6 FACEBOOK Ad Mistakes That Can Sink Your Marketing Budget (and How to Avoid Them)

For those clients who do not really understand FACEBOOK, here are some tips to keep in mind. Facebook ads can be a great promotional option, and can provide significant benefits, with respect to both increasing brand awareness and boosting sales. But not all Facebook ad campaigns are created equal.

Often, even a seemingly simple oversight can cause you to quickly burn through your Facebook ads budget, without getting the results you want.

Like any marketing platform, Facebook ads require more than just engaging copy and standout visuals (though each is also critically important). By avoiding some common, simple Facebook ad mistakes, you can maximize your chances of achieving your desired results.

Here are six common Facebook ad errors that you need to avoid.


As with traditional ad mediums like TV and radio, you shouldn’t run the same ads all day and all night.

If you don’t set a limit on how often your ads are shown, you run the risk of overexposing your target audience, in fact, research from The Drum shows that users can start to experience campaign fatigue within three days of launch, if you’re not careful.

One of the best ways to avoid this is to set a custom schedule for your Facebook ad campaign. This enables you to only show your ads during the days, or at times that are of most relevance to your target audience.

By reaching customers at the times when they’re more likely to buy, and minimizing the risk of overexposure, you’ll see improved response to your campaign/s.


An engaging Facebook ad is only one half of the equation, you also need to consider where your ad takes users after they click.

For most brands, their ads will lead to a landing page, which is where you need to fulfill the promise of your initial promotion, and deliver on what’s grabbed their interest.

Unfortunately, many advertisers slip up at this point. Some marketers will run a promotion for a specific product, only to lead engaged users through to a generic home page – or even a completely different offer.

Your potential customers clicked on your ad because of what it promised. If the landing page connected to that ad doesn’t deliver on that promise, with matching copy, visuals and the like, those prospects will click away and your marketing budget will go to waste.

Ensure your landing page matches your ad. This is a key fundamental of Facebook ad performance.


Facebook can be a remarkable, and powerful platform for marketing, but that doesn’t mean that your campaign will always deliver amazing results from the get-go.

Facebook’s ad system uses machine learning to optimize for best results, but in order to maximize performance, it needs time to measure user response, then adjust accordingly.

Facebook explains this as a “learning phase”, in which it collects and evaluates initial performance, as per Facebook:
“The learning phase is the period when the delivery system still has a lot to learn about an ad set. During the learning phase, the delivery system is exploring the best way to deliver your ad set – so performance is less stable and cost-per-action (CPA) is usually worse. The learning phase occurs when you create a new ad or ad set or make a significant edit to an existing one.”

Research from KlientBoost found that most campaigns will take 24 to 48 hours to get enough data to fully optimize ad delivery. Impatient marketers who run short campaigns or begin tinkering after just a few hours will never reach this point, and will end up wasting their budget on unoptimized ads.

It can be tempting to make quick changes, especially when real dollars are on the line, but it may be worth waiting, where possible, or running your campaigns in set phases, in order to ensure that you’re seeing optimal response.


Even the best-run campaign will become less effective over time, and if you don’t have the capacity to constantly check-in and monitor your results, you run the risk of overlooking key issues. That can drive up your cost per acquisition, and eat away at your marketing budget – but by utilizing Facebook’s Automated Rules, you can avoid this.

Facebook’s Automated Rules enable you to automatically switch off a campaign or ad, or adjust a campaign budget or bid, based on set conditions.

As per Facebook:
“When you create automated rules in Ads Manager, they automatically check your campaigns, ad sets and ads, and then update or notify you of any changes. In addition to these automatic checks and notifications, the tool will also take the necessary actions for you.”

Your automated rules can include thresholds on cost per acquisition, number of impressions, daily spend, and more.

And while, as noted, you can let Facebook make automatic adjustments, AdEspresso recommends that you have Facebook simply send you a notification, so that you can make any needed changes yourself. That’ll ensure that you maintain control over, and awareness of, any campaign changes.


Remarketing can be a highly beneficial approach, but you don’t want to keep sending the same ad to someone who’s already clicked on it. If someone has already converted as a result of seeing your ad, they likely won’t want to see that ad again the next time they scroll through their feed.

To avoid this, be sure to exclude people who have purchased the advertised product within the last month (or taken the relevant campaign action) within your custom audiences settings.

Doing so will ensure that your ads reach new audiences who have the potential to become paying customers, while not annoying those who already know your brand.


Every audience is different, which inevitably means that they’ll also respond and engage in different ways with varying types of promotions.

