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 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.
August 2019 Facebook Ad Updates
The big news of August is the new Facebook Ads Manager interface. Alongside this, Facebook has also been making a few other updates to help streamline the whole process.
Here are the main updates we’ve seen in August:
- New Facebook Ads Manager interface
- New Ad Creation Interface
- Simplified Editing and Creation Flow
- Updates to Ad appearance on Mobile News Feed
- Catalog items now in Store Traffic Ads
- New Cross Account Reporting Feature
- Send people to chat with a different page when using Click-to-Messenger ads
- Last Facebook Page used now Preselected during ad creation
- New Special Ad Category
New Facebook Ads Manager Interface
We're finally able to see what the new Facebook Ads Manager looks like. It's a little different now, with a few of our previous tabs now on the left-hand side menu and shown as an icon. There is also now multiple ways to access your ad sets and campaigns:
- You can tick the box and using the icons on the left to navigate down.
- You can use the arrow by the folder to open a drop-down that shows your ad sets and if pressed again, shows your ads.
- You can also simply click on the name of your campaign to go to your ad sets page.
Also be aware that your settings like ‘Delete’ are now under the 'Edit' button, which appears when you tick the box by your campaign, ad set or ad. In here you now have your delete button, a button to turn on or off your ads and general setting like Name and Find and Replace.
Our experience so far has been a positive one. Everything seems to be more responsive and publishing faster than before - which is great news. When you edit a campaign or an ad you also have a different view. In the view you can see:
- ‘Summary’ which include information on what the account you’re using, the campaign, any catalogues you're using and budgets at a first glance.
- You then have ‘Edit; which shows you all your editing options. We particularly like the new Carousel Ad format as it now shows you the picture you have in your carousel rather than just numbers.
- You then have a ‘Chart’ tab which shows the performance of your ads.
- Finally, you have ‘History’ which shows you when edits have been made, when they've started delivering and it's just great for tracking what you've done.
One downside we've noticed the ability to edit multiple ads at the same time. It’s slightly more difficult than before because after you make a change to an ad, it immediately wants to publish it whereas we'd publish all changes in one go so that we don’t have to wait for each one to publish. To get around this we just click ‘Close’ rather than ‘Publish’ on the notification, the ad then saves as a draft and when we’re ready we use the blue arrow to review and publish all ads.
We've also noticed that the icons under the ads for the options ‘view charts, edit and duplicate’ are very small and can be hard to click. However, if you press the tick box by the campaign ad set or ad, it expands to show you the icons and the description.
To us, it seems Facebook has taken the time to think about the usability of ads manager and have worked on an interface that is quite simple and clear with what you need to do. We’re impressed so far by the responsiveness and how easy it was to pick it up and it’s got us excited to see what they do next with Business Manager.
New Ad Creation Interface
Along with the news Ad Manager, they’ve also made some addition to the Ad Creation interface. When you reach the ad creation you should notice that the way you preview your ad is slightly different.
If you want to view how your ad looks on Placements, they have a nice icon system which allows you to quickly navigate through the placements you want to see. It then adjusts the preview accordingly. We think this new interface is far superior to the old drop-down menu. You can clearly see how your ads are being displayed and can easily navigate to these placements as well.
Simplified Editing and Creation Flow
Although, as we said above, you don’t get to view the new Editing and Creation flow when you first create a campaign, if you edit it or your ad set afterwards, you’ll now see a different interface.
This new feature is designed to simplify the flow and create a more intuitive experience. Input fields, such as text, have been reorganized and grouped into categories, allowing you to easily see what you can edit or change. This is slowly being introduced and we do feel it should have been introduced at the same time as the new Ads Manager interface. After all, these business tools aim to make a consistent, coherent and efficient interface for all to use, but we’re quite impressed with the new interface and would like to see it fully working now.
You can read more about the new changes here.
Updates to Ad appearance on Mobile News Feed
Starting from August 19th 2019, page posts and ads on mobile will match the look and feel of the new Facebook design introduced earlier this year. This means on your mobile news feed, there will be fewer lines of primary text after which people will be prompted to click to view additional text. The maximum size for photos and videos will reduce to a 4:5 aspect ratio. Any content that is taller than this will be masked.
Facebook claims the changes to text, photos and videos are designed to simplify the format and improve the consistency of the mobile experience. It will also apparently help drive ad effectiveness. From a marketing point of view, having a smaller space to advertise means there will probably be fewer people clicking and engaging with our ads. Though we assume when Facebook says ‘drive ad effectiveness’ this means users who notice the ads despite the smaller size will be the most engaged audience hence making the ads more effective.
We also wonder if reducing the ad size, will allow Facebook to show even more ads on the mobile News Feed? We’ll be interested to see how our results differ when this change occurs, but on the plus side, it will make it easier to use one image for the same assets as Facebook News Feed and Instagram Feed also used the 4:5 aspect ratio. Let us know what you think about this change.
Catalog items now in Store Traffic Ads
Next time you look at creating a Traffic campaign, why not experiment with the new Catalog feature? When choosing creative options for your traffic ads, you can select a Catalog to dynamically populate the ads with the items you sell.
We think this will be good to test, but if you wanted to promote your Catalog, wouldn’t it better to use the Catalog Sales Objective? Rather than use your Catalog to drive traffic to your site, you could use your Catalog to drive sales. It’s one to debate and something we are going to test before having a final say.
New Cross Account Reporting Feature
Cross Account Reporting is now available in Ads Reporting. You can access this by going to your Business Manager, you should then see a summary above all your ad account similar to this screenshot. This means you can create reports in Ads reporting that include multiple ad accounts within your business.
