By now, marketers understand the positive returns received through advertising on Facebook. The combination of the size of the social network, the deep demographic targeting data it provides and the powerful tools available to help marketers maximise their budgets drive engagement, downloads and sales.

No wonder that Facebook states that it is has 2 million advertisers, and Q4 2014 ad revenues reached $3.85 billion. 69% of this was mobile advertising, a figure backed by Kenshoo’s Mobile App Ad Trends research which found that month-on-month spending on Facebook mobile app install ads increased by 234% over the course of 2014.

Traditionally this mobile advertising has been confined to consumers using Facebook itself, but in Q2 2014 Facebook’s Audience Network (FAN) launched. This enables advertisers to extend their on-Facebook ad buys to off-Facebook, third party mobile apps. Developers are able to monetise their in-app ad inventory, while marketers can use the same rich demographic and interest targeting but outside Facebook itself. This extends campaigns by providing more opportunities to reach relevant consumers, even when they aren’t logged into Facebook itself.

The Audience Network has recently been enhanced, making it even more powerful. Here are five reasons marketers should now take a close look at FAN:

1. Ability to target mobile-first consumers
Mobile devices are increasingly the primary way that consumers access the internet – recent research from comScore found that 60% of time spent on digital media was through mobile devices, for example. Facebook users are leading the way, being particularly active on mobile – 74% of daily users only access the network via such devices. This makes FAN a logical extension to Facebook campaigns as the same consumers are likely to be opening apps on their mobile device and reading your targeted adverts.

2. Extends Facebook ad inventory
Facebook has always been very clear that it will limit the number of ads that users will see on the social network itself. This means that despite having 890 million active daily users, it can be difficult or expensive to target very specific demographics. For example, if you are looking to target university educated men aged 30-40 with children, in London, that like Apple products, then competition is fierce, pushing up prices. FAN means you can now use target the same demographics outside Facebook itself, dramatically increasing the inventory available.

3. Power to target specific groups
All of Facebook’s rich targeting capabilities, such as Custom, core and Lookalike Audiences, can be applied to mobile app ads through FAN. You can therefore target people based on what they’ve done or who they are, and target people with similar backgrounds, interests and behaviour to your existing audiences, via mobile apps. Furthermore, additional targeting from third parties such as Intent-Driven Audiences can be leveraged across FAN to pinpoint specific people based on what they previously searched for on Google.

4. Easy to integrate into campaigns
From the outset, FAN has been designed to be simple to use. It is accessed through the same interface as when buying traditional Facebook ads and just involves ticking another option to use the service. For those that manage Facebook spend through digital marketing suites, as part of wider, intent-driven campaigns, leading providers have already integrated FAN into their capabilities.

5. Provides a full range of ad options
Marketers (and app developers) aren’t limited in the ad formats they can use. FAN provides the option to choose between banners, interstitials and native formats, with ads automatically rendered to fit the chosen unit. To make it seamless, clicking on an ad doesn’t normally take users out of the app, instead allowing them to download other apps and visit webpages from within it.

Facebook’s Audience Network provides a powerful option for digital marketers, allowing you to extend your existing campaigns and benefit from the deep demographic options that the social network provides on a whole range of mobile apps. Now is the time to look at incorporating FAN into your campaigns and evaluating the benefits it can deliver to your digital marketing programmes.

Justin Thorne

Justin Thorne


Justin Thorne, Marketing Director, EMEA, Kenshoo.