The Power of the Facebook Pixel

3rd party data has been a hot topic amongst the public and within the Facebook advertising industry in the last few months. In the wake of Cambridge Analytica, strengthening of privacy laws in the EU, and increased scrutiny from congress, Facebook has moved to restrict access to user data within its advertising platform. The message from Facebook is clear: the days of 3rd party data are over. In this new world, 1st party data reigns supreme.

The concept of “1st party data” is simple. It is data you as the end-advertiser collect on your own, with no reliance on a third party to obtain it. The Facebook Pixel is a simple and direct way for you to build audiences with 1st party data – i.e. your own web traffic. So while the prospect of data generation might sound scary to those in the SMB space, the pixel actually makes that data building quite easy. It requires very little technical know-how or effort to install. It’s as simple as copy/pasting 10 lines of code and waiting a few days for the Pixel to get some fires.

Facebook bills the Pixel as “a piece of code for your website that lets you measure, optimize and build audiences for your ad campaigns.” Funnily enough, this tagline is actually in reverse order in how one should approach leveraging the Pixel. In practice, the order of operations best works like this:

1. Build

2. Optimize

3. Measure

From the moment you install the Facebook pixel on your website it begins tracking visitors and matches them to Facebook users. While website visitor data alone opens up its own set of tactics (e.g. remarketing via Paid Search), where the power of the Pixel truly manifests itself is through Lookalike Audiences. These audiences are created by Facebook hashing the website visitor data captured by the pixel and finding other users with similar attributes. It works out something like this:

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. Put simply, Lookalike Audiences create an avenue to finding new customers.

For example, a golf related e-commerce website might have a lot of users visiting their website, who also like the PGA Tour Facebook Page, and/or are “interested in” golf. The Lookalike Audiences will account for this – Facebook will literally find more people who like the PGA Tour Facebook Page, are also “interested in” golf, and share similar traits and demographics as the website visitors.

Lookalikes are also available with Custom lists, provided your business has such information like name, email, and phone number stored for your customers or prospects. The Pixel is not only perfect for audience building, it also enables you to measure the success of your ad campaigns more effectively. Pixel tracking also let’s you track website behavior, such as ‘adds to cart’ or ‘newsletter signups’ and, if set-up correctly, can even provide a view on the dollar return of conversions.

If you’re skeptical about pasting the Pixel on your site, think again… The data speaks for itself:

  •  The sock e-commerce company Bombas saw a 2X increase in product purchases and a 23X increase in sales per ad set using Lookalike Audiences based on their most valuable customers.
  • When the fast food chain Rally’s and Checker’s added Lookalike Audiences to their targeting for it’s “1 Day Deal” campaign, it saw a 10% increase in sales over the previous year.
  • Game Hive targeted its ads to a Lookalike Audience based on those whom already downloaded the app and saw a 40% increase in app installs.

In all the examples above, and many more, advertisers took their campaigns to the next level by leveraging the audience building and measuring power enabled by the Facebook Pixel. Just 10 lines of code gives every business, from sole proprietors, to the nation’s biggest brands, access to first-party data. No outside research firms or guesswork required.

Tiger Pistol can help take even more of the guesswork out of Facebook Advertising. Help Center today to learn more.

Chris Mayer is a Client Solutions Lead at Tiger Pistol and leads onboarding of U.S. partners. He has extensive experience in the brand and SMB Facebook advertising space.

Coming soon: Offers: Digitizing your print coupons with Facebook Offer Ads, by Patrick Koepke.

Facebook’s Democracy: “Safe & Civil” Advertising in a Sea of Policy Change

NB: Tiger Pistol does not condone nor promote the utilization of targeting for discriminatory purposes.

Facebook policies exist to keep advertising “safe and civil”, driving the social network’s mission of connecting the world via a positive user experience. But when Facebook continues to make swift, reactive changes based on public outcry, it’s hard to stay in the know of what their policy actually stands for, and what it means for advertisers.

 

Should we be a little frightened?

