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Why we care about adtech: The complete guide



Why we care about adtech: The complete guide

The boom for marketing technology has not left behind advertising technology, or adtech, but the digital acceleration wrought by the COVID pandemic has sped things up more. In fact, between the third quarter of 2020 and the third quarter of 2021, there was a 125% increase in M&A activity for adtech platforms, including several high-profile deals in 2021 like Mediaocean’s acquisition of Flashtalking for $500 million and AdTheorent’s $1 billion SPAC deal to go public.

Advertisers are willing to invest in adtech for its ability to attract a target audience and generate strong insights. But, there is another reason marketers are taking a fresh look at these technologies.

The pending loss of third-party cookies means contextual advertising will become more important than in the past and adtech is essential to marketers who are looking for ways to access customers through contextual data.

Adtech also gives marketers incredible reach since it connects them to all media. These technologies are especially powerful as most media transforms to digital or digital-first.

This guide is meant to give marketers a comprehensive overview of not only what adtech is, but how it is evolving and shaping the future of marketing. We’ll cover:

Estimated reading time: 14 minutes

What is adtech?

Advertising technology describes the software and the tools used by advertisers to deliver targeted digital ads to consumers. Adtech aims to create data-driven marketing strategies tailored to match the target audience’s preferences. It streamlines the increasingly complex processes of buying and selling digital advertisements and enables brands to make the best use of their budget, maximizing their ROI.

Adtech includes various tools and technologies that help advertisers, agencies, and brands achieve greater efficiency, targeted reach, and real-time analysis and optimization. It can help marketers improve omnichannel engagement by targeting customers across many channels. What’s more, adtech may encompass programmatic technologies that use automation to enhance the media buying process.

Ultimately, adtech is a set of technologies and platforms brands and agencies can use to optimize their advertising operations. Successful campaigns use it to glean actionable data and send audiences the most relevant ads.

The components of adtech

Advertising technology is relatively straightforward, but there are a few key components that show why it’s a great asset for brands.

Programmatic ad-buying

Adtech uses programmatic ad buying to increase the efficiency and reach of digital advertising. At its core, programmatic ad buying is software-driven technology that seeks to automate all or parts of the ad buying process that were previously done manually. This has two benefits:

  • Ad buying efficiency: Programmatic advertising improves the speed and scale of the ad buying process. This speed cannot be achieved manually. 
  • Ad targeting relevancy: Programmatic advertising allows advertisers to embed large amounts of data from multiple sources. This leads to users seeing more relevant ads based on their psychographic, demographic, and behavioral patterns. As users see more relevant ads, click-through rates improve, leading to a better ROI.

Programmatic ad-buying makes decisions regarding the placement and buying of ads using AI and real-time bidding (RTB) for online display, mobile, and video campaigns.

Programmatic ad-buying makes it easier to target your ideal audience since you’re essentially buying ad space that reaches a focused demographic instead of purchasing a prime time TV spot and hoping your target market is watching. Programmatic ad-buying also gives companies a unique and real-time insight into the reach of their advertisements. So, in turn, it ensures efficient spending and improves branding.

Finally, programmatic branding is often cheaper than traditional alternatives and is a good ground for experimentation. For example, you could use YouTube ads to test their effectiveness and use the results to help you decide which ads to air on TV.

Unfortunately, programmatic advertising is still susceptible to a fair share of fraud. Ad fraud typically refers to the following:

  • The presence of non-human traffic, which can range from simple to sophisticated bots to even entirely botnet servers.
  • Zero percent viewability caused by invisible ads, arbitrage, domain spoofing, site bundling, click farms, etc.
  • Intentionally misrepresented ads.

The open nature of programmatic advertising may, unfortunately, allow bad-faith actors to defile and actively cheat the system. Since anyone can offer or buy an ad, it runs the risk of fraud, which these bad-faith actors get away with since ad fraud laws are yet murky in many countries.

John Wanamaker quote on advertising

Demand and supply-side platforms

Adtech comprises two primary platforms: demand and supply-side. While demand-side platforms (DSPs) are used by digital advertising buyers to manage programmatic ad buying, supply-side platforms (SSPs) are used by publishers to sell digital ads in online auctions.

demand and supply side platform process in adtech

Demand-side platforms. DSPs automate the ad-buying process by deciding how much to bid on an ad impression in real-time. This decision is made the instant an ad impression is available on a publisher’s website or app, depending on the advertiser’s requirements. DSPs often use the outcomes of ad clicks, such as ROI and cost per acquisition, to ensure ad campaigns are optimized.

