Baselworld 2014 Goes Native—With Social Media

I have seen numerous ads in my Facebook News Feed promoting Baselworld, the world’s largest watch and jewelry trade show, which wraps up its 2014 edition tomorrow.  Baselworld’s ads were hard to miss because of the frequency and creative, employing a compelling image that spanned the entire width of the News Feed.

These types of native ads on the major social nets—Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.—are growing quickly. According to a report by BIA/Kelsey, native-social ad revenues are up 77 percent year over year (2013 vs. 2012), and they are “growing at a significantly faster pace than social display, the predominant social ad category.”

I am not surprised at the growth of these in-stream ads considering the key performance indicators I have seen firsthand from campaigns for Encore clients’ exhibitions and events, including much higher click-through rates than standard display campaigns, with lower cost per click.  As such, my agency is integrating native-social ads into the impression portfolios for our clients’ shows as much as possible.

Here are three benefits to note about the specific social media venue in which Baselworld ran their ads…

  1. Facebook News Feed ads enable you to leverage prime screen real estate with ads that have a similar “look and feel” to organic content.
  2. Social overlays (i.e. likes, comments and shares), which are part of Facebook News Feed ads, provide additional exposure at no extra cost. For example, one of the Baselworld ads I saw had 610 combined social actions. This is on top of the standard click-thru engagement.
  3. You can leverage your own first-party data so, for example, you can retarget people in the Facebook News Feed that have visited your show web site with a customized target-relevant message.

If you are not currently using native-social ads, the growth curve here would suggest the time has come to go native!

Cristopher Levy runs Encore Media Partners, an audience strategy, marketing and media buying agency, which specializes in “live” exhibitions and events. Connect with him on LinkedIn or atclevy@encoremediapartners.com.