On a macro level, one could view Facebook as a governing body. Patrolling the millions of active users in the U.S. is a feat in itself; when things go awry, a new policy is encoded and we’re back to being ‘protected’. When Facebook gets slapped with a complaint, a lawsuit, or even brought to court in front of the Senate, they quickly create a new policy or update an existing one, sometimes making it more difficult to advertise. And a trigger-happy Facebook is a little frightening – similar to Trump, Facebook’s reactions and policy changes have been swift, reactive, and garnered the same negative media coverage. Trump gets enough airtime elsewhere, so let’s get back to why we’re here…

 

What changes were made?

The policy changes started to pick up speed after the October 2016 ProPublica report, essentially broadcasting that Facebook enables advertisers to publish campaigns with exclusionary racial targeting parameters, specifically with regards to employment, housing and credit. While Facebook didn’t fully admit wrongdoing in 2016, it firmly stated Facebook would first “automatically disable the use of ethnic affinity marketing for certain types of ads” and carefully scrutinize all ads using “ethnic targeting”. A year later, after second ProPublica reportwent public, Facebook directly responded to an obvious violation of both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Fair Housing Act of 1968, and rolled out the Non-Discrimination Policy, more fondlyknown as the “Employment, Housing and Credit Opportunities” compliance error.

To be clear, advertisers have always utilized racially-biased inclusionary and exclusionary targeting, that’s nothing new – even Facebook’s Head of Multicultural tried to make a case. But this wasn’t right because it was Facebook, and users weren’t happy. All of a sudden, Facebook Ads were not “safe and civil.”

The policy has had a few iterations, with the most recent change appearing quite abruptly in August this year. Facebook decided to remove “over 5,000 targeting options to help prevent misuse.” Again, keeping their advertising “safe and civil” by promoting a positive advertising atmosphere. I guess that’s what happens when HUD files a complaint against you.

 

How do the changes play out for advertisers?

In their April 2018 statement, Facebook specifically states, “a business’s success depends on finding the right customers.” How is an advertiser to be successful if they can’t find or target their potential or existing customers because of a policy that now prohibits them to do so?

Hopefully our example below provides some helpful insight into how the policy changes may impact your advertising, and what you can do to still drive meaningful results from Facebook.

  • You’re a Latina realtor searching for potential new clients and want to launch a campaign in Spanish to speak to directly to your target audience. Your selected audience is to target Spanish and potentially English-speaking Latinos in your area (parameter: Hispanics – US (All)) and you’re all set. Campaign: published.
  • Bad news: your campaign will be immediately disapproved. Under the Non-Discrimination Policy, your vertical falls under “Housing” and is not acceptable under the new rules.
  • Good Decent news: You can still target by Spanish-language, albeit narrowing your audience and decreasing your potential reach, but still allowing you to publish your ad and be seen by some, not all, of your target audience.

While the changes are certainly designed to protect users against discrimination, has Facebook actually done a disservice to businesses that rely on cultural affinity targeting to get in front of prospects? Thankfully, Tiger Pistol is here for our customers and can navigate those tricky waters. Our team is dedicated to learning, adapting and strategizing our client campaigns following every new policy change. We’re here to help!

 

Analissa Moreno is the resident bilingual Social Specialist for the Managed Services team in Austin, TX. She fulfills for Tiger Pistol in English and in Spanish.

Coming Soon: The Power of The Pixel by Chris Mayer.

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.

Influencers: Are They Worth The Cost?

If a Kardashian sneezes, the whole world knows about it. Not just the sneeze itself, but what brand of tissue she’s using. #sneezing #sahsick #tissue #kleenexonfleek

Question:

What do the Jenners, the Kardashians, local Aussies Rozalia Russian and Kayla Itsines, all have in common, aside from being ridiculously good looking?

Answer:

  • They have an average of 60 million engaged followers.
  • They’re all spruiking a ton of brands
  • They’re all making some cold, hard, delicious cash from it

Don’t be fooled by what may seem like a bit of fluff. These people mean business and they’re raking it in.

But why has Influencer marketing become one of the leading ways for marketers to get their brand in front of their target audience? Facebook feeds, Instagram feeds, Snapchat feeds, all the feeds continue to experience content overload, so it makes sense that marketers approach celebrities and Influencers to support their brand awareness efforts. However, before you get swept up in the glitz and glamour of it all, is there actually any value in approaching an Influencer to help promote your business? While Tiger Pistol is an ad tech platform, the people that work here are marketing experts. So we’re providing you some advice on influencer marketing, for free!

