Adobe Q3 2014 report: Organic impressions down 50 percent YoY

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Adobe, a Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer, studied the Facebook performance of its clients in Q3, finding that the News Feed is increasingly becoming pay-to-play.

Adobe found that organic impressions are down 50 percent from last year, but paid impressions only rose 5 percent year-over-year.

Joe Martin, a Senior Analyst at Adobe Digital index, noted that these figures would likely change in Q4, as brands up their budget for the holiday shopping season:

We expect brands to invest more in social during the holiday season as well. As social becomes a bigger part of the holiday commerce experience, brands and retailers are going to want to make sure their messaging is being seen.

Adobe predicts that paid impressions for retail will grow 10 percent to 20 percent during Q4.

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Infographic: Facebook ads in Q3 — YoY increases in CPC, revenue

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Kenshoo, a Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer, released its latest quarterly figures for search and Facebook ads.

While Facebook ads are definitely getting more expensive (cost per click is up 28 percent quarter-over-quarter and 114 percent year-over-year), they are paying off. Kenshoo reports that clickthrough rate is up 86 percent Q0Q and 148 percent YoY. Revenue from Facebook ads has risen 162 percent YoY.

Here’s a look at the Facebook and social ad performance of Kenshoo clients in Q3.

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Facebook updates ad campaign structure: targeting, placement, bid settings at ad set level

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Facebook today announced changes to its ad campaign structure. Now, advertisers will be able to choose targeting, placement and bid settings at the ad set level. Inside Facebook reported these changes in August, but the company announced that the rollout is starting today.

There are three tiers in the Facebook ad campaign structure: campaign at the top, ad set in the middle, and the ads themselves as the end product.

Facebook blogged about the changes, explaining what they mean for advertisers:

This is a subtle but important change that helps businesses follow best practices for advertising on Facebook. Moving audiences, bidding and placement to the ad set level helps advertisers keep these settings consistent across all of the ads within an ad set. This makes it easier to test different ad creative (links, imagery, copy, video, etc.) against the same budget, audience and placement. That way advertisers can see which ad creative works best for each ad set they create, and make more informed decisions about the specific ads they use in their campaigns.

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Facebook offers double reward on ad coding bugs

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Through the end of the year, researchers who alert Facebook to Whitehat coding bugs in advertisements will receive double the usual bounty.

Colin Greene, a Security Engineer at Facebook, explained in a blog post:

Starting today and extending through the end of 2014, all Whitehat bugs in our ads code will receive double bounties. We recently completed a comprehensive security audit of this area ourselves. We found and fixed a number of security bugs but would like to encourage additional scrutiny from Whitehats to see what we might have missed. Also, since the vast majority of bug reports we work on with the Whitehat community are focused on the more common parts of Facebook code, we hope to encourage researchers to become more familiar with the surface area of ads to better protect the businesses that use them.

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Privacy concerns with Atlas? Don’t believe the hype

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Facebook’s recent re-launch of Atlas unearths an intriguing privacy concern. Should consumer data collected under the premise of social networking be shared with third party publishers, potentially exposing it to any advertiser?

Facebook consumes only 18 percent of its users in app time; 40 percent is of users’ time is spent on games and entertainment apps, which own a fraction of the user data that Facebook does. This wealth of data that Facebook owns harbors a huge blue ocean of opportunity for app developers and advertisers alike – making the employment of Atlas an ROI gold mine.

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What can a $1 Facebook ad budget do?

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My colleague Christine Brewer wrote a quick article for our friends over at Canada Adopts. I quickly made an ad with just a $1 lifetime budget and some light targeting to people who like adoption, foster care, and are standing for other similar causes.

I didn’t think much would come of it with such a large audience and such a small budget.

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New Facebook ad objective: Local awareness

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Small businesses wanting to target Facebook users closer to them have a new advertising objective: Local awareness.

Facebook announced this feature today, giving marketers the ability to target users who are within a certain radius of the business’ address:

For many local business owners, marketing is just one of the many duties they must tackle every day. That’s why we built a new feature to make advertising for local businesses easier and more effective — local awareness ads.

With local awareness ads, businesses can quickly and easily find new customers by showing ads to groups of people who are near that business’s neighborhood. Local awareness ads are built to be more cost-effective than traditional advertising channels like newspaper while offering more precise targeting and greater reach. We think they’re the best way for local businesses to reach people near them, and the best way for people who use Facebook to discover more useful things in their area.

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Facebook’s Audience Network: Now available worldwide

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Facebook’s Audience Network, announced first at f8, is now available to more marketers worldwide. The company has opened up its advertising network that allows brands to utilize Facebook data to target consumers outside of the social network.

Facebook announced the global rollout in a blog post:

In addition to making the Audience Network more widely available, we’re also expanding the types of ads it displays. Along with app install and app engagement ads, the Audience Network now supports link ads, meaning any advertiser can use the network to drive traffic to its mobile website.

Businesses are already seeing strong results with the Audience Network. Relative to other Facebook campaigns, Walgreens increased its reach by 5% and improved its click-through rate by 4-5X during tests with the Audience Network.

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Study: Holiday shopping ads on Facebook should start well before December

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People say that the holiday shopping season starts earlier every year. Retail brands on Facebook should take note.

New data from Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer Marin Software shows that while brands traditionally go heavy on advertising in December, the most ROI-friendly activity happens two weeks before Thanksgiving — when people click on more Facebook ads.

Marin Software published a report outlining best practices this holiday season for Facebook advertisers: budget around user behavior, start early and sequence ad messaging, target based on intent and making sure ad campaigns are mobile-ready.

Marin’s Director of Product Marketing, Dan Morris, talked with Inside Facebook about strategies for the holiday season:

Advertisers are betting big in December. They’re investing heavily in advertising mid-December through Christmas. However, Facebook consumers may not be using Facebook to interact with ads during that same time period. We made the joke internally that, go figure, maybe Facebook users, instead of clicking on ads, they want to be sitting down and talking with friends and family. Consumers are starting to begin their shopping earlier and earlier every year.

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Is local the next big Facebook advertising market?

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It is well known that Facebook, as an advertising medium, is highly effective for big brands to get through to customers in a highly targeted and accountable way. Facebook partners offer some amazing technology and services catering to this customer group. Gaming companies have seen outstanding success using the Facebook platform for growing their user base and monetizing gamers. Facebook is the best proven sales Social channel for eCommerce merchants large and small.

A recent Business Insider report has analyzed the various well known social platforms and Facebook is ahead in terms of traffic, sales generated and engagement by a significant distance.

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