Social Media Monthly – September 2018
by Jackson Phipps
Breaking: September saw social media platforms shift towards an emphasis on increasing the utility of video for marketers – most notably, Facebook’s Stories Ads offering. Instagram is making the buying process even easier for customers who view brand content on the photo-sharing app by rolling out a Shopping Channel in the Explore Tab.
Read Time: 2 minutes, 40 seconds
Facebook has long been a staple in digital marketing, but marketers who built campaigns around video have been more inclined to use Instagram or YouTube as a way to promote their content. This could all be shifting as Facebook has announced two new changes:
- Facebook has opened up Ad Breaks to pages with more than 10,000 followers or 30,000 1-minute video views in the past two months. The in-stream ads run up to 15-seconds and include both pre-roll and mid-roll formats, which is similar to YouTube. Additionally, there is an option to add image ads displayed directly below the video. Even more beneficial, publishers and creators earn a share of the ad revenue. Facebook has also created an auto-insertion feature for creators that determines the best placement for the ad within their video, however, creators can select Ad Breaks placement themselves. In addition, Facebook is also rolling out its Creator Studio globally, the video management tool that includes video performance metrics.
- Facebook has officially launched Stories Ads. The ads will function much like the ones already seen on Snapchat and Instagram. Most importantly for marketers, these new ad units will include Facebook’s full ad targeting and measurement capabilities and will soon be available in Messenger as well.
As most of us can attest to, online retail giant Amazon’s greatest strength is the ease in which customers are able to purchase the products they may (or may not) need. Instagram is moving forward with this philosophy in mind by expanding Shopping in Stories globally and launching a Shopping channel in its Explore tab. Since it began testing the Shopping Bag icon in Stories this past June with a limited number of e-commerce brands, the company reports more than 90 million accounts per month have tapped on the shopping bag tag used in posts (per marketingland.com). With Shopping in Stories, brands will be able to place a shopping bag icon on any product within a Story, making it possible for users to click the shopping bag and view product information, more images or links to the brand’s website to purchase the product. Users will be provided a personalized feed in the Shopping tab of brands that they follow or ones Instagram thinks would be of interest to the user.
With the recent changes in Facebook and Instagram’s offerings, it’s clear that the goal is to find innovative ways to engage audiences in ad formats that feel more like entertainment and less like advertisements. Additionally, Instagram’s new Shopping tab brings an entirely new aspect to the platform that could be tremendously beneficial to advertisers and audiences alike. With the holiday season right around the corner, we’ll have good insight into the efficacy of the new offerings and how they could impact the digital marketing strategies of brands moving into 2019.