Digital analyst Andrew Rohlf and chief content director Christoph Trappe review research in this podcast that evaluates 1 million ad impressions on Facebook. Andrew reports that Facebook Messenger ads are currently performing extremely well, with a higher click-through rate and at a lower cost.
In this episode, you’ll hear Christoph and Andrew discuss ways you can maximize this strategy now.
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Rather read the transcript? It begins below:
Christoph: Hello, everyone. It’s Christoph Trappe, chief content engagement director at Stamats. In today’s episode I’m joined by Andrew Rohlf, he’s our digital analyst here.
Andrew: Yes. Thank you for having me. Glad to be here to talk about some Facebook Messenger ads.
Christoph: Awesome. Well, Facebook Messenger ads, that is what the crowds, the masses were screaming for. “We want more ads in our feeds.”
Andrew: That’s right.
Christoph: That is probably not what’s happening. And I actually have probably tweeted before how much I don’t want to see ads in my Facebook Messenger. And I don’t want to see ads in my Facebook feed. And I don’t want to see ads really all that often, even though I saw a fantastic commercial yesterday, actually. You saw that too, right? American Standard commercial…
Andrew: Yes. Yes.
Christoph: …for their new—they have a new kind of toilet or something and it was just kind of funny. So, we’ll try to share a link if we can find it after.
So, Facebook Messenger ads, these are the ads that show up while you’re talking to people in the conversation? Or where the names show up?
Andrew: It looks like one of your contacts. You might have your friend Bill and then you might have your friend Jim. And then right below, you see an ad in there. So, it shows up as a contact for one of your messages that you can open up.
Christoph: Very interesting. Of course, that was just a matter of time. And you know what, at some point, I bet you, you know how it says on the top, “Andrew is now active” or “Christoph is now active”, I bet you at one point it will say, ‘This ad is now active’.
Christoph: So, Andrew, you looked at just shy of 1 million impressions across a number of brands that we’re working with to look at ‘Are they working? What’s working? What’s not working?’ What are the results of your research there?
Andrew: For Facebook overall, we were seeing about a .55% click-through rate, which means the number of clicks that you get to your website or to the client’s website from somebody viewing the ad. It’s really just clicks divided by the number of impressions delivered. And then we were also seeing right around $.82 we were getting charged per click.
What was interesting is the Messenger ads, they were performing better on a click-through rate and they were also cheaper to run. Kind of a win-win situation there.
We had found those ones had almost a 1% click-through rate compared to that .55%.
Christoph: So, twice as good. Is that fair to say?
Andrew: Right. Right around twice as good. And they were almost $.30 cheaper on a click basis too. And when you’re looking at hundreds or thousands of clicks, that $.30 really adds up over time to save you a lot of money.
Christoph: Is it automatic that Facebook ads go to Messenger? Or can people turn it on and off? Or how does that typically work?
Andrew: Your beginner Facebook ads user, you may just use the automatic placements. It’ll show up in the newsfeed, it’ll show up on Instagram, it’ll show up on the right column if you’re looking at it on a desktop. But you can also edit those and say, “You know, I don’t really want to show up on the feed. I don’t think people are interacting with our content that way.”
You might click that one off and you can really customize it to whatever you want to do. You can remove everything but the Messenger ads and only show in the Messenger feed.
Christoph: But it will show for the time being in Facebook Messenger?
Christoph: I wonder if there’s something people need to consider on how they design their ads. I’m just looking at some of the ones that we have run here. It really doesn’t show very much. It only shows the name of the page. And then it has the “ad” button right next to it. So, it tells you it’s an ad in case you can’t figure out that the only brand in your Messenger is not a friend.
Or maybe they can be at some point. And then you really only have three words. I don’t know how many characters that is, but it doesn’t look more than 15 characters.
Andrew: Yeah. It’s not a lot. And what I’ve seen online, we haven’t had any clients do it this way, but a lot of people really make it sound like a conversation happening. So, you could say, “Hey. Come check out this ad,” and whatever other content you want.
Christoph: But for the time being, it pulls from your ad, right? Or can you actually do that today?
Andrew: If you are only running it on Messenger, you can do it that way.
Christoph: Oh, you can do that. You can only do Messenger. Got it.
