Exploring Facebook ad trends with Boost’s Erik Ford, VP of Marketing & Business Development

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Social advertising is a rapidly changing enterprise. As the pendulum swings from data to creative (and back), Boost Media balances both to handle the creative for Facebook and other social ads for major companies such as Zynga, Geico, Home Shopping Network and Microsoft.

Boost Media also recently partnered with Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer Marin Software. The company’s Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Erik Ford, chatted with Inside Facebook about the ever-changing Facebook ad landscape.

Inside Facebook: What are some advertising trends you’ve been noticing recently on Facebook?

Erik Ford: Advertisers are becoming a lot more comfortable with the Facebook ad platform. I think that’s because of a couple main reasons. One, the advancement, maturity and the robustness of the platform. You’ve got the right integrations with (Facebook) Exchange going on now. You’ve got the right API calls available to give advertisers the data that they need and that they’re looking for. Just from the metrics that they need and the support they need, to target the right audience and measure it — they’re there.

Two, I think Facebook, since it’s still somewhat infant compared to the other networks, is very appealing to advertisers. They like the pricing, from an acquisition cost perspective, and they also like the uniqueness of the complementary data to pull things together. The guys that know how to use Facebook are starting to use Facebook’s ad platform the right way and they’re getting a lot out of it. The smartest advertisers are realizing that you can’t treat Facebook the same as you want to treat other networks or platforms. If you expect to just get direct response out of Facebook, then it’s going to fail every single time. But if you set up your goals in a way that essentially focus on brand, focus on extracting learnings that can be used in brand campaigns, direct response campaigns, other social channels, it’s a gold mine for customer intelligence.

Having that data allows advertisers to paint that path to purchase very well and understand how Facebook plays into the path to purchase. If you look at a lot of marketing studies today, everything posts to social recognition and referrals from friends and family. Facebook is the epicenter of that.

IF: What are some mistakes you still see from advertisers who are still stuck in the old mindset and unwilling to accept Facebook for what it is?

EF: I think it goes back to not treating it as its own. Marketers are very habitual people. It’s really funny because if you look at marketing overall, it’s a very dynamic and evolving landscape. It’s constantly changing. They need to respond to that and understand that. Just taking campaigns from another channel like a Google or a Yahoo or Bing, and take the same techniques or pour over the same creatives, is not going to work. So that’s step one. Overarching campaigns? Yes. But think about how the channel can work for you.

The second thing is Facebook is similar to display in the respect that creative fatigue does set in. What we see time and time again is that advertisers are just not spending the time to refresh their creatives. Facebook is trying to call attention to that and disable your ads when they start to really drop in performance because they’ve seen it leave a bad taste in advertisers’ mouths and they want to prevent that. Don’t treat it the same way you have in the past and make sure that creative is fresh because you have a wealth of new audiences and interests that you can target against. If you take advantage of that and keep images fresh, your campaigns will go far.