Digital Marketing News: Facebook Ad Sales Surging

Every week we’re collecting a host of links, videos, and assorted analysis on the ever-changing world of digital marketing. We invite you to skim, share, analyze, argue, and refute – just so long as you don’t get embarrassed at the water cooler again. Here are the latest digital marketing news and trends for the week of April 26, 2019.

Stories Power Surge in Q1 Facebook Ad Sales

Facebook reported on Wednesday $14.9 billion in ad revenue for the first quarter of the year – a 26 percent increase year over year. The surge in ad sales is being attributed to Stories Ads, where Facebook says more than three million advertisers are running ads across Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger and more than 500 million daily active users are engaging with the ads.

The strong ad revenue figures come at a time when Facebook is facing increased scrutiny over its handling of user privacy and data. But those issues don’t seem to be affecting Facebook’s momentum because advertisers have found the social media giant to be an efficient partner. The average price of an ad dropped 4 percent while ad impressions jumped 32 percent.

While Facebook’s cool quotient and public perception have taken its blows, the company still reports 1.56 billion daily active users – a number that’s increased every quarter for more than two years.

Facebook is an integral part of the daily lives of people worldwide, but pressure continues to mount over user privacy and the app experience in general. If Facebook makes significant strides in ensuring user privacy, how will they reconcile it with a burgeoning ad business that works, in large part, due to its targeting capabilities? Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, for the time being, isn’t worried. When discussing Facebook’s shift to a more private experience, he says, “It will strengthen people’s privacy without meaningfully affecting our business.”

5 Challenges of the Data-Driven Marketer

As data- driven marketers, we often run into the buzziest of words – the words that bring a mix of intrigue and dread. Artificial intelligence. Deep learning. Addressable TV. There are more, but I’ll stop there. These words are intriguing because they promise a simpler or clearer solution – dreadful because they often describe a broad, imperfect tool or concept that’s difficult to apply to your business on a day-to-day basis.

Data-driven marketers understand these tools and concepts are valuable, but as Kyle Henderick summarizes in this post, without a strategy for managing them, “these tactics are nothing but fluff.” Via Jason Mestrits of Nordstrom, Henderick has given us a few ideas for ensuring that the shiny new thing doesn’t distract us from a strategy founded on rock-solid data. Here are a few of these ideas.

  1. Define use-case data strategy and technology that scales. You get what you pay for, and incorporating a platform based on its low price is likely to be a waste in the long-term. Technology that’s ready to scale, even if it comes at a higher price, is likely to be the most efficient option for marketing investment.
  2. Segment and target your audiences. Use all of the data available to you. Whether it’s third-party or first-party, this data can enhance one another, creating a more detailed and accurate profile of your customers.
  3. Track the right metrics. There’s plenty of outcomes to measure, but some are more important than others. Define your goals, and focus on those metrics instead of wasting your time on the full reporting sheet. This is an organization-wide effort, so paint the full picture with meaningful metrics.

For more analysis, read Henderick’s “6 Challenges every Data-Driven Marketer Faces” on Marketing Land.

How to Build Creative Video in 2019

Video campaigns are no longer confined to linear TV, and that means advertisers need to create versatile video products that translate from one screen to the next. Les Seifer of Marketing Land dives into the three stages of video production that will ensure a video campaign that’s equipped for the modern viewing experience.

Pre-production: Use data to identify the behaviors of your primary audience, but also secondary audiences. You’ll need to create video that appeals to both since they are likely watching on different devices.

Production: Don’t put all of your creative eggs into one basket. What looks good on a television might not translate to mobile. For mobile devices, quick cuts and quick messaging are more effective than wide shots and long-form storytelling.

For tips on post-production and further analysis, read Seifer’s full post, “Here’s How You Build Creative Video Experiences for a Multi-Screen World.”

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