“These honors really speak to the quality of our social advertising technology, our company culture, and our common mission,” said Paul Elliott, Tiger Pistol CEO. “We want to help our clients grow. We’re highly competitive and fearless. You’ve got to be bold when you’re competing in a highly dynamic marketplace. We like to say we can accomplish the things that everyone else says ‘no’ to – what’s assumed to be too big or too scary or simply can’t be done. These are the challenges that propel us forward with great success.”
See how the award-winning Tiger Pistol Platform can unlock local activation at global scale for your business. Request a demo today!
The latest in the tug-of-war between consumer privacy and effective digital advertising pits Apple against Facebook, Google, and others. At stake for ad tech: significant revenue for ad publishers and app developers, effective ad results for advertisers, and more relevant ads for consumers. At stake for users: consumer privacy protection, the use of their behavioral data for marketing, and possibly – the future of “free” software. Apple’s pending release of iOS 14 is a strong consumer-privacy-first stance and a potential disruption to digital marketing as we know it. But what is the real impact for targeted digital advertising?
What is Changing?
In a nutshell, Apple devices running iOS 14 will now require explicit user opt-in to allow apps to track behaviors across sites using the Identifier for Advertising, or IDFA. The IDFA ties a unique, random number to a user’s device, allowing advertisers and data companies to evaluate ad interactions on an aggregated basis. Blocking user tracking by third parties has already been a staple for privacy-first browsers for some time (Apple’s own Safari, Chromium-based Brave, the Tor browser, and others), and has been offered as an opt-out model within mobile operating systems, as well. However, the shift to a more aggressive opt-in model is expected to be disruptive to app ad targeting and attribution.
Impacts on the the Facebook Ad Platform
Consumer Behavior Data
By losing access to information that links consumer behavior across experiences (apps, websites, etc.), Facebook and other ad networks will have less visibility into user actions outside of their own properties. This downturn in insights may decrease targeting effectiveness in aggregate over time.
Without distinct information about potential consumers, networks like Facebook must rely on non-personalized information when determining to whom to serve an ad. On iOS 14 apps and devices, consumers can expect their ads to be less personalized, and advertisers can expect the impact to be far lower as a result.
Attribution & Optimization
Not only is it difficult to determine who an ad is served to, Facebook algorithms will be blind to the impact of the ad, diminishing the ability to understand how many clicks resulted in installs or other conversions. Losing visibility into specific consumers who viewed the ad makes it far more difficult to determine which converted users saw the ad.
Specific Impacts for Facebook Advertisers
This may seem obvious, but this is (currently) only expected to impact consumers on iOS 14. While Apple is a dominant player in mobile devices in the U.S. (58.78% in the US versus Android’s 41.03%), they are less dominant worldwide (24.82% versus Android’s 74.6%). Is this a precedent that could expand, with broader adoption of Apple’s opt-in approach, or will we see networks maintain status quo with the opt-out standards already implemented by companies like Google and Microsoft? Only time will tell.
Facebook uses its Audience Network (FAN) to provide advertising placement into non-Facebook properties. These ads are commonly served in apps and games, and are particularly effective because Facebook knows far more about a consumer than the app developer does, giving them an opportunity to target ads and attribute from where positive results originate. Some of the biggest changes to iOS 14 target app access to consumers’ IDFA, requiring an opt-in to use. Advertisers expect this to negatively impact Facebook’s ad effectiveness and behavior tracking in third-party platforms. Based on their tests, Facebook expects a 50% decrease in ad revenue due to a reduced ability to personalize and target ads. This seems to be the leading Facebook risk, and may become so ineffective as to be discontinued.
App Install Objectives
App installs, a type of conversion objective optimization, are reliant on a signal from a consumer device that the desired app has been installed (and possibly opened). This is expected to be significantly hindered for iOS app installs, driving attribution and targeting effectiveness downward. Facebook is asking developers to use a new version of the Facebook SDK to support the new Apple SKAdNetwork API, and also to create a dedicated iOS 14 ad account for these ad campaigns.
