If you’ve been thinking Facebook’s Ad Exchange (FBX) as just a source of display, prepare to have your conceptions flipped on their head. Facebook has just integrated Page Post link ads into the News Feed, and the result is the most precisely targeted advertising the marketing world has ever seen.
It’s a no-brainer that Facebook ads that appear in the News Feed, such as Sponsored Stories, are much more effective than typical display ads. In these ads, marketers can share links to vibrant video, text, and photo content in the one place over a billion people check regularly—their News Feeds. And now marketers can target these ads based on a user’s browsing and search activity. Users, in turn, can like, share and comment on them.
Just imagine that you’re Nike. Someone visits your online store to check out the Fuelband, but leaves without buying it. Seconds later, you could be on Facebook, showing that user an amazing video about the wearable self-quantification device. The user watches the video, and reads comments from others gushing about how the Fuelband has changed their lives. Compelled, the user returns to the Nike site and makes the purchase. We’ve always dreamed of advertising like this, and now we can make it happen.
Even more exciting is retargeting truly new customers with News Feed ads based on the terms they’ve entered into sites like Yahoo!, Bing and Google. Imagine, this time, that you’re Allstate, and a user searches for car insurance quotes. Immediately, you could be in their News Feed presenting a video of persuasive testimonials from Allstate clients who love their agents. In other words, you’re able to drive a conversion for a fraction of the $70 that you would have paid for a click via SEM.
This is all extremely exciting stuff, but you can’t jump into it unprepared. First off, you need the right data partner if you want to effectively target these key consumers—one that offers comprehensive site and search retargeting options. After all, precision is the name of the game here.
You also want to adopt a different attitude to News Feed ads than you would with Facebook ads that appear on the right rail. These right rail ads—much more akin to standard display—are all about having a good picture and a strong/concise call-to-action. Conversely, ads in the News Feed are a great opportunity to target users with fantastic content, so you want to make sure that your brand publishing wing is on the game.
These ads aren’t static, but rather the start of social conversations. They can be liked, shared and commented upon. You need community managers monitoring these ads and addressing any comments that arise, and you need smart data scientists who can digest all this new data (available via API) and transform it into actionable recommendations.
This is a lot to take in, but that’s because this is such a revolutionary development. Embrace it, and prepare to advertise online like you never have before.