June 14, 2016

How Authentic Content Changes Facebook Advertising

You know the numbers are impressive. Facebook has 1.6 billion users with 1 billion daily on the platform and if you combine Facebook with its other big brands Instagram, Oculus Rift and Whats App, you will get a feel for how big the company has become.

But although size does matter, one thing that continues to drive Facebook is the experience of their users. Facebook know just how crucial it is to all their businesses. Everything revolves around protecting and enhancing user experience.

The Facebook dilemma

Which leads to an interesting issue for Facebook to address. How do you appropriately place advertising messages into the newsfeed without upsetting the users?

It seems clear that users will accept some advertising and commercial activity in their newsfeeds, Facebook is a business after all, but exactly what ads will users be ‘happy’ to see?

The answer Facebook have come up with is based around relevance to the user…but how do you deliver relevant ads day in and day out?

Facebook’s answer to the issue falls into two areas, the first of which is related to targeting. Facebook have built an extremely powerful system allowing brands to target their customers unlike any traditional media platform has ever done before.

The second issue revolves around the creative. Facebook want ads to look seamless. Ad messages should be a natural part of your newsfeed. This is why they have limited the amount of text to 20% of the image and why ads have to look a certain way – similar to normal organic posts.

The Relevance issue

Facebook also want the content in the ads to be relevant to the user. Brands can achieve relevance using the aforementioned targeting tools, but they also need to be mindful of the ad creative itself. The main part of the ad is the photo but many brands are still using traditional content (from photo shoots and libraries) in their ads.

And now Authentic (or User Generated) Content is being used to address this issue. Ads can now feature photos which look and feel more like the rest of the news feed. Not only are these photos more relevant, they are easily able to be changed on a regular basis to ensure content stays fresh.

If you want to dive into the power of the Facebook targeting machine take a look here.

How important is this?

Well if you have seen an advert – with the same photo – more than twice on your newsfeed, chances are that you’re fatigued by it. That means you are less likely to click and it also means the brand is penalized with reduced ‘relevancy’ scores.

In other words Facebook imposes a laziness tax on you for delivering up content that their users don’t want to see on their feed.

How to get relevant photos into your ads

Creating new ads to deal with the issue can be time consuming. With a small budget of $5 per day and a target of 10,000 users, you can quickly reach a frequency of over 2. (we tested it at Shuttlerock and reached 2.1 in just 9 days).

As well as coming up with brand new photos, you would also have to regularly recreate your ads through the ad manager and that just takes time that marketing teams don’t have.

Facebook recognised this issue which is why they named Shuttlerock as a winner of the Innovations Award 2016. Facebook noticed that the Shuttlerock system of collecting authentic photos and publishing them into Facebook ads (as well as other digital channels) is a ground-breaking solution to the problem faced.

In addition to keeping adverts photos fresh, authentic and relevant, Shuttlerock is able to continually test for the best content and ensure frequency (and therefore fatigue) doesn’t get too high.

As an added bonus the content comes in easily and ads can be created automatically meaning turn around times are reduced and costs are also eliminated.

If you’d like to talk about how authentic content can make your Facebook ads more powerful and effective, just get in touch and we’ll talk you through the options.

Contact us today!