You adjust copy when you’re running ad testing. You change social media copy based on the platform it’s running on. And I’m guessing you switch up the copy for various customer profiles when you’re running a new nurture campaign. But are you writing different ad copy for AdWords and Facebook?
The goals of each platform are very different. We’ll take a deep dive into those differences below, but here’s a high level overview (for the skimmers among us). Ads on Google are meant to target those with strong intent to purchase, while, more often than not, the goal of Facebook ads is to bring about awareness, rather than a concrete purchase.
Still not convinced it’s worth the extra time? Allow me to persuade you …
With AdWords, you’re reaching people who have exhibited a strong intent to purchase. This means you’re a little more inside their head. It also means your copy can and should be more direct. Don’t introduce the pain point that your product or service solves for. Your audience already knows what their pain points are because they’re searching for a solution. All you need to do is tell them how you can solve that problem for them.
Facebook ads, on the other hand, should be viewed as a way to raise awareness for your brand. While the goal of an ad on AdWords is to trigger a specific action you know your consumer is ready to make, Facebook ads may be the first introduction a consumer has to your brand or the pain point your brand solves for.
Most consumers aren’t heading to Facebook to search. So the key here becomes targeting the right audience on Facebook. Putting the right message in front of them. And doing it all at the right time.
Your goals for engagement on each of these platforms will be different as well. AdWords engagement goals are generally measured in clicks, impressions, and CTR while Facebook ads have variety of engagement metrics that have nothing to do with the number of click throughs or conversions a single ad receives. For AdWords, you’ll want to communicate your message as quickly and meaningfully as you can with the limited character count your alloted. Communicate your solution or offer in a way that entices qualified clicks, and hopefully, conversions.
As previously mentioned, however, the customer seeing your Facebook ad may not have known you existed five minutes ago, so a brisk call to purchase (or even click your ad) may not be realistic or appropriate. This means how you measure engagement will be different for these ads.
Instead of “buy now,” your CTA may shift to “like if you agree,” “share with a friend,” or “click to learn more.” Your engagement goal may just be to hear from your audience on the ad. Asking them a question, interacting with them, or asking for their feedback is something you would never do on AdWords, but it’s a great way to build trust and value with a new audience, and lay a foundation for a purchase later on.
Your AdWords mantra? “Tell, don’t show.” Ad copy in AdWords deserves the bulk of your brainpower. You don’t have images or every marketer’s new best friend, video, to set your brand apart from the crowd. Offer a clear, targeted solution and lead with your strongest tagline as your headline.
While AdWords may be black and white, everything’s technicolor over on Facebook. This doesn’t give you a hall pass to write lackluster copy, but you should let your image do the heavy lifting. Swap your mantra to “show, don’t tell” and let your copy act as a complement to strong imagery.
While stock photos are better than no photos, try producing or sourcing imagery that tells a story to your customer. Images can say just as much as copy, so make sure they say the right thing, and fill in the gaps with your words.
Facebook ads allow you to create copy for specific audience behaviors and interests that align with your business or campaign goals. This means that you can get equally as targeted with your ad copy.
Would users interested in PowerPoint also be interested in what your company has to offer? Write ads that call out that interest and tell your audience how well your software pairs with Adobe Creative Cloud.
AdWords offers you a more specific type of targeting, keywords. We’ve already outlined that this audience is more ready to make a purchase, so this makes things a little easier for you. You’re audience is already pretty targeted, so your copy should also be targeted towards a specific action, instead of an interest.
If you know that people searching for this particular keyword are ready to buy, put ad copy in front of them that pushes them to purchase. If your keyword indicates early-stage research, pull out your most persuasive argument in 30 characters or less.
Ah, the magic keyword. It rules supreme in the world of AdWords and needs to feature prominently in your ad copy while maintaining a conversational tone. Write copy that meets the pain points of your target audience and you’ll set your ad apart from other brands targeting the same keyword or using dynamic keyword insertion.
Facebook is free from the shackles of the keyword, but your ad copy should still be focused on one goal or a main point that acts as a kind of keyword. Identify this word or phrase before writing your ad to ensure that your message remains clear, concise, and valuable to your audience.
The Key Takeaway Here? Don’t Be Lazy
Yes, writing two versions of copy means more time, but the payoff will be worth the extra effort. Like ads themselves, the more targeted you can get with your message, the better the results. In a marketing landscape where competition has never been so fierce, it’s crucial to give your customer the best experience possible, and that starts by tailoring your copy to every stage of the buyer journey on every platform.
Attribution is one of the toughest parts of the marketing cycle to measure (we’ve even proposed ways to help solve the problem). According to attribution software company Bizible, 74.6% of marketers use some attribution model, but only 27.6% say they chose their attribution model specifically to measure ROI by channel. Those stats go to show you that marketers are still trying to figure out the best way to connect what’s effective.
When it comes to offline conversions, the puzzle gets even more complicated. Facebook’s Lead Ads were created to help marketers acquire leads on mobile easily. But until now, it was hard to track if the lead acquired through Facebook ever resulted in greater business impact – such as becoming a customer.
Facebook Launches CRM Sync and Offline Tracking for Lead Ads
Facebook announced Offline Conversion, which allows you to connect your CRM, Marketing Automation, POS, or call center system to your Facebook ad campaigns, essentially closing the loop between a digitally-captured lead and a non-digital conversion such as a sales conversation. With this information, marketers can finally give attribution to the ads that are driving business results.
Offline Conversion works for all advertising objectives, so you can implement it across the board immediately. No slow roll outs for this one! The most obvious application includes uncovering the actual performance of lead-focused ads and adjusting your strategy based on results, but marketers should also consider the ability to target high-value customers by creating Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences based on who converted previously.
