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.

 

 

 

CHECKLIST: Avoiding Bogus Leads from Facebook Ads

“Leave me alone.”
“I’m not interested.”
“Who are you?”

Like a discordant refrain, these familiar phrases can feel like they’re playing on loop when following up with potential customers generated from Facebook Lead Ads. Bogus or misleading leads are a huge complaint among advertisers, but there are a few common and useful steps an advertiser can take when building Lead Generation Ad Campaigns to curb the occurrence of false leads.

Certain aspects are out of our control from the advertisers’ end, such as trusting Facebook users to enter correct and non-misleading information, but armed with this handy checklist, you can audit your lead gen ads, making improvements to stem the tide.

☐ Add additional qualifying questions

When trying to differentiate between the good, the bad, and the ugly, especially when it comes to your leads, adding an extra layer of protection goes a long way. One of the best and most highly recommended steps would be to add qualifying questions to your lead form. This helps ensure that the Facebook users who are responding to your ads are doing so in good faith, helping you easily separate leads who appear to have an actual interest in your product or service from leads that are clearly bots and window shoppers.

☐ Provide several responses a user can select from

This step ties directly into the first tip we just discussed, “adding additional qualifying questions.” By giving users a checklist of preset answers to select from when responding to your qualifying questions, you can help yourself later on down the road as you filter and prioritize leads who have shown interest but might not be ready to, “pull the trigger,” or for that matter, “load the gun.” Here’s what prefilled options could look like on a real estate lead gen ad form:

☐ Optimize your ad copy

Consider your ad copy your first line of defense against users who might just be “clicking to click” out of sheer curiosity.  Clear messaging that calls out variables like cost, location, or time-sensitive offerings can help ward away non-buyers and bots alike, instead drawing in serious prospects who you’d want to follow-up with.

☐ Narrow Your Target Audience Focus

Reduce your bogus lead rate with better targeting through lookalike audiences. This robust tool in Facebook’s advertising apparatus can help you help yourself right out of the gate.  Being able to hone in on the audience for your ad campaign clears the cobwebs before they’ve even been spun. Using your existing customer base and then generating a lookalike audience based on that list can focus in on Facebook users who are most likely to turn into offline conversions.

☐ Lead Follow-Up

While not pertaining directly to the ad structure, proper follow-up is one of the most critical and overlooked steps of all. Delays in outreach can cause users to rethink (or even forget) their interest in the product or service being offered. Rapid response to your ad’s hand-raisers can be the catalyst that propels an opportunity forward or severs the relationship forever.  The sooner you follow-up, the more likely a user’s attention stays focused, allowing you to gain valuable insight and build the relationship necessary to move the conversation along towards an offline sale.

Facebook’s release of Lead Generation Ads in October 2015 changed the game for advertisers who use their platform, and since launch, a number of best practices for Facebook Lead Gen Ads have surfaced. Having users within the targeted audience provide detailed information such as, a name, a phone number, as well as an email address greatly increases the seller’s ability to, “cut the fat,” so to speak, and focus their time on outreach to those who have expressed interest directly rather than just counting on data collected after a campaign has concluded. By following the steps outlined above, you won’t just be “cutting the fat,” but providing yourself with the leanest, meanest Lead Gen Campaigns out there.

Ready to learn more about running quality lead generation ads at scale?  Contact us today!

Justin Chavolla is a client success specialist for Tiger Pistol.  Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, he moved to Austin 4 years ago. Justin takes his passion for helping others and couples it with his constant curiosity of figuring out how things work. He brings his enthusiasm to Tiger Pistol, where he is able to help our clients succeed and better understand the platform.  As an avid fan of combat sports, when he is not at work you can catch him at the local boxing gym constantly trying to improve his skills.

Garnering Love, Not Likes: What To Do When Advertising Only On Instagram

One of the greatest and most noteworthy benefits of today’s digital advertising landscape is the variety that comes with testing and choosing which social media platforms resonate with your brand the most. While it’s always recommended to try a wide variety of platforms when first advertising on social media in order to understand which suit your brand’s unique goals and objectives, sometimes budget and time constraints can get in the way. If after evaluating your choices and deciding that Instagram is the clear winner for social advertising, be sure to keep the many pros and cons of the mobile-friendly platform in mind.

