New Facebook advertising options for small businesses

Facebook advertising

Over the past year Facebook reached one billion users, but had a disastrous IPO and has seen many major advertisers pull spend off the platform.

The reason for the lack of commercial success is that Facebook have had trouble demonstrating the value of the network to advertisers.  In contrast the reason Google has been so successful is that it is often the last step someone takes before completing an online purchase.  Facebook’s ability to build upper funnel awareness has not been easy to track or sell.

In response to advertiser feedback, over the last quarter Facebook has launched a number of new advertising units and targeting methods designed to deliver greater advertiser returns.

Facebook Ad Exchange (FBX)

FBX allows advertisers to retarget people on the Facebook platform based on their surfing behaviour on other sites.  For example, a user could visit your online store but not buy anything, when we see that same user on Facebook an ad for your store could be displayed encouraging them to complete a purchase.

The advertiser response from FBX has been very positive, Business Insider estimate that this product alone could generate revenues of $2bln for Facebook this year.  FBX is sold through selected Facebook resellers.

Email and Phone Number Matching

It is now possible to upload a customer database of phone numbers or email addresses and use this to target individuals when they are on Facebook.

Additional Facebook demographic information can also be overlaid to deliver enhanched segmentation and creative messaging.  For example, you may have a prospect database of email addresses, it could then display different creative based on a users gender, location and age drawn from users Facebook profiles.

Offline Targeting

Facebook are experimenting with matching up members’ offline shopping behaviour to online activity.  With the data mining company, Datalogix, they have identified selected products users bought offline through loyalty card data. Facebook can find those shoppers on its own platform if they have a Facebook account.  It can then serve them advertisements based on their purchase history.

Others new advertising products

  • Introduced mobile only ad targeting and new mobile specific ad units
  • Announced a cross sales and distribution agreement with Yahoo
  • Facebook have started to distribute ads within partner sites and apps, initially with Zynga.com.  This is similar to the Google Display Network approach
  • Continual enhancements to sponsored stories and advertiser news feed integration
  • Facebook are trialling an optimal frequency function into their self serve planning tool

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