Is an Influencer Really Worth the Cost?

According to a study by Nielsen Catalina Solutions conducted in partnership with influencer marketing software TapInfluence, the ROI is 11x higher promoting a product, service or brand via an Influencer over traditional forms of marketing.

Despite that, the notoriously hard-to-market-to Millennials actually prefer to use products recommended by their peers, not celebrities.

Furthermore, U.S. Influencer marketing company, Collective Bias, has the stats to back it up:

  • 70% of Millennials say they make purchases based off peer recommendations, and
  • 30% of Millennials are more likely to buy from non-celebrity bloggers.

So maybe instead of spending a million getting Kylie Jenner to feature your product in one of her 1000’s of Instagram Posts, consider finding a different type of influencer that may appeal more to your target audience.

How to Find the Right Influencer

Tip #1: Start by asking your friends, family and co-workers about bloggers and people they follow on social media that align with your brand. The person you’re looking for, ideally, is already using something similar to your product or service, and are genuinely passionate about it. From what we’ve learnt, you don’t need to have paparazzi following your every move to be of influential value.

Tip #2: You want an influencer who not only has a large following, but also has engaged followers. Their followers are tagging friends in the comments section and sharing their posts. A celebrity with a large number of followers but virtually no engagement can be less effective than an Influencer who has a humble amount of followers and a lot of engagement with the content.

Tip #3: Get on the ‘Gram and search the #hashtags to find yourself an Influencer that won’t cost your company an arm and a leg to partner with.

Learn more tips and tricks from the Tiger Pistol Blog.

Facebook Marketing pioneer joins Tiger Pistol

In 2011, when Facebook had only 200 million mobile users and no mobile advertising revenue, they acquired a hyper-local mobile advertising start up, Rel8tion, a company Scott co-founded. Fast forward seven years, and in its latest quarterly results Facebook revealed that mobile advertising revenue made up more than 90% of its nearly $12b revenue. What a difference a few years makes.

On his amazing ride contributing to Facebook’s advertising revenue growth, Scott has been exposed to some of the leading innovators and developers across the social, mobile and local marketing landscape.

Steve Hibberd, CEO & Co-founder of Tiger Pistol: “Scott’s incredible experience over nearly a decade helping to drive Facebook’s growth, together with his passion for driving value for ‘local’ business operators make Scott a perfect fit with Tiger Pistol.”

Scott Hannan, ex-Facebook exec and newly appointed Tiger Pistol Advisory Board member: “Tiger Pistol has proven itself as a best in class technology partner, making up for the absence of customized tools and service that exists across most major platforms, and leveraging APIs to provide a scalable solution.”

Working with many of world’s leading local business service providers and multi location brands, Tiger Pistol has created a bridge for local businesses to march over, toward marketing success. I couldn’t be more excited to help further fuel their growth,” Scott said.

“Small and local businesses undoubtedly drive the economy, not to mention being the largest employers – any politician can tell you that. Most of these folks have limited resources and as the world has moved rapidly to mobile, so many need help with modern marketing tools that can leverage the myriad mobile, social, location aware applications.”

While Tiger Pistol has grown rapidly over the past few years, we’ve only just scratched the surface of the larger opportunity, with social local advertising starting to explode. We already enable many of the world’s largest sellers of Facebook ads to local businesses, and now our technology is increasingly being used by multi-location brands. These brands are consistently seeing their local campaigns driving 30%+ better CPX relative to national spend. Given that fewer than 10% of businesses(1)(2) with a Facebook Business Page are advertising consistently the opportunity for Tiger Pistol is immense.

We have plenty of work to do, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome Scott to the team to help us get there.

(1) Facebook, Inc. (FB) Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2016 Results Conference Call February 1 st, 2017 – “65 Million Business Pages”.

(2) Facebook, Inc. (FB) Third Quarter 2017 Results Conference Call November 1st, 2017 – “6 Million Advertisers”.

