Is Audience Network Right For Your Business?

Is Facebook’s Audience Network right for your business? Learn more about this new form of advertising at
Audience NetworkOnline advertising. It’s become the necessary next step once you arrive on the social media stage. However, there is one big question that many businesses still struggle to answer: How do we get in front of more people in our key demographic more frequently? Some companies are looking to Audience Network as the answer. Audience Network allows advertisers to use powerful Facebook data to target consumers outside of the social network. Sound interesting? Let’s explore this a little more.

How does Audience Network work?

Audience Network, Facebook’s mobile ad platform, recently became available to marketers and mobile developers. Companies can now leverage Facebook’s ad targeting tools to better serve ads on other non-Facebook mobile applications.

Powered by Facebook’s targeting data, advertisers can buy any third-party app host ads. Audience Network is not limited to a separate set of ad inventory. Audience Network’s product manager Sriram Krishnan explains: “It’s a simple way to extend Facebook advertising buys across mobile apps to increase relevancy for people, yield for publishers, and results for advertisers.”

How does it work? Let’s take the case of Shazam, a mobile app that recognizes music and media playing around you. Shazam now uses Audience Network so a Shazam user could see an ad for a product or company they might like, based on what they’ve done on Facebook.

The result? Facebook makes money without cluttering its space with more ads; developers can boost their bottom line by hosting Facebook’s ads; and advertisers get visibility in their target demographic sweet spot (using the Facebook biographical, interest, and activity targeting data to their advantage). With enhanced functionality, Audience Network now enables advertisers to send people to any mobile website.

The power (and limitations) of Facebook

Facebook’s app install ads have been a good thing for this social media goliath. Their mobile ad revenue was $1.66 billion last quarter, more than double what it was a year earlier. App install ads also account for 62% of the company’s total ad revenue. Much of this impressive figure was attributed to developers buying News Feed ads to promote their apps. Now that there are more places to put the ads, more revenue is expected. eMarketer reports that Facebook took 16.5 percent of worldwide mobile ad revenues in 2013, and that number is expected to increase to 20.4 percent this year. In comparison, Google dropped from 46.4 percent to 44.6 percent.

It’s no wonder companies are enticed by Facebook’s platform. Audience Network provides a direct connection to Facebook’s 1.5 million active advertisers and impressive ad targeting.

However, advertisers haven’t always been completely sold on Facebook. While advertisers were able to fund additional likely consumers with Facebook’s ad targeting functionality, they found they were limited in their impressions and could only get in front of the new group a handful of times. Audience Network is intended to extend the reach of Facebook campaigns into third-party mobile apps. Facebook says Audience Network will show the right ad to the right person at the right time.

Is mobile advertising your next move?

If the numbers paint the story, mobile advertising is here to stay. According to eMarketer, it’s expected to top $30 billion this year. Facebook’s Audience Network is now in an intensely competitive category alongside Google’s AdMob, Yahoo’s Flurry, and Twitter’s MoPub.

Before you jump into one of these platforms, be sure to take the time to thoroughly understand the technology, and outline what you are looking to achieve with this advertising strategy. These goal posts will help you determine how well this is working for your company once you’re officially out there.


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