Last night, Facebook launched Facebook Studio, which showcases what the company considers to be successful marketing campaigns and explains Facebook’s marketing products. The stand-alone site’s goal is to foster a community where ad agencies can be inspired to develop marketing strategies that are inherently social.
However, given that this marketing site is designed by Facebook to promote its own products, the information is generally positive and does not deeply explore issues such as user perception of the spamminess of campaigns or the cost associated with developing these campaigns.
Facebook Studio will serve as a central repository for previously rare and scattered case studies. Demonstrations of the potential of different Facebook features and channels may bring a wider variety of marketing campaigns to users. By strengthening its relationship with ad agencies and teaching them how improve their results, Facebook hopes these agencies will push their brand clients to spend more on its marketing and advertising services.
Similar to Facebook’s Preferred Developer Consultant program, a presence on Facebook Studio might help agencies sign more clients. In exchange, though, they’ll be educating their competitors on how to copy their successes.
Gallery and Agency Directory
With the consent of their brand clients, agencies can submit summaries, screenshots and videos of their marketing campaigns to Facebook Studio. Once approved by Facebook, the submissions appear in the Facebook Studio Gallery. Visitors can browse these submissions and leave Likes and comments on the ones they find the most inspiring. There are already more than 70 submissions in the gallery to browse.
The submissions will also automatically appear as links on the Agency Directory profile of the the agency that executed the campaign which includes contact and background information. Over 200 agencies and their local branches now show profiles in the alphabetical directory located at the bottom of each Facebook Studio page, including 360i, AKQA, Deutsche, Digitas, Involver, Ogilvy & Mather, Publicis, Razorfish, and Saatchi & Saatchi.
Spotlight and Awards
Submissions to the gallery that are comprehensive, receive the most Likes, and that Facebook’s team finds innovative are permanently added to the Facebook Studio Spotlight — a collection of the best Facebook marketing campaigns of all time. These submissions have greater visibility and could bring agencies more business.
Both the Gallery and the Spotlight can be sorted and narrowed by a variety of parameters such as region, most liked, most recent, brand category, and Facebook feature used. Gallery submissions don’t need a video unless they’re promoted to the Spotlight
The Spotlight currently includes Corona Light’s “Most Liked” campaign, television show True Blood’s Facebook feature-laden Blu-ray DVD, an Altoids mints viral video, and more. The top campaigns in Spotlight are eligible to win Facebook Studio Awards, as decided by a panel of Facebook judges. Facebook hopes these awards will provide selling points for agencies which they can tout to attract new clients.
Learning Lab and What’s New
Agencies and other marketers can learn how use Facebook’s marketing products in the Facebook Studio Learning Lab. Each entry in the Learning Lab includes an introduction video and in-depth description of how to use a product, and a FAQ.
Currently, the Learning Lab includes entries for
- Facebook Marketing
- Facebook Pages
- Facebook Ads
- Sponsored Stories
- Places & Deals
- Facebook Platform
- Facebook Research
Facebook Studio also features a blog called What’s New. It includes interviews, step-by-step walkthroughs of Facebook’s more complicated marketing products such as Sponsored Stories, reminders about product changes, and announcements about Facebook Studio Live events where marketers can get hands-on experience and learn from experts.
Helping Agencies Convince Brands to Market on Facebook
Agencies have the power to convince brands to shift their spend away from traditional marketing channel and towards Facebook. This new site is the result of a team that Facebook assembled last August to try to determine how to woo agencies.
By fueling the competition between the agencies through the Spotlight and Awards, Facebook may have found a way to make them feel appreciated while simultaneously getting them to share their secrets. The question remains whether agencies will continue to be willing to submit their campaigns.
The strategies, ideas, and best practices found on Facebook Studio could raise the bar for marketing on Facebook, bringing fresh experiences to users. Facebook hopes this will lead users to see interaction with brands on Facebook as something fun and social rather than a dilution of communication with friends.
It’s in the interest of the agencies and Facebook to only exhibit successful campaigns. While useful, Facebook Studio may give a positively biased perspective of some strategies, and it won’t teach marketers how to avoid pitfalls. For independent analysis of the best and worst marketing campaigns, visit the Facebook Marketing Bible, Inside Network’s comprehensive guide to marketing and advertising through Facebook.