About Tiger Pistol

With key operations in Melbourne, Australia and Austin, Texas, Tiger Pistol delivers high quality results for local businesses via Facebook advertising products at scale. Today, Tiger Pistol’s technology is leveraged by SMB agencies who manage social ads for their independent local business clients, as well as by regional, national and multi-national multi-location brands. Established in 2011, Tiger Pistol now auto creates, publishes, optimizes and reports on thousands of campaigns every day.

 

International Media Leader Hamish McLennan Joins Hyperlocal Social Ad Pioneer, Tiger Pistol

Some of you may have read the great news about Hamish McLennan joining Tiger Pistol. The story was published on June 19th in The Australian, but as the article requires a subscription, we thought we’d give you the skinny on our blog.

McLennan has a long and prestigious career in the global advertising and media space, including as Executive Vice President, Office of the Chairman at News Corp and global Chairman & CEO of Young and Rubicam (Y&R), which is part of WPP, the world’s’ largest communications services group. Currently, he is Chairman and non-executive Director of REA Group Limited, a multinational digital advertising company that specializes in property and is listed on the ASX. He is also a Director of the leading ASX listed funds management company, Magellan Financial Group. Prior to REA and Magellan, and the aforementioned roles at News Corp and Y&R, he was Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ten Network Holdings. He joined Y&R in 2002 as Chairman and CEO of Y&R Brands Australia/New Zealand, one of the largest marketing services groups in Australia, and led the firm’s global business operations from 2006. He has previously served on the Boards of Directors for the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and the US Ad Council.

Accustomed to being part of large-scale, global media and advertising companies, McLennan decided to join Tiger Pistol because of his long-held interest in tech startups that address immediate needs in the marketplace.

“Tiger Pistol is a great Australian success story. The founders have created a world-class ad tech platform. I can help forge some strategic partnerships, and hopefully do some deals and open some doors,” McLennan said. “From my 30 years in the media and marketing industry, the holy grail has been to deliver hyperlocal communications at scale in an automated fashion. Tiger Pistol can now deliver it.”

McLennan went on to say that Tiger ­Pistol’s proprietary technology platform will help “instil confidence in marketers about the effectiveness of their digital spend.”

Specifically, Tiger Pistol makes it possible to rapidly scale Facebook and Instagram ads run at the local level. Large brands with multiple locations can now more effectively drive business to local stores, while maintaining consistency and control at the brand-level. For digital agencies that provide advertising services to local businesses, they can now quickly add Facebook and Instagram ad products to their digital portfolio and scale immediately and effectively for their customers.

Steve Hibberd, co-founder and CEO of Tiger Pistol said, “We’re delighted to have Hamish join our team. Through his many years in the global media and advertising space, he brings immense knowledge and insight.  His clear belief in what we’re doing is a resounding endorsement and he is already having a positive impact.

Local Activation Meets Brand Consistency

Large, multi-location brands struggle with the competing need to both retain brand-level control and consistency while ensuring that each individual location can achieve success. This is especially complicated when Facebook advertising enters the picture. Most locations have already created their own Facebook Business Page and want to drive ads directly from it to garner attention to their location. And that make sense when you factor in things like:

  • Driving customers to the correct address
  • Location-specific offers
  • Local events, such as a high school football game that could impact foot traffic on a Friday night

What About Brand-Level Needs?

Those legitimate desires to drive location-specific messaging are complicated when you add in the brand’s desire to put out a consistent message, look and feel and overall experience in each of their locations.

Furthermore, if funding for ads is done at the brand level, it makes the logistics of location-based ads tricky for everyone involved. And if the brand wants to disperse the advertising budget dynamically across the locations, such that under-performing locations can get larger percentages of the spend, well, then the brand is forced to figure out how to manage each location’s needs centrally.  For brands with 5 or 10 locations, that may be doable. But for brands with hundreds or thousands of locations, that scenario simply isn’t an option. The time and resource needed to manage the setup and management of that many  campaigns would be, flatly, impossible. It’s a dilemma.

But Does it Really Matter?

At Tiger Pistol, we wanted to figure out if this dilemma was real or imagined, anecdotal or scientifically proven. We decided to do some testing to see if, in fact, ads run at the local level really did outperform those managed centrally by the brand – which means, they  included no location-specific details. We ran tests with several hundred locations and learned quite a lot.

