Advertising on Facebook and Instagram
In the last few years, online businesses have recognised the value of advertising through various social media outlets.
Two network favourites in the Western world often twinned together are Facebook and Instagram – unsurprising really considering the mega rich social leader snapped up the up-and-coming image publishers for a cool $1 billion in 2012.
The amount of money invested in social media networks highlights their importance to online businesses and service providers.
In essence social media :
- raises brand awareness,
- increases engagement with customers,
- drives lead generation
- improves conversionsIn fact, online firms are so convinced of the power in social media marketing that ad spend is estimated to increase to almost £36 billion next year. These are not numbers you can afford to ignore.
Advertising on Facebook
Facebook has limited the organic reach which means your content only reaches a small percentage of your followers – unless you use their paid ads service of course.
However, to aid marketers, the social media giant has added some excellent tools to its arsenal and offers some great tips about how to create content that will have more impact
on your audience.
Video metrics on Page Insights
As Facebook continues to improve its service to marketers, the company recently announced new metrics to assess the performance of video ads is now available in its Page Insights analysis.
Previous analytics for video ads only included the number of views a video received. And the viewer only had to watch the video for 3 seconds for the watch to be logged. Needless to say, the stats were misleading.
The new metrics give publishers much better insights and include:
- the number of times the video was watched for 10 seconds or more
- The total number of minutes viewing time a video receives
- A breakdown of views with and without sound
- Unique viewers
- Average view duration
- Average percentage of viewers watching the video through to completion
Instant Articles was initially launched last year, but was only available to large corporations and media outlets. However, Facebook recently announced they are extending the service to include all publishers.
Facebook’s Instant Articles will be available to you from 12 April.
The feature is designed to solve the problem of fast load times. Content is said to load ten times faster on mobiles – a massive auto-correction for brands with followers on a slow connection.
According to the Wall Street Journal, publishers say it is easier to improve revenue on Facebook using Instant Articles
Not only that, but the platform is much more robust. It allows marketers to add more content and gain better insights into how followers interact with brands and share content.
A recent announcement by the company’s Product Manager, Josh Roberts stated:
“They can do all this while accessing a rich suite of multimedia tools to create dynamic, interactive stories, that will load quickly everywhere on Facebook, regardless of where in the world their readers are.”
Utilise Facebook Offers
The Facebook offers feature is a tool that is often under utilised by companies. It works in a similar way to Google Extension and enables you to pitch your promotions in front of followers.
But don’t only use it to promote products and special offers, or even events which drive traffic to an opt-in page. The innovative Facebook feature enables you to request an email address in exchange for an eBook or Whitepaper.
Drive App Installs
Mobile apps are predicted to enhance a brands connection with its audience, and Facebook is an ideal platform to drive mobile app installations. And creating app ads
is easier than you think.
Facebook allows publishers to create duplicate ads which can be segmented one stage further into geo-targeting, age group and the type of operating system your followers are using.
Segmenting ads in this way allows you to control your budget and get more response for less investment – or vice-versa depending on performance, but you can – and should – weight campaigns accordingly.
How to get the most from Instagram
Given Instagram is part of Mark Zuckerburg’s social family, it makes sense to link your Facebook Business Manager page to Instagram. So if you haven’t done that already, make that your first step
The focus on Instagram of course is images and videos – the bane of almost every publisher on the web. It is so difficult to find a library of top quality images and creating video ads is expensive.
All this can be off-putting for marketers wanting to publish on Instagram. But before you dismiss the idea out of hand, weigh up the pros and cons.
The good news is that you do not have to shy away from Instagram just because you do not have the resources. You can still take the plunge by using mobile-optimised content you publish on Facebook.
If you are still not sure what works in Instagram
, take a look at what established publishers are doing for inspiration.
Direct response ad units
Instagram is great for brand focused advertisers. By taking advantage of the direct response ad units, online firms can drive engagement, increase app installations, raise brand awareness and drive your audience to act on impulse.
The ad units are designed to function as an extension to the content you publish on Facebook. And because you can use the same content and targeted metrics, making the switch is less complicated than other new creative channels.
With Instagram making a surge in marketing activity since the summer of 2015, it is clear that publishers are recognising the benefits of utilising a platform that caters specifically for content that is easily digested.
Whilst many marketers may see an account with the image sharing network as a stepping stone, get it right and it could be a huge leap forward for brands to catch the eye of a broader audience.
Instagram publishing tactics
Since the influx of online publishers turned to Instagram, users have noticed a drop in the quality of sponsored ads
. This is not what users want so to avoid the pitfalls other content curators missed, here are some tips for producing better quality content.
Let in the light
The small details in an image can really make a difference. And details are more noticeable in images that are bright and bold. So do not be afraid to publish images that are filled with light and have a high-contrast.
Take a leaf from fashion-focused images. They often use a white background so that the focal point of the images stand out in the foreground – and that’s where the minor details are most prominent, without being detectable at a glance.
If your images are low-resolution, grainy or blurry then don’t bother. Likewise, if the photograph is not visually captivating, nobody will be interested in looking at it or engaging with your content or your brand.
When creating images for your ads, it is better to shoot in natural lighting rather than artificial lighting. However, too much light will over expose the image and cause white blindness.
Go easy on the branding
According to a study published by Acquity group:
“63% of respondents said that the brand or organization producing the content is a factor they take into account when deciding to share content such as a blog post, video or link with their social network.”
This snippet therefore makes you wonder whether branded content for lesser known brands is worth the effort and expense. Realistically you have to think not and take it easy on the branded content when publishing on Instagram.
That is not to say you should exclude branded content from your Instagram campaign. However, you should make the logo discrete and avoid including your company name in Memes when it is not appropriate to do so.
Branded content sits comfortably side-by-side with regular content on social media networks, and the key to native advertising
is to ensure your content matches or betters the quality of content of your neighbours.
Blatantly advertising your brand is not likely to garner a great deal of engagement. Add subtle branding like signature colour or core brand message however, and you increase your chances of attracting an audience.
Strong images, limited words.
How do you get your brand message across in a minimal amount of words? You use images. They speak a thousand words apparently. Videos communicate 1.8 million.
Visuals are the focus of content on Instagram, so publish pictures that explain or support your message without the need for an explanation. You do not have the space for multiple lines of text.
The 20 per cent rule imposed by Facebook is a good measure to follow. Ironically Instagram do not impose the same rule, but users should understand that the platform is designed for the image to do the talking, not the words.
Social media marketing holds a lot of sway and by producing shareable content, brands will improve online visibility. Double your content curation efforts by publishing in tandem on Facebook and Instagram, and you could drive twice the number of customers to your website.