While small businesses have a huge opportunity to take advantage of the Facebook advertising platform, many large brands are interested in growing their presence on the world’s largest social platform. For those companies there are many opportunities and the challenge is not determining whether or not to be on Facebook but what the best approach is. In this article I’ll outline each of the campaign types, as well as some of the pros and cons of each type.
Facebook Engagement Ads
Back in August of last year, Facebook introduced their engagement ads product, which are essentially the advertisements that are displayed on the homepage. Facebook presents advertisers with a number of different types of engagement ads, most recently introducing hybrid engagement ads which combine two of the five types of engagement ads below.
1. Poll Engagement Ads
Poll advertisements are a great way to get users opinions on any topic you’d like (as long as it’s approved by Facebook). Each poll also includes a link to the advertiser’s page of choice. While it can be seen as a model for research, it’s more of a way to get users to interact with your brand. A similar comparison would be the quiz applications which have become ubiquitous on the Facebook platform. While the quiz results could be seen as “research”, they should be viewed as a form of entertainment.
2. Video Engagement Ads
Video engagement advertisements happen to be a personal favorite of mine. The videos are essentially extended commercials and as far as I know, there are no significant limitations on the length of the video. In other words Facebook doesn’t work in a way similar to television advertisements in which you’d pay for a 30 second time slot. Instead you can select your target demographic and display the video ads to them. Recently Facebook also upgraded their video advertisements to have videos display in a larger format.
I’ve found that movies happen to be the most frequent promotion through video advertisements although Gilette and Toyota Prius have used video advertisements as well (among others).
3. Branded Gift Engagement Ads
Gifts are also a great way to get Facebook users engaging with your brand. The branded gifts will display on the homepage and users will be able to see those friends which have sent gifts to each other, as well as what they wrote when the gifts were sent. The metrics provided to the brand following the campaign is the number of gifts sent as well as the demographics of the people who shared and received the gifts.
4. Event Engagement Ads
Events are extremely effective for raising awareness about single day offerings. For example Ben & Jerry’s had a free ice cream day and using a Facebook event for building awareness is extremely effective. Starbucks has also created event campaigns for highlighting a day when a portion of your purchase would be donated to a charity. This was great for driving users to the store on a specific day. One additional feature of event ads is the ability for a user to see which of their friends are also attending the event.
Wendy’s recently did a Father’s day campaign, in which 50 cents of each Frosty purchased was donated to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. When we viewed the advertisement (as pictured), 12,200 users had RSVPed to attend.
5. Fan Page Ads
Fan page ads are fairly straight-forward. Also, calling this an “engagement” ad is somewhat misleading since all of the users’ engagement actually takes place on the brand’s Facebook page. The benefit of this is that engagement from a Facebook Page is an ongoing thing so many brands prefer to invest in driving users to their Pages. Unfortunately Facebook doesn’t charge on a per fan basis and only accepts homepage advertisements on a CPM model.