Page post ads in Facebook’s News Feed are becoming the ad unit of choice for marketers on the social network, mainly due to their return on investment performance, according to a study released Monday by Facebook advertising platform Nanigans.
Big movies love to market through Facebook, and Facebook page statistics give an accurate view of what’s going on at the box office. CitizenNet recently released a comprehensive study, finding that Facebook behavior is correlated to box-office returns, but at a cost: More than 75 percent of all impressions of non-franchise film content on Facebook are sponsored.
Just how powerful is Facebook’s News Feed? One of the alpha testers of Facebook Exchange retargeted News Feed ads, Nanigans, said advertising on the site’s primary feature increased return on investment by 197 percent, compared with the right sidebar.
Facebook has been pushing users to share more of what they love, especially through structured status updates. Users can now post visual stories that say they’re watching “Game of Thrones,” or “The Big Bang Theory,” and those preferences will be added to users’ Timelines under favorite shows. But does liking a show’s Facebook page necessarily correlate to watching it? In a recent study, CitizenNet discovered that a 3 percent increase in likes for a show’s page usually translates into a 1 percent bump in viewership.
Three years ago, you could drastically reduce your cost per click by just running a ton of ads. The mainstream pay-per-click vendors, experienced with Google, applied their same techniques to Facebook — multiplying tons of ad combos by headlines, images, and body copy. While that technique was positioned as smart optimization, it was really spamming the system with thousands and thousands of terrible ads. If a general message against a particular audience wasn’t effective, making 10,000 variants of the same thing wouldn’t matter.
A total of 40 percent of all interaction on Facebook occurs in the News Feed, yet most brands experienced a 47 percent drop in reach in the past six months. How can you get your reach back?
We call it MAA (not MMA or AMA) — and it stands for Metrics > Analysis > Action. The idea is this: Sort to find the top performers, ignoring the rest. Don’t mass-multiply; spend a few minutes per day, not three hours once per month. Amplify what’s working by using different forms of social retargeting via sponsored stories, sponsored results, and custom audience targeting. Don’t waste time making reports, unless you’re in that type of company — focus on insights and actions. Software is nice, but expert action is better. Software can’t mask missing competency. Repeat these cycles quickly — you can get them down to minutes and multiple cycles per day.
More companies are catching on to a Facebook ad product that used to be mainly used by Amazon: domain sponsored stories. For instance, if you share a link from Amazon, the company can then share that link again on friends’ news feeds at a later date. Facebook marketing expert Jon Loomer wrote in-depth about how a page administrator can create a domain sponsored story and gain successful click-through rates on those ads, but Inside Facebook noted that they can often be confusing for users.
Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg isn’t the only person working to make a profit from Facebook. Several businesses are trying to find ways to turn their Facebook fans into paying customers. SplashPost, which launched the latest version of its platform this week, helps marketers create engaging Facebook posts that encourage users to opt in for deals.
In the early days of Facebook marketing, page administrators were obsessed with obtaining likes, and that focus has now shifted to engagement. But for those who use Facebook as a sales platform, there are several ways to track success. At the Webtrends Engage conference Wednesday in San Francisco, Facebook Head of Measurement Platforms and Standards Sean Bruich discussed the paradigm shift as companies move from traditional marketing to digital marketing.