Facebook One Step Closer to Seamlessly Integrating Mobile Payments

Facebook Messenger recently added PayPal integration and it was just announced that MasterCard account management is coming soon. So it seems Facebook is getting closer by the day to adding the feature digital marketers everywhere should be absolutely giddy about; the ability to seamlessly make purchases within Facebook.

Courtesy of TechCrunch

Courtesy of TechCrunch

The more we as marketers can reduce friction and lower the barrier of entry, the easier it is to sell products and services. It may not seem like much asking customers to visit your website, add an item to a cart and then enter in all their Credit Card info to make a purchase. But, People. Are. Lazy. The easier you make things for them, the more likely they are to purchase. Just take Amazon for example. They’ve made huge leaps over competitors by simplifying the checkout process. You can see a product on Amazon and within two taps its already confirmed and on its way to your house. Now that is a frictionless experience.

It will start with MasterCard, but when more Credit Card providers get involved and as users get more comfortable sharing their CC info, as well as their Bank Account info for Debit Cards, the easier it will be to sell on Facebook.

This gets back to not being romantic about what works and what doesn’t. Say what you want about websites and website design, but Facebook is slowly making them less and less important. Do you think its a coincidence that more and more of the Facebook products keep you on their platform rather than direct users to your website? Take Instant Articles, Canvas Ads, Lead Ads as just a few quick examples of that. If you make money by selling ad space based on impressions to your website this is an issue, but for everyone else who cares? Don’t be romantic. Take advantage of what works. And what usually works is what captures the customer’s attention and makes it easy for them to buy. Don’t get in the way of a sale because there is nothing more frustrating than shopping cart abandonment.

Split Testing is Now Available on Facebook

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-9-13-22-am

Facebook is now starting to roll out Split Testing in Ads Manager, which is essentially an easier way to test different variables in ad campaigns to see which ones perform the best. In the past you would have to run separate ad sets to perform tests like this, but wasn’t necessarily a pure A/B test. This is something that Google AdWords has offered for some time, allowing campaigns to experiment and split test. It’s a much welcomed addition to the Ads Manager as one strategy, targeting method, or ad objective that works great for one campaign doesn’t necessarily work the same for others.

So if you’re still having internal debates over whether this ad campaign should optimize for Website Clicks or Conversions, now you can run a split test and see which actually does the best. Learn what works the best for different campaigns and maybe you’ll unearth something totally unexpected.

Have you ever wanted to easily test the same ad on two different audiences to see which performed better? Or maybe you’d like to figure out which optimization type yields the best results, optimizing for Conversions or Link Clicks? Advertisers run tests to identify the best ad performance on Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network and to understand how changes in different aspects of their ad can impact ad performance. Tests like this need to be set up fairly so that advertisers can understand the true impact of their ad strategies on the performance of their ads.

Snapchat Updates to Stories and Discover Will Massively Effect Advertisers

screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-10-04-48-am
Snapchat just made some huge changes that users may not initially notice, but advertisers definitely will. The Discover tiles have been moved down from their previous perch at the top of the Stories screen to somewhere much lower down the feed. Discover is where most big name advertisers buttered their bread with everything from ESPN and NFL updates, MTV hyping new artists or TMZ talking about the latest Kardashians news.

They were attractive and they were prominent. I found myself perusing Discover much more when it moved over to the tiles within Stories rather than when it was on its own tab originally. Now with the tiles moved much further down the screen it has many advertisers worried.

Oh well, these things happen. Remember how infuriated brands were when Facebook significantly pared down organic reach? Well then Promoted Posts came out and they became the biggest arbitrage advertising had seen in a long time. Then those got paired down and out came the massively underpriced Facebook Video and so on and so on.

Fear not though, Snapchat isn’t going to just abandon one of its best ad products without any kind of new features or improvements. And it seems like that may be coming as a result of Snapchat’s other update – Snapchat Playlist. Previously users could go to their Stories and just go through all their friends automatically, as soon as one story ended, Snapchat would automatically go to the next one. Now with Playlist, Snapchat is having users select which stories they want to see, rather than play them all at once. Does this make for a better user experience so you aren’t watching every person’s story, many of which you don’t care about? Maybe. But it also provides potential opportunities for advertising in between these selected stories. Now without the automatic jump to the next story, Snapchat has created an avenue to sell ad space like a commercial in between stories.

Expect more tweaks to the UI and UX as Evan Spiegel and team continue to grow the Snapchat ad platform and its potential. Especially now with competitors like Instagram Stories gunning for them.