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Facebook’s New Video Ad Program “Anthology” Starts and Ends with Analysis

On the heels of an announcement that Facebook serves more than 4 billion video views each day – up 1 billion views since January – the network announced today a new premium video ad program called “Anthology” that pairs creative video publishers with brands.

Let’s take a look at why this launch is happening, what it is, and why Facebook’s framework for the program provides some important signals for your entire social marketing strategy.

Why the Launch?

This launch isn’t surprising, considering the growing importance of video content, across the board. In Facebook’s quarterly earning call,  Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, talked about the opportunity with video advertising, highlighting that over 1 million SMBs (small and midsized businesses) have posted videos and done small ad buys around them.

I think all marketers have the opportunity to do video. And that’s pretty exciting, even SMBs who never would be able to hire a film crew and buy a TV ad. – Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook

Video has been a big part of Facebook’s vision and strategy for the last several months. With increasingly accessible video technology (your iPhone has a camera that’s 100x better than the shoulder-mounted cinderblock your dad used to film birthday parties in the 90s).

What Is Anthology?

According to Facebook’s release,  “Anthology is equal parts art and science, pairing publisher creativity with Facebook advertising insights to create custom campaigns that meet brands’ business goals.”

Facebook’s New Video Ad Program “Anthology” Starts and Ends with Analysis

As of now, the publisher list includes Electus Digital, Funny Or Die, Oh My Disney, The Onion, Tastemade, Vice Media, Vox Media.

These are some of the most creative and talented media publishers in the digital space, and it should be comforting to know that the ads produced through this program will be high caliber.

Why Facebook’s Framework For Creation Is Important

There’s an important cue in Facebook’s announcement post:

Anthology campaigns begin and end with insights. For each Anthology campaign, the Creative Shop—Facebook’s in-house creative strategy team—partners with brands, agencies and publishers to provide audience planning, insights, distribution plans and measurement.

If you’re a regular reader here, you may notice a common thread in Facebook’s language that directly mirrors our complete social analytics framework.

Social Analytics Framework


Facebook is on the same page. Planning and insight inform creation and execution,  which are then measured and tactics are optimized. If you aren’t operating your social programs with a full planning and measurement framework, you are missing critical insight that can help you plan effectively and  improve with each iteration.  This is even more important when talking about ads, because there’s additional cost. Operating with a clear planning and measurement process is important in any digital channel, and Facebook is making it clear that they take it as seriously as you should.

For more insight on developing a Facebook with a data-driven approach, download our new ebook, The Complete Guide to Analytics on Facebook.

Kevin Shively

I lead marketing for Simply Measured. Recovering journalist. My team is embarrassed of my hilarious jokes. Firm believer that the best marketers are the best storytellers and the best storytellers use the best data.

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