Facebook Ads have proven to be highly effective as an ad platform—once you’ve gotten the hang of it. Some marketers greatly prefer Facebook Ads even to other highly popular platforms like Google Adwords.
Until recently, the only true limitation of Facebook Ads (aside from not always being beginner-friendly) is that these ads only stay on Facebook. While you could reach everyone in their extremely large audience, you could only show them ads on Facebook itself, and never to those who don’t have a Facebook.
Thanks to Facebook’s Audience Network Ads, this limitation no longer exists—you can actually take Facebook Ads off of Facebook entirely. Facebook’s audience network ads were announced and released about a year ago, but Facebook has recently released new tools for publishers to make it easier to create and run these ads.
What are Audience Network Ads?
The idea of Audience Network Ads is to allow Facebook advertisers to extend the reach for their ads. Audience Network Ads allow advertisers to place their ads in other mobile apps—mobile apps that aren’t Facebook. It allows for “the power of Facebook Ads, off Facebook.”
If you have a mobile app, you can advertise for your business with Facebook Ads on it, as well as advertising on other mobile apps.
Facebook’s Audience Network Ads allows for the same featuring as their regular ads, including options like custom audiences. They started out with only featuring this type of ad when you’re seeking to drive installs or engagement on an app, but with the goal of expanding to more marketing objectives in the future.
In past tests, Audience Network Ads helped the US Navy increase their campaign reach by 33%, which is incredibly substantial when you think about what those numbers are. Rosetta stone digital marketing director TJ Hunter echoed this, noticing that these ads were highly successful in driving users to install their mobile app and reducing cost-per-impression by 40% while reaching users whose engagement and likelihood to purchase was 30% higher than “comparable” platforms.
The New Tools and Improvements of Audience Network Ads
For starters, a big improvement in the Audience Network Ads is that the participating apps have increased by 5x since October of 2014. That alone is a pretty massive increase.
Another improvement to audience network ads is the updates to the ads, how they look, and how they function. These updates and tools include:ss
- Native Ad Templates: These ad templates focus on a natural, integrated placement for your ad that increases conversions, as Facebook’s research determined that banner ads at the top or bottom of screens are typically ignored entirely. These templates are best on native ad best practices. Within these templates, publishers can customize features like font, ad height, background color, and more that make the ad more integrated.
- Native Ad Management Tools: Facebook is also introducing “a new way to manage multiple native ad requests to ensure that the highest performing ad is delivered at the right time to the right person.” The native ads manager will help you “pre-fetch” up to 10 ads at a time and deliver them in “the best order,” making it easier for you.
- Horizontal Scroll: Facebook developers have found that building and optimizing a horizontal scroll (or “h-scroll”) increases ad engagement, and can increase the number of ads shown. Not surprisingly, they have created a horizontal scroll to fulfill these purposes.
How to Use Audience Network Ads
Audience Network Ads are like mobile ads—it is a placement option.
Audience network ads are available for all users, and don’t require any extra effort or advanced ad strategies.
To run Audience Network Ads, you simply select “Audience Network” as a placement option for your ad campaign. Like with all other ad placements, you can choose to only run an Audience Network placement campaign, or you can choose to run your ad on all placement options.
The opportunity to extend the reach of your Facebook ads and actually take your ad off of Facebook entirely is really exciting, especially given the case studies of success (higher engagement, conversions, and reach) that we discussed above.
What do you think about Audience Network Ads? Have you used them? Will you?
To learn more about techniques that can enhance your Audience Network Ads, read more about the importance of ad placement here, and about how to increase overall click-through rates on all of your ads here.