Finally, marketers should test running retargeting campaigns to existing customers and present them with additional products or services that complement their past purchase.
How to Set Up Facebook Offline Conversions
As we mentioned before, Offline Conversion capabilities are available to everyone now. There are three ways to connect your data to Offline Conversion:
- Use Facebook’s native offline event manager and upload the outcome of your leads, as tracked and recorded by another applicable platform. This process is also how you’ll upload information from your POS or call center systems.
- If you use Salesforce, Marketo, or Zapier you’re in luck – these Facebook partners participated in the beta test and have built a direct integrations with Offline Conversion offering. These links will get you started: Marketo, Leadsbridge, Zapier.
- Though more advanced, you can also use the Offline Conversion API to connect your CRM.
Setting Up Offline Event Manager
In the Business Manager menu, select Offline Events to go to Offline Event Manager
Click Create Offline Event Set to create a new offline event set (see top right hand corner)
Enter a Name and Description for your event set, and then click Create
Upload Offline Events
Select your Data Source
Edit your data mapping. Make sure you have columns for the Event Name and Event Time or else it won’t work. See here on how to properly set up your file.
Facebook Hashed Upload and Creation
Use Offline Events. Once you’ve completed the upload process, Facebook will show you the results of your manual uploads. In this example, we uploaded our Q1 blog subscribers as an offline event. As you can see, we had a 46% match rate. It’s actually a little higher, because of the 13,800 emails only 10,535 of them are mailable. So the match rate is closer to 60%.
Use Offline Events to evaluate performance. Head back over to Ads Manager and select the preset columns called Offline Conversions.
Analyze your performance! It will take a few minutes to populate the data, but if there are any leads that can be attributed back to your Facebook campaigns this is where they will show up. You can also add in custom columns if you have a particular way you want to see the metrics.
Results and Expert Opinions
Here’s how Offline Conversion has already proven its worth – Marketo, which builds marketing automation software, used Offline Conversion to adjust campaigns in real-time according to downstream results and saw a 15% cut in their cost per qualified lead.
Soso Sazesh, Founder and CEO of Growth Pilots had this to say about Facebook Offline Conversions,
“We’re excited about this feature as we’ve already been leveraging offline conversion tracking for a number of our clients and have seen promising results. The single largest challenge for B2B companies that we’ve worked with when it comes to Facebook advertising is attribution. Facebook is such a different type of advertising channel that many B2B companies don’t know how to interpret or even assess results. These new integrations will simplify an advertiser’s ability to make sense of how Facebook is impacting their entire sales funnel and I expect more B2B companies will get comfortable leveraging Facebook and making it a scalable customer acquisition channel.”
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Oh boy, have Facebook reports have come a long way. If you can remember back to 2013 (when “poking” was still the rage), you’ll probably recall the hours you spent pulling reports for data that, today, feels incredibly simple. Just four years ago marketers were relying on demographics information that only went as deep as age and gender.
Today, Facebook can tell us a lot more about current and prospective customers, what and how competitors are doing, and provide real-time updates on content performance. Part of Facebook’s goal to bring value to advertisers through data is a more robust reporting hub called Facebook Insights.
Any business page with 30+ fans will automatically populate an Insights tab. Find yours by navigating to your Page, then look for the Insights tab at the top. There, you’ll find interactive charts and graphs under five main topics:
Let’s look at the information you’ll find in each category and how you can use it to your advantage.
Facebook Organic Performance Overview
This section is the quickest way to get an overall look at your Page’s performance. Here, you’ll see data over the past seven days for three main points:
- Page Likes: Total and new likes
- Post Reach: Total number of unique people who looked at your Page and posts
- Engagement: Total number of unique people who engaged with your Page, and a breakdown of the types of engagement
When you’re in Overview, you’ll also see your five most recent posts, and a snapshot of how each performed, including type of post, targeting, reach, clicks, engagement, and spend. You can click on individual posts for detailed information, or navigate to the other category tabs to get a look at Likes, Reach, and Engagement across all posts for the timeline you specify.
From Overview, you can access another helpful tool called Pages to Watch, which shows you what similar businesses are posting, and how their posts are doing. Getting a look at what the other guys are posting can be a powerful springboard for your own creative.
This report is exactly what it sounds like, but goes beyond simply recording total Likes. It offers handy information on what’s effective in getting people to Like your page. As you move your cursor around on the Likes graph, you’ll discover you can drill down into daily activity to see the number of Likes you got on a specific day.
Use the data selector to pull Likes for a longer span of time, and scroll down to get a look at unlikes, organic likes, paid likes, and net likes (likes minus unlikes). It’s from this graph you can determine where your Likes are coming from – directly from your Page, from Page suggestions, or paid ads. This helps you determine what’s working so you can do more of it.
Pull a report from this section to learn everything these is to know about what happens to a post or ad once it’s published. That includes users who looked at your Page through organic or paid efforts, post engagement through Likes, Comments and Shares, and negative actions through Hide, Report as Spam, and Unlikes.
Outside of your own efforts, you can also see any activity related to your page, like posts from others referencing your page, mentions, and check-ins.
Anytime you’re trying something new with your content strategy, like posting at a different time of day or increasing the frequency of posts, you’ll want to keep a close eye on activity under Reach. Use the date slider to compare before and after to see if your changes are effective.
This tab will look similar to Overview, but you can get a more in-depth look at individual Post performance here, including the ability to sort by engagement for a clearer look at your strongest posts. The coolest part of the Posts tab is “When Your Fans Are Online,” which shows you when your audience is logged into Facebook.
The best time to serve up posts is when your audience is most likely to see them! Keep this data close the next time you’re scheduling posts.
