Facebook, the word of mouth ad network
When it comes to advertising, Facebook has often been compared to Google, with both being PPC advertising opportunities. In both, you bid on certain targeting perimeters and compete against other advertisers to get your advert seen by people and then convert these clicks into a positive ROI.
Even though these two advertising platforms have, in my mind always been completely different, the comparisons have always been made. With its latest ad product release, Facebook is changing the landscape and putting a firmer distinction between the two platforms making them no longer comparable.
With the recent launch of Sponsored Stories, the Facebook ads marketplace will no longer be only a highly targeted PPC network but also a Word of Mouth ad network.
Sponsored Stories let brands and advertisers amplify the messages that their consumers are sharing between themselves to ensure better and more effective communication. This ultimately drives sales and engagement using the most powerful method of advertising, word of mouth! Sponsored Stories are now giving brands the opportunity to ensure that the intended recipients receive the messages that people are sharing.
Advertisers spend millions of pounds each year attempting to get individuals interested in their products, when ultimately what the advertiser wants is for their consumers to spread the word about their positive events involving their brand.
People go onto Facebook and share, where they are, content they like, purchases they make, games they are playing and brands they like. When the user shares, it appears in their News Feed visible to their friends. The downside to the brand however is on average less than 20% per cent of the user’s friends see these actions and therefore the brand loses out on the word of mouth potential that they have earned. At this point, a sponsored story ad unit can be used to amplify the message by showing the message in an ad unit, whereby the advertiser is paying to ensure that a network of friends can see their friends actions.
Even though advertisers can share these messages with all of the user’s friends, they can also take advantage of the targeting opportunities and use audience segmentation to ensure that the word of mouth messaging is being shown to people that it has estimated will give a greater response, given the campaign objective.
Taking this one step further, with the introduction of Domain Stories (when a user Likes a piece of content, uses a Share button, or copies a link into Facebook from a third-party website), brands can use their own website in conjunction with Facebook to enable their customers to share with their friends when they want to and ensure that these actions are seen by the intended audience.
Although Facebook can offer performance advertisers fantastic returns on their spend using ad management software to enhance campaigns, it can also now offer another, altogether different method of advertising, not seen on this scale or with this precision before. Welcome, to the Word of Mouth network.
Peter Goodman is chief executive of Brighter Option