Far too many brands funnel all of their Facebook marketing dollars into standard News Feed or right column ads, when you have the option to create potentially more engaging campaigns by experimenting with different media options, like videos or GIFs.

In one case study shared by Facebook, Champs Sports increased its return on ad spend by using 6-second video ads instead of 30-second ad units.

In this case, the 6-second ads delivered an 11% increase in estimated ad recall, 12% increase in return on ad spend and 271% increase in video completion rate – proving to be most effective in driving results for the brand. The 6-second ads also resulted in incremental lift across several other key metrics including conversion rate, average purchase value and clickthrough rate.”

Facebook marketers are leaving money on the table if they don’t A/B test different ad formats, finding the most effective format for your unique audience will help you make the most of your budget.

As noted, Facebook marketing can be a major boon for your marketing efforts, especially with the continued rollout of new features like search ads and mid-roll video ads. But regardless of whether you’re using these new options, or traditional Facebook advertising, you need to always be mindful of the way the platform works.

By optimizing your campaigns for Facebook’s audiences, you can have confidence that your ads will stay within budget, and deliver meaningful, tangible results for your business. #TheMoreWeKnow #cnasophis💡

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FACEBOOK Adds Custom Audience Creation Options Based on Shopping Activity

With Facebook and Instagram Shops on the way, Facebook has this week added some handy new Custom Audience creation options to align with increasing eCommerce activity.
As you can see in this screenshot, according to Andrew Hutchinson, Social Media Today 060120, now, in your Custom Audience options through Facebook Ads Manager, there’s a new option to create a listing based on ‘Shopping’.
Click through on that and you’ll have three new options to build custom lists for ad retargeting:
The available options are:
. People who viewed products
. People who added any products to their basket
. People who purchased any products
That provides a range of helpful ways to re-engage people who’ve expressed a clear interest in your products, and with customers up to 70% more likely to convert when retargeted with display ads, these will be valuable options for those looking to maximize their Facebook and Instagram eCommerce efforts.
The additions are a logical extension of Facebook’s existing retargeting options, which, as noted, will be of significant benefit, while they’ll also provide the capacity to create Lookalike Audiences based on the same. When you go to create a Lookalike Audience, you’ll be able to use your new Shopping custom audience as a base, which could help you target more users that are increasingly likely to buy, based on their on-platform behaviors and interests.
Clever use of audience segmentation and retargeting is key to success in digital marketing, and Facebook is looking to make it easier, with tools like these and it’s recently added email marketing options within the Pages app.
This will enable more retailers to get more out of their Facebook marketing efforts, and could go a long way to significantly improving overall performance.
The new audience options are being rolled out to all advertisers. #TheMoreWeKnow #cnasophis💡
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Facebook Expands Creator Monetization Program, Adds New Analytics Tools and Ad Options