They reduce the need for constant back and forth communication between advertisers and publishers, increasing the efficiency of the ad buying process. DSPs analyze the best ad impressions as well as the price at which they should be bought through real-time bidding (RTB). This entire process takes just a few milliseconds.

If you are confused about the differences between DSPs and Google’s AdWords, here are a few key differentiators:

  • The extent of their reach: DSPs can reach over 15 billion impressions a day, a number that AdWords does not come close to. 
  • Targeting options: The targeting ability of DSPs is more advanced than AdWords due to real-time bidding.
  • Data freshness and granularity: Advertisers can check the performance of their campaigns better through DSPs.
  • Pricing: The pricing mechanism is different. AdWords functions on a CPC model.
  • Accessibility: While DSPs are difficult to use for most companies because of the high monthly minimums, AdWords is relatively easier because of the ease of use and the CPC (cost per click) model.

Some of the major players in the DSP market are XandrAudienceScienceMediaMath, and LiveRamp. Some companies also have agency trading desks (ATDs), which in essence act as in-house DSPs.

Supply-side platforms. Supply-side platforms (SSP), or yield-optimizing platforms, are mainly used by digital publishers to manage the sale of their advertising supply while maximizing prices. SSPs are similar to their demand-side counterparts, but instead, they are designed for publishers to sell ad impressions at the highest CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions).

SSPs operate by opening up publishers’ inventories to bidding from advertisers on ad exchanges and ad networks. The core principle is to drive up prices of ad impressions by inviting a large number of bidders. This ultimately yields higher CPMs.

By automating the process of selling ads, SSPs increase the functional efficiency of the process in two ways. Firstly, they cut out the need for traditional back-and-forth negotiations between publishers and advertisers, making the process faster and cheaper. And secondly, they allow publishers to use a large amount of data that isn’t available in the manual buying process.

While many SSPs have amassed publishers whose inventories they manage and sell (effectively acting as an ad exchange), they are not the same as ad exchanges. For example, SSPs often connect to multiple ad exchanges, ad networks, and DSPs. They also grant publishers the ability to set price floors on some bids or make some inventory exclusive to specific buyers.

How is adtech changing the marketing landscape?

Some argue that advertising, and adtech by extension, refer to purchasing media for exposure to potential customers. On the other hand, marketing implies the communication of products and services with identifiable prospects and consumers. In other words, adtech is for media buys, and martech is for customer personalization.

But consumers don’t distinguish between adtech and martech. Most users interact with brands across multiple touchpoints and prefer to receive a seamless, coherent brand message across all platforms. It, therefore, makes sense for advertising and marketing teams to join forces. For example, businesses could use CRM data to promote brand awareness campaigns or personalize websites using adtech data management platforms or DMPs.

The unique insight into customer data provided by martech stacks can be used in adtech through email address, physical address, IP address, or UDID to reach customers at the right time. The issue is that this data is often separated from the adtech stack due to department silos — a remnant of non-digital media. But, with increasing privacy concerns, marketers will have to develop more people-centric solutions to get buy-in.

People-centric marketing

People-centric marketing combines adtech and marketing technology and can reach potential customers by integrating their individual preferences and past behavior into advertisements. This strategy seeks to optimize sales and increases the chances of eliciting a positive response from customers.

This data-driven approach aims to foster brand loyalty among existing customers while also appealing to new ones. However, this is possible only if the marketing strategy adopted by the brand focuses on utilizing data to reach their customers rather than opting for more traditional approaches.

Improving addressability and eliminating silos

Addressable advertising refers to the advertising that links individual consumers with brands across multiple online channels, social media, OTT, etc. This is a direct outcome of the personalization of ad content – since consumers are used to ads being specifically targeted at them, anything that falls short of this metric will be rendered ineffective.

Advertisers could provide their ad agencies or in-house DSPs with more accurate measures of their inventory and programs. In combination with programmatic ad-buying, the outcome would be genuinely addressable impressions that could eventually generate revenue and sales.

Adtech can create people-centric marketing platforms by utilizing individual and household data about demographics, purchase history, digital engagement, and other attributes like consumption of media. This can link the brand’s existing customer data, third-party data, and ad platform user data to create a people-centric strategy for advertising. The retargeting and engagement potential of such a combination can transform campaigns.

The challenges of adtech

Despite being the next big thing in marketing and having shown incredible ROI, one of the main reasons brands have chosen to stay distant from adtech in the past is monopolization. Google and Facebook retain their positions as the dominant forces in the adtech sector.

Both Google and Facebook have taken a massive lead in adtech by amassing vast amounts of data. And while the cost of advertising on Facebook fell during the pandemic, it has begun rapidly rising again. Facebook also faced criticism due to allegedly misrepresenting data to make their ad spots seem more lucrative to brands.

