With such rapid evolution in the paid social landscape, it might be tempting to bury your head in the sand.
But leveraging Facebook’s targeting capabilities, in conjunction with high quality, engaging content, will almost certainly help your brand grab and maintain attention. That said, there are a few golden rules that will help advertisers maximise success on the platform.
1. Get to the point
Facebook users spend an average of 1.7 seconds with mobile content, but they can recall branding elements after only 0.25 seconds. As such, it is important to create ads that get your brand’s message across fast, without scrimping on creative quality.
With consumers scrolling through their Facebook feeds faster than ever, brands need to take a very different approach than they might have chosen for a 30-second TV ad, where there is more time available to develop a narrative arc. Mobile-first formats require more of a pulse and you need ads that your audience can dip in and out of as they please.
2. Think mobile-first
Mobile is king, especially on social. At Adaptly’s latest breakfast event, Facebook director of agency partnerships Ed Couchman said the format was still “underhyped”, and he’s right: Despite fundamental changes in user behaviour, with consumers spending more time than ever on their phones, a vast percentage of social content is still not designed with mobile in mind.
This means advertisers are under-utilising a significant part of the ad products provided by the likes of Facebook, such as the platform’s Canvas and Collections offerings. Remember, roughly 80% of social media time is spent on mobile, so your strategy should be tailored accordingly.
3. Create a library of content
It will likely be labour-intensive, but creating a variety of assets is critical – from short, snackable pieces, to more long-form material. Facebook is a great place to achieve frequency of message, but as with all advertising, it’s also important to think strategically about sequencing and bridging to effectively move users down the funnel.
To this end, our data suggests that a frequency of two impressions per household per week over a 30-day period is optimal. To avoid creative fatigue, it's essential to regularly inject updated creative into the mix. Creating a sequential messaging campaign, using the reach and frequency tool, can also help enforce your brand message and showcase the evolution of a story.
4. Personalise your communications
Almost half of millennial consumers expect brands to customise offers to suit their needs. The “build it once, run it everywhere” model of advertising is no longer relevant. Fortunately, shifting the gears when it comes to packaging stories really pays off: Research has shown that UK consumers spend 25% more time with personally relevant ads. Utilising Facebook’s audience insights tool can reveal a vast amount of information about audience behaviours and interests, and it should influence your creative decisions.
5. Keep abreast of developments
Social ad formats evolve fast. Facebook Live, for instance, offers largely untapped opportunities to connect with users via exclusive content. Decide how new formats fit into your brand’s overall communications framework, and ensure your strategy is watertight. Keep testing new platforms to understand what resonates with your audience. Tailor your creative accordingly, and bear in mind that leveraging nascent formats offers a big opportunity for increased engagement rates.
As with any form of social advertising, Facebook creative should be "thumb-stopping", should fit naturally with the native look and feel of the platform, and needs to enhance the overall user experience. It’s an exciting time to be working in communications, and there have never been so many ways for your brand to make an impact.