Digital Marketing Weekly Update – Snapchat, Google Algorithm, Instagram, & More

This week has been full of news in the digital marketing world. Here are the highlights:

  • Snapchat releases “Custom Stories”. You can Geofence a story to a custom location, send it to certain people, and more. Watch the video:

  • James Corden gets his own Snapchat Show, called “James Corden’s Next James Corden”, where he will chronicle finding his predecessor.
  • Mozcast is showing a high of 119 degrees today, indicating that the Google algorithm is highly in flux. We will expand on this as we learn more information.

mozcast google algorithm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Facebook adds social chat features to its Live video features.

facebook live video social chat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Twitter enables chatbot promotion for the first time.
  • How does content marketing work? Read this.
  • Instagram launches story search for hashtags and locations.
  • More original Snapchat Shows are launching.
  • Great timely content from Lego on their Snapchat about fidget spinners.

Facebook & Instagram Continue to Copy Snapchat

Over the last few months, three new announcements came out about Facebook. Each of them points to Mark Zuckerberg taking pages straight out of Evan Spiegel’s book. The three announcements were covered here, here, and here.

First, Facebook is tweaking their live video section to look more like Snapchat’s. Simple enough.

Second, it’s been reported by multiple outlets that Facebook is prepping a competitor for Snapchat’s “Discover” section. It will reportedly be named “Collections”. Everyone wants in on the content game. See side by side examples here (with Snapchat on the left and Facebook on the right):

Third, and the most blatant of all, Facebook has introduced camera effects called “location frames”, which work just like Snapchat’s geofilters. Just like geofilters, users can create and submit illustrations tied to specific locations. Users can also submit more general designs with illustrations not tied to a specific location. No word on if Facebook will create pay-to-play versions of their Location Frames yet. Check out an example below.

Facebook Location Frames

So, it will be interesting to follow along as these two tech titans continue to battle in 2017. One thing is clear – Facebook does not want to relinquish its lead as the go-to social platform.

Update on 12/21/16: Instagram just added a stickers feature, in yet another copy of Snapchat. You can now add “contextual stickers” and “location based stickers” on Instagram. See an example below from Instagram.

instagram adds location and contextual stickers

Instagram Location Stickers

Update on 3/8/17: Instagram Stories launches geostickers. Snapchat launched their geostickers in 2014. Below are screenshots of Instagram’s new geostickers, courtesy of TechCrunch. Take a look at how blatant the copy is…

instagram stories geostickers

Instagram Stories Geosticker

instagram stories launches geostickers

 

Update on 3/10/17: Facebook launches a new feature inside of Messenger called “Messenger Day”. Take a look at the screenshot of the new feature below.

facebook messenger day snapchat clone

Be honest with yourself – is that not an exact clone of Snapchat?! Facebook’s executives are saying no. But I think we can all agree, it’s a clone. Yet another example of Facebook’s inability to innovate. The new feature is only available in the U.S. for now, but it is said to be rolled out to other countries soon.

UPDATE on March 28, 2017: Facebook launches Stories on its mobile app to the whole world. It essentially creates a second Newsfeed for mobile users. This form of “Stories” is basically a straight copy of Snapchat. See below:

facebook stories

UPDATE on April 13, 2017: Instagram announces three(!) new Snapchat feature copies: Geostickers (custom designed stickers at local landmarks), Sticker pinning (just like Snapchat’s motion-tracking emoji feature), and Selfie stickers (quite similar to Snapchat’s scissors tool).

P.S. – If you need custom Snapchat geofilters, we got you  :).

How Auto Dealers Can Use Facebook Ads to Hyper Target Car Buyers

Using Facebook and Polk Data, Auto Dealers Can Scale Their Revenues with Effective and Hyper-Targeted Digital Ad Campaigns

It’s no question that social advertising and audience targeting is incredibly effective. But now more than ever, Facebook Ads are THE way to go for auto dealers to target car buyers through every step of the purchase process. This post will explain why.

According to a recent study, 27% of people in the US do most of their vehicle research on a mobile device. That number is 45% for Millennials, and 41% for households with incomes over $200,000. And the percentage of people that use mobile during any point of the purchase process? 71%. Keep in mind, this data is just for mobile consumers. Almost 100% of vehicle buyers use online research at some point of their purchase decision.

