Advertising on Facebook is a must for any marketer. First of all, it’s a goldmine when it comes to users. As of June 2017, the channel boasts more than 2 billion monthly active users and an impressive 1 billion+ daily users. That’s an extremely powerful channel to tap into, but in order to reach those masses, businesses have to advertise.
Following Facebook’s latest algorithm update, it’s harder than ever for businesses to reach users organically. Even before the latest update, brand’s organic reach sat at an unimpressive 2 percent on average.
Luckily, Facebook ad’s reach is greater than ever. Time and again it proves to be the most popular social media advertising channel, with 93 percent of social media advertisers using Facebook ads.
The key takeaway here: your target audience is likely on Facebook, but to reach them, you need to advertise.
Key elements of a great Facebook ad.
Now that you know that you need a Facebook ad, the next logical step is making that ad great. To do so, there are a few elements every ad must have.
1. It’s visual.
When it comes to social media, visual content is 40 percent more likely to get shared than other types of content. And that extends to advertisements. In fact, images account for 75-90 percent of Facebook advertising effectivity and performance. Simply put, an effective ad must have an effective visual.
So what makes an image effective?
- It takes up the majority of your screen
- It features your product or service, either stand alone or in use
- Any text is simple and legible
- Backgrounds are bold to attract attention
2. It’s short and concise.
Your ad isn’t what sells your product; it’s what catches potential customer’s intrigue. And you only need a few words to do so. The most effective length for an ad title on Facebook is just four words — and 15 words for a link description. This tells us that users don’t want to read paragraphs and full product descriptions; they want to immediately know what you’re selling and where you’re trying to send them.
They do, however, want to know what your product or service will do for them and how it’s different from anything else on the market. That’s your value proposition, and it needs to be clear to your readers.
3. It has a clear call to action.
You may have created the most visually stunning ad of the year, but it won’t lead customers anywhere if you don’t tell them where to go. That’s where a clear call to action (CTA) comes in. Tell your users you want them to click, download or call today. And because a CTA takes up precious text, it’s okay to think outside the box. Get creative with your CTA, and give users an even bigger reason to pursue your product.
Introducing Facebook’s Mobile Studio.
Now that we have the basics down, it’s time to put them together into an ad that turns heads. And thanks to Facebook, it is simpler than it sounds. All it takes is a mobile phone.
As Facebook says, it’s a “small but mighty tool. It houses everything you need, from a brilliant camera, to a ton of easy to use apps that empower you to make world-class advertising for your business.” These apps can transform your otherwise stale ads into something eye-catching and creative, and it takes zero design experience or knowledge. The best part? You can remix your existing assets, or start from scratch.
Here are a few ways you can use apps to transform your ads.
1. Create gifs.
Fun fact: 47 percent of the value of Facebook ads happens in the first 3 seconds. Nothing will capture that attention quicker than a gif.
First, select images from your website that you’d like to use. Then, download the GifLab app to turn your pictures into a gif. Keep in mind, your gif doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Select even one photo and make the colors change or have it fade in and out. It’s simple, but will still catch attention.
2. Create pop-ups.
Pop-ups are another attention-catcher. And again, there’s an app for that. This time, select your image and download VideoShop. Through it, you can add movement to your ad, add in text pop-ups, and play with different backgrounds.
3. Tell a story.
These days, an ad can do more than advertise a product; it can tell a story. Bring that story to life through videos, text overlays and before and after photos. Apps like Legend and Snapspeed can help.
4. Use your resources.
Not a lot to work with? No problem. Sometimes the key is just to fake it ‘til you make it. Shooting a short video or product photo doesn’t mean fancy equipment and sets.
In an example video from Facebook, the advertiser creates the illusion of a kitchen by using foam boards for marble countertops and a simple phone tripod to capture the shots. The result? A slew of Boomerang videos that show off what the product can do.
4. Improve your images.
Adding effects to images can help take your ad from ordinary to extraordinary. All it takes is one image — no matter how bland — and an app called Layout. By rotating and playing with the picture’s position, you can create incredible visual effects.
Take this ad by Pescaria, a fish restaurant. They started with one image of a fish, and ended with this.
Facebook’s top 10 apps for creating ads.
These days, there’s no end to the number of design apps out there. And while many have their merits, Facebook’s done the work for you on this one and chosen their top 10 apps most useful for business. The winners are:
For photo enhancing:
For video enhancing:
Tips for creating a great ad on Facebook.
While the existence of apps certainly makes the process easier, it’s important to keep in mind that any effects or add-ins still have to support your overall goal. Beyond just catching attention, images or videos you choose need to support what you’re trying to sell and relate well to your overall brand, as well as the audience you’re trying to reach. All creatives must tie-in and support your goal.
Facebook has a few tips for you as well:
- Select an app based on your ad idea
- Use your best photos/videos
- Combine multiple apps
If shooting a video:
- Find natural lighting
- Use an inexpensive tripod
- Use foam core to bounce light
Related: How to Make Money With Facebook Ads
Start creating great ads on Facebook.
