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Marketers' Facebook, Inc. Ads Are Getting a Boost From Instagram

By Daniel Sparks - Mar 7, 2016 at 12:30PM

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Facebook marketers are getting their bang for their buck by scaling ad products beyond the native Facebook app.

Facebook (META 5.10%) isn't just Facebook. Other platforms owned by the social network include WhatsApp and Instagram, as well as the now-separated Messenger product. As these other platforms grow, Facebook marketers will be able to benefit from greater scale across multiple platforms simultaneously. Indeed, advertisers are already doing exactly this -- and it's working.

Tapping into Facebook's network effect
Facebook's (META 5.10%) greatest competitive advantage is probably the reach of its platform. With 1.59 billion monthly active users and and 1.04 billion daily active users, members benefit from an immense network effect, or the phenomenon in which the sheer number of users on the platform is, in and of itself, the most attractive aspect of the social network. Facebook's immense reach, therefore, is what keeps users around -- and it's what attracts new members.

But the social network's growing reach also benefits marketers on the platform. And what's particularly interesting about the value of Facebook's reach to marketers is that marketers can benefit from the combined scale of multiple social network's owned by Facebook, particularly the combined scale of Facebook and Instagram.

An advertisement extended from Facebook to Instagram. Image source: Facebook.

Tapping into the combined reach of both gives marketers a large audience of engaged users.

"Facebook and Instagram are two of the most popular mobile platforms," Facebook said in a bog post earlier this month. "In fact, one in five minutes on mobile is spent on Instagram or Facebook. That's more than the next 10 mobile platforms combined."

Since Facebook started running ads on Instagram last fall, marketers have jumped at the opportunity to scale their ad campaigns across both platforms. And it's been paying dividends.

Campaigns that ran across both Facebook and Instagram resulted in similar or better performance for website clicks, website conversions, video views and mobile app installs than those that ran on just one.

Facebook cited a few specific examples of ways marketers are benefiting from scaling their products across both Facebook and Instagram:

  • "MVMT Watches saw a 20% lower cost per conversion and cost per action when running ads across Facebook and Instagram.
  • "Kanui, a Brazilian men's lifestyle brand, ran a campaign to promote downloads of their mobile app. By adding Instagram to their Facebook ad set, they saw a similar cost per install, generating a 2.8x higher return on ad spend."
  • "UGO Wallet, a Canadian mobile wallet app, saw a 45% better cost per install on their joint Facebook and Instagram campaign versus previous campaigns running on Facebook alone."

Scaling beyond Facebook to Instagram is easy. To do so, marketers simply check the "Instagram" box under the ad set's Placement section from within Facebook's Ads Manager.

Facebook's growing scale benefits marketers beyond the additional reach provided by extending products from Facebook to Instagram. The company's Atlas platform is designed to enable marketers to use Facebook data to advertise on websites beyond Facebook.

Atlas not only scales Facebook targeting beyond Facebook, but it helps marketers make sense of the return on investment from ad spend. Image source: Atlas.

Scale will only improve
In addition to an expected continuing integration of Facebook ads for Instagram, marketer goals will likely be increasingly scalable across other Facebook platforms, too.

While Facebook likely won't run blatant advertisements in Messenger and WhatsApp -- two of its other social products -- the company could introduce ways within its messaging products for businesses to easily follow up with leads and communicate with customer connections that were initially made with Facebook and Instagram ad units. This would further extend the power of ads on Facebook and Instagram.

The overarching success marketers appear to be witnessing as they scale their ad products across Facebook and Instagram bodes well for the company's continuing integration of ad products across multiple platforms.

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