Facebook is opening up its Fan Subscriptions and live-stream ‘Stars’ payment options to more creators, while also adding new ad tools and analytics insights to help creators maximize their Facebook presence.
The changes come as Facebook sees major increases in video viewing amid the COVID-19 lockdowns, with the consumption of live-streaming, in particular, reaching new highs.
First off, Facebook says that it will now allow more creators to sign up for its monetization tools.
As per Facebook:
“We’ve seen tremendous interest from people wanting to support their favorite creators, so we’re making fan subscriptions and Stars available to more creators.”
Now, any Facebook Page that meets the eligibility criteria will be able to sign-up for monetization. Though the actual details of eligilibity remain slightly vague:
“Creators and publishers must have an authentic, established presence on Facebook. To be eligible for all monetization features, this means having an established presence for at least 90 days. To gain access to in-stream ads, this also includes maintaining a sufficient follower base, indicated by your Facebook friends or followers.”
Sufficient’ is not a hard number, but you can get check your Page’s eligibility and apply here.
For those that do qualify, Facebook’s now adding new monetization options, including monthly recurring payments (fan subscriptions) and Stars goals which appear as a permanent overlay in videos.”
Creators and publishers must have an authentic, established presence on Facebook. To be eligible for all monetization features, this means having an established presence for at least 90 days. To gain access to in-stream ads, this also includes maintaining a sufficient follower base, indicated by your Facebook friends or followers.”
Facebook’s also adding automated thank you cards to acknowledge fan contributions in-stream – which seems to somewhat go against the ethos of crediting your committed fans, but it can also be difficult to individually respond to each during a broadcast.
In addition to this, Facebook’s adding more options for creators to monetize their video content:
Ads in Short-form Video – Facebook says that creators will now be able to monetize 60-180 second videos with image and post-roll ads.
. Ads for Live Video – Facebook is also working on new ad formats for live-streams, including mid-roll ads which play in the main screen while the stream continues in a smaller window.
. New Ad Experiences – Facebook’s also working to increase overall payouts for video creators in Watch. “For example, when people start watching videos in News Feed, we’re testing the option to continue watching in Watch after viewing a short ad”.
The tools will facilitate more revenue options for creators, and are minimally interruptive – or at least, no more interruptive that what viewers are accustomed to on other video platforms.
In addition to this, and in line with the increasing shift to digital events in replacement of physical functions, Facebook’s also testing a new option which would enable Page owners to monetize live events on Facebook.
“Paid online events are a new way of monetizing your live online event through a one-time access charge that’s collected when guests register to attend. Enabling an admission fee is done through the event set-up process and requires you to sign our terms of service and have a payment account on file.”
Many event organizers have already made a similar shift, posting events through a third-party event management platform, where they can charge an access fee, then providing attendees with approved entry. This option would essentially remove that middle step, enabling you to host the whole process through Facebook.
The option is being rolled out to selected Pages, with Facebook looking to expand the program in the coming weeks.
In addition to this, Facebook’s also adding new insights into Facebook Live broadcasts within the Video Details Explorer dashboard, including specific information on Stars performance.
And lastly, Facebook’s also rolling out new ‘Comment Insights’ for creators, which show how commenting on posts may lead to increased engagement and impressions.
Some users seeing the new prompts in action. Facebook also notes that it will provide weekly summaries of such in future.
As noted, with the increased shift to online video consumption, Facebook has been looking into new ways to help creators generate more revenue, in order to both keep them posting more regularly, and to provide an alternative source of revenue for musicians and other artists that have lost out due to COVID-19. These tools address some key elements, while the improved analytics will help guide your process in creating more effective, engaging content.
As always, the resulting effects will relate to your individual interpretation of the data, posting basic replies to every comment may or may not help, depending on how you do it, but it will provide new considerations, while also enabling more people to monetize their Facebook content. #TheMoreWeKnow #cnasophis💡
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Facebook Rolls Out Updates for Live Producer Streaming Platform, Including Graphic Overlays for Broadcasts

This could help to liven up your Facebook Live streams.
Back in March, Facebook announced a range of coming updates to its Live Producer platform for desktop streams, including graphic overlays and featured comments during the broadcast.

And while they’re not available to all users as yet, this week, Facebook has been rolling out the options to more creators, with Facebook marketing expert Mari Smith sharing these images of the new tools in action.

As you can see in the 2nd image, some users are now seeing a dedicated ‘Graphics’ tab in Live Producer, which enables you to add different types of graphic overlays on your stream.

Among the various options:

. You can add a news ticker that scrolls along the bottom of the broadcast

. You can highlight viewer comments on top of the stream

. You can run polls, and display viewer results in real-time

The options can add an extra level of professionalism to your Facebook Live streams, and with people now creating and consuming more live-stream content than ever amid the COVID-19 lockdowns, it could be the perfect time to up your live-stream skills in order to maximize audience engagement.

In addition to this, Facebook is also adding a new ‘Feature Link’ option for your live-streams:

That could provide another means to drive direct traffic from your stream, keeping your CTA top of mind as you broadcast.

These are some handy, helpful tools, which, as noted, come at a perfect time. Facebook has reported that viewership of Facebook Live streams has risen by 50% since January, with live videos also generally seeing much higher levels of engagement than regular video uploads.

Again, not all users will have access to these new Live Producer features as yet, but Facebook is rolling them out to more users, so if you’re not seeing them yet, you will soon.
You can access Facebook Live Producer here. #TheMoreWeKnow💡#cnasophis

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Facebook Makes ‘Collections’ Lists Publicly Shareable, Which Could Add New Functionality

In December last year, Facebook announced a new addition to its ‘Collections’ saved content option, which enabled users to share their Collections with friends, and invite others to contribute to the listings.

Collections provides a way to gather groups of posts, videos, Marketplace listings or ads, and save them in a separate list. Similar to Pinterest’s shared boards, Collections gives users a way to showcase the things that they’re interested in, while also, as noted, enabling friends to contribute, which can be helpful for event planning, gift registry listings, travel ideas, etc.

But now,  according to Andrew Hutchinson, Social Media Today 061720,  Facebook’s looking to expand Collections even further, with a new test of an option to share your saved Collections publicly, and enable friends to follow your lists.

In the screenshots above, you can see the new prompts for users to share their Collections publicly, with a new set of audience options to choose who can see and comment on your Collection.

