Molly Pittman – Digital Advertising Specialist 

The theme of this year in digital marketing is authenticity. More than ever before, consumers are choosing to buy from the brands and businesses that they can build the deepest relationships with. Relationships that feel real and raw, without the mask that we’ve worn to present ourselves and/or our brand as who we think our market wants us to be.

This shift is driven by the polarity in the world (especially in the US), the over- saturation of marketing messages, and the transparency that ultimately emerges because of our interconnection via social media. Consumers are demanding transparency, as you can witness through social movements like #metoo. And this transparency has bled into the business world.

So, why is this important to us as advertisers? Simple. No matter the ad platform(s) you’re using to reach prospects and customers… your strategy must change.

Why? Because consumer expectations have changed. And I’m not talking about the button-pressing, campaign-structure side of media buying (even though some of that is changing, too :)) I’m talking about how you interact with your market. What you’re SAYING in your ads. What offers you’re using to attract prospects.

Marketing has been a one-to-many sport until now. Now, the market expects a conversation, and it’s up to you to start it.

This shift can be seen in a big way on the Facebook advertising platform. Because of the changes I’ve mentioned and the Cambridge Analytica scandal of 2018, Facebook feels like a completely different platform than it did 1-2 years ago.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal was positioned as a “hack” by the media. If you read up on the situation you’ll find that, although it was unfortunate, what happened with Cambridge Analytica was actually OK under Facebook’s terms of service back  in 2014 when the data scraping actually occurred. As soon as Facebook discovered that Cambridge Analytica was able to scrape data, they immediately changed their terms of service.

But this resurfaced in 2018 when Zuckerberg went in front of Congress. The issue was blown way out of proportion as the mainstream media put their spin on things, leaving the general public (who has no idea how Facebook really works) confused and without trust in the platform.

Facebook had to respond. They had to make changes to win back the trust of the public. That is why we saw more changes to the FB platform than ever before in the last 6-8 months. Changes we weren’t used to seeing… these were not your normal product updates.

Ads and offers that used to work are no longer working. Facebook hired thousands of people to battle fake news and protect the data of its users. And Facebook made fundamental shifts to how

their algorithm worked in an attempt to win back the public and to make Facebook a happier, safer place.

The ads that generate shares,

comments, reactions, and clicks

are the ads that will get the most reach

at the lowest price for advertisers.

The biggest change for media buyers had to do with Facebook’s ad algorithm. To win back the trust of the public, Facebook shifted the algorithm to optimize for ads that users wanted to see and INTERACT with.

This meant that you couldn’t just launch any ad that followed FB’s TOS and generate results simply because you’re giving the platform money. Facebook’s  priority changed from revenue to user experience. It had to.

So, what does this mean? In short, the ads that win on Facebook in 2019 will be   the ones that have the most social proof. Facebook is using social proof as the #1 indicator that a market enjoys and wants to engage with a particular ad.

This means a shift for us as advertisers. Instead of direct response ads that speak to the features and benefits of our products/services, we as advertisers must go native.

Ads that look and feel like posts in your newsfeed from a friend, are the ads that are winning on Facebook right now. So use creatives that look personal, NOT professional ad creatives that scream AD.

This also means that our approach to ad copy must change. 2019 is about having a conversation with your market through your ads.

When you sit down to write ad copy, act as though you’re writing to a friend. Tell a story. Motivate your market. Write something that inspires them and is so transparent and “real” that they want to share it with their friends. This  can  be  done  in  any market, to sell any product or service.

Ultimately, this push for authenticity will drive advertising in 2019. I believe it’s going to result in happier consumers and a healthier advertising landscape. Although Facebook was essentially forced to change, its new model provides the transparency that consumers demand in today’s marketplace.

Think of it this way – our customers are looking for more genuine, more respectful advertising. And I am all about it. I hope you are, too :). We will talk in-depth about authenticity in Team Traffic, because those that embrace the change fastest will win big in 2019. You don’t have to wait, though!

Take 15 minutes today to reflect on these questions…
  • How can you be more transparent in your advertising?
  • What stories can you tell to relate to your audience?
  • How can you truly serve your market?


Join Molly on the Gold Coast  23rd & 24th August for the two-day Digital Marketer Down Under Conference designed to help you demystify digital  marketing BOOK NOW LIMITED PLACES