What are the key trends in Facebook Advertising we should look out and prepare for in 2019?

Here’s my take.

Rising ad costs

I think I can confidently predict Facebook Ad costs rising, with Facebook in trouble yet again due to the big data hack publicised recently, and the potential of a fine costing them over $1 billion. It’s not too much of a stretch to see Cost Per Click rising slowly but surely to help pay that little fine off.

Ad fatigue and information security

Speaking of the Facebook hack, Facebook and other digital brands have some work to do in building trust again with their users. Facebook in particular has hardly been out of the news in 2018 for various reasons, whether that’s Mark Zuckerberg giving testimony to Congress in April, the Cambridge Analytica scandal or the news that our phone numbers we gave as part of the 2 factor authentication process to improve security are in fact being given to third parties as data. People are becoming wise to the fact that they need to know where their data is being shared, and more anxious about brands and their use of the data. For brands, transparency and an increased effort at building a connection is needed to help build trust, and trust is key for a good buying experience.

Not only are we becoming more aware of the need for information security, or infosec as it is becoming known, but we are also becoming weary of being followed around the internet being targeted for ads. We’ve all noticed that we’ve shown an interest in a product online and then seen an ad pop up for it on our screens. Consumers are showing signs of ‘ad fatigue’ and marketers should be aware of this and within the Facebook Ad space for example, keep an eye on the frequency for ads.

As a consumer myself, I am targeted almost daily by a couple of well-known marketers but if I haven’t bought after let’s say the first 5 times of seeing the ad, I’m not going to buy. And if you show it to me every day you’re just going to annoy me so much that I will NEVER buy from you.  Those ads should be rested after a certain frequency and not run again until a period of time has elapsed to stop the viewer being fatigued by them. This is good practice anyway and shouldn’t need to be in a 2019 trends article, but it seems it does.

Some healthy competition for the ‘duopoly’

Facebook and Google are known as a ‘duopoly’ in the advertising world, but competition is on its way – AT & T’s new advertising and analytics department Xandr is said to be offering a ‘community garden’ so that users can keep their privacy but advertisers can also receive ‘anonymised’ data on them. Nobody else has managed to knock Facebook off their perch though, and I don’t think I would risk my money on this one either, but there is a significant spend going into it.

Amazon is also making significant efforts to increase its ad revenue and due to it’s huge database of exclusive information on its customers it is in a very good position to do so. Amazon is even reportedly considering building it’s own ad server which would put it into competition with Google, and given its TV and entertainment aspirations this could be directly linked to Connected TV which might actually give it an advantage over Google.

In the second Quarter of 2018 Amazon’s ad revenue grew by an astonishing 129% to take it over $2 billion and that figure looks set to rise to $5 billion by the end of Q4 this year. I wouldn’t like to be the one predicting their Q4 results for 2019!

The rise and rise of the Internet of Things

2019 will bring ever more dividends for Facebook Marketers in the form of more and more data generated by the Internet of Things. CISCO predicts that by 2020 over 1 trillion GB of data will be generated every year by the Internet of Things. This data, when analysed, will allow marketers to better understand consumer behaviour such as:

📌How consumers feel about different choices they have between products, brands and retailers

📌How consumers research and shop

📌The reason why consumers make their selection from the different choices available

📌What influences consumer behaviour – is it their family and friends, what they see on social media or on TV?

📌How advertising can influence them given an analysis of all this data

Blockchain

The Wikipedia definition of Blockchain states that:

“A blockchain is a growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked using cryptography. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data. By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of the data.”

It might not be very popular in all circles but I can’t ignore the rise and rise (with the odd fall thanks to its controversial cousin Bitcoin!) of blockchain technology. When giant IBM joins up with MediaOcean to launch a blockchain pilot for media deals you know it’s getting serious. The pilot should lead to a beta test in 2019 which if successful would introduce a system to enable much more transparency about costings and should make it easier to calculate ROI (Return on Investment) for ads.

Bidooh is also fundraising to build a global digital advertising platform using blockchain technology.

Video. Again.

Yes I know you’ve heard it before. Video will be taking over the world by 2020.

Well I can’t deny video’s potency as a supreme form of digital storytelling and its capacity for increasing customer conversions, but I don’t agree with some of the high figures we’ve seen quoted. Not everyone likes consuming video content, especially long-form video content. So I’m confident other forms of content will continue to be important. The fact remains though, if your business isn’t using video as part of your content strategy, it should be. Yesterday.

The latest EMarketer report showed double digit growth since last year and predicted to stay that way – 2019 should see over half of video ad spend being on digital. The same report predicts 250 million people watching social video ads in 2022.

Digital marketing’s share of the advertising pie

Digital advertising is expected to rise to a 54% share of the market by 2020, so 2019 will see its share increasing from current rates. Print advertising is only expected to take a 4% share of the market. If your business is still spending a lot on print advertising it might be time to make the switch.

VR and AR – could 2019 finally be their year?

It feels like we’ve been being promised the explosion of VR and AR for a few years now, but 2019 could be the year it does start to make a difference. With the erosion of brand trust I’ve talked about, and the saturation of some forms of content marketing, the use of VR and AR in short form immersive story-telling could be the must-have viral content of 2019 (said with tongue firmly in-cheek because if anyone ever tells you they can guarantee your content will go viral they are being economical with the truth).

VR, 3D and 360 video are already showing that they can be a stunning experience on a small screen, and they can help bring a story to life. If they can be utilised on a realistic budget for smaller businesses they can serve as a means to help create trust in your brand – well worth the investment.

What does the Facebook Ad agency of the future look like?

I’m a little biased of course, but I believe the days of the bloated digital agency commanding huge fees and farming out the work to unqualified and inexperienced employees or freelancers are coming to an end. There are a quite stunning amount of agencies out there who quite simply don’t understand how to run Facebook Ads in an optimal way. Businesses deserve experienced and knowledgeable Facebook marketers they can put their trust in, and I’d like to put forward the Collective agency as an excellent model for this.  I work with other Facebook marketers I know can provide as high a standard of service as I can, and I work with them as Associates so that they are being paid the fees they deserve for their knowledge, experience and training.

At the moment, all of these associates are women, which syncs nicely into the whole feel of 2018 for me, and power changes which have started to happen since the #metoo movement, over all aspects of business. Long may it continue, it has been long enough coming. But male associates are very welcome to join us if you share the same talent, experience and aspirations for change.