SHIFT Q1 report: call to action buttons, video are winners for Facebook advertisers


One of the most popular ad tools for Facebook marketers in Q1 was the call to action button. As Facebook adds more calls to action, brands have been flocking to the tool as a way to get installs, signups and conversions.

James Borow, CEO of Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer SHIFT, talked with Inside Facebook about how successful call to action buttons were in Q1 2014, as well as the way that more advertisers are adopting video. Borow told Inside Facebook that when a marketer uploads a video directly to Facebook, rather than a site like YouTube, the ad tends to perform 5 times better. Additionally, among SHIFT clients, there has been an 80 percent increase in video spending on Facebook.

Inside Facebook: How was this year’s Q1 for Facebook advertisers?

James Borow: Q1 has been incredibly strong on Facebook. Year over year, in comparison to Q1 2013, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in spend. The News Feed in mobile, in particular, dominates. We really are seeing a persistent shift to mobile from desktop. I think that we’re seeing that performance of the channel continues to be incredibly compelling, in terms of actually delivering ROI for the advertisers. Facebook is becoming not just a social channel, but a marketing channel for meeting business goals. That’s really come into clear focus this quarter.

IF: What are some emerging trends you’ve seen in Q1?

JB: We’ve seen a lot of traction around Facebook’s call to action. The ability now to customize call to action within News Feed ads in particular has been incredibly successful. I think Facebook has done a great job of making sure that the ad types are really customizable for advertisers to reach their goals. The call to actions have been huge.

We’ve also seen video continue to gain traction. We’re also seeing — in a small amount — leveraging Instagram content within the News Feed for advertising.

IF: What are you seeing from clients who are embracing video?

JB: When our advertisers are using Facebook’s native video format, as opposed to something like a YouTube link, the performance is almost 5 times better. That’s a really telling stat. Similar to call to action, as advertisers begin embracing the native format, you see incredibly strong performance in general. And from a quarterly spend standpoint, we’ve seen an over 80 percent increase in spending (from Q1 2013).

IF: Have you seen any kind of significant data around the new Custom Audiences for websites?

JB: We’re seeing our advertisers really becoming reliant on the Facebook pixel and Custom Audiences in general. Again, it’s another great example of when you leverage the tools that Facebook has created, performance is significantly better. Things like Facebook’s Custom Audiences can leverage Facebook data as well as your own data.

IF: What are some things that have dipped down from Q4 or Q1 of last year? What are some things that advertisers are moving away from? What’s trending downward?

JB: Fan acquisition is something that we’ve seen a dramatic shift away from and we’ve been excited that it’s finally happening, frankly. People are starting to understand that Facebook is a channel to actually achieve your business goals.

An overwhelming majority of our advertisers are now focused on how Facebook as a channel can help them meet their business goals, as opposed to acquiring and building a community. That’s something that’s going to continue to accelerate.

IF: Have you seen advertisers start to diversify their social spending away from Facebook and onto other channels?

JB: What we’re seeing — and we believe this is across the board —  is it’s not money that is being shifted away from Facebook. These are dollars that are being shifted from traditional display toward social channels like Facebook and Twitter. Facebook continues to be the largest channels, but we don’t believe that something like Twitter is cannibalizing Facebook spend. Instead, what you’re seeing is a shift from display to social because the targeting in social is just better than the targeting within display, in particular within mobile.

Top image courtesy of Facebook.

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