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Facebook Q1 Ad Developments: New Research And FYIs

This is an excerpt from our Facebook Q1 2015 Advertising Developments Intelligence Brief.

In previous posts recapping Facebook’s Q1, we highlighted the developments that gave marketers new ways to reach consumers and future opportunities for brands to keep an eye on. In this post, we’ll look at the most compelling Facebook research to be published during the quarter and other platform news that advertisers should know about.

Interesting Research

Nielsen/Facebook: How are consumers impacted by Facebook video ads?

Setup: People interact with Facebook® video differently. Some people see a video ad in their News Feed and scroll by. Others watch part of a video, and others watch to completion. The researchers set out to learn whether different kinds of video viewers have different value for marketers.

Results: Compared to a control group unexposed to video ads, the researchers found a lift in ad recall, brand awareness and purchase consideration the instant an impression was served, before any content was actually watched. Lift against the same brand metrics kept growing the longer people watched the video.


Facebook IQ: What creative sequence ignites action?

Setup: Marketers advertising on Facebook have a wide range of creative options for achieving goals throughout the sales funnel. Facebook IQ probed this concept scientifically by partnering with a large brand to compare performance differences for distinct holdouts – comparable audiences with no overlap – each targeted with a different creative sequence from the options below.

Video ad, photo ad (note the photo and video thumbnail were the same).
Photo ad, video ad (the same ads as above, served in inverse order).
Photo ad, photo ad (note the first photo was the same as the other tests).

Performance was benchmarked against a control group that did not see any ads from the brand.




Facebook sells only viewable ads

Facebook announced the platform charges only for viewable ads. Note Facebook considers an ad viewable the instant any part of it is seen. By contrast, the Media Rating Council requires an ad is half visible on a screen for at least one second to be considered viewable.

Facebook’s QuickFire acquisition to support better video

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg predicted recently that the platform would be mostly video in five years. To accommodate the ever-increasing volume, Facebook acquired QuickFire Networks — a platform that will support high-quality streaming without consuming a lot of bandwidth. The acquisition could also help marketers serve more videos into emerging markets squeezed for cellular data.

Conversion Lift widely available

Large consumer brands have been partnering with companies like Datalogix to understand whether those exposed to Facebook ads exhibit performance lift in terms of sales or brand metrics, when compared to control groups not served Facebook ads. These studies are becoming available to a broader assortment of advertisers as “conversion lift studies.”

Preferred Marketing Developers (PMD) rebranded to Facebook Marketing Partners

In addition to the new name, Facebook restructured the program to recognize partners based on their strengths and geographic footprint. SocialCode is badged for Media Buying and Advertising Technology.

Publishers may host content natively

Facebook is in talks with publishers to host their content on the platform natively, instead of driving people to consume news and analyses offsite. Facebook and publishers would share revenue under the agreement.

Related videos to autoplay

Videos uploaded to Facebook natively already play in people’s News Feeds automatically. Facebook also started serving options for related videos when one video completed last year. Now, Facebook is now testing a feature that — like Netflix — would automatically start playing related videos after a certain amount of time passes following the end of another video. This presents new opportunity for sustained engagement with a brand’s video content.

Improved mobile app analytics with Facebook Analytics For Apps

Marketers now have better measurement to understand how their mobile app is impacting their business. Facebook Analytics for Apps, announced at F8, exposes who is using an app, how they’re interacting with app content across mobile and desktop and relevant performance metrics.

Update to video remarketing on Facebook

Facebook recently announced several updates to its video remarketing product, which allows marketers to retarget those exposed to high-purchase-funnel brand videos with low-purchase-funnel content.

Marketers can retarget video viewers without choosing the option in advance.
Marketers can retarget those who saw a video ad organically.
The requirement that audiences must have at least 1,000 unique views before new viewers can be added is gone.
The 24-hour delay between ad creation and video-viewing audiences is gone.

Embed Facebook videos offsite

Marketers can now embed videos uploaded natively to Facebook elsewhere on the Web. Previously, marketers that wanted an embed code had to use other video advertising networks like YouTube. Creating parity in this area  reduces friction to uploading directly to the platform.

Facebook grows share of display market

eMarketer predicts Facebook will continue to consume the majority of display marketing dollars in the United States, comprising nearly 27 percent of net digital display ad revenues by 2017.

Brand Page likes fluctuate after profile scrub

Some brands may have seen their fan count decrease in Q1. This is because Facebook removed people who voluntarily deactivated their accounts or passed away (indicated by a memorialized profile) from Pages’ like count. Analytics provider Quintly conducted an analysis and found the effort decreased the number of Page likes for big brands by an average of 3 percent.

Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc.

Download the full Facebook Q1 2015 Advertising Developments report.

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  • Ben Weiss, Marketing Content Strategist

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