Facebook recently introduced Coupon Post Ads, a brand new ad unit designed to pique the interest of brands looking to integrate the platform into their drive-to-store media mix. Coupon Post ads live in the Premium ad placement on the Homepage or on a brand’s Facebook wall. This unit follows page posts and promo-driven premium/marketplace ad units, which empower advertisers to incorporate offers into their messaging and deliver value by providing fans with tangible discounts and promotions. As we highlighted in our Digital Coupons Playbook, digital coupons are becoming increasingly important as a new generation of shoppers turn to the web for savings.
Coupon Post Ads are similar to Facebook’s expanded post ad units, appearing alongside a user’s News Feed results or within the News Feed as a post if the user has already liked the brand (see image below). The ad displays the brand name, specifics on the offer itself and information regarding when the coupon expires. The unit also provides different ways to engage with the offer: Get the Coupon or Share the Coupon.
After clicking the Get the Coupon link, the user is sent a Facebook email that contains a printable version of the coupon. The offer can be redeemed by printing the email or showing the email in store on the mobile phone. The user can also share the coupon with friends within the ad unit.
A rep from Facebook provided these pillars to explain the Discovery, Activation, Redemption and Amplification process:
- Discovery: Coupon Post Ad, News Feed, Brand Profile, Friend’s Profile, Sponsored Story Ad
- Activation: Click on Get Coupon and receive email
- Redemption: Print coupon or show email in store on mobile device
- Amplification: Each redemption allows the Coupon Post to appear in new location (News Feed, friend’s profile, or Sponsored Story Ad)
What makes Coupon Post Ads unique is the inherently social nature of the unit within the Facebook environment. After someone engages with the unit, the Coupon will appear as an update on the individual’s profile, exposing the offer to a much broader network via the News Feed.
The reach can also extend via Sponsored Story ads that appear post-engagement. In this phase, the offer could appear in several locations within the Facebook experience: brand’s profile page, connection’s News Feed, in an ad unit (Coupon Post Ad or Sponsored Story) alongside the news feed and on redeemer’s profile. As we’ve discussed in previous posts, Facebook continues to create ways for paid and earned media to work in tandem to expand reach and personalize a brand’s marketing efforts.
Facebook currently has Check In Deals – available only via mobile – but these should not be confused with the new Coupon Post Ads or with Facebook’s now defunct Daily Deals offering, which the platform eliminated early this year. Unlike Check In Deals, Coupon Post Ads are not location-based and can be used at any national retail location.
This new ad unit will interest marketers looking to integrate Facebook into their drive-to store media mix. Customers utilize Facebook as a destination to get the latest deals. Recent Nielsen reports support this notion; for example, 56 to 64 percent of Facebook users utilize social media for the sole purpose of getting coupons. Moreover, learning about social media deals is the number one reason why people “Like” brands on Facebook. Brands understand this and utilize Facebook to complement promotions running in other online media channels, offering specific deals to fans and followers. Furthermore according to Nielsen, Facebook advertising provides a lift in purchase intent, making the new Coupon Post Ads a natural fit into brands trying to drive revenue in store.
Beyond aligning with consumer behavior patterns that prove people are looking to digital more and more for deals on their favorite brands and products, Coupon Post Ads also provide marketers with a simple way to measure the impact of online/social to in store sales with the email or mobile redemption capabilities. Most importantly, the social aspect of the ad magnifies the offer by appearing throughout the Facebook experience once engagement occurs, allowing for virility and passalong. That said, brands will have the most success with digital coupons if they provide people with an opportunity to continue engagement beyond redemption; Facebook presents an ideal opportunity for this via a brand’s community within the platform.
-Ellen Fokas is a Media Supervisor at 360i.