, and analyze them properly to allow them to do that.

Not to worry though – we can help with that too. Check out our post, “The Low Cost, Insanely Easy Way to Get Results with Facebook Advertising” to learn the secret sauce behind small and local social ad success!

The Facebook Eco-System: Why It’s Top Of It’s Game

Every now and then articles crop up stating “Facebook is dead”, or “young people don’t use Facebook anymore”, or “LinkedIn is the new Facebook”.

But none of these are true. Nor have they ever been, since its launch in 2004.

Facebook has gone from strength to strength over its thirteen years, leaping over various hurdles, molding its offering and diversifying extensively to suit its users’ needs with each passing year.

It now sits at the top of its sector, boasting 1.87 billion monthly active users and four million active advertisers. What started essentially as an online yearbook now manages to take up a fifth of all time spent on the internet. But this is not referring to Facebook as a stand-alone application but rather to the Facebook Ecosystem as a whole; while Facebook itself is the biggest and most notable of the ecosystem’s applications, ‘Facebook’ now includes Messenger, Instagram and Whatsapp – three more of the most popular social apps – all under one roof.

So why is having these fellow high flyers a big deal for Facebook? Let’s take it one at a time:

Instagram: To up its Photo Game, Quash Competitors, Collect More Data and Improve its Mobile Experience

Acquired for a cool $1 billion in April 2012, Facebook made sure no competitors could snap up the super-popular photo-sharing platform and just like that, Instagram (IG) ceased to be its biggest market threat.

At the time, sharing photos was one of the most popular activities on Facebook, and thus the acquisition helped to cement this, linking the platforms and merging the filters and effects that users loved so much with their favorite and most-used social platform. Storytelling is what makes social media tick, and nothing does this better than photos and videos. Thus, Instagram helped to put some feeling into Facebook, which had previously been judged as somewhat soulless within the social space.

Furthermore, Facebook is all about the data, which is what helps to make so much of your Newsfeed content so relevant. Acquiring Instagram meant a whole heap more user data; the photos and hashtags posted by IGers brought another level of user-knowledge for Facebook to harness, including friend lists, facial recognition and location data as well as specific user interests.

What’s more, mobile-only Instagram – and the impressive mobile development team that came with it – helped transform Facebook’s app from clunky and not remotely pleasurable to use, into the sleek user experience that it has today.

And finally, we can’t deny the cool factor. Sure, Facebook is popular with everyone – your mum’s on it, your grandad’s on it, your old teacher’s on it… but five years since the acquisition, Instagram withholds its hipster image helping to give Facebook that little bit of extra street cred.

Whatsapp: For World Domination

Well for starters this bad boy was acquired in 2014 for a not-so-tiny $19 BILLION. An unimaginable amount of money. But why? At the time many called out the decision as ridiculous or stupid, but was it? I don’t think so.

Believe it or not, Whatsapp users are even more active than Facebook users. The usage statistics explained in our recent blog Why Facebook is An Essential Tool for Any Small or Local Business were pretty mind boggling, but get this – Whatsapp users are even more active, and their number of users grew more than twice as fast as Facebook’s.

Source: Facebook

Aside from its user numbers and its position as the leader in the global instant messaging arena (any platform with so many users is of course extremely valuable), an apparent stand-out factor for Zuckerberg was the geographical location of Whatsapp’s users. As of January this year the platform had 1.2 billion users, many of which are located in developing countries.

In the last few years, it’s been no secret that Facebook has been keen to boost its numbers outside of the US & Europe, and acquiring Whatsapp has allowed it to do just that. The acquisition helps with Zuckerberg’s vision to connect the whole world, aiding its internet.org initiative and allowing the Facebook Ecosystem to reach parts of the world that it had barely featured in before.

Oculus: For the Future

Now this one’s a little different, as Virtual Reality is not something we’ve seen a lot of up to this point. While Facebook already dominates the now, acquiring the leader of the VR space suggests that Facebook is also looking to dominate the future, where it’s expected that the main technology platform will no longer be mobile but instead, augmented and virtual reality(!). On acquiring the company for $2 billion in 2014, Zuckerberg said in this TechReview article, “There are not many things that are candidates to be the next major computing platform… [This acquisition is a] long-term bet on the future of computing.”

So it looks like the lenses and filters that are so cherished today will eventually be replaced with immersive augmented and virtual reality. In fact, augmented reality is already managing to sneak in a little bit in the form of the interactive filters that we most commonly associate with Snapchat, but are as of this month, also on Facebook’s native app.

And while it would seem Facebook is looking to continue to rule not only social but computing on a greater scale, it is only to be expected that it’ll use this acquisition to do what Facebook does best – capture data. Could we see our facial expressions being tracked to learn how we react to certain things in coming years?! Spooky.

And finally to Facebook Messenger, which was not an acquisition but rather a strategic transition from part of the native platform to a stand-alone application. Which begs the question, why have your own competing app when you’ve just bought the world’s leading messaging platform?

Messenger: Because it Can

Similar to acquiring Whatsapp, having a separate messaging platform to its native app allows it to reach yet more users, like those who do not want a Facebook profile. Messenger allows you to sign up with just a mobile number, meaning people who don’t want an account can still chat with their Facebook-using friends. Which of course means yet more data for Facebook, and a reasonably high chance that they’ll get pushed over the edge and sign up for a fully-fledged account anyway.

Plus, removing chat features from the native app and forcing users to a separate platform means a third additional location through which to reach more of the world. And if the news from this year’s F8 conference is any indication, Messenger will continue to grow, evolve and add features well into the future.

