For advertisers, Facebook evolved a lot this year. In 2017, the site released countless new features, ad types and reporting capabilities, and it has even changed the very tools we manage our ads with.

As we approach the new year, we spoke with a panel of the leading Facebook advertising experts to discuss the role of Facebook in retail for 2018.

Meet the Experts: The 2018 Facebook Roundtable

We collected predictions from our own experts as well as industry professionals including:

  • Sarah Rogers, Manager, Performance Social at CPC Strategy
  • Peter Messmer, Director of Growth and Strategy at AddShoppers
  • Savannah Montgomery, Social Marketing Coordinator at CPC Strategy
  • Devin Fitzpatrick, Founder and President of CDF Consulting
  • Jenny Broekemeier, Social Marketing Manager at CPC Strategy
  •  Jenny Stiles, Social Marketing Coordinator at CPC Strategy
  • Guy Rozman, Paid Acquisition Director, at Yotpo
  • Casey Edwards, Social Marketing Manager at CPC Strategy
  • Brent Villiott, Social Marketing Manager at CPC Strategy

 


15 Facebook Trends Predicted to Shape 2018:

1. Influencer Marketing Will Continue to Rise on Facebook

Following March’s update and crackdown around influencers and the need to be more transparent with their followers surrounding branded partnerships and sponsored content, Facebook recently introduced a new update which allows marketers to amplify content that their brands are tagged in and authorize which creators are allowed to do so.

The recent changes will help brands execute more effective influencer campaigns by enhancing targeting and reach capabilities.

Prior to the update, influencer created content was contained to the specific influencer’s network, and brands only had the ability to repurpose that content for their own channels.

Now, brands have the option of scaling the reach of influencer-generated content directly to their target audiences.

– Brent Villiott, Social Marketing Manager at CPC Strategy

2. Shift Towards Intent-based Segments

The main trend we expect to see in 2018 is the shift towards intent-based segments by advertisers.

Over the past few years, we’ve witnessed the rise of activity-based segments (eg, dynamic product ads: you looked at this product, so we’ll show that same product to you in an ad), but that really only solved one-half of the equation.

– Peter Messmer, Director of Growth and Strategy at AddShoppers

Peter Messmer, Director Growth at AddShoppers

3. Push for Facebook Messenger

Facebook is coming for email marketing. Advertising on that platform will get more prominent this year as Facebook expands ad placements and advertisers begin shifting attention and dollars.

– Sarah Rogers, Manager, Performance Social at CPC Strategy

I agree that Facebook Messenger is definitely becoming a more widely used advertising platform and Facebook is pushing this super hard right now and is continuing to add messenger placements (Messenger Home, Messenger Sponsored Messages. Currently, they are testing a direct messaging app for Instagram which could potentially be a new ad placement in the future.

– Savannah Montgomery, Social Marketing Coordinator at CPC Strategy

business-messenger-facebook

4. Authentic & Trustworthy Narratives

As the Facebook advertising arena becomes extraordinarily competitive for consumer attention, authentic messages will prevail.

The use of customer testimonials, influencer content and employee advocacy will continue to be the most engaging, comprehensive and relatable way to tell a brand’s story to consumers.

– Guy Rozman, Paid Acquisition Director, at Yotpo

Guy Rozman, Paid Acquisition Director, at Yotpo

5. Greater Focus on Omnichannel

Facebook is trying to bridge the gap between online and in store with new capabilities like creating custom audiences from physical retail locations. Still a long way to go here but it will be really interesting to watch how this continues to develop.

Casey Edwards, Social Marketing Manager at CPC Strategy

6. Determining Buying Intent

With a real-time scoring & segmentation algorithm, determining intent is now possible.

If two visitors look at the same product, but one of them has very strong purchase intent and the other has minimal purchase intent, should you show them the same ads? Sophisticated advertisers don’t think so — and that’s why we think this is going to become a trend as we move into 2018.

This will cause retargeting budgets to narrow by focusing on high purchasing intent and return more budget to top of funnel marketing to raise brand awareness.

– Peter Messmer, Director of Growth and Strategy at AddShoppers

7. Expanding Facebook Analytics

Facebook is already making strides in trying to solve the omni-channel analytics question. They’ll begin pushing their analytics abilities much harder in 2018.