Next to “When Your Fans Are Online” is “Post Types,” where you can get a snapshot of how your different post types perform, based on reach and engagement. Make a note of what’s doing the best, then scroll down to individual post data where you can use the drop down arrows at the top right of the table to look at reach between fans and non-fans and positive and negative engagement. Dissect the top-performing creative according to this criteria to come up with new ads that are likely to do well.
The information you get in the People tab is one of the major reasons Facebook continues to give advertisers the most bang for their buck in comparison to other social platforms. A detailed profile of engaged customers is one of the most valuable pieces of information a marketer can get, and that’s exactly what shows up in the People report.
Within the tab, you’ll see three breakdowns for “Your Fans,” “People Reached” and “People Engaged.” Your Fans shows you gender, age, and location of the people who’ve liked your Page. People Reached gives you an overview of who’s seen your posts in the past 28 days. People Engaged is the real goldmine.
This report lets you see who has Liked, Commented on, Shared your posts or Engaged with your Page in a 28 day period. This information gives you an idea of who you’re already resonating with so you can tailor future posts to speak to this audience profile.
Facebook’s Insights hub gives you reports for two other elements – Page Visits and Video – which aren’t as statistically important as the other reports but can be beneficial, depending on your goals.
Visits shows you the number of times each tab on your Page was viewed, and the number of times people visited from a website off of Facebook. It’s always a good idea to have your Page updated with accurate details to help customers quickly navigate to the info they need.
The Videos section gives you an idea of how engaging your videos are, including how many times your Page’s videos were viewed for 3 seconds or more, and and the number of times your videos were viewed for 30 seconds or more. You can also sort by most viewed videos.
Clearly, Facebook reports have changed drastically in just the past few years and will continue to seek deeper information and offer actionable insights. Stay tuned for Part 2 where we discuss Facebook Reports: Paid Results!
Since its launch, Facebook Ads have become one of the most powerful customer acquisition channels.
Most marketers agree: 78% of them are satisfied with their Facebook ads.
Given 71% of all Internet users are on Facebook, you can’t deny its power.
If you have more experience with other paid channels, most likely Google Adwords, you may find it hard to grasp at first.
You may even find some of the more advanced advertising strategies counterintuitive.
Facebook Ads and How to Make Them Work for You
To make your life easier, we brought in someone who knows all the ins and outs of Facebook Ads: Jay Stampfl. Jay went from being an intern at adBrite and an anthropologist running around the jungles of Costa Rica, to become the CEO of BlackBird PPC, the digital advertising agency he founded in 2016.
Throughout this PPC Show episode, Jay, an expert in paid search, paid social, and programmatic display, gave us many interesting ideas on how to make Facebook Ads work for you.
The effectiveness of Facebook Ads and its impact on the final result (whether that’s a lead or a sale) differs mainly based on which kind of company uses it. The way Facebook Ads work for a B2C company is much different than for a B2B one.
If you have an e-commerce store and you sell products directly to consumers, like fashion or home decor, it will be easy for you to track how much each click is worth to you. Given the shorter sales cycle, which in many cases happens within one session, the impact of the final sale can be easily analyzed. If you use Google Analytics’ attribution reports, you will see how much your Facebook Ads’ influenced the final sale.
In other words, for B2C companies, the attribution modeling works.
The situation changes drastically if you use Facebook Ads for B2B sales cycles. In stark contrast with B2C sales, the problem with Facebook Ads lies in its impact on the final result and its correct attribution.
With B2B sales, the value of a click dilutes through the funnel, as it’s longer and more complex. It’s hard to add the right attribution to it. If a prospect finds your company after she clicks on one of your ads, and the company ends up purchasing a contract worth thousands of dollars six months down the line, that ad was worth thousands of dollars. The problem is, you will never be able to know that given the long time-frame and the complexity of the sale process.
Not everything is lost, however. Even if you run Facebook Ads campaigns and these ads don’t make your visitors convert directly, you can get a lot of awareness as well as it can help you get referral traffic and word-of-mouth.
Bidding optimization can be one of the hardest things any marketer can do to improve their paid campaigns. On the one hand, bidding can help you maximize your spending while giving you the best results. On the other, if you bid incorrectly, you can lose a lot of money fast.
Compared to Google Adwords, the Facebook Ads bidding system is much more difficult to grasp. Google Adwords’ bidding system is logic-based, that is, you bid based on the user’s queries and the value of the click is worth to you. Facebook, on the other hand, is much more dynamic, which makes it more difficult to bid on.
To start, Facebook’s algorithm throws marketing logic out the window. For example, if you raise the bid of an ad on Facebook, you will get higher quality users, which means the relevance score will increase, helping you get more clicks and lowering the CPA. With Adwords, if you bid up, your clicks go up just as your CPA goes up. That change in the logic behind the bidding system can make Facebook Ads much harder to manage.
Just because the Facebook bidding system is harder to understand compared to Google Adwords, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. On the contrary, you only need to select the correct bidding system for your goal. Once that’s done, Facebook will do a good job of assessing how to put your ad in the auction based on the bidding method you are using.
Even though there are no “best bid types”, you should choose one over the other one depending on the goal of your campaign.
- CPM: For some, highly unreliable and ineffective. But it can work if your goal is awareness (i.e. you want a lot of views to your ad so people get to remember your company)
- oCPM: This is the standard bid type for all Facebook ads. In a way, it works like a mix of CPM and CPC, so you can use it for build awareness, bring traffic to your site, or even get conversions.
- CPC: The one you must be most familiar with. Works best for traffic-related goals and, in some cases, to action-related goals (e.g. app installs).
- CPA: As the name suggest, you pay per action, whether that’s a sale, a lead, or whatever you have defined as one. Works best when your Facebook has a lot of data to optimize for (see next for more information).
