Facebook F8 Conference: Seer’s Take on Ad Creative Updates

A colleague and I attended F8 2019 in San Jose where a big focus was the power of ad creative. Many of the speakers emphasized that creative has the power to either make your campaign or break it because the creative element of paid social marketing is becoming more important. The conference included conversations about creative strategies, how to create engaging Instagram stories, and how the updates to AR will be impacting creative. In this blog post, we’ll be diving into these different updates and how we are integrating them into our workflow at Seer.

Creative Strategies

Different creative strategies were a topic of conversation in a session focused on how to articulate a brand’s story across multiple platforms. The main takeaway I had from this session is that all consumers respond to things differently and it’s important to have multiple ad variations for each consumer. A lot of marketers have looked at testing ad elements as a way of finding out “what works best” and then changing the creative strategy to focus on this creative type specifically however it was emphasized that this shouldn't be the case. This session really brought to light that including creative variations isn’t just about testing “what works best” but is about providing more variations to connect with each consumer.

This shift in testing methodology in terms of creative strategy can have a big impact on how marketers approach creative and testing. Instead of approaching creative as just an element to an ad, marketers will be encouraged to approach individual creative types as ways of connecting with segments of each target audience.

Instagram Stories

Instagram stories were a big topic of conversation at F8 in part because over 500 million accounts use stories daily and stories and vertical videos are being incorporated into every Facebook platform.

Facebook has been reaching out to many brands about the performance they have seen from Facebook and Instagram stories and most brands have seen a strong correlation between creative in stories and campaign performance. Stories have become a key driver of performance on mobile, especially on Instagram, so Facebook wanted to provide insights into product updates and great uses of this placement. Check out some of the insights below:

  • Make your story interactive: stories are meant to be a quick yet engaging video to connect with your customer. Make the video visually engaging so the consumers don’t swipe to the next video.
  • Stores bring people closer to businesses: for brands that are thinking of use stories organically, DO IT! Stories will lead to more consumers messaging your brand 1:1 so a deeper connection will be formed.
  • 60% of businesses on Instagram use an interactive element of stories every month: this goes back to the engagement piece of stories. Instagram has made so many interactive elements to this placement that businesses should be taking advantage of. These interactive elements improve the engagement rate of the story.
  • The polling and question feature provides businesses an opportunity to crowdsource insights on the platform.

Facebook has been focusing on the importance of engagement for the past couple of years and this mentality hasn't shifted with Instagram stories. Some great ways to increase engagement through stories are by showcasing the product, doing contests, and using interactive elements.

How AR Will Be Impacting Creative

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One of Facebook’s goals is to open up AR on all platforms for all consumers. A way that they plan on doing this is through Spark AR for Shopping. Spark AR for Shopping is a tool that combats the consumer frustration of not having enough product imagery online and not being able to evaluate a product in person before buying online. These frustrations from consumers have an impact on businesses because people will return multiple items which incur greater shipping costs and inventory backlog.

Spark AR is aiming to unlock value for businesses and consumers by allowing consumers to interact with products on their persons or space before purchasing. Before diving into Spark AR, it’s important to figure out where this ad type will fit into your marketing funnel and what kind of consumer you are aiming to target with it. Spark AR is a very interactive platform so it is important to make sure that the consumer this ad is directed towards will be willing to move and engage with the content.

Virtual try-on is one of the features that allows consumers to interact with a product online. This ad feature was released in a small beta and is applicable to e-commerce clients that range from sunglasses to furniture. Facebook put together some design considerations for this ad type:

  • Align with existing paradigms: users are used to certain gestures on their phone, Facebook will be releasing these paradigms to brands
  • Be mindful of the effort required: tell the consumer upfront what they need to do to have AR work.
  • Be realistic: products and its variations need to be realistic
  • Try to limit the use of onscreen controls: AR experience should speak for itself
  • Test on a diverse media set: test on different face shapes and complexions

Also, Facebook released some of the updates they will be adding to the ad type in upcoming months:

  • The "shop now" CTA will soon be available
  • Templates will soon be available
  • Commerce blocks will soon be available
    • These will allow brands to drop their blocks into already created commerce blocks
  • New lighting technology will soon be available
    • Lighting simulation: day time vs night time, spotlights, makeup lights
    • Photoready photo lighting

This updated ad type has the ability to change the online e-commerce world. Seer will be working together with our e-commerce clients to help educate them about this offering to make sure that our clients are ready for the upcoming landscape changes.



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