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Facebook & Direct Response Video

Video and direct response. Kind of an oxymoron? Well, that is up for debate.

Video and direct response. Kind of an oxymoron? Well, that is up for debate. What most consider as direct response is in a state of change. Traditionally direct response is synonymous with bottom funnel intent based tactics-SEM, retargeting etc. While many outfits have been able to push display into this arena, certain forms of video are starting to enter into the ring – Facebook’s direct response video being one of them.

It makes sense that brands have a natural desire to want to repurpose existing, expensive TV spots across digital channels. The increase in available reach and the ability to expand creative marketing dollars are huge pluses. Facebook has been one of the pioneers of trying to push the envelope when it comes to video being considered “direct response.” Most notably this trend is occurring within the app-install and gaming community.

You might be asking yourself, “isn’t Facebooks direct response video old news?” Sort of.  But the amount that advertisers are spending on it is a tell tale sign that some are starting to see results.

Software company Nanigans , which looked at a majority of DR focused advertisers in their platform, reported a 57% year over year increase in advertisers spending across Facebook’s video units.  To drill down even further, the report shows that between January and November 2016, 48% of all gaming advertisers spend was thrown at video. To put that in context, that was a 21% jump in spend comparing the same time period the year before.

But don’t excited yet. As Marketing land author Andrew Waber keenly points out, these major spend increases in DR video across Facebook were not indicative across other platforms. But you can bet that this is just the first of many increases in DR focused video spend. eMarketer projects that in the next several years they expect to see double digit growth across digital video.

Yes, the majority of this spend will most likely stay within the awareness bucket. But many e-commerce and DR focused advertisers have been showing more openness to using video units like Facebook’s 360 video and Canvas activations in lead gen focused campaigns.

Our opinion? Video in a DR capacity is an interesting talking point and if done right can elicit results. Yet, with CMO’s continually having to reach greater revenue goals with less money, video might be a challenge to justify over cheaper and proven tactics.

With all of this in mind, Marc Zuckerburg may have said it best, “We see a world that is video-first with video at the heart of all of our apps and services.” I’m sure a lot of consumers would echo this sentiment.

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