Facebook Ads + Datalogix + Polk Data = Lots of money for Auto Dealers

Facebook has two key partnerships that enable it to get the data it needs to provide super powerful ad targeting: 1) Datalogix, 2) Polk. Datalogix connects offline purchasing data to enhance online advertising campaigns. Datalogix also has 200+ syndicated audiences that allow for deeper targeting. Polk (which also owns Carfax) aggregates online and offline data around auto buyer personas and DMV registration data. These two partnerships, when combined with Facebook’s ultra targeted ad product, can drive car-buying consumers to the doorsteps of auto dealers, ready to purchase a new vehicle right away.

insights into facebook ads for car buyers

How Targeted Can You Get?

If you know your way around the Facebook Ad platform, you can get incredibly targeted on vehicle-buyers. How targeted you ask? Here’s an example flow that you can create:

You start with “Automotive” behavior targeting.

From there, you have these sub-categories:

  • Motorcycle
  • New Vehicle Buyers (Near Market – which means people who will be considering a new vehicle purchase within the next 365 days)
  • New Vehicle Buyers (In Market – people considering a new vehicle purchase within the next 180 days)
  • Owners
  • Purchase Type
  • Used Vehicle Buyers (In Market)

If you click “Owners”, you’ll be able to target Facebook users based on the actual vehicle they drive.

If you click on the “Purchase Type” sub-category, you’ll be able to target based on how recently the user purchased a vehicle.

If you click on “New Vehicle Buyers (Near Market)”, you can target by style, for example:

  • Crossover
  • Economy/Compact
  • Full-Size SUV
  • Full-Size Sedan
  • Hybrid/Alt Fuel
  • Luxury SUV
  • Luxury Sedan
  • Midsize Car
  • Minivan
  • Pickup Truck
  • Small/Midsize SUV
  • Sports Car/Convertible

If you click on the “New Vehicle Buyers (In Market)” section, you then choose among the actual make, model, and style of vehicle. How amazing is that?! You can specifically target people shopping for Jeep Grand Cherokees or Suburu Foresters or Chevrolet Cameros.

You can also target people looking for specific auto parts or auto service. You can target by the age of vehicle in their current household, vehicle price, and much more.

There are many ways to target car buyers with Facebook Ads. You can do video ads, custom audiences, carousel ads, lookalike audiences, conversion lift, TRP buying (extend and augment your TV campaigns on Facebook), regular Facebook Newsfeed ads, right rail ads, and more.

If you’re interested in utilizing Facebook Ads to dramatically increase sales at your auto dealership, contact us today!

facebook ads management agency

 

The Evolution of Facebook Advertising

With the Audience Network, Atlas, Header Bidding, Collections, Canvas Ads, & More, Facebook is THE Place to Spend Your Ad Dollars

Facebook is coming for your wallet. And it’s time to pay up (and be happy about it too).

We manage a lot of social advertising campaigns for our clients. Much of our effort is spent on Facebook and Instagram ads (although Snapchat advertising is growing quickly). We like to explain Facebook/Instagram ads to our clients like this: You hand us (and Facebook) a $1 bill, and we’ll hand you back a $20 bill. It’s like clockwork. And if you’re not on the train, now is the time.

Facebook’s Ever-Improving Ad Product

Everyone knows that Facebook makes money via its ads, so it makes sense that it’s trying to innovate as quickly as possible. We recently wrote about Facebook Atlas, which is a huge move for its ad product. Facebook allows you to target people regardless of browser, device, channel, or publisher. Atlas also allows you to connect your digital advertising to in-store sales for a better picture of your campaign performance.

Facebook also recently announced that it’s bringing advertiser demand from its Facebook Audience Network to mobile web publishers that use header bidding (if you’re not familiar with header bidding, click here). Large publishers like Forbes, the Washington Post, Daily Mail, and many others use header bidding. This new announcement will allow Facebook advertisers to be seen on those publications.

