Facebook’s plan to go after even more advertising dollars has been leaked; and starting in Q1 2014, the way companies engage audiences on the social network will never be the same.
All of these insights come from a leaked 32-slide presentation meant exclusively for Facebook’s preferred marketing developer partners, titled “Facebook for Business: Video on Facebook,” breaks down Facebook video ads and the company’s pitch to businesses large and small.
Facebook lays out the argument for why marketers should move their money from TV, radio and other social media sites — why spend money on ads elsewhere when you can reach a bigger audience and target your audience with more specificity on Facebook?
The Biggest Audience
Facebook argues its newsfeed has a larger audience than any of its competitors, including YouTube, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Twitter and Pinterest combined. According to the social networking giant, you can reach 179 million unique people in the U.S. each month and 128 million unique people daily. People aren’t just logging in once a day either; research shows people check Facebook 10–15 times each day.
When it comes to audiences companies covet, like adults 18–24, Facebook reaches a higher percentage on a daily basis than major TV networks. With primetime TV ads sometimes costing hundreds of thousands of dollars for just 30 seconds of airtime, using Facebook to reach potential customers is a more cost-effective solution.
Looking at the critical 25–34 demo, the gap is even more pronounced. Compared to TV networks, Facebook can increase the reach of a brand anywhere from 125 to 160 percent during the daytime. During primetime, Facebook can extend the reach of businesses more than 25 percent. In Facebook’s eyes it’s an easy decision; why would any marketer or brand actively choose to be seen by fewer users?
Targeting that Works
Targeting is Facebook’s second biggest argument for why you should move marketing dollars toward Silicon Valley. Facebook has a treasure trove of data about its users, from interests to ages to locations and more, and more data is being voluntarily added every second. All of this data is used to make sure ads are seen by the audiences brands want, which ultimately improves the effectiveness and increases ROI.
The leaked deck tells marketers that in narrowly targeted campaigns, the average online reach is 38 percent accurate, but on Facebook the average reach is 89 percent accurate. That’s a direct shot at YouTube and Twitter, where a lot of demographic data is indirectly inferred, and therefore not always as accurate.
Facebook’s newsfeed delivers relevant messages directly to target audiences, meaning marketers aren’t wasting time and budgets on non-target audiences, or gaining impressions from the same person over and over. In other words, Facebook is selling its ads as laser guided missiles, instead of the cluster-bombs being offered on TV and other social networking sites.
Prime Digital Real Estate
The proposed auto-play video ads will show up in newsfeeds, not on the side of the screen, and would be optimized for mobile users as well. According to Facebook’s leaked presentation, ads put into a linear experience, like Facebook’s newsfeed, are nine times more effective than ads put on a tradition web page.
On mobile, the newsfeed is the main event of the Facebook experience. With no banner or side ads for competition, video ads in the newsfeed will take center stage. According to Facebook, its mobile page post ads are 10 percent more likely to draw attention than pre-roll ads, 38 percent more effective than banner ads and 120 percent more effective than pop-up ads. When forced to make a decision on where to spend a finite marketing budget, that’s a big deal for businesses looking to get the most bang for their buck.
While this all sounds appealing, none of this matters to marketers unless it delivers results in the form of impressions, clicks, shares, visits and sales.
The leaked deck included several case studies including a comScore study that looked at gaming ad campaigns spread across a variety of platforms, including video, and compared them to gaming campaigns that also included Facebook ads. The results are impressive, companies that utilized Facebook saw twice as many trailer views and drove 71 percent more traffic to retailers for the game. What does this mean for marketers, moving some of your budget to Facebook can make a big difference when it comes to impressions and sales.
Facebook ads have been a go-to ingredient to for any marketing campaign for years, but the advent of video ads in the news feed adds new possibilities for any business wanting to get their brand out. Commercials currently shot for TV can be edited down for mobile users, and static images could soon look tame in comparison. Soon, disregarding the advantages of these videos could be like not have a social media strategy at all.
One more factor that needs to be taken into consideration is the auto-play of videos that are already popping up. Since September, Facebook has been testing videos that auto-play on mobile devices. Previously, videos had to be clicked on and users had to wait for them to load; now that’s no longer the case. These auto-play videos are live to all users, and you should expect to see more and more of them going forward. Facebook says that video ads in the newsfeed will not auto-play, but it is a possibility in the future.