Apps have made a major impact on the way we market — straight down to how we advertise.
Remember, always keep the core principles in mind. Your ad needs a great visual, call to action and value proposition. Then you can add a little life with visuals, videos and effects through apps.
Which ones will you be using?
Unilever Turns Up the Heat on Facebook & Google Over Tech’s ‘Unintended Consequences’
Unilever has issued a stern warning to digital platforms including Facebook, Google, and YouTube: do more to improve transparency and clean up the “swamp” of fake news, exploitative, and socially divisive content, or be cut off from its multi-billion dollar digital advertising budget.
CMO Keith Weed recently spoke at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual leadership meeting held in Palm Desert, Calif. CNBC quotes him as saying, “We need to redefine what is responsible business in the digital age because for all of the good the tech companies are doing, there’s some unintended consequences that now need addressing.”
Two of the most important consequences being referred to include the threatening of safety of users, especially young children, and loss of trust by consumers and companies at large.
While it’s unlikely that Unilever will turn its back on the two largest digital platforms, Weed’s words matter because of the sheer amount of ad budget Unilever holds across its portfolio brands. MediaPost reports that in 2017, the company spent approximately $9.8 billion on marketing and advertising, a quarter of which went to digital.
Beyond the public denouncements, Unilever is also working with IBM to develop a blockchain with which the company can more effectively reduce ad fraud via a record of what media is purchased and how it is delivered.
A separate MediaPost article shares YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki’s response to Weeds comments on Monday. In her own statement at Recode’s Code Media conference, she assured,
“We want to do the right set of things to build [Unilever’s] trust. They are building brands on YouTube, and we want to be sure that our brand is the right place to build their brand.”
Recent efforts we’ve seen in support of this include significant updates to its Creator Program policy. Further, in light of the recent Logan Paul controversy involving a video in which a suicide victim was filmed inside a Japanese forest, the company has suspended running ads on his channel, per Ad Age.
While brand safety is a concern on the minds of many marketers, Unilever’s public comments this week indicate that brands are viewing the issue with a much broader lens, and seriously questioning the role these platforms play in people’s everyday lives, beyond the world of advertising. In this important cultural moment, people are looking to brands and platforms to assume responsibility and be proactive to keep their spaces safe, trustworthy, and suitable for communities.
To further explore the overarching question of how technology, including digital platform giants, can be used to bring us closer together versus further apart, join us at SMWNYC April 24-27. Register today and save 20%.
Facebook’s Next Step in Building Community: $10M in Grants
Facebook has made several important announcements as of late the support its mission to create more “meaningful communities.” The latest? Investment in a newly announced Community Leadership program designed to support its community-building leaders through a variety of residency and fellowship opportunities that offer training, support, and funding.
Here’s how it will work: Facebook will name five “community leaders in residence” and provide up to $1 million each to fund their proposals, in addition to providing them with the opportunity to attend a customized leadership development training session.
Moreover, Facebook will select 100 individuals to join its fellowship program and receive up to $50,000 each for a “specific community initiative.” They’ll also participate in four in-person gatherings during which they will have the chance to meet and collaborate with other fellows.
Another key initiative in the works? Expanding Facebook’s “engineering team for community safety,” which is headquartered in London. In particular, the company hopes to double the number of employees focused on such efforts including detecting and stopping fake accounts, protecting people from harm (e.g harassment and scams), and making it easier to report content, by the end of 2018.
Further, Facebook outlined new tools for group admins, including page personalization options (e.g. color and the ability to pin announcements to the top of the page), the ability to create and share group rules; and more features to monitor Group Insights.
Outside of its Communities Summit, but along the theme of ensuring time on the platform is time well spent, the company also confirmed last week it was testing a downvote button that would allow users to provide feedback on comments in particular. The downvote button is being tested within a limited group of U.S. users for the time being.
This is not to be confused with a “dislike” button, but rather a more “lightweight way for people to provide a signal to Facebook that a comment is inappropriate, uncivil, or misleading”—this according to a Facebook spokesperson quoted in TechCrunch.
Here is what the button looks like in action:
As the screenshot depicts, the user will have the ability to select whether the post was found to be “offensive,” “misleading,” or “off topic,” the choices aimed to help guide Facebook’s course of action with respect to the particular piece of feedback.
Forbes adds that, the downvote option in its test mode only applies to public posts as opposed to Group posts or the Pages of public figures. It also doesn’t affect the ranking of the post and the number of downvotes a post gets won’t be publicly shared.
These initiatives by Facebook to reverse some of the negative perceptions of its role in society come at a critical time as brands and citizens alike are putting more and more pressure on the world’s leading tech platforms to course-correct their products for the safety of their users. Just this week, Unilever threatened to yank ad dollars from Facebook and Google due to the company’s growing dissatisfaction with their overall impact on society.
