Beyond Timeline: The Changing Face Of Facebook Ads

Despite the hype, timeline may not be the most exciting, or important change coming on March 30. Expanded advertising opportunities may unlock the greatest potential for brands to grow on Facebook.

In the past, Facebook ads aimed to benefit small businesses. Now, it’s clear that Facebook is courting larger companies.

Most of the new ad features come with a hefty monthly minimum to advertisers, which is expected to deter many local advertisers.

While small businesses are left in the dust with their same old ads, the big spenders will enjoy the following new premium ad options.

Mobile News Feed

The mobile advertising game has been a tricky arena for marketers.

Cell phone service providers do not give out personalized demographic information to advertisers, so, unlike on the web, consumers are often bombarded by less relevant, geo-targeted mobile ads.

Facebook is allowing advertisers to target connected users through the Facebook mobile app.

This is huge for advertisers trying to reach the 425 million consumers using Facebook through their mobile devices, and that’s putting it mildly.

Offers

Everyone loves a deal, advertisers included!

The new offers feature will simplify the process of getting the right deals to the right consumers.

Since Facebook already has user email addresses, the offers feature will remove the middleman (meaning the website or fan page) to directly send deals to opt-in consumers.

Consumers will actually be able to click on a deal inside Facebook, and it will be emailed to them for immediate use.

How does it work? The advertiser will post a deal to their page.

If it’s a great offer, and the advertiser really want to push it, the entity can put ad dollars behind it to turn it into an offer.

This process turns a post into a coupon that the consumer can then click and receive it immediately in their inbox without leaving the page.

This feature makes couponing incredibly simple for both the advertiser and the consumer.

Logout Page Ads

It has long been a rule of thumb that the conversion rates of Facebook ads are generally highest when the call to action doesn’t require the user to exit Facebook.

The more steps involved, the more people you lose.

But, Facebook’s new logout experience is a dream for advertisers because it targets consumers after they leave the site, on the sign out page.

The logout experience will give advertisers the ability to target Facebook users as they are naturally transitioning to an external site.

Therefore, they should see higher conversion rates.

News Feed Ads

Facebook has now made it possible for brands to push ads out via the news feed.

In the past, for a user to see an ad in their newsfeed, a friend had to take an action first by liking, sharing, or commenting on the brand.

But with the news feed ads, users don’t have to wait on a friend to endorse something.

Advertisers can now just push this message out themselves, allowing them to gain voice in the conversation.

Reach Generator

So, how will Facebook manage the new ad options to maximum capacity? Enter the Reach Generator.

Currently, only about 16 percent of your fan base is actually seeing your posts.

But Facebook’s new Reach Generator ad model virtually ensures that you will reach at least 75 percent of your audience, and all without needing to create more ads.

This feature will be available only to advertisers who have a large enough Facebook fan base (this number has not yet been released), and they will be charged a fixed rate based on just how big their fan base is.

In the past, Facebook click-through rates have been lower than most sites partly due to the same small portion of your fan base seeing the same ads over and over.

With Reach Generator, your ads will be spread out more thoroughly across your entire fan base.

So, for example, if you currently have 10 percent of your fan base seeing your ad 10 times, you’ll now have 100 percent of your fan base seeing the ad one time.

Although the number of ads going out may be the same, the click-through rate should dramatically increase as the unique audience increases.

This feature should help the effectiveness of Facebook campaigns, as the reach generator maximizes the quantity of qualified users seeing your ad.

According to Facebook, Ben and Jerry’s saw a three-to-one return on investment ratio after trying out this new product.

Advertising Implications

These new ad features hold high potential for brand engagement campaigns; the goal being not to grow the fan base, but to further engage the fans you already have.

Smart advertisers will be using these new types of ads to leverage their current customer base, not just to increase it.

And now, advertisers are free to play around, I mean, demo some of these new premium ads here.

Guest writer Ben Morton is media director at redpepper. Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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