Demographics and Why They Matter

Demographically speaking, 72% of users who use Instagram are 15 to 35 years old. Keeping this in mind, it’s good to note that this younger fan-base is ideal for businesses in retail, subscription services, and music, but may not be relevant to industries seeking an older audience like businesses pertaining to auto, financial services and healthcare. 

Before you hit the “Publish” button, it’s crucial you know to whom you’re advertising. Focus on data-driven insights and pinpoint exactly who your audience is within Facebook Ads Manager using the Facebook Audience Insights tool. You may be surprised by what you find – perhaps your male-driven brand tends to skew towards a larger female audience on Instagram! Even better, it may guide your campaign strategies on social media moving forward.

Think Globally

While Instagram was founded in the US, 89% of users are found outside the United States. Global leaders of the pack include Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Russia. Businesses with a world-wide presence must keep this in mind when creating content that truly resonates with targeted users from a variety of countries.

Tips and Tricks: Things To Know About Your Ads

Think quality over quantity. When initially launching your ads on Instagram, keep it simple. A/B testing is a surefire way to better understand what users will positively react to, and what works and doesn’t work for your ad. Unsure of what to test first? We recommend experimenting with different target audiences, copy, or different variations of media.

Content may be king, but engaging visuals are the moneymakers. Users flock to Instagram for inspiration and discovery, and they expect the same when they see an ad. Just because you’re paying for placement does not mean that your quality of content can falter. Stop the scrollers in their tracks with high-quality photography or video, killer copy, and a purposeful  Call-To-Action.

Be Smart With Metrics

Sure, likes are always great to receive on Instagram, but they’re certainly not the end-all-be-all for campaign success. When running ads on the platform, keep a close eye on the metrics that truly matter, and be sure to always measure your performance in meaningful ways. If you’re running an ad with a focus on garnering leads, choose to direct your energy towards achieving a low Cost Per Lead. Likewise, if you’re running a campaign focused on brand awareness, be sure to track the number of impressions your campaign has received over time as well as monitor brand recall lift. It’s all about tracking your numbers and applying your learnings to your next campaign.

Don’t Forget About Stories

There are 400 million users watching Instagram Stories each day, with a third of the most-viewed Stories coming from businesses. If you aren’t leveraging Instagram Stories Ads, you’re missing out on an opportunity to garner additional engagement and risk falling behind your competitors.

With social ad spend projected to continue its growth year-over-year, Instagram is by far one of the easiest ways to elevate your brand’s creativity and drive your business objectives.

Let’s talk about running your next scaled social campaign on Instagram. Get in touch with us today!

Alex Serrano joined Tiger Pistol with extensive experience in social media content creation, advertising and reporting. As a Marketing Services Specialist for Tiger Pistol, she works closely with the global brand team, overseeing social strategy and reporting for a variety of clients. Outside of work, you can find Alex hiking with her dog, buying tickets to see a local show or bouldering at the local rock gym. 

Are Facebook CPMs Rising? Depends How Local You Go.

The Story of How a Simple Hunch is Transforming Social Advertising

A recent industry news article cited that Facebook’s CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) grew by 122 percent. With our considerable amount of historical campaign data, we couldn’t help but wonder if Tiger Pistol’s Facebook Advertising CPMs were rising at the same rate. 

SPOILER ALERT: They’re Not. Not Even Close.

We don’t like to throw the word “hero” around, but this origin story shows exactly how our simple hunch is transforming social advertising. 

What's Up with WhatsApp Ads

What’s Up With WhatApp Ads?

WhatsApp ads are coming! Well actually, they’re already here, but they are expected to be coming again in 2020, only this time, in-app. It was only just over a year ago, in October of 2018, that Facebook enabled “click to WhatsApp” ads, which allowed marketers to deploy ads that allowed users to click direct into a WhatsApp conversation with a business. These features further evolved into the concept of “WhatsApp Business” – a separate app specifically for business owners using WhatsApp, that launched in April 2019.

