An Intro Guide to Facebook's New Ad Offerings

Second Screen

By Honey Comer

This week Facebook announced that four new advertising offerings are in the pipeline, promising new ways to reach mobile users. As mobile increasingly becomes the primary vehicle for content consumption, it is imperative that marketers adapt. Facebook is attempting to ease this transition, meeting ad buyers in the middle with traditional terminology and streamlined measurement models. In addition, a few updates are in the works for digital buyers who are savvy at the self-serve platform as it exists today.

Below is a snapshot of each product and what it could mean for you.  

1) TRP Buying

In their announcement, Facebook calls this offering “a familiar way for TV buyers to plan, buy and measure” ads. In other words, it is an attempt by the platform to better speak the language of traditional TV marketers, thereby capturing a larger share of budgets. Arguably, though, the move isn’t only about semantics. 

By using terminology already well known to television ad buyers, it will also now be possible for integrated campaigns to set a single benchmark across television and digital. Facebook asserts that this is the way of the future, given the rise of the “second screen where viewers are often surfing the mobile web while simultaneously watching traditional television. As this becomes the new normal, it makes sense that combining social and broadcast data would paint a more accurate picture of total content consumption. Facebook puts up some strong numbers to support this claim in their blog as well, showing greater target reach, efficiency and effectiveness for campaigns where Facebook and television ads were combined. 

While this offering may help to bridge any disconnect between digital and broadcast for traditional TV focused buyers, digital planning departments will be less likely to notice an interruption in workflow. Early adopters of TRP buying will be limited by minimum IO, campaign length constraints, and broad targeting. Facebook will continue to offer self-service buys and new ways to optimize for those who are already savvy with (or prefer) the current platform. 

2) Awareness Optimization

Historically, Facebook has enabled buyers to optimize ads against various direct response measures — conversions, app installs, etc. This has proven a fantastic resource for showing concrete ROI from the platform in those areas. Unfortunately, though, many brands use social networks as a means to capture audience favor and awareness early in the consumer funnel; something that is far less easy to target and measure. 

Via this new optimization feature, Facebook will attempt to make “awareness” a quantifiable metric for the first time. By factoring in reach and attention, the platform aims to identify viewers who will be most likely to recall an ad. Presumably, more time spent with an ad will translate to a greater awareness and recall score. 

3) Mobile Polling

The final two product updates are significantly more straightforward, but no less noteworthy. 

Mobile polling is a touted as a tool for measuring campaign effectiveness right where the action is happening. Marketers will undoubtedly be watching for audience response to the initial roll-out on this one, since it is unclear how inclined users will be to participate in promotional polls without a clear cut incentive.

4) Video-Friendly Carousel Ads

Video-friendly carousel ads, by contrast, seem likely to be mutually beneficial to both business and consumers. They open new opportunities for creative storytelling, providing brands the chance to bring product shots to life by pairing them with lifestyle video. When executed at their best, these ads will offer audiences a temporary escape, as well as a direct route to “buy-in” to the lifestyle portrayed.

Are you excited for any of Facebook’s new ad offerings? Let us know in the comments below!