In the case of collaborative Collections, the capacity to share more broadly could help to make it a more engaging option. But in the case or product listings in Collections, based on Marketplace posts, ads, and in future, products from Facebook shops, it could have an even bigger impact.

As we noted with the addition of shared lists among friends, the option opens up new avenues for influencer collaborations, with the capacity to use Collections to promote specific products or tools. The problem, at that stage, was scalability – as users wereonly able to share their Collections with a small amount of people, it limited its potential usage in this respect.

Now, people who post Collections will be able to share them publicly, which could open up a range of new use cases for promotions, with themed Collection sets available on anybody’s profile (once fully rolled out), which could help brands promote their products via influential community members.

In fact, similar Collections are available as part of Facebook’s new Shops option, with themed sets of items one of the display types.

Imagine that, but expanded to every user, where each individual Facebook profile can provide a showcase of items that people like.

There’s a range of opportunities here. At present, Facebook is only testing the new sharing options with a selected group of users in the US. But it could be worth keeping an eye on, and considering as another product promotion tool. #TheMoreWeKnow #cnasophis #Facebook

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Facebook Provides New Overview of How its Ad System Works

With more organizations looking to online options to connect with consumers, a lot of people are trying to get a better understanding of the details of Facebook’s ad systems. To help with this, this week, Facebook published a new overview of how its ad system works as part of its “Good Questions, Real Answers” series.

Here’s an overview of the key points.
First off, Facebook notes that it uses two key factors to determine which ads to show users:
Audience targeting, which is selected by advertisers, and determines which people are eligible to see each ad
It’s ad auction process, which is based on a range of factors relating to bid price, individual user engagement and ad quality

​The first point is relatively straight-forward – as explained by Facebook:
“First, advertisers choose their target audience through our self-service tools. Audiences are created based on categories like age and gender, as well as actions people take on our apps such as liking a Facebook Page or clicking on an ad. Advertisers can also use information they have about their audience, like a list of emails or people who’ve visited their website, to build a custom audience or a lookalike audience.”

So you can use Facebook’s in-depth audience targeting tools, based on their profile and behavioral information related to Facebook usage and data, or you can upload your own audience information and look to either target them, or people with similar traits, via Facebook’s systems.

Lookalike Audiences can be a particularly powerful option in this respect. With Lookalikes, Facebook’s systems are able to match the profile data of your existing email or customer list against other profiles on Facebook, in order to find people who share the same interests and traits. The accuracy of lookalikes does depend on the amount of data you provide Facebook’s system, and will vary from audience to audience, but they can be a good way to reach people similar to those who’ve already shown interest in your products.
But here’s where Facebook ads get more complex.

After you’ve chosen your target audience, and submitted your ad, Facebook will then decide who actually sees your promotion by determining the best match for each individual user based on this calculation:

Each Facebook user has a range of ads that they could be shown each time they log on, based on the aforementioned targeting process. Based on the eligible ads, Facebook will then determine a ‘winner’ for each user based on:
Advertiser Bid – How much money you’re spending on your Facebook ads – the more you allocate, the more this will contribute to reach
Estimated Action Rate – Facebook estimates the likelihood that each user will take action on an ad, based on a range of factors relating to their individual behaviors
Ad Quality – Facebook measures this based on feedback from users (e.g. how many people report or hide your ad) and “assessments of low-quality attributes” (too much text in the ad’s image, sensationalized language, engagement bait).

Of these three elements, you can control the first and last point – you determine how much you’re willing to spend and ad quality is based on a range of technical and objective factors, the latter being difficult to advise on in a general sense.

Estimated Action Rate is a more variable factor, which is largely out of your control – though not entirely.

As per Facebook:
“To find the estimated action rate, machine learning models predict a particular person’s likelihood of taking the advertiser’s desired action, based on the business objective the advertiser selects for their ad, like increasing visits to their website or driving purchases. To do this, our models consider that person’s behavior on and off Facebook, as well as other factors, such as the content of the ad, the time of day, and interactions between people and ads.”

So, you obviously can’t control what people do on or off Facebook. But you can provide Facebook with more context on such, as it relates to your business.

In determining user behavior, Facebook factors in:
Things a person does while using Facebook apps, like clicking on an ad or liking a post.

Things a person does outside of Facebook that businesses share with us via our Business Tools, like visiting a website, purchasing a product or installing an app.

The Business Tools that Facebook refers to here include the Facebook Pixel, which helps to provide more contextual data to Facebook based the actions that people take on your website:
“When someone visits your website and takes an action (for example, buying something), the Facebook pixel is triggered and reports this action. When more and more conversions happen on your website, Facebook gets better at delivering your ads to people who are more likely to take certain actions”

So adding the Facebook Pixel to your website can help to improve your ad performance by ensuring that Facebook is able to target people who have visited your website, and/or those who have purchased from you in the past – or people who share similar traits to those who have.