The Facebook algorithm (and its bidding system) likes optimizing with lots of data. As a consequence, you need to spend money before you get any results. That way, the Facebook algorithm can get all the data it needs to optimize your campaigns.
This is why when you create a Facebook Ads campaign, you need to target large audiences. Jay likes targeting with an audience of at least 1 million. He likes optimizing with oCPM and Conversion goals to hit 20 conversions a day, so Facebook can get all the data it needs. If he doesn’t get those conversions, he moves the conversion up the funnel. This means, instead of focusing on conversions you would focus on a click or even on impressions.
That way, Facebook can optimize their whole algorithm better.
Before you start optimizing your bidding, you need to have a good account structure. If you have thousands of ads per ad group, Facebook’s algorithm won’t be able to optimize their bidding for them. This means you need to add some level of granularity and segmentation to your campaigns.
Each structure differs considerably based on the campaign goal and business.
For example, if you have an e-commerce store and you want to increase your sales, you could segment each ad campaign based on your products. One campaign would focus on shoes, while another one in bags, and so on.
On the other hand, if you have an agency and you want to increase your lead acquisition, you could segment your campaigns based on the kind of client you are trying to target. You would have one campaign focused on large businesses with more complex sales cycles, and you would have another one focused on smaller businesses with shorter cycles.
Once you select the goal that works best for you, you would repeat the same process with ad groups and individual ads.
With the former, you would create specific ad groups that target one segment from your campaigns. You can use custom and lookalike audiences to help you out.
With the latter, you would create ads that talk to specific individuals. You can use different ad texts and images to see which one rings best your audience.
The key of a good account structure, then, lies in being ultra specific with your targeting. The lower you get with your campaigns, the more specific you should be.
This account structure will allow Facebook to optimize your campaigns better for each of your goals.
If there’s one thing you are likely to take from this article is Facebook Ads can be tricky. Testing on their platform isn’t any different.
Just like with any test, if you develop a test within an ad group with three ads, one is going to perform great, and the other two won’t. That’s how A/B testing works.
In a normal situation, you would then pause the ad group, take the ad that’s performing and create a separate ad group to test it even further. Unfortunately, this is doomed to fail.
As you already know, Facebook’s algorithm needs lots of data in it to optimize bids. Once you take the winning ad to a new ad group, you will be resetting the data in the algorithm. This means, the “winning” ad will likely perform worse than before.
Remember, Facebook loves historical data. That makes the A/B testing environment for Facebook Ads so tricky. That’s why Jay recommends sometimes the best you can do is kill the good ads and start fresh.
The good news is, losing a Facebook ad test doesn’t mean that ad is bad. Sometimes it’s just a matter of bad historical data, not a bad ad or targeting.
Hire for Quality, not Fame
Even if you follow all the tips laid out in this article, it’s easy to get confused or lost with all the complexities of Facebook Ads. That’s why in many cases the best thing to do is hire an agency that takes care of your whole Facebook Ads account.
The problem is, many times companies hire the wrong agency.
If you want to hire a great PPC agency, hire one that has the most experience and that is willing to work directly with you. Most businesses that run paid ads need help with the management campaigns. Given the amount of agencies and consultants out there, businesses have many options to pick from. Unfortunately, many businesses have a small budget. This in itself isn’t a big deal. The problem is many times they end up making one of the following mistakes:
- They hire someone cheap and has little experience;
- They try to hire a large famous agency that will put an inexperienced account manager.
The problem with the former mistake is they then get little to no results since the agency or consultant doesn’t know what they’re doing.
The problem with the latter, according to Jay Stampfl, is that these agencies end up assigning them a 23-year old who has little experience in the industry. That results in mediocre results, similar to the company that hires a cheaper but still inefficient consultant.
Jay recommends going for smaller agencies, like BlackBird PPC, that are going to put their best people upfront without charging top dollar. Still, you need to invest to get high-quality PPC management. Even if your budget is low, the saying “you get what you pay for” holds true for PPC.
Want to more from Jay Stampfl? Follow him on twitter or listen to the whole episode below:
Here at AdStage we’re really excited to experiment with Facebook Messenger ads. Chatbots have taken off big time and 2017 has been tipped to be the year they move into mass adoption. There are now over 100,00 of them on Facebook Messenger. This growth is reflected in the increasing popularity of messaging apps, which are growing faster than social networks and fueling the rise of chatbots in the process.
Marketing is all about (a) finding your target audience and (b) communicating how your product or service can solve their problem. Which is why companies need to market through these messaging apps.
Why? People LOVE using Messaging apps and they prefer to use it to communicate with people we love. We iMessage our significant other. Facebook Messenger with our friends. Slack with our team. So let’s market to people where they currently are.
We’ve put together this guide to walk you through the ins and outs of how to set up them up and get the best performance.
How to Navigate This Facebook Messenger Ads Guide
This guide to messenger ads is broken down into four main parts. Feel free to skip to the section that is most relevant to your needs.
- Messenger Stats & Growth
- Facebook Messenger Ads
- How to Create Facebook Messenger Ads
- Messenger Ads Campaign Ideas
Part 4 – AdStage Case Study & Results (coming in June)
Want to get an alert when Part 4 comes out? Give us your address and we’ll shoot you an email as soon as it’s ready!
Let’s face it most people use their smartphones as their primary PC. This reliance on mobile phones grows in lockstep with our desire for constant and instant communication with family members, friends, and even work colleagues.
Enter messaging apps. Mobile messaging apps are exploding and are one of the hottest marketing trends in 2017. According to Business Insider, “the combined user base of the top four chat apps is larger than the combined user base of the top four social networks.”
