It isn’t always you or your team’s fault when your brand gets bad exposure. No sighs of relief should be breathed yet, though. Facebook (as usual) is to blame. Well, actually it is most display networks, but we are focused on Facebook here. The past year or two, brands started to notice Google was allowing any old brand’s ads to run alongside extremist videos as well as on radical news sites.
Why Do We Have to Worry About Brand Safety?
Your ads don’t solely rely on Facebook to advertise. They could pop up on the side of any site. Facebook is already transferring their ads to other parts of their platform and still, the news feeds are clogged with ads. So, can you imagine if every single ad was stuck on Facebook? They would reach saturation quickly and things would hit a stand-still. The remedies are Facebook audience network, instant articles, and in-stream video.
- Facebook Audience Network (FAN): A network of mobile sites and apps which can be selected as a placement at ad set level, allowing your ads to appear outside of the Facebook.
- Instant Articles: A mobile web format which allows news articles to load quicker than on Facebook. The ads sit at the bottom of articles.
- In-Stream Video: Allows the delivery of 5- to 15-second video ads within videos.
These placements are great for reaching more potential customers. While you can choose whether or not you want to use the placements, you can’t choose where they appear. So, a wholesome pre-school ad could end up on an extremist website or content classified as NSFW. Obviously, if you are purposefully looking at controversial sites you can’t blame Facebook for what comes up for ads. It’s not about that though, it’s about the reputation of a brand in the eyes of the uninformed. For all people know, your brand chose to put that ad on that particular site.
Protect Your Brand
For a very long time (until last year) Facebook provided no way advertisers could see where their ads were appearing, nor could they target specific placements or block bad ones. So, they released the ability to block certain categories of placement and upload a block list. The chart below is provided by Merkle, they recommend using medium for maximum reach and efficiency while protect branding. High level would be for those who are extremely concerned about where they are appearing.
So, is All This Worth it?
Yes, just stick to the brand safety chart. If you choose to only display ads in feed, your problem is solved but you will have a limited reach. It’s not very cost-effective. When ads run through FAN, the cost versus solely mobile newsfeed has shown to be nearly half. In-stream video ads have a view rate of around 80 percent, whereas video ads alone in the newsfeed have a view rate around 3 percent.
However, results can vary widely depending on the client and ad. In-stream video ads sound perfect but people only watch them because they must to continue watching the video’s content. Everything has a plus side and a minus side, you just have to decide what you would prefer when it comes to give and take.