Facebook’s development of their WhatsApp advertising offerings has been a slow burn since they acquired the Platform in 2014. Generally speaking, up until recently, WhatsApp was treated more independently of Facebook’s other major acquired property, Instagram. Instagram fully opened to advertisers in 2015, just 3 years after being acquired.

WhatsApp Business includes the ability to set up Business Profiles on WhatsApp as well as more distinct tools for business communication, such as auto-responses, and away messages. These WhatsApp changes are foundational, and a necessary step to fully unlock the advertising potential of the WhatsApp platform, with the expected launch of new ad formats that originate in WhatsApp, rather than taking users to it. It’s clear that Facebook likely has bigger plans for WhatsApp in mind.

Investing in WhatsApp’s advertising functionality is a no-brainer for Facebook, by the numbers, WhatsApp represents one of their largest, most engaged properties:

  • 1 billion WhatsApp accounts are active every day.
  • 1.5 billion WhatsApp accounts are active every month
  • 2 billion minutes of calls every day.
  • 450 million WhatsApp accounts are active on WhatsApp Status every day.

With such a massive user base using the Platform regularly, WhatsApp promises to be the next evolution of Facebook’s social advertising tools. However, though it should be mentioned, there is just one major caveat to the rise of WhatsApp, Facebook’s home market, the United States, doesn’t really use it. Facebook’s answer to this, has been to position Messenger as the go-to messaging option for advertisers in the US. In either case, WhatsApp’s emergence is a sign of the times. Messaging is to become a bigger part of the consumer experience and advertisers will be required to evolve to meet this new challenge, and we have every reason to believe that WhatsApp will be the first battleground.

What opportunity does WhatsApp represent? Better consumer data and experiences namely, in addition to considerable ROI potential for businesses large and small. A few examples from Facebook on early adopters:

PlayKids,  an education Platform for kids, saw a 90% decrease in lapsed subscribers when they started using WhatsApp Business to communicate directly with their customers over phone and email.

Sale Stock, an Indonesian fashion business, took a similar approach and began using WhatsApp Business as their primary communication channel. It quickly became their number one source of inbound chat traffic, with 90% of the messages delivered by Sale Stock read by their customers.

What makes WhatsApp and messaging-based social activations so exciting is their ability to generate both positive customer outcomes in addition to ROI for the business. This is especially true at scale. One additional case study comes from the Dubai-based logistics company Aramex. To date they’ve served over one million customers through WhatsApp Business, and saw a 19% decrease in inbound call volume to their support center since making the transition. What’s more, 41% of all shipment inquiries are now handled through WhatsApp.

One thing these case studies all have in common is they all involve integrating WhatsApp into customer service channels – the advertising elements only surfacing in the very bottom funnel, where messaging is deployed to drive retention and re-purchase. In part, this is not unexpected given that it’s much easier for businesses to communicate with existing customers rather than potential ones through direct messaging. To think that messaging could lead a customer acquisition strategy is a notion fraught with caveat and complication. While it may not ever be the leading strategy for some industries, it can be a compelling strategic element even in cases where proactive conversation is not already embedded in the sales process.

Imagine running an awareness or traffic campaign in WhatsApp, and retargeting people who viewed the ads, watched X% of the video, or viewed a product page with a direct message. Alternatively, immediate follow-ups off the back of WhatsApp ad clicks present another interesting frame, to instigate driving conversions via direct or bot-driven consumer communication. The possibilities are endless, but it can’t happen until Facebook’s tools catch up.

In the last year, Facebook has made the foundational steps for both WhatsApp and Messenger to play a larger role in advertising. The next step is a fuller integration with existing advertising tools by launching WhatsApp Ad formats with direct placement on WhatsApp and lowering the barrier of entry for advertisers.