Their exponential growth is largely due to their rich services and features, from free text messaging, to voice and video calling, group chats, stickers to convey moods, and even photo and file sharing. Now add falling data package prices and cheaper smartphones and it’s easy to track the boom from traditional calling to SMS to social messaging apps.
The Popularity of Messaging Apps
There are several networks in the messaging app ecosystem. As for the most popular network, it really depends on what you’re measuring and geographic location.
In the battle of the messaging services, Facebook Messenger (65%) has a lead over WhatsApp (56%) for membership, but WhatsApp is virtually level for visitors/users. WeChat is absolutely dominant in China; over 90% have an account.
According to a study of global internet users from GlobalWebIndex in 2015, Facebook Messenger was the most used messaging app with 37% of those surveyed using it, followed by WhatsApp (33%), Skype (21%), Line (10%), and Google Hangouts (9%). Nearly half (49.3%) of mobile users in North America and 43.4% of those in Western Europe will use messaging apps this year.
The MEF Mobile Messaging Survey 2016 indexes the messaging habits of nearly 6000 respondents across nine countries worldwide as shown below.
eMarketer’s latest report predicted Messenger will reach 105.2 million active daily users in the U.S by the end of 2016. That figure represents 40% of mobile users, making Facebook Messenger the leading over-the-top (OTT) mobile messaging app in the U.S. OTT messaging apps work over an Internet connection and not the SMS network like iMessage, which has boosted their popularity with international users.
SimilarWeb conducted a study using Android data from 187 countries and were able to determine the most popular messaging app all over the world (minus iPhone users).
While they’re consolidating under a few key players, in almost every country in the world, a messaging app is the most used app overall.
Messaging App Demographics
In general, messaging apps are especially popular among younger smartphone owners. In the US, 42% of smartphone users between the ages of 18-29 use messaging apps. And three in ten online smartphone users utilize general messaging apps, like Whatsapp, Viber, or Kik.
As the customer journey evolves and becomes more fragmented across networks and devices, there’s a real opportunity for marketers to reach younger audiences on the device of their choice, and on the network of their choice.
Which is exactly what Facebook is banking on with Messenger ads.
What is Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger is a free mobile messaging and chat app for smartphones that lets people send text messages, hold group chats, send and receive money, share photos or videos, and even make voice calls to their Facebook friends. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in February that WhatsApp serves as a replacement for SMS services, whereas Messenger aims to be a more “expressive and rich environment” with a broad range of content.
For businesses, Messenger is roughly two years old. At the 2015 F8 conference, Facebook unveiled a new Messenger feature to bring businesses on the platform with the goal of enhancing how people and businesses communicate. Since then there are now more than 1 billion messages sent each month between customers and businesses.
Plus, Messenger gives Facebook another way to own users’ time. The average user spends over 50 minutes a day scrolling and interacting on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a lot of time. However, there are only 24 hours in a day, and the average person sleeps for 8.8 of them. That means more than 1/16 of the average user’s waking time is spent on a Facebook owned platform.
What was once just a feature within Facebook is now one of the world’s most popular mobile messaging app services.
Messenger Stats & Growth
The undeterred rise in usage of Facebook Messenger continues from over 1.2 billion active users that’s ⅙ of the global population. 88% of online adults are a member of at least one of Facebook’s four main services: Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or Instagram.
Image Credit: Facebook
And according to Facebook’s 2016 Q4 report, there are 400 million Facebook Messenger users using voice and video chat on the app each month.
Here are a few more staggering stats Facebook hasn’t been shy about sharing.
- 10% of all Voice over IP (VoIP) calls made globally take place within Messenger
- 17 billion photos are distributed by Messenger each month
- 22 million GIFs shared every day, the equivalent of 254 GIFs per second
Image Credit: Facebook
This graph from Statista presents the number of Facebook Messenger users in the United States from 2014 to 2020. In 2015, 90.4 million U.S. mobile phone users accessed the messaging app to communicate. This figure is projected to grow to 139.2 million users in 2020.
Over the last year, we’ve seen Facebook look for ways to keep customers and shareholders happy and engaged. They continuously roll out new features, many copied from Snapchat, keeping the platform fresh and users actively engaged. They introduced Messenger Ads in Q4 2016 hinting at their ambition to carve out another revenue stream similar to Instagram.
Facebook Messenger Ads
Messenger ads provide marketers another avenue to start a conversation. And there’s a real business case to be made here as customers become more interested in using Facebook Messenger to make online purchases. Statista reports 84 percent of millennial respondents are willing to connect their PayPal account to Facebook Messenger in order to use conversational commerce.
2 Types of Messenger Ads + 1 Closed Beta
Currently, there are two types of Messenger ads available to advertisers with another one in closed beta.
- Send People to Messenger (Direction) – use Messenger ads to have your leads initiate the conversation with your business.
- Send Ads to People on Messenger (Placement)
- BETA: Testing Home Screen Ads (see example below)
How to Create Facebook Messenger Ads
There are currently two types of Messenger Ads available. Let’s walk through how to set up each type of ad.
Send People to Messenger (Direction)
Send People to Messenger ads appear in the News Feed with a call-to-action button that opens a Messenger conversation. It’s a a unique way to start a conversation and provide a personalized experience for your customers or potential customers.
Here’s how to get started.
1) Choose the Traffic objective (Note: This may appear as “Send people to your website” for some advertisers).
2) Choose your campaign name and click Continue.
3) Choose your audience, budget and News Feed placements (Note: You cannot use Instagram as a placement option when selecting Messenger as a destination).
4) At the ad level, choose your format. You can choose Carousel, Single Image, Single Video or Slideshow format.
5) Choose the Page you want to connect.
6) Choose Messenger as your destination.
