Here are the 3 biggest takeaways from the conference, and exactly what they mean to us as marketers!
Facebook’s F8 was an intense and amazing experience. The amount of development, innovation, and progress shown in just two days is only barely digestible. To ensure myself and my team were not caught up in all the pomp and circumstance, I was determined to view this entire conference as a marketer, not a fan-boy, or Facebook junkie.
What’s happening here: From the video you can see that Facebook has the technical capabilities of augmenting any world, in whatever manner they want. Through Oculus (which is only in year two of a ten-year development plan) you can own the environment of your business. Through these headsets, people will see the reality you what them to, not the physical one to which they are currently limited.
What this means for Marketers: Augmented Reality is the future of your world. AR will eventually allow marketers to advertise anywhere and everywhere. Not only that, it will allow you to target your customers with the precision that exists within Facebook’s Ads Manager. Imagine being able to use every single billboard, the side of every bus and cab, or the blimp in the sky as your advertising platform — but only when, where — and most importantly — to exactly who you want. Imagine a new mother drives by a billboard and sees an ad for baby formula, and ten seconds later, a 23-year-old college student looks at the same billboard and sees an ad for Bud Light.
What’s happening here: Right now if you’re advertising on Facebook, your top priority is to appear in the mobile news feed. The biggest issue with this? Since bad marketers ruin everything, the news feed is cluttered with crappy organic posts, the cost per 1000 impressions goes up, and so does your spend. The good news, user time spent on messenger is going up.
What this means for Marketers: You now have an incredibly viable way to diversify your ad placement. The news feed is still king, but messenger may soon be nipping at the king’s heels. By diversifying your ad placement with messenger you drive your cost per 1,000 impressions down while still reaching the targeted, qualified leads you want.
What’s happening here: Facebook took over photo by buying Instagram, hijacked stories and face filters from Snapchat, and now they are trying to own online dating. With this new addition to Facebook, users will now have even less reason to ever close the app. Users will get the majority of their news, photos, video, and now even their dates in one place — Facebook. A couple of newer aspects of Facebook’s service vs Tinder or Bumble: the inability to match with people who you are already friends with, and the option to see which of your matches are attending specific events.
What this means for Marketers: Facebook has a well-worn strategy that has not failed yet. First, introduce a feature that’s free and get users to fall in love with it, and eventually not be able to live without it. Second, monetize it through ads. This is exactly where Facebook Dating is headed. Facebook will roll it out, make sure it works, and then start running ads in it. This will be huge for advertisers of dating spots. Think bars, movie theatres, museums, venues, billiard halls, etc.
This is all about more accurate data. The inability to match with friends actually means that the creepy dude who combs through Facebook profiles and adds every girl he deems attractive might think twice about doing so if it means that they will be removed from his potential dating pool. This helps Facebook create a more-accurate picture of who a user is for targeting purposes based of their social circle’s likes and interests.
Same situation with events— having that consistent information on where users are going on dates and who they’re meeting again creates a clearer idea of who Facebook’s users are. If Facebook now knows where users like to go for specific occasions, like dates vs going out with friends, Facebook can delight them more and keep them on the platform longer
Going forward in your interaction with Facebook as a marketer, always remember that you are their only true customer. Running ads is their life blood. You pay the bills at Facebook, not the users. No matter what the latest new feature introduced does to delight the end user, know it is ultimately there for one reason and one reason only: for you to run more successful ads. Keep your keen marketer’s eye on how these new developments can potentially bring value to you and your clients in the future.
Josh Sample is the founder and operating partner of Drive Social Media, a St. Louis and Nashville area-based digital marketing agency. A serial entrepreneur and marketing strategist/consultant for over a decade, Sample and his team have implemented and executed data-driven digital marketing strategies for thousands of companies, ranging from startups and single-person businesses to multi-million dollar organizations. Sample is available for podcast appearances and keynote speaking opportunities.
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