“We cannot have an environment where our consumers don’t trust what they see online,” stated Unilever CMO, Keith Weed, to the BBC.
Learn about Facebook’s increasingly complex role in society by joining SMWNYC April 24-27. The conference will offer multiple sessions designed to explore where brands and platforms fit into tech’s future in our world. Register today to secure your pass.
5 Ways Cryptocurrency Can Help Entrepreneurs in 2018
Cryptocurrency has revolutionized the way we transact value, invest our savings and raise capital with its decentralised digital cash system. Blockchain technology is a once-in-a-lifetime invention; never before in history have we been presented with such a breakthrough in financial technology. In 2018, entrepreneurs are well positioned to become early adopters of blockchain technology.
1. Raising capital
Cryptocurrency has disrupted the way early stage companies raise capital. With initial coin offerings, startups around the world can raise money quickly and cheaply from a wide pool of global investors. The valuation of a company is almost immediately reflected by the market, a process that has traditionally been challenging for early stage businesses. Shares are issued as tokens and tradable almost immediately, bringing large amounts of liquidity to the company.
This new approach to raising capital has changed the world and enabled the best technical talent to build their companies at high speed. In 2014, a teenager from Canada called Vitalik Buterin raised money for his startup, Ethereum, through an initial coin offering. He wanted to improve on Bitcoin’s blockchain and create a platform for people to build unstoppable applications. With just a whitepaper and a vision, he was able to successfully raise $18 million for his new blockchain, which was valued at over $100 billion as of January 2018.
2. Transacting value
Cryptocurrency enables us to transact value between peers without a centralized authority. It provides a cheaper, faster and more efficient alternative to traditional payment networks. As a company, accepting cryptocurrency payments is becoming increasingly efficient, saving on fees and bringing faster settlement. Soon, startups will no longer need to go through the long process of setting up a business bank account to receive and distribute funds. In 2014, Overstock.com became the first retailer to accept bitcoin, receiving over 800 orders worth $126,000 in bitcoin in the first 22 hours. It has since amassed a $403,000 portfolio of cryptocurrency.
3. Investing for the future
For entrepreneurs, cryptocurrency may be the investment opportunity of a lifetime. Never before in history have retail investors had investment access to high growth early stage companies. Traditionally, venture capital funds and private angel investors have held monopolies on access to investment in the world’s best technical talent. Cryptocurrency provides a gateway for anyone in the world to invest in the world’s most exciting technology, allowing retail investors to own a basket of high growth companies. For example, through the decentralized method of blockchain investment, teenager Erik Finnman was able to invest in Bitcoin in 2011, becoming a Bitcoin millionaire at age 18. These types of investment stories would not be possible with traditional private venture capital fundraising.
4. Developing on the blockchain
The blockchain offers powerful infrastructure for companies to run their technology and create entirely new business models in a trusted way without a centralized authority. Blockchain technology is already revolutionizing the way startups create value. The Ethereum platform allows companies to build unstoppable blockchain applications quickly and for free. One example of a company leveraging the Ethereum blockchain is OmiseGO, a payments company that is using blockchain to provide banking services for the world’s 2 billion unbanked population. Blockchain technology is a cost-efficient way of building decentralized applications that can scale to a global population.
5. Joining the blockchain community
The blockchain community offers access to some of the world’s best entrepreneurs, who are actively investing, advising and building upon the blockchain. Telegram, Facebook, WeChat, Slack and WhatsApp groups have proved popular in building communities of decentralized blockchain investors who can communicate with each other on a daily basis. Many large investments in early stage technology companies can be coordinated within minutes, a process that would traditionally take months in traditional venture capital. For example, in 2017, Brave’s Basic Attention Token sale sold out of its $35 million offering within 30 seconds. The blockchain community offers a strong sense of purpose with all members committed to a common goal of advancing blockchain technology to global adoption.
Cryptocurrency provides a platform for entrepreneurs to raise capital quickly, cheaply and efficiently. Entrepreneurs can transact value through the blockchain at high speed with limited setup costs and invest in high growth technology companies at an early stage. Platforms like Ethereum allow entrepreneurs to build decentralized applications to a global audience for free. The blockchain community offers access to some of the top entrepreneurs, engineers and investors in the world and in 2018, cryptocurrency will continue to provide a viable means for entrepreneurs to create value in the world.
7 Ways to Get Recruiters and Job Offers to Come to You
“You are your own brand, and you need to build that brand and promote it as much as possible. It is important that you start building your brand online, because this is where employers are going to be looking for potential employees,” suggests Dima Midon, an expert from TrafficBox. Use all of the online tools at your disposal, particularly LinkedIn, which is a professional network that allows you to really promote yourself as a professional, and someone who is an expert in your field. This is a great tool for job seekers. Make sure that you keep your profile up to date, especially when it comes to contact information, so when an employer searches you, they will be able to contact you if they are interested in learning more.
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