Unlike traditional advertising channels (newspapers, magazines, TV, etc.), online platforms such as Google and Facebook are constantly making changes in their platforms. As advertisers and frequent users of these platforms, it’s important to keep up.
So 2016 just started and we thought it’s a good time to keep you up to date with some of the new changes and features Facebook has been adding to its platform lately.
We won’t review each change/feature in depth, we just want to give you an overall look on it. For further explanation and examples, please feel free to contact us or leave us a message through the Facebook chat on the right!
1: Targeting options
Facebook has changed two main things in the way we target our potential audiences (in fact, they also changed the entire Ads Manager platform looks but that was a while back and other than small visual changes, it didn’t change much).
One of the changes happened in the targeting menus. Until not so long ago the targeting area looked like this:
And now it looks like this:
Facebook aggregated three targeting menus: demographics, interests and behaviors into one targeting box (where they all still exist). It’s not a huge change but we thought it’s important to mention as we’re being asked by many people that are looking for targeting (which they know exist), but can’t find it because of the change. Furthermore, this change was a preparation for what is reviewed next.
The second, more significant, is the “exclude” and “narrow audience” (or as we like to call it the “And” option) targeting. Before, when you entered a list of interests, Facebook would show your ad on an “or” function.
For example, if you listed interests of golf, luxury cars and real estate, Facebook would show your ad to people who are interested in golf but not necessarily interested in luxury cars and real estate and vice versa.
By adding the “narrow audience” option, it’s possible to target people interested in all of the three options listed. This is how it looks like:
And it’s not all. By adding the “exclude” option, your targeting can be extremely precise. The idea is that if your targeting object is a wide one (which is usually the case), you can exclude the type of “personas” who are not in your targeted audience. For example, if you’d like to target the people who are interested in travel but are not business travellers, this is how it would look like:
To summarize, Facebook is improving the targeting options in its platform day in day out. Facebook can do it because we, as Facebook users, provide the platform with a lot of information about our lives, our interests and our future plans. Although we might not like it on the personal level, on the professional level it definitely brings the targeting options to an art, and makes every ad dollar spent, worth it.
2: Overlap Audiences
We hope you know by now what are custom audiences on Facebook, if not, it’s urgent you contact us. If yes, then you probably know that you can create many versions of custom audiences – your website’s visitors, your email list audience, a “lookalike” audiences and so on.
The new feature Facebook has added is called “Audiences Overlap” and the meaning is that you can compare two audiences or more to check which percentage of these audiences is overlapping. If it’s a high percentage, then the obvious conclusion is that you shouldn’t advertise to these audiences on the same campaign, as it’s a big waste of your money. Here’s an example of a check we ran between website visitors audience and a data base of the same client (respecting the client’s confidentiality, we hid its name):
As you can see in the screen shot, the overlap’s percentage is very low and therefore we can keep up the advertising to both audiences at the same time.
Here’s a screen shot of how to navigate to Overlap Audiences:
3: Facebook’s new pixel
In the second half of 2016 Facebook will stop supporting the old/current pixel(s). So far, per advertising account, we were able to generate two pixels.
The first one was the general pixel. This pixel is used mainly for websites. The second pixel is-was the conversion pixel. You’d implement it on your “thank-you” pages to create an audience of subscribers, of buyers, or any other conversation you would want to track.
The new pixel is aggregating all in one pixel. That means that you’ll need to implement only one pixel in all the pages of your website. With the new pixel you can define different audiences according to the pages they visited and custom conversions, “events”, on your website. You’d need to make the necessary changes on your website accordingly and then advertise to these audiences (or not, depending on what is your purpose).
As there’s still some time until Facebook will stop supporting the old (current) pixel, we didn’t review it comprehensively here. However, it’s important to prepare yourself. For more information and further technical explanation, read Facebook’s help centre’s article about the new pixel in this link and the implementation guide in this link.
4: Lead ads
This is one of THE most important and impressive features Facebook added lately. In fact, Facebook released Lead Ads a while back but it was quite limited. Aside small and big limitations such as limited amount of characters in the ad, not integrating into CRMs and appearing in Power Editor only, the main setback was that advertisers could show their lead ad in mobile devices only.
Facebook announced just a few days ago that some of these limitations were removed and by that, made the lead ads very accessible. One of them is that you can now advertise on desktop as well.
The lead ads have very clear advantages: it cancels your need in a designated landing page for specific marketing messages, the user experience is outstanding (the user’s details are filled up automatically by his Facebook’s account details) which increases the chance for conversion and finally it demands very small effort from you as an advertiser. This is how it looks like:
5: Live video
This option was opened a few months back (in August) for public figures through Facebook’s app, “Facebook Mentions”. Lately Facebook announced that it opened this option for verified pages (pages that have the blue “badge”, meaning were verified as the authentic entity behind the page).
It’s a natural move Facebook is taking, not only due to our social behaviors (documenting every moment and immediately sharing it via our favorite social network) but also considering the fact that other social networks have already made big steps in this direction (Twitter purchased “Periscope”, a live video streaming app last March. See also YouTube Live, Meerkat, Snapchat live and others).
Here’s how an invitation to watch a live video looks like:
And here’s how it looks like when you actually watch the video (pay attention to the live streaming screen and flaw of comments):
And there’s one more…
There’s one big change that happened on Facebook lately and we haven’t reviewed in this article. In two words: Instagram ads (as you might have already known, Instagram was bought by Facebook in 2012). It is a major change because in fact, it means that another social network, one that has 400 million users has opened its gate to sponsored advertising.
In general about Instagram ads, remember that each social network has its own rules on what works and what doesn’t (In Instagram’s case – beautiful photos, short text and meaning). You might think that it’s the most brilliant idea to upload the same status on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin and Google+ but it’s actually the worst approach you can ever take. Understand the platform, follow successful accounts, analyze the users’ behavior and start testing. Follow up on our future posts for more in depth Instagram ads review and other Facebook news.
The tip of the iceberg
As mentioned, this review was just the tip of the iceberg. Furthermore, other changes took place which we haven’t mentioned here as we wanted to showcase the important ones. Nevertheless, we hope this article has been useful!
Please don’t hesitate to contact us for any question you might have, or feel free to share your thoughts/questions in the comments section below!