Lower Immediate Impact (or None)
Advertisers using Facebook’s First-party Placements
The bulk of Facebook’s advertisers today use Facebook’s first-party placements, which include Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Marketplace. These placements reach consumers wherever they spend time on the Facebook platform: in-app or in-browser, mobile or desktop, and benefit from full targeting, attribution, and optimization as before. The only exception is for app install objectives.
Facebook continues to invest in methods to improve advertising and conversion signal resiliency. Some of these, including the ability for businesses to provide external conversion data (such as business transaction matching), or server-side (rather than client-side) signals for consumer behavior, are unaffected by these changes. These require businesses to share first-party business data (activity, conversions) directly with Facebook for attribution and optimization. Using these within campaigns and to create custom and lookalike audiences remain very powerful tools for effective marketing.
At the same time, there is a looming specter of broader governmental regulations, following in the steps of GDPR and CCPA, which look to take a stance on consumer privacy and the use or sale of this data for advertising (or other means). Legislation is being considered or implemented in many U.S. states (Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and many more) and in other countries like India.
iOS 14 changes the game for monetizing in-app ad placements with their opt-in-required updates for tracking. App-centric campaigns (by objective or placement) are hardest hit, with tests showing a 50% revenue hit as targeting, attribution, and optimization become severely limited. Other first-party campaigns on Facebook’s platform should expect no immediate impact. The trend toward more consumer privacy is clear in products and legislation; what remains to be seen is whether the industry will embrace a new opt-in standard or stand by the current opt-out model
As a preferred Facebook Marketing Partner, Tiger Pistol is committed to helping our clients and their stakeholders navigate changes like these. Contact us today.
Bob Govia is Director of Product Management at Tiger Pistol.
It feels like establishing a digital local presence has been the bread and butter of brick-and-mortar strategy for decades. With numerous specialized agencies and tools, listings management, Google Places, Facebook location Pages, etc., it can feel like there are a thousand different permutations you need to cycle your brand through with the aim of going local.
“Going local” can mean many different things, depending on your industry and how you engage with customers in your buying flow. In some cases, like for a large national insurance brand, the value of locality is self-evident. The brand can advertise locally through agents and advisors, as these representatives work out of local offices and service particular local areas. For other industries, such as consumer products, “going local” might mean marketing through independent dealers or chain partner retailers. Even wholly digital brands, such as delivery service apps like Doordash and Uber Eats, have reason to drive value through local marketing of their partner merchants to their local consumers. The real power of local marketing lies in its flexibility to work across decentralized and centralized networks alike.
So while the buzz around “local” marketing may feel tired at times, brands continue to take the plunge. Yet it’s important to keep in mind that someone else’s version of “local” doesn’t have to be yours. Take Red Bull for example. Going local for them means hosting local events and building subcultural communities to promote them through. A quick search of their brand on Facebook reveals a distributed page presence, such as Red Bull Music, Red Bull Motorsports, Red Bull Gaming. From a marketing perspective, these fronts are reflective of their larger marketing tactics in play, as the product offered never changes. Red Bull simply sells Red Bull.
Contrast that with a search for “Allstate Agents” on Facebook. You will see thousands of business pages returned from local Allstate agents.
Of course, retailers often use location pages, creating one for every one of their stores to contain their local presence and house store-specific information, namely geo-location, but also hours, WiFi names, and more that are location specific. Many chain stores now have a distributed store page presence across Facebook.
Facebook continues to be the first choice for social media marketing with a local presence. With the right tools, brands are able to take advantage of their local presence with paid media. It’s important to consider holistically where the value lies in paid media activations. At Tiger Pistol, we work with partners across many different verticals, from real estate, retail, consumer products, financial services, and insurance, in addition to digital re-sellers and franchise brands. Every one of our clients is taking advantage of a different flavor of local paid media.The core power of local marketing is truly it’s ability to connect brands, consumers, and everyone in between to holistic ROA-based advertising strategies.
For example, a global beauty consumer products brand leverages our technology to enable salons and retailers to promote themselves through the brand’s Facebook Business Page, with each merchant receiving their own individual campaign, designed and optimized to deliver sales to them. While also empowering their campaign through attachment and association with the global brand’s page. In effect, they use paid campaigns to take the brand to a local level, by featuring specific merchants in what would otherwise be a brand level campaign.
