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Facebook may be the oldest of the major social media platforms, but the network’s maturity (and perceived lack of “coolness” among teenagers) hasn’t noticeably affected the impact Facebook ads have on the network’s 1.65 billion users. In fact, a March 2016 study found that 96% of global marketing professionals say Facebook produces the best ROI (only 2.1% of those surveyed said the same about Snapchat, according to eMarketer), and Facebook has recently stated that users watch 100 million hours of video on the network every day (Adweek).
To help companies decide what type of Facebook video advertising may be best for reaching their campaign goals, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular ways that brands are creating branded ads and/or brand-sponsored content on the world’s biggest social network.
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There now exists a myriad of ways for brands to reach Facebook’s 1.65 billion users with digital video ads and features, including:
Similar to television commercials that run between TV programs, Facebook video ads appear in a Facebook user’s News Feed, often before or between updates from friends or breaking news from publishers. Just like TV ads, these branded posts and videos operate on a “pay-to-play” model—the more a brand invests in the ad, the more “impressions” (i.e. views) it will receive and the more impactful (theoretically) it will be.
In response to a recent report that 85% of videos play without sound (Tubefilter), Facebook is now offering free subtitles to brands who invest in Facebook video advertising. According to an internal study conducted by the network, adding subtitles to silent digital videos increases view time by 12% (Adweek).
Taking a cue from popular apps like Periscope and Snapchat, Facebook’s new feature, Facebook Live, lets users, social media influencers, and/or brands create a live video of an event and allows Facebook audiences to watch and respond in real-time.
According to one report, Facebook might be tweaking its algorithm (which automatically re-orders content in a user’s feed) to give precedence to live video broadcasts (Tubefilter); if this is true, creating a Facebook Live event (or sponsoring Live content) may now be the best way for brands to reach large audiences.
Related Post: 8 Ways Brands Can Advertise On Snapchat
Facebook’s new features and innovations have started to attract content creators from other platforms. According to a recent Digiday article, more than half of Vine’s top creators have left the app in pursuit of more flexible formats and advertising dollars (which Facebook has, in no short supply).
Because many of these social media stars have already cultivated massive, loyal audiences on other platforms, partnering with YouTubers, Instagrammers, Viners, and/or Snapchatters to produce or star in Facebook video ads is now an effective way to ensure campaign success.
Related Post: The 5 Different Types Of Influencer Marketing Campaigns
At Cannes 2016, Facebook showcased a prototype of a new 360-degree interactive video format (Digiday). According to sources, the new Facebook video ads will let users navigate around the video using their finger and, once an item/area in the video has been selected, Facebook users will be taken to a “mini-version of the brand’s own website within Facebook.”
According to Mashable, Facebook will soon begin integrating Snapchat-like lenses/filters into Facebook Live broadcasts using Masquerade’s (commonly written “MSQRD”) facial-recognition/mapping software. (Facebook’s purchase of MSQRD in March 2016 is widely viewed as a direct response to Snapchat’s popularity.)
Considering the success that brands like Gatorade and Taco Bell have had with branded Snapchat lenses, marketers should expect Facebook to begin offering ways for brands to create and purchase custom lenses/filters in the not-so-distant future.