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Klara Lynch, EOP Strategic Insight & Planning, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board

As has been discussed in previous FoodAlert articles, the growth of digital marketing and social advertising in recent years has been rapid. With about 64% of the Irish population having a Facebook account and there being an estimated 1.695 million people using the site on a daily basis in Ireland, it is no shock to learn that the total Irish Digital Ad Spend reached €445 million in 2016 (Ipsos MRBI, 2017)(IAB Ireland, 2017). But what’s the draw to Facebook and its advertising offerings and why should Irish brands be using them?

Facebook and Instagram (Facebook Inc.’s other social media offering) both allow brands to connect with current and potential consumers in fun, appealing and convincing ways. In particular, the popularity of video adverts has grown rapidly in recent years, with the average spend on digital video advertising increasing by 67% since 2015 (IAB, 2017). The reason for this is that video adverts enable brands to easily communicate with audiences, in a quick, efficient way, while also allowing them to highlight their brand message.

Another reason why brands should be utilising the Facebook Inc. platforms is due to the impressive targeting technology and options that they provide to marketers. Facebook Inc. allows marketers to use demographic targeting, in-depth interest targeting, online behavioural targeting and more to find the most qualified audience for their brand or product. Furthermore, it also enables marketers to build and create audiences based on people that are similar to their customers (Lookalike Audiences). Alternatively, marketers can utilise the data that Facebook Users share with the platform to create audiences of people who have completed certain actions on their website or app, e.g. added a product to a basket (Custom Audiences) (Facebook, 2018).

In January 2018 Facebook announced upcoming changes to the Facebook News Feed algorithm, which will see Feeds showing more posts by friends and connections, over businesses or organisations. While this will impact organic content, brands can still use Facebook Inc.’s advertising capabilities to leverage their brand’s position and increase brand awareness and recognition among the intended audiences (AdWeek, 2018).

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