The Evolution of Facebook Advertising

Facebook’s Impact

The innovation driven by Facebook in the social media advertising world is unparalleled. Facebook advertising, as we know it, began in 2008 when Facebook introduced the ability for commercial entities to create a “page.”

The page function was introduced around the same time the mobile version of the platform was introduced. And so began Facebook’s domination in the social advertising game.

The platform evolved from just advertising a page to advertising a video, app and more much. The ability to advertise supplementary media is what set Facebook apart.

Enter Instagram

If you didn’t know it, Instagram is now a part of Facebook. Sold for a whopping 1 billion in 2012, Facebook suddenly had a new tool on its hands. The real kicker came last year in 2015 when Facebook introduced Instagram Ads.

These ads now allow over 300 million daily users of Instagram to view ads as they scroll through photos. For a small business, this means instant access to a large, varied customer base of diverse interests. And since Instagram is natively visual, the advertising is potentially even more effective.

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Instagram offers the ability to introduce native ads from within the platform of the app. This embeds your advertisement seamlessly into a user’s scroll feed. This means your advertisement is less disruptive for users, making them more likely to inquire more about your product.

The process of implementing the ad strategy is the same. You can still utilize keywords and include hashtags to reach your audience. With these ads, you have access to the massive Instagram audience. Plus, Instagram is pretty fun!

The Power of Custom Audiences

One of the major tools Facebook has improved and innovated upon has been the use of custom audiences. With the new Facebook pixel, Facebook collects information from users who enter your site but don’t complete a purchase and creates custom audiences based on this data. Facebook has evolved its platform to enable specific targeting at this level.

So what can do you do with these custom audiences?

 Target based on user location

 Enable retargeting campaigns using emails entered into your site

 Create ad campaigns using email lists

 Save audience information to use custom audiences for different types of ad

Dynamic Ads and Beyond

Facebook has since introduced dynamic ads which change depending on what your customers view on your site. When users visit your business’ site, due to the pixel, Facebook will record what your users browse and use the information to serve ads relating to those specific products next time they browse Facebook.

Dynamic ads have proved wildly successful for both businesses and Facebook. Business owners have reported astounding results due to the specificity of dynamic ads and the fact that they can change from person to person.

No longer do businesses have to go into the ad tools again and again to change each ad. With dynamic ads, you can set certain parameters serving your business’ target audience and each ad will be custom tailored to fit that audience.

Facebook Live

“The average user of its service watches a live video three times longer than any other type of video.”

This statement, taken from MarketingLand, is the proof of things to come in Facebook’s relatively recent innovation into live video making. In fact, it’s Facebook who is shelling out the big bucks in order to reach large publishers and big names to help promote live video.

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Mark Zuckerberg views this feature as the future of the platform. In the coming years, the content on your timeline will be more video than today.

This means that as a small business, you have the opportunity to jump on the bandwagon while this feature is getting hyped. Chances are that live video will begin to be used by more small businesses once large publishers start promoting its features more and more.

So look in your marketing arsenal and begin thinking of how you can implement live video in your timeline.

Organic Canvas Ads

As of June 22nd, your business page will be able to utilize Canvas Ads like organic page posts. Canvas Ads have the ability to display multiple images, online videos, or photo carousels in one ad once the user clicks on the post.

The key difference is that the load times for these ads, which will be mobile only, can be up to 10x faster than in-app ads. If you have multiple media which you can use for an idea, using the new organic post Canvas ads are a great option to get interactive with your users.

Engage your users even faster with the load times and develop a running dialogue with Canvas posts which leave your users enticed to stay afterward.

The Creative Hub

An upcoming platform, called Creative Hub, will provide businesses with the ability to work and test on ads in real time while also being able to communicate internally within the hub. This eliminates the need for other tools like Slack to communicate.

The goal of this tool is to provide a way for users to create mock-ups, or showcase various ads that they’d like like to run. As a business, you can create multiple ads and see how each one will interact with your consumer base. Want to test it out or send it to others to review? Imagine everything in front of you, laid out at your fingertips – literally!

What’s Next?

Facebook will continue to integrate messaging, advertising and mobile together seamlessly into its platform. According to AdWeek, Facebook will be seeking to provide more collaborative tools for marketers.

In the following years, Facebook will be seeking to create the ultimate suite for its users. This suite will be geared towards mobile and video, as we are almost certain that the majority of Facebook content will be video in the next couple of years.

Start getting your video and Canvas Ads together and get ready for the future of Facebook.

Menachem Ani

Menachem Ani ()

Online Advertising and eCommerce Expert with over a decade of success developing high-impact marketing strategies for online retailers and lead-generation clients.

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