But no company can match Google in their acquisition of user data. It controls a large number of ad platforms and marketplaces for ad transactions, including YouTube. And Meta isn’t far behind.

The result is that many advertisers are compelled to make deals with Google and other large advertisers due to the lack of viable alternatives.

The death of the third-party cookie

For many decades now, marketers have relied on third-party cookies to track and store consumer data online. In 2019, Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) and Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) started blocking third-party cookies by default. In the same year, Google Chrome offered users the ability to block cookies on websites they visit. While Google’s initial plan was to deprecate cookies by 2022, they have recently updated their plans to phase out cookies by 2023.

Google is the leading collector of user data. Users’ information is tracked any time they watch a video, browse through posts online, or even casually surf the web. Given Google’s dominance in the advertising market and control of over 63% of the browser market, their optional version of the ITP will surely spell death for third-party cookies.

Since this transition could put them under fire from antitrust laws, Google has been cautious in marketing their version of the ITP as a privacy benefit to users. Engineering VP Prabhakar Raghavan explained this shift in a blog post: “Our experience shows that people prefer ads that are personalized to their needs and interests—but only if those ads offer transparency, choice, and control.”

So, what happens in the absence of third-party cookies?

Contextual ad targeting

GDPR, CCPA, and other data privacy regulations spell the end of behavioral audience targeting, leaving many marketers searching for alternatives. Enter contextual ad targeting, an advertising method that uses the digital content audiences experience to serve up relevant ads.

Contextual advertising isn’t a new concept, but new machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) capabilities have opened up new opportunities. GumGum, a contextual advertising company, and SPARK Neuro, a neuroanalytics company, performed a study on just how effective this process can be. Using biometric sensors to monitor participants’ brain activity while viewing articles with ads related to the content, the study found that these ads generated 43% more neural engagement and 2.2 times better ad recall.

It should be noted that contextual advertising isn’t just about providing relevant ad content – marketers should consider which types of ads will perform best based on device, time, location, and other factors. Identity resolution technology can help ensure the insights gained from audiences are accurate and actionable, allowing for greater ad contextualization and personalization.

Identity resolution is not only critical to marketing success but is essential for compliance with consumer privacy laws such as CCPA and GDPR. Explore the platforms essential to identity resolution in the latest edition of this MarTech Intelligence Report.

Click here to download!

First-party cookies

First-party cookies have been essential to the web-browsing experience for a while now. They are codes generated and stored on a brand’s website whenever a user visits the site. First-party cookies are often essential to a user’s web browsing experience.

First-party cookies are used to remember passwords, basic information, and preferences. They are paramount to most e-commerce websites; for example, when users save an item in their cart on Amazon, they expect to see the same cart upon logging back in. However, in the absence of first-party cookies, the cart would be refreshed and empty every time they visit Amazon.

The deprecation of the cookie refers solely to the third-party cookies, leaving first-part cookies as a means of collecting user information relatively untouched. This allows marketers to continue accessing and storing user information and use it in their ads.

Consent management platforms

Consent management platforms (CMPs) will still be relevant in the marketing sphere, with a greater emphasis on user consent and privacy. It has been seen that customers who restrict the information they share with brands show better ROI for advertisers.

The demise of cookies does not mean a lack of user data collection. As Zack Meszaros, marketing privacy engineer at OneTrust PreferenceChoice, says: “It’s [the death of cookies] not equal to the death of us collecting information … some of that first- and zero-party data we get could still be shared with third parties.”

CMPs allow marketers to build proprietary data sets from information that consumers have consented to part with. Clearly, data collection will continue even if it isn’t in the third-party format.

What is the future of adtech?

The consolidation of marketing technology with adtech holds immense potential. Advertising is an extremely dynamic industry, and constantly adapting to the times is the only way for marketers to survive and thrive.

Personalized ads make all the difference and are an integral part of the customer journey. But, to ensure this messaging resonates with audiences, brands must rely on technologies that deliver actionable first-party customer data and insights. We believe adtech tools and platforms will continue to adopt greater privacy compliance and data consolidation functionalities to help brands connect with their target markets. In fact, we already see the big tech brands moving in this direction.

The data-driven, customer-centric approach of adtech is the future of advertising. It leads to more relevant ads for the users and better ROI for advertisers — a big win-win scenario for all!

Ways to learn more about adtech

The adtech landscape is in a state of constant flux. The increasing privacy concerns, coupled with advancing digital technologies, means marketers need to be aware of the assets available to keep their campaigns going strong.

Here are some helpful adtech resources to help you choose the best solution for your organization:

If you have any other questions regarding adtech and the digital advertising landscape as a whole, we encourage you to explore our resource library.

