6 June 2014

Facebook: New Advertising Opportunities


Facebook now offers marketers two advertising opportunities, to help them increase their reach to a larger audience. The two Facebook advertising options are video ads and job targeting ads.

Advertising on Facebook is nothing new. Currently a large number of businesses, both big and small, invest in Facebook advertising as part of their activities on the platform, in order to gain more likes for their Page and to subsequently drive traffic to their site. These adverts can been seen on the left hand side of the newsfeed or in some cases, actually integrated into the newsfeed itself. Often, Facebook based advertisements are targeted, this means that different ads are shown to different people depending on their online behaviour. For example, if a user has recently shopped online then they are likely to find Facebook advertisements encouraging them to do so again.

Facebook Video Ads:

Facebook New Advertising OpportunitiesWeb users may already have visited sites where a 15 second video advertisement begins playing in mute. Facebook have plans to begin doing the same. However, unlike the banner ads which many of the platform’s users are accustomed to, these video ads are guaranteed to catch the attention of the platform’s users due to their movement. The new Video Ad feature is currently being tested by the social media platform for a selection of advertisers.

Facebook has also announced their ambition to work directly with a company that will allow them to test how effectively their videos have performed. As part of this, Facebook will also assess the content of each Video Ad prior to being given the go ahead to appear in the Newsfeed. Facebook’s initial outline of their intended Video Ads comes with a selection of drawbacks, these include:

  • Facebook users are unlikely to be overwhelmed by the prospect of a video beginning to play as they are browsing their newsfeed.
  • Video Ads must be high quality, in addition they must stick to the platforms content guidelines. Due to this, it is highly likely that Video Ads will be too expensive for the majority of small companies and businesses.
  • Although the videos will begin in mute and may not affect most users, those who have a bandwidth limitation on their connection are unlikely to be pleased with ads taking up their paid bandwidth space.

Facebook Job Targeting:

Facebook Job TargetingFacebook’s job targeting enables a marketer to choose groups of Facebook users with a specific job title, in order to advertise to them. To demonstrate, users who have listed their job title as related to the medical profession, such as doctors, nurses and surgeons, can now be targeted with Facebook ads for medical equipment and supplements. This is extremely similar to what is currently available on LinkedIn. This feature presents marketers with an exceptional tool to reach the Facebook business to business audience.

However, unlike LinkedIn, which is the primary social media site for business to business marketers, Facebook may not enjoy as much success with this form of advertising. There are a number of reasons for this, these include:

  • Not all Facebook users list their job title on their profile.
  • The data collected by Facebook for job titles may not at this stage be comprehensive enough to be used as a reference in order to target users.

In the modern world, advertisements are everywhere, both online and offline. Businesses are constantly under pressure in order to devise more effective ways of advertising to potential customers and clients. Some businesses may consider these new Facebook advertising options as a huge step forward, however the implications these new ad forms will have on the platform’s users should not be understated.