Friday, July 22, 2016

Facebook Updates Boost Awareness and Sales

 

Image courtesy of (arztsamui)/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Simply put: we don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.”

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook
Facebook is constantly improving on its platform by updating its algorithms, supplying new and exciting features to its users, and providing business owners with a plethora of tools to expand their reaches and amplify sales.

Of course, the company does have its own mission to thrive, but in following through with that objective, the social juggernaut has given countless companies a means to succeed in the digital market; especially through advertising. These days, running ad campaigns on Facebook is essential for small businesses for a myriad of different reasons. And Facebook has recently released a variety of updates for ad campaigns, metrics enhancements, and new tools to improve your promotional prowess.

It’s time to get up to speed on Facebook’s latest business-centric offerings and what is coming down the pipeline for social advertisers.

Strengthened Slideshow Ads

Late last year, Facebook announced a new ad format for promoters to leverage; slideshow ads. These five to 15 second promos gave advertisers with limited production resources a means to create compelling ads. Facebook even gave advertisers access to its Shutterstock library to make these ads even more accessible to generate. Additionally, these endorsements were perfectly suited for mobile, a constantly growing sector, as the ads could be up to five times smaller in size, making them perfect for slow mobile connections.

Facebook is now making these ads even more compelling by announcing that slideshows would not only be able to accommodate text overlay, but audio overlay as well. In addition, the site is supplying creators with a simple “video-to-slideshow” tool, access to its Pages Photo Library, and the ability to create slideshow ads for a mobile device. This allows for compelling ads to be created with nearly zero resources, quickly, easily, and on-the-go. These new features are currently available to all advertisers.

Local Awareness Augmentation

Facebook has offered local awareness ads for a couple of years now. The ads help to drive business to brick and mortar locations by displaying the store nearest the viewer along with calls-to-action like “Get Directions.” The social site stepped these ads up a notch last year by allowing advertisers with multiple locations to create dynamic local ads for a single campaign.

Facebook is now taking this technology further still with its inclusion of a native store locator, which will reside inside the ad.

The reason for this new feature is that store locators on business websites are notoriously discouraging for people on mobile devices. These often require the screen to be resized, multiple clicks and so forth.

With Facebook’s native store locator, people can see all of a store’s locations within a map as well as information like address, phone number, store hours, and more without ever leaving the ad. Native store locators are currently available for any local awareness ad.

In-Store Visits Improvements

Another tie-in with Facebook’s local awareness ads is improvements to the company’s in-store visits metrics.

Measuring in-store visits coming from ads has been a challenging endeavor, but current technologies are allowing advertisers and business owners to gain a more comprehensive picture of the impact their ad dollars actually have in the real world.

In addition to current metrics, promoters will now gain visibility on the number of individuals who visit a store after viewing a Facebook ad as well as the ability to improve ad delivery and targeting based on store drop-ins. Facebook is also adding features to assist in analyzing these results, which will help business owners optimize future ad campaigns.

Much like Google, these visits are an estimated metric derived from individuals who have location services enabled with the social media site. While this additional information is not yet available to the masses, it will be in the coming months.
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Connecting Ads and Sales

Another real-world performance metric from Facebook comes in the form of its new Offline Conversions API. With this technology, business will be able to couple in-store or over-the-phone transactions with their Facebook advertisements. The Offline Conversions API will allow for transactional information from a customer database to be tied with Ads Reporting for further understanding of how social media adverts impact in-store sales. Promoters will be able to work with partners like IBM or Facebook to:
  • View real-time transaction results;
  • Acquire demographic awareness on those who are buying products;
  • Optimize later ad campaigns.
This service is currently in testing and will be available sometime in the future.

The Creative Hub

In an effort to help marketers generate the most compelling and effective ads possible, as well as aid in the transition to mobile marketing, Facebook is bringing forth its Creative Hub.

This service is set to be a sandbox interface where businesses can experiment with various ad formats to establish what will work best for their efforts. Ads can be previewed in desktop or mobile formatting as well as shared with relevant parties through a preview URL so that potential ads can be reviewed and discussed before publication.

The hub will also provide ad creators will various materials to assist in the creation of ads that will perform well. The service will feature an archive of content, case studies, best practices, and more to help in generating ads that convert.

You can currently add your e-mail to the waitlist to gain access to the hub.
Facebook has a full arsenal of tools waiting for business to leverage; everything from live video to ads, publishing tools, sales features, and more can all be found on the one-stop business marketing tool. Check out these new features to see how impactful your ads are, how they can be improved, and what other types can help captivate new audiences.

How have local awareness ads impacted your business? Which unreleased feature are you most excited about?

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