We recently touched on Google AdWords and how you can next-level your search engine marketing in the new year. But that doesn’t mean Google is the only big fish in the digital marketing sea.

Google dominates search, that’s for sure. But Facebook is aggressively taking big bites of the digital marketing pie from other hungry online ad giants. How? Display ads and videos. Facebook’s U.S. display revenues are expected to increase by more than 32 percent this year. And, renowned Wall Street research firms estimate Facebook will rake in around $3.8 billion in video advertising revenue in 2017.

Facebook ads

Facebook leans on a company called Atlas for people-based performance measurement of its ads. “People-based marketing” helps advertisers track users across devices. Last year, it shut down the ad serving part of the Atlas business and merged the functionality into a one measurement group.

Since the implementation of Atlas, Facebook has been looking to optimize how they bring insights from Atlas to more marketers and even local businesses. Today, Facebook is beginning to test new advanced measurement tools focused on reach and attribution. According to Facebook, these tools, previously offered by Atlas, will soon be available through Facebook Business Manager—bringing the same, but even better, people-based measurement straight to you. Advanced measurement should make it much easier to compare the effectiveness of the ads you’re pushing out there. It will even help you measure your Facebook ad performance against the performance of ads on other platforms.

Facebook of the Future

For many local businesses, Facebook is the new Google AdWords. What does this mean? When Google AdWords first came out, the cost per click was exceptionally low (when compared to today’s rate). Similarly, Facebook videos’ cost per thousand impressions (CPM) today averages between $6 and $13 CPM. Comparatively, the most expensive Google AdWords keywords can cost up to $50 a click. (Unfortunately for local businesses, these top keywords represent businesses much like yours – “attorney,” “insurance,” “gas/electric” and others.) So, when you have to choose where you’ll get the most bang for your buck, don’t overlook our friends at Facebook.

Here’s the good news – your Facebook audience, or at least the vast majority of them, isn’t expecting videos in their news feed to feature Hollywood-like production value or A-list starlets. In fact, a homegrown iPhone video is perfectly good enough for most users, given adequate lighting and sound without too much background noise.

What does that mean for you? No need to risk this month’s rent on a video production team in order to bring your Facebook ads and other posts into this century. Facebook offers this tip: Promote videos that show behind-the-scenes footage, product launches or customer stories to raise awareness about your brand.

Here’s what’s new for Facebook video:

  • They’re all ears. Videos in Facebook’s News Feed have previously played silently. Unless you tap on the video to open it, you’re stuck watching without sound. As videos become more mainstream via mobile social viewing, people are expecting sound to activate as soon as they happen upon the video (given the volume on the device is turned on). After significant testing and positive feedback, Facebook is bringing this feature to more users. As part of his update, sound fades in and out as users scroll through videos in the News Feed. Of course, if someone’s phone is set to silent, videos will not automatically play with sound. That would be reeeeeally NSFW.
  • No more squinting. Late last year, Facebook went live with vertical video ads, which quickly boasted CPM rates that were three times more efficient (less expensive) than square ads. This means vertical videos outperform their square predecessors. Now, vertical videos will look even better on mobile devices. A larger preview of vertical videos in the News Feed means these videos become even more visible and easy to watch on mobile.
  • Multi-tasking at its best. It’s now possible to minimize videos while you continue scrolling through the News Feed. This functionality mimics a picture-in-picture view you may recognize from your Sundays watching football with your buddy who insists on watching his home team choke at the same time as your big game. With this format, users can drag the video to any corner of the screen they wish. Android users can even keep videos playing when they exit the Facebook app. Talk about multi-tasking.

Remember, to get in on the Facebook video ad game, you don’t need to obsess over having high production value videos. Just tell your story, and make sure you’re sharing content your target customers could benefit from.

Caveat: This is all assuming you already have at least one applause-worthy video that promotes who you are, what you do and why you’re the best in your market. This video should be featured on your social pages as well as on your website. If you haven’t gotten that far yet, we can help. Let us show you how.