Christoph: Honestly, that would be my recommendation—to probably have separate ads, right? I mean don’t you think people should do that? You have one ad that runs in your feed and then you have one ad that runs on Messenger, so you have different wording.
Christoph: And you could even say, I don’t know, maybe you can do, “Hello first name, blah, blah, blah,” right? And you gotta remember, you only have 20—some characters maybe at the most.
Andrew: Yeah. It would be probably a best practice to customize it as much as you can since Facebook as a platform as a whole is on the feed, you’re going to be interacting with that content one way. The Messenger is a little bit different because a lot of people use that as their text message platform.
Like, if you have an iPhone, you’re maybe using iMessage. If you have an Android, maybe you just use Messenger because all your contacts are in there. Everybody’s on Facebook, everybody has Messenger. A lot of people just use it that way. So, you really want to customize to work with that instead of working against it.
Christoph: What’s funny about that is you said, “Everybody’s on Facebook.” I still have people who push back on me on that. And they say, “Not everybody’s on Facebook.” And maybe not every single person is, but you know how you can prove those people wrong?
If somebody says, “Not everybody in Iowa, which is an older state on average, is on Facebook because they’re older,” whatever, right? And maybe that used to be true, but you can go into the ad manager and you can set an audience for all of Iowa and it will show you everybody. I know you’re not supposed to have an account if you’re under 13.
But that is actually a way you can see that the majority of people—and then if you take out all the kids who are not supposed to be on it, they actually are on Facebook. I learned that the other day. For whatever that’s worth.
Andrew: Well, especially in our context when we’re working with professionals, we’re not working with the very young or the very old. We’re going to see 99.9% of people have a Facebook page in our audience.
Christoph: Right. The other thing that’s interesting too, is that people are moving away from Facebook. I did see some headlines on that, not too long ago, people were shutting down their Facebook accounts for whatever reason, whether it’s privacy concerns or whether they’re just tired of it. And I do have to say, some of these algorithms on these social networks, they seem drunk. I mean seriously. The stuff they show you doesn’t make any sense why they’re showing it to you.
But as people are closing their Facebook accounts, you can actually close your Facebook account or delete it or deactivate it, and you can keep your Facebook Messenger account. When you see the headlines that people are leaving Facebook and advertisers and content marketers are trying to reach Facebook audiences, they can still do it through Messenger because they’re actually two different networks if you think about it.
Andrew: Yeah. That’s one of the reasons that instead of having the one Facebook app on your phone, now you have to have the Facebook app and you have to have the Messenger app. And those don’t really play well together.
Christoph: And the pages app and what else? Oh my God. Every day there is a new app that we have to download. Unbelievable. Great. What else did we miss? I think those were some high-level tips for some people. You know, I would recommend hopping on this bandwagon super quick. Usually we see I mean, Andrew, you tell me what your experience is. From my experience, three to four months where you can really maximize new things.
Andrew: Yeah. Everything moves so quickly nowadays that if you’re not on the cutting-edge, you’re going to start using it two months too late and it’s not going to perform like everybody online is saying it performs. But here are some other quick tips and best practices you may want to consider: when you’re using an image on these Facebook Messenger ads and Facebook ads in general, just make sure you don’t have too much text.
They say around 25% of the image, if that’s text, you can see some performance issues, or they may even decline your ad. What we’ve found is just if you want to make sure your ad’s running, just don’t put any text on it at all.
And then as a headline, you have 25 characters to work with. That’s not very much. n the body, you can obviously put more characters than that. But just a few little things to keep in mind if you get shut down for having too much text, that’s probably why.
Christoph: All these rules to remember. I’m still thinking it’s never been more complicated than now with all these channels and more things to think about.
We are recording this in March 2019. So, if you’re listening to this in March 2020, as we already mentioned, things have probably changed. So, hop on this bandwagon, give it a try. If you need help, Andrew is here. You can reach out to him. You can reach out to me. We’ll have our contact info in the show notes.
And good luck with reaching your audiences, whether it’s Facebook, whether it’s organic, whether it’s email, we’ll cover all those topics as we move along.
But for today’s episode, I was excited and glad to see Andrew join me to share his research on Facebook ads.
Andrew: Yeah. Thanks for having me and I hope somebody pulls—even if it’s just a little nugget of information out of this—hope it’s useful to somebody.
Christoph: Yeah. You bet. Thanks everybody for listening.