Since Halloween just passed and the weather is getting darker, it is the perfect time to discuss something mysterious and spooky, yet also relevant to the digital marketer of today. “Dark ads” or “unpublished ads” are an underused tool on Facebook and can even be effective in B2B campaigns on social media. In keeping with today’s Halloween/autumnal theme “dark ads” may sound, well, dark but they can actually enable a marketer to experiment with messaging and design approaches in a controlled environment.

Some say there is a nefarious element to the feature with respect to political advertising but the lack of transparency in political ads is the purview of Congress, sometimes creepy, not necessarily the concern of savvy marketers.

“Dark ads” will not clutter the main page of a company and will disappear when a campaign has ended without a trace like a spectral visitor to a key target audience. This hyper-targeting can be effective in a B2B context because you can create an audience down to any conceivable demographic (e.g. education, income, geography, a certain industry within 20 miles of you)

“Dark ads” are ads that do not appear in a company’s feed and are not permanent. Therefore, a marketer can experiment if an ad with a cute ghost will yield more clicks than an ad with falling leaves. In fact, thousands of ad variations can be sent to disparate audiences in order to craft the perfect message. This ability to track data will further refine future campaigns and keep audiences engaged.