Why Social Media Managers Hold the Keys to Facebook Advertising

Thu Nov 30 2017

This is part 2 of our 4-part series: Why influencer-generated content holds the key to serious revenue. If you’ve missed part 1, read it here.

Social media managers armed with a repository of high-value influencer-generated content (IGC) are making waves in marketing departments across the country. To truly understand the power they wield, especially in advertising, it’s critical to understand how influencer content is different.

Influencer-generated content (IGC) is faster to create, cheaper to make, and performs better than the content brands typically create for themselves. That’s because influencers:

  • Are a distributed and diverse army of creators.
  • Are well-versed in creating engaging content for social channels like Facebook and Instagram.
  • Don’t need a budget or much lead-time to schedule photo shoots.
  • Snap curated photos of real but aspirational lifestyles.
  • Resonate with today’s authenticity-craving consumers.

The content influencers produce is powerful across all channels, but its impact is the greatest upon Facebook Ads (which includes Instagram). Once your advertising team understands how well it performs, they’ll want to be your new best friend.

Why Facebook advertising is different

Unlike Google or Bing, which mostly display text-based ads in text-based search results, Facebook thrives on photos. In fact, studies show that images account for 85 percent of the ad’s performance and ads that include images get 179 percent more engagement. And it’s not hard to see why.

Users’ primary interaction with Facebook is scrolling through their news feed where ads and posts are, 50 percent image and 10 percent text (this varies by device).

 Facebook ads are 50% image, 10% text

The quality of each image also matters more on Facebook than it does, say, in display or banner ads, because users come to Facebook to connect with friends and family. Expensive-looking studio-shot creative—especially images that were chopped up to fit social aspect ratios—stick out like sore thumbs and perform poorly.

Influencer images, on the other hand, are repurposed from influencer’s posts on Facebook and Instagram and are perfectly suited to those channels. They look like beautifully-curated versions of what typically appears in users’ feeds and perform exceptionally well.

2. Facebook is obsessed with relevance

Facebook’s advertising algorithm is aggressively designed to minimize disruption to the user’s experience. That’s because as a free social network, a good experience is Facebook’s only means of retention. If visitors become annoyed with too many sponsored posts or ads, they’ll leave.

Facebook protects users and itself from bad ads with harm reduction strategies. It encourages users to act as quality control on advertisers with “hide ad” and “report ad” buttons which have a devastating impact on the ad’s quality score. Relevant ads, on the other hand—that is, ones which drive high engagement, have little negative feedback—are displayed more and Facebook charges less for them.

Additionally, as an ad’s click-through rate decreases, Facebook will increase the price to place that ad again. This is to discourage brands from over-saturating a user with the same message again and again; something that practically everyone has experienced.

A Facebook ad with a quality score of 3 is 167% more expensive than one with a quality score of 10. – Adespresso

IGC images improve the quality score of ads. These visuals are more diverse and varied because they come from individuals around the world, and they give advertisers the ability to find the right photo for each audience.

3. Advertisers choose the audience

Finally, Facebook requires a much greater volume of content than other networks because advertisers select their audience. With Google, an advertiser targets by search terms and keeps the ad running to an audience of millions for months at a time.

Advertisers on Facebook must refresh their content weekly or pay the price of low-quality scores.

On Facebook, ads only have a shelf life of days or weeks. That’s because Facebook allows advertisers to select highly targeted audiences of just a few thousand individuals. Those users grow tired of seeing the same image repeatedly, after which time they’re less likely to click and more likely to report. Advertisers on Facebook must refresh their content weekly or pay the price of low-quality scores.

With a repository of IGC, Facebook advertisers can access a much greater volume of content to match their greater need for visuals. And because influencers are constantly creating content, social teams can provide ad teams with a nearly endless supply. For Facebook Ads teams, this can be a godsend.

How social media managers can team up with Facebook Ads teams

Most performance-based advertising teams think about the above issues daily. Perhaps even hourly. They’re shackled by creative constraints. Social teams can use their IGC repositories to create a mutually beneficial partnership with the Facebook Ads team which desperately needs the greater volume of high-quality images that IGC offers.

But wait, how exactly do Facebook Ads actually work and what do they do with all these images? We’ll cover that in our next post.

In our next post we’ll discuss concrete strategies for how Facebook Ads teams can implement IGC.