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Report: Snapchat Might Make Users Wait 3 Seconds To Skip Ads

Social Media Week

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Want to skip over that promotional video on Snapchat before getting back to your friends’ Stories? Snapchat is considering an update that would force users to watch ads for three seconds before skipping past.

Sources close to the matter told Ad Age that Snapchat is thinking about moving to this model, which is similar to the skippable “TrueView” format on YouTube, in order to increase the visibility and effectiveness of partner ads.

At present, users can tap their screen to immediately bypass promotional content. While this is a welcomed experience for users seeking to explore content from their friends and preferred creators and publishers, it reduces the amount of time people spend with paid content.

Within this structure, Ad Age reports that viewing times for paid ads on Snapchat “barely reach a second.” For reference, the Media Rating Council (MRC) finds that video ads must be visible for at least two seconds them to be deemed “viewable.”

Though viewability is a critical metric for digital advertisers, Snapchat has always veered toward optimizing the user experience before appeasing ad partners. Increased pressures on the platform following its 2017 IPO and reports that their ad rates have dropped 60 percent over the past year are perhaps causing Snap’s executive team to revise their approach.

Speaking anonymously to Ad Age, a “top advertiser” noted that marketers are simply not as spending as much as they used to with Snapchat. “[Snapchat] has to do something that draws more interest from advertisers, and they are getting more aggressive to address the market’s needs,” stated the source.

One fundamental need, as noted by Mobile Marketer, is to provide more insight into the effectiveness of marketers’ ad buys within Snapchat—especially when it comes to viewability metrics.

Though Snapchat has not confirmed the rumors, it will be interesting to see if the “must view” rule is applied to the upcoming Q1 redesign, which the company teased in late 2017. Of course, Snapchat is not alone in facing these challenges, as all of the major platforms are seeking ways to create compelling, user-friendly experiences that also optimize against advertiser objectives.

Hear from the major social media platforms at SMWNYC, coming to New York April 24-27, 2018. Register for your pass now to secure your spot at our flagship conference.

Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas, innovations and insights into how social media and technology are changing business, society and culture around the world.

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Why Phone Call Analytics Can Optimize Your Facebook Ad ROI

Social Media Week

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In today’s smartphone and social platform driven world, converting consumers by calling might seem like a thing of the past, but that’s far from the truth.

At Social Media Week Chicago, Blair Symes (Director of Content Marketing) & Kelley Schultz (Director of Digital Media & Analytics) of Dialogtech showed attendees how well Facebook ads can influence and generate phone call conversions, improve ROI, and acquire more customers.

There were 5.7 billion calls in 2014 calls to US businesses from Facebook and social ads, 12.2 billion in 2016, and experts expect that to triple in 2019. Over 500% growth in calls are expected from 2014 to 2019.

Why are the Facebook numbers so staggering?

Facebook is a mobile-first app. Click-to-call is much easier and faster than filling out a web form. 89% of Facebook’s users access via mobile device. 56% of months users only access Facebook on mobile. While 87% of Facebook US ad spend is now on mobile.

Businesses with products or services that are complex, expensive, infrequent, or urges get phone calls.

Which is great news for marketers because phone calls have proven to be a much higher quality lead than online conversions. According to Forrester, customers who initiate inbound calls convert faster, spend more, and have a higher retention rate. Calls convert to revenue 10x-15x more than web leads. Calls will also influence $1 trillion in US consumer spending this year.

If your business has the potential to convert ads into call, getting detailed attribution for every call is a must.

Here are problems that most marketers face:

  • You lose credit and intelligence for up to 50% or more of your conversions.
  • Visitors from Facebook ads that result in valuable calls appear to be bounces.
  • You allocate budget to underperforming Facebook ads and landing pages.
  • You can’t prove the true ROI of Facebook ad spend.

If you don’t know what is generating phone calls, you can be putting money into campaigns that aren’t working. You define the audience targeting at the ad set, so the more detailed you label each ad set, the best understanding you will get on who is driving ROI. If you know where exactly your ads are running and succeeding, you can break out your campaigns into very specific placements and devote budget to improving the ROI on those specific ads.

If you don’t use your data, it’s not going to help you. If you don’t use it to change what you are doing or to optimize your current ads, it’s not going to do anything for you.

How To Use Performance Metrics

  1. Customize the columns to show the performance metrics relevant to your brand and goals.
  2. Compare date against time frames from prior day, week, month, and year.
  3. Breakdown the data by location/business locations, age/gender, time of day, and placement/device.
  4. Ensure top performing ads and audiences are not capping out on budget.
  5. Build out testing campaigns to enhance lower performing campaigns/ad sets/ads. Continually test different campaign objectives and creative.

Targeting is critical to Facebook ad ROI. You can use targeting data like date & time, education, age, interests, relationship, website visits, and more to target consumers with the right message on the right screen at the right time. But how do phone calls come into play?

Inbound calls are valuable data that can signal lead quality and purchasing intent and how the person wants to engage. Marketers can use call data to determine the budget allocation and the right ad and landing page.

On Facebook, you can actually schedule optimizations that will improve conversions.

  • Use a life time budget (instead of daily cap), which will allow you to run ads on a specific schedule
  • Get performance and audience data by day/hour and target those in ad sets to maximize your budget
  • Run lead gen ads and ensure you have sales staff available to convert leads quickly and effectively

Further analysis and commentary from ‘The Secret to Optimizing Your Facebook Ad ROI: Phone Call Analytics’ session:

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

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Facebook Ekes Out More Ad Space, This Time In Messenger

Social Media Week

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Facebook dominates the display advertising landscape, owning nearly 40 percent of the market per eMarketer. Facebook’s total revenue topped $27 billion in 2016—and the platform is looking to grow this figure with new and different ad offerings.

One way they are doing this is by beginning to roll out Messenger ads for U.S. audiences. Messenger ads have been in test-mode overseas since the beginning of 2017.

According to Ad Age, Facebook is allowing media buyers to extend the reach of their campaigns beyond Facebook and Instagram to Messenger with the simple check of a box. With the exception of video ads (for now), marketers can run their single photo or carousel campaigns within Messenger. Facebook’s product team states that they are holding off on including video ads at this stage of the rollout, though it’s likely that these will eventually find their way to Messenger, as well.

One of the only factors threatening to slow Facebook’s ongoing growth is limited real estate. As the Facebook News Feed and Instagram feeds become more and more inundated with ads, the platform needs to find new spaces where marketers can effectively capture attention, influence decision-making and, ultimately, drive purchases.

“[Advertising is] not necessarily everything, but it’s definitely how we’re going to be making money right now, and going forward there are some other business models we are exploring as well, but they’re all around ads one way or another,” said Stan Chudnovsky, Messenger head of product, in a recent interview with VentureBeat.

Still, it will be interesting to see how Facebook users react to seeing brand messages in their conversations. The News Feed, once dominated by content from friends and closely followed companies and groups, has become overrun with marketing content and yet Facebook’s user base still tops 1 billion people worldwide. Will consumers simply “get used to” seeing ads within their one-to-one conversations or group threads, as they’ve done with respect to the News Feed?

It will also be interesting to see if and how Facebook will be able to target ads relevant to conversations occurring within  Messenger, similar to how Google uses email context to serve ads within Gmail. For example, if I ask my friend for a movie suggestion in a one-to-one chat, will Universal Pictures be able to offer up a selection or to that’s relevant to our conversation? Such an update would open powerful opportunities for chatbot style advertising, though Facebook isn’t quite there at the moment.

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

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