About The Author

Akshat Biyani is a Contributing Editor to MarTech, a former analyst who has a strong interest in writing about technology and its effect on marketing.

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2023 Facebook Algorithm Guide: Overview & Best Practices



2023 Facebook Algorithm Guide: Overview & Best Practices

Every month, 2.7 billion people use Facebook, Meta’s globe-dominating social network. For marketers, this is an un-ignorable audience. However, reaching that audience isn’t always easy – to get content in front of a relevant user, they need to make the Facebook algorithm work in their favor.

Unfortunately, the algorithm can feel very mysterious. Why do some posts go viral with engagement while others wither and disappear without so much as a few courtesy likes?

The good news is that while the technical rules governing Facebook’s algorithm may be in a black box, there are plenty of guidelines and common-sense tips that can help ensure your content gets prioritized and seen. Facebook has published many explainers and tutorials over the past few years to break down how its algorithm ranks and distributes content to users’ Feeds.

Here’s how Facebook’s algorithm works in 2023 with ten expert tips on increasing the impact, performance and lifecycle of your Facebook content.

Table of Contents


  • What is the Facebook Algorithm?
  • A Recent History of the Facebook Algorithm 
  • How the Facebook Algorithm Works in 2023
  • 10 Best Practices for Working with Facebook’s Algorithm
  • Final Takeaway


What is the Facebook Algorithm?

The Facebook algorithm is the set of rules and formulas that determine what content users see in their Feeds. Its goal is to make the posts that “matter most to the user” highly visible to that user. To do this, it analyzes each piece of content eligible to be displayed and ranks them according to a set of criteria.

As Facebook explains, the algorithm is actually “not just one single algorithm; it’s multiple layers of [machine learning] models and rankings that we apply to predict the most relevant and meaningful content for each user.”

If that sounds complex, that’s because of the sheer volume of content on the Facebook platform. There are over 2 billion Facebook users and trillions of posts they can see; the algorithm needs to be sophisticated to sort through all that content in an instant between launching the Facebook application and the population of each user’s Feed. 


A Recent History of the Facebook Algorithm


Since 2017, Facebook has been increasingly transparent about significant changes in how it ranks and distributes content. That also means the algorithm is constantly evolving. In general, those updates have favored user input, posts friends and family over publishers, and content personalized to a user’s interests… all geared toward generating more “meaningful interactions.”  These updates include:


  • Meaningful Interactions Update (2018) – This update signaled that the algorithm would predict which posts a user might want to interact with their friends about and show these posts higher in Feed. These posts inspire discussion in the comments and posts that users might want to share and react to. 
  • Updates to Video Rankings (2019) – This update boosted the rankings of video posts that users sought out and returned to, watched for more than one minute at a time, and were original creations and not repurposed content. 
  • Addressing Sensational Health Claims (2019) – This update applied some of the existing “clickbait” rules specifically to posts making medical or health claims in an effort to reduce misinformation. Exaggerated or sensational claims were deprioritized, as were posts promoting products that advertised “miracle” cures.


The past three years have seen additional updates, and since they’re more recent, they deserve closer examination.


2020: Key takeaway from 2020


In 2020, Facebook modified its algorithm again to give more weight to original, credible news sources and create more personalized advertising encounters for users based on their interactions. Additional updates this year included changes designed to comply with Apple’s iOS 14’s privacy guidelines. 


  • Prioritizing Original Sources: In response to users continually reporting a preference for “news stories that are credible and informative,” Facebook announced that it would make ongoing updates that “prioritize articles in News Feed that we identify as original reporting on a developing story or topic.”
  • Personalized Ads: The Facebook algorithm serves advertisements to a user’s Feed based on the posts and pages they have engaged with previously. Businesses are also given the option to share information about the actions that users take on their websites and apps so they can show the most relevant content in users’ Facebook Feeds. To balance this process of information gathering and sharing, which also lays the foundation for personalized advertising on the platform, Facebook instituted the “Why am I seeing this ad” feature and the “Ad Preferences” dashboard for users (and to address privacy concerns).
  • Retargeting Limitations: Even with expanded personalization, Facebook had to respond to the significant privacy and permissioning guidelines i=within the Apple iOS 14 update released in 2020 (Tinuiti’s Liz Emery takes a more detailed look at this topic here). When Apple users install or update to iOS 14, they will be prompted to opt-in or opt out of data sharing. While Facebook has other variables that can be used to identify devices, such as the associated email address and phone number, targeting that depends on users sharing their data at the device level is restricted based on this update.


2021: Machine Learning and User Control


In 2021, Facebook released new details about how the algorithm governing users’ Feeds works and increased the amount of control users have over what they see. 


