What business owners should take note of: Mobile advertising on Facebook is said to be producing better results than ads that appear in the right-hand column or in the news feeds for desktop-only users.
And click-through rates on Sponsored Stories have been, on average, 12 times higher on mobile devices than on desktops, according to Marc Grabowski, COO of Nanigans, a firm that buys Facebook ads for its clients. If there was ever a time to start testing mobile ads, that time is now.
But setting up mobile-only ads isn’t as straightforward as using Facebook’s self-serve ad manager. You can’t just click a button to make your ads accessible on mobile devices. Instead, you need to reach mobile users through their news feeds because they cannot see the ads that appear in the right-hand column on Facebook.
Getting to know the Facebook ‘Power Editor’: Unless you’re using the Facebook API for ad management, the only way most business owners will be able to set up mobile-only ads is through Facebook’s free Power Editor, a Chrome-only plugin. To get going, open Chrome, install the Power Editor, and access it here. Select “all” accounts when prompted so you can get your past ads – these can come in handy when creating new ads and tracking results.
For newbies, the Power Editor can feel more difficult to navigate than Facebook’s self-serve ad manager. So, Facebook has created a guide to using it. It’s worth getting to know well enough to leverage its more advanced tools, including the “placements” feature that enables you to create ads that go to the news feed on desktop, news feed on mobile only, or both, or right-column only ads.
Four ways to get your ad into mobile news feeds: Once you set up Power Editor and are ready to create an ad for mobile users, decide which ad type you want to test. There are four primary ways to get into your fans’ mobile news feeds:
1. Page post ads, when set up with Power Editor, appear directly in the news feed and, as a bonus, can be targeted beyond fans and friends of fans. They can include photos, offers and more, just like a normal page post ad, and usually show up with a “sponsored” or “suggested post” label. Here’s an example from Country Outfitter, an image captured on my mobile phone:
With page post ads, you can reach users via mobile, desktop or both. (But note that the new Facebook ad guidelines state that text in any news feed ad is limited to 20% of the total ad image area.)
2. Promoted posts look exactly like page post ads in the news feed, but you can buy these ads through the promote button in the status update box on your page or use Power Editor – and they always go into the news feed. The main difference between page post ads and promoted posts is that promoted posts can be shown only to fans and friends of fans, whereas page post ads can be targeted to non-fans as well.
3. Sponsored Stories show in the news feed under the heading “Pages You May Like,” and are used to promote activity to your fans’ friends, with the intention of attracting like-minded people. These ads promote activity such as a fan liking your page, claiming an offer you created or commenting on one of your posts. As always, take care with how you target these to get the most engagement and likes. These can also be targeted to mobile-only, desktop or both, with the Power Editor.
4. Mobile app install ads can be a fun way for companies with registered apps to prompt users to go to their app download page. You can even choose what kind of operating systems and mobile devices your targeted audience has, which is useful if you have, say, an iPhone-only app.
For small-business owners new to mobile ads, it’s best to test a few different news feed ads and target them carefully. Don’t abandon desktop-only ad strategies that are working. Instead, find a way to integrate mobile into your overall strategy so you can compare results, test, track – and test again.
Consumers Don’t Have An Attention Problem. It’s Just That Your Advertising Isn’t Very Good
With so much media available to consume, quality matters more than ever for ads.
If a brand releases an ad and no one sees it, is it still called “advertising”?
People have more tools than ever before to skip out on ads entirely. More than three-fourths of the people in North America engage in automated ad-blocking, and 10 percent of them block ads across four kinds of media or more, according to Deloitte. Much like the question of trees falling in forests, what good is a brand’s message at a time when people generally don’t want to hear its sound?
Ad units are shrinking in the wake of ad-blocking technology, but human attention span remains unchanged. Today’s consumers are surely more distracted than any previous generation, so they guard their attention spans more mercilessly. When advertisers can successfully command that attention for a minute or two, it means the consumer is watching an ad for the same reason he or she binge-watches Stranger Things on Netflix: The ad has managed to present itself as relevant or vital to the viewer. It wins every time.
Just 10 years ago, Gillette dominated the razor blade market. Its ads were comfortable, predictable 30-second units that reminded everyone of something they already knew: You need razor blades on the regular, so you might as well buy Gillette.
