Back in 2012, Facebook introduced a new ad option called "Offers". Just as it sounds Offers enables brands to share a discount coupon with their Facebook audience - as explained by Facebook in their initial release:
"Offers are a free new way for businesses to share discounts and promotions directly from a Facebook Page. They can be distributed through the News Feed or promoted as Sponsored Stories. People can redeem Offers via email or on a mobile device."
In its original incarnation, offers would be posted to a business' Facebook Page (as above) and visitors would click on "Get Offer", which would result in them being sent an e-mail that they could show to the relevant business, in store, in order to redeem it.
Since then, Offers has undergone a range of changes and today, Facebook has announced their latest updates to the tool, which could make it a more enticing and interesting option for brands.
New Offer Options
As per Facebook's announcement:
"Now advertisers can share discounts and promotions where people spend most of their time-on mobile and on Facebook. Advertisers can decide how long their Offers run, who sees them, where they redeem them and more. We've also made it easier for people to claim and keep track of their claimed Offers through Facebook, and redeem them across devices or in-store."
Essentially, Offers has been re-designed for the modern consumer process.
First off, for Offers ads, advertisers will be able to use Facebook's ad targeting options and creative formats, including carousel ads. Importantly, Facebook has also improved the tracking of Offers to give brands more transparency as to how they've been redeemed (and who by).
But paid ads aren't the only way to use Offers - brands can also opt to share their Offers direct on their Page through the Offer Page Composer tool.
"All posted Offers will be viewable by anyone visiting the Page. If someone missed a posted Offer, they can click on the new, dedicated Offers tab to see all Offers posted by the business."
The new tab will make it easier for people to find relevant offers on a Page without having to scroll down through previous posts.
Facebook's also updated their mobile Offers process, enabling people to more easily claim offers on mobile, while also, again, providing businesses with better tracking options.
As shown in the second screenshot, once a user clicks an Offer, it's now e-mailed to them and saved in the new Offers bookmark so it's easily accessible (any claimed offers, on mobile of desktop, will be saved to this section). And rather than having to show an e-mail to the business in-store, Offers now come with the option to provide a barcode or QR code which can be scanned at the check out, establishing a direct link between your Facebook Offer and off-line redemption.
And Facebook's also added in a new reminders function:
"Facebook will provide helpful reminders to make sure people never miss out again on Offers they've claimed. If people claim an Offer on mobile while they're on the go, they'll be reminded about it once they log-in to Facebook on desktop. We'll also remind them when their saved Offers are about to expire."
In addition to these new options, Facebook's also looking to provide businesses with access to additional barcode options to give brands the option of providing variable discounts to different customer segments - or even individual customers - all trackable based on each code. That may seem like a relatively logical move, but the implications are significant, as it'll enable brands to measure the online behaviors of each and every person who uses a discount code, providing businesses with, potentially, a whole new range of audience data, and users to re-target with future offers.
It's an interesting update to an option that's largely ignored. The new tools make Offers instantly more appealing, and the additional tracking tools provide a new level of transparency and tracking that could be used to great effect.
If you want to create an Offer ad for your business, you can get started here.