So while you can’t significantly influence the Estimated Action Rate stat, as it’s based on individual behavior, you can help better inform Facebook as to people who are more likely to take action by installing the Pixel on your site, which can subsequently improve ad performance.

In addition to these notes, Facebook also provides some extra pointers:
Ads with the highest bid don’t always win the auction. Ads with lower bids often win if our system predicts a person is more likely to respond to them, or finds that they’re higher quality.

Facebook does not sell people’s data to advertisers or anyone else
Facebook does not use the content of people’s text messages or phones’ microphone to inform ads or to change what they see in News Feed

So Facebook’s not listening into your private conversations, no matter how much it might seem like it. There’s a range of explanations as to how it could be determining your interests around conversations you have, but Facebook has repeatedly noted, even under oath, that it does not do this.

In summary, Facebook’s ad action utilizes a range of factors which are determined by Facebook’s systems, and many of them are difficult to influence. But there are certain ways in which you can improve the performance of your Facebook ads.

Good creative is really the key, ensuring you’re creating messages that resonate with your target audience, but these other factors will also help to improve reach and response. #TheMoreWeKnow #cnasophis💡

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FACEBOOK Shops: What Shops Could Spell for the Future of Social Commerce

Social commerce is already a serious business but Facebook’s announcement that it is launching Facebook Shops, supported by a string of other e-commerce features, means it just got seriously serious, as Sam Bird writes in The Drum Network (061020).
What is Facebook Shops?
Shops will give businesses the ability to display and sell products directly from Facebook apps in a significant step-up of its e-commerce services. Unlike its existing Marketplace, which offers peer to peer selling, Shops will allow businesses to set up free online stores accessible via Facebook and Instagram. People will be able to browse products, save them in a basket and place an order without leaving the App.
Facebook Shops will seek to bring many of their existing, and future, e-commerce solutions together as they look to develop a broader ecosystem across Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp – perhaps something more akin to WeChat’s in-app commerce functionality.
Along with Shops, Facebook has announced an integrated messaging solution to allow shoppers to contact businesses directly and eventually make payments directly through chat. They will also be rolling out live shopping to enable purchasing in real-time, a new ‘shop’ button to the explore section of Instagram and the ability to connect loyalty programs to Facebook accounts.
As with most of its services, Shops will be free for businesses to use with Facebook, hoping to boost consumer engagement and connect the impact of advertising on the platform through the funnel. Ultimately, Facebook has long had the ambition to reduce reliance on third parties to prove the effectiveness of its activity and in-app commerce helps achieve this as well as capturing further purchasing and geographic data on their audience.
What does it mean for the e-commerce landscape?
It’s a move that will be seen by many as a clear challenge to Amazon, eBay and other online retailers and one that may add further pressure to bricks and mortar stores. However, it is unlikely to pose any significant threat to Amazon due to its warehouse and fulfilment capabilities.
Facebook has positioned Shops as a solution for small, independent retail stores reeling from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to retail, Zuckerberg’s response directly referenced restaurants which are likely to turn the heads of the major takeaway delivery such as Deliveroo or Uber Eats. In fact, given the difference in the Facebook Shops model to Amazon from a fulfilment perspective, it may well be that businesses with an established delivery model in place benefit most from these new services.
Unlike Amazon and other search-based e-commerce channels, Facebook Shops will be better suited to the product discovery space where it’s ecosystem can become a digital window-shopping experience for users to browse. In those more impulsive moments, a seamless purchasing experience is vital to capitalise on the immediate consumer intent.
What do Facebook Shops mean for businesses?
As Facebook Shops seeks to give small independent stores the ability to scale through the continued digitisation of local products and services, you can see its role in an omnichannel approach for businesses large and small. Through the greater access to geographic data or localisation of experiences, brands could begin to redefine the role of stores in the consumer experience.
Allowing sales through Facebook Shop may lead to the ‘digital shelf’ moving further from the immediate control of businesses. This is a decision that will need to be weighed against a potential upturn in sales. Whatever the possible negatives, there’s a huge amount to be said for a frictionless sales experience on a platform where most audiences already are. An opportunity brands will be wise to consider.
This move will bring social media and eCommerce closer together, however, it is important that brands don’t forget the ‘social’ in social commerce. This could have a significant impact on the approach required to product imagery, live video, and the tone taken in messaging apps be it bot-driven or human.
With shoppers already shifting online before the pandemic, social distancing measures have accelerated consumers switching to eCommerce. It is a switch that is likely to remain even as lockdown measures relax. If Facebook Shops can deliver a seamless purchase experience, it could be well placed to seriously capitalise on these changing consumer behaviours. Which begs the questions, is it time you got serious about social commerce too?#TheMoreWeKnow #cnasophis #Facebook
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Social Media Marketers Up Their Use of Instagram Video