  • Favorites: A new tool where users can control and prioritize posts in their Feeds from the friends and Pages they choose. By selecting up to 30 friends and Pages to include in Favorites, their posts will appear higher in ranked and can also be viewed as a separate filter.
  • Revealing the algorithm’s machine learning mechanics: In 2021, Facebook published an in-depth post explaining how the Feed predicts what users want to see. For the first time, it detailed the machine learning processes behind predicting what users see in their Feeds based on various factors, including what and whom they’ve followed, liked, or engaged with recently. These mechanics are largely still in place today.


Source: Facebook


2022: From ML to AI


Last year, the Facebook algorithm evolved further in the direction of user control and augmented its use of machine learning tools with more sophisticated artificial intelligence systems. These two updates went hand-in-hand. Users were given a new function on each post they saw, the “Show More/Show Less” feature. Selecting “Show More” would increase the ranking score for that post, increasing the likelihood of a similar post or a similar user appearing in the user’s Feed. The inverse would happen when “Show Less” is selected.

These per-post user inputs are simultaneously helping the AI system generalize how relevant future content will be for that user. Or as Facebook puts it, “by offering more ways to incorporate direct feedback into Feed ranking, we’re making our artificial intelligence systems smarter and more responsive.”

Facebook’s AI model generates what the company calls user and content embeddings, which help predict the types of content a person wants to see more of or less of in their Feed. Another Facebook blog post from 2022 explains that a “user embedding captures a person’s tastes, while the content embedding captures the essence of what a post is about.” 

One last update from 2022 – what was once called the Facebook News Feed is now just the “Feed.” That’s how we refer to it throughout this article, except where relevant due to historical discussion.


How the Facebook Algorithm Works in 2023

That’s the state of the Facebook algorithm in 2023 – it has evolved to become an AI-powered, user-centric model designed to present users with relevant, welcome content in their Feeds. Even though Meta will admit that the algorithm isn’t perfect (and may never be), Facebook has demonstrated a willingness to modify its processes to give users what they want.

Despite the Facebook algorithm’s complexity and integration of new technologies like AI and machine learning, understanding its core functionality boils down to four ranking factors.

The Four Ranking Factors Fueling the Facebook Feed Algorithm

Prioritizing what “matters” to users has been one of the most consistent purposes of the Feed and all of its previous iterations. The goal of Facebook’s algorithm is to “show stories that matter to users,” according to Adam Mosseri, VP of Facebook’s News Feed Management. That aim is reflected across the platform’s many updates and tweaks to its algorithm, from more user control to increased personalization on advertisements. 

With that in mind, you should know how Facebook’s different algorithm factors work together to determine which stories “matter” to a user. And Facebook made these factors easy to understand in its published help center post.  

1. Inventory

Inventory represents the stock of all content that can display to a user on Facebook’s News Feed, which fluctuates based on user activity once scrolling has begun. This includes everything posted by friends and publishers.

2. Signals

Signals represent the information that Facebook can gather about a piece of content. Signals are the single factor that you have control over.

These are your inputs that Facebook interprets; type of content, the publisher, its age, purpose, and more.

You want your content to signal to Facebook that it’s meaningful and relevant to your target audience.

3. Predictions

Predictions represent a user’s behavior and how likely they are to engage with a content piece. Will a user watch a video to completion? Will they select the “Show More” feature on the post?

Predictions take authentic engagement like comments, likes, and shares from real profiles into account.

4. Relevancy Score

Relevancy Score is the final number assigned to a piece of content based on the likelihood that the user will respond positively to it. It also accounts for whether a post is “clickbait,” whether it links to a low-quality webpage, or if it’s misinformative in some way.

10 Best Practices for Working with Facebook’s Algorithm

So how can you tailor your content to ensure a high Relevancy Score and a strong enough ranking to appear in your target audience’s Feeds? Most of the following tips will be common sense if you currently produce content for social audiences, but many are specific to the sophisticated Facebook algorithm. 

Here are some guidelines and best practices for keeping your content meaningful in Facebook’s eyes, based on our research, Facebook’s recommendations, and Matt Navara and Paul Armstrong’s coverage of Facebook’s News Feed webinar

1. Keep posts relevant to your audience

Your content should always be relevant to your core audience — the people you want to build a community around. If your content is relevant to a user, the Facebook algorithm is likely to interpret that content as “meaningful,” a key consideration in ranking. 

Stories should be compelling enough for a user to want to share with family and friends. Content should be informative and interesting… and, of course, accurate. 

Products, education and lifestyle imagery, should reinforce your post’s meaningful and informative nature and build on your identity as a brand answering to a specific audience.


