Facebook Ads Newsletter 18 Jan 2021

A free newsletter that demystifies the hidden models, incentives and consequences of the most significant events across the Facebook ads industry

Good morning,

The online-only way of living has seen an unprecedented acceleration in the last 9 months.

People are building communities in places you may not be able to find on a map. Online communities matter as much as ever.

Facebook & savvy marketers have known this all along. Hence, Facebook Groups.

However, it has always been difficult to build up Facebook groups due to a lack of straightforward paid channel offering from FB’s end.

But that’s about to change. And it’s good & bad news for the different parties involved.

In this newsletter, we discover the past & future of scraping tools, the rise & fall & possible rise of Facebook groups & the trends that are about to go mainstream in 2021.

The Impending Death of Scraping Tools

On January 14 2021, Facebook released an article talking about a lawsuit they filed in Portugal against browser extension maker Oink and Stuff.

“This lawsuit marks Facebook's latest lawsuit against rogue app and extension developers. Since early 2019, Facebook's legal department has been filing lawsuits against several third-parties that have been abusing its platform” – ZD Net

The scraper used by “Oink & Stuff” isn’t typical of a Facebook scraper used by marketers, but it shares similar genes.

A scraper in the Facebook context scrapes publically shared emails & other private details of its users.

Such emails are known to be helpful in the community, targeting members of a Facebook group.

Since there wasn’t a clear way to target Facebook group members (until now), such tools were considered vital in a marketer’s arsenal.

Even though they have always been against the Facebook policy.

At 0-Penny, we have never given much importance to such scrapers believing in the power of Facebook data & machine learning capabilities.

On instances where we’ve given in to such tools on the insistence of our clients or via a remarkably well-done marketing campaign, we’ve been mostly left disappointed.

The last one we used was called LeadEnforce.

First, they were not able to scrape from most Groups & accounts we desired.

Second, if everyone can scrape these emails, these are not unique to us.

Thirdly, what’s the guarantee that these emails are still actively used by the users. The recency of data is as important as relevancy, if not less.

Scraping tools are like the miracle results guaranteed by Diet Pills affiliate marketers. They only work in helping fatten the affiliate marketers bank account, nothing else.

Lastly, with Facebook in the news about user privacy and the previous scars gained from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, their activity on dismissing all such tools from their platform will only get more intense.

Adios scrapers!

The Global Trends Going Mainstream in 2021

Facebook wants you to make money; they really do. And the way they want you to do it is by educating you about your current & potential customers.

In its 2021 edition of the Topic & Trends Report, Facebook gave us fascinating talking points for 2020 & 2021. Read the full report here or follow along for a couple of anecdotes.

2020 was an enormous year if we talk about shifts in user behaviour.

With hap-hazard routines and all schedules going out of the window, people surveyed in the Facebook report are ready to pay for services that save them time.

Coming from an extremely price-sensitive country like India, where 87% of responded in the positive.

This is unprecedented and almost seems untrue.

On a serious note, this means that businesses can charge users more if they provide a service that improves the users’ lives by saving them time.

Time & bitcoin are the only scarcest resource anyways. So, this makes complete sense.

Next, people want Augmented Reality & they are going to get it.

As marketers, we are always looking for ways to add value to the overall user experience. And AR’s could be a game-changer.

From its humble backgrounds of being a cloud pleaser, AR finds real-time use case in the marketing industry, especially shopping.

The infrastructure is being built, and there’s a robust community-building AR apps that will be part of our arsenal for sure in the coming future.

It’s still early. But early allows for mistakes in the beginning & glorious rewards in the learnings.

Facebook also told us that 1 out of every 2 users is part of 5 or more Facebook groups.

More interestingly, 74% of the people surveyed for the report wants to engage with the groups even more.

Enter, Facebook ads in Group feeds

Believe it or not, Facebook groups have been in existence since 2010.

On the outside, it’s a great way for people that hold similar values & opinions to come together around a topic & go bananas.

However, with the lack of proper moderation tools & the different levels of expertise of different members, the number of discussions usually prevail over quality as groups get larger.

And if we are honest, the only reason most businesses built up FB Groups was to ultimately funnel them into a paid product or service sometime in the future.

The marketers spammed these groups & sacrificed their accounts, as this was the most concentrated group of individuals around topics.

Spamming’s hard work & the rewards did not comply with the efforts put in.

With the good news of ads within Facebook groups, we can now target these niche users concentrated around a topic connected to our client’s business.

This & the addition of other placement options like Marketplace will allow advertisers to reach a different user with a higher buying intent.
More placement options also mean lower ad costs, until we reach a saturation point (like we did with the Instagram stories option)

All in all looks like another good year for Facebook ads & the parties (advertisers & businesses) that rely on it.

A glorious 2021 to you & your family.

See you next week :)

-Prakhar