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4 New Facebook Ad Announcements and What They Mean for Brands

At Advertising week, Facebook announced that it now has 2.5 million advertisers and released 4 new announcements and updates to its ad offerings to provide even more opportunities for the network to monetize.
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I’ll unpack what we know about these announcements below, as well as their potential implications to brands.  As always with these announcements, only time will help us see which of these new offerings will be effective and worthwhile to brands.

1. Video Carousel Option

In a nutshell, this new unit is the existing format of Carousel ads with the ability to include video along with a sequence of photos.

Brand Implication/Use Case: Sequential Storytelling

Since we’ve seen Carousel ads to be effective for our clients, I can forsee the usefulness to a brand to mainly be in the form of storytelling.  For instance, imagine if a food brand could create a video tutorial of how to make a recipe, and then include the images of the ingredients that consumers could click through to.  Or imagine a large e-commerce website showcasing a video of how to decorate a table for the holiday season, and include the images and links of the products included in the instructional.

2. Brand Awareness Optimization

This is less about a new ad unit and more about new bidding options for Facebook.  This suggests now that brand can not only buy ads based on reach, but now through attention AND reach.

Brand Implication/Use Case: Targeting Ads for Considered Purchases

While we don’t know much more about this bidding process, it’s safe to say that it is likely going to be more expensive than other targeting options because it factors in a users attention with the content, not just the fact it was served in the newsfeed.  From a brand perspective, it should be considered when it’s important that a consumer spends more time with the content.  This could prove beneficial for products that are a considered purchase or have a higher price point (think vehicles or home electronics).

3. Mobile Polling:

This ad unit is about offering another ability for advertisers to measure the effectiveness of campaigns on Facebook.  Similar to Nielsen polling, this will be an opportunity to see “brand lift” insights.

Brand Implication/Use Case: Measuring “Brand Lift” Metrics From Campaigns

For brands that have a high spend on Facebook, and who may be looking for extra nuggets to show executives on how they’ve “moved the needle” through social – this new unit could be a way to show that Facebook ad campaigns are improving things like brand sentiment, brand recall, or overall brand awareness.  Advertisers will get a limited number of questions and will likely be able to serve the ad to the same audiences before and after the campaign.  This will give some marketer’s a compelling story to tell internally.

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4. TRP Buying

Again, this isn’t a new ad unit necessarily as much as it is a new way of purchasing ads on Facebook. According to Facebook, “Marketers can plan a campaign across TV and Facebook with a total TRP target in mind, and they can buy a share of those TRPs directly with Facebook. Then, Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings measurement system can verify Facebook’s in-target TRP delivery, and Nielsen’s Total Ad Ratings system can verify the TRP delivery for Facebook and television combined.”
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This announcement comes with  Nielsen research (conducted by Facebook) that showed a lift in impressions and ad memorability when Facebook video units and TV ads were purchased together.

Brand Implication/Use Case: Integrated Campaigns

The skeptic in me wants to say the brand implication of this change is “more money to Facebook”.  Calling this “TRP”, and using Nielsen research that shows the effectiveness is really a ploy from Facebook to get more traditional marketing dollars.Regardless of the positive reach metrics that Facebook boasts, we’ve seen most TV ads fail miserably in social network performance metrics compared to other content that better suits the channel.

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That said, for campaigns with creative that are geared to cross the divide, this provides an opportunity to more closely integrate traditional and social buying.  For campaigns like “Like a Girl”, this may be worth considering.  For most brands?  I’d suggest to stay away from trying to integrate in the first place.  Let your videos on Facebook be engineered for the channel.

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