Facebook recently released a redesign of its ad buying and reporting tools, aimed at answering advertisers’ No. 1 concern: satisfying their advertising objective.
Those objectives may include increasing referral traffic, driving Facebook page likes, or pumping up in-store offer claims. Now when you buy your ad, you can choose what that objective is, and Facebook will help you plan your campaign accordingly.
Here are five things you need to know about the new Facebook advertising objectives.
1. You can optimize for mobile
Mobile is the fastest-growing segment of Facebook’s online advertising. Earlier this year, Facebook’s mobile users surpassed desktop users for the first time. That gap will increase as adoption rates of tablets and smartphones continue to rise. That has led to a greater focus on mobile and optimizing mobile opportunities for advertisers.
For example, say a motorcycle lawyer wanted to advertise services to those who have been in an accident. Previously, the Facebook ad would have sent folks who clicked on it to the lawyer’s desktop site, even if they were clicking from a mobile phone. The new advertising objectives allow the lawyer to set up his ad so that folks who click from a mobile phone are sent to a mobile site, and those who click from a desktop are sent to a desktop site.
2. You can judge your campaign based on your objectives
In years past, an online campaign was judged by one thing only: how many click-throughs were generated by an ad. That has changed over the years, and it’s been further revolutionized by the new Facebook ad system. Each campaign will be judged against the advertiser’s objective. If the objective of the campaign is to increase website conversions, then the conversions will be tracked and highlighted while other superfluous information is left out.
That should lead to better understanding of whether a campaign is actually fulfilling its objectives and allow advertisers to make the necessary tweaks to reach a different audience.
3. It’s more intuitive
Facebook has been criticized in the past for making things too complicated, from the company’s numerous privacy controversies to changes in the appearance of the news feed. It seems every few months bring a dust-up over Facebook corporate policy. This time, however, the social network appears to have listened to critics by creating a more intuitive system.
The Facebook advertising objectives force the advertiser to really think about the end goal for a campaign, which is always a good thing in advertising. On top of that, the process is really quite simple. The choices in the new ad-buying process remove the guesswork that usually accompanies a new campaign. That, in turn, increases the chance that the ads will connect with the right audience in the right way.
4. Advertisers have more control
Facebook is like an older sibling. It always claims to know best. In the past, it would control the location of ad buys, whether they went in the mobile news feed, desktop news feed, or the right-hand column. Facebook would still prefer to have the last say over where ads are placed, but it has compromised. Now, it’s offering advertisers the chance to choose their own placement, if they’re so inclined.
This option has been created as an answer to advertisers who have said they want to be able to tailor their ads to different locations. Such customization increases the chance that the ad will be noticed and clicked on.
5. There's plenty of time to experiment
All these changes seem pretty overwhelming. Facebook is adding a lot of variables to its advertising roster, and even the most seasoned marketer might feel intimidated while reading over the list of options now available. That’s why it’s also important to remember that everyone is in the same boat. This is a new program for everyone who’s trying it out, and that means there will be a lot of experimentation in the first few months.
The most important thing that marketers can do is try to familiarize themselves with the new system and gain some understanding of it before jumping into a new campaign. Make sure that you’re comfortable with the new objectives. Give some thought as to what each one would mean for your company, and discuss it with others who have a say in your advertising. Even if your first campaign doesn’t go exactly as you’d hoped, give it another chance. The more campaigns you execute, the more comfortable you’ll become with this new system.