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Facebook recently announced that mobile advertising represents 84 percent of its revenue, and the number of its “mobile-only” users has reached 1 billion.

In order to accommodate those users, Facebook released new tools to create, test, share, and review mobile ads earlier this year in order to make advertising efforts on its platform as effective as possible for brands and marketers.

You may already be asking yourself, what can marketers do to take advantage of Facebook and the mobile advertising opportunities?

Year of Mobile

While social media pundits have been announcing “the year of mobile” for about a decade now and mobile traffic officially overtook the desktop in 2015, Facebook was ahead of the game the whole time. It developed a mobile-first platform to deliver simple, fast and easy user experience and offered extremely fine-grained targeting for advertisers. Facebook’s vast mobile audience presents digital marketers with a powerful opportunity to monetize all those viewers.

25 percent of media consumption time spent by consumers is done on mobile devices. Marketers, on the other hand, are spending only 12 percent of ad dollars on this channel. This discrepancy shows that advertisers are missing huge opportunities by failing to convert to the mobile-first mindset. Facebook, on the other hand, woke to this reality early.

The Downside of Facebook Ads

After several studies have been performed, it is believed that mobile ad spending is going to surpass all other channels by 2020. But before marketers jump in to fill the gap, some important obstacles to mobile advertising success on Facebook must be considered.

Facebook advertising is harder than it looks.

The ads can lose their effectiveness quickly, which is problematic for brands that hire agencies, set budgets, and launch big campaigns at the beginning of the year. If ads burn out quickly, with no strategy to continually measure and replace them, that budget will languish.

Advertisers should combat ads losing their effectiveness with creative-driven campaign planning and constantly monitoring ad engagement to change things up when needed.

Another frustrating aspect is the ad reach unpredictability caused by Facebook’s dynamic marketplace and algorithms. Something to consider is the number of people in a target audience who are logged in, the amount of competition, and the number of impressions available are constantly changing and can generate uneven results. To combat this, budgeting in smaller increments and monitoring performance more frequently can help fight these barriers. Spending your full budget daily on Google, for example, is more achievable because it’s likely that the same number of people will search a given term each day. But with impressions changing so often on Facebook, it can be difficult for marketers to invest the same amount for less certainty.

What Facebook Offers

The benefits of harnessing Facebook’s power can be enormous when digital marketers are able to overcome these obstacles. True, click fraud is a serious problem. But, Facebook traffic is cleaner than other display advertising platforms.

A 2014 study of billions of ads by the Association of National Advertisers found that 11 percent of display ads and almost 25 percent of video ads were seen by software, not people. While there is controversy around the presence of bots on Facebook, traffic attributed to bots is undoubtedly less there than on any other source. One thing you can count on is that Facebook’s users are real people who are seeing your ads.

Facebook targeting also offers more granularity than other digital advertising platforms. For example, when someone creates a Facebook profile, she enters her birth date, gender, location, and more. Facebook knows what users like, what they are talking about, and with whom they are friends. Looking for a 30-year-old mom in Nebraska who loves cooking is much easier.  In short, ads can easily be served to that person.

To dodge the obstacles and reap the benefits of Facebook mobile advertising, digital marketers need to do three things well:

1. Test, Test, and Test Some More

Even for businesses that feel good about their ad results, testing is important. Numbers are better than feelings. A/B or split testing can be done within the Facebook ad platform. This makes it easy to compare your ad results on the basis of ‘real data’ instead of an opinion or speculation. And the insights gleaned from one creative campaign can easily contribute to the next.

Varying images, copy, times of day, calls to action and ad location on the page are all factors that can influence ad performance. Once a high-performing ad is identified, you should dig deeper. For example, if one image is converting at a higher rate than others, try similar images. Learn how Facebook users are responding and what they are responding to, realizing that it is not a static result because the numbers and types of users who are logged on to Facebook are constantly changing.

2. Measure Your Results

Facebook analytics are great, but it is just as important to compare the results with third-party tools like Google Analytics, Simply Measured, or WordPress plugin Social Metrics to get multiple dimensions of analytics.

Google Analytics allows you to compare Facebook performance with other social networks and other traffic sources, while Simply Measured and Social Metrics focus exclusively on social performance. Each of these provides rich reporting options.

3. Create an Innovative User Experience

With how important mobile usage has become, it’s amazing how many advertisers shove a desktop experience into a mobile page rather than creating a unique mobile experience. If you want to increase value and customer loyalty, personalized ads will do this. Besides, it’s becoming an expectation among consumers as they are on their mobile devices more than any other device.

Don’t think about just mobile behavior in general. Rather, think about behavior specific to Facebook.

Make pages fast. Use Facebook’s dynamic ads to serve the right ad to the right person based on location, past behavior, and the person’s likes and groups.

Create multiple ads for multiple sub-targets. Offer push notifications for users to opt in to, and serve ads and promotions according to what users want to be offered.

Facebook’s huge mobile user base and fantastic targeting technology are making digital advertising affordable even for small and medium-sized companies. Still, monetizing that traffic is not a given. But with continual attention, testing, and dynamic tactics, the rewards for marketers can be remarkable.

 

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