by Lauren Barrett

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.

July 2019 Facebook Ad Updates

Facebook has been rolling out updates for July! Therefore this month’s blog is solely focusing on these updates. They’ve made a range of updates from those that are small and powerful to those that are new and still updating. Either way, they’re sure to make the ad creation process easier for marketers.

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

  • Dynamic Ads in Instagram Stories
  • Updates to Video Creation Kit
  • Ad Creation for Instagram Branded Content
  • New Opportunities Tab in Ads Manager
  • New ways to view Recommendations
  • New Bidding Experience
  • New Event Setup Tool using the Facebook Pixel
  • Asset Customization now available with optional Website URL
  • A faster way to change your Ad Set Optimization
  • Introduction of Welcome Message for existing post ads used with Messenger
  • Instant Experience Views are now being optimised

Dynamic Ads in Instagram Stories

When you create an ad using the Catalogue Sales objective you may have noticed that the dynamic variations were unable to show on Instagram stories. Well, that’s all about to change. Facebook’s recent update allows you to dynamically show users products that are featured in your catalogue. You can also change the background colour it’s shown on! One thing we've noticed is that the text for the ad looks better if it’s short form. This is because along with the image, short form copy will actually fit on a mobile screen so make sure you optimise your ad copy if you want to use this feature.

Dynamic Ads in Instagram Stories

Updates to Video Creation Kit

In last month’s Facebook Ad update blog we mentioned the new crop and edit video tool Facebook introduced to make it easier to optimise your videos for different ad placements. But it now seems they're rolling out yet another tool for their video template. This tool can now automatically turn one video into multiple videos which have different aspect ratios. This update has been very useful for us as it cuts down how long we spend on the creation process.

Updates to Video Creation Kit

They also added a ‘Save Draft’ button to their Video Creation Kit. Finally, you can save drafts of your Facebook video templates! We’ve found this particularly useful when we’ve wanted to test and optimise our ads. Instead of creating a new video every time we want to change an image or product, we now just have to find our draft, change the elements we want, save it and use it in our ads. It makes the whole process so much simpler!

Updates to Video Creation Kit

Ad Creation for Instagram Branded Content

Instagram advertisers can now convert organic influencer posts into ads. We mentioned this as something to look out for in our March Facebook Ad Update blog but we’re now seeing the new tool in action. The idea is to help build a better relationship between influencers and brands. According to Marketing Land, last year 150% more influencers were posting sponsored content, so this new tool is a way for brands to leverage this marketing growth. Instagram has also announced branded content ads for Stories which will roll out over the coming months.

Ad Creation for Instagram Branded Content

New Opportunities Tab in Ads Manager

Some of you may have noticed your Ads Manager looks slightly different and that’s because of the new “Opportunities” tab. The concept of this tab is for Facebook to help you create campaigns by giving your personalised recommendations. But how does it work? Let’s walk you through it.

New Opportunities Tab in Ads Manager

Step 1: You start by choosing what your main business goal is with the choice of:

  • Increase awareness about your business products or service
  • Reach people in a certain geographic area
  • Get a certain audience to watch your business video
  • Get people to fill out a form and increase leads
  • Get more people to buy from your online store
  • Get people to install or engage with your app

Step 2: Then you’ll be asking what your targeting strategy is with the choice of:

  • Retargeting existing users
  • Find new customers

Step 3: You’ll be asked where your ideal customer is located with the choice of:

  • Locally or close to your place of business
  • Global (Good for E-commerce)

After you’ve completed these questions, your personalised recommendations are ready. It gives you an objective to use, budget, audience placements and ad format. After watching an explanatory video by Mojca Zove from Super Spicy Media we think it's a good tool for helping new advertisers get to grips with ads manager and its best practices by setting up a structured campaign for you. But it’s not helpful for giving advertisers more insight or recommendations into locations, audience targeting and visuals that work. For example, it can give your home country or worldwide as a location but it can’t give you insight into why or what other countries to target. We assume Facebook will gradually make this more personalised and as they build the tool. Hopefully, it’ll give us more insight into what audiences to use based on the goals and objectives we input at the start and it’ll give us reasons why particular aspects work so that we can develop our understanding of the Facebook Ad platform.

New ways to view Recommendations

When you view Ad Set results in your reporting table on Ads Manager, you may see some results are underlined. When you hover over an underlined results, you’ll see recommendations for how to improve the Ad Sets performance.

At the moment this update isn’t available to us, but we’re looking forward to seeing what recommendations Facebook can give. With any luck, they’ll be more in-depth than the Opportunities tab.

