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Three Tips for Facebook Mobile Advertising

Published: October 15, 2012

Author: Molly Shotwell

Today’s post is by staunch UNC Tar Heels fan Hunter Young, Assistant Vice President, Digital Channel, at BB&T, one of the 15 largest banks in the U.S. He leads the strategic development of online and mobile initiatives for BB&T’s retail and lending lines of business and has spent the last seven years marketing across a variety of industries including healthcare, technology, and financial services. 
While Wall Street continues to lament its overhyped IPO, Facebook executives remain firm on the massive revenue opportunity ahead of them – an opportunity firmly planted in mobile.
I’m going to give you a few tips for Facebook advertising via mobile. However, it comes with the giant caveat that all of this will evolve rapidly in the next year. So if you find yourself reading this article 6-8 months after its published date, please avert your eyes. These are tips for right now.
Let’s start with what we know. Facebook has the demographic, interest, and location targeting with which we are all now familiar. They’ve layered in device targeting for the two dominant forces today (Android, iOS) and put the “other guys” (RIM/Blackberry, Windows) in a self-loathing category unto themselves. Which brings us to tip number 1.
Tip #1. Review your website’s analytics traffic by device type.
15% of your traffic each month may be mobile traffic by this point. So, who is pinching and zooming their way through your site? (My apologies for not assuming you have a mobile-optimized site at this time. Most companies don’t yet.) Do you have a 50-40 split between Android and iOS with 10% on other devices? Or do you still see a large Blackberry contingency? Has iPad assumed the SOE (share of eyeballs)? This quick analysis should give you a device-targeting foundation from which you can assign budget.
Now that you know your customers’ device preference, it’s time to match the creative with the experience.
Tip #2. Ad copy and imagery should often be unique to your mobile campaigns.
Android users love to stand up against the Apple “fanboy” phenomena. iOS users show their Apple pride on their clothes, cars, and sometimes pets. No matter their preference, mobile users love their devices. Why should you care? Because your ads should leverage that same emotional attachment to the technology. Create ads that use the term “iPhone” or “Android.” Use pictures of apps, the device, or people on devices.
And pay attention to color. The Facebook blue sits on the opposite side of the color spectrum from orange, one of the most effective background colors in terms of CTR I’ve seen on Facebook.

ad colors facebook

CTR is often 30% higher on Facebook ad images with orange backgrounds or hues. Along with the use of orange, be sure to test female faces. Imagery of females consistently outperforms male imagery in ads. So, the perfect Facebook mobile ad image might conceptually look something like:

facebook ad example  

Please don’t grab this picture and slap your brand logo in the top left. (I don’t want to be accountable for a failed campaign. Just making a point!) The background color orange and women’s faces will generate more clicks for you. And it rarely matters what product or industry you are in.
Now that you’ve gotten the click, how can we turn this interested party into a lead or conversion?
Tip #3. Respect the medium, and prospects will return the favor.
Don’t forget that the prospect is looking at 3 to 5 inches of screen. It took a while, but most marketers now realize that sending a mobile ad click to a desktop website experience kills efficacy. Don’t do it. If you don’t have a mobile-optimized site, and you want to send them somewhere other than a mobile Facebook page for a Like, create a mobile landing page. Maybe you are sponsoring a post that leads to a nice conversion-focused piece of content. It should be mobile-optimized, and there should be some type of lead generation or conversion mechanism at the top of the page. No matter your political affiliation, everyone can agree Obama’s digital team does a nice job of generating “leads” through online advertising. A click on their recent sponsored Facebook story in mobile takes you to a “conversion-first” article examining Mitt Romney’s recent debate points.


The President’s team put together a strong headline and a simple email capture form to engage mobile users immediately. I might cut some of the copy in the intro paragraph, but this is nonetheless an effective use of making mobile actionable.
These three tips should get you started. Hopefully they last you through the spring. But, hey, that’s the beauty of working in digital marketing and with Facebook specifically. The fun has just begun.
E. Hunter Young
– Hunter Young

25 E Washington Street
Suite 420

Chicago, IL 60602(650) 539-4124


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