I suspect 2020 may finally be that year where messaging as a distinct tactic, rather than an afterthought, within the Facebook marketing funnel will be fully realized. And soon our notion of a “social media campaign” might just change a bit to not only include targeting consumers on social media, but talking to them as well. Who knows, you may even find yourself reporting on “Conversations Started” in between discussing impressions and CPCs.

Ready to simplify social advertising, and enable local activation at global scale? Contact Tiger Pistol today.

After earning his Masters in Mass Communications in 2015, Chris Mayer worked at Facebook prior to joining Tiger Pistol as a Project Manager. He specializes in helping digital agencies and national brands build scaled Facebook advertising solutions with an emphasis on local activation. Outside the office, he enjoys, basketball, Formula One, and sharing opinions on film and television.

Checklist Avoiding the Common Pitfalls That Can Cause Your Facebook Ad to Underperform

Checklist: Avoiding the Common Pitfalls That Can Cause Your Facebook Ad to Underperform

Running Facebook ads can be tricky business, and it really doesn’t take much for your ad to get bitten by the underperformance bug. Here’s a checklist of common problems, coupled with ways to adjust your ads to ensure they are running correctly. 

PROBLEM: Ad is not approved Sometimes the issue isn’t the ad, but rather its delivery. Luckily this can be an easy fix, so here are some tips to make sure delivery and performance are not related. 

  • Make sure it complies with Facebook policyFacebook policy is something a lot of advertisers struggle with, and if you are a busy advertiser with a lot of notifications; you may not notice your ad has been disabled due to a policy violation. Facebook also has the ability to retroactively reject ads, so we highly recommend checking the ad’s status and making the proper updates. Also, be aware of which policy violation may be affecting your ad and see if it is a valid disapproval. Facebook isn’t perfect and may wrongfully flag the ad. 

Check out these past blogs on Facebook policy changes to ensure you’re in compliance: 

Revamping Your Strategy and Audiences for the Latest “Safe & Civil” Facebook Advertising Update

Decision 2020: Changes to Facebook’s Social & Political Ads Process

Keep Your Agents Compliant: Facebook’s New Rules for Real Estate Ads

  • The 20% text rule Originally, Facebook often disapproved ads with images that contained more than 20% text (logos included) because it interferes with the user experience. Now Facebook will approve a lot of these ads but limit their reach. Save the text for your headline, body, and link description. That is what they are there for! Use eye-catching and custom creative to attract viewers. Facebook offers a useful image text tool to verify your ad follows this rule. 

PROBLEM: Targeting – Targeting largely impacts how your ads are performing, and we want to make sure you find the sweet spot to help your ads succeed. If your ad is underperforming, consider tweaking the audience. Audiences that are too hyper-focused or extremely broad tend to impede results. At Tiger Pistol, we recommend an audience of at least 50,000 to run a successful ad. Here’s some specifics to consider: 

  • Audience Too Broad –  Don’t use your budget on impressions that don’t matter. We have found local advertising to be extremely successful when concentrating on those who will take action and support your business. Think about who and where your customers are. If you are a local coffee shop, most people won’t drive more than 10 miles for their latte. Target strategically and think critically about your customers.
  • Audience Too Narrow – Narrowing your focus may cause you to miss some opportunities. Consider these tips to expand your audience to reach new customers and increase sales or engagement. If they are your ideal audience, chances are your competitors’ will try to target them as well. Also make sure to remove unnecessary targeting parameters and restrictions, like demographic and detailed targeting options that both reduce your audience size to under 50,000 and aren’t helping your ad. You may be certain no one over 35 will buy your product, but is there data to prove that? Often narrow audiences are the result of assumptions. Opening up your targeting and letting Facebook’s optimization worry about serving ads can likely result in higher quality ads. If you need assistance with your audience, the Facebook Pixel is a simple and direct way for you to build audiences with first-party data – i.e. your own web traffic. Learn more about how you can harness the Power of the Facebook Pixel!

PROBLEM: Creative – Both your words and your pictures impact your ad rank, so beat out your competitors by showing and telling your audience what makes your business unique. 

