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Now with 500 million members, Facebook have even more reason to celebrate thanks to a 33% increase in the number of ads being shown compared with the same period last year.
These figures will make pleasant reading for Facebook’s hierarchy. Having reclaimed their advertising responsibilities from Microsoft earlier this year, they will invariably be looking to develop this core revenue stream [see: Facebook drop Microsoft adCenter, Integrates Bing Search]. So with a further rise in ad impressions here in the UK, things look pretty rosy for the social networking titan.
If you’re wondering what kind of figures we’re talking about, Facebook saw almost 20 billion impressions during the month of May, 31 million of which were from unique visitors. These figures are in stark contrast to the 12 billion and 22 million they received during the same period last year [see: UK Facebook ads rocket 33% in a year | Media Week]. Whilst Microsoft hold a slight lead when it comes to unique views, the growth of Facebook’s audience is unparalleled, making the site an advertiser’s dream.
Unfortunately there are no financial figures to back up these statistics; but working on the ‘more is more’ principle of Internet advertising, the UK market ought to be profitable for Facebook. Ahead of all the major search engines and other major stores, including Amazon, the social networking site appears to be in a league of its own in generating impressions for advertising partners; echoing their success in the US market [see: Facebook Leads the Way in Growing US Display Ad Market].
They have been working hard to develop new avenues for ads, including the integration of a localised ad vehicle [see: Facebook prepares to launch localised ad vehicle | Campaign]. Without the benefit of having their adverts steered by search terms or related products, Facebook face the challenge of targeting campaigns at certain key demographics. Conversely though, they do have information such as age, gender, location and marital status to provide some level of personalisation.
So what’s the lesson here? Well, first and foremost, Facebook has to be taken seriously as an advertising option. Whilst there may be difficulties in targeting compared with using Google AdWords, the fact that their ads have seen a 33% rise in views demonstrates that there is a huge audience out there.
In today’s multichannel world, there are mountains of data which provide insights into how users have interacted with your business and their path to conversion (or non-conversion). It is important to understand performance with multichannel marketing, which can be achieved through attribution modelling. Attribution refers to assigning credit to something (a channel, touchpoint, etc.) for the role it played in the final conversion. An attribution model is a rule, or set of rules, that assigns this credit correctly to the right channel or touchpoint.
For a long time, Bing, the UK’s second-largest search engine, has been underappreciated and, in some instances, even ignored. Often regarded as the inferior search engine to market leader Google, Bing has historically struggled to appeal to many in the digital world. Most PPC analysts would give justified reasons for neglecting Bing for so long; these include the volume of traffic and the user experience just not matching up to Google. However, the validity of these assessments is now diminishing. Bing has grown and improved rapidly in the last couple of years; if you are not integrating it into your comprehensive digital marketing plan, you run the risk of missing out on a large portion of your chosen market and significant revenue.