Do you still use Facebook? How many times have you come across people who call Facebook – outdated? Is the social media application just simply consuming memory on your device?
In recent years, social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat have gained massive popularity. This has made everyone question the popularity of Facebook and many choose to call it a social media application of the past. However, statistics about the platform stand firmly in its favour.
A recent study by Statista reveals that the application has about 2.7 billion monthly active users worldwide. This includes almost two-thirds of the United States population. As a result, we can’t accept the platform is no longer prominent. However, this does not mean that you should be on the platform to have a social life. Facebook has moved past its posts, comments, likes and messages. The social media platform is a major medium to reach potential customers. This is the basis of Facebook Advertising.
According to an eMarketer study, a large share of social media marketers considers Facebook advertising the most effective paid option among all the social networks.
This is because of its user base. Hence, advertising is a large source of revenue for the company.
Additionally, Facebook advertising gives smaller companies a competitive advantage, provided it’s used correctly.
How have Facebook Advertisements evolved?
2004: Flyers project
Zuckerberg and Saverin launched Facebook in February 2004, and in April, they took steps to monetise the platform. Facebook started selling bits of ad space to various companies like those promoting moving services, job listings, etc. This was the ‘Flyers project’.
2007: Facebook launched its official Ads platform
After three years of its launch, Facebook introduced a large-scale official ads program. This allowed businesses to create individual profiles like their users. As a result, they had a space to share and post content but most importantly engage with other users.
Additionally, the new program introduced ‘Social Ads’. These were ads that combined social action from a user’s friends. For example, a current purchase or a business’ review along with the advertiser’s message. As a result, advertisers could deliver more specific and targeted ads which also included information from their friends. Moreover, these ads were displayed in the designated ad space or within a user’s feed.
2011: ‘Sponsored Stories’ launched
Launched in 2011, Facebook introduced its “Sponsored Stories” project which allowed advertisers to place advertisements directly on a user’s News Feed. Initially, the company made sure to show only one sponsored story on users’ News Feeds every day. These stories also stemmed from pages these users or their friends liked.
Users could not opt from the program entirely. But they could close individual ads. Advertisers saw this as a major win as they had a space to display ads in the middle of consumers’ News Feeds and social content.
2012: Facebook launches a mobile ads program
Before 2012, Facebook’s mobile application did not drive any money as the company didn’t display ads there. However, Facebook decided to subtly ease advertisements into user’s News Feed in 2012. This was borrowed from the ‘Sponsored Stories’ strategy that blended paid promotional content with the usual statuses or user-generated content.
The plan was to make ads as discreet as possible. Along with this, advertisers were offered limited space while being asked to create attractive and interactive content to capture attention. In the end, the strategy proved successful.
2014: Facebook introduced a three-level advertising campaign structure
In March 2014, Facebook introduced a new ad structure, offering campaigns and ad sets, other than the standard ads.
Campaigns are plans with specific advertising objective. They were designed to enable users to optimise and measure the output from individual ads. Along with this, a buffer was put between those two levels.
On the other hand, ad sets were the subsets of a campaign. They could target specific audience segments and feature their own budgets. This structure allowed advertisers to better understand demographics.
Moreover, Facebook’s three-level structure made its advertising infrastructure easier to navigate and thoughtfully organised.
2016: Introduction of chatbots to its Messenger platform
Facebook decided to take advantage of its siloed mobile messaging system with the introduction of chatbots. The social media platform offered two ways to include bots: ‘Sponsored Messages’ and ‘Click-to-Messenger’ ads.
The former refers to the advertisements that appear in a user’s Messenger inbox. This allows users to automatically communicate with a chatbot with just a click.
While ‘Click-to-Messenger’ ads leverage call-to-action to place advertisements in a user’s Messenger inboxes. A business will attract users with some incentive like a discount or any content on the platform. Consequently, they will send a message via a chatbot once they click on the offer.
2018-2020: Expansion of ad formats
Facebook makes constant efforts to improve upon its advertising formats in order to monetise, as well as maintain the quality of user experience. The company offered eight different advertising options as of 2020:
- Playable Content
How to make the most out of Facebook advertising?
Facebook Advertising is the best-paid advertising method, provided it’s implemented wisely. So here are some tips to create effective ads for Facebook:
- Before writing advertisements for Facebook, one should use Facebook Targeting to narrow the audience. Writing for a general audience is the wrong way to approach this advertising. Whereas a specific group of people can be easily attracted, making the ad effective.
- A major issue that especially smaller businesses face is the lack of visuals. As a result, they use an image that doesn’t match the copy. The problem in this scenario is that customers will end up wondering what the company is actually advertising. Consequently, they are unlikely to click and the ad will be wasted. Hence, it’s important to make sure that your Facebook Ad copy goes with your visual.
- Just because you are paying for advertising, doesn’t mean that you add everything. While it may be tempting, it’s important to explain your product but keep it short and valuable. The easiest way to approach is to imagine yourself as a customer and answer the questions that the product can raise in your mind and form the advertisement accordingly.
- One of the most crucial things to understand while creating an ad for Facebook is to understand that every successful ad has a definite goal. For example, increasing brand awareness, sell a product, etc. This means it should have a clear call-to-action. In the absence of this, users will have no idea what to do next.
- To make the advertisement more helpful and convenient for customers, it’s important to approach with numbers. This means you should add the cost or discount offered for your product or service. In short, lead with numbers.
Facebook advertising is indeed the most effective paid online advertising option and your business always needs content to run successful ads. Contact us at Shaktiki and let us help you create the best Facebook ads.