7) Type a welcome message. When people click on your ad, they will automatically be directed to Messenger and receive a copy of your ad and the welcome message.
8) Select your call to action. I’d recommend Send Message so the user understands.
9) After you’ve reviewed your ad, click Place Order.
Keep in mind: Your Send People to Messenger ad won’t appear to people who don’t have the Messenger app.
Send Sponsored Messages to People on Messenger (Placement)
Now let’s set up the other type of Message Ad available to advertisers.
1) Choose the Traffic objective (Note: This may appear as Send people to your website for some advertisers).
2) Type in your campaign name and click Continue.
3) Choose your budget.
4) Choose your audience. Keep in mind that you can reach people who’ve messaged your page.
5) For placement choose Messenger. Note: selecting Messenger will turn off all the other placements.
6) At the ad level, choose your format. The option currently available is the Single Image format
7) Choose a website destination URL.
8) Write your headline, text and link description.
9) Once you’re happy with the ad, click Place Order.
Messenger Ads Campaign Ideas
There are some really interesting use cases from companies that have experimented with Messenger ads and chatbots. For example, Digital Marketer ran a highly successful campaign that generated 500% ROI in 3 days.
Or Nordstrom’s Messenger chatbot that asked a series of questions about user preferences, which users could answer right in the app. Depending on the input, the chatbot would then offer them some gift ideas, specifically picked for them. Rather than relying on customers to interact with your website, these examples show innovative ways to stay engaged with customers on a preferred platform and device.
Another way you could employ Messenger ads is to send out coupons or discounts. Below ranks the types of advertising and promotions that consumers in the United States are willing to receive via Facebook Messenger as of 2016, sorted by age group.
A total of 52 percent of Generation X survey respondents stated they were open to receive notifications of store sales upon entering a store via Facebook Messenger.
There are very impressive stats and ad placements. Right now, there’s a huge opportunity for early adopters to take advantage of Messenger before it gets ruined by spammy advertisers or before your audience gets completely turned off Messenger ads. Now’s the time to experiment!
Messenger Ads + Chat Bots = Automated Gold
Chatbots have taken off big time and 2017 has been tipped to be the year they move into mass adoption. There are now more than 100k of them on Facebook Messenger. This growth is reflected in the increasing popularity of messaging apps, which are growing faster than social networks and fueling the rise of chatbots in the process.
According to Chatbots Magazine, there are several global trends working together to make 2017 the year of chatbots.
- Mobile messenger domination
- App fatigue
- Support for chatbots by Facebook, Microsoft and other leaders
- Dramatic reduction in chatbot development costs
A chatbot (short for chat robot) is a computer program designed to simulate conversation with a human user in natural language, understands the intent of the user, and sends a response based on business rules and data of the organization.
I’m not talking about AI or Machine Learning. Think of chat bots like email marketing, but through messaging apps. People’s behaviors are changing and marketers will need to adapt to stay relevant. It’s like starting an email list when email became a thing. Or starting a podcast ten years ago. Those that are first to the game
Beerud Sheth, founder and CEO of cloud messaging platform Gupshup, wrote an article on VentureBeat and said,
“We’re in the midst of a once-in-a-decade paradigm shift. Messaging is the new platform, and bots are the new apps. The shift radically changes end-user experiences and developer frameworks and inevitably will change business models, how we monetize, and how we advertise.”
Small businesses without budgets for developers can experiment with codeless chat bot builders. These tools turn a company’s frequently asked questions, like hours and location, into automatic replies on Messenger.
Here is a List of a Few Free Chat Bots to Get You Started
- ManyChat – Visual bot builder for Facebook Messenger with broadcasts, analytics, scheduled posting and many other features
- Chatfuel – A bot platform for creating an AI chatbot on Facebook. Learn how to create a Facebook message bot quickly and easily, no coding required.
- Botsify – Create an AI chatbot without code
- OnSequel – Create media and entertainment bots without writing code to engage the 3B+ users on messaging apps.
We personally love ManyChat because it is (a) free (b) doesn’t require any coding, and (c) super user friendly.
You might be wondering how you could employ a bot for your business. Below are a few ways businesses are currently implementing to engage with their audiences.
Examples of when you could use them
- Customer Support
- Product Search
- Personalize yet automated responses
You might also be thinking that this would never work for my company. You may be right! Below are a few industries that will benefit the most from chatbots.
Sync Messenger Ads with Your Chatbot
Once you get your chatbot created it’s time to integrate it with your Messenger Ads campaign. We suggest taking some time to map out the messaging flow from our audience all the way to the desired outcome.
The key here to figure out what action you want the user to take once they click Send Message. Within the ad set up, Facebook provides the option to include an automated welcome which is perfect for kick starting a conversation and controlling where you want to take your audience.
We’re testing a few options with our integration into Manychat. First one is getting access to CRO eBook. Once someone clicks through from the ad they’ll see a welcome message that says, “Hi there! Looking to get your free CRO eBook? Just type “ebook” below and we’ll send it right over!”
If they type in “ebook” after the welcome message then will see this message.
Pretty awesome! The user was able to get an eBook without leaving a platform they’re comfortable with.
How to Set Up Keyword Sequences
Keyword sequences work off of a “if this then that” type of logic. Example, if this “keyword” then “perform this action.”
For our eBook Messenger Ads, we input if the user types “ebook” then message them the eBook.
When someone typed in this keyword is automatically kicked off the eBook delivery sequence as seen in the example above. All of this was done using Facebook Messenger Ads plus a chatbot keyword sequence to deliver our CRO eBook.
This is only scratching the surface of what you can accomplish with chatbots. You can create advanced customer journeys by varying the action and reward. Here all the options Manychat offers based on a specific keyword. From here you can automate the journey with “if this then that” logic into the desired response.
