Ad Buying on Facebook Just Got More TV-Like

Social Media Company Introduces Tools Familiar to Broadcast Advertisers

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Broadcast advertisers will now find familiar terminology when making video ad buys on Facebook.

That's because Facebook wants to make ad buying on its platform more TV-like for broadcast advertisers. The company said Wednesday that target rating point video buys on Facebook or Instagram can now leverage day-parting and Nielsen DMA targeting, two features that were previously unavailable. DMA targeting allows marketers to home in on a specific local television market area while day-parting delivers advertisements during specific parts of the day.

The move is meant to provide marketers further brand building capabilities on mobile, as well as flexibility to extend TV and video campaigns on Facebook with a currency broadcast advertisers are all too familiar with. At the same time, the company is telling advertisers to rethink the way they deliver video on Facebook -- particularly on mobile -- as opposed to TV.

Facebook says broadcast advertisers should consider several factors when implementing TV ads on its mobile News Feed.
Facebook says broadcast advertisers should consider several factors when implementing TV ads on its mobile News Feed. Credit: Facebook

"The mobile feed has fundamentally changed the way people view and absorb information, and this is especially true with video," said Matt Idema, VP of monetization product marketing at Facebook. "For marketers, this shift makes it essential to take new creative considerations into account when designing effective video ads. While this work is ongoing, we have seen that when marketers think about the unique characteristics of mobile behavior, they are able to more effectively connect with their audience."

Mr. Idema added that there is "no silver bullet or universal solution" for creating video ads for Facebook's mobile platform. On Facebook's mobile News Feed, for example, users spend on average 1.7 seconds with a piece of content versus 2.5 seconds on desktop, according to data released by the company Wednesday.

Additionally, 24% of its videos were understood without sound, compared with 76% that required sound to be understood, according to a Facebook IQ study of 850 videos from the fourth quarter of 2014 through the fourth quarter of 2015 that was released on Wednesday. The study asked users to evaluate videos in two phases -- the first for 10 seconds without sound and the second for 30 second with sound. The videos may or may not have had captions; the study predated Facebook's auto-captioning capability.

Facebook said marketers should consider screen size, make creative brief but direct to deliver a message, include captions, and experiment with different ideas. "We recommend marketers continue to test, learn and iterate to find the solutions that work best for their brand, keeping a few key creative principles in mind," Mr. Idema added.

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