As 2016 draws to a close and we look forward to what 2017 can bring, the pace of change amongst one of the worlds largest media publishers continues to amaze us.

The challenge for marketers, is to know which new innovations and features that Facebook release are worth investing time and energy into.

To help you stay ahead and keep an eye on what to look out for, we’ve put together our Top 5 Trends to watch our for with Facebook Advertising in 2017.

1. Video Live Streaming

Meerkat was one of the first platforms to really bring live streaming video to the masses, and with Facebook Live, marketers have a readily accessible vehicle to give behind the scenes, educational, or even event updates to their audience.

We’ve already seen higher organic reach and results through Facebook Live, and with Facebook placing more and more emphasis on ‘video’ as a preferred content medium, expect this space to amplify next year.

Facebook Live

Image Source: Facebook Live

2. Immersive Storytelling For Publishers & Brands

The introduction of Instant Articles, has allowed Facebook to become another distribution channel for many news-based organisations, as they can reap the benefits of reduced load time, completely optimised delivery, and an almost completely native home.

As Facebook’s News Feed, becomes increasingly more and more ‘news’ focused rather than ‘friends status’ based – many publishers are tapping into this by providing rich and insightful articles that are shared up to 30% more than their web based news pages.

As a marketer, if your brand isn’t using Canvas ads, you are losing out on engagement, clicks, and conversions.  We’ve seen a large increase in overall engagement from Canvas Ads, as audiences become familiar with brands’ ability to tell their narrative, and control the messages and images or video they see.

Facebook Canvas

Image Source: facebook.com

3. Facebook Marketplace

So, Facebook has noticed the amount of Groups dedicated to buying, selling and trading goods, and earlier this year delivered ‘Marketplace’ to their apps, which allow users to buy and sell goods.

They’re taking on eBay.

Facebook has seen more than 450 million people visit buy and sell groups each month and with the release of Marketplace, you too, can now trade with people in your local community.
Facebook Marketplace

Image Source: facebook.com

4. Custom Audiences Are The New Norm

Having just one Facebook conversion pixel has made making Custom Audiences easier, and with targeting audiences and customers even more a priority for Facebook Advertisers – it comes as no surprise, that the ability to create niche Custom Audiences are becoming more a focus for brands and marketers.

No longer are you simply relying on website visitors, or fans of your Page.

Now, you can create Custom Audiences, based on Video Engagement, who’s opened your Lead Form, who’s opened your Lead Form but didn’t complete it!

The opportunities this presents marketers keen to target specific audiences is huge, it means that the messaging and Ads you create become more tailored and bespoke, not only for your audiences, but for your audiences engagement history.

Custom Audience

5. Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality

Finally, Facebook 360 has really brought the immersive world to your screen.

This point needs it’s own point, because you’re going to be seeing a lot of this next year – much more than Instant Articles and Canvas, as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality hit the mainstream.

One only needed to be a bystander to Pokemon Go earlier this year, to see the huge impact that Augmented Reality is going to have – and how it’s going to be a mobile first experience – exactly what Facebook has been moving towards the last few years.

Did we mention that Facebook bought Oculus Rift for $2 billion?

You don’t make that kind of investment without some serious thoughts around how to bring VR to the masses.

Facebook 360

Image Source: https://facebook360.fb.com/

Your Views

That’s where we think Facebook is headed in 2017 – what are your thoughts?

Do you sense something big on the horizon that we’ve missed?

Let us know below.