Facebook’s annual developer conference F8 may have just wrapped up, but a slew of new tools and gadgets are already available to developers and brand marketers. Do you know how to take advantage of these shiny new toys?
Top five F8 announcements
There are tons of F8 recaps on the web, but here are the top five announcements you should care about as a brand marketer.
- Chatbot – Facebook Messenger now allows businesses to deliver automated customer and ecommerce support, including product recommendation and interactive content experiences using a brand’s own chatbot. Developers have access to send and receive APIs to build custom interactions with their customers. These bots could potentially replace 1-800 numbers and call centers. For marketers, this is essentially a new storefront to engage and convert customers and drive revenue.
- Sponsored messages – Along with the bots comes a new ad format in Messenger known as sponsored messages. With sponsored messages, businesses can now send direct messages to customers who have started an interaction with them on Facebook.This is a super powerful new ad product as the customer already knows you and is interested in you. The messages to them should be closer to the bottom of funnel conversion messages.
- Live videos – Out goes the clunky webcast experience, in comes live broadcast on Facebook using a drone. Another major announcement for marketers is that Facebook Live is now open to developers and accessible via its new Live API. Facebook Live is no longer available only to celebs but also available to any hardware or app maker that wants to integrate it into their product. In the F8 keynote, drone maker DJI demoed the future of Live video by making video taken with its drone available live on Facebook. This is huge for marketers as you now have a brand new medium to engage and capture your audience.
- A 360 degree VR camera – Although Facebook has no intention of becoming a VR camera hardware company, it has just released 360 degree camera design specs to capture VR imagery for its Oculus Rift headsets. Facebook’s foray into VR signifies the importance of VR as part of the evolution of media from text to interactive experiences as part of its 10 year plan to connect more people. Imagine creating a virtual storefront for your customers!
- Instant Articles – Facebook is making its immersive article reading experience available to all publishers. Using Instant Articles, publishers can now show Facebook mobile users a fast-loading and mostly distraction-free view of their posts to minimize bounce rate and increase click-through rate (CTR).
What do all these new tools have in common?
They are all new channels to reach your audience. With the new chatbots and sponsored messages, you have a brand new way to interact with your customers without requiring them to download a separate app. With Live videos, you can easily broadcast live to Facebook audiences using new hardware and software, and the popularity of this new medium will grow as the ecosystem grows. As part of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to allow everyone to share anything with anyone, businesses are now empowered with new tools to share content with their audiences. As a brand marketer, I’m super excited about the new toys announced to help marketers meet their marketing goals – whether it’s generating awareness or improving top line revenues. Just as developers are needed to create new bots or integrate live video into new products, marketers are are needed to provide the content that make these new channels come alive.
How can I make the most out of the new tools?
You need Facebook topic data. The new tools bring the Facebook platform closer to your audience than ever before. What better tool to learn about your audiences on Facebook than data from Facebook itself? Facebook topic data gives you full access to the world’s largest social platforms via anonymized and aggregated insights into all the posts, likes, comments and shares across Facebook. Facebook topic data provides the valuable audience insights you need to really take advantage of these new tools by answering questions such as: Who is the right audience? What content resonates with my audience? And which topics drive engagement?
Here are three ways Facebook topic data can help:
- Audience research for new customer interaction
Your bot experiences require pre-programmed responses. To give your customers the best interaction experience, you need to know your customer profile. Whether it’s the most relevant product recommendations or optimized product messaging, bot experiences require new knowledge of your audiences to make it truly game changing. With Facebook topic data, you gain the broadest audience insights into every demographic segment with granularity down to the age group, gender and region level.
- Content optimization for new ads
The sponsored messages that come with Messenger updates can be a double edged sword. On one hand, you now can speak directly to your customers; on the other hand, bad content can lead to customers completely blocking you. Messages that truly resonate become a key component of your new ad’s success. With Facebook topic data, you gain access to one of the world’s largest focus groups, from which you can discover what content people are engaging with in relation to your product and industry in a privacy-safe way and create more effective promotions.
- Viral creative for new media
VR and Live videos are the new frontier of digital marketing. Creating materials for these new media types requires a different approach to a 140 character text message. You can’t rely on cookie-cutter messages but need brand new creative that is interactive and immersive. You need to find the most viral topics on the web that are relevant to your audience to leverage the extra effort and investment in these new media. With Facebook topic data, you can discover viral topics and stories most relevant to your audience to drive your creative direction.
Zuckerberg’s 10 year plan for Facebook not only helps us be to be more connected but also gives us a glimpse into the future of digital marketing. To leverage these new tools to reach your audience effectively, Facebook topic data is here to help you build the next generation marketing content.