Episode 21: Facebook Audience Network
Facebook Audience Network - underrated opportunity or black hole where ad dollars go to die?
00:01 Stewart Anderson: Welcome back to the Spend $10k A Day Podcast. My name is Stewart Anderson, with me as always, my good friend Steve Weiss. Today we are dedicating this entire episode to one placement within Facebook, and that is Audience Network.
00:17 Steve Weiss: Boo!
00:19 SA: That's the usual reaction you hear from a lot of advertisers. Audience Network, it gets a lot of crap. A lot of it deserved.
00:26 SW: It's like a red-headed stepchild of Facebook ads because no one really shows a lot of love for Audience Network, whereas I feel like I've always given it a really good chance. I've always tried to go creative and do testing on the Audience Network. The Audience Network is like the one black hole of Facebook; you don't really know where your ads are actually being served. They could be being served in third-party apps. They could be on websites, on mobile websites where Facebook has their own monetization. A lot of ads are actually being served now on WhatsApp. I've seen, talking to a couple people very closely, now they're testing out Audience Network in WhatsApp. The point of Audience Network is it's Facebook's third-party partnerships besides Boom, Facebook, Instagram.
01:10 SW: And have we made it work? Yes. And we have a little recipe for making it work. I think it doesn't work for everyone; some people it works better for, but it's cheap inventory. And I feel like you need to test it out. You need to give it its testing on its own without putting it in an ad set that has mobile news feed, regular news feed, etcetera, etcetera. So what I always suggest is, number one, separating out Audience Network into its own ad set. You have to do that 'cause if not, Facebook's gonna serve all your ad impressions on Audience Network instead of Instagram, Facebook, and Mobile Facebook because that's where all the cheapest inventory is right now.
02:00 SW: Number two on Audience Network is building custom creative for audience network. Remember, simplicity on Audience Network. Audience Network, you don't know where it is, you don't really know where it's being served. Some of our best converting ads in Audience Network were based around turning text into an image. As weird as that sounds, building an image of text. That has worked amazingly well in Audience Network 'cause remember, people aren't used to clicking on ads on other websites, especially Facebook's ads specs. So if it's just an image, they might not click on it because they're engaged in something else. I always say make the CTA, the call-to-action, as crystal clear as possible 'cause you don't know exactly where your ads are being served. Number three, test out with a small budget. You could even test out running on bidding because there's not a lot of people bidding for that inventory. So you could actually make money on manual bidding on Audience Network, which I've tried in the past of actually running manual bidding on Audience Network instead of just bidding for conversions. 'Cause remember, the conversion objectives on Audience Network are a lot different than conversion objectives on Facebook.
03:18 SW: Conversion objectives on Audience Network don't really work as well as on Facebook and Instagram platform because there's a finite amount of ad impressions you can serve one user who's just on a website for a specific... Is on SI.com that's using Facebook monetization, as an example. Remember, optimizing for clicks or optimizing for something top of funnel on Audience Network is very, very important because Facebook conversion objectives don't work as good on Audience Network as it does on Facebook and Mobile newsfeed.
03:53 SA: Yeah. The Audience Network is really... It's almost kinda similar to all those like junk install sources. It's kinda a junk traffic source. It's so cheap that you might as well try and see if you can get something from it.
04:05 SW: Another thing that's Audience Network, we're gonna have a podcast dedicated to this internationally. [chuckle] Remember, Facebook as their monetization on a lot of American-focused websites. Well, you know what? People internationally surf these American-focused websites so there's a lot of really cheap inventory internationally on Audience Network. I would say that if you have an offering where you're able to accept international traffic, you're able to target it, leveraging Audience Network is a great idea. But I think there's a lot of good learnings you could do by investing time into Audience Network because a lot of people just aren't giving its dues, almost like Google content network. Could you imagine if you make Audience Network work at scale?
04:57 SA: Yeah, that would be ideal.
05:01 SW: You have a placement that no one else is really bidding on and you've built ad creative specifically that's working on Audience Network. So I'll leave it at this. Don't give up on Audience Network, separate it out into its own ad set. Build custom creative for Audience Network with very focused CTAs. My idea in the past was to create words into images which was our best converting creative on Audience Network. I would say testing that out and just not giving up on it. Just making sure that you're always have an asset running at a small test to figure out if you're gonna get some wins out of Audience Network.
05:43 SA: Love it. Honestly, I think you hit all the points I wanted to hit, so I think that's a pretty quick but very useful primer on how you can use Audience Network.
05:51 SW: Remember, it's almost all mobile, too. Very little impressions are coming from desktop, although they are rolling out monetization to desktop. I would say Audience Network, give it a try, don't be scared of it. And email us if you have any questions, any findings. We're always fascinated with people people who are killing it on Audience Network.
06:13 SA: Sounds good. This has been another episode of the Spend $10k A Day Podcast. I'm Stewart Anderson, with me as always my good friend, Steve Weiss. We will see you next time.