2. Engage readers and encourage interaction

Facebook’s News Feed algorithm favors content that fosters positive interactions between your followers and others.

Any piece of content, from products to education to entertainment — should provoke conversation. Remember that conversations can’t be one-sided; you want your audience to respond, but you must also respond to them when possible. 

You want your content to prompt people to stop their scroll, interact, and share. Interaction is a crucial weighting factor for the Facebook algorithm, so all your content should be tailored to maximize engagement.

3. But don’t use clickbait or engagement bait

Remember all those “like if…” and “share if you are…” posts?

This is considered engagement baiting; it doesn’t add value or interaction for users. It may not entirely be clickbait, but the Facebook algorithm will penalize it as though it were. 

Avoid asking people to “please comment, like, and share.” Your content should inspire them to engage without having to ask.

Facebook penalizes brands that encourage comments, likes, and shares on organic and ad posts. Keep this in mind when developing content for Instagram and Facebook.


4. Expand your post reach with employees and brand advocates


Because the Facebook algorithm gives preference to posts from users’ friends, families and the pages they interact with, your company’s Facebook page will have naturally limited reach. This is where enlisting employees and brand advocates can have a real impact. 

Facebook represents your widest audience, but to reach them, you need to engage the audience closest to home. Encouraging your work team to share your brand’s content with their networks broadens the reach of the post or piece of content and your brand. Directly engaging with Facebook users who are already devotees of your brand and asking them to share content with their friends and family can have a similar effect.,

5. Or put ad dollars behind content with organic momentum

The new Facebook algorithm values content that performs well organically, and you can build off that momentum by boosting or promoting that content with ad dollars.

Content that already has strong organic traction means lower CPCs which, combined with ad dollars, can act as a snowball effect for your content.

Identify opportunities for ads based on organic post engagement and tap into Facebook Ads Manager tools by leveraging these posts in ads.

Conversely, don’t waste ad dollars on poor-performing organic content. It will have higher CPCs and cost you more while offering less in return.

“If a post performs well with engagement, likes, and shares, there’s an opportunity to place additional ad dollars to drive that performance even further.”

— Nii Ahene, Chief Strategy Officer at Tinuiti
Portrait of Nii Ahene

6. Create compelling, original video content

2019 was the year that Facebook began leaning into its video offering in earnest, and it hasn’t stopped since. Today, the video formats available on Facebook have expanded to include Reels and Stories (shorter clips), Video on Demand and Live video. Reels, in particular, is Facebook’s fastest-growing content format “by far.” s video continues to be the top-performing content type across all social media networks, focusing on video should be a central part of your Facebook marketing strategy.

For your video content to perform best in the Feed, Facebook recommends that it be original, capture the audience’s attention, spark engagement, and inspire users to seek additional video content from the same source. 

To create original and authentic Reels, Stories and full-length videos, make sure they capture your brand’s voice and avoid duplicating content. To retain attention, ensure your creative and copy is optimized towards mobile viewing (i.e., shortened copy, readable overlays, shortened headlines). And to generate engagement, encourage discussion and genuine interactions (but like always, avoid engagement bait).


7. Inspire audiences and evoke emotion with storytelling


Just as videos should be original, engaging and attention-grabbing, so should any content you post on Facebook. Understand the kinds of stories that resonate with your audience and craft your posts to tell those stories in an exciting way.

You can create connections with your audience through authenticity, interactivity and accuracy. But the surest way is by listening. Ask for feedback. Learn their interests. Take cues from their activity on other platforms. When you know what your audience cares about, you have a better chance of inspiring them… and a better chance of rising to the top of their Feeds.


8. Post authentic and truthful content


Facebook says that “authentic stories are the ones that resonate most” and that users want to see accurate information. After the controversies surrounding “fake news” and the spread of dis- and misinformation on the platform in recent years, the company has made promoting truthful content central to the Facebook algorithm’s function. 

To signal that your content is genuine and accurate, write clear headlines free from exaggeration or sensationalism. Use well-sourced, reliable information, and avoid sharing content from sources you need clarification on. And above all, don’t lie or try to mislead with your content.


9. Schedule content when readers are likely to engage


The Facebook Feed is no longer chronological, but timing can still impact post performance within the algorithm. You want to post content when your audience is likely to engage with it, which is likely in the evening or overnight, but it can vary widely by the user. There is some research exploring the objectively ideal time for posting, but the ultimate best practice is understanding your audience and when they are most likely to be on the platform. 


10. Learn what works by tracking content performance


After you’ve published your content, remember to use Facebook Insights to track the performance of your content. This will help you understand how your different content pieces are performing in terms of engagement, which is the key ranking metric. 

