5 Facebook advertising predictions for 2018

Facebook advertising evolved considerably in 2017, making it easier than ever for small businesses to advertise on the platform.  Advertising will become more prominent in 2018 with Facebook investing in countless new features, advert types, reporting capabilities and a suite of tools to manage adverts making the whole process automated, simple to use and understand.  Furthermore Facebook recently announced that it will be making changes to its News Feed to allow people to see more content from friends and family and less from business pages[1].  This ultimately means that organic reach will become harder to achieve, creating a larger opportunity for Facebook advertising, which will enable businesses to jump back into the News Feed. With this in mind we take a look at 5 predictions which will shape Facebook advertising in 2018.


Influencer marketing will continue to rise 

Influencer marketing focuses on inspiring and hiring key leaders to drive a brands message to the wider market. It goes hand in hand with social media marketing and will continue to grow with many prominent figures and celebrities endorsing branded goods and partnerships through videos and posts on their own personal social channels.

Influencer marketing will become more important in 2018 with brands using this form of marketing as a way of reaching wider news feeds and gaining greater organic reach than they would otherwise be able to achieve on their own.

Facebook recently introduced a new update which allows marketers to amplify content that their brands are tagged in[2].  These changes will help brands execute more effective influencer campaigns by scaling the reach of influencer-generated content directly to their target audiences and all at the click of a button.


The growth of Facebook Messenger

Use Facebook Messenger as an alternative way to communicate with your customers.  Increased focus, ad placements and investment behind Messenger means that you can now deliver sponsored adverts to customers using Canvas ads which deliver a full screen experience, reducing the amount of disruption and increasing your chances of interaction with your audience.

Once a tool for talking directly to your friends, Facebook Messenger is gaining momentum with its eye firmly on email marketing.  Imagine being able to send your latest offer, product launch or news directly into the inbox of your target audience in a more cost effective way than before.  The opportunities that Messenger opens up to the digital marketer are exciting so expect to see increased investment behind this platform in 2018.


Authentic and trustworthy narratives are now more important than ever 

As the Facebook advertising arena becomes extraordinarily competitive for consumer attention, authentic messages that promote interaction will prevail[3].  Facebook will give preference to those adverts which are authentic, relevant and timely and will penalise any which are deemed overly promotional or linked to 3rd party content.  This is an extension of the work done recently to remove click bait and fake news adverts intended to target the ‘you won’t believe what happened next’ style content.

The use of customer testimonials, influencer content and employee advocacy will continue to be the most engaging, comprehensive and reliable way to tell a brand’s story to consumers, so focus on adding these to your adverts as a starting point.


Exceptional video content

Video will become even more dominant, with the emphasis moving to 360 degree video and delivering interactive virtual experiences in order to attract and engage with audiences. By 2019 80% of all Internet traffic will be videos[4].  With this trend in mind it’s easy to understand why many small businesses are putting increased emphasis on branded video content, which can range from interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, product promos or brand adverts.

Results indicate that a customer can recall 90% of a message from a video, compared to just 10% when reading the exact same message in text[5].  It’s therefore no surprise that Facebook video ads are becoming the key to an effective campaign, with companies vying for the attention of millions of users.

Vertical video is a major growth area where videos are shot on a mobile phone meaning that it’s tall, skinny and optimised for delivery on a small device.  This optimisation ensures the best user experience and increases the opportunity to engage with users on platforms such as Instagram stories, Instagram and Facebook direct messenger.  Creating and leveraging vertical video assets will become increasingly more important for brands who want to appear in these premium places.

Facebook Live will continue to grow resulting in a massive shift in how we communicate and it’s only going to create more exciting opportunities for people to interact with potential customers anywhere in the world.  Latest figures suggest that people spend 3 times longer watching live video compared to video that is pre-recorded[6], therefore it’s no wonder that lots of companies and brands have quickly adopted Facebook Live, delivering sneak peaks, big announcements, celebrity takeovers, Q&A sessions and much more.  Social live streaming is where the future industry is heading and the possibilities it creates for the digital marketeer are exciting.


More interactive virtual experience in adverts

It’s fairly well understood that of the time people spend online, they’re spending it on mobile and in just a handful of apps, including Facebook[7].  What’s remained an enduring issue for advertisers is how challenging it is to tell compelling brand and product stories on mobile in ways that are enjoyable for people and effective for their business. Market research indicates that prospective customers are discovering content, brands and products in mobile apps, so advertisers are looking for new and creative ways to share information with people there.

Facebook have launched Canvas ads, which are becoming a more brand-focused experience where consumers can interact with brands on a more interactive level. Canvas helps you shorten the distance between your message and the customer. It loads instantly, it’s mobile-optimised and it’s designed to capture the complete attention of your audience. With Facebook Canvas ads, people can watch engaging videos and photos, swipe through carousels, tilt to pan and explore lifestyle images with tagged products – all in a single ad. This will continue to evolve in 2018 and expect to see more interactivity and virtual experience appear in this new form of ad[8].


Invest in 2018

Our 5 predictions show that 2018 is an exciting time in the development of the Facebook advertising platform.  Advertising will become more prominent this year and Facebook will continue to add new features and reporting capabilities, ensuring its platform is highly automated making it easier than ever to run campaigns and deliver results.  So if you’re not already doing it, make 2018 the year that you start!


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