Facebook has furthered its place as a hub of video content and a destination for TV advertisers. The company on Sunday introduced new features for media buyers, including new video ad formats, more precise targeting and polling options and metrics that help show Facebook's value as an ad platform that's also a social network.
Advertisers can now buy video ad spots within a carousel -- a set of interactive ads users can swipe through -- that goes beyond the static ads that typically beckon users to install apps. Another new feature allows advertisers to launch mobile polls on Facebook and Instagram. That new tool is just another way Facebook is trying to emphasize how it can be an effective and efficient advertising site versus television or other traditional media.
"We want to be the single-most important platform for all businesses," Carolyn Everson, Facebook vice president for global marketing solutions, told Reuters. The company has already reached a new milestone of attracting 2.5 million active advertisers, up from 2 million in February. For comparison, Google’s at 4 million, according to estimates from Macquarie Research.
Facebook has come to rely on mobile advertising as it accounts for 76 percent of ad dollars with the company pulling in $4.04 billion in revenue for the second-quarter of 2015, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in July.
But Facebook's still eying the $70 billion ad dollars that are generated from TV ads in the United States every year versus the $7.77 billion from digital video ads expected in 2015, according to eMarketer. In that quest, Facebook has continued to iterate and innovate its ad products -- those that appeal to buyers who understand the traditional 30-second ad spot as a TV commercial. Facebook introduced video ads in 2014, allowing 15-second video ads. Then, the company began a partner with Nielsen for metrics.
Facebook has deepened its ties with the Nielsen ratings and added more ways to buy and measure the effectiveness of ads. And each of those pitches cater to the TV buyer. The blog post on the updates refers to a new metric system, total rating points, as “a familiar way for TV buyers to plan, buy and measure on Facebook.”
“TV has long been one of the best platforms for marketers to build their brands. And new Facebook-commissioned custom research conducted by Nielsen shows that boosting TV campaigns with Facebook video ads drives incremental reach, increases efficiency and improves effectiveness,” Facebook wrote in the blog post.
The initiative follows advertisers' push for more standards across new ad systems. That includes improving how video views are counted. Dunkin’ Brands, the parent of Dunkin’ Donuts that was involved in the testing of the new analytics, referred to the updates as a step in the right direction for having a “common currency.”
"As we continue to shift towards investing in a ‘video everywhere’ media strategy, digital media has become a huge opportunity for us to reach a very targeted audience utilizing a format that is highly effective,” Scott Hudler, VP of Global Consumer Engagement at Dunkin’ Brands, said in a statement. “Working towards a common currency of data to validate delivery is critical so we can optimize towards success.”
For Facebook’s 1.49 billion active monthly users, that may also mean seeing more relevant ads on their Facebook News Feeds. Brands can now see the data and target Facebook users who have the highest ratings for attention and reach of video ad products. That system is called “brand awareness optimization.”