The Results Are In

In short, it DOES matter.

Aggregate Results: on average, ads run off the local Facebook Business Page outperformed the ads run at the brand level by at least 2x. This, while also decreasing costs by 50%.

Case Study #1: National Home Builder
Ad Objective: Local Awareness (Reach)

The ad run at the brand level had a cost per thousand (CPM) of $12, while the ad run at the local level with local-specific copy, achieved a CPM of $2.51.

Case Study #2: Local Retail
Ad Objective: Traffic

The ad run at the brand level delivers a cost per click (CPC) of $0.62 while the ad run at the local level delivered a CPC of $0.43.

Case Study #3: Real Estate
Ad Objective: Traffic to Website

The Ad run at the brand level delivered a click through rate (CTR) of 1.28% while the ad run at the local level delivered a CTR of 3.51%

Now What?

If you’re a multi-location brand operator, you’re probably left feeling a little bereft by this news. We just validated what you probably already inherently knew or had seen happen with a handful of your locations. When done well, local ads drive local activation better than a generic ad promoting the brand as a whole.

Here’s the good news: Tiger Pistol can help you run brand-level campaigns that can be localized for the highest impact (and sorry for the shameless self-promotion, but it’s true). If you’re working with a partner or agency to help with your digital marketing, let them know this is what you need and ask them to get in touch. If not, give us a call and we’ll give you a demonstration!

The Low Cost, Insanely Easy Way to Get Great Results with Facebook Advertising

Small business owners are busy people. In addition to running a business, they can usually be found trying to also run HR, marketing, sales, finance, operations and dealing with every imaginable administrative task.

That’s why when social media exploded on the scene many small business owners were slow to adopt. Once they finally did, they often went with a “if I build it, they will come” approach, creating a page for their business and leaving it at that. And while you can share content and engage your fans using your business page, it’s simply not sufficient for promoting your business in a big way. Not only is it time consuming to create interesting, engaging content and then remember to reply (in a timely fashion) to anyone who responds, it’s limiting your potential reach, with only 2.6% of your fans seeing your page posts at any given time (according to adweek.com, 2015).

In today’s world, if you aren’t leveraging social advertising, you’re missing out. Everyday, 1.23 billion (that’s right, billion with a B) people access Facebook, but if you aren’t letting them know you’re there, they won’t know it.

That said, running ads on Facebook does require a fair bit of skill and even more time to get it right. Sure, you can create your own ads, but creating, managing and A/B testing social ads takes a ton of time, as well as design and copywriting skills you may not have in house. The chances of getting a good return on your investment are depressingly slim.

Instead, why not leave it to professionals who specialize social advertising for small and local businesses just like yours. Companies – like those we partner with – are very comfortable working with small and local businesses that have small budgets and can provide solutions to ensure your ads are driving real business results. They can use images that are amazing, copy that is compelling and target the audience that will convert! Then, they can A/B test different iterations of your ad to see which one works the best, to make sure your budget is always being spent effectively.

If you think they can’t achieve great results with your small budget, you might be surprised. One of the great advantages of advertising on Facebook is how clear they can get on who to target, which allows you to spend a little and get a lot in return. Here are some great examples of small businesses just like you who worked with a 3rd party to launch some incredible campaigns with outstanding results:

Success Story #1

A spa based in Delaware worked with their media agency to run a social campaign on Facebook for a 6-week period. They spent $250 in total and received 268 total leads – that’s just $.93 per lead!

Success Story #2

Another small business customer ran an ad offering a coupon to their audience that said, “Spend $100 and get $40 off.” It was the holidays, so the timing was great. The ad ran for a mere 2 weeks with a budget of just $300. From that small amount, they generated over 2,600 transactions and over $185,000 in sales!

Success Story #3

In a 3rd example, a small vineyard needed to get rid of some surplus stock they had on hand. With just $200 spent on Facebook ads, they received 700 clicks to their website and made $7,000 in revenue.

Now of course, no one can guarantee results like this with every campaign. However, these examples show how great things can happen with small budgets. All you need is the right partner!