Tiger Pistol enabled Ben & Jerry’s to publish on-brand local social advertisements for scoop shops leveraging a local tie-in with Uber Eats delivery. Ads were geotargeted for Uber-Eats’ delivery area, with the call-to-action to “Order Now via Uber-Eats.” Each ad’s “Order Now” button drove to Uber-Eats’ online ordering page for the local Scoop Shop.
There are even cases where the locality is no more than a deliberate messaging tactic. Our Real Estate partners often publish local recruitment ads through their brand Page. This gives them a means to propagate localized messaging quickly that both target hyper-locally and feature creative that is locally aware – allowing their brand to speak to local job applicants in particular locales and feature local office information as necessary.
As you can see, there are many paths to “Go Local.” They may sometimes include multiple Pages and places, or locality can simply be a messaging tactic – a first touch engagement into a larger national buying path, when it’s important to feature your brand in a specific local community. The value is in being able to quickly get local when it makes sense to, and to complement national advertising efforts through local advertising dissemination.
It’s easy to deploy a single national campaign. Anything more can be enormously time consuming without the right tools, and you may be missing out on not only happier consumers, but better performance too. Separate local campaigns and marketing tactics can offer marketing flexibility, such as when an insurance brand uses its corporate website data to retarget consumers through a local agent campaign or when digital brands leverage the locality of their partners to distribute their message into particular locales. “Going Local” is about building holistic, responsive strategies that connect consumers to buying paths and speak to consumers more personally, in recognition of where they live and shop. Beyond a closer consumer connection, local marketing can very much also be a means for brands to enable and empower their retail, merchant, and account partners who they rely on to sell their products.
Chris Mayer, a Solutions Engineer at Tiger Pistol, specializes in helping digital agencies, SMB resellers, and global brands build scaled Facebook advertising solutions with an emphasis on local activation.
Running Facebook ads can be tricky business, and it really doesn’t take much for your ad to get bitten by the underperformance bug. Achieve campaign success with ease. Check out our 5-step playbook for creating or troubleshooting campaigns. Read it now.
So you’re creating a Facebook ad, and you’ve done all the hard work. You have compelling imagery, persuasive copy, and a cohesive message that will entice your audience, but you’re just not sure where to best display the ad. You know there are plenty of display options, but how are you supposed to know which placement will give you the most performance? While this might sound like a difficult decision, Facebook’s Automatic Placements option actually makes it one of the easiest steps in the entire ad creation process.
When you run an ad on Facebook, the platform’s algorithm will continuously optimize the delivery of that ad to get you the best results, and this kind of optimization is also available for placements. Facebook themselves state that Automatic Placements will concentrate your budget on the combination of placements that is most likely to get you the best overall results, and they recommend it as one of their advertising best practices. Let the algorithm do all the hard work of figuring out where to show your ad; you just focus on making sure the ad itself is as high-quality as possible.
Utilizing Automatic Placements also allows you to cast your advertising net as wide as you can without the risk of spending too much of your budget on an ineffective placement. Your ads might perform extremely well under a placement that you would’ve otherwise ignored, and even if you include a placement where your ad doesn’t perform particularly well, Facebook will realize this and optimize your budget for a different, more effective placement. Automatic Placements can be especially useful if you’re advertising at a large scale where individual manual optimization would be a daunting and extremely time-consuming task.
You might be a little wary of relinquishing control of your ad placements for things like Brand Safety and absolute peak campaign performance, and there are valid reasons to turn off Automatic Placements in those scenarios. However, unless you see hyper-specific trends in terms of engagement on one particular platform, it’s usually best to try and spread your ad out across several different placements instead of putting all your advertising eggs into one basket. Facebook also offers Brand Safety controls so that you can block any apps, websites, or Facebook Pages where you don’t want your ads to appear. This allows you to continue taking advantage of Automatic Placements while still adhering to your brand’s important safety guidelines.