Last year, consumers spent an average of 84 minutes per day watching videos online. And, with time spent consuming online video expected to increase in the next two years, not to mention the reported increase in video consumption during the current COVID-19 pandemic, marketers have a clear opportunity to reach potential consumers through video marketing. Indeed, 85% of social media marketers surveyed for the latest annual report from Social Media Examiner are using video. Here’s a look at which platforms they’re using and plan to double down on in the near future.

YouTube continues to be the most widely used platform by social media marketers, with 55% reporting its use this year.
YouTube is followed by Facebook video (49%). However, while YouTube is used by more respondents, both YouTube and Facebook video are considered the most important video channel by a similar share of marketers (24% and 25%, respectively).

On the other hand, Instagram Stories is only cited as the most important video channel by 14% of marketers. Nonetheless, it is the third most-used video platform, with 46% of respondents using it this year. What’s more, its use has grown considerably over 2019, more than doubling the 22% from last year’s study.

While LinkedIn is being used by 6 in 10 (59%) social media marketers, it is lagging behind other platforms in terms of video use and importance. The video capabilities of the business-oriented social network are used by only 16% of respondents, and a mere 5% considered it to be the most important social video channel. That said, LinkedIn video use does skew more towards B2B than B2C companies, with 27% of B2B respondents saying they used the platform compared to 10% of their B2C counterparts.

Use of Live Video Low

Recent research by Sprout Social reveals that more than half (56%) of the marketers surveyed are planning to try live video this year. Social Media Examiner’s survey shows that there’s plenty of room for growth, as a majority (54%) said they’re not using live video – surprisingly up from last year (44%).

Overall, Facebook Live (38%) is the most popular live video platform, followed by Instagram Live (17%), YouTube Live (8%) and LinkedIn Live (8%). And, when respondents were asked which live video channel was most important to them, the majority (64% share) cited Facebook Live, while fewer preferred Instagram Live (19%), YouTube Live (10%) and LinkedIn Live (5%).

It should be noted that Social Media Examiner’s survey was fielded in January 2020. As such, it does not take into account the unexpected cancellation of many in-person events. This will have forced marketers to find viable alternatives, including the use of live video, and has prompted LinkedIn to release its LinkedIn Virtual Events tool.

Future Plans For Video Marketing

So, what does the future hold for video marketing? The majority of marketers say that, in the near future, they intend to increase their use of the big 3 platforms, YouTube (69%), Facebook Video (66%) and Instagram Video (70%), with another 46% saying they plan to increase their use of LinkedIn Video.

The increased use of these platforms, along with the majority of marketers choosing not to explore the use of newer video options such as TikTok (74%) or Twitch (87%), indicates that most marketers are preferring to stick with the tried-and-true video platforms. #TheMoreWeKnow #cnasophis 💡

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There’s no short-selling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global media industry, and the wide-reaching ramifications will exist for the foreseeable future. Despite the epic fragmentation, certain indicators offer guidance about what the future will look like. Advertising, particularly local advertising, is one of them, given that local businesses are the lifeblood that fuels the thousands of communities across the U.S. And importantly, a new Nielsen analysis indicates that spot advertising in local markets appears to be starting to turn the corner after declining in some areas by as much as 35% at the end of March.

According to Nielsenven in tough times, there’s a need and place for advertising. In more recent weeks, local spot TV ad units are coming back faster, rising 5% during the week of April 27, 2020. Unlike national and cable TV ads, which most TV viewers in the U.S. see regardless of location, local spot ads appear in specific markets and clusters of markets. As such, monitoring local ad spot trends provides insight into the future health of our local media markets.

Notably, the pandemic and resulting shelter-in-place restrictions hit local businesses particularly hard. With 49 U.S. states now at least partially re-open, local businesses can actively use local advertising to re-engage consumers seeking to get back to life away from their homes. Many advertisers are already activating, as we’ve seen an uptrend and leveling of ad units following the local ad spot low during the week of March 30, 2020.

Not all markets are on the upswing from a local spot ad perspective, but a majority are, indicating a strengthening business environment for many regions. For the week ended April 27, 2020, ad units in 101 out of  the top 132 markets increased. While the average increase was 5%, some ad units in some markets are up by double-digits. Ad units in Lansing, Mich., Portland, Maine, Flint, Mich., Harlingen, Texas, Boise, Idaho, and Honolulu, Hawaii, for example, were up more than 20%.

