Facebook’s end goal: To be the cross-platform platform

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Facebook is making its pitch to games developers: to survive you need to be cross-platform. To be effectively cross-platform, you need to dance with Facebook.

While Facebook celebrated another successful quarter last week, there was a little bit of troubling news about the future of the company’s games economy. Chief Financial Officer Dave Wehner summed up Facebook’s games dilemma in the quarterly earnings call:

Our current games payment revenue comes entirely from desktop usage and we are seeing declines in the number of people using Facebook on desktop, a trend that will make growing this business challenging going forward.

So at Casual Connect in San Francisco, Facebook made its sales pitch to game developers from all over the world: go mobile with us.

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How to navigate the Facebook ad campaign maze: Part II

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In part I of our series on strategies for navigating the Facebook ad campaign maze, we looked at how marketers can successfully launch and manage their Facebook campaigns. Today’s post examines the best ways to get the most out of your Facebook ad creative.

Hint: size does matter!

As I wrote in a previous Inside Facebook post, Facebook has made it clear to marketers that it wants – and its users expect – a compelling, visually appealing reason to engage with a brand’s ad. That requires smart, compelling creative that recognizes the intelligence of the average Facebook user. No more generic ad creative or text-heavy wall posts. Instead, those must be replaced with high-quality ad creative that uses engaging images and limited text.

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Optimize your Facebook advertising performance with the right bidding

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Facebook is running one of the largest auctions on the Internet and it enables anyone to buy advertising space on Facebook through the online auction. However, the auction doesn’t work like a traditional one: the highest bid is not always enough to win it. A well-performing ad – e.g. high click-through rate and positive ad engagement – with a combination of high enough bid will allow you to win the auction and get your ad shown on Facebook.

Selecting the most suitable bidding type helps you to improve your campaign performance. At the moment Facebook offers four different options: Cost per click (CPC), Cost per thousand impressions (CPM), Optimized CPM (oCPM) and Cost per action (CPA). There is no golden rule for the right type, thus I recommend you to test different options. However, there are some tips for you how to go forward with testing.

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Study: How can retargeting supercharge a Facebook ad campaign?

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More advertisers are discovering Facebook’s complex ad models, such as retargeting via Facebook Exchange and Website Custom Audiences. How effective can these techniques be? A new study by AdRoll, a Facebook Exchange partner, showed that by using both FBX and Website Custom Audiences, the CPM of News Feed ad impressions on mobile was 57 percent lower than desktop, generating a 10 percent higher click-through rate. It led to a 61 percent lower cost-per-click for News Feed ads on mobile compared to desktop.

The study took into account more than 800 million impressions from 215 AdRoll clients running retargeting campaigns on mobile and desktop.

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SPMD SHIFT Q2 report: Which verticals grew on Facebook?

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Facebook’s Q2 performance has earned rave reviews, but how did advertisers do?

SHIFT, a Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer, broke down Q2 ad performance by vertical. Some highlights:

  • SHIFT saw entertainment achieve the highest CTR in Q2 at 1.8%, with CPG not far behind at 0.9%.
  • SHIFT saw Auto and Entertainment achieve the most efficient CPC in Q2.
  • Auto had the highest increase in CTR in Q2 compared to Q1 with a 48% increase.
  • The top five verticals through SHIFT’s platform (Auto, CPG, Entertainment, FinServ and Telco) achieved 200% or more increase in CTR year over year.
  • The increase in CTR across the board means advertisers are reaching the right people at the right time, and as a result they are taking action.

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The ultimate guide to measuring earned media value on Facebook

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Brands ask this question all the time — how do you measure the value of earned media on Facebook?

Some just multiply by $5 per thousand impressions (or whoever can provide the highest earned media value multiplier) to report the highest figure. Not the most sophisticated approach, but it might be good enough for companies that sell sugar water. Certainly better than pure fan count, since EMV correlates more with engagement than the size of the fan base.

But unless you can tie EMV (Earned Media Value) to actual sales, you’ve got some level of hocus pocus here.

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Infographic: Inside a large-scale Facebook advertising campaign

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You’ve seen major advertising campaigns from big brands land in your News Feed.

But how did they come to fruition?

SocialCode, a Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer, has handled social  campaigns for some of the biggest brands in the world. They’ve worked with more than 30 percent of the Fortune 100 list. The company recently developed an infographic, showing how brands work with agencies to create engaging and interesting ad campaigns on Facebook.

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Facebook’s future looks bright: video, Audience Network and mobile are keys

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Facebook is knocking on the door of bringing in $3 billion in a single quarter — and that might just be a stepping stone.

The company announced Wednesday that Q2 was its highest-performance quarter to date, with revenues of $2.9 billion and worldwide growth in revenue-per-user. They’re just getting started.

Much of Facebook’s economic growth of late has come from mobile. The highly-touted mobile app install ad has led to more than 350 million app installs, and the ad format is moving beyond games and into retailers and consumer packaged goods verticals. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that U.S. users spend an average of 40 minutes per day (including 1 of 5 minutes on mobile), but he wants a bigger slice of the digital media pie.

Mobile now accounts for 62 percent of Facebook’s ad revenue, and that figure could rise in the next couple years as Facebook develops more relevant and targeted video ads in concert with Audience Network — both of which are still in their infancies.

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How to navigate the Facebook ad campaign maze: part I

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Now that summer is here, it’s a good time to reflect on the past six months of Facebook advertising. The year started with a mega deal — the company’s $19 billion cash-and-stock deal for social messaging app WhatsApp — and has evolved along with the way with the introduction of more advanced direct marketing-based ad targeting features and tools.

What’s been clear throughout each of these announcements and changes to its advertising platform is that Facebook is no longer just an engagement or branding platform for marketers. Now, it is a highly diversified engagement plus direct-response performance-based advertising platform.

Facebook now offers advertisers a growing set of ad solutions that help generate real, measurable business results. By implementing these ad types, marketers can begin to realize the full customer acquisition benefits of Facebook advertising.

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The Buy button — Facebook’s next big thing?

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Facebook is testing a way for advertisers to make the direct sales pitch to people, and it could be a game-changer for advertisers and retailers. Through the Buy button, users can complete a transaction while staying in Facebook.

Marketers are already excited about the possibilities. Among the call to action buttons, the one closest to the bottom of the funnel has been Shop Now or Buy Now, prompting the user to finish a transaction on the external website. Even if someone doesn’t complete the transaction after clicking Buy, advertisers can know that the user is interested in making a purchase of that particular product, and they can target them with ads for that specific item.

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