You can see that you could send an image, file, video, or a list with more options. The possibilities of this powerful automation are a lot like email nurture campaigns. It’s like a choose your own adventure for the user as they follow the map you created.
PART 4 AdStage Case Study (coming soon)
We’re diving into Messenger Ads and chatbots over the next 6 weeks. We’ll share our learnings and results at some point in June.
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You already know Facebook is a powerful and necessary channel in your digital marketing strategy from reading reports like DemandWave’s look at digital trends, but with each different Facebook ad type, which will get you the best ROI?
Marketing analytics software company, TrackMaven, conducted an industry-wide analysis of the spend and performance of Facebook ads specifically for Dark Posts and Boosted Posts. They took a look at budgets, days of promotion, and engagement for each, revealing some useful information about where marketers are getting the most for their money. But, before we dig into the numbers, let’s take a look at the difference between Facebook Dark Posts and Facebook Boosted Posts.
What Are Boosted Posts and Dark Posts?
Boosted Posts, which Facebook calls Boosted Page posts, allow you to extend the reach of a post you’ve already published to your Page. When setting up a Boosted Post, you can choose to send it to “People who like your Page and their friends” or “People you choose through targeting.” The second option includes target specifications for location, age, gender and up to 10 interests
Dark Posts, which Facebook calls Unpublished Page post ads, allow for more customized targeting. Every Dark Post that you create can be tailored for and targeted to specific, and different, audiences. Dark Posts are a great way to test creative with different audiences without overloading your Page since none of the ads are published to your feed.
Why Boosted Wins
Marketers spend nearly twice as much per Dark Post than Boosted Post, and leave Dark Posts active for an average of 15 days longer. But engagement numbers reveal Boosted Posts are more effective. Boosted Posts receive over 9x more organic reach and 7x more organic impressions than Dark Posts on average. Boosted Posts also receive a significantly higher number of shares – 73% more. The benefits of each ad type and how they influence creative may be one explanation for the wildly different results. Businesses tend to spend more time on ads posted directly to their Page (which would become Boosted Posts), while Dark Posts tend to focus on testing, and explicit calls-to-action.
TrackMaven points out that Dark Posts may be more beneficial to big brands with big budgets who are willing to commit to a longer-term strategy. Something to consider if your business meets that criteria.
Most Popular Post Type
Now that we know how and to whom to send ads, let’s look at the what. TrackMaven found the majority of posts are link posts – 84% of Dark, and 87% of Boosted. It makes sense when you factor in the reason for creating these two ad types is usually to encourage some type of qualified interaction.
If you still need more convincing to shift focus and dollars to Boosted Posts, check out this article for other benefits AdStage has experienced first-hand.
Fighting Ad Fatigue
The fact that US digital ad spending reached $72.09 billion last year means consumers are getting hit with more ads in more places than they ever have before. Marketers would like to call that a good thing, but people are engaging with ads less and less. Response rates in 1997 were around 7%, but today, that response rate has dropped to about .1 percent.
Ad fatigue has officially descended on the nation, sending marketers searching for ways to ensure their messages rise to the top. Before your customers start boycotting or complaining about you (as some have threatened to do to overzealous advertisers), let’s take a look at some ways you can serve messaging that feels new, relevant, and effective with minimal effort on your part.
Keep creative fresh
Before you have nightmares about spending hours every day cranking out content, know that keeping your social creative current doesn’t require a constant stream of new stuff. Switch up ads frequently so your target audience will be saved from too many impressions of the same creative, even if you only have a few pieces to run. By predicting when click-through rates will start falling, i.e. ad fatigue setting in, (see below: Drop poor performers) you can also calculate the ideal number of content pieces you’ll need to fill the duration of your campaign.
Take it one step further by creating a narrative in your messaging. If you have five pieces of content planned, instead of advertising five standalone product benefits, create one cohesive story about your product over the course of the five ads. Think of it as an extended carousel ad you can use to expand on an important or high selling point in your product. Check out this article for more ideas on how to approach your social creative within a carousel format.
Test your targeting
With any quantitative decision you’re considering, but especially marketing, you should always test. Running small tests will ensure you’re getting the most out of your budget when it’s time to plunk down the big spend. Run small tests on your LinkedIn campaigns, Facebook ad sets, or Twitter cards to assess the impact of using different targeting techniques. Depending on the results of the testing, you can make decisions on where to focus your funds.
If the Twitter ads got minimal traction, maybe it’s better to put all the money behind the high-performing LinkedIn ads. If you tested different messaging and the pieces that ran on Facebook did so well they nearly broke the internet, run another test with that messaging on other platforms to see if it resonates with those audiences. Do as much testing as you possibly can before you need to launch the campaign. A little money spent up front will save a ton in the long run, and ensure you get the highest return on what you do invest.
Drop poor performers
Even with all that testing, at least one ad will be less successful than the others. We can’t all be winners, right? However, you don’t have to coach the poor performer along until your budget is drained. Stop spend as soon as you detect a drop in performance so you can put that budget toward what’s actually working. As mentioned in the Keep creative fresh section, you can use this data over time to predict how much you’ll get out of your social creative, and as a result, how many ads to create to keep messaging fresh over the course of a campaign.
Ready to get started with these three tips? Here at AdStage, we recently released Rotations (available in Automate) to assist and…well…automate all of the above. The power of Rotations lies in saving you time and ad spend by spitting out data you can use to calculate creative needs, get an idea about performance before stomping down on the gas, and automatically halt spend when an ad is no longer useful. In fact, Rotations will automatically stop spend on your ad once it’s reached 30,000 impressions and the CTR has dropped below your target (for example).
