Facebook Teaches On Mobile-First Advertising

Early adopters of mobile, social media platforms led the charge in championing mobile-first advertising. Leading platforms like Facebook provide real-time insight and advice, and in a presentation at ADMA Data Day, Steve Lockwood, Head of Marketing Science at Facebook, challenged marketers to aim focus at the heart of what makes mobile-first ad strategies work.

Mobile-first advertising steers both the front-end and back-end

By now, you and your team know mobile-first is necessary to introduce your brand to a wider audience. It isn’t just a place where ads are served – it’s become a device for customer support, mcommerce apps, productivity suites, and more. For Facebook, it’s so ingratiated into the day-to-day strategy, that they don’t even think of the distinction between ‘mobile’ and ‘other’, says Steve. “We think mobile-first, to the point where it doesn’t even come up in conversation. It’s our default way of working.”

For brands gearing up their digital strategy, the best way, Steve says, is to ask yourself, “How will this apply in a mobile environment?” Ads absolutely must be designed with the channel in mind. For those already using apps and mobile-centric technologies to help run their business, this knowledge is already second-nature. But for those who only think of mobile only as an ad option, and not as a place where business is conducted, it’s a great place to start. Everyone is spending more time on mobile, and while there’s plenty of second-screening activity throughout, heavy-hitting mobile-first advertising means broader chances for brands to make a lasting impact.


Target with the right content

But what about beyond social media? Should brands assume that their interactions with customers outside of standard social media platforms is any different? According to Lockwood, maintaining a successful mobile ad strategy includes several key components, whether you’re serving up ads on Facebook, or inserting fully immersive experiences into a typical (mobile-friendly) site. Serving up high quality content can turn heads, but it won’t mean much if they aren’t the right heads. Are you reaching people you want to reach – your target audience – effectively, with relevancy? Content that doesn’t serve anyone, do the brand or product justice, or have a reason for being there becomes content that’s avoided. Brands will do best to raise the bar in terms of high-quality content, and keep the channel in mind when creating.

Various bidding types and ad units can make the space hectic, but through these changes, one thing remains steady – brands should make data the key in narrowing down the landscape of buyers. For Facebook, it’s characteristic data that’s going to set the platform apart. While there’s no one answer, from a targeting perspective, your data has everything you need to reach your ideal future customers. It becomes less about just targeting simple demographics, and more about your brand getting the right message to the right person on the right device.

Time spent consuming on desktop devices is not an area that’s growing. In contrast, mobile has expanded to fill three hours of the day for the average mobile user, so it’s up to brands to segment users and approach exactly what they’re looking for at different points within those three hours. From a content perspective, Lockwood says it’s wise to A/B test and connect the findings with brand resonance and sales impact. This way, solving your exact ROI is quick and direct, and helps you shape the strategies that work best for your brand. With good content, a strong message aimed at the data-appropriate audience will mean success for marketers on social media platforms and external mobile ad campaigns.



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