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Facebook launches automated ads and video creative tools for SMBs

Increasing its focus on small and medium businesses, Facebook has rolled out two new advertising tools – Automated Ads, Appointments and new video creative tools.

There are now around 2.7 billion people using Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Messenger each month, and more than 2.1 billion people are using at least one every day. Small and medium businesses play a crucial role in advertising on the platform and Facebook now has over 90 million SMBs using the platform globally.

In the first quarter of 2019, Facebook’s total ad revenue was USD 14.9 billion, up 26 per cent. Mobile ad revenue grew 30 per cent year-over-year to USD 13.9 billion, making up approximately 93 per cent of Facebook’s total ad revenue.

Speaking of the importance of the small and medium businesses, Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook said after the q1 results, “We had solid growth across all regions, and our revenue base continues to broaden as more businesses advertise with us. In Q1, our top 100 advertisers represented less than 20 per cent of our total ad revenue, which means our advertiser base is more diverse compared to the same period last year.”

With the newly launched Automated Ads, the business owner is asked a few simple questions about their business and their goals to help develop a customised marketing plan for their business.

Some of the features of Automated Ads include:

Multiple versions of the ad: Business owners can create up to six different versions of their ads automatically. The automated ads solution will suggest call-to-action buttons, text and other creative details based on information from the business’ Page, and once the ad is active, the solution will automatically show the best-performing version.

Tailored audience suggestions: The solution will suggest audience options or recommendations based on information from the business’ Page.

Recommended budget that generates results: The solution will recommend a budget most likely to get business results based on the goal. Businesses can also provide their own budget and the solution will share the estimated results that they can expect.

Timely notifications about ads: Businesses will receive notifications to help them understand how their ads are performing and how they can improve. These can include suggested changes like refreshing an image or notifications when the ad starts generating results like a lead or sale.

Sarita Singh, Director of SMB at Facebook Southeast Asia said, “Small businesses in Southeast Asia don’t always have the time or resources to gain marketing expertise, but this shouldn’t prevent them from creating ads that drive results. Our new Automated Ads solution takes the guesswork out of creating effective ads that can run on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network and make it easier for SMBs to focus on growth.”

Facebook is also expanding its free tools for businesses, allowing them to book and manage appointments on Facebook. Businesses can use the appointments feature to enable new and existing customers to book services with their business. They can accept appointments online and send reminders to customers through Messenger or text message. They can also customise their business’ menu of services, display availability and accept and manage all appointments directly from their business Page. Businesses can also sync appointments with their personal calendar or another appointment management tool.

Appointments on Facebook are free for all businesses on Facebook and Instagram, including SMS and Messenger reminders to customers to prevent no-shows.

As the importance of video grows in advertising, Facebook has also introduced new ways to edit existing video with three new video editing tools: automatic cropping, video trimming and image and text overlays. An official statement by Facebook said that these tools, which are available in both Ads Manager and Business Manager, can help reduce the resources needed to create compelling video content for SMBs.


Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon is the Assistant Editor at Digital Market Asia. Fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, she has focussed on tracking developments in the Asia Pacific market since 2014.