  • Does it Fit Your Objective and Audience? Make sure you are targeting your audience with engaging and eye catching images! 96% of users are looking at content on their phones, so you want to optimize for mobile. We have also found that with text, less is more. Great ads present their information in a succinct way with a clear call to action.

  • Check Your Image Resolution A blurry or distorted image will not capture the response you are looking for. Make sure to use high quality images that are related to your business. Using tools like carousels or video creative can help give viewers fresh and exciting content! Find some businesses that inspire you and find out what draws you in about their creative. 

Facebook ads are a complicated mix of traditional advertising creative and digital best practices. All of these different elements must come together to build a unified ad unit. Audiences need to be relevant and made up of interested consumers, just as the creative needs to be compliant and resonate with said consumers. So pay attention to the construction of your audience, the quality of your content you serve them, and most importantly –  when in doubt test it out – especially if you’ve eliminated any technical issues or simple fixes, such as removing text from your image. Here at Tiger Pistol, our platform is designed for continuous A/B testing, automatically pushing winning ads forward and surfacing insights on particular elements such as image, copy, audience, and even down to the CTA button. Harnessing the power of social requires both a trained eye to both develop and manage the right content, but also requires the ability to adapt based on consumer behavior and campaign data. You too can conquer all elements of your social media campaign; it just takes the right mix of proactive action and smart data insights.

Learn how Tiger Pistol can optimize the performance of your local ads at scale. Request a demo today!

Yanira Durant is a marketing specialist for Tiger Pistol. An Austin local with a passion for social advertising, Yanira strives to break through the noise in fun and creative ways. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the city, trying great queso, and managing her pug’s Instagram account.

Facebook Pixel Uses and Best Practices

The Facebook Pixel | Uses & Best Practices

According to Facebook, “The Facebook Pixel is an analytics tool that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your advertising by understanding the actions people take on your website.”

But what does that really mean?

The Facebook Pixel is a piece of code added to a website that tracks user data through cookies, allowing you to access useful analytics about customer website behavior. This data can then be used to inform strategy and find new potential audiences. Here are just a few concrete ways the Pixel helps advertisers: 

  1. You can now show social ads specifically to people who visited your website.
  2. You use your website visitors to build a Lookalike Audience to find and target new customers that have similar interests/behaviors/demographics as your current ones.
  3. You can utilize more more Facebook optimizations, such as Landing Page Views.

The Facebook Pixel is like a net that catches all user activity (referred to as events) and allows marketers to use these events to optimize and create more powerful ads. Facebook has seventeen standard events set up, such as  ‘Add to Wishlist,’ or ‘Complete Registration. ’ Custom events also allow users to add input their own categories.

This has clear and instant appeal for e-commerce, but the Pixel offers unique opportunities for all advertisers. The Pixel also gives retailers the chance to create custom audiences that can be useful in re-marketing efforts. Additionally, Pixel data can also be used at scale with the ability to share information across SMBs or rolled up into corporate systems. This way, brands can use location level data to help form more targeted audiences. 

The Pixel also offers the ability to create Lookalike Audiences from custom audiences. This creates a brand new audience which mirrors the preferences and values of the original. In “The Power of the Facebook Pixel,” Chris Mayer writes how Lookalike audiences are a great way to find new customers without relying on dwindling 3rd party data:

The lookalike process is anonymized: you won’t know exactly what traits the hash aggregates, but that’s okay. The resulting Lookalike Audience generated will include users with similar characteristics whom have not yet visited the website.

Clothing company Wren + Glory used value-based, international lookalike audiences on Facebook and Instagram to expand the company’s sales outside of the US.  They received 62% more orders compared to the previous period. 

In a world where data is crucial, the Pixel helps establish clear results. In fact, Gold’s Gym used data from their Facebook Pixel to learn that their recent Facebook ads produced a 2.2X lift in free trial sign-ups. Geoff Tobey, their Director of Digital Media mentioned that by “being able to jump into a Facebook testing opportunity, we learned that ads in Messenger Stories were more successful in driving an incremental lift in leads, and lowering cost per conversion, than we’ve seen on other channels.”

