If you’re looking to shake up your Facebook advertising in 2019 what trends should you be jumping on or researching?
Here’s just a few to grab your interest.
Increasing ad costs
Facebook has been in hot water once again due to the big data hack publicized recently, with a fine for that potentially costing them over $1 billion, and the new scandal that they may have hugely overestimated video views.
What’s the first thing you do when you have a large debt to pay off? Pass the cost on to your customers…
Not what you wanted to hear I’m sure but worth being aware that your buck won’t stretch quite so far.
Customer dissatisfaction: data security and ad fatigue
Facebook also have other reasons to need to build trust again with their users. They have barely been out of the news in 2018, whether for Mark Zuckerberg giving testimony to Congress in April, the Cambridge Analytica scandal around Trump and Brexit, or the news that the phone numbers that users submitted in goodwill for the 2-factor authentication process to improve security were actually being given to third parties as data.
The general population is much warier now about their data being shared or sold on. Trust is implicitly needed for a good buying experience, and businesses need to show transparency and help build a connection with their audience.
That same audience is increasingly aware of the importance of information security, or infosec, but also very tired of being tracked around the internet being retargeted for ads they might be interested in. We’ve all seen an ad appear on our screens hours or even minutes after we’ve been searching for a similar item.
This is the power of Facebook Ad retargeting but consumers are experiencing ‘ad fatigue’. Facebook marketers need to take note and keep a lid on the frequency of their ads (how many times the ad is shown to the same person).
Competition for the ‘duopoly’ of Facebook and Google
Facebook and Google may be a ‘duopoly’ in the advertising world, but competition is hotting up – AT&T’s advertising and analytics arm, Xandr is rumored to be planning a ‘community garden’ to safeguard users’ privacy but also allow advertisers to receive ‘anonymised’ data.
There’s another huge player muscling in on the duopoly’s ad revenue too – Amazon is increasing its ad revenue and has a huge headstart in targeting from its massive database of unique customer information. Amazon is even said to be building its own ad server which would slot it into direct competition with Google.
With its well-known TV and entertainment ambitions, the future Amazon Connected TV might actually give it a competitive advantage over Google. Given that Amazon’s ad revenue grew by an astonishing 129% in Q2 of 2018 to over $2 billion, and is predicted to rise to $5 billion by the end of Q4, anything is possible!
The Internet of Things
As the Internet of Things gradually continues its expansion, Facebook marketers will have access to even more of the data which is generated. CISCO has predicted that by 2020, the IOT will generate more than 1 trillion GB of data every year. Analysis of this data will contribute to a better understanding of consumer behavior such as:
- Researching and shopping for products
- Making choices between products, brands, and retailers
- Reasons for consumer selection
- Influences on consumer behavior such as family and friends, social media or TV
- The effects of advertising
And talking of the IOT brings me to the next probability – that voice search will continue its growth in driving both engagement and sales. There is resistance to be overcome, even after people have accepted that Alexa can do more than just play a medley of Amazon Prime popular tunes. But once people become more comfortable using voice search in their home, office or car it opens up a wealth of possibilities and also makes it scarily easy to spend money. No more logging into Amazon – just ask Alexa (or Google or Apple – we will see who wins the race) for that dog food you needed to order.
Voice search can also be personalized just for you as the computer interface learns your likes and dislikes – a fact which you’re either going to love or hate. (Even haters might be won over by its speed and convenience though.) That means it can personalize the ads you hear too – might you be more tempted if you only heard ads and special offers for products you love? Especially if you could interact and personalize the ad still further?
The notion of blockchain seems to sow confusion, so for the avoidance of doubt the Wikipedia definition of Blockchain states that:
“A blockchain is a growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked using cryptography. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data. By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of the data.”
Blockchain technology is set to transform many different industries, not least advertising (bladtech). This article from EMarketer shows just why the ad industry wants to beat fraud.
When behemoth IBM joins up with MediaOcean to launch a blockchain pilot to pitch media deals then the serious money involved means change is inevitable. The pilot scheme is planned to lead to a beta test in 2019. This would enable much greater transparency around costings and make it easier to calculate ad ROI (Return on Investment).
Video as a power for storytelling
Yes, I know it keeps on being predicted. Video will dominate the digital landscape by 2020.
Video’s strength as the Daddy of digital storytelling is undeniable but I dispute some of the very high percentages I’ve seen quoted. Video is not everyone’s cup of tea, particularly long-form video content. So I don’t think video is taking over the world – there’s room for other forms of content. Having said that, you are very much missing a trick if your brand isn’t including video in your content strategy.
The latest EMarketer report highlighted big growth in 2018 and 2019 should be no different with more than 50% of video ad spend on digital. The same report predicts 250 million people will watch social video ads in 2022.
The rise of digital advertising
By 2020 digital advertising is predicted to take a 54% share of the market, so 2019 will only see it rising. Print advertising, on the other hand, is on the decline with only a 4% share of the market expected. Is your business still spending high on print advertising?By 2020 digital advertising is predicted to take a 54% share of the market. Print advertising is on the decline with only a 4% share of the market expected. Is your business still spending high on print advertising? #Youpreneur Click To Tweet
VR and AR – is 2019 their year at last?
Yes, I know it has been promised before – the explosion of VR and AR, but 2019 might be the year it really starts to make a difference. There has been such an erosion of brand trust, and such saturation of some forms of content marketing such as the ‘10 best way to’ blog, that the use of VR and especially AR in short form immersive storytelling might just be the must-have viral content of 2019 (said with tongue firmly in-cheek because if anyone ever tells you they can guarantee your content will go viral, they are lying).
VR, 3D and 360 video can help bring a story to life and are stunning on a small screen. AR can be used by brands to give a more realistic experience, for example seeing what a sofa looks like in your actual living room, virtually wearing a watch on your own wrist. Utilizing them on a realistic budget for smaller businesses can help to create trust in your brand, which would be worth the investment.
Cathy Wassell is a Facebook Ads Strategist who runs her own consultancy Socially Contented, and a membership site for small businesses Go With The Pro with her 4 lovely co-founders. She lives in the UK about as far away from the sea as humanly possible, with two children and two mad spaniels.