Importantly, aggregate and regional trends don’t highlight insights around specific ad categories. So, to better understand ad category trends at the local level, we examined ad unit changes across all local markets and bucketed the categories into three groups: reduced, resilient and rebound.

Businesses in the reduced bucket include those most affected by business closures during the height of shelter-in-place restrictions, such as gyms, restaurants and salons. These businesses reduced advertising the most and ad units in this bucket remain low.

Businesses and organizations in the resilient bucket include those that were somewhat insulated from the shelter-in-place restrictions and have stayed the course over the past few months. Examples include direct response, engineering and government. In the local ad market, ad units from this grouping increased from just under 25% to almost 36%.

Businesses and organizations in the rebound bucket are the ones to watch going forward, as they are largely connected to the communities in which they operate. Retail stores are the most prominent in this bucket, as they account for more than 10% of local spot ads. Ad units in the rebound bucket dropped 32% between March 9 and March 30, but then increased 8% by April 27. Auto advertising, like retail, is a key business health indicator for a local market, and share of all spot TV ads began trending up during the week of April 27 (up to almost 6%) after dropping just under 5% in late March. Other rebounding sectors include communications and public utilities, and hotels/resorts.

Looking more closely at the auto realm, the dealership and dealer association sub-genres have posted an even stronger rebound in certain markets. Salt Lake City, for example, benefited from statewide eased restrictions for dining, gym and salon businesses on May 1. The market saw almost 300 more ad units in the week of April 27 than in the week of March 9. Dealership ad units were also up more than 100 in nine of the top gaining markets. Fresno, Ft. Myers and Columbus, Ohio, led the way with gains of more 260 units over the same period.


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Which TV Shows Have Been Renewed, Which Have Been Canceled and Which Are We Waiting to Hear About?

Since mid-March, the coronavirus pandemic has upended every aspect of life in the United States, causing stay-at-home mandates in most states in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19.

As a consequence, the entertainment industry, per Kate Arthur, Variety 052120, a multi-billion-dollar global business, has come to a grinding halt, with every television show and movie indefinitely shut down, putting most of the tens of thousands of people employed by those productions out of work. The shutterings hit the broadcast networks — Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC, and The CW — toward the end of the traditional TV season, so some shows had already completed production before the summer hiatus. Others — such as ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” which had shot 21 episodes of its 25-episode order — simply had to adjust accordingly, concluding its season early on April 9.

The bigger concern for the networks is what to do with their fall 2020 schedules, which under normal circumstances would have been unveiled to advertisers, the press and the public during the broadcasters’ flashy upfront presentations in mid-May. As the scope of the coronavirus emergency became clear, the networks all announced in mid-March that they would stream their upfronts instead of doing them at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Rockefeller Center and Lincoln Center.

Now, according to a report in AdWeek, the entire upfronts process is in flux, with NBCUniversal delaying their presentation, and ad buyers expressing doubt that their clients will be ready to spend money. After all, pilot season, when the networks typically produce shows that will vie for places on the fall and midseason schedule, simply did not happen this year, and no one knows when it will be safe to begin filming again. On top of everything else, a global recession looms.

So everything is guesswork right now, with the most likely scenario being that the networks’ 2019/20 shows will mostly be renewed, even marginal performers — and their most promising pilots on paper will receive straight-to-series orders. That plan, however, is predicated on the so-far unsubstantiated notion that the pandemic will have abated by July, and some semblance of normal life will be able to resume.

Truly, who knows?

What is certain is in the coming months, the broadcast networks will renew some shows, and cancel others. And Variety will continuously update this post as those decisions are made.


“America’s Got Talent” (premieres May 26), “American Ninja Warrior” (summer premiere, maybe), “The Blacklist,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Chicago Fire” (for three more seasons!), “Chicago Med” (for three more seasons!), “Chicago P.D.” (for three more seasons!), “Ellen’s Game of Games,” “Good Girls,” “Law & Order: SVU” (for three more seasons!), “Making It,” “New Amsterdam” (for three more seasons!), “Songland” (summer premiere), “Superstore,” “This Is Us” (for two more seasons!), “The Wall”

“The InBetween,” “Sunnyside”

Awaiting news
“America’s Got Talent: The Champions,” “Bluff City Law,” “Council of Dads,” “Indebted,” “Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector,” “Little Big Shots,” “Manifest,” “Perfect Harmony,” “The Voice,” “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”

