Facebook Advertising Trends 2018

Christine Göös

Marketing

What does Facebook have in store for advertisers in 2018? Last month the social behemoth dropped quite the news bomb with it’s News Feed algorithm changes, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. At Smartly.io we’re expecting this year to be an eventful and exciting one for advertisers. Read on to uncover our predictions for 2018 and what you should gear up for if you rely on acquiring and growing customers or your brand across the Facebook ecosystem.

News Feed News

Facebook announced in January that they will start tweaking the algorithm to favor authentic connections between people. On the other hand, this will devalue posts by publishers and brands, with the former taking a bigger hit as the advertising ecosystem will remain intact.

As organic reach decreases, companies will have to invest more in paid News Feed visibility. This will likely drive prices up for those placements as the competition intensifies.

Facebook has been aggressively diversifying its ad format portfolio in the past year. The News Feed change will drive the adoption of the more novel ad placements including the various Messenger placements (more on this below), WhatsApp, and Instagram (particularly Stories ads).

User experience is likely to improve with this change. With less clutter and Facebook's advanced targeting capabilities, the ads users do see are likely to be of higher quality as relevancy score impacts which ads are winning the auctions.

Content from friends and family will enjoy a hire rank in the News Feed – this could stand to benefit influencers and consequently, brands who collaborate with them. Don’t confuse influencer with free reach, though. Facebook offers a feature where brands can pay to promote the content posted by influencers.

All About Video

With the risk of sounding like a broken record, we're still advising you to invest in video advertising. It will continue to grow and it should be a key part of your Facebook and Instagram strategy.

Lightweight animated formats including GIF, Slideshow and Cinemagraph formats, as well as automated video creation solutions allow advertisers to scale their creative production without having to explode their budgets or hire legions of creatives.

One thing to consider in particular: video ads within Instagram Stories. The feature had +300 million active users in late 2017 – and growing.

Facebook is also in the works of building its own television platform with original content, along with it we are going to see an increase in in-stream and pre or post-roll ad placements.

Traditional Retail Goes Facebook

Facebook is quickly becoming an increasingly viable channel for brick and mortar: businesses such as supermarket chains, pharmacies, and convenience stores will move their ad dollars from traditional channels like local print and TV to Facebook as its offline measurement and solutions for localized ads become more refined.

In 2017 Facebook rolled out multiple ad formats that recreate the storefront experience online by combining discovery and sales, for example Canvas and Collection ads, these formats can be used to mimic traditional circulars and weekly offers and targeted to a local audience near the physical store.

Offline conversion measurement capabilities allow advertisers to track when transactions occur in their physical business location after people see or engage with the Facebook ads. Advertisers can also measure store visits from their Facebook campaigns.

Time to Get Chatty – Messenger Advertising

Facebook’s Messenger solutions for businesses continue to diversify: advertisers can target users with the Messenger placement that is shown between chats in the Messenger app or advertise on WhatsApp in certain markets.

Another technology to consider is powering your customer service or even marketing campaigns with chatbots. 100,000 chatbots are in use on Facebook alone and the number is climbing. It’s one thing to build a bot, but make sure your audiences are lead to it: the Send to Messenger ad format allows brands with bots (or live customer service reps) send people directly to an open chat.

These messaging solutions will be useful for brands in the service, travel and e-commerce industries in particular. Customers today expect instant service and according to Facebook, 53% of people are more likely to shop with a business they can message directly.

What trend are you excited to jump on in 2018? Let us know in the comments.

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