Now more than ever, brands and marketing teams are investing a great deal of time and money into paid social ads on Facebook. As more brands increase their budgets on the powerhouse platform, competition continues to grow and quality brand experiences have become an expectation among the 1.8 billion active monthly users.
The savviest advertisers know that people don’t want to buy “things” – instead, they want to feel like they are improving their lives in some way through their interactions with brands. Consequently, marketers are creating visually stunning, lifestyle-relevant ad experiences that are influenced by the basic psychological needs of the people they are trying to reach.
As you develop your Facebook campaign strategy, here are four key areas to keep top of mind in order to best resonate with your audience.
1. Design for Swift Fingertips and Low Attention Spans
On average, people spend 1.7 seconds with a piece of content on Facebook’s mobile feed, compared to 2.5 seconds on desktop. The same device that has turned us into patient, multi-tasking pros while waiting in line for coffee has also caused us to become incredibly impatient when it comes to the digital consumer experience. As a result, the first few seconds someone views an ad on social media can mean the difference between a potential conversion and no conversion. According to an Ipsos study measuring ad recall, creative quality determines up to 75 percent of impact.
Brands tend to trigger ad recall best when they leverage iconography with branding cues throughout the infrastructure of the ad for a fully immersive experience. If brand messaging and creative are not immediately captivating and obvious, brands lose out on ad recall and winning potential conversions.
2. Harness the Power of Priming
Priming is a nonconscious form of human memory that refers to how an initial stimuli (content, in marketing’s case) helps influence future stimuli (an action, such as a purchase). For example, a study demonstrated that people who were shown the Apple logo were primed to be more creative when approaching a task. People who were shown an IBM logo, on the other hand, were actually primed to be less creative.
So how can this apply to your Facebook strategy? Since image exposure has been found to influence different behaviors, there’s value in priming people with images in your Facebook ad. For example, this can be done by serving an image that evokes a desired emotional response and ties directly into your product or service before serving the call-to-action. Through priming, individuals may be more likely to interact with your brand in the future, through an engagement or purchase.
3. Think Holistically
By providing users with one obvious focal point in ad creative, you’re giving them the opportunity to more closely consider your brand's message and call to action when making a decision for themselves. If your image has too much text or no clear focus, there is a risk of having your audience disengage due to a concept called cognitive load theory, defined as “the total amount of mental effort being used in the working memory.”
Facebook Marketing Science researchers have found that ads with a lower cognitive load had a positive impact on ad recall. In other words, keep your ad creative clean and focused on a simple message to avoid information overload. (Tip: Try to get the most important messaging in before the text is truncated within an ad. And, if you have a specific action you want from your audience, ask for it with one of Facebook’s call to action buttons).
Lastly, humanizing the desired call to action by integrating product benefit and brand has also been shown to be significantly effective. Storytelling is a human instinct and should be used in ads to inspire action. Research provides evidence as to how brands can even become symbolic icons that consumers will associate with certain things. For example, Volkswagen is known for being associated with "bohemian artists" while Jeep is known for being associated with "adventurious explorers."
4. Personalize Messaging to Brand Loyalists
Every brand has loyalists who keep coming back for more. To continue to convert past purchasers and engagers, brands must consider how their Facebook ad messaging is being interpreted by new fans vs. existing fans. Loyal consumers now expect some level of personalization when it comes to brand messaging. With advanced remarketing technology options now available on Facebook, brands can hone in on this expectation by analyzing past consumer experiences to execute specific creative messaging strategies for their most beloved customers.
On the other hand, with Facebook’s incredibly large user base and a realm of interest and behavioral targeting opportunities, there are more new people for brands to reach than ever before. It’s no longer enough to meet basic functional needs like price and convenience; brands need to shine through to new audiences and show off their authenticity through ads that feel natural and relatable to new customers.
Ultimately, it’s important to first understand the intents of the Facebook audience you are trying to reach to successfully build a foundation for your advertising. Once that is established, incorporating these four tips will help to take your Facebook ad strategy to the next level.
If you want to learn more about upcoming social trends and how to adapt to this evolving industry, don’t hesitate to reach out to the social team at Rise.