Flashback: Facebook Testing “Stories”

A flashback to a discussion in February where we previewed and predicted what we expected to come from Facebook Stories, which are now globally available.

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Coming Soon to Facebook Brand Awareness: Attention Impressions

A new metric coming soon to Facebook Brand Awareness campaigns called Attention Impressions will be a huge update for the ad campaign type.

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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

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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.

Automate More, Worry Less with Automated Rules on Facebook

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If you’re like me and don’t want to double check your Facebook ad campaigns every day to monitor certain thresholds you’ve set, such as a target Cost per Acquisition, then you will be psyched to learn about Facebook’s latest feature: Automated Rules. Automated Rules allow you to automate your campaigns to turn off when they hit certain thresholds or meet certain conditions, as well as notify you.

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For example, if you want to keep your Cost per Click under $1, but don’t want to check it every single day to monitor, using Automated Rules you can set your ad to turn off if the CPC goes over $1 as well as send you a notification about it.

Another example that could be especially useful for Remarketing campaigns revolves around Frequency. Remarketing campaigns are obviously great for a more targeted and interested user, but with that comes a smaller audience size. With this smaller audience, it is much easier to see Frequency numbers get out of hand and have users being served the same ads over and over again, which will kill your Relevance Score. So you can now set your target threshold using Automated Rules and have your ad shut off as well as alert you if the Frequency goes higher than you’d like it.

This could save marketers a ton of time if you manage a lot of ads and ad campaigns for larger clients, but don’t want to spend time double checking certain key metrics for every ad every day.

Facebook is rolling this feature out now as they do with all new updates, but I only first saw it last week. So if you haven’t seen it yet, keep your eyes peeled.

Store Visits Tracking from Facebook Hits the Shelves

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Unless you’re a big brand or agency, you probably haven’t gotten direct access yet to Store Visits tracking on Google or Facebook. It looks like Facebook is now rolling out their version of the metric with a new ad objective.

“With over 90% of all transactions still taking place offline, driving customers into a store, restaurant, auto dealership or other place of business remains a primary marketing objective for any advertiser with brick-and-mortar locations.”

Essentially the feature allows you to determine how many users visited your business location after clicking on a Facebook ad. While this is exciting news to anyone that advertises on Facebook, there are minimum thresholds that need to be met before FB will grant eligibility.

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This has been something marketers have been craving for as long as digital has been driving sales. Everyone has micro-moments, everyone does research online and many people make purchases online, but what about the people that just go into a store to make the final purchase? If not attributed directly or proper expectations are not set, marketers can oftentimes be left out to dry by the gap in data. So while it remains to be seen how well this new ad type will work, it is quite exciting for any brick and mortar locations.

“This objective has been specifically created for brick and mortar businesses who want to reach customers in the right location, with localized ad content and the ultimate goal of driving customers in-store. Additionally, over the next couple weeks, we are rolling out enhancements to the Store Visits objective which will allow you to not only report on store visits, but optimize your ads towards those most likely to visit.”

Facebook is describing this as the “Evolution of Local Awareness on Facebook and Instagram.” They might be right.

How to Bring Your Offline Customers Online with Facebook Advanced Matching

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Facebook continues to roll along towards it’s goal of being omniscient by identifying more and more layers of audiences for marketers to target. With the recent updates to the Custom Audience Interface for Advanced Matching, Facebook makes it possible to target a custom audience even more accurately than before.

In the past, when Custom Audiences were first introduced you needed to have a customer email address and then hope it matched up with the email address they used on their Facebook account. Unsurprisingly the match rate wasn’t incredibly high. Then Facebook introduced phone number matching, which helped a bit. But now with the Advanced Matching update you can use those data points plus, first and last names, DOB, gender, zip and more.

Now while on the surface this may not seem that exciting, but just imagine some of the possibilities for certain campaign types. Facebook even says it itself:

“With this update, you will be able to leverage the offline customer data you have (e.g. direct mail data, voter file) to find your most valuable customers on Facebook.”

So if you were running a political campaign and knew exactly who your voter base was, you could upload that file and hit those exact people on Facebook rather than relying on demos and interest targeting! Or even using that offline voter information to target users on Facebook with Lead Ads to gather more info to add to your other marketing platforms like an email list. Round and round we go. This could help politicians drive much higher lift, brand recall and ultimately improve sentiment rating if they’re hitting their offline users with a specifically targeted message on Facebook to the same audience.

You could also use this feature to provide air support for any traditional marketing you’re running. So if you’re running a direct mail campaign, use that same data you have and apply it to Facebook to hit the same users, at a much higher match rate, to provide that digital support for your traditional campaign. Currently, Facebook says from early tests, clients have been able to match 54% of their offline customer base. Not too shabby.

“By reaching your offline audiences online with relevant marketing messages, you will be able drive greater success for your Facebook campaigns, while boosting the performance of your direct mail marketing via simultaneous offline and online messaging.”