To summarize, by acquiring these social leaders but keeping them separate, plus creating its own standalone messaging app, Facebook continues to expand its global reach and dominate not just social media as a whole but the greatly important sectors of instant messaging and photo-sharing. With it’s team of MVPs it’s now hitting almost every corner of the Earth, it can’t be long before almost the entire population is connected via the vast Facebook Ecosystem.

Sources
10 Reasons Why Facebook Bought Instagram; Hill, K
https://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/04/11/ten-reasons-why-facebook-bought-instagram/#64532a2dd1b1

Why did Facebook buy WhatsApp?; Swider, M
http://www.techradar.com/news/internet/web/what-s-up-with-facebook-buying-whatsapp-it-s-about-the-developing-world-1226429

 

Why Facebook is an Essential Marketing Tool for any Small or Local Business

Gone are the days when Facebook could be passed off as the latest fad. With 1.87 billion active users each month and four million active advertisers, the social platform is not only here to stay, it’s also completely dominating the world of social networking.

What’s more, it’s entirely transforming the way small and local businesses market themselves. As a business leader, if you don’t want to fall behind and lose out to your numerous competitors, ignoring the phenomenon that is Facebook advertising is a seriously bad move. Here’s why you really should consider jumping on the social media bandwagon.

It’s Got the Numbers

Not only are Facebook’s user-numbers ridiculously high, but people are engaging. According to Facebook’s own data from December 2016, 78% of users return to the site daily and check their Newsfeed 15-20 times a day1. You’re probably thinking, “Pfft… I don’t check mine nearly that much”. You may well be right. So, then think about just how many times some people must be sneaking little peeks at their News Feed throughout the day to bring that average up. Frankly, the level to which some people engage with Facebook is a little scary.

Plus, despite nearly everything moving online, Facebook is still managing to take up a fifth of all time spent on the internet (again, according to Facebook’s own data from Dec 2016). What’s more, users are no longer just mindlessly scrolling, nor are they simply posting selfies and checking what their mates are up to anymore.

Instead, they’re diversifying the way they use the platform; they’re actually engaging with the content. From consuming relevant news articles, searching for events, and clicking on promotions and sales, there’s no end to what this multifaceted site has to offer. As a result, Facebook ads have an average click-through-rate that is almost ten times higher than regular web ads.

Amazingly, the platform generates a quarter of all website traffic. And users aren’t just clicking; they’re more than happy to engage and convert so long as you provide them with the right content to drive your desired outcome. With intelligent targeting and content that ties in with the interests and purchasing habits of your typical customer, it could be easier than you think to open up a treasure chest full of new prospects, as well as re-engage your existing customer base.

It Works

Businesses are continuing to see success from Facebook Ads. Sixty-five million businesses have used Facebook Pages in the last 30 days (an increase of around 15 million from this time last year, according to Business Insider) and at the last count, the platform reported four million active advertisers – almost double that of 2015.

While these numbers are increasing, there’s also a shift in the amount that people are willing to spend on the platform. The truth of the matter is that many savvy businesses are moving their marketing budget from other, arguably less effective channels, to where they are seeing the highest ROI – on Facebook.

But does all this actually convert to real money-in-the-bank results? Well, take it from the horse’s mouth – 42% of Americans say Facebook is their number one influencer of purchases, while a recent study by Facebook (of US shoppers who recently made a purchase) found that:

  • 30% discovered a new product on Facebook
  • ⅓ said Facebook & Instagram were good places to find out about a new product or service
  • 20% said Facebook led them to buy a new product/service online

What do these stats tell us? Well, not only are Facebook ads proving successful when talking growth, user-numbers, click-through-rates and the like, but it’s also translating into real, successful business results.

It Boosts Other Media

While Facebook ads are an amazing tool, they are the not the magic solution to all your problems. It would be naive to believe that they are. Sure, they can be effective as a stand-alone marketing method; however, they work best when supporting other media, and have been proven to boost other efforts and help propel other channels towards greater success.

For example, if you’re currently running TV ads, you could back them up with video ads on Facebook. There’s a 30% increase in brand awareness and consideration when using Facebook video to complement other media.

Or, on the other hand, if you’re trying to improve your SEO and boost traffic to your website, you could backup your search ads with Facebook ads. People who see ads on Facebook are more likely to search and click through to an advertiser’s website, with campaigns experiencing a 6.3% lift in mobile search traffic.

No matter what your current objective, chances are there’s an ad type for it. Soft-sell, hard-sell, raise awareness, find new subscribers, get more traffic to your website, get more people into your store, get more downloads of your app, find a new member of staff, run a competition…I could keep going, but I think you get the idea. There’s little limit to what you can do with Facebook ads – the trick is figuring out how to nail them, and allowing them to slot in nicely to your current marketing strategy.

Convinced Yet?

The reality is that Facebook isn’t going away. The sheer numbers can’t be ignored and the fact of the matter is, your audience is on Facebook.

While Facebook ads do work on the same pay-per-click/pay-per-impression idea as most online advertising does, there’s one striking difference. The scary amount of data that Facebook has on each user means that your ads can be put in front of people that are much more likely to actually engage with your ad, and take the action you want them to. Facebook knows who’s more likely to click, who likes to watch videos through to the end, who’s happy to leave the app and do a bit of mobile-shopping, and so on. This means that when you choose to run ads on this platform you’re essentially spending your advertising dollars far more efficiently, by reaching those most relevant to your offering.

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em – and why wouldn’t you when there’s so little to lose? Organic content is all well and good for representing who you are on your social platforms, but with the average reach for posts by Facebook Pages being 2.6%, you really have to pay to play.

Likes, comments and shares might make you look good amongst your peers, but do they mean more customers? Not necessarily. If you focus on getting real business results on Facebook through clever targeting and ad types that tie in with your existing strategies, you’ll be amazed how quickly you start to see the value.