Well, not quite yet. But here’s a breakdown of Facebook’s inventive ad options
Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook team have ambitious advertising plans for businesses, and while those plans may not currently include posting cat memes or branded ads on the CEO’s forehead, it seems their inventive slate of ad ideas are starting to roll in the revenue. More than 70% of businesses have acquired a customer through Facebook, and more and more brands are migrating to their paid ad platform as results and sales have started to bloom.
With an announcement this week that their advertising options are expected to grow in 2014, Facebook and Zuckerberg seem poised to make some serious inroads in the online paid-search game. Some business owners assume search engine advertising dollars reach enough of their target audience, but recent studies have shown otherwise. When coupled with paid search marketing, Facebook advertising has been proven to generate a return on advertising spending by more than 30 percent. (Are your wallets open yet?)
Take advantage of this coupling trend by utilizing Facebook’s ever growing and evolving advertising platform. Here’s the breakdown of the available space Zuckerberg currently offers:
Placed along the outside of a user’s News Feed, Sidebar ads are best utilized when a business is looking to grow their Facebook community. With very specific parameters, a business is able to reach the exact target demographic they are searching for. These types of ads are solely for gaining eyes to your page, as the only call to action available is to like a business’s Facebook page.
But beware, Sidebar Ads are not visible to mobile users. If a significant portion of your audience is mobile only, you may want to reconsider this advertising option.
Displayed front and center in a user’s News Feed, Promoted Posts are targeted at users that already like a brand’s page, as well as their friends. These static ads are best served for reaching your audience more often. The ability to assign specific content to user’s News Feeds provides a precise call to action. The most applicable calls to action include showcasing a sale, announcing a contest, or promoting exclusive user content.
More focused on user activity, Sponsored Stories highlight an action that users have taken on your page. Engagement such as liking a business’ page, commenting or interacting with a specific post somehow, is emphasized to that user’s friends. The focus of this type of advertising is to target like-minded individuals that already like your page. Odds are if your friend Fred likes a page, you will be enticed to engage with it as well. Sponsored Stories are focused on the credibility of your friends, which makes sense as 90% of consumers online trust recommendations from people they know.
For both Promoted Posts and Sponsored Stories, advertisers are no longer required to publish your post prior to promoting it. A company can advertise an unpublished post, which in turn strengthens the message, as users are shown exclusive content.
Facebook Ad Exchange
Focused on user’s past interaction with a company’s website, retargeting on Facebook works the same as other retargeting tools. This cost-effective way streamlines bringing a user back to a company’s website after an advertisement is placed in the form of a Sidebar Ad or a Promoted Post. This type of advertising is best suited for ecommerce companies looking to keep their brand on the minds of their potential customers.
With Nielsen reporting Facebook ads gaining traction when compared to television advertising, it’s only a matter of time before Zuckerberg and his team begin rolling out even more inventive and impactful advertising options. So while there is currently only 4 percent of small businesses utilizing Facebook as an ad hub, we expect those numbers to swell as the social media juggernaut’s platform grows and maybe, just maybe, the Big Z offers a bit of adspace in a few unexpected places.
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