Facebook Collections is another new ad offering from the social network. Collections are a mobile-only ad format. Facebook notes that 45% of all shopping journeys now contain a mobile action. Collections ads are designed to win customers over within the Facebook app before directing them to the advertiser’s website. Collections ads start with a main image, and 4 product images below. When someone taps on the ad, a broader catalog opens up that can hold up to 50 more product images. Then if a user taps on a specific product – the ad directs them to the advertiser’s website. Beta testers of this new ads format have reported a 2x to 5x increase on ad spend. See an example below:

facebook collections ads

Facebook Collections ads example

Facebook Canvas ads were introduced last year, and they’re incredible. View a gallery of Canvas ad examples here. Canvas ads are a little more geared towards “storytelling”. This ad format uses a combination of videos, images, text, and call-to-action buttons. In Canvas, people can swipe through a carousel of images, tilt to view panoramic images, and zoom in to images to see more detail. Canvas ads are another mobile-only ad format from Facebook. They are also FAST, loading as much as 10 times faster than the standard mobile web. Facebook reports that the average interaction with a Canvas ad is over 30 seconds, which is incredible.

facebook canvas ad example

In summary, you need to be running Facebook Ads. They work for B2B, ecommerce, large brands, and local retailers. Knowing which format works best for your company and goals is crucial. Understanding the Facebook Newsfeed algorithm is also necessary. If you have any questions or need help in any way, contact us today!

Facebook Atlas – A HUGE Move That Has Been Overlooked

facebook atlas

Atlas is Now Integrated into Facebook Business Manager, And This Changes Everything

Facebook just announced that they are integrating Atlas into the core Facebook Business Manager and Facebook Advertising products. All of Atlas’ tools and offerings will now be available to anyone running Facebook Ads, for free. This is HUGE. Let me tell you why.

A Bit About Atlas

Atlas was purchased by Facebook from Microsoft in 2013. Atlas self-describes its product as “People-Based Marketing”. From their website: “Atlas delivers cross-everything solutions that are built for today, ready for tomorrow and capable of providing real value for advertisers.”

There are three pillars of Atlas:

  1. Cross-Everything: Atlas solves cross-device fragmentation. With Facebook Atlas you can reach and measure people wherever they consume content, regardless of devices, browsers, publishers, or channels. You can also connect your digital ads to in-store sales for a true picture of campaign performance.
  2. Consumer-Led: Atlas allows you to utilize cutting-edge tools and formats like creative sequencing, remarketing, video, native, in-app, and more.
  3. Value: Atlas delivers people-based marketing powered by the accuracy, scale, and persistence of Facebook. This improves the results and better optimizes the budget.

According to Facebook, 82% of marketers say they are constantly searching for new tools to help optimize cross-device advertising strategies. Atlas solves this issue.

What This Means For Digital Marketing

Facebook stated that over the coming year they’ll continue to make improvements to their advanced measurement tools. This all-in-one solution will become the central destination for people-based, cross-publisher measurement. The end goal is to help all marketers/advertisers fully understand how their campaigns drive value both on and off  Facebook.

 

New Facebook Shoppable Feed Ads

Facebook Tests New Shoppable Feed Ads; Also Announces New Ads in Video Content

Facebook started testing new product ads a couple weeks ago. These ads allow retailers and ecommerce shops to show off multi-product imagery within the Facebook news feed. This is the latest innovation to Facebook’s ad product, which remains the leader in the social advertising space. Facebook released Dynamic Product Ads a couple years ago, and this is the evolution of that.

The new Facebook Ad format lets advertisers use multi-product imagery alongside product-specific units in the same ad. Take a look at the image below to see how they look.

Facebook Shoppable Feed Ads

Facebook Shoppable Feed Ads

This new ad format seems to be a response to Google’s Shopping campaigns on Adwords, which debuted five years ago.

On Facebook, though, we can be much more interest- and behavior-based with the ad targeting. It will be interesting to see how these continue to evolve in the future, along with Facebook’s new Canvas ads.

We have tested these with a sampling of our clients, and the early results have been absolutely fantastic. Interested in getting a campaign going for your brand? Contact us today!

In other news, Facebook officially announced that “eligible publishers” can now make money from in-stream video ads on their own websites and apps through Audience Network. On Facebook itself, they are also beta testing “Ad Breaks” in Facebook Live video on a selection of profiles and pages.

