We know first hand how difficult Facebook Ads can be. Just when you think you’ve got the basics down, a new hurdle is thrown your way and it’s like starting all over again. This couldn’t be truer when Facebook update their ads manager pretty much every week. So how are we to make sense of it all?

Here at Blend Commerce, our marketing team has been researching, collecting and putting together a new blog series, where each month we break down the important Facebook Ad updates you need to know. But also some that you should look out for in the future. We’ve done the hard work for you, so you can focus on creating your ads.

April 2019 Facebook Ad Updates

It’s great to see some of our listed updates to look out for from March are finally coming into effect as well as a number of small tweaks Facebook has made to help create an easier ads manager interface.

Here are the main updates we’ve seen in April:

  • Facebook officially announce new Ads Manager and Business Manager interface.
  • Quality Ranking, Engagement Ranking, Conversion Ranking are here!
  • Improved editing review feature for when you are ready to publish ads.
  • You can now carry over existing post engagements on duplicated ads.
  • Single Image, Video and Slideshow have been unified into one ad format named Single Image or Video.
  • Agencies, Partners and their locations will be shown in the "Why am I seeing this ad?" section

New Ads Manager Interface and Upcoming Features

After rumours for the last few months, Facebook finally announced updates to their core business tools, Ads Manager and Business Manager. Throughout the year, they’ll be making changes to help businesses quickly create, manage and analyze their ad campaigns.

From the 16th April, they began rolling out a new Ads Manager interface, with far simpler navigation features, a cleaner design and new campaign management experiences. You may have noticed a new navigation bar which gives more space to view and manage your ads, offering more insight into ad performance and reporting.

Facebook Ads

Facebook has also promised big changes to the campaign and ad creation experience, bringing in:  

  • A new copy and paste functionality to offer more flexibility when building ads.
  • An auto-naming feature for the campaigns, ad set and ad name for faster ad creation.
  • A more intuitive ad level creative and placement editing tools.

These updates are expected to be available to advertisers by next year but there’s no need to panic. If you really want to, you can switch back to the older version of ad manager, temporarily. In the upper left hand corner, you’ll be able temporarily revert to the old design.  

Improving Business Manager

This is an exciting update for all the Facebook Ad Agencies out there. Later this year, Facebook will be updating Business Manager to make it easier for agencies to onboard new clients, including an easier way to assign and organize assets to people within the Business Manager account. There will also be faster campaign creation and better historical data reporting.

Facebook Ads

We feel this is an important update to bring to the advertising tools on Facebook, especially from an agency point of view. We’ll be able to create ads for clients in a far more efficient way as well as having some new options to play with. We’ll keep you up to date if and when we see these features introduced.

You can the Facebook published article here.

Quality, Engagement and Conversion Ranking Metrics

Relevance Score has officially departed Facebook and been replaced with Quality, Engagement and Conversion ranking metrics. What do you make of them?

Facebook Ads

We have to say we’re slightly disappointed in these metrics as they don’t really give you much insight into your ads other than if the quality, engagement or conversion is above average, average or below average. But… what does it compare to? If you’re comparing a startup activewear brand to the gym wear giant Gymshark, it’s pretty obvious your startup is going to perform worse.

We’d love to see Facebook introduce a more transparent ranking system or offer suggestions on how you could improve. We’ll keep an eye on these rankings but we don’t think they’ll make much impact on the ads we create. Let us know if your experience is different.  

Improved Editing Review Feature

When we first saw this pop up we weren’t totally enthused about another review step for creating ads. But as time went on we’ve come to love this new feature. This extra review feature creates a clear and simple way to review all the content of your ads.

Facebook Ads

We can easily see what campaign, ad sets and ads we are creating, edit names straight from the view and just simply double check everything before saving it as a draft. Saving it as a draft also means if there are any issues with Facebook Ad Manager when trying to publish, the draft is there as a backup for you, so you don’t have to start again.  

Existing Post Engagement can now be carried over into duplicated ads

Let’s face it, this has been long awaited! There’s nothing worse than duplicating an ad for split testing, only to see that your likes, comments and engagement are totally different. With this new feature, it will make it far easier to test and optimise ads accordingly.

Facebook Ads

New Single Image Ad Format

Have you wondered where your slideshow and video ad options disappeared to? Well, they are nestled under a single image or video format.

Facebook Ads

If you scroll down further, you will now see a Media section which allows you to select image or video. Don’t forget there are now some great placement customisations as well as video templates you can use now as well.