Facebook also offers a variety of tools designed to help you measure both organic content and paid ads. Choose the best tools for your brand, and track performance regularly. Learn from your own Insights data and the tools you use, and optimize your content from there.

Final Takeaway

The Facebook algorithm is sophisticated and constantly evolving. There are few shortcuts and no way to “hack” it. But the steps outlined in this article can help make the algorithm work for you and help you get your content in front of the Facebook users who need to see it.

Want to work with our team of Facebook experts? Reach out today!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published by Greg Swan in April 2020 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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Five questions for our new CMO, Shafqat Islam



Five questions for our new CMO, Shafqat Islam

Alex Atzberger: Now that you’ve stepped into the CMO role, what are you looking forward to?   

Shafqat Islam: It’s amazing to take on this role at both a category creator and leader. How many brands can be a leader in almost every category–think Experimentation and CMS–that we play in?  

And we have so much to look forward to and build on. We have an exceptional team of marketing leaders and practitioners. They are fiercely intelligent, optimistic, and care deeply about what our products can *do* for our customers. Not just for the people who will encounter the marketing, retail, and product experiences that we support, but for the people who build them. As somebody who has both built products and been deeply immersed in marketing, I love the perspective that our team has.  

Alex Atzberger: What makes Optimizely unique?   

Shafqat Islam: First off, we’re category creators in experimentation and content management, both CMS and CMP. Marketers know this, and analysts know it, as something like 7 major analyst reports will tell you.  

Martech is a crowded field, so it’s true that there are a lot of firms whose territory overlaps with some of ours. But show me another company that can handle the entire content lifecycle like we can. Or show me another company that can do both feature flagging and experimentation.  

We also have a legendary legacy in the martech world. Before I joined, I knew that A/B testing and Optimizely were synonymous, and that the company’s roots go all the way back to the origins of the practice. And that’s something that is like common folklore in marketing and technology.  

And more than anything, the 1500 people who work here are world-class. 

Alex Atzberger: Being a CMO talking to other CMOs and marketing leaders is an advantage. You know the customer. But you’ve also built tech products. How does that affect your work now?  

Shafqat Islam: I’ve spent the majority of my adult life building products for marketers. So I’ve been lucky to spend so much time talking to CMOs and marketers in almost every type of company all over the world. As the founder/CEO of Welcome, my approach was to solve marketer challenges by building products. But now as CMO, I get to use the products we build.  

We’re practitioners of all of our own solutions, so in addition to the natural empathy I have for marketers, I am also close to the job’s unique challenges every day. There’s nothing like that to keep you sharp and keep you close to the customer.  

As a product builder, I knew we must always speak to business outcomes. But as CMO, I love that we aren’t just talking about the solutions – we’re living them, too.  

Because I was an entrepreneur for so long, I also bring another unique view – my willingness to take smart risks. I love to try things, even if (especially if?) the results are sometimes surprising. When it comes to experimentation, there are no failures, only learnings. 

Alex Atzberger: What are the biggest challenges you’re hearing from our customers, current and future?  

Shafqat Islam: Growth, especially given how tough it is out there for so many industries. The stakes are very high when it comes to creating experiences that will win and retain customers. That’s what all of our customers–especially the retail heavyweights-are thinking about.  

And marketing and technology leaders need to do this with leaner budgets. Efficiency matters a lot right now, and that means not only reducing the costs you can see, like the price tag attached to software, but also the costs you can’t see right away, like how much time and money it takes to manage a set of solutions. With that said, in tough times, I think the strongest brands can not just survive but also thrive. I also think when others are fearful, that may be the time to invest aggressively. 

And in the background of all this, there is still the ever-expanding list of customer touchpoints. This is simultaneously an exciting challenge for marketers and an exciting opportunity. More data means more effective storytelling– if you can use it right.

I also hear marketers when they say there’s a need for a shared space for collaboration among us. The role of the marketer is expansive, and it’s only getting more complicated. Building a community where we can come together and appreciate our shared goals is difficult, but I’m optimistic that we’re moving in the right direction.  

Alex Atzberger: What is next in our space? What will marketing and technology leaders be talking about six months from now?  

Shafqat Islam: Looking around now, it’s clear that 2023 will be the year that AI-generated content goes mainstream. We’re just starting to see the uses and the consequences of this. There’s already buzz about ChatGPT and its capabilities, and platforms are already making space to integrate AI functionality into their offerings. It could be an exciting way for users to become better equipped to create and share high-quality content.  

Customers also have gotten very used to personalization. Every screen they see daily is personalized, whether it’s their Netflix account or social feeds. So, when I see a site that isn’t personalized, I kind of scratch my head and wonder, why? With personalization now the norm, expectations for digital creators are sky-high.

