A company’s online presence and marketing strategies are more important now than ever before. People are spending more and more time online everyday. More specifically here in the United States, people are not only spending more time online in general, they are spending more time using mobile devices to navigate the internet and social media via apps.
Today’s average United States consumer spends five hours a day on their mobile device. The biggest portion of that time is spent on you guessed it . . . Facebook. Of all time spent on American mobile devices 19% of the total time on mobile devices is spent on the Facebook app. And there are currently over 1 billion daily active users on Facebook via mobile devices.
Facebook has been the social media king for almost a decade now. Initially matching MySpace’s unique monthly visitor numbers for the first time in April of 2008. It continued to gain momentum and there has been no real threat to its popularity for quite some time. Even tech giant Google has tried and failed to usurp Facebook.
One of the major reasons that Facebook has been able to not only hold but gain ground over the years is their constant evolution and adaptation of new technologies. This applies not only to the site in general but for our purposes more specifically how they continue to update, improve, and add new ways to reach potential customers through their platform.
A brief history of Facebook advertising milestones.
Timeline of Facebook marketing firsts.
2006 – Facebook officially partners with Microsoft, making the software giant the exclusive provider of banner ads and sponsored links.
2008 – Commercial businesses or entities are allowed to create a page for their business for free.
2009 – As well as allowing page owners to setup and manage their own ads for the first time, Facebook rolls out more sophisticated targeting options including language and geographical based targeting.
2011 – Sponsored stories are introduced in the News Feed (desktop version).
2012 – Mobile ads are introduced for the first time.
2013 – Facebook introduces lookalike audiences.
2013 – Retargeted ads begin to appear in the News Feed.
In addition to opening up more avenues to allow advertisers more opportunities to reach potential customers, Facebook also continued to provide marketers with new ways to engage with users on the platform.
Featured ad formats available on Facebook.
Photo Ads – Features a photograph of your choosing.
Video Ads – Features a video of your choosing.
Carousel Ads – Similar to photo and video ads, the carousel ad allows for the showing of multiple photos or videos within a single ad.
In addition to these advertising options, Facebook continues to unveil new variations of ads in hopes of allowing marketers to reach their desired audiences.
Newly unveiled Facebook advertising options.
Launched just last year, canvas ads load rich, full-screen ads within the Facebook application itself. Canvas ads are attached to a News Feed Ad and when they are clicked a full screen ad instantly fills the screen.
The canvas ad was designed with the intention to keep users in the application longer as well as freeing users from the burden of being forced to wait for a possibly sluggish mobile website to load. Canvas ads can be configured to be an interactive experience with animations, videos, tilt-to-view images, full catalogues, or carousels within the canvas ad itself.
The latest offering from Facebook is what call a collection ad. These ads are placed in the News Feed of the mobile app. When the ad is clicked it will take the user to a photo or video (your choice) with up to four pictures of featured product below. If a user clicks one of the product photos they are taken to a larger catalogue, or collection, of product photos they can navigate through. At this point if another image is clicked they are directed to the advertiser’s site. The goal again being to win as many people over with the advertisement before having them leave the Facebook application.
Facebook Watch Tab
Facebook Watch tab is one of the newest innovations to be launched. Trying to take advantage of the already sizable time spent on the platform by users, Facebook has now launched the watch tab on the side of the home page. Clicking the tab allows users to watch original content produced for Facebook within the app itself. The shows’ 5-10 minute format open up even more advertising opportunities for marketers to reach viewers during “commercial” breaks.
More options for advertising on Facebook are on the way.
Facebook is not content with their current offerings and is looking to open up things even more in the coming weeks and months.
Ads are coming to Facebook Messenger.
After a brief testing period in markets such as Australia and Thailand, Facebook has decided to go global with Facebook Messenger Ads. The ads will be targeted and specific to users and will be a prominent fixture of the app’s home screen when it launches. No official release date has been announced as of yet, but many expect ads could appear on Facebook Messenger before the end of the year.
Facebook household targeting is coming.
The social media giant is now looking to have household targeting capabilities in the near future. Using public information and profile tidbits such as name, location, family members, etc. Facebook is developing ways to determine the members of a household and target them across the multiple devices they use. Much like commercials on TV are the same message delivered to a family (or multiple audience members) all at once, the aim is to determine the household and distribute the messaging to each member to have a better chance at success and allow for data to be gained on how the ads are doing based on household income and composition.
Harnessing the power and tools of Facebook.
As you can see Facebook currently has multiple ways to engage a desired audience and is constantly looking for new ways to grow the array of available tools for marketers to use. But as remarkable as those tools are, they can only get you so far on their own.
Using current and actionable data from sources such as EDA and RigDig as well as building custom audiences from that data allows you to more accurately target and engage with the desired audience and make the most out of all the tools Facebook has made available to you.