Whether you’re looking to test new optimizations, employ re-marketing strategies, or find new customers, social media advertising allows customization and proven results. The holidays may be a whirlwind, but the Pixel can help you stay on track along the way. 

Learn more about Facebook Advertising Best Practices from Tiger Pistol’s experts. Browse our resources now.

The Retail Q5: Secrets to Maximizing Holiday Social Advertising Campaign Impact

The Retail Q5: Secrets to Maximizing Holiday Social Advertising Campaign Impact

The holiday season has arrived which means a deluge of mega sales, cyber deals, and the like. For small and large retailers, this time of year is often a boon to their bottom line, as everyone gets out to shop. And while everyone has read a headline (or two, or three…) about the “death of retail” with the advent of online shopping, in actuality, retail sales are expected to grow during the holiday period this year. The National Retail Federation forecasts a sales increase of 3.8% and 4.2% for retailers in the November-December period. Additionally noting that that despite what you might expect, retail sales have actually averaged 3.7% annual increase for the past five years.

The heightened emphasis on shopping is also a boon for advertisers, of course, as brands flood all of our social feeds and airwaves with hot deals. Not to mention the ever present cadre of e-commerce offerings also trying to break through. In fact, spending on digital ads is also expected to increase as more advertisers shift their efforts to social media advertising over television and print. Naturally, much of this social media spending will go to Facebook. It can seem especially difficult, especially for SMB retailers, to break through the noise. But there is hope, if you know how to game the system, to be able to maximize the impact of your Facebook ads. There is this concept of the “Q5” which references the ~15 day period during just before and after the holidays where the lead time on ground shipping makes shopping online difficult. You’ll hear differing definitions on the exact time frame, and there is a regional element too, as not everyone lives within 1 or 2 day shipping distances. 

Q5 is of particular import for retailers, but it is also an important consideration for advertisers. For smaller retailers looking to maximize their impact, this period represents an incredible opportunity to get noticed. Larger CPG brands, even if working a more long tail holiday advertising strategy, can also seize on this moment to further enrich their campaign strategy. Think about what “Q5” means; if you’re a retailer, you’re the only game in town in a lot of regions, due to shipping constraints. Secondly, with all the traditional emphasis on pre-holiday shopping, it is easy to discount post-holiday shopping, where many consumers are still off work and now also equipped with gift cards and gift receipt returns. Advertisers should not leave this potential revenue for their retail clients on the table. The third advantage of the Q5 period is that pre-holiday campaigns will also have ended, presenting the potential for lower rates on digital ads. 

Think about the strategic possibilities Q5 brings for awareness or reach campaigns in the few days leading up to the holidays to catch any procrastinators who need last minute gifts as they shop for others. Then subsequent campaigns in the week leading up and through the new year to capture folks who now have extra time and gift money to shop for themselves. Getting local is key to this strategy, even if you are servicing a larger CPG brand who sells through big box retailers. You will need ads that are locally relevant to get noticed and ensure you reach consumers within reasonable travel distance to shop in-store. 

Last year, Tiger Pistol ran holiday campaigns that covered the Q5 period for a beverage brand to drive consumers to the nearest retailer or restaurant to enjoy their products. Our technology produced thousands of local ads, each individualized to the brick and mortar location, powered by the brand’s creative resources. Consumers who were near a particular location would see ads pointing them to the nearest stores. Not only did our CPM’s beat national averages, which made the brand happy, but it was also a win for the locations too, who were happy at the potential of increased foot traffic during a period where their traditional advertising efforts had slowed.

