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You’ve been using Facebook WRONG while creating advertising campaigns

A Master Class by Ram Cobain, Creative Strategist, Facebook

The last three days in Goa have been buzzing with media and advertising executives from across India descending upon our little state for the country’s largest advertising festival – GoaFest 2019. This 13th addition saw some really interesting and inspiring speakers, such as ace cricketer Virendra Sehwag, boxer Mary Kom, actress Kalki Koechlin, and many more. While they led knowledge sessions to the masses in the main ballroom of the Grand Hyatt, Bambolim, it was in Salao 1 on the third day, where the real magic happened. Presenting to a packed room was Ram Cobain, Creative Strategist at Facebook, who put on a Master Class in the art of using Facebook for marketing – and it made us realise that everything we thought we knew about creating campaigns was wrong.

Master Class by Ram CobainIt’s not about ‘likes’ and ‘shares’

After making a suave entrance to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana, Ram began his Master Class with the first shocker – it’s not about likes and shares. While we all love to see the number by the little blue thumb go into triple digits in a matter of minutes, it turns out that this is not an indicator for whether a campaign is working or not. Simply put, just because it’s viral, it doesn’t mean it’s good. According to Ram, what businesses need to do with Facebook, is “treat it like a proper marketing tool – separate the social from the media”. What he recommends is understanding the business objective, and making the idea, and not the asset famous. One way to do this is understanding your key demographic, and creating campaigns that focus on time, hyper-localization, and passion.

Create strategy across assets

It’s so easy to forget that there is more to Facebook than just the timeline. In most cases, agencies and businesses create ads that are posted to the company page – and that’s it. In case you haven’t realised, there’s more to Facebook than just the timeline. You can engage users one-on-one through Facebook Messenger, you can immerse users in content through live photos and short-form videos through stories. Those same videos can even carry over the campaign on Instagram TV through long-form videos. Basically, according to Ram, technology is a storyteller, and you are limited only by your own creativity. At the end of the day, he says, “small screens doesn’t mean small ideas”.

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Ram Cobain with the Master Class attendees
Ram Cobain with the Master Class attendees

India is not yet a mobile-first market

The majority of big name brands (and many of the little guys) have not come to terms with the fact that the mobile platform can be a great marketing tool. In many ways, these businesses see TV and newspapers as being the ‘real’ advertising platforms. So rather than trying to convince a business to drop TV and newspaper altogether, Ram suggests that the best way to integrate mobile advertising is to “optimize and spin-off”. In other words, take an existing TV or newspaper campaign, and then optimize it for Facebook and/or Instagram. Once that is done, you can further develop (or create spin-offs) of the campaign across the other Facebook assets – such as stories. From that point on, you can even start creating campaign content exclusively for the mobile platform, and if you invest correctly in the right passion points, at the right times, and in the right locations, it won’t be long before you start seeing results.

Did you find this ‘master class’ useful? Has it encouraged you to create better Facebook campaigns for your own business or clients? Let us know in the comments below.

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