New Bidding Experience

Along with our Bid Cap and Target Cost options we now have Cost Cap. Cost Cap is a third cost-based bidding strategy that’s designed to help you maximize cost-efficiency while also driving conversion volume and getting the most from your results with your chosen Cost Per Action. The updated user experience simplifies bidding and leads you to a bid strategy that aligns to your campaign objective.

You can manually select bid strategies so we’ll be keen to test this and see what impact this has on our ads. If you’d like to read more information on this, you can visit Facebook’s page here.

New Bidding Experience

New Event Setup Tool using the Facebook Pixel

The Facebook Event Setup Tool provides an intuitive, point-and-click way, for anyone with the Facebook pixel installed to set up events and parameters without the help of a developer. The tool lets you set up the key user actions and business outcomes that are required to drive Facebook campaign performance and measurement. You may find this valuable if you have a Facebook pixel installed on your site but aren’t leveraging standard events or would like to add more.

We wanted to include this for any none Shopify users who may be reading this blog, as this will definitely help with your Pixel setup. You can read more about it here.

However, if you’re on Shopify and didn’t already know, Facebook and Shopify have an integration which can create these events for you. All you need to do is add your Pixel ID to your Shopify Store… and that’s it, it’s all set up and ready to go!

Asset Customization now available with optional Website URL

You no longer need to provide a destination URL to customise media assets by placement. This is dependent on which objective you use though. Traffic, Conversion and Catalogue Sales Objectives still need a URL. But if you want to use Brand Awareness, Engagement, Video Views etc the URL is now optional. We think this makes perfect sense. Think about it, if you want someone to like your Facebook page or watch a video through an ad, you don’t want to direct them away by including a website link. This update now means you can truly focus your ads on the objective you select.

Asset Customization now available with optional Website URL

A faster way to change your Ad Set Optimization

When you first create a campaign and an Ad Set you can choose what Optimization for Ad Delivery you would like. This means whatever option you choose, Facebook will optimise your ads for. For example Traffic Objectives have a Landing Page Views, Link Clicks, Daily Reach and Impressions options. Most of the time you’re going to start with Landing Page Views because with a Traffic Objective you want to get users to your website. But if you notice you aren’t getting much traffic you may want to change this Ad Delivery to Impressions so that it delivers to as many people as possible instead.

Previously to do this you would need to duplicate the ad set and start again with the new option but Facebook’s latest update lets you change this within the same ad set.

A faster way to change your Ad Set Optimization

For us, the option to edit is there, but because we have multiple ad sets under one campaign, we are shown error message telling you to create a new ad set because you can’t have ad sets with different optimizations in one campaign. All in all, not that helpful. For example, if you were running a Conversion Campaign with a Purchase Objective but discovered you weren't getting any Adds to Cart, you'd want to try changing your objective to Adds to Cart to see if this would help. This new tool will allow you to do this easily but only if you have 1 ad set in 1 campaign. If you have multiple ad sets in 1 campaign, you'd have duplicate and change the objectives on all ad sets before you could test it. So for marketers that like to use their ad sets for multiple audiences, this tool isn't going to be helpful.

Introduction of Welcome Message for existing post ads used with Messenger

When you create a click-to-Messenger campaign with an existing post, you can now add a welcome message for those who click on your ad. You can add this message under Messenger Setup at the ad level. The idea behind this update is to help drive conversations with your Facebook users by automatically sending a message they can interact with. It’ll also make it easier on the marketer as they won’t have to worry about saying ‘hello’ to everyone who clicks on the ad and you can focus on replying to users who engage with you.

Instant Experience Views are now being optimised

Whilst looking at which Objectives have the Optional Website URL feature we stumbled across this update. If your ad includes an Instant Experience and you’re optimising for Landing Page Views, Facebook will now optimise for views on your Instant Experience instead.

We think this is a great update to Ads Manager. Whenever we include an Instant Experience with an ad we like to treat it as a mini website, with its purpose to show the user products in an easy to read format and without ever leaving Facebook. By optimising ads for views on the Instant Experience, we will now be able to show products to more users and if they see something they like, they’ll be taken straight to the products page instead of needing to search for it. All in all, this update will help improve the user experience on Facebook and with the brand, therefore may develop trust that could lead to sales.

Instant Experience Views are now being optimised

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.” After you select ‘View Now’ you’ll see all the notes in the right-hand menu just like below:

Facebook Ads Manager

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.

Lauren Barrett
Lauren Barrett

Lauren works closely with Adam on the creation of marketing strategy and content for Blend clients. Having honed her skills within a ecommerce and B2B business, Lauren is well versed in the marketing needs of businesses in a competitive workplace.

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