Facebook vs. Instagram

You may already know that Facebook and Instagram are now fully integrated for advertising, but have you ever wondered which platform is best for your business? With continual updates to Instagram as an advertising platform, the platform has closed the gap between Instagram’s ad type availability when compared to that of those available on Facebook. But even as the platforms become more similar in their advertising offerings, the question remains, when is it best to choose Instagram over Facebook, or vice versa?

At Tiger Pistol, our philosophy is:

It’s often best to leverage both Facebook and Instagram, to get the widest reach. Facebook also recommends this approach to drive the most success for placement optimization; essentially, you’re giving Facebook the power to find the most relevant person within your target audience, on either platform, for the cheapest cost and estimated highest return. Plus, experience has shown that ads run on both platforms reinforce one another, and therefore yield better results overall – as in a15% increase in brand awareness!

The Case for Instagram

The wealth of targeting options across Facebook carry over to Instagram. However, the Instagram platform on it’s own has many unique advantages:

  1. It’s almost exclusively mobile. When was the last time you viewed Instagram via Instagram.com? Instagram was built for mobile users, and for a long time wasn’t even available on desktop. And since 80% of people now access social on mobile, it’s where your audience lives.
  2. It has high user engagement. According to Izideo, Instagram users are the most engaged on any social platform. Even more astounding, 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business, and 60% of userslearn about a product on the social network.1  Furthermore, a recent article in VentureBeat suggests that brands fare better on Instagram when it comes to engagement (it should be noted, however, that the article is referring to content posts only, not ads).
  3. It’s image centric. This one is probably obvious, but Instagram is, first and foremost, a visual platform. These qualities make Instagram a sound choice for any e-commerce business, or even local retailers, restaurants, and bars. Any business with products, especially ones that photograph well, are more likely to thrive using Instagram ads.

But what about Facebook?

Facebook offers an advantage in that it allows for users to have access to more information about the business without taking the user off the platform, instead directing them to a Facebook Business Page or providing more detail via the ad copy itself. Facebook continues to be the go-to platform for ads for more service-based industries such as law firms, or home services. Other benefits include:

  1. Facebook offers an expanded range of  ad types not available on Instagram, such as instant articles.
  2. It has a slightly older user base (more on this later!)
  3. It offers integrated messaging. Facebook has expanded options to use Messenger as a marketing and customer support tool.

Go Native

An important consideration when choosing between Facebook and Instagram when it comes to social media advertising is how well each platform displays ads. One key advantage that exists with Facebook and Instagram is that ads are placed where most people spend their time: their respective feeds. With both Facebook and Instagram, ads can appear as native content. Given the more limited creative options and focus on imagery, some might say Instagram has an edge because ads emulate the user-generated content already being shared to the platform. But if having your ads look more like native content is your primary concern, both platforms are flexible enough to allow you to do so.

Your Target Audience

One final consideration in deciding on which platform is best for your needs, is the user base itself. The demographics of each platform do differ slightly, as the latest demographic breakdown on Facebook from Pew Research shows:

 

Instagram skews a bit younger:

 

When it Comes Down to it…

Choosing between the two platforms doesn’t have to be difficult. Campaigns targeted to a more diverse customer base will mostly likely benefit from leveraging both platforms. At Tiger Pistol, we can publish to both Facebook and Instagram via our automation platform, so our campaigns work to reach the largest audience possible, dependent on the advertiser’s needs. But as indicated in the review above, each platform does offer some unique features of its own. Still, rather than second guess the largest, most influential social media platform in the world, the best choice may be to let Facebook do its magic and choose for you.

Ultimately, advertising on either platform – or both – is a wise business decision for nearly any business of any size. Give it a test drive, and if you need some expert advice, read the low cost, insanely easy way to get results with social advertising.

1 Facebook Partner Bootcamp, April 2017

Insider Info from Facebook’s Partner Bootcamp and F8 Conferences

A couple of weeks ago, three of us from Tiger Pistol’s Client Management & Operations teams attended the Facebook Marketing Partner Bootcamp, and two of our engineers attended F8. Both events were fantastic, and there are some really exciting product enhancements and updates that we’re looking forward to leveraging to further enable our clients to drive success with Facebook ads at scale.

