- Facebook last week started to offer improved advertising targeting for Facebook Reserve, the social network's service to guarantee video ad placements in its Watch video platform, AdExchanger reported. The offering includes Facebook's native targeting features, and the ability to deliver ads according to Nielsen designated market area (DMA) specifications.
- TV advertisers have requested access to native targeting more than any other service offered by the social network, giving marketers a way to segment audiences according to interests, geographic regions including DMAs and more personalized groups based on customer lists, web traffic, app installs, engagement or other criteria, Adweek reported.
- Anheuser-Busch in a test experienced 15% incremental reach aside from TV with ads that appeared among videos on Facebook Watch, and 99% delivery of impressions among a target group of people ages 24 to 54, per data cited by AdExchanger.
Facebook's improved ad targeting for Facebook Reserve, which is the new name for Facebook Showcase that the company introduced last year to let media buyers obtain placements among its premium video content, aims to broaden the appeal of its platform among TV media buyers. With ad targeting based on the company's extensive user data and Nielsen data that's most familiar to media buyers, marketers have a more complete picture of Facebook's video audience to help personalize their campaigns.
The news arrives as TV networks have canceled or reimagined their upfront presentations, which were scheduled to take place this week until the coronavirus pandemic and the related shutdowns forced in-person events to be put on hold. As consumers stuck at home consume more video, this presents an opportunity for Facebook Watch and other digital platforms to gain new users and for brands to get in front of these users.
Facebook can highlight its new video ad offering while touting its expanded reach among homebound audiences, while the coronavirus pandemic disrupts the traditional upfront ad sales season. About 130 million people in the U.S. spend an average of 26 minutes a month on Facebook Reserve content that includes Watch, the news feed and Facebook Pages, compared with 100 million in February last year, per Facebook data cited by AdExchanger. That growing audience shows how the social network has expanded the reach of its curated content, giving marketers a way to supplement their more traditional TV campaigns.
For Facebook, the improved video ad targeting can help to fulfill a longer-term goal of expanding its video content, a strategic initiative CEO Mark Zuckerberg first described in 2016. Since then, Facebook Watch has struggled to gain recognition among U.S. viewers while facing an ever-expanding group of rivals among over-the-top (OTT) and streaming video platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Peacock and HBO Max. Facebook also faces a slowdown in advertising spending as the coronavirus pandemic curbs demand, though the company said in a call last month with analysts that it had seen signs of stabilization among media buyers in April. Its latest video targeting options can help the company as the ad market recovers.