New research from Facebook shows how brands can use touchpoints, commerce integration and creators to move the dial on brand metrics.

When it comes to brand building on Facebook, we talk a lot about our role in driving reach, specifically grabbing attention within the first three seconds, which often feels like nailing a three second audition. This approach is great at building brand metrics like awareness.

However, there has always been a big ‘but’ from the industry: “Can Facebook actually shift deeper brand metrics like consideration?” Typically, these are the most challenging and valuable brand metrics to shift.

We took on this challenge and developed one of the largest ever EMEA brand studies that analysed results from 7,000 campaigns from 54 countries across 20 verticals. The insights were truly fascinating. At a very top-level, we found that Facebook can shift deeper brand metrics by 139%, but it involves a different approach.

This approach requires using three key multipliers on the platform, which we call ‘Connected Experiences’, ‘Connected Discovery’ and ‘Connected Voices’.

Connected Experiences is an expansion in touchpoints (from Live to Messenger to AR to Instream), meaning there are several scaled opportunities to connect in new ways with relevant audiences. This creates space for innovation and ideas, building a bond that goes deeper than simply transacting products. It’s no surprise that these touchpoints are resetting consumer expectations. Eighty two percent of consumers agree that social media has heightened their expectations around brand interaction.

Connected Discovery ensures there is a shoppable layer, so once inspired, purchase is seamless. This is particularly important given the levels of shopping spontaneity we are seeing on our platforms. We’ve found that twice as many purchases are spontaneous rather than planned across all categories. Ensuring we can move someone from inspiration to purchase is hugely important for driving sales and, of course, building brand.

And, finally, when it comes to connected brands, it’s not just about the touchpoints, it’s about the people who tell our brand stories – the creators that are able to represent communities authentically in ways that traditional advertising struggles to do. We call this multiplier Connected Voices. Trustworthiness (74%), informative (58%) and authenticity (52%) are the top-three reasons for following a creator, and creator marketing now outperforms traditional advertising 2x when it comes to driving inspiration.

Not only are connected campaigns driving greater levels of effectiveness, they also make brand budgets work much harder. Brands utilising these three multipliers in their campaigns drive a 33% higher ad quality score, a measure used in the auction to highlight the ads perceived quality for users.

What’s also interesting, given the impact they have, is that connected campaigns require lower frequency, making them more efficient. They are also 31% more effective against broader audiences, reinforcing the holy grail of marketing that a brand’s growth is driven primarily by acquiring new and light buyers. 

Given this context, connected campaigns allow for different forms of creative expression. Take creators, for example: they build deep connections with their followers and have a powerful insight into how advertisers should connect with their audience. To operate in this space, brands need to add value to the community and often let the creator define the tone and message. We often talk about this brand mechanic as, “Are you in control enough to let go?”

This is especially true when creators are representing overlooked invisible audiences – and given that only 7% of UK audiences feel represented by the advertising they see, creators are imperative at representing these communities, giving them a voice and agency. 

Our study highlighted that creator impact is highly linked to diverse voices. We found that a third of consumers feel more connected on our platforms with brands that are working with a diverse set of creators. Thirty percent feel a brand that works with creators understands them and 34% say they discover more new brands as a result of seeing content posted by creators with a more diverse background.

And this is where I see a key shift in culture and expectations, the key to connected brands.

Consumers are constantly evolving their expectations and priorities. Shopping has never just been about buying a product; the brands we buy represent our values and our identity. Every pound we spend is a vote on how we want to live. Values matter more than ever, and this is at the heart of connected brands.

The increased sense of voice that everyone, from consumers to brands, has on social platforms is hugely important, giving them an opportunity to reflect their core values. For businesses, it offers new ways to connect and build brands. It creates opportunities for real innovation and sharing ideas across communities to discover what customers really want. For consumers, it gives them the chance to be seen and heard, and be part of the journey in building the brands they truly love and feel connected to.