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Facebook mobile ads are how you'll kill it

Published: November 27, 2012

Author: Dennis Yu

Yesterday I had a call with a hedge fund about Facebook’s mobile ad monetization. I get a couple of these a week, so it’s refreshing to hear what the finance guys think.

The fear earlier this year was that Facebook wasn’t addressing mobile– that they missed the boat by investing in html5 and didn’t have mobile ads yet.
Fast forward to today, and advertisers like us can’t get ENOUGH mobile ad inventory.  We want every single stinkin’ impression at whatever the price.
Yes, it’s that good.
Sure, the CPMs can be as high as $20, but when you have CTRs as high as 7-10%, the cost per click is still *much* lower than newsfeed and especially the regular desktop ads on the right side.
So what does this mean for you?
– For every ad you run, you should create one that has the mobile placement enabled. I suppose you could keep it all mixed together– desktop, newsfeed, and mobile newsfeed. But folks who do this are like the ones who run search and content together on AdWords.
facebook mobile ads
– Your page post ads, especially the ones with a native photo or video link, will be especially awesome.
– Look at the frequency you get here vs. regular newsfeed. It’s going to be less, but that’s good. You can easily burn out frequency on the desktop at 30 or 40 if you’re not looking.
– Look at your effective CPC as well as Cost Per Action. Let me know if you are seeing relatively more actions in mobile than on the desktop.
– If you’re really clever. you’ll multiply your ad by broad category targeting on type of devices to see how iPad owners behave differently than say, iPhone or HTC users.

Back to the monetization question– you’re either the customer or the product being sold. Facebook is collecting so much data about you and making this available to advertisers, whether on the Facebook platform or your site (AdSense-like), that it’s both an advertiser’s paradise and potentially a user nightmare.
Ask yourself this…
If you were Facebook, would you prefer:
A) Doubling your user base overnight; or
B) Same user base, but doubling the amount of information you have per user overnight?
Of course you chose B, since twice as many generic 18+ females in the US is nowhere close to as valuable as knowing intimately what these users are doing and saying — then being able to target them on that.
Mobile isn’t the downfall of Facebook. It’s where they are going to make a KILLING because of folks like us who are learning how to use the gold mine they have just given us access to. Then use optimized CPM to do the work for you.
If you’re a retailer or local business (or maybe an agency with such clients), have you thought fundamentally about how you’re optimizing your ads based on where the users are and what they’re talking about?
Right now, interest targets all cost about the same. It’s like the early days of Google where every keyword was a nickel. What are you doing about this?
I want to know in the comments below!
 Dennis Yu

25 E Washington Street
Suite 420

Chicago, IL 60602(650) 539-4124


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