Automatic Placement is an extremely powerful tool that every advertiser should consider putting in their Facebook advertising arsenal. It saves time, money, and can even reveal trends in your targeting audiences that would’ve otherwise gone undiscovered. Depending on your situation, it might be worth it to consider Automatic Placements and take the guesswork out of your advertising.
Brands rely on their representatives and independent contractors (agents, dealers, consultants, advisors, etc) to build personal relationships with their customers, support their services and sell their products. With COVID, brands have been faced with a unique challenge to respond to the changes in the marketplace as consumer behavior shifts.
The roles and responsibilities of their staff went from in-person sales and service support to socially distanced meetups, strict cleaning guidelines, and virtual live streamed events. While some companies have already relied on digital transformation to support their growth, many brands were not prepared to integrate digital technology into their work streams.
For example, network marketing brands have had to evolve through continual changes on Facebook in addition to having to respond to quarantine and stay-at-home orders because of COVID. The forced social isolation undercuts the interpersonal nature of consulting-based selling and has placed new importance on digital tools, such as empowering reps and contractors to connect through messaging, and providing them with personal websites as a means to drive online sales.
In response to these new challenges, comes an opportunity for brands to enable their network of contractors and reps with new tools to promote their products and services online. However, the need to maintain brand consistency and voice remains a vital role with any national or global company.
How Technology Can Breed Innovation
The most critical need is to bring your company into the 21st century with digital advertising. Since the arrival of COVID restrictions in March, Americans have been spending more of their lives online. According to a recent study by Apptopia, Facebook usage has increased nearly 30% since February, and that trend hasn’t subsided. Now more than ever brands need to shift their advertising efforts to where their customers are spending their time.
With some industries, such as Hotels and Hospitality, finding the ability to bounce back relatively quickly has been easier with the boost of summer holidays, though most verticals will take much longer to achieve pre-Covid foot-traffic.
Here are some examples of how industry leading brands are accomplishing this:
Giving their team an advertising option to help them continue to drive social connections – Read Case Study
Re-establishing the essential role their brand plays in fostering engagement, connections, and product satisfaction through digital marketing – Read Case Study
Acclimating their brand message by the state or city level to respond to the ever- changing customer preferences and local government mandates – Read Article
Creating more synergies between sales and their brand team to pivot with the right technology
The Right Tool For The Job
Just like a locksmith wouldn’t come to a job site with one tool – brands have a vested interest in cultivating a marketing technology stack that is right for their business. Often brands wildly underestimate the number of marketing technologies they need to deploy in their organization. My advice to you: Keep things simple. Add new tech only when you are truly ready to execute on it and decide on a strategy before you go in search for the tool. The latter of which is the most important.
For the last 5 years of my career I’ve worked at SaaS companies and I have to say – I utterly hate this phrase. The reason being is that buyers or clients are not just in search of a software as a service. When someone at your organization is looking for a software, they are not just looking for a few cool features and a support email address. The truth is that your leader is looking for a new approach to their business problem.
Elon Musk said that “Great companies are built on great products,” and if you are looking for a new path forward in these unprecedented times, you must continue to challenge, evaluate, and test new solutions. By providing new resources to your reps and contractors alike, you can align your team with the core values of your business no matter how large or small the use case.
As we have seen with other brands, when they provide powerful digital tools to their consultants and reps. The results are virtuous, driving success for the rep and their business, in addition to promoting the brand’s products at the same time.
If you’re looking for more than just new software, but a new way of thinking to enable your network of contractors and reps, I encourage you to contact Tiger Pistol to learn more about how we can help.
David Delaplane is a Regional Sales Director for Tiger Pistol. With over 9 years of experience in SaaS and paid media, David demonstrates his passions for strategic thinking and problem solving by delivering innovative and custom solutions for his clients.
Recently, Localogy’s Mike Boland chatted with Tiger Pistol CEO, Paul Elliott, about driving social advertising success on a local level for enterprise brands, agencies, and SMB resellers alike. As Tiger Pistol continues to grow, its sights are set on further penetration among the enterprise market. Elliott reveals how the organization has been structured to serve these unique customer sets from both a sales and a product perspective.
