Facebook advertising’s advancements in video ads and the newly rebranded Carousel ads drove significant performance gains for our clients in Q2, and we anticipate that today’s earnings call will show that many advertisers are enjoying similar trends – and spending accordingly.

In this post, we’ll break down Facebook’s noteworthy announcements and changes over Q2; we’ll then run through our data to show how those changes are affecting our clients.

Announcements and changes

-Video ads for website conversion and app campaign objectives (aka Video for DR)

-Prior, video was restricted to video view campaign objectives as an awareness and engagement play

-Changes to the way advertisers can pay per video view

-Previously, Facebook counted a video view as 3 seconds. This was changed to allow advertisers to pay for video views of 10+ seconds vs. impressions-based bidding. The 3-second determination of a video view was troubling for many advertisers, as the auto play feature could’ve counted a view as someone was just scrolling through their News Feed.

-Rebranding of Multi-Product-Ads to ‘Carousel Ads’, including a full roll-out of Carousel Ads for mobile app campaigns

-MPAs were rolled out last year as a solution for eCommerce retailers looking to show a depth/variety of products. The rebranding of MPAs to Carousel Ads was a likely result of the realization that the functionality is a visually interesting way to advertise for just about any vertical.

-An update to the custom audience pixel, allowing for reporting and optimizing of conversions, in addition to website custom audiences.

A total of 9 new standard events were added.

-Mobile lead gen ads featuring auto-fill of information from a user’s Facebook profile (name, email, birthdate, etc.) launched in Alpha and Beta rounds. While this is still limited to a small group of advertisers, we can expect full rollout by the end of Q3.

-A revamp of Ads Manager and Power Editor to “make it easier to create, optimize, and monitor ad campaigns”; this launched at the end of Q2 and is slowly rolling out to more ad accounts.

3Q’s social portfolio highlights

Q2 was BIG for video! For some 3Q clients, better video options meant using Facebook to drive performance-based metrics in a way that was not possible before. We have some video subscription clients that, prior to mid-to-late-Q2, only had the option to optimize for video views. This severely limited the ability for video to drive direct-response (DR) initiatives for their brand on Facebook.

As a performance-driven agency, our only option for using video in a DR capacity involved cleverly retargeting video viewers with a static link ad with a DR message. It was a roundabout way of first teeing up mid-funnel awareness to eventually complete a DR action.

For clients that have begun using video for campaign conversion objectives, we’re seeing the following:

-Video driving, on average, 80-100% higher CTR than static image ads, when served to identical ad sets. This holds true to the wisdom that video is the most engaging form of content on Facebook.

-Video driving, on average, 50% lower CPC than static image ads, when served to identical audiences.

-Video has shown for some verticals to provide an average of 20% lower CPA than static image ads. All verticals are seeing comparable, if not slightly lower CPAs. A secondary value to focus on is that with the higher CTR, video provides a larger pool for retargeting efforts compared to static image ads.

-Video typically shows a 50-75% higher CPM than static image ads. Advertisers are paying a high premium for high CTRs.

Carousel Ads are proving to be a winning ad unit for virtually all verticals and clients. What we’re seeing:

-On average, 50-75% higher CTR on carousel ads vs. static image ads across verticals

-On average, 30-50% lower CPC than static image ads

-On average, 10-20% lower CPA/CPI than static image ads

-Unlike video, carousel ads do not result in a higher CPM than static image ads

Facebook stock has soared over the past few weeks; I would expect today’s earnings announcement only bolsters that momentum with data showing more and more advertisers are pumping money into viable ad options.

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Brad O'Brien
Brad joined 3Q as Director of Social after spending several years on the brand side at Provide Commerce & FTD companies. Brad has a strong background in Social, SEO, e-commerce, landing page and test optimizations, analytics, as well as production and promotion of digital content. Originally from New Jersey, Brad went to college in Virginia at James Madison University and received a degree in Marketing. He has called San Diego home for the last seven years, and also works out of San Diego. Brad enjoys surfing, being outdoors, music festivals, traveling, cooking, and spending time with his dog Duke.