#SFSNYC: How Facebook’s Mobile Studio Is Helping SMBs Target Consumers

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As consumers spend more and more time on mobile, the imperative for local businesses to bump up their mobile marketing strategies is more intense than ever. The challenge is greatest for small- and medium-sized businesses, which generally lack the large marketing teams of bigger brands.

Keara Tanella, SMB Lead at Facebook’s Creative Shop, tackled this issue head-on at Street Fight Summit in Brooklyn Tuesday. Delivering the morning’s keynote address, Tanella explained how local businesses can harness the tools of Facebook’s Mobile Studio to cultivate effective social and mobile marketing strategies.

The Creative Shop, which employs over 150 people at Facebook’s offices worldwide, exists to help businesses understand how they can reach consumers through the world’s most popular social network, Fast Company reported in January.

Facebook’s Mobile Studio offers a set of tools that allows businesses to craft dynamic digital ads right on their mobile phones, diminishing the disparity in creative ad power between SMBs and big brands.

Tanella showcased a video ad produced by Distinctive Gardens, a small business in Illinois two hours out of Chicago. The owners of Distinctive Gardens paid just $1.99 to replace the photo ads they had been displaying to potential customers with a dynamic, Mobile Studio-powered video ad encouraging mobile users to buy their trees. The cheap ad helped Distinctive Gardens sell so many products that the company had to stop running the ad due to a lack of inventory. 

Tanella emphasized the ease and low cost of the ad at a time when catching consumers’ attention is at its most difficult in the history of the consumer economy.

“It’s more important than ever to create relevant content that stops people as they scroll,” she said. “The myth is that in order to create great ads that are effective you need to spend a lot of time [and] a lot of money.”

In Mobile Studio, business owners can find a bevy of creative apps meant to help them grab users’ attention as they scroll through Facebook or surf the web. She said Facebook has vetted “hundreds if not thousands of creative apps” and highlights a select few that are most likely to help businesses meet their digital marketing goals, Tanella said.

Many of the tools and applications Tanella highlighted serve to transform static ads into dynamic ads, ranging from visuals that jump off the screen to full-on videos. While crafting a video ad may seem intimidating to uninitiated users, once mastered, the apps in Mobile Studio can turn a photo ad into a dynamic ad in under 10 seconds. Case studies show these ads can lead to as many as over 40 times the number of site visits that static ads yield.

For example, using Videoshop, businesses can take the logos they spend so much time designing and make them move around a mobile screen. Instead of consumers seeing a static logo with a specific offer beneath it while scrolling through a news feed, a Videoshop-powered ad will show the user a logo jumping toward their eyes, capturing their attention.

Using Legend, businesses can add motion to copy. A real-estate ad produced by Legend can show different shots of a property in rapid succession, displaying not just one shot of a room after another but roaming shots that provide comprehensive views of the property and also include prices.  

Other tools, taking merely a second or two to deploy, are even simpler. Mobile Studio can help businesses add backgrounds of different colors to their ads, keeping the same campaigns relevant throughout the year.

Joe Zappa is Street Fight’s news editor. Photograph by Shana Wittenwyler.

Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015. You can contact him at [email protected]