Pundits’ take that Facebook has “solved” mobile advertising after its home run last week hid a bigger, behind-the-scenes story:
We’re finally seeing branding and direct response marketing merge in a meaningful and measurable way; Facebook is just one place where it’s happening most demonstrably.
Here’s important context: Facebook’s quarterly earnings beat projections last Thursday, driven by the 62% of its ad revenue that comes from mobile. Also note that Facebook’s only ad revenue from mobile is its in-feed ads (or native ads, or whatever you want to call them).
The in-feed ad is Facebook’s holy grail. If they can manage to position ads in users’ mobile feeds so that these ads: a) perform well, and b) don’t kill engagement with Facebook, then they can print money against their 1 billion plus monthly active users.
Facebook knows they’ll need advertisers’ and their agencies’ help to achieve this. That’s why I want to draw your attention to a slightly less publicized studythat came out of Facebook and two partners the week prior to its quarterly earnings announcement.
Working with the social ad platform Adaptly and Refinery29 (one of a new set of savvy content-driven e-commerce outlets), Facebook showed that social advertising that merges branding and direct response outperforms direct response ads alone, by a margin of about 70%.