Related: Advertising Consulting Business Plan
But, the market had to reorganise itself with the appearance of Dollar Shave Club and its distinctly off-the-wall messaging. The notorious startup used quirky 90-second ads to spread its word online, presenting itself as unignorable by comparison to the competition. Even though we live in a time when people can skip ads, block ads and avoid ads, Dollar Shave Club’s marketing won major viral attention. It didn’t exactly kill Gillette’s Goliath, but it sure made Goliath sweat.
The lesson here is that people don’t hate all ads, they just hate the crappy ones. The bar for perceived quality in advertising is so low these days that many choose not to engage with anything on principle alone. People even close web pages they want to visit when the page auto-plays a video ad. When job number one of the advertiser is to interest consumers, it’s never been easier to annoy them.
Far from the rise of the six-second ad unit, there’s strong evidence that people generally want long-form content.
Ooyala reports that long-form video content consumption is up 30 percent from last year. Instagram used to be all about sharing individual photos and short videos, but now with the launch of IGTV supports 60-minute videos. The most widely subscribed YouTuber, PewDiePie, regularly posts 20-minute-long videos to a community of millions of fans. Joe Rogan’s podcast blends comedy, politics and philosophy for two to three hours at a stretch, and is one of the most popular podcasts on the internet.
People can, of course, handle stories and follow them over time. It’s one of the defining characteristics of humanity. But, there are so many stories competing for our attention nowadays that we are extremely selective about which ones we let into our lives. If any of these opt-in narratives will come from advertising, those ads must first run the ad-blocking gauntlet, then be immediately relevant and spectacular to the consumer upon arrival. The bar for perceived quality in advertising these days is actually quite high.
But, there is meaningful assistance on your way to clearing it. Social listening tools trawl the internet to learn what’s being said about and around different brands. With help from a company specialising in consumer insights and some Nielsen data, brands can better learn who their customers are, what they love and what they don’t love. This is key information in designing a vital, relevant message. In simplest terms, a brand must know its audience. The marketing needs to reflect what the audience is interested in, not what company leadership is interested in.
From there it’s only a matter of iterating and optimising. The great thing about digital advertising is that you get feedback instantly. You can iterate a campaign to make it better. Simple tweaks in copy, reframing key ideas and A/B testing can help make your campaign truly great.
Otherwise you run the risk of a mediocre campaign and a wasted media spend. No one wants to hear that sound.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
6 False Advertising Scandals You Can Learn From
Don’t stretch the truth the way Volkswagen, New Balance, Airborne, Splenda, Rice Krispies and Red Bull did.
New entrepreneurs are often tempted to exaggerate what new products or services are capable of. No wonder: Presented to a powerful investor, a stretch of the truth just might help land that series A funding.
And, less seriously, a bit of marketing flair or showmanship, in many cases, will help an entrepreneur accomplish his or her without many repercussions.
But, in other cases, if you’re that entrepreneur who is caught deliberately misleading investors or consumers, you could face false advertising charges – and the ruin of your brand’s reputation. Consider these six examples:
Forget Everything You’ve Heard — Fear Doesn’t Sell
If consumers associate your product with fear, they may not have a strong connection to your brand.
Sixty percent of Subaru owners have dogs. So in 2008, when the company decided to sponsor Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl, it made a major break from previous advertising campaigns — ones that showed drivers with other cars getting stuck in the snow, for example. Alongside a pledge to donate $250 to charity for every car sold, the company began to understand how to appeal to its core audience through their own interests — and how those tied together in a Subaru.
Since 2008, the company has been running a campaign called “Love,” one that brings together all the attributes that Subaru is known for — including safety and reliability. Instead of talking to customers by telling them all the bad things that will happen if they don’t drive a Subaru (e.g., getting stuck in the snow), the company began speaking in a more positive language — including bringing furry friends along on drives.
For many, the instinctive approach toward marketing is to tell an audience why they have to buy your product. Bad things will happen otherwise, and yours is the best in market. The others won’t help you reach your goal. The problem with that logic is that it doesn’t take into account the impact of brand image on product marketing. Sure, you might skid in the snow without a Subaru, but you need to think positively of the company as a whole if you’re going to be drawn to its products in the first place.
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