Presented by Appness

With more than 2 billion monthly active users worldwide, there is no doubt that Facebook is a leading traffic source for all types of businesses. No wonder so many marketers consider Facebook Ads a great opportunity to attract more customers directly to their applications.

But of the over 70 million businesses registered on Facebook, only 5 million of them actively use advertising on Facebook to promote their products and services. This mean there’s a lot of room for market growth and development.

The progress of Facebook advertising is aligned to help companies succeed quickly in this emerging market. As Facebook regularly releases new features for advertisers (as in constantly), companies must be able to quickly adapt to new ad trends to stay ahead. For example, the carousel ad format significantly increased user engagement through a more interactive feed and improved ad performance compared to traditional single-image link ads. This allowed advertisers to considerably expand their prospective audiences.

As reported in the first Quarter 2017 Earnings Call, Facebook is currently investing heavily in video, looking to draw user attention away from television and other traditional media. They recently launched mid-roll video ads and now their efforts are focused specifically on virtual reality as a new ad-powered revenue stream. According to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook has developed new computer vision tools that can apply the style of a painting to a photo or video, which will help make the camera the first augmented reality (AR) platform. The goal is to give developers the power to build various AR tools into the camera so more people can experience it on their phones. Creating the first open camera platform is a huge step forward, and Facebook intends to keep pushing the AR envelope.

Facebook is also exploring the creation of its own original video content with commercial breaks, similar to TV shows. Another potential driver of sales growth on Facebook may come from the development of new features, such as sports broadcasts and music services.

According to the latest eMarketer research, in 2017 Facebook is expected to capture 20 percent of the digital advertising market in the U.S., and Facebook’s share in the display advertising market will grow to 39.1 percent. This trend is likely to continue in the foreseeable future, and we may indeed see a new digital revolution very soon, with Facebook advertising becoming an essential element of any financial structure.

Pay for quantity, pray for quality

Facebook is a powerful tool for driving traffic and can help any business convert this traffic into customers if used correctly. However, building an effective paid acquisition strategy may be a daunting challenge, since producing high-quality Facebook Ads requires knowledge, skills, and experience. Creating, structuring, and launching Facebook ad campaigns is a never-ending process. Moreover, it is always difficult to predict what kind of creative will strike a chord with the audience or when its potential will be exhausted. No matter how good they are, creatives need to be constantly monitored and updated, which takes a significant amount of time from media buyers and designers.

This presents an additional challenge especially for small and medium businesses. For SMBs, acquiring users on Facebook at the enterprise level is exceptionally difficult. As a rule, such businesses have little expertise in paid user acquisition, so they are forced to resort to external contractors, requiring significant effort and complicated arrangements. For their part, large advertising agencies are hesitant to work with SMBs, since this is not a high revenue generator for them. As a result, many advertisers consider driving Facebook traffic complicated and inefficient.

When it comes to effectiveness assessment, it is always difficult to get a precise picture of the sales funnel. Measurement is critical for every business. Marketers, whether using their own in-house media buying team or working with freelance media buyers, can hardly get detailed and accurate analysis regarding how much traffic eventually turned into customers. The number of impressions, clicks, or even downloads does not ensure subsequent purchases. This makes it impossible to objectively evaluate the results of an advertising campaign, and the entire process is like groping around in a dark room. Getting both quality and quantity there requires alternative payment models, providing the opportunity to mitigate possible risks from ineffective ad campaigns.

The next wave of advertising innovation

The best solution to the problem is to build an environment for transparent, secure, and flexible collaboration between mobile app advertisers and media buyers. Facilitating access to Facebook advertising tools would open up more possibilities for businesses to reap the benefits of Facebook’s resources. The more easily businesses can adopt new Facebook features, the more prospects they will find on Facebook, leading to more of them joining this growing network.

At Appness, we believe that all types of businesses can benefit from simplified access to the Facebook human cloud: freelance media buying talent and performance agencies ready to share their insights, local expertise, creatives, and more. To address these needs we have created a platform that provides enterprise-level media buying and management services even for SMBs, so that any advertising campaign can be tailored to the particular business needs. For advertisers, this means brand-safe technologies, access to the human cloud, full control over creatives, and the opportunity to pay for real business results. For their part, media buyers get access to direct Facebook offers, a creatives media library and useful tools for easy creating and scaling ad campaigns. This is a crucial step towards building a progressive advertising community and transparent collaboration with a win-win outcome.

According to Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook, their main goal currently is to build meaningful connections between businesses and people. From this we may conclude that the future of market development is in creating innovative products and platforms helping all kinds of businesses leverage the power of mobile outreach and streamline their Facebook activity.

To harness the full potential of Facebook mobile advertising, entrepreneurs must turn their attention to emerging technologies that simplify work flows and reduce risks by providing cost-effective and personalized advertising tools. As a result of integrating such solutions into marketing strategy, advertisers will boost their ROI, helping grow the Facebook Ads market and significantly changing the advertising landscape.

Mikhail Prytkov is Chief Operating Officer at Appness

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