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Marketing Blog

Latest Facebook Updates Can Affect How You Run Ads

April 6, 2017 Updates

(This is an update to a blog posted in January 2017, to update you on more recent changes with Facebook ads)

If you're at all active on Facebook and use it to help promote your business, you know it can be a job in and of itself to just keep up with all of the changes and updates. They seriously happen about once a week. 

We just found out about some sweet new Facebook advertising updates you NEED TO KNOW! If you run Facebook ads for your business, you MUST read this. Not many people know about these updates yet, and some of them could really up your ad game.

I’m going to thank the crew at Digital Marketer’s Perpetual Traffic podcast for these tips. If you use Facebook for your business, I cannot recommend this podcast enough. There’s no other single place you will get the most informative tips, tricks and hacks for your Facebook campaigns.

So let’s get to it ... 

1. Facebook recently rolled out the ability to use GIFs in your ads. Whaaaat?!?! YES – how cool is that?! GIFs will ad movement to your ads (anything moving is better than a static photo in a Facebook ad). Just upload the GIF like you would upload any other photo or video when creating an ad or a post you will boost. Plus, they’re not hard to make! Here's a tutorial from HubSpot, but one of the members of our awesome #Winning Marketing Hacks Facebook group (come join us!) also recommended GifMaker.me - super easy, and FREE! (In case you're wondering, yes, that's a GIF of the amazing Betty White dabbing) giphy (1).gif

2. There’s a new ad format called Collection Ads. Facebook just rolled these out and you might not yet see the option in your Ads Manager. But from what and other Facebook advertising pros can see is that it’s going to be an amazing benefit to local retailers or e-commerce stores, since these ads are expected to combine some of the best elements from your best performing ads. What’s even better, is it will even throw a video in there if you previously used a video in a hot ad. You can showcase up to 50 products at a time on mobile to offer potential customers a truly immersive shopping experience, and entice them to buy from you. You can tie your collection to a theme, like a season, a target audience, sale or promotion, or gift guide. 

3. Facebook just introduced Split Testing (or, you may know it as A/B testing), which allows you to test different components of your ad across devices and browsers, and provides easy-to-understand results. And there are two different ways to test your ads: Brand Lift works across Facebook and Instagram to accurately measure brand awareness, impact and ad recall; and Conversion Lift, which allows you to accurately determine the additional business driven by Facebook ads and make future marketing decisions based on this information. Split Testing helps you get the most out of your budget by determining which version of your ad that’s performing the best. Check out your Ads Manager for the Split Tests. 

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4. And, there’s new data out there that shows which type of video formats perform better on Facebook. Buffer found that in mobile devices, square videos have higher engagement than landscape videos. Did we mention we LOVE Buffer?! They also found that videos with text only perform better than videos of people shown talking to camera – both on mobile and desktop. Now, this is not to say that a “pattern interrupt” video won’t still capture people’s attention; this is a video in which you start it by doing something to get people to click – wave your hands, do something crazy, flash some lights, etc… This for awhile has been the recommended start to any good video. But for people who watch at least three seconds of your video, text-only videos do just as well as pattern interrupt videos when it comes to engagement. 

January 17, 2017

Have you noticed that Facebook Ads are looking a bit differently lately? Or maybe ad content that once worked for you no longer get approved. What’s the deal with the latest Facebook Ad updates and how might they affect your Facebook advertising campaigns this year?

Here are 7 of some of the most important Facebook updates to know for optimizing your ad campaigns on this invaluable social media platform as we kick off 2017.


 1. Pixels

Time is running out for you to transition over to the new Facebook pixel; this pixel replaces the old conversion pixel. Probably not a new update for any of you, but important for you to act upon what you know. The Facebook pixel allows you to place a single piece of JavaScript code on your entire website to report conversions, build audiences and get extremely useful insights about how people use your website. This pixel gives you data on the types of actions people take on your site – across devices – that helps arm you as you create future campaigns.

2. Ads Policy Page

Facebook has updated their Ads Policy Page. Expect this page to be better organized with layout that is easier to follow.

We can’t emphasize enough the need to check on this policy page regularly! Facebook tends to frequently change their policies on what is allowed in Facebook ads, so not checking the changes regularly is definitely not in your best interest. Spending the time necessary to set up your ad campaign, only to have your ad disapproved, is totally wasted time. Here are some of the latest Facebook updates to this page:

  • Steps to Take if Disapproved

The Ads Policy Page now contains a section on steps to take if your ad is disapproved. This section, appearing third on the list under Ads Policy, gives suggestions about how to edit your disapproved ad and also gives a link where you can appeal the decision to disapprove your ad.

  • Prohibited Content/Personal Attributes

One welcome change to the Ads Policy Page is located under Prohibited Content. #11 is titled Personal Attributes.

In the past, Facebook has said that ads must not contain content that asserts or implies personal attributes, such as a person’s race, ethnic origin, religion, beliefs, age, sexual orientation or practices, gender identity, disability, medical condition (including physical or mental health), financial status, membership in a trade union, criminal record, or name.

Now, Facebook clearly spell out exactly what is and is not allowed in the ad by giving positive and negative examples. See this example taken from the Facebook Ads Policy Page:

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  • Prohibited Content/Personal Health

 #19, Personal Health, has been added now to the Prohibited Content list.