Hasn’t premiered/returned yet
“The Titan Games” (May 25), “World of Dance” (May 26)

Moving to Peacock
“A.P. Bio”

“Blindspot,” “The Good Place,” “Will & Grace”


“The $100,000 Pyramid,” “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” “American Housewife,” “American Idol,” “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette” (pushed to fall), “Bachelor in Paradise” (not happening), “Black-ish,” “Card Sharks,” “Celebrity Family Feud,” “The Conners,” “The Goldbergs,” “The Good Doctor,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Holey Moley,” “Match Game,” “A Million Little Things,” “Mixed-ish,” “Press Your Luck,” “The Rookie,” “Shark Tank,” “Station 19,” “Stumptown,” “To Tell the Truth,” “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”

“Bless this Mess,” “Emergence,” “Grand Hotel,” “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” “Reef Break,” “Schooled,” “Single Parents”

Awaiting news
“The Baker and the Beauty,” “Family Food Fight,” “For Life”

Hasn’t premiered yet
“United We Fall” (premiere date TBA)

“Fresh Off the Boat,” “How to Get Away With Murder,” “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” “Modern Family”


“All Rise,” “Big Brother” (summer premiere, maybe), “Blue Bloods,” “Bob Hearts Abishola,” “Blood & Treasure” (summer premiere), “Bull,” “Evil,” “FBI,” “FBI: Most Wanted,” “Love Island” (summer premiere, maybe), “MacGyver,” “Magnum P.I.,” “Mom,” “NCIS,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” “The Neighborhood,” “SEAL Team,” “Survivor,” “S.W.A.T.,” “Undercover Boss,” “The Unicorn,” “Young Sheldon”

“Broke,” “Carol’s Second Act,” “God Friended Me,” “Man With a Plan,” “Tommy”

Awaiting news
“Big Brother: Celebrity Edition”

Hasn’t premiered/returned yet
“The Amazing Race” (premiere date TBA — was May 20), “Game On” (May 20), “Tough as Nails” (July 8)

“Criminal Minds,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “Madam Secretary”


“9-1-1,” “9-1-1: Lone Star,” “Beat Shazam,” “Bless the Harts,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “Duncanville,” “Family Guy,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Last Man Standing,” “The Masked Singer,” “MasterChef Junior,” “Prodigal Son,” “The Resident,” “The Simpsons,” “So You Think You Can Dance” (scheduled for a summer premiere, but who knows)

“Almost Family,” “BH90210,” “Deputy,” “Outmatched”

Awaiting news
“Flirty Dancing,” “MasterChef,” “LEGO Masters”

Hasn’t premiered/returned yet
“Filthy Rich” (premiere date moved to fall), “The Great North” (premiere date midseason 2020/21), “Mental Samurai” (had to shut down production, so premiere date TBA), “NeXt” (premiere date moved to fall), “Ultimate Tag” (premiere date TBA)

Moved to Hulu
“The Orville”


The CW

“All American,” “Batwoman,” “Black Lightning,” “Burden of Truth” (summer premiere), “Charmed,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” “Dynasty,” “The Flash,” “In the Dark,” “Legacies,” “Nancy Drew,” “The Outpost” (summer premiere), “Pandora” (summer premiere), “Penn & Teller: Fool Us,” “Riverdale,” “Roswell, New Mexico,” “Supergirl,” “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”
Nothing yet!

Awaiting news
“Katy Keene”


“The 100,” “Arrow,” “Supernatural”

CBS, the #1 TV Broadcast Network in 2020 Presents the 2020-21 schedule (all times EDT/PDT):


“The Neighborhood,” 8 p.m.

“Bob Hearts Abishola,” 8:30 p.m. 

“All Rise,” 9 p.m.

“Bull,” 10 p.m.


“NCIS,” 8 p.m.

“FBI,” 9 p.m. 

“FBI: Most Wanted,” 10 p.m. 


“Survivor,” 8 p.m. 

“The Amazing Race,” 9 p.m.

“Seal Team,” 10 p.m.


“Young Sheldon,” 8 p.m. 

“B Positive,” 8:30 p.m.

“Mom,” 9 p.m. 

“The Unicorn,” 9:30 p.m. 

“Evil,” 10 p.m.


“MacGyver,” 8 p.m.

“Magnum P.I.,” 9 p.m. 

“Blue Bloods,” 10 p.m. 


“48 Hours,” 10 p.m. 


“60 Minutes” 7 p.m.

“The Equalizer,” 8 p.m. 

“NCIS: Los Angeles,” 9 p.m. 

“NCIS: New Orleans,” 10 p.m. 

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