Want to give Rotations a try? Sign up for a 14-day free trial. If you’re already an Automate user, access your AdStage account directly through the Rotations feature, and choose the set of campaigns, ad groups, or ads you wish to cycle, then select the conditions you want to trigger the rotation. Check out our FAQ for more details on how the campaign will manage itself from there, and a click-by-click visual tutorial to get your Rotations set up.
Digital ad spend will only continue to increase as consumer eyeballs and attention abandon more traditional forms of media. The most successful marketers will be those who understand the importance of unique, compelling social creative, and can move quickly to ensure that’s what they’re showing consumers at all times.
Facebook is enhancing its Audience Network with its latest release of In-Stream Video Ads. This added placement is not only for mobile, but also available on desktop as well. From a user experience standpoint, the end user will be able to view the video ad in one of two ways: in-stream or in-article.
Facebook In-Stream Video Ads
The in-stream video ads, available both on mobile and desktop, will deliver in pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll settings on video publishers that have in-stream inventory. If you’re wondering what type of third-party placements you can expect, premium publishers such as USA Today, Sports Media Group, and Daily Mail are already using these new ad formats to deliver engaging video ad experiences to their audiences. Other premium publishers may be available in the closed beta, but eventually Facebook will be rolling this out more broadly. Here’s an example of a video ad shown on USA Today:
In-stream video ad in the Audience Network (desktop + mobile)Advertisers can now optimize their video ads for brand awareness through the Audience Network. In-stream video ads will play before, during or after video content on third party apps and sites across mobile and desktop.
Posted by Facebook Business on Thursday, May 12, 2016
In-Article Video Ads
In-article video ads are currently shown on Facebook’s Instant Articles, a solution that lets publishers show articles from their site or mobile app to their audience on Facebook. The video ads will appear between paragraphs of text articles on mobile and play automatically when at least 50% of pixels are viewable. Viewers can opt-in for sound if they choose, but the default is muted. If you’re wondering what type of placements to expect, the in-article placements are only available through Facebook Instant Articles at this time. This means any publisher that already uses Instant Articles could enable this placement to show your video ads.
In-article video ad in the Audience Network (mobile)Advertisers can now optimize their video ads for brand awareness through the Audience Network. In–article video ads will appear between paragraphs of text and play automatically when at least half the pixels are viewable. Viewers must opt-in to sound.Posted by Facebook Business on Thursday, May 12, 2016
How to Get Started
To start syndicating your video ads on third-party publishers, head to your Facebook Ads Manager. Within your Video Views campaign, you will see an option to Edit Placements. Make sure you’ve checked the box called “Audience Network” to qualify for additional reach and frequency across other publishers outside of Facebook.
According to Facebook, advertisers that opt in to the Audience Network can generate approximately 10% more incremental reach than if they only targeted the mobile News Feed (Facebook internal data, May 2016). Early tests are also showing a lower cost per view (CPV) when advertisers enable video ads on all of their properties including Facebook, Instagram, and the Audience Network.
The algorithms will increase in-stream video ad delivery on a third-party site or app if it is deemed more relevant to a viewer. This means, for example, if your targeted audience spends more time in a particular app or website outside of Facebook or Instagram, your video will be shown on that publisher more often.
With more places to deliver content, advertisers can maximize their brand exposure through video ads more seamlessly through Facebook.
Have you tried In-Stream Video Ads on the Audience Network yet? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below!
New Facebook Campaign Planner Available in Business Manager for Facebook and Instagram
The latest addition to Business Manager is the Facebook Campaign Planner “a standalone tool for media planners to draft, compare, and share media plans using reach and frequency buying across Facebook and Instagram.” Brands and advertisers can now plan out campaign budgets and schedules to predict the estimated reach and frequency, these campaign insights can then be shared with clients and co-workers through link sharing or direct emails.
Each media plan can have up to six versions. Within each version of the media plan, you can play with different combinations of budgets, schedules, audiences, placements, and ad impressions per day to better understand the potential reach and frequency of your campaigns.
Below is an example of how the campaign planner provides insights around your reach based on your budget, schedule, and desired frequency. Using the prediction results, you can compare different versions against each other to determine which media plan best fits with your performance goals.
Why Facebook Campaign Planner Rocks
In the past, there was no way to view available Facebook targeting options, and the level of scale to reach your audience. The only workaround to uncover these insights was building a dummy ad set, selecting the desired targeting, and gaining access to reach estimates. Now with the new Facebook Business Manager media campaign planner, not only can you see all the targeting options available, it actually calculates the potential reach based on your budget, or the budget required to attain a specific reach goal, within the selected campaign’s run timeframe.
With these estimates, you can make more informed campaign decisions, without having to use real budget to test and optimize. If you’re working with clients or a team of digital marketers, you can easily share the media plan and reveal key audience insights into your plans and show how reach and frequency will impact your campaign.
How to Get Started with Campaign Planner
As of now, Campaign Planner is only available to advertisers with eligibility for reach and frequency buying. To get started, follow these steps below:
- Log in to your Business Manager
- Click Create Plan
- Name your plan
- Click Create Version
- Fill out each field that you’d like to customize for your media plan. Below is a screenshot of the different fields you can populate to estimate frequency.
For advertisers with a limited budget, we suggest inputting your actual budget for each version, while varying the frequency and/or audience to see how the estimated reach changes based on the different variables that are selected.
On the flip side, for brand advertisers that are mostly concerned with maximizing reach within a given timeframe, we recommend using the same reach inputs (which should be your target reach) in the different versions of your media plan, and playing around with the frequency, targeting options, and available placements to see how you can maximize reach for the lowest CPM.
Have you tried creating a media plan within Facebook Business Manager yet? Tell us your favorite use case for the new Campaign Planner in the comments below👇!