Facebook is Still the Clear Winner in the Social Space

Sure, there are those who say, “What about Snapchat? And Twitter?” I’m not discounting them as irrelevant. However, when it comes to social dominance, there’s no question that Facebook and Instagram have it, and even more evidence to that effect came out today in this article by VentureBeat.  At the conference, they reiterated their user-base numbers, which never cease to amaze:

  • Facebook – 1.9B active users each month (209M in US). 1.2B on mobile each day (151M in US).
  • Instagram – 700M monthly active users (108M in US)
  • Messenger – 1.2B+ active users
  • Whatsapp – 1.2B+ active users

Instagram is Making it’s Mark

While there is, of course, plenty of overlap between users of Facebook and Instagram, Instagram is attracting users who want a more visual and mobile-centric platform. What’s even more amazing is that ads on Instagram – perhaps because they tend to put a lot of focus on imagery – perform incredibly well. Just check out Instagram’s jaw-dropping stats, including the one that notes that 80% of all Instagram users follow a business:

  • 400M daily active users
  • 80% beyond the US
  • 1M active advertisers
  • 200M+ users using stories
  • 8M businesses
  • 80% of users follow a business
  • 60% of users learn about a product and 75% of them take an action

Placement is Key

If the previous insight about Instagram wasn’t convincing enough for you, this ought to do it. Ad placement on Facebook & Instagram together has seen:

  • 15% increase in brand awareness
  • 6% increase in video views
  • 28% increase in post engagement

The Rise of Mobile Brings a Content Deluge and the Need to Outsmart the Horde

We already know that 3 hours a day are spent consuming content on mobile, and that mobile is absolutely part of the purchase decision – in fact, 88.5% of digital shoppers are mobile shoppers, and ⅓ of all US retail sales are influenced by mobile.

But with the rise of mobile and social networks, we’ve also seen the rise of content creation and distribution. The pace of content creation is literally surpassing our ability to consume, and attention really has become a scarce resource.

What does this mean for businesses? Now more than ever, advertisers need to spend their marketing dollars wisely – and should  be spending where they can target real people who are likely to be interested in their products or services.

Easier Offer Redemption

Facebook has listened to feedback from advertisers and consumers alike, and identified where they could enhance the Offers product to drive better business outcomes that are trackable. They’ve also made it easier for consumers to claim and redeem offers easily without having to download a coupon, print an email or remember a unique code. The Offers product can now be configured to drive online and offline redemption, each enabling two separate user flows. Plus, users can easily sort through offers they’ve claimed via the new Offers Tab (similar to Marketplace and Events). Users will be organically reminded about Offers they’ve claimed, making it even easier for advertisers to drive success without a hefty price-tag.

Lead Generation Improvements in Trackability

Did you know that it takes approximately 38.5% longer to fill out a form on mobile than on desktop? This is usually because businesses aren’t optimizing web forms for mobile. Optimizing forms for mobile is critical to driving form submissions, and Facebook is absolutely in tune with this. Enhancements include improved trackability, such as leveraging the Facebook Pixel and Offline Conversions API to not only inform advertisers of ad performance, but also provide valuable data back to Facebook to further enhance ad targeting.

Other Products & Enhancements

Being a Facebook Marketing Partner has so many benefits, one of which is early access to information about new products and the enhancement of existing products before they go public. As Facebook says, they’re only 1% done, and their roadmap is looking stronger than ever. While we can’t actually share what’s on Facebook’s roadmap (sorry, we’re under NDA!), what we can tell you is:

  • They are continuing to invest in their targeting and optimization tactics, including updates to Custom/Lookalike Audiences
  • They’re committed to allowing advertisers to realize true return on ad spend, and are doing things in the attribution space to support this
  • There are three new ad products on Facebook & Instagram that are not only genius, but are already being tested in beta and are driving great results
  • Bots will enhance the way we message with each other, and how advertiser’s connect with consumers
  • They’re committed to leading the way in virtual reality, with a focus on products that continue to connect the world

Watch for more insights from the world of Facebook right here on the Tiger Pistol blog!

Sources: All data in this post not otherwise referenced came directly from Facebook Partner Bootcamp and F8.