Facebook Begins to Master Mobile Marketing
Since Facebook’s IPO in May, the value of its shares has been a hot topic of debate with many investors that bought in early and lost significantly, which has put the spotlight on the profitability of Facebook’s business model. Mark Zuckerberg’s famous quote that Facebook will always be free for average users means that they need to generate income from the paid advertising on the site, and to date they have faced several difficulties with making that advertising work for them. Compounding the low engagement and conversion rates that Facebook ads famously suffer from has been the difficulty that they have had integrating marketing for mobile users. Traditional Facebook advertising hasn’t been appearing in the mobile displays, and with the number of Facebook’s mobile users increasing constantly, they have been missing a huge marketing opportunity.
Mobile internet use has skyrocketed across the board in recent years, and the number of users that access Facebook via their mobile devices has climbed to 54%, or 488 million users1. In order to maintain the value in their advertising, Facebook has been working on ways of reaching this expanding demographic of users worldwide. At the same time it has seen some of its larger corporate advertisers scale back their Facebook Ad campaigns and focus instead on brand awareness and customer engagement on the site. This has forced Facebook to look at ways to monetize their brand pages without having to charge businesses a fee for what is now a free service.
One big step towards integrating marketing into the newsfeed that appears on mobile devices has been to track the apps that their mobile users already have as a means of targeting advertising at them2. This means that if you play one of Zynga’s games, there will be ads for other Zynga products included in your newsfeed to promote them. Businesses can target their marketing at users with apps that show that they have an interest in their niche, so that, for instance, people with music apps are likely to get music ads in their news feed. They hope to encourage businesses to create Open Graph apps, which Facebook can then charge them to upload as well as generate revenue from the targeted advertising.
Another option that is being made available to Facebook brand pages is to pay to have your posts promoted in newsfeeds3. This not only makes them available to mobile users, but also gets the advertising out of the right column on the page, where very few people actually read them, to the main newsfeed where they almost certainly will. The new advertising model allows brand page owners to make sure that their posts stay on top of the newsfeeds for all of the people that have liked their page. It is simply accessed via the new “promote” button that is positioned next to the post button in the status update window. The “promote” button allows advertisers to target their post promotions in the same way that they can target their Facebook Ads with a similar campaign budget set up. Posts that are highlighted like this will carry a “sponsored” label and when fans like or share these posts it will appear in their newsfeed to be seen by all of their friends as well.
There are other features that are also currently in development, like a “want” button that may also add value to Facebook advertising in the future. These strategies may not be the solution to all of Facebook’s advertising problems but they are a good start on developing a marketing model that works on the site. At Infintech Designs, we can help you to develop a cost effective Facebook marketing strategy that takes advantage of all of these new developments.