How effective is Facebook’s Audience Network? A new study by Fiksu looked at the Audience Network performance of eight of its clients, finding that Audience Network ads outperformed News Feed and display in key areas such as average revenue per user and conversion rate.
While News Feed ads brought the highest percentage of returning users (65.16 percent), Audience Network was stronger than display at 58.55 percent. Fiksu also found that the cost per purchasing user for the Audience Network was roughly a fifth of display.
Facebook has been adding call to action buttons, including a way for page owners to have one in their cover photo area, but there’s one call-to-action option that could be huge for mobile advertisers: Call.
Eric Holmen, the President of Invoca, feels that adding a call CTA button would be a huge help for direct response mobile advertisers. Holmen pointed out that businesses such as health and auto insurance providers reaping the most value from a call CTA button on mobile.
As Custom Audiences grows into a more mature offering, businesses could target ads based on phone numbers gathered in current lists. For instance, insurance providers could target ads to current customers who need to renew their plan, offering them a special rate. Holmen discussed the implications of a call CTA button on mobile ads:
Facebook is having a lot of success with call to action. If you look at the larger story on Facebook’s platform, they’re helping advertisers get more efficiency through call-to-action. … They’re also allowing targeting based on phone numbers, so if you have a customer list that has phone numbers or email addresses, you can upload that and target ads based on existing customers. Those phone numbers are already part of the identification. They’re testing click-to-call technology, in a very small scale, as part of their ad platform. So you can see these things lining up.
Prepare to hear that term a lot more as Facebook develops ad targeting and measurement platforms like Atlas, LiveRail and the Audience Network. Facebook has shifted its focus from providing advertising at scale to providing an an ad solution where companies can target the right consumers.
In a whiteboard session Wednesday, Facebook explained to reporters the history and future of their advertising platform. With Atlas, large-scale advertisers can measure deeper and weigh effectiveness of Facebook ads against other types of messaging. With the Audience Network, advertisers can target their customers on external sites, using the same information they have on Facebook. With LiveRail, publishers have been able to more effectively leverage video as an ad option.
It all leads to Facebook aiming for a bite of the television ad apple.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the largest annual sales events. Digital marketing agency 3Q Digital analyzed the performances of Facebook advertising campaigns for two of their clients during this period — a leading children’s educational toy subscription service and a leading online jewelry supplier. For one client, Black Friday ads produced a 326 percent higher clickthrough rate and 60 percent lower cost per click than their normal evergreen ads.
3Q Digital Senior Director of Social Dayna Moon blogged about the results:
Desktop News Feed ads proved costlier with increased competition, even as mobile accounted for the majority of traffic. Tailored and holiday focused ads with a clear call to action, combined with Website Custom Audience targeting, produced tremendous performance for the jewelry supplier’s “burst”-style sale. And campaigns for both clients showed the challenge of scaling performance across audience segmentations of different sizes.
Many Facebook advertisers started sequencing their content well before Black Friday or Cyber Monday, and it appears to have paid off. Facebook Marketing Partner Marin Software noticed that there was a curious spike in conversions from Facebook ads (as well as cost per click) around Nov. 21.
Oddly enough, the clickthrough rate of Marin’s clients’ ads dove around that time, before continuing its ascent on Thanksgiving.
Marin Software Senior Manager of Global Communications Greg Kunkel talked with Inside Facebook about this odd spike. He said that last year, Marin Software noticed an uptick in key performance indicators two weeks or so before Thanksgiving. They wanted to see if this year held a similar trend.
Facebook increasingly has new ways to target potential customers and current fans through advertising, but what is the best way to use this technology?
Marcus Ho, Director of Social Media for Social Metric, explains how smart, targeted Facebook ads can be the key to finding the right customers:
Facebook can act as a powerful tool that helps companies establish their brand identities, education people about products and services, increase sales and leads, and raise brand awareness.
Unfortunately, few companies know how to use Facebook effectively to meet those goals. That’s not particularly surprising since Facebook doesn’t offer companies much assistance. Instead, you’re left on your own trying to figure out how you can possibly use the platform to your advantage.
Despite what a lot of social media gurus say, you can’t rely on Facebook to do the work for you. More often than not, you have to analyze your needs and craft a strategy that targets those needs. In many cases, you’ll find that you get the best results by doing the opposite of what Facebook wants you to do.
Ho also shared an infographic from Social Metric (below), breaking down the most effective ways to target people on Facebook.
Yes, it’s true that advertising on Facebook — especially during the holiday season — is getting very costly. But Facebook Marketing Partner Kenshoo found that with that increased cost comes an increase in return on investment.
Kenshoo noted in a recent blog post that the aggregate average CPM of Facebook ads increased 7x, comparing Nov. 2013 to Nov. 2014. But that also comes with a 5x lift in ROI in that same time period.
Many pre-holiday reports suggested that this could be the biggest season yet for Facebook advertising. According to Facebook Marketing Partner Nanigans, ecommerce companies are allocating more money to Facebook mobile ads — and it’s paying off.
Nanigans found that among ecommerce clients, there has been a 132 percent lift in early holiday (Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday) mobile ad spend this year compared to last year.
These clients are also seeing solid results on desktop with 66 percent higher clickthrough rate on Thanksgiving than Monday and a 36 percent lift in CTR on Black Friday, compared to that Monday. Overall, the mobile return on investment for ecommerce clients on Cyber Monday rose 286 percent from the previous Monday. (more…)
One of the first steps in leading a customer down the sales funnel is also one that Facebook specializes in — awareness. Facebook Marketing Partner SocialCode recently published a guide showing how to publish broader campaigns that gauge interest.
Ben Weiss, SocialCode’s Marketing Content Strategist, outlined some strategies companies can use, such as targeting existing users with Custom Audiences, retargeting users with Website Custom Audiences and targeting based on preferences and lifestyle.
Weiss also called out for brands to consider quality content before thinking about advertising:
Whether introducing a new product, reinforcing brand identity or breathing life into a product that’s losing market share, awareness campaigns should focus on quality creative that builds positive attitudes rather than calling directly for purchases. Invest in engaging ad types that:
- Tell stories about those affected by your brand.
- Reward those who pay attention with witty, useful, clever or funny content.
- Naturally integrate branded logos, colors and tone into visuals and copy to drive recall.
Facebook’s call to action buttons have been working incredibly well for direct-response advertisers looking to bring users into their store’s page or have them download an item.
According to AdRoll, the overall clickthrough rate lift from using a CTA button is 2.85x.
AdRoll senior product marketing manager Shringar Pangal discussed the effectiveness of Facebook’s call to action buttons:
Any kind of message—email, blog, singing telegram—is more effective when it tells the person who gets it exactly how to respond. On an ad, a clear call to action (CTA) lets the audience know exactly what to expect when they click, as well as what your brand has to offer.
In February 2014, Facebook jumped on the CTA bandwagon, adding the option for one of five CTA buttons on their News Feed ads:
- Shop Now
- Book Now
- Learn More
- Sign Up
Since then, many advertisers have incorporated these CTA buttons on their ads. Performance has been strong—really strong. A CTA button has got to be one of the simplest tricks for increasing the performance of a Facebook ad campaign.
AdRoll also put together an infographic, below, showing the popularity and effectiveness of call to action buttons on Facebook.