Targeting retailers, Facebook has launched new advertiser options to aid in product discovery. More product information can now be packed into ads, essentially turning them into dynamic catalogs, and new household targeting campaigns let marketers reach entire families – for instance, noting products that teenagers are interested in, then sending ads to their parents around Christmas. Despite Facebook’s recent series of disclosures about inaccurate metrics, such products have become crucial for brands hoping to reach consumers.
Facebook users spend 35 minutes a day on the platform, or 14% of their total time online, making it one of the most important places to engage potential shoppers. Besides Google, Facebook is the largest source of referral traffic for retail brands. The platform generates 3.1% of incoming traffic to retailer sites, more than email or display advertising, according to L2’s Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail.
While brands could once hope to reach those users organically, ad products like those launched this week are increasingly necessary. Engagement with retailers’ organic posts declined significantly between 2015 and 2016, according to L2’s study. Moreover, just ten brands accounted for nearly half of that engagement, with Sephora alone garnering 8.7% of likes, shares, and comments during the study period. If brands want to target Facebook users, they can no longer do so for free.