Read the official press release.

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What to Consider When Choosing a Brand Ambassador for Your Social Media Campaign



What to Consider When Choosing a Brand Ambassador for Your Social Media Campaign

Want to maximize the potential of your social media campaign? Then you must ensure to choose the right brand ambassador for the job. Having a good ambassador will increase your social media reach and boost sales. But, selecting the best ambassador can be tricky.

This guide will show you the key steps to consider when selecting the perfect brand ambassador for your social media campaign. From assessing their influence to ensuring their content matches your brand’s mission. This guide will give you the insights you need to make the right decision.

Understanding the role of a brand ambassador

A brand ambassador acts as a company representative, promoting the brand’s products to a specific audience. They are selected for their influence and ability to communicate the brand’s message. Their primary goal is to increase brand awareness and engagement with the audience.

To achieve this, an ambassador shares the brand’s message and builds connections with the target audience. They help to establish trust and credibility for the brand by personally endorsing it through their own experiences. Also, they provide valuable feedback to the company, allowing for product improvements.

Tips for choosing the right ambassador for your social media campaign

1) Assess the credibility and influence of potential ambassadors.

One of the first steps is to ensure they have a very active social media presence. Make sure they have many followers and a high engagement rate. Check the number of followers they have and the type of posts they share. This will give you a good idea of the content they generate and let you know if they are a good fit for your campaign.

Make sure their posts are relevant and appropriate for your brand. If their content is not a good fit, you may want to reconsider hiring them for your campaign. This is important if your brand has a particular message you wish to convey to your audience. If their content is not in line with your brand’s values, it could have a negative effect on your brand’s image.

2) Analyze the compatibility between the ambassador’s content and your brand’s mission.

It’s common to think that a famous ambassador would be a good fit for your campaign. But if their content is not in line with your brand, they are not an option. You may want to go further and check the interaction between their posts and followers. If the interaction is very high and followers actively participate, this is a good indicator of the quality of the ambassador. This will show how much impact the ambassador has among their followers. The interaction of the followers with the ambassador’s posts is important, as it is a good way for them to get to know your brand better.

3) Make sure the ambassador is present on the right social networks.

If your brand uses more than one type of social media, you should ensure the ambassador is present on them. You can choose an ambassador who is active on most of the major social networks. But, you must ensure they have an appropriate presence on each platform.

For example, it may not be a good idea to select an ambassador who is primarily active on Instagram for a Facebook-centric campaign. Remember that followers on each platform are different, and it’s important to reach your desired audience. If the ambassador you choose is present on the right social media platform, it will be easier for them to reach your audience.

4) Set expectations and establish the terms of the partnership.

Once you have selected an ambassador and they have agreed to collaborate with your brand, set the terms of the collaboration. Set clear expectations and tell the ambassador precisely what you want them to do. This includes specifying the type of content that should be posted. It is also important to outline the kind of connection that should be fostered between their followers and your company.

Also, be sure to establish payment terms and any other essential partnership details. For example, if you want the ambassador to promote your brand at a specific event, let them know so they can prepare.

5) Consider brand ambassadors who have experience participating in events.

A brand ambassador with experience working at events and comfortable interacting with customers can be a valuable asset to your campaign. They will be able to promote your brand and products at events and help to build a positive image for your company.

Find a brand ambassador who is professional and comfortable in a high-energy environment. This will ensure they can effectively represent your brand and engage with customers at events. Hire an event staffing agency to ensure the event runs smoothly and let brand ambassadors focus on promoting the brand and connecting with the audience.

6) Complete the selection and onboarding process

Make sure you select an available ambassador with the right skills for your campaign. Verify that the ambassador’s availability matches your campaign schedule.

It’s a good idea to start interacting with the ambassador on social media. It will help you establish a strong relationship, making promoting your brand more accessible. Show the audience that they have rallied behind your brand and thank them for their support.

7) Follow-up and evaluation of the ambassador’s success

Once the campaign is over, follow up with the ambassador to test its success. Ask the ambassador if your promotion has been effective and get their feedback on the campaign. This is an excellent way to improve your campaign the next time you run it. It will also help you identify areas where you can improve your social media strategy.

You can test the success of your social media campaign by looking at three main factors: reach, engagement, and conversions. By considering these factors, you can determine the success of your social media campaign. Also, you can identify any areas that need improvement.


Brands use brand ambassadors to increase engagement and sales of their products. An ambassador has a large following and regularly interacts with your audience. When selecting an ambassador, consider factors such as their social media presence and the ability to communicate your brand’s message. Taking the time to choose the proper brand ambassador will ensure the success of your social media campaign.

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