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3 Ways Facebook Is Making Its Audience Network More Effective For You

January 10, 2017 | Andrew Brown

Since Facebook introduced Audience Network in 2014, it’s grown into one of the largest and most effective ad networks in the world. In fact, Facebook just reported that more than 1 billion people see an ad through its Audience Network every month. It’s also been a topic of much discussion at Brand Networks given its ability to expand advertisers’ reach and improve ad performance. What’s more, iProspect reported that the average revenue per user from the Audience Network is nearly 11% higher than it is on Mobile News Feeds. Continued proof of its value has been reason enough for many enterprise brands, including many of our clients, to leverage this new-look ad network. For instance, working with a leading telecom provider, Audience Network helped lower costs and drove 71% more conversions.

But despite a fundamental understanding of the Audience Network, the intricacies of social advertising, Audience Network included, may prevent you from using them to the fullest extent. The unknown of a new feature may also prevent you from giving it a try. Regardless of the reason, Facebook’s commitment to the longevity of its Audience Network has quickly made it an effective channel. Here are three example why:

Facebook Handpicks Publishers in its Audience Network

Contemporaries in traditional digital display often condemn social advertising for its closed walls and lack of control. What they fail to mention, however, is the guesswork associated with digital display. Often, you don’t know where your ads are going to land. It’s like throwing a bunch of ad inventory at the open web and hoping a few stick to websites that complement your brand. Plus, the data used to target audiences lacks the specificity that is readily available through Facebook’s ecosystem. This isn’t an effective way spend your ad budgets. Understandably, this concerns many, including Kellogg’s, which witnessed firsthand a major pitfall of digital programmatic.

Unlike traditional ad exchanges, which can place fewer restrictions on the publishers they let use its tools, the Facebook Publisher Operations Team ensures the strict standards that all publishers must meet to get added to its Audience Network. So, if you’re concerned about a downturn in quality when running ads through the Audience Network, don’t worry. Facebook is doing all the right things to maintain the integrity of its system and offer everyone involved the highest-quality and most effective ad network possible. It also means that you won’t end up in a situation similar to Kellogg’s.

Audience Network Ad Rates Fluctuate For a Good Reason

Fluctuating ad rates in the Audience Network also stem from Facebook’s commitment to control and stability. Earlier this year, Facebook said it would be ranking Audience Network publishers’ ad slots based on how likely people are to engage. It uses a measurement system called the Advertiser Outcome Score to price ad slots accordingly.

This is good news for you. First, it ensures that the quality the Audience Network’s inventory. It also aims to make off-Facebook ads just as appealing as those on Facebook. Finally, Facebook is giving publishers transparency into their Advertiser Outcome Score as well as best practices to improve them. While this could increase the cost of ad inventory in some cases, it also improves the quality and effectiveness of Facebook’s Audience Network. So, if you see your ad rates fluctuate, it’s only because Facebook is doing its best to get your ads matched with the highest-performing publishers.

Audience Network’s Expansion Can Be a Win-Win If Approached Correctly

Facebook’s expansion of its Audience Network lets you target non-Facebook users visiting sites that are part of Facebook’s network. In the past, you could only use the Audience Network to target logged-in Facebook users.

What you may not know is that in tandem with this expansion, Facebook is also giving users more control over the ads they see. They can either opt out via AdChoices or adjust their ad preferences inside Facebook. When you combine that with Facebook’s commitment to showing users only the most relevant and valuable content, and some advertisers may find it difficult to attract attention in News Feeds? Why? Because their content is getting replaced by that of family and friends. While this may seem like a setback (it is for organic brand content), it will ultimately force you to create higher-quality ads primed for engagement, with a net effect of improving the overall quality of Facebook’s advertising ecosystem.

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A day when Facebook fulfills all of your advertising needs may be closer than you think. Until then, it’s important that you not only understand what’s available to you but how everything works and what it’s capable of. With Facebook’s commitment to its Audience Network stronger than ever, it’s worth keeping an eye on as its potential impact continues to grow.

Want to learn more about Facebook? Download our free ebook today:
The Facebook Advertising Ecosystem

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Andrew Brown

Marketing Coordinator