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Facebook Cautions Against the Pitfalls of Too Much Personalization in New Report

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Personalization has become a buzzword in digital marketing in recent times, with every other marketing guru urging people to connect with other people, to be more human, and to address each individual’s specific needs.

And that’s reasonable advice, to a degree. But as Facebook notes in its latest report, it’s not always applicable, and in some cases, increased personalization can actually have negative impacts on campaign performance.

As explained by Facebook:

A common belief is that personalization means providing completely different offerings to each consumer, but this doesn’t always create the most desirable impact for a brand. We’re currently witnessing brands that have built hugely successful businesses over decades on the back of mass marketing suddenly pivot towards extreme personalization for small niches of consumers, only to see disappointing returns. Industry buzzwords such as “1:1 marketing” are contributing to the assumption that this is the way to go for all brands – which is far from the truth.”

That’ll be a blow to a lot of keynote speakers out there.

Facebook says that while personalizing your outreach can have distinct benefits, each brand and/or product fits onto a “personalization spectrum”, which ranges from “same offerings for all” to “tailored offering for each individual”. And it’s important to understand where your business lies before designing a personalization strategy. 

“Here’s an example of a product at each end of the personalization spectrum: A mouthwash brand with the single core benefit of “freshness” and a few flavor variants at best is unlikely to have consumers with vastly different needs they can cater to. A brand like this would fall on the left side of the spectrum, providing a similar offering for large consumer segments. However, footwear brands have more complex matrices for their offerings depending on factors such as their identified target segment’s lifestyle and gender, and should tailor their offerings to provide more nuanced personalization in sizes, colors, styles, heel height and more.”

Facebook's personalization spectrum

It makes a lot of sense – Facebook, essentially, says that despite the buzz around personalization, the actual practicality of such is relative to the product, and then, further than that, the audience for each.

Brands with products that have multiple core benefits, several “benefit” variants, or a need to serve varying core messages to different segments within their brand’s target audience are likely to benefit from raising their personalization game.”

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Facebook advises that businesses should analyze the extent to which personalization is relevant to their offerings, then, once determined that there is a need for such segmentation, that they should drill-down into their data sources in order to identify the markets they want to appeal to with variable messaging.

Facebook data pyramid

But Facebook again advises caution around the over-use of certain segmentations, simply because you can:

While planning your segments, do also consider how segments link back to your overall brand growth strategy. For example, if your brand needs to drive higher relevance with urban youth, having them as a separate segment with distinct messaging is likely to benefit the brand. However, purely “passion point” or interest-based segments with no clear business-linked hypothesis behind them can often be counter-productive. We often come across definitions such as “music lovers”, “fashionistas” and “excitement seekers”, and encourage marketers to exercise caution before using them.”

From here, Facebook says that it offers a range of tools to hone in on audience segments, including the data resources available at Facebook IQ, its Audience Insights tools which highlight relevant interests, demographics and behaviors, and then, finally, Facebook’s advanced Audience Selection Tools for ads.

Facebook audience tools

This is some solid, interesting advice from Facebook – and while it does also acknowledge that personalization has been proven to drive significant increases in revenue when used well, there are limits, and points at which its no longer valuable. 

Basically, personalization is not necessary for every product, within every possible consumer segment, and it’s important for marketers to stay aligned with their overall strategies, and offering value points, in order to maximize performance. 

You can read Facebook’s full personalization report here.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Meta Announces New Ad Options for Facebook Reels Which Could Facilitate Creator Revenue Share

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Meta Announces New Ad Options for Facebook Reels Which Could Facilitate Creator Revenue Share

Meta sees Reels as ‘the future of video’ on its platforms, with engagement with short-form content being one of the only positive growth trends across its apps at present.

Whether that’s due to more people looking to watch Reels, or Meta pumping more of them into feeds, is another question – but clearly, Meta’s keen to double-down on Reels content, which also means that it needs to offer Reels creators greater revenue share, in order to keep them posting.

On this, Meta has today outlined some new Reels ad options, which will provide more capacity for brands to tap into the format, while also, ideally, providing a pathway to revenue share for top creators.

The first new option in testing is ‘post-loop ads’ which are 4-10- second, skippable video ads that will play after a Reel has ended.

As you can see in this example, some Facebook Reels will now show an ‘Ad starting soon’ indicator as you reach the end of a Reel, which will then move into a post-loop ad. When the ad finishes playing, the original Reel will resume and loop again.

As noted, it could be a way to more directly monetize Reels content, though the interruption likely won’t be welcome for viewers, and it’ll be interesting to see what the actual view rates are on such ads. It’ll also be interesting to see if Meta looks to attribute those ad views to the original Reel, and how that could relate to revenue share for Reels creators.

The option is only in early testing, so there’s not a lot to go on at this stage.

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Meta’s also testing new image carousel ads in Facebook Reels – horizontally-scrollable ads which can include up to 10 images that are displayed at the bottom of Facebook Reels content.

Meta ads update

These promotions will be directly linked back to individual Reel performance, and could provide another monetization option for creators, while also enabling brands to tap into popular clips. TikTok offers a similar ad option in its tools.

On another front, Meta’s also giving brands access to more music options for their Reels, with new, ‘high-quality’ songs added to its Sound Collection that can be added to Carousel Ads on Reels.

Meta ads update

Note that these aren’t commercial tracks – you won’t be able to add the latest Lady Gaga song to your ad. But there are some good instrumental tracks to add atmosphere and presence to your promotions.

“Businesses can select a song from our library or allow the app to automatically choose the best music for an ad based on its content.”

I’d probably advise against letting the app automatically choose the best music, but maybe, based on its suggestions, you might be able to find the right soundtrack for your promotions.

Short-form video monetization is the next big battleground, with YouTube recently outlining its new Shorts monetization process, and TikTok still developing its live-stream commerce tools, as a means to facilitate better revenue share. Inserting ads into such brief clips is challenging, especially in a user-friendly way. But the platform that can get it right stands to win out, by providing direct creator monetization, based on content performance, which will likely, eventually see the top creators gravitate towards those platforms as they seek to maximize their opportunities.

Meta’s new options don’t seem to be a match for YouTube’s new Shorts program, which will allocate a share of total ad revenue to Shorts creators based on relative view counts. But it’s still early days, and no one has the answers yet.

As such, you can expect each platform to keep trying new things, as they work to beat out the competition.  

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