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 updates its 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 blog series where each month, we break down the important Facebook Ad updates you need to know. We’ve also got some that you should look out for in the future.

Blend’s Key Takeaways

We’re really excited to see the potential of Facebook’s Custom Audience to target those who have interacted with your Facebook and Instagram shops. We believe this is a step in the right direction to streamline the online experience and help Shopify merchants get the most out of their paid ads.

Another future update that will benefit Shopify merchants is how Facebook is turning its Marketplace into a place for both C2C and B2B. It’s only available in the US right now but with paid ads on Marketplace and the ability to add paid listings, we’re interested to see what’s in store for the future.

August 2020 Facebook Ad Updates

After a brief hiatus, we’ve circled back to look at Facebook’s new updates and are glad the new interface is now up and running. Along with this, Facebook has introduced even more updates to streamline the user experience and offer more personalisable features for Shopify merchants.

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

  • New Ads Manager Experience
  • Placement Customisation available with Whatsapp Destination
  • New shopping custom audience
  • Additional Updates
  • New Ads Manager Experience

    At the start of July, Facebook announced the newly redesigned Ads Manager was launched. As we know, Facebook has been making a lot of changes to their interface over the past couple of months to create a streamlined interface to allow marketers to easily navigate around and find the most relevant and actionable information with additional distractions.

    Anyone who has used Ads Manager for a long period of time will know this change has been quite different. Getting used to another interface can be difficult. We’ve taken a look at the new interface, and while it will take time to get used to, we believe it’s fairly simple to use. Below, we’ve created a video tour on the new interface:

    Placement Customisation available with Whatsapp Destination

    Whatsapp is quickly becoming an important traffic driving source for Facebook Ads. To ensure the user experience is the same across all sources, Facebook has now made this compatible with placement customisation, When using traffic, messages or conversion objectives, you can use the media-editing option on the ad level to customize your placements.

    Whilst this is a step in the right direction, there are still some limitations marketers should be aware of:

    • You can only use this for traffic, messages and conversions objectives.
    • You cannot use the Collection Ad Format
    • You cannot use promoted objected e.g. Catalogs
    • You cannot vary ad by device type.
    • You are limited to the following placements:
      • Mobile News Feed
      • Mobile Marketplace Feed
      • Marketplace Category feed & details page 
      • Facebook Stories
      • Instagram Feed
      • Instagram Explore Feed
      • Instagram Explore Video
    • The only CTA available is “Send Message”
    • You can’t use dynamic or Facebook shop ads. 

    At this time Facebook says these will either not be compatible or will be introduced gradually over time.

    New shopping custom audience

    On Tuesday 19th May, we heard from Mark Zuckerberg and Tobi Lukte on the launch of Facebook Shops. During the live broadcast, Mark and Tobi announced that the long term collaboration of Facebook and Shopify would be strengthened by the ability to make it easy for businesses to set up a single online store for customers to access on both Facebook and Instagram.

    Alongside this, Facebook has now launched a new custom audience that will allow you to reach people who have interacted with your Facebook or Instagram shop. You can find out how to turn an organic Instagram post into a shoppable ad here.

    To use this navigate to ‘Audiences’ (under the ‘Advertise’ section in the new Business Manager menu). Create a new custom audience and select shopping.

    New shopping custom audience

    We think this is a great update and demonstrates Facebook is keen to make the experience better for Shopify merchants. If you’re interested in finding out more about using Facebook Shops for big Shopify brands, read our blog on this here.

    Additional Updates

    There have also been a number of smaller updates to the Facebook Ad Platform including:

    • You can now update and save your campaign bid strategy as a draft and save it with other changes to your campaign
    • Placement customisation is now available for Instant Experience and the Carousel Format.
    • Political Ads are now a part of the Special Ads Category. 
    • The video creation kit now comes with new templates with stock images. Take a look at Facebook’s guide here.
    • A/B tests can now result in a tie. 
    • Ad previews for mobile interfaces have been updated.

    If you’ve used or tested any of the above, we’d love to hear what you think of them by leaving us a comment below.

    Things to Keep an Eye Out for

    As always, along with the updates, there are several speculations and announcements from Facebook this month which are yet to appear, therefore, we’d like to keep an eye out for them.

    Here are the potential updates to look out for in August:

  • Facebook expands test for in-stream ads on Live
  • Facebook pulls back on Campaign Budget optimisation mandate
  • Facebook Marketplace now has B2C opportunities
  • Facebook expands test for in-stream ads on Live

    Facebook is continuing to expand on its test for in-stream ads on Facebook Live, in particular looking at a vertical format to see how effectively it can be rolled out. In an update to be more like other streaming services the new in-stream ads will work by:

    • Playing an ad before a live stream
    • Having an image ad below the live stream 
    • A mid-roll ad that plays in the main video player during the live stream, whilst the broadcast remains in a shrunken window
    In-stream ads example

    For Facebook marketers, this is a new territory of ads that we haven’t been able to experience before. With the potential for large streamers to monetize their platforms, exposure with these types of ads could be a huge win for many Shopify merchants.

    Source: Search Engine Land

    Facebook pulls back on Campaign Budget optimisation mandate

    Last September you may recall Facebook was going to be removing Campaign Optimization from the Ad Set Level and only allowing it on the Campaign Level. It seems this update never came to be and Facebook has reversed its decision.

    This came after a lot of marketers weren’t happy with this change saying they often see better results when they can set and control budgets at the ad set level.

    Facebook still believes in the efficacy of Campaign Budget Optimization and its algorithm’s ability to maximise performance results but they have decided to listen to their users and stop pushing this change for now.

    Source: Marketing Land

    Facebook Marketplace now has B2C opportunities

    You may have noticed you now have the ability to create custom audiences based on those who have interacted with your Marketplace listings. This comes as Facebook now pushes Marketplace to not only be for C2C but now also for B2C.

    As the Marketplace grew in popularity, Facebook added new features, like the ability to process a transaction with an in-built checkout. Now Shopify merchants in the US can now sell their products on Marketplace to customers.

    Here are some reasons why sellers should jump on this opportunity:

    • Facebook offers some of the lowest selling fees among marketplaces 
    • If you’re using Facebook or Facebook Shop, is a package deal across Instagram and Facebook.
    • You can make shopping highly personalised with tailored ads.

    Since the B2C opportunity on Facebook Marketplace is still in beta, you must meet certain criteria in order to list on Marketplace. But we believe this is an exciting opportunity that we hope is expanded beyond the US.

    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.

    You can also view Release Notes from Facebook within Ads Manager itself. If you click the question mark icon in the top right-hand corner, a new menu will open. In the bottom right corner, you will see “Ads Manager Updates” with purple star icon just like below:

    How to view Ads Manager Updates

    Most of this Month’s ‘to look out for updates’ were found this way and haven’t yet been officially released on Facebook’s “What’s New in Ads Manager” page.

    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 an email here.

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