This is part one of a two-part blog post series. In a previous blog post, we discussed the ability of a brand’s Facebook updates to reach its audience in an organic manner. To extend beyond organic and viral reach, Business Pages can utilize the advertising features within Facebook. Among the benefits of doing so is the chance for your updates and the brand itself to be exposed to a broader audience.
The first question a brand manager may have, however, is “Why would I pay to have a presence in Facebook?” Facebook has historically been a social media channel that allows you to reach prospects and existing customers free of cost. So why start paying now?
To answer that question, let’s look at the fundamental components of Facebook Ads:
Imagine the following scenario. An Internet user lands on a page on a website, which begins to load. At that very same moment the website sends out a “bid request” to thousands of advertisers saying: “There’s a user here who is a 36-years-old Caucasian female, lives in Pennsylvania, has two dogs, and who has recently searched for skinny jeans and fitness books. How much are you willing to bid to display your ad on this page?” In about 100 milliseconds an auction is run and the winner is allowed to place its ad on the page.
What’s staggering is that the whole process takes place in 300-500 milliseconds, causing no visible delay to the user, and that this same process is repeated every time a web page loads for every ad slot on the page.
If this sounds like a marketer’s dream come true, it’s because it is. Good news is, it’s not a dream anymore. It’s reality and, as technology improves, it’s changing interactive advertising as we know it.
The process I described above is called “Real Time Bidding”, and what creates the opportunity to serve ads that are so relevant to end users is known as “Big Data”. According to AdAge, “Big Data”, when applied to digital marketing, can include online searches, website log files, consumer-uploaded images, retail transactions, loyalty card information, email communications, mobile location information, and social media commentary, just to name a few. These are all different “channels” that consumers use in their quest to find solutions to their problems, make purchases, and more in general to improve their life.
Needless to say, the most popular example of Real Time Bidding meshed with Big Data is the Google Display Network, which is becoming increasingly more powerful in its targeting capabilities.
So, how is all of this information going to affect you and your business, and change the landscape of digital advertising as we know it?
Think about it. – The nature of digital advertising has long been “one-to-one”, that is, who clicked on an ad and who converted. The user goes online, runs a search, clicks an ad, and makes a purchase.
Not so anymore. – Often consumers are more complex than ever and use multiple channels either before and after running a keyword search, and the ads served to them while they are on those other channels are indeed very relevant to their needs.
I hate to say this, but keyword search alone may not be enough anymore to achieve the largest visibility and the best possible ROI from your marketing efforts.
As a marketer, you must take action now to leverage the power of Big Data in order to offer your prospects and customers a more “customized-to-their-needs” experience which will ultimately increase your ROI and profits.
So, when planning your next online marketing effort, ask yourself this question: “How can I have display, remarketing, video, and social media advertising work in synergy with my keyword search campaign?” – Being able to answer that question effectively could make the difference between a successful and a not-so successful digital campaign.
Last month we announced that Facebook was testing new, larger ad formats on its social network. Now Facebook is saying that it will cut its 27 ad products by more than half within the next six months in order to simplify advertising on the network.
Sponsored Stories contain a social context to the advertisement as they inform a Facebook user if their friends have engaged with the advertiser on the platform. They typically appear in the right-hand column of pages throughout Facebook, and are also eligible to appear in a user’s News Feed. Sponsored Stories can be shown to Facebook users who already “like” an advertiser’s page or to users whose friends “like” an advertiser’s page. In addition, Facebook users can like the advertiser’s Facebook Page directly from the ad unit or they can click through to the advertiser’s page.
Some of the various Sponsored Stories options are:
Facebook also plans to deprecate Facebook Questions and Online Offers as soon as July.