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January 25, 2013

How Can Businesses Take Advantage of the New Video Ads Feature on FB?

Facebook will unveil a new video-ad product this year as its largest attempt to date to attract big ad dollars from TV advertisers. Video advertisers will have the chance to target video ads to large numbers of Facebook users in their news feeds on both the desktop version of Facebook, as well as on mobile phones and tablets.

On the desktop version of Facebook, the video ads are expected to grab a user’s attention by expanding out of the news feed into webpage real estate. They are also working on a way to ensure the video ads stand out on mobile apps.

Advertisers will be able to show their video ads to desktop users of Facebook, but Facebook has been highlighting the mobile versions of the product in meetings with ad agencies, demonstrating the product on both tablets and mobile phones. With Facebook’s scale, advertisers could target demographics as they do on TV as well as use the gross ratings point currency they use for TV.

At the top of the list of concerns is the autoplay function, which is often viewed as intrusive and sometimes as a source of fraud in the video-ad market, when autoplay ads count toward a view even if someone isn’t watching them. Additionally, there is concern that Facebook visitors will quickly become tired of ads from advertisers with which they or their friends have no relationship, even if advertisers tailor the ads based on information in a person’s profile.

With one billion users, Facebook has become an increasingly useful tool for brands and its use is crucial to have a strong social presence.

Whether your brand is fully established or just starting out, launching a marketing campaign can seem a bit daunting, but it doesn’t have to be a timely or expensive process. There are several small, simple things you can do for your brand on Facebook.

Below are a few tips on how businesses can take advantage of the new video ads feature on Facebook.

1. Application-publishing platforms

For small- and medium-sized businesses, social media budgets are nowhere close to those of global brands, which can afford multiple custom applications and promotions on Facebook. However, large budgets aren’t required to launch a lot of the basic applications seen on Facebook.

Services such as North Social and Pagemodo provide the kinds of applications that most businesses need. Also, most of these services provide a “freemium” model that offers some applications for free.

Keep in mind that you won’t get a customized app, but you can manage the content and visuals within pre-developed apps that are available. This may be a good first step into the Facebook world if your budget is a main concern.

2. Insights

If you have to provide a report of Facebook metrics to your boss or client, the best time-saving tip is to export the Facebook Insights data to an Excel spreadsheet. You can see which status updates performed best, if your audience responds well to video and get a sense of what’s driving your ‘likes.’

Click the ‘export data’ button. In the pop-up that appears, select the data type and date range.

Once you’ve done this and downloaded the file, open it in Excel and apply a filter by going to the data tab and clicking on ‘filter.’ Once this filter is selected, you can quickly filter any key metrics in ascending or descending order, which is a very powerful trick when analyzing your Facebook marketing and engagement efforts.

3. Local content

Nobody wants to visit a Facebook page with an enticing offer, only to learn that it’s not available in his or her region. Nor do they want to land on a brand page where all the content is in another language.
Allow users to recognize that you are connected with their location by providing details and assets specific to where they are.

When you have to target languages, Facebook allows you to make status updates for users with certain language settings. So, Facebook users who have French or Spanish as their default language on the site will only see your content that is in their native tongue.

4. Facebook Ads

Buying Facebook ads is a wise, cost-effective solution that can help increase your brand’s visibility throughout the Facebook platform. Most people don’t realize how easy they are to set up or that you can buy in with a small ad spend.

Facebook’s ‘like’ ads provide users the opportunity to ‘like’ your fan page from any page they are on. These ads are relevant because they keep users engaged and informed with the latest in your marketing campaign.

5. Promotions and changes

Consumers seek out special offers, and retailers will offer an abundance of limited-time discounts, free shipping, door-busters, and ‘act now’ events during the season. Though time-sensitive promotions are great tactics for motivating customers, they also put added pressure on brands. Communications, regardless of channel, must be timely.

6. Interactivity

Interactive call-to-action buttons are critical to drive the performance of any offer type presented within video ads. In the absence of interactivity, a next-best approach is adding a promotion code, or even a QR code that can be scanned with mobile devices.

7. Convenience

Forty percent of the top 50 Internet retailers offer “buy online, pick up in-store” programs. “Pick up at a store near you” is convenient year-round, but even more so during the holidays, when shipping delays and out-of-stock notices are most common. Promote this option in your video ads.

Smart video advertising will help your online business target and engage holiday shoppers through relevant messaging that enhances the customer experience. An engaging video ad will attract more site visitors and drive sales. Keep these tips in mind when developing a campaign for the new video ads feature on Facebook.

Yo Noguchi is an experienced freelancer, guest blogger, and frequent contributor to a blog hosted by Benchmark E-mail, one of the world’s global provider of event marketing services.