Facebook continues to push video content, especially premium video, to compete with YouTube. This is a big step in that direction.

WhatsApp Launches “Status”, A Snapchat Clone

Facebook Copies Snapchat Yet Again…

Facebook owns WhatsApp, the popular messaging app that has 1.2 Billion monthly users around the world who send over 60 Billion messages every day. Crazy numbers. Anyway, WhatsApp just launched “Status“, which is a blatant Snapchat clone (see a timeline of Facebook’s Snapchat clones here).

WhatsApp embedded their new Status feature as a tab in their app. Users can now share decorated photos, videos, or GIFs that disappear after 24 hours. This is obviously another stab at Snapchat, showing that Facebook wants to do everything it can to stave off Snap’s growth.

What Does This Mean For You?

Regardless of your thoughts on Facebook’s copycat strategy, this potentially opens up a new social advertising opportunity for marketers. We believe that companies will soon be able to run ads in between “Statuses” just as we can now run Snap Ads in between Snapchat Stories. Instagram Stories ads will be coming very soon as well. So, stay on top of it. New advertising platforms always provide the best arbitrage opportunities for greater ROI on ad spend.

whatsapp status - snapchat clone

Facebook Makes Some Tweaks to Its Newsfeed Algorithm

Facebook Updates Its Algorithm and Prepares to Come to Your Television…

Facebook announced a few updates to its newsfeed algorithm yesterday:

  • Videos will play with the sound on by default in the News Feed. This change comes after Facebook A/B tested videos with the sound on by default in recent months and reportedly received “positive feedback.”
  • Vertical videos will automatically expand to fill the full screen (another copy of Snapchat). This is change is likely meant to encourage people to shoot & upload videos from their phones, with an emphasis on vertical video.
  • Videos can keep playing in a little thumbnail at the bottom of your screen while you browse the News Feed. Facebook has already tested this feature with a subset of its users, but now it’s rolling out to everyone.
  • Facebook’s TV app will be available “soon” on the Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Samsung Smart TVs, with more devices to follow.

Facebook is obviously putting an emphasis on video, both encouraging users to create and share, and to watch as well. The company recently announced it is allowing content creators show mid-roll ads in their videos, and they are also working on funding their own scripted video shows.

Zuckerberg recently described video as a “mega-trend” similar to how mobile phones contributed to Facebook’s early growth. Facebook’s thinking is that, if it can get people to watch more videos, it can further tap into the $70 billion brand advertising budgets that are normally reserved for TV shows. The recent newsfeed updates, along with Facebook’s plan to launch a standalone app for televisions, illustrates their focus here.

As a company, you should be focusing on creating video content. Video content that can be shared on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Pinterest. The same video content can also be repurposed for YouTube, Vimeo, and your blog.

Need help with a video strategy? Contact us today!

Facebook Launches Marketing Mix Modeling

Facebook Launches Marketing Mix Modeling Portal for Comparing Facebook Ads to TV and Print Campaigns

Facebook announced last week some key updates to its ad platform. Notably, they expanded their partnerships with Nielsen and comScore, and added DoubleVerify. Facebook also announced the launch of a new portal that allows marketers and agencies to see how their Facebook ads perform in comparison with other platforms like television or print.

The new partners are integrating with Facebook in order to measure things like impressions, reach, performance, and other key metrics.

Nielsen’s “Digital Ad Ratings” product can be used to measure ad performance on desktop and mobile in 25 markets worldwide.

ComScore is now beginning to test in-target reach for U.S. audiences on desktop and mobile via its validated “Campaign Essentials” product. This metric is more important to advertisers, because it’s what media plans are built around, and is used to evaluate the campaign’s success.

Perhaps the most excited part of the announcement is the news that several partners, including comScore, Ad Science and Moat, can also now provide ad performance metrics on when display ads enter and appear on the Facebook Newsfeed (learn more about the Facebook Newsfeed algorithm here).

Lastly, Facebook launched their new Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) portal online, where measurement partners can gather data directly from Facebook, Instagram and the Audience Network for their clients. Here, they’ll be able to compare which ads – including TV, digital and print – are best helping them reach their desired outcomes. Need help understanding all this, or getting started on a Facebook Ads campaign? Contact us today!

facebook marketing mix modeling