Whether it’s through coordination between global brands and their independent retailers, or concentrated effort between a global CPG brand and big box retailer, the benefits of strategizing to the Q5 period are there for the taking. It’s just a matter of leveraging the right tools to ensure you can get in front of consumers where they are already spending most of their time (i.e. their Facebook and Instagram feeds) and serve them relevant creative. Most importantly, these local ads must represent the path of least resistance between the consumer and the on-site purchase. You can do this through the use of hyper local geo-targeting with integrated geo-navigation to the nearest location. Even better, you can also  further incentivize them with easily redeemable offers and specials from their mobile devices. So while we all want to start planning execution strategies for the new year, don’t sleep on the end of the year, as you might miss the chance to impress your retail clients and the opportunity to start 2020 off with a major win for both you and them. 

Ready to simplify social advertising, and enable local activation at global scale? Contact Tiger Pistol today.

Revamping Your Strategy and Audiences for the Latest “Safe & Civil” Facebook Advertising Update

Your social advertising strategy and audiences may need a bit of an overhaul to align with updates to Facebook’s “Safe & Civil” Advertising Policies, especially if they fall within particular categories.

Last year, I wrote an analysis of Facebook’s swift changes to Housing, Employment and Credit Opportunities Policy. The Non-Discrimination Policy, as it became know, was born from a complaint issued by The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Part of the social network’s solution was to remove “over 5,000 targeting options to help prevent misuse,” in an effort to keep Facebook advertising “safe and civil” by promoting a positive social advertising atmosphere.

Fast-forward to 2019, Facebook announced that one of their “top priorities is protecting people from discrimination” on their Platform, and as a part of their settlement with the groups that filed lawsuits against them, they would be enacting changes to protect Facebook users. These amendments include:

  • Changes to geolocation targeting by the elimination of zip code targeting;
  • Changes to age and gender targeting; and
  • Limited detailed targeting parameters for housing, employment, and credit opportunity campaigns.

By August, the above changes became what is now known as the Special Ad Category. Every US-targeted campaign – yes, campaign – that corresponds to a housing, credit, or employment opportunity must have one of the three categories applied – a major change considering the previous iteration certified compliance for the entire ad account.

Campaign audiences also take a hit. On top of previously announced changes to gender, age, and zip code targeting, users could no longer target by multicultural affinity “or any detailed options describing or appearing to relate to protected characteristics In other words, Special Ad Category campaigns are meant to target the broadest audience possible.

You may be wondering “what about my Lookalike and other Custom Audiences?” Those were nixed too. Instead, advertisers can opt for Special Ad Audiences that are built in a similar fashion to previous custom audiences but ignoring age, gender, or zip code.

How do you choose correctly?

Choosing a Special Ad Category is pretty simple. Nine out of ten times if you have an inkling your campaign is going to be flagged, it will be. So, what options can you choose?

In Facebook’s Help Center, you can find a guide to choosing the correct category. The breakdown Facebook provides is as follows:

  • Credit Opportunity: Ads that promote or directly link to a credit opportunity, including but not limited to credit card offers, auto loans, personal or business loan services, mortgage loans, and long-term financing. This also includes brand ads for credit cards that include a specific credit offer.
  • Employment Opportunity: Ads that promote or directly link to an employment opportunity, including, but not limited to, part- or full-time jobs, internships, or professional certification programs. Related ads that fall within this category include promotions for job boards or fairs, aggregation services, or ads detailing perks a company may provide, regardless of a specific job offer.
  • Housing Opportunity or Related Service: Ads that promote or directly link to a housing opportunity or related service, including, but not limited to, listings for the sale or rental of a home or apartment, homeowners insurance, mortgage insurance, mortgage loans, and home equity or appraisal services.

How can I prepare prior to launch?

Our team at Tiger Pistol can say with certainty that any campaign that falls within this umbrella will require Special Ads certification and likely requires an audience update. To better prepare yourself, make sure:

  • Your audience does not include zip code targeting and targets a minimum of 15-miles (if you target an address or city)
  • Your audience targets Adults 18+
  • Your copy falls within Facebook Policies

If your customer is running a campaign that does fall within one of the three categories, it’s best to launch your campaign with a Special Ads Category applied prior to publishing. This will save you time and a headache resolving errors during the length of your campaign.