This may be helpful as an agency who want to see how they are performing month to month, or a business who has two different ad accounts. But other than this, not many people have more than one ad account for their business, so we are struggling to see how this update may be useful for everyone.
Send people to chat with a different page when using Click-to-Messenger ads
Here’s an update that may be useful for anyone who has a business and support page on Facebook. You can now send people from your click-to-Messenger ad into a Messenger conversation with another Page you manage.
When you go into the ad setup, and click ‘Advanced options’ you can choose the destination page of your ad. We think this update is going to help marketers leverage brand recognition from one page to drive Messenger traffic to another. In particular, this will work well with Facebook Bots like Octane.ai.
Last Facebook Page used now Preselected during ad creation
Although we feel like Facebook could have spent their time introducing more important updates, it may be helpful to know that when you create a new ad campaign, Facebook will automatically select the Facebook Page most recently used by your ad account. This will allow you to create campaigns faster because you won’t have to manually select your page every time. Most of the time the right page is selected when we create ads for our clients, but for any agency or marketer, we still recommend you check this manually just to be sure.
New Special Ad Category
If you are based in, or targeting the US and are creating ads that relate to credit, employment or housing, you must select a ‘Special Ad Category; that best describes your ads. We believe this is another way for Facebook to add clarity to its audiences when being targeted with these kinds of ads. It should also allow Facebook to review any ads in these categories with a fine-tooth comb.
Things to Keep an Eye Out for
As always along with the updates, there are several speculations as announcements from Facebook and rumour take a while to roll out. Therefore these are worth keeping an eye out for.
Here are the potential updates to look out for in August:
- Facebook to bring back reach estimates for Custom Audience
- Instagram Ads to show showing in the ‘Explore’ tab
- Facebook could soon roll out Ads in Search Results
- Business Manager to have new navigation Experience
- Introduction of Business Asset Groups to Business Manager
- Introducing Partner Onboarding in Business Manager
Facebook to bring back reach estimates for Custom Audiences
More than a year ago Facebook removed the reach estimates feature from Custom Audiences due to a vulnerability in the tool that may threaten people's privacy. However, Facebook has now said the tool is set to come back after improving its security. Privacy, detection and new restrictions have been put in place that includes limits to the number of audiences or API calls an account can have. This new limit is designed to limit potential misuse and apparently will not impact most advertisers.
Reach estimates were a handy tool for advertisers as it made it possible to determine approximate campaign sizes and manage budgets accordingly. We’ll be happy to see these back on Facebook.
Source: Marketing Land
Instagram Ads to show showing in the ‘Explore’ tab
Instagram recently announced it will be introducing ads in the ‘Explore’ tab. This is a section where users can browse content and discover new accounts based on their interests.
It’s said that this update will be rolling out ‘slowly and thoughtfully’ over the coming months to ensure users are comfortable with the change. They will first start by advertising IGTV before giving the featuring to a handful of brands to test. It’s also said that ads will only show to users after they’ve engaged with ‘Explore’ content by tapping on a photo or video, they then may start seeing ads as part of their normal feed, just like on the main feed.
With Instagram growing fast, we aren’t surprised to see that they are trying to leverage this growth and give advertisers a new way to reach potential audiences. As an advertiser, we’ll be interested to see what the engagement rate is like on the feed but as a user, it’s off-putting to know yet another place will be targeting us with ads.
Source: Marketing Land
Facebook could soon roll out Ads in Search Results
It comes as no surprise to hear Facebook have also been testing ads in a similar placement to Instagram. With a few select advertisers, Facebook has been testing ads in Search results for more than six months now.
In December, Facebook gave a small group of automotive and retail advertisers the ability to run ads on the platform’s primary search results and Marketplace search results. A few more advertisers have started noticing this placement in their ads this month but we’re still waiting to see what sort of results that are getting.
Taking a look at some of our client's placements, we can see that Search is a placement available to us as we primarily work with e-commerce stores but our currents ads are not able to use this placement because “Creative customizations by placement are not compatible with Search Results.” Or in English, the placement doesn’t support Collection Ads.
What we can tell you is the ad format is similar to News Feed ads and includes a headline, image and text. But the text doesn’t show on the Carousel Ad format. The ads also include a “Sponsored’ tag. At the moment, catalog sales, conversions and traffic objectives are supported.
While this is very new and exciting, we aren’t sure how well these ads are going to be received. We’ll be interested to leave our ads on automatic placements and see if this does gain any results.
Source: Marketing Land
Business Manager to have new navigation Experience
Facebook are also beginning to introduce a “re-imagined” navigation experience, starting with Business Manager. The feature lets you access what you need most frequently when trying to accomplish a specific goal as well as discover new business tools.
It’ll soon be applied across all Facebook business interface so keep an eye and learn more about it here.
Introduction of Business Asset Groups to Business Manager
Business Manager admins will be able to logically organize Facebook assets such as ad accounts, pages, pixels and more. You’ll be able to organize owned and shared assets with clients and bulk assign people in your organization to manage these assets.
You can learn more here. We’re particularly looking forward to this one as the onboarding and setting up process with our clients can often be a tricky one.
Introducing Partner Onboarding in Business Manager
There’s going to be a new partner onboarding experience designed with agencies and Marketing Partner in mind. We’ll soon have a new way to share assets, set up partner permissions and gain access to the assets you need.
Again, we can’t wait for this one. Another way to make our lives a bit easier when working with a client. You can learn more about it here.
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, you’ll see a box that says “Check out the latest release notes for Ads Manager, View Now.”
Most of this Month’s 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.