– Sarah Rogers, Manager, Performance Social at CPC Strategy

facebook audience network

Sarah Rogers, Manager, Performance Social at CPC Strategy

To get more advertising budgets, Facebook will have to prove its value, especially for prospecting. Right now, there isn’t a great way to show which people view/click a prospecting ad but then convert after viewing/clicking a dynamic ad, so prospecting almost always looks bad from a return standpoint.

– Jenny Broekemeier, Social Marketing Manager at CPC Strategy

facebook analytics

8. Exceptional Video Content

In 2018, we will see more and more clear, concise videos that are laser-focused and compatible with the Facebook newsfeed and Instagram story experience.

Videos that work best in ads will continue to be attention-grabbing (with snappy copy to match), deliver value within the first 3 seconds, and work just as well without sound.

– Guy Rozman, Paid Acquisition Director, at Yotpo

9. Vertical Video Will Continue to Dominate

Prior to Instagram stories launching, using vertical video as a form of advertising was really only relevant to those who planned on advertising on Snapchat.

But within the past year, the landscape has shifted, and vertical video has become one of the most important assets available to advertisers.

With the rise in popularity of Instagram Stories, and the recent announcement of a Instagram’s direct messaging app, creating and leveraging vertical video assets will become increasingly more important for brands who want to appear in those premium places.

– Brent Villiott, Social Marketing Manager at CPC Strategy

facebook video ads

10. New Engagement Audiences

Facebook is rolling out new custom audiences from engagement metrics like dwell time, link sharing, etc.

These audiences may not be as valuable as your CRM list in terms of direct revenue, but for marketers looking to expand on their re-targeting, these types of audiences can be really great to reach people who may have interacted with your ads but not clicked through to the site and require some additional nurturing.

Casey Edwards, Social Marketing Manager at CPC Strategy

casey lead ads on facebook

Casey Edwards, Social Marketing Manager at CPC Strategy

11. More Interactive Virtual Experience in Ads

I think as time goes on the Canvas ad will become more interactive and more of a virtual experience than it already is.

When at Facebook Blueprints earlier this year, they emphasized how Canvas ads are becoming a more brand-focused experience where consumers can interact with brands on a more interactive level.

So far, I think that Canvas ads are a somewhat interactive experience but as virtual realities become more prominent, I think ads will continue to evolve in this direction as well.

– Jenny Stiles, Social Marketing Coordinator at CPC Strategy

facebook canvas ads

12. Highly-optimized Automation

The future of Facebook advertising is increasingly automated. With auto-creation of lookalike audiences, conversion optimization bidding, and dynamic ad creative optimization all in full swing, it’s automation optimization is only going to grow.

It’s easier than ever to run campaigns and achieve specific results, as long as your business goals align with the data you have on Facebook.

– Guy Rozman, Paid Acquisition Director, at Yotpo

facebook value based lookalike audiences

13. Focus on Personalization/Relevance

Since people are becoming increasingly “ad blind”, advertisers will need to find ways to improve targeting to deliver more personalized ads.

Facebook will likely help out by adding additional targeting segments outside of broad interest/behavior categories.

– Jenny Broekemeier, Social Marketing Manager at CPC Strategy

14. More Accessibility to Instagram Advertising Placements

Instagram stories have been pushed as the up and coming advertisement placement so I can see Facebook coming up with ways to make it a lot easier to convert videos to this video ratio.

– Jenny Stiles, Social Marketing Coordinator at CPC Strategy

ads in instagram stories

15. Facebook Will be the Biggest Social Investment for Retailers

In 2018, we’ll see a minimum increase of 15% of total spend in a brand’s marketing budget for Facebook ads.

 There is no other platform that a brand can use online to find the right audience, capture that audience and expose them to the brand and convert. Facebook is one of the most cost efficient ways to advertise and acquire and retain your customers–all 2 billion monthly users.

If you are not advertising on Facebook, then you must in 2018 and allocate at least 10-15% of marketing budget to that channel.

– Devin Fitzpatrick, Founder and President of CDF Consulting

For more on Facebook advertising predictions, email tara@cpcstrategy.com

 

How Facebook Users Engage With Your Ads

The Facebook Consumer Survey 2017
 

About the AuthorTara graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Journalism / Business. Her passion for creative publishing and quality reporting landed her work opportunities at several companies in Massachusetts, New York and California. She is a leading voice behind CPC Strategy’s Blog. See all posts by this author here.