Facebook recently released its earnings, and Wall Street was a little disappointed. Advertisers, however, are clearly as enthusiastic as ever about the social media site.
While talking to investors, Facebook’s executives discussed how their ad products are performing. Most of the news was strong, and Zuckerberg and Sandberg both sounded confident throughout the presentation. Unlike dwindling Internet giants Yelp and Yahoo, Facebook had no reason to apologize for any of its business lines. Instead, Zuckerberg discussed a few successes.
One of the boons to the company is a product that receives little attention despite its tremendous potential. This is “Lead Ads,” an ad format that helps people sign up for newsletters, follow-up calls and other “business information,” as Facebook puts it. The ads take a one-click approach to signing up for newsletters and other outbound marketing approaches, making them a strong complement to existing CRM solutions.
Facebook discussed their video ads in detail during the call. Sandberg gave a lot of examples of companies using the video ads successfully, driving engagement and consumer awareness with video and social at the same time. Perhaps the clearest example was of a recent Acura campaign:
"When Acura launched the TLX, the largest launch in their history, they used Facebook video to show the TLX in scenarios that quickly captured people's attention, like imitating a roller coaster. They then used our retargeting technology to show more detailed ads only to the people who watched the videos. Using conversion lift, they proved that Facebook ads directly drove vehicle sales."
By using organic videos and retargeted ads, brands are beginning to realize Facebook is an entirely new channel to drive awareness and interest.
Facebook is also an important channel for mobile-first and mobile-focused marketers. Sandberg gave great detail about how HBO used app install ads to drive subscriptions to their mobile video subscription service, again using Facebook’s retargeting tools to drive performance:
"The important thing to understand here is that they're not only used by developers, they're used by all four marketer segments. So, for example, HBO used our video retargeting mobile app install ads on Facebook to drive downloads at HBO now, and Facebook is now the number one channel driving subscribers. And I think when people think about our mobile app install ads they often think this only applies to developers and small companies, and really it's them as well but it's also companies like HBO which are using those ads to drive adoption and downloads."
Mobile marketers can’t ignore Facebook anymore.
Notice how both the app ads and video ads use retargeting? That’s right — Facebook has drunk the programmatic Kool-Aid and is all about using behavioral data and recent browsing activity to serve ads more effectively. More on that front is coming. Again, Sandberg tells us they’re working on providing more tools for marketers:
"To help marketers target and measure campaigns both on and off Facebook, we're continuing to build out our ad tech platform with Atlas LiveRail on the Audience Network."
Facebook has become a major part of any online marketing effort, and marketers who ignore social media will underperform. Facebook knows how important they are to direct response advertisers, and they are releasing more and more tools and collecting more and more data, to improve ad performance even more. Lead generation campaigns can no longer ignore Facebook and all of the new ad products now offered through the social media site.
Click here to register for LeadsCon New York 2015 and hear directly from Khurrum Malik, Head of Product Marketing (North America) for Facebook at the event!