Facebook Ads

Agencies and Partners to be shown in “Why am I seeing this ad?”

Although this isn’t strictly a Facebook Ad update, we do think it’s an important one to mention. The “why am I seeing this ad?” notification will now provide even more transparency as it will name agencies and marketing partners that worked with the advertiser to create their ads.

Facebook Ads

The change means advertisers need to be extra vigilant about keeping their first-party lists updated. E.g. if someone opts out of your mailing list, you shouldn’t be targeting them on social media using your mailing list file.

You can read more on this on the Marketing Land Blog.

Things to Keep an Eye Out for

Amongst the numerous Facebook Ad Updates we’ve seen, there have been a few speculations, as well as some announcements from Facebook. Although these updates are slowly rolling out, we think it’s something to keep an eye out for.

Here are the potential updates to look out for:

  • Influencer Marketing “On Behalf of a Business”
  • Excluded Category options for Audience Network, Instant Article and in-stream video ads will be replaced with the new Inventory Filters
  • Influencer Marketing “On Behalf of a Business”
  • Video performance cards in ads manager.
  • Facebook is in the process of compiling a library of ads running on its platform, both active and inactive, local and global.
  • Are Facebook creating a voice assistant like Alexa or Google Home and could it be used to market towards people?

Influencer Marketing “On Behalf of a Business”

The new on behalf of feature in Business Settings allows agencies and Facebook Marketing Partners to specify which account they use on behalf of other businesses. You can find more here on how to establish this relationship with a business.

We speculate this is being introduced to go along with the rumoured Instagram update where businesses can create ads from an Influencers post. It would be so simple for an Influencer to establish this relationship with a business and start advertising “on behalf” of them.

Source: Facebook

Exclude Category Options to be replaced with new Inventory Filters

By the end of May 2019, the Excluded Category options for Audience Network, Instant Article and in-stream video ads will be replaced with the new Inventory Filters. The update is to help marketers have better control over content associated with their ads.

Facebook Ads

You can see from the above, they plan on having a 3 point system:

  • Full Inventory - Allowing your ads to be featured anywhere to give you a wide reach.
  • Standard Inventory - Excludes your ads from being shown on sensitive content to give a balanced and appropriate reach.
  • Limited Inventory - Excludes your ads from being shown on all moderate and sensitive content. Giving you a lower but more targeted reach.

Source: Marketing Land

Video Performance Cards

We’ve actually come across this before but had no idea what it was at the time. The general idea is to give you a visual tool that shows what points of the video people reach as a percentage of video plays at different intervals. This means for your custom 3 seconds, 10 seconds, 25%, 50% and 75% audiences you can create, you have visual data that will show which audience is best to retarget.

Facebook Ads

To get to these charts you need to go to your ads manager account. Select a current video ad that started after 13th October 2018. If you select video charts underneath the name of your video ads, you can scroll down until you see the video performance card.

You can read more in depth about the video performance cards from Facebook themselves here.

Facebook Ad Library

According to Shed Social, Facebook is currently in the process of compiling a library of ads that are running on its platform, both active and inactive, local and global. While only political ads are currently available to view, this library may soon give advertisers access to ads across the board. Could this become a good source of inspiration and research for marketers?

Source: Shed Social

Are Facebook creating the new Alexa?

After Facebook dropped the price of its Portal Voice Chat device by 50% is rumoured that they could be working on a new voice assistant similar to Amazon’s Alexa. Two former Facebook employees supposedly confirmed these new efforts to CNBC.

Whilst it’s currently unknown exactly how Facebook will implement this voice assistant technology, the CNBC report said Facebook has been contacting smart speak supply chain vendors.

So why is this exciting news for marketers? Well, a report from Adobe in October showed that 47% of smart speaker owners used their device within the shopping process. Is it possible that Facebook can harness this in a way that allows marketers to target people on their shopping interactions? Say you ask your device “where can I buy some comfy sandals?”, wouldn’t it be convenient to see an advert for sandals on your Facebook page later that day?

Nothing has been confirmed at this time, but this is certainly something to speculate over.

Source: Marketing Land

There we have it!

All of the latest updates you need to know for the coming month and some that could definitely be interested to see in the future.

If you ever want to find updates for yourself, just google “what’s new in ads manager’. Facebook has a whole page of new and past releases that you can look at. You can find those here.

If you have any comments or questions, just leave a comment on our blog. Equally, if you’d like to learn more about how Blend Commerce could help grow your business with Facebook Ads, send us a mail here.

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