The Audience Network is a way to extend the reach for advertisers into third-party mobile apps. In early October, Facebook made the Audience Network available to more Marketers worldwide. This announcement not only makes the Audience Network widely available, but it expands the types of ads available to those utilizing Audience Network. While the original proposal offered app install and app engagement ads, the global launch brought link ads into the picture, which means that any advertiser can use the network to drive traffic to its mobile website.
So why is this a big deal? Mobile inventory is in hot demand and Facebook is rapidly becoming a prominent player in the mobile advertising space, competing against Google’s AdMob, Twitter’s MoPub and more recently Yahoo Gemini for advertising dollars. Google is a clear leader in the mobile ad market. But accordingly to eMarketer, Facebook had the largest share of mobile display ad dollars in 2013, as News Feed proved to be a success for many advertisers in driving brand and direct response objectives.
Facebook’s mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 66% of advertising revenue, or $2.13 billion, for the third quarter of 2014, up from approximately 49% of advertising revenue in the third quarter of 2013. The Audience Network reinforces Facebook’s seriousness in further growing the mobile market. And it’s now looking beyond their walled garden as a way to provide more audience reach for advertisers.
Here are just some of the publishers and developers on the Audience Network who have been delivering great results for advertisers so far.
The Audience Network offers three ad formats for your creative: banner, interstitial, and native. The same creative you already use for your mobile app ads on Facebook can also be used for the Audience Network, making the implementation easy.
Facebook Audience Network Creative Type
Advertisers can also use the same sophisticated targeting options they know from their existing Facebook advertising campaigns, such as demographics, interests, Custom Audiences, or lookalike audiences. These advanced targeting possibilities make the Audience Network stand out from other existing ad networks. Retailers may show a mobile app ad in a third-party app to someone who has not yet installed the app (exclusion targeting), has visited the website on their desktop (website custom audience targeting), and is an active online shopper (interest targeting).
As an early partner, Adobe has been able to utilize this new advertising feature with select clients who have been extensively using News Feed placement to deliver direct response objectives. The objective for two of these clients in the Retail and Travel vertical, were to further extend audience reach beyond existing app install activity while maintaining cost-efficiencies per app install. For the third, a Gaming client, their objective was to drive incremental online acquisitions beyond while keeping cost per acquisition within target that was delivered by historical News Feed activity. This client receives a large volume of online acquisitions via mobile, so the Audience Network made sense for them.
Facebook Audience Network results on Adobe Media Optimizer
Performance results from Adobe Media Optimizer, sampling clients using the Audience Network, saw 17 percent of the impressions coming from the Audience Network for the Travel client, and 14% for the Gaming client. The Retail client saw 2 percent of impressions coming from Audience Network.
In terms of cost-efficiencies, there was a 63 percent lower cost per install (CPI) for the Travel client and a 44 percent lower CPI for the Retail client after the targeting was also extended into the Audience Network. The Gaming client achieved a cost per acquisition that was 14% lower when using the new link ads on the Audience Network. The fact that these customers were able to deliver additional scale beyond news feed and at least maintain cost-efficiencies delivered by news feed was a great outcome.
Some customers may experience a lower range delivery on the Audience Network today. Even with a 2% impression share, achieving a much lower cost per install or acquisition with such ease of implementation makes it a worthwhile reason to experiment and compliment news feed activity.
As Facebook continues building out the Audience Network, we anticipate seeing higher volume over time with increasing demand from advertisers, especially as more participate and realize that getting additional scale through extended audience reach is easy to execute. The ability to leverage the same targeting options on Facebook in an external environment is gold. Hopefully more and more publishers will make inventory available in their apps as a way to monetize, knowing there will be a growing appetite out there from advertisers.
Given the strong performance results Adobe has seen from our customers since the global launch, advertisers should test the Audience Network as a way to further scale their Facebook campaigns to compliment news feed activity. The arrival of link ads is fantastic news for direct response marketers, as not everyone will have a mobile app to promote. With the same targeting available it is likely advertiser will also see some efficiency gains too. Facebook’s News Feed inventory will continue to be top real estate, so it will be interesting to see how third party mobile app inventory grows over time to keep up with future demand.
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