An Advertisers’ Guide to Facebook Stories (and How to Leverage Them at Scale!)

The way we share information constantly evolves, and, as advertisers, we’re always looking for fun, fast ways to tell our story and promote our business. Facebook’s standard placements are proven drivers of user engagement and great business results, but the social platform’s latest offering, Facebook Stories, offers prime real estate for your advertisement.

Facebook Stories bring your ads to life, and it’s easy to see why they secure more than 300 million users’ attention every day. Shown front and center on a user’s news feed, Stories are likely the first thing users see upon login. One tap accesses a user’s Stories Feed, and subsequent taps scroll through their friends’ stories. Stories ads are sprinkled throughout this feed, generating views and allowing in-feed engagement as they move from one Story to the next. The mechanism of accessing Stories creates a captive atmosphere for the ads to appear within, increasing a business’ potential reach to a larger and more diverse audience.

As Advertisers, why should we care?

With their full-screen creative format, Stories engage mobile audiences on a different level than in-feed ads. Mobile advertising is essential to driving brand recognition and determining campaign effectiveness, and advertising in stories has proven to drive valuable business outcomes. According to research by Ipsos, a global market research and consulting firm:

  • 62% of people said they became more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in a Story.
  • 68% of people polled said they use Stories on at least three apps regularly.
  • 63% said they plan to use Stories more in the future.

What are the Elements of a Successful Stories Advertisement?

  • Begin With Your Brand – Introduce yourself at the beginning of the creative and remind users who you are.
  • Keep Attention with Speed – It’s important to remember things move fast in stories, so make sure to deliver your message and showcase your brand quickly, we recommend within the first 5 seconds.
  • Creative is Important – Creative is a key factor in driving campaign effectiveness and must align with your business goals and objectives. Define your strategy and align your creative elements to support.
  • Enhance Your Story with Sound – Music can help enhance your message for your brand.
  • Design with Your Objective in Mind – Tailor the creative of your ad to the objective and ask yourself, what are you looking to achieve?
  • Test and Learn – Experimenting with creativity on stories will help identify what strategies work for your audiences, creative, and business objectives.
Leveraging Facebook Stories at Scale 

When it comes to localizing ads at scale, the Stories ad placement should not be ignored. Whether using localized dynamic video ads or static creative, advertisers can still reap the benefits of Facebook Stories’ unique real estate, mobile optimization, and captive elements within the Facebook Newsfeed. What’s more, localized story ads published from local Pages give you the opportunity to direct consumers exactly where to buy your company’s products or access your services at a location most relevant to them.

Localized stories ads give users a method to directly respond to an ad, whether getting a quote from a local agent or receiving turn-by-turn driving directions to a restaurant near them. 

Ready to see how you can advertise with Facebook Stories at scale?  Contact us today!

 

Amy Abell is a Client Manager at Tiger Pistol, where she specializes in supporting our Value-Added Resellers portfolio. When she’s not in the office, she enjoys walks on Austin’s Town Lake with her dog Finley, traveling to new places, and trying every new restaurant in town.

 

 

 

What Facebook’s Second Wave of Data Privacy Tools Mean for Advertisers

In a post-Cambridge Analytica world, Facebook continuously strives to showcase their dedication and commitment to giving users more control and transparency over data that is shared with the social media platform. Shortly before the F8 Conference in Spring 2018, Facebook announced a new ‘Clear History’ feature that would give users control of their data, allowing them to disconnect the information third-party websites and apps share with Facebook.

Fast forward to August 2019, Facebook finally rolled out the ‘Clear History’ feature, now known as the ‘Off-Facebook Activity Tool’. This tool will show users a summary of the apps and websites that have shared their user data with Facebook, and gives users the opportunity to control what information, if any, is shared with these websites. According to Facebook, they “won’t know which websites you visited or what you did there, and won’t use any of the data you disconnect to target ads to you on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger.” There is one caveat – even though Facebook will allow users to decide what they share, it will not prevent Facebook from collecting or storing the information. Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan describes the functionality and use case best:

“Imagine a clothing website wants to show ads to people who are interested in a new style of shoes. They can send Facebook information saying someone on a particular device looked at those shoes. If that device information matches someone’s Facebook account, we can show ads about those shoes to that person.”

Image source: Facebook Newsroom

With the new tool, users will have three options to clear or restrict specific information from their accounts:

  1. Summary view of the data apps and websites have chosen to send to Facebook
  2. Disconnect this information from your account
  3. Disconnect future off-Facebook activity from your account. This will be available for all of a user’s off-Facebook activity or just specific websites/apps.

This update will give users more visibility into what is happening with their data but will likely impact the way this data is aggregated. As advertisers, it’s important for us to understand how to prepare for the impact, as well as keep these updates top of mind as we head into the second half of the year.

  1. As mentioned, this will impact the data available to advertisers. If a user decides to disconnect their off-Facebook activity, the data from those sites won’t be used for targeting. Facebook’s pixel or custom audiences built from website visitors or custom lists won’t be available to reach users with ads.
  2. Facebook’s measurement and reporting tools will continue to provide the same level of data, as it was built to protect a user’s identity. They do not anticipate any changes will come for the data analytics tools.
  3. Targeting basics are still available, and they really work! While some targeting parameters were removed in October 2018, demographic, behavior and interest targeting is still an easy way to make sure your ads are being seen by people that fit in your target audience.
  4. Continue to connect, not only in person but on Facebook too! Targeting those connected to your Facebook Page will keep your Page Fans engaged with your content.

