Rather than just cramming more ads onto the site, an act known as “ad load”, Facebook has decided to focus on perfecting the art of advertising through video. They believe that the more viewers want to watch videos on Facebook, the more willing they will be to sit through an ad. Since the increase of videos, users have been proven to spend more time on the site.
Facebook has been working to sell space to marketers by creating many different options in selling video advertising spots. First of all, advertisers are able to purchase through “sound-on” buying, meaning they have the option to only pay when the video plays sound. Facebook videos typically show up on mute and automatically plays, but if the advertiser chooses, they are only charged if the viewer plays sound. A large part of this stems from the pressure from Snapchat, where advertisements have volume on 70% of the time. Another option for advertisers is “completed-view” buying, meaning the advertiser only pays when the viewer gets to the end of the video. Many advertisers choose this because they do not think an ad makes a completely valuable impression unless watched fully. Facebook also plans to show marketers how long people watched down to the millisecond in addition to how many people watched.
Facebook will also display the number of milliseconds where half of the ad was on the screen as well as the amount of time the whole ad was on the screen in two different categories to provide more accurate data. In addition to the other buying options, there is also “two-second” buying, which means 50% of an ad’s pixels are in view for two continuous seconds or longer.
Facebook videos are also able to target specific demographics better than other sites, and is continuing to improve. A huge amount of growth was shown in 2015, when the amount of video in the news feed increased by 3.6 times—and more than half of daily U.S. visitors watch at least one video per day according to the company. Overall, Facebook is trying to improve video targeting to ensure that the right users see the right ads.
“Going mobile” is a concept that people have been hearing for the past few years. Today, 95% of American citizens have mobile phones and 77% own a smartphone. Why are these percentages so important? Well, companies both big and small have begun to realize the mobile smartphone’s potential. Being technologically mobile allows social media users to always be online, and consequently always looking at advertisements. Advertising via social networking platforms has skyrocketed within the last few years, and no social media site has been more successful in this field than Facebook. Here’s why…
Between the years of 2015 and 2016, Facebook’s revenue from advertising grew a monumental 57%. For the entire year of 2016, Facebook totaled $26.9 billion in advertising revenue. Although expected to slow in 2017 from stagnant ad loads, the different mediums that Facebook offers to not only companies, but also regular users for advertising are so diverse and unique that this platform really sets itself apart. These days, video is the salvation for advertising on Facebook. With users always being mobile, video makes it much easier for companies to get their advertisements seen.
Mediums that companies use on Facebook to advertise like the right-hand rail ads and the multi-product carousel ads work, and they work well, but why stop there? Facebook’s companion app, Messenger, is now being tested as a way for companies to advertise their products and ideas. This application is directed towards mobile devices to make messaging easier on the go, so it is a perfect medium for advertising. Companies have reached out to say that they are excited about this new form of Facebook advertising because they can more easily reach their market, and help their audience grow. This will allow users to easily view advertisements that pertain to their interests, and show users which companies are also logged onto Facebook.
In today’s fast-paced world, Facebook is looking for ways to deliver advertisements in a quick and easy manner for its users’ benefit. Facebook has most certainly created an empire off of advertising, and will continue to do so through new ideas, tests, and trials.
Facebook has truly adapted to the changing world of advertising. No longer will consumers sit quietly through an ad, taking in every piece of information. In this “on-the-go” world, Facebook has evolved to make ads more relevant to every individual consumer. By using an individual’s search engine information, Facebook is able to connect the answer-seeking consumer with a brand or company to help them. In this way Facebook is challenging and altering traditional media businesses.
This success can be seen in the $7.44 billion brought in the three months to the end of 2015 alone, and more recently the $26.9 billion in ad sales brought in 2016; a 57% increase from 2015. 84% of this revenue comes from mobile ads, showing companies that consumers are no longer found sitting at a TV, passively receiving information, but instead on the go, actively searching for information.
Even in their success, Facebook is continuing to make improvements in their upcoming years. Facebook is working to allow marketers to measure viewed advertising instead of served advertising. Served advertising means that the advertisement had been on a page that the consumer viewed. In order for something to be considered viewed advertising, the user would have to scroll to the part of the page where the advertisement is in view. Using this method of measurement would make advertising analytics much more reliable, because what’s the point of measuring an ad that a user may have never actually seen?
In another attempt to make sure users come across advertisements, Facebook plans to include mid-roll commercials inside live and non-live videos. This would create another way for brands to connect with users. However, many consumers tend to block out ads, so marketers worry that Facebook live viewers will not fully engage with the ad content. Marketers also worry that the ad could be aired at an inappropriate time mid-roll, and that it could be seen as controversial if viewed during a controversial video. Overall, Facebook plans to have control when and by what means a consumer witnesses a brand message or ad, thus changing the traditional means of advertising.