Facebook has been one of the classic advertising channels for several years now: many advertisers choose the Facebook network because of its large reach at low prices, the measurability of the KPIs and the ease of reaching the right target audience.
Of course, the popularity of this channel also has its downside. There are no official figures, but it is guessed that a person is exposed to an advertisement 6,000 to 10,000 times a day, and many of these take place on the internet. So it does not have to be said that advertisers have to fight more and more for the attention of their potential customer. How do you stand out as a brand among the growing pool of advertisers? How do you make sure that social media users don’t scroll past your advertisement? The use of interactive ads can contribute to the solution.
Advertisements that explicitly call on the user to like the post or respond to it are automatically rejected by the Facebook Ad Policy. In order to increase engagement on advertisements, Facebook has developed three interactive ad formats: Poll ads, Augmented Reality ads and Playable Ads. In this article we will focus on the first two interactive ad formats.
1. Poll ads
Of the three interactive ad formats, Poll ads is the format that fits most business objectives. This means that you can ask a question to your target audience and that the user can indicate their answer. These answers are reported in the Facebook Business Manager. A poll ad can occur on two types of placements: the Facebook feed and Instagram stories.
- Facebook feed
To roll out a poll on the Facebook feed, you are required to use a video; it is not possible to add a poll to an image on the Facebook feed. A nice extra here: it is possible to add a landing page per answer.
- Instagram stories
A poll on Instagram story can be added to an image ad as well as to a video. Here, you don't have the possibility to add a landing page per poll option, but you can still use the general landing page that can be added to the ad.
Please note that poll ads cannot be used for the Facebook objective engagement.
Why poll ads?
In addition to generating engagement to build a stronger relationship with your target audience, the use of poll ads has other advantages. You can also gain insight into which content, products or services appeal most to your target audience.
5 out of 9 Brandlift studies show that poll ads contribute more to brand awareness than standard video ads. On the other hand, we also see that the cost per post engagement is 33% lower for a story with a poll than a story with the same objective.
How can you measure poll answers?
By clicking on "View charts" on the campaign in Business manager, you can see how many people you have reached with your campaign and how many people answered the poll. For each ad you can also view the result of the vote.
2. Augmented Reality ads
A creative way to let the user interact with your product or brand is to use augmented reality ads. Facebook tested this format with a limited group of advertisers and opened up the feature to everyone after positive results.
There are different types of Augmented Reality effects that you can use in your ad:
- People effects: a people effect uses face tracking to interact with the user's face and expression. The use of gesture tracking (only available on Facebook) takes it a step further and also allows the user to play with the effect by using his hands and body.
- World effects: with a world effect, objects are added to your environment or the objects in your environment are given a whole new background.
How to set up augmented reality ads?
An important requirement to get started with AR ads is the use of the Spark AR Studio. This is the official partner of Facebook when it comes to the use and creation of Augmented reality ads. Once your Facebook Business Manager is linked to the Spark AR Studio and the AR effect has been created, you can set up the campaign that will promote the AR effect.
- Facebook feed: this is the only placement where you can run official AR ads. The only Facebook objectives that support the use of Augmented Reality ads are Brand Awareness, Reach, Traffic and Conversion.
The campaign can be set up like any standard facebook campaign. After you have determined the audience, placement and budget, you can set up the AR ad yourself. To start with, you upload an image or video. Ideally, this is an image or video that shows the use of the filter. Add an Instant experience and select the AR template. Select the AR effect of your choice in the template and also fill in the website URL and Call to Action. Finally you can add a text overlay if desired.
- Instagram feed and stories: On Instagram you can't use the Instant Experience for Augmented Reality, which means you can't use the official format for AR ads on Instagram. However, a workaround can be to set up a regular campaign with an objective of your choice and set the link to the AR effect as a landing page. This will also lead the user to the AR effect on his camera. A disadvantage of using this workaround is that you cannot measure exactly how long the user has interacted with the AR filter or how many times the AR filter has been shared.
How can you measure the usage of your AR effect?
Facebook has two metrics to measure the use of the AR effect.
- Instant Experience View Time: the average time in seconds that people have viewed your AR instant experience, i.e. after the ad has been opened.
- Effect shares: the number of times someone shares a photo or video that has used the AR effect of your ad. Such a share can be a Facebook story or a post on the newsfeed.
Poll ads and AR ads are fun ways to make ads more interactive and catch the eye of your target audience. Please note, never put the use of interactive ad formats above your marketing objectives. Think about the use of these formats, this should fit within your marketing objectives and match the language you speak as a brand.
As there is no one-size-fits-all advice for this, we recommend testing the different formats and comparing them against your classic social campaigns.