Facebook is going video first, with user experience being at the heart of 2017’s dominating trends. Here we explore some of the monetised features we are excited about this year…
Paid Search Advertising
This year, Facebook’s paid advertising efforts will turn to Instant Articles; small, responsive stories which sit on the Newsfeed. According to Facebook’s stats, users are 70% less likely to abandon an Instant Article in comparison to a regular content piece. This is largely due to its focus on user experience; a quick loading time and autoplay video are just some of the features that will capture your audience as they scroll through the network. Instant Articles converts existing content by pulling information from an RSS feed/HTML mark-up, so you needn’t write original content. They can be monetised in a handful of ways, including direct display ads and sponsored brand content.
Chatbots for Shopping and Utility
Last April, Mark Zuckerburg announced that third parties could create their own chatbots to assist with retrieving data and providing customer service. Zuckerburg firmly believes that the future of marketing is chat, using Facebook Messenger as an example with its 1 billion monthly users¹Businesses are experimenting with chatbots to provide extra services to their customers; such as automated shopping, recipe recommendations, and a space to query purchase orders. Chatbots are quick and convenient for customers, and can lighten the load for employees taking everyday enquiries. Why select pizza toppings from an online menu if you can simply summon a bot to do it for you? Furthermore, chatbots are opening doors to new revenue streams; including Bots as a Service (BaaS), bot leveraged affiliate marketing and bots for lead generation.
Live Streaming Video
According to Social Media Today, people typically spend three times longer watching live video compared to a video which is no longer live*. This presents a wealth of opportunities to businesses seeking a boost in social engagement; prospective customers are more likely to listen to your marketing messages if they are genuine. Trust is a big part of buying into a brand, and live video will provide you with an opportunity to sell that trust. Facebook Live is taking on Twitter’s Periscope this year, and there’s a number of ways businesses can monetise from using a multimedia tool such as this one. Commercial ads can now be placed in the middle of live streaming video, or even during `natural` breaks at a live event, that is to say, Facebook will only use ads where the user experience is not affected. Media theorist Jeff Bullas says that live streaming video is another way to not only engage with your audience but to educate them² Offering your customers a backend view to your company; break through the noise and show them what your USPs are.
360 images have the ability to pull customers into the heart of a subject, allowing them to experience a scenario or product first hand. Think panoramic, but with the option to tilt the image back, forth and side to side. Easy to view on mobile, this is a compelling feature for businesses offering luxury products such as holiday homes and resorts. 360 content allows businesses to flaunt a product or service at every angle, without the need for a consumer to make a journey to them. This tool was released in June 2016, but it is predicted to be heavily utilised this year. A wealth of companies are using 360 imagery within their content, so if you are a photographer, do not shy away from up-selling.
Facebook is swamped with content, imagery, and videos; it can be difficult to access the right customers at the right time. Fear not, because Facebook is focusing on personalised content this year. This year will have you concentrating on narrower niches and more targeted channels, over talking to a wide audience.
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The TMO Team can create a unique digital marketing strategy to ensure that you are targeting, and more importantly reaching your desired target audience. To find out more about how we can help your business get grow and keep customers, contact us today.
² Jeff Bullas
³ Social Media Today