“We can accomplish the things that everything else says “no” to. Those things that are just assumed that you can’t do or that they are too big, they’re too scary, they’re too hard – that’s what drives us forward.”
A responsive local strategy that allows for flexible tactics ensures that you deftly respond to changing buying practices and different retail partner needs. Our Covid-19 Reponse Program for Consumer Products Playbook show you how you can continue to drive online sales for retail partners that offer online buying paths, while also providing alternative means for those who cannot, ensuring you can still deliver results for your retail partners while delivering on your brand initiatives. With the right tools, these sorts of scaled activations can be executed with ease.
In order to comply with all rules and regulations surrounding anti-discriminatory practices, Facebook began enforcing new rules for the way Housing, Credit, and Employment advertisements were managed. Housing, Credit, and Employment ads must be certified as such. The certification process is done at the campaign level and involves checking the following box and republishing:
When you republish, you’ll also need to ensure your ad complies with the audience parameters for Special Ads. This guide outlines what kind of verticals are commonly impacted by this policy and how you can ensure that your ad complies.
Housing Opportunity (or related service): Ads that are running housing-related content. This can include listings for the sale or rental of a home or apartment, homeowner’s insurance, housing repairs, and more.
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. Even if you’re just running a one-off employment opportunity, you’ll still need to make sure it is certified.
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, regardless of a specific offer. This is an especially important category for auto dealerships, as ads are often associated as part of a credit opportunity.
This infographic breaks down how Special Ad Categories affect different aspects of Facebook targeting including location, language, age/gender, Saved Audiences, Detail targeting and custom audiences.
Just because you don’t think your business applies here, make sure to be on the lookout for incorrect Special Ad category flags. For example, Facebook might associate the word “work” in your ad’s body copy as being an ad related to employment. If this happens, you can go to the ad level and request an appeal.
It’s also important to know that certification for Special Ads is always done to the individual ad. This means this is a step you’ll need to take for any current and future Special Ads.
Having less choices about your audience doesn’t have to be a limitation. It just means you could focus on finding the media or CTA that is resonating the most with your audience. Perhaps leveraging the possibilities of Facebook Stories will help you engage consumers? The exciting part about social advertising is that there are endless possibilities to help your ads stand out from the rest.
Miss the first two articles in our Best Practice for Facebook Audiences series? Find them and other social advertising best practices on our Resources Page.
Laura Kraay is a marketing services specialist for Tiger Pistol. She got her MFA in creative writing. Outside of work, you’ll likely find her doodling, reading, or spending time with family.
If you’re worried your social media ads are getting stagnant, an A/B test can provide a needed refresh. Running two ads that have only one varying element can offer valuable insights about what is working (and what’s not!) as well as inform strategy for future social campaigns.
A/B testing can be particularly helpful when determining audience. For example, if your goal is to grow your audience base, you could try targeting a lookalike of website traffic against a broad/detail targeting audience. The broad audience will help you continue to establish your customer base and the lookalike will help ensure some of your ads are also directed at users similar to your best customers.
Perhaps you’re still waiting for your Pixel data to gather? Try testing media and move to the audience later. In a world of endless customization, A/B testing offers a low-pressure scenario to freshen up your campaigns and learn more in the process.
Online retailer Sole Society wanted to compare how the square image format performed compared to a traditional landscape format. The ad featured the same pair of black boots. They learned that the square image outperformed the rectangular one and delivered a 27% increase and sales and 32% increase purchased products. For future campaigns, they could now feel more confident in selecting square images.
When trying to decide what to test, focus your goal on what you ultimately want to learn. Perhaps you want to sell more products, get more in-store visits, or simply want to more fully understand a particular aspect of your business. Stepping back like this can help you examine which of Facebook’s tools may work best for your needs.
Read the next post in my Best Practices for Facebook Audiences series, where I share how to create audiences that comply with Facebook Special Ads Categories. Miss the first article in this series? Check it out here.
Laura Kraay is a marketing services specialist for Tiger Pistol. She got her MFA in creative writing. Outside of work, you’ll likely find her doodling, reading, or spending time with family.
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