If your campaign gets flagged during its flight, first check your ad copy – something in there may have set off the Policy algorithm. An easy example would be “We’re hiring for all positions!” in your body copy, but you haven’t applied Special Ad Category: Employment. If you can say definitively whether or not your customer falls within a housing, employment, or credit opportunity, make sure you’ve applied the appropriate category, then adjust your audience to fall in line with Policy and republish. 

When in doubt, apply a category – it will benefit you and your campaigns in the long run.

Want to make sure your locations or customers ads are within Facebook Policy every time? Contact us today. 

Tiger Pistol at Yext: Search and Social, the Yin and Yang of Online Advertising

While hundreds of companies and brands gathered in NYC last week to talk about The Future of Search at Yext’s annual ONWARD19 conference, Tiger Pistol offered up the Yang to the conference theme’s Yin.

Tiger Pistol’s Talia Wachtel, VP of Client Management, took the stage to discuss the symbiotic relationship between local social advertising and search, and how local social is often the missing link in advertising campaigns. 

“Search is all about connecting with the hand-raisers, those who have expressed an interest,” said Wachtel. “Yet if you are just servicing the people actively in-market, you are missing the opportunity to extend your reach. That’s where social advertising becomes the perfect compliment to search. Social advertising goes beyond the hand-raisers, creating the need versus waiting for the need to be expressed.”  

Wachtel launched her talk, “When Ecommerce Isn’t Enough: Driving Local Consumer Engagement Through Social Media,” with two key metrics: 

Those two stats highlight the importance of reaching the local consumer, but just how can a marketer go about doing that? Especially when the past 20 years of advertising have been dominated by global marketing strategies that traditionally target everyone, and were not necessarily dynamic to the local consumer. 

Wachtel continued by discussing how the launch of the iPhone and the creation of social media platforms like Facebook seriously changed the playing field for global advertising campaigns. Suddenly marketers had to adjust to a landscape where users were consuming personalized information through feeds that allowed them to only see what mattered to them.

Wachtel acknowledged that moving dollars, all or part, from a global strategy to a local strategy is a tough decision, but the question is, 

“Is your brand willing to give up a certain level of control to gain the performance benefits of personalization and localization?” 

Marketers face challenges with changing platforms and questions on how to ensure that the messaging being used at the local level has synergy not only across locations, but with brand messaging as well.

Wachtel argued if a marketer can overcome these challenges by using local assets, advertising to a hyper-local audience, and target a relevant message to their local consumers, they’re in for some big rewards:

  • The brand’s advertising will have a higher relevancy, meaning more return out of ad spend and dollars being used to reach the right people at the right time, driving them to take action close to home.
  • By engaging locations in marketing efforts, locations are enabled to participate in the success of the campaigns, which promotes a feedback loop from the location to the market or brand. 
  • This feedback loop ultimately helps the brand maintain their messaging at the location level.

All this is typically easier said than done, because there are a lot of hurdles that marketers need to clear in order to gain the benefits of localized marketing through social media. 

Tiger Pistol, a Facebook Marketing Partner since 2013, has been developing automated technology that is designed to help brands and agencies tackle these obstacles. Tiger Pistol utilizes location data that can be managed through Yext to create dynamic ads distributed to 1000s of locations. This takes about as much effort as it would take to set up one campaign on Facebook Ads Manager.

Better yet, as Watchel mentioned, the numbers speak for themselves. While other marketers are seeing a rise in CPMs (cost-per-thousand-impressions) on average of 122% YOY. Tiger Pistol’s own data shows that ads run on the Tiger Pistol platform have benefited from a drop in average CPMs of about 17%. 

Yext ONWARD19 was packed with speakers discussing the latest in search technology and strategies to help keep brands relevant and on the cutting edge with their locations. But as mentioned, search is only half the local advertising equation. While search may pull in those interested in your product, local social advertising provides a cost-effective push, not only getting your message out to people who could be interested in your product, but also directing them exactly where to buy. 

Learn how Tiger Pistol can localize and personalize your social advertising so you can get the performance benefits of a global-to-local strategy. Contact us today