 “Ads must not contain "before-and-after" images or images that contain unexpected or unlikely results. Ad content must not imply or attempt to generate negative self-perception in order to promote diet, weight loss, or other health related products. Ads for health, fitness or weight loss products must be targeted to people 18 years or older.”

 Examples, text and images, are given of what is and is not permitted when it comes to promoting personal health. Needless to say, the weight-loss and supplements industry is getting hammered hard by this change.

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  • Prohibited Content/Multilevel Marketing

Included previously in the Prohibited Content section but now separated out as its own numbered item, is the Multilevel Marketing section, #21, which essentially says you can’t run an ad that promotes any type of “get rich quick” scheme.

We actually recently ran into Facebook’s strict policy on this while creating ad campaigns for a client that flips homes and runs seminars and training programs that teach others to flip homes for profit. We kept wondering why Facebook was rejecting the ad; even though we were careful in our original wording to not promise any sort of income if a viewer took advantage of the offer promoted in the ad – it was still too close for comfort to Facebook’s liking, apparently. So we changed up the wording a bit more and the ad was eventually accepted.

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3. Campaign Set up in Power Editor

When using Power Editor to set up an ad campaign, you may notice a change in the look of the page. Facebook has actually reverted to a former look for the “Create Campaign” page.

Not to worry – the same concepts are there and you can still use the Guided Creation with the grid setup for your objectives and so on.

See the screen shot below for the way Create Campaign page now displays:

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4. Placement Section at Ad Set Level

When choosing placement of your ad at the Ad Set level, there are now two options available to you: Automatic Placement and Edit Placements.

Automatic Placement is recommended by Facebook; this will post your ads on Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network. Audience Network is supposed to let you extend your ad campaign to your audiences on mobile apps, mobile websites and videos. If one of the above-mentioned placements performs better, Facebook automatically allocates more budget to that placement to help you reach more people.

But if Edit Placements is the choice you prefer, you can click Edit Placements to add or remove any placements from the devices listed.

We highly recommend breaking out placements through the Edit Placements option. If you’re running large campaigns that have a healthy budget, you can test the “Automatic Plaement” option, then analyze the data that comes back after a few days, see how the ads are performing on each platform, then tweak the placements as needed to only show up on the platform on which they are performing well. But if you don’t have a big budget to test this on, we recommend only placing ads on the platforms where you know your audience lives.

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Look for the new update for Facebook Messenger placement soon to be rolled out!

5. Set Up Custom Audiences

This is a development we’re excited about. Publishers have for awhile been able to create audiences of people who are most active on their websites. But an updated option under “custom audiences” is “Engagement on Facebook” – retargeting your ads or message to those who are already engaging with your website. Otherwise known as a “warm audience,” these people are an easier “sell” than a “cold audience” that hasn’t yet engaged with you or your site.

Now you have the opportunity (or will soon have if it is not available to you currently; Facebook likes to roll out changes in population stages) of customizing your audience to people who have visited your website based on how long they stay on the page.

6. Expanded Conversion Reporting Window

At the Ad Set level, in the Optimization and Delivery section, conversion reporting allows you to expand the reporting window. A conversion window is the length of time between someone clicking on your ad and completing the action you defined as a conversion event (i.e. viewing a video, clicking through to your website, making a purchase, etc.) You can now optimize your report for 1-day click or view or 7-day click or view; this is the window for which Facebook will look at conversion data in determining who else should see your ad. Facebook is still testing various conversion windows.

If most of your conversions were happening within the last 24 hours, we recommend optimizing for “1-day click,” as this most closely mirrors the pattern of activity by your audiences for that ad. But if your ad ran for a longer period of time and more people converted outside of that day-long window, you may want to test the expanded 7-day window. But it really depends on your unique product or services that you are advertising, and how quickly a customer takes an action after viewing your ad. Also, 1-day click windows can be cost you less money than the 7-day. We’re just sayin’…

7. Video Ratios

We’re obsessed with the podcast “Perpetual Traffic,” from the folks at Digital Marketer. They’re the ones who gave us the low-down on this next recent Facebook update. Click here to subscribe to this amazing podcast yourself. 

Don’t get scared, because this could REALLY save you money. But it’s about video aspect ratios; that essentially is the way the video looks in size. And this change is absolutely being made because of all those people scrolling through their feeds on the mobile devices. For example, a typical Facebook video has an aspect ratio of 16 by 9, which is the standard high-def ratio, and is 1280 by 720. But now you can run Facebook video ads with three different aspect ratios: 16 x9 (like widescreen, but viewers have to turn their device sideways to go full screen), one-to-one (square), or “two to three” (vertical video). Facebook found that people go full screen more when videos are vertical, because they don’t have to turn their phone sideways.

AND, what’s more, some marketers report that they’ve seen clients cost per conversion cut in half by JUST using the square video format. So, go square and test it out!


So that’s all the news you need to know on recent Facebook updates, as of January 2017. But no doubt these will constantly be changing. And, as they do, we’ll update this post accordingly to keep you in the loop. If this all seems too overwhelming for you to handle yourself, drop us a line and we’ll gladly handle your Facebook marketing for you! Go ahead, take a load off!

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Still interested in learning more Facebook advertising tips? Check out this great blog about the best Facebook tricks to help boost your small business!


 

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