Facebook Advertising: Where We Are & Where We’re Headed

Tristan Ramirez
By Tristan Ramirez

As many of you may have noticed, Facebook has been (and will be) rolling out a ton of new updates to the platform. But what many of you may not have noticed, is the way that these updates will impact you as an advertiser or business who advertises on Facebook.

Well, what are these updates and how will they impact me? Great question.

Consolidation of Control

As Facebook continually moves towards streamlining the advertising platform, the ability to control and maneuver the nitty-gritty, such as strategic budget allocation and targeting, is becoming increasingly less critical for advertisers. A few of the big updates in this realm include:

  • Campaign Budget Optimization: Facebook plans to move all budget controls to the campaign level, allowing the algorithm to automatically adjust budget allocation to what the algorithm sees as the top performing ad sets within the campaign
  • Audience Consolidation: Facebook continues to emphasize the benefit of consolidating all of your interests, behaviors, and lookalikes into single ad sets to allow for the algorithm to do the work

These two updates specifically take a lot of the control out of the advertisers’ hands and places it into the hands of the algorithm to do the technical work. 

So what does this mean for advertisers?

These updates make the allocation of budgets and strategic targeting much simpler; allowing just about anyone to hop in the driver’s seat and start running ads. However, just because someone is in the driver’s seat does not mean they know how to drive. The same applies here. Advertisers need to be much more conscious of their campaign structures and optimizations – especially for any kind of retargeting campaigns. Consider grouping your ad sets based off of the objective at hand. Although your ultimate goal may be to drive revenue through your advertising efforts, keep in mind that each campaign plays a key role in the journey to getting there.

Privacy Controls

Increasing sensitivity to the privacy of users online means that businesses need to be more genuine and honest than ever. The issue isn’t the idea that users don’t like ads – the issue is that users don’t like being sold something they don’t value. Businesses need to hone in on their “why” and value propositions more than ever in order to run a successful e-commerce business. Advertising on paid social media is a piece of the conversation between a business and its prospects. If the business is honest in its offering, and the prospect finds value in what the business has to offer, the ad isn’t seen so much as an “ad” but rather additional relevant content. Now, as more and more platforms offer the user greater control over the ads they are seeing and the ability to report content as poor quality or irrelevant, it is increasingly important for businesses to put real thought behind the content that they push out to prospects with their paid social efforts.

Being User-First

Time and time again, Zuckerberg has emphasized the importance of its users and the user experience. As real estate thins on the platform and costs increase (although still quite affordable), it is becoming increasingly more important to emphasize quality content over quantity. Just like politics, fashion, and trends, the pendulum swings. Think of marketing 50 years ago, before all of this digital voodoo. Businesses bought billboards and spots in newspapers. In fact, just about anyone could buy an ad in either of these placements if they had the money for it. The difference between the billboards that worked and the ones that didn’t – the ones that worked had strategy behind the content. The same applies to running paid social campaigns. On the other end of the pendulum is the digital marketing space cerca 2016 where just about everyone and anyone was pouring money into advertising on platforms such as Facebook with little to no thought behind who was seeing the ad and what they were seeing just as long as we got in front of people online. Well, we have reached the point where the pendulum is swinging back. As Facebook continues to make the platform more accessible to users and advertisers alike, it is becoming increasingly more important to treat your ads like billboards. The ads that will work are the ones with eye-catching creative, engaging messages, and ultimately enjoyable to see. Sure, we all get served thousands of ads; but the ones we even give a second’s worth of attention to are the ones that entertain or interest us – and that is because there is strategy behind them. Quality content matters.

What It All Means

As things continue to change and Facebook continues to shake up the way users interact and advertisers leverage the platform, it will be increasingly more important for advertisers to be mindful of the strategy and content that they are putting out there. Quality is the key to running a successful paid social campaign. This means putting thought behind your message, creative, and the way your campaigns interact with the user experience and consumer journey as a whole. Here are a few key rules to live by in the future:

  • Quality is key; sustainable and scalable
  • Have purpose behind your content
  • Keep the consumer journey in mind
  • Put the consumer first
  • Be conscious of the structure