Facebook says they will continue to find ways to improve the level of transparency for users and their profiles. Change is hard, especially when it comes to new features or policies and ensuring that you are ready for the downstream effects of how these changes will impact your advertising ability.

Note: Facebook has made this tool available to people in Ireland, South Korea, and Spain and will continue to roll out to everyone throughout the end of the year.

Here at Tiger Pistol, we live and breathe Facebook Advertising. Keep up-to-date on the latest social advertising news by following us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

What can Advertisers still do to achieve great results on Facebook in a post Cambridge Analytica World?

As a result of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has been cracking down on the sharing and use of some types of user data.

But first, here’s a refresher of what happened: Cambridge academic, Aleksandr Kogan, and Global Science Research, created an app in 2013 that had users answer questions for a psychological profile. The app harvested personal data, and gathered data from Facebook friends of the users that had submitted their information to the app, reportedly resulting in the Cambridge Analytica having access to the data of millions of Facebook users. Fast forward to the end of 2015, The Guardian reports that Cambridge Analytica was ‘in bed’ with Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign (further down the track we’re also made aware that the data firm influenced voters during Trump’s presidential campaign). Facebook then bans the app, and legally pressures Cambridge Analytica to remove all of the data they had acquired. At this point, Cambridge Analytica confirm that the data has been deleted. Low and behold, it’s now September 2018, and Facebook continues to make changes to their policy after the onslaught of media attention and ‘bad press’ garnered from the scandal.

 

So, what changed? Here’s a timeline of some of the major changes.

October, 2017:

  • Facebook announced that only authorized advertisers could run electoral ads on Facebook owned channels.

April, 2018:

  • Facebook extends the above to any advertiser wanting to show “issue ads”.
  • Facebook rolled out the labelling of political ads in the top left corner of the ad, and introduced the new “paid for by” information.

May, 2018:

  • Facebook removed Partner Categories, which accounted for over half of Facebook’s 1,200 targeting criteria. Partner Categories essentially allowed advertisers to target Facebook and Instagram users via third party data from the likes of  Axciom, Oracle Data Cloud (Datalogix), Epsilon and Experian.
  • Facebook strengthened their protection of user data, through the platform’s compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR was developed to ensure users have control over their personal data, and companies must gain consent for collecting and sharing this data. In order to comply with the EU regulation, Facebook worked to remove Partner Categories and will officially stop targeting these audiences as of October 1, 2018.
  • As of May 24, Facebook requires all advertisers wanting to run ads with political content in the US to complete an authorization process.
  • Facebook’s updated Product Terms and revised the Custom Audience Terms came into effect on May 25.

June, 2018:

  • Facebook introduced a new upload and sharing flow for Custom Audiences from a customer file, requiring advertisers to accept Facebook’s Custom Audience terms, provide audience origin information, and establish audience sharing relationships through Business Manager.

August, 2018:

  • Facebook introduced Page publishing authorization last month, requiring people that manage a Page with a large audience in the U.S. to complete an authorization process.
  • Facebook removed over 5,000 targeting options to help prevent discriminatory advertising, but also introduced new and returning professional targeting options.
  • Facebook announced that over the coming weeks, they will be requiring all US advertisers to certify compliance with their Non-Discrimination Policy. Originally, Facebook had required advertisers offering housing, employment or credit ads to do this.
All is not lost – Facebook still has great ways to get in front of your target audience.

The changes mentioned above were swift actions to try and correct some of the ‘wrong’ that had occurred, and it’s likely there will be more changes to follow as Facebook continues to adapt to data regulations and user privacy requirements. Some believe the lack of third-party targeting might not even make a difference in ad performance, while other parties think otherwise. Either way, Facebook continues to be one of the most powerful and robust tools for advertisers to get in front of their target audience. Here’s some advice on what advertiser’s can still do, by way of targeting, to achieve great results:

  1. First off, make sure you review and are compliant with Facebook’s updated Custom Audience Terms.
  2. If you have a website – use it: installing the Facebook Pixel on your site will enable a plethora of retargeting capability via Facebook, from targeting people who visited the site, right through to targeting those that made a purchase.
  3. If you’ve got a customer or prospect list, use that too! Utilizing data such as email addresses is extremely effective, and allows you to target your existing customers in a personalized way. If retargeting isn’t your desired strategy, you can create a Lookalike of your customer list to reach a new  audience that’s likely to be interested in your business.
  4. Targeting basics are still available, and they work! While some targeting parameters are due to be removed on October 1, demographic, behavior and interest targeting is still an easy way to make sure your ads are being seen by people that fit in your target audience.
  5. Connections are a great not only in person, but on Facebook too! Targeting those connected to your Facebook Page, will keep your Page Fans engaged with your content!

Facebook can be tough to navigate, especially when it comes to new policies and making sure you, the advertiser, are compliant. Fortunately, Tiger Pistol lives and breathes Facebook Advertising, so we’ll make sure to keep you up to date on the latest changes that might affect your advertising via our Blog.

Amy Abell is a Senior Social Specialist at Tiger Pistol, is experienced in Facebook Advertising for small and local businesses.

Coming Soon: Facebook’s America: “Safe & Civil” Advertising in a Sea of Policy Change by Analissa Moreno.