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.

June 2019 Facebook Ad Updates

This month Facebook has really focused on making Ads Manager more intuitive for its users. There have been some great updates this month which aim to make the creating and analysing process easier for marketers.

Here are the main updates we’ve seen:
  • New Custom Audience Options
  • New ‘Create a household’ Audience and Interface
  • Updates to Lookalike Audiences
  • Video Ranking Algorithm Changes
  • “Create Multiple New Ad Sets” feature removed.
  • New Design for Ads in Messenger Inbox
  • 10 Second View Optimization Fading Out
  • New ‘Inspect’ Option

New Custom Audience Options

Ben Malol took to Facebook at the end of April to show his excitement for the new custom audience options available to him. As you can see below not only was he able to target by searching for an Instagram profile, there are also dozens of new behaviours and demographics you can target by, including Purchase History which uses Order Value.

We can’t see these updates on our ad accounts but we’d love to hear your experiences with them.

Facebook Ad Updates

New “Create a Household” Audience and Interface

You may have noticed that when you go to create an audience, the layout is slightly different. This new interface is being rolled out for newer ad accounts in both the Audience and Pixel pages.

Facebook Ad Updates

But we can also see that the end screen after you upload a data file is different too. Not only can you create a lookalike audience or ad straight from the screen, but there is also an option to create a household audience.

But what is a household audience? You can now expand your audience to also target family members who are in the household of your existing customers. So next time you see an ad on Facebook for housing or a holiday, why not check if your spouse, parents or siblings see the same ad. We think this could be a great tactic for purchases that often tend to be driven by family/partner discussions.

Facebook Ad Updates

Source: Super Spicy Media

Updates to Lookalike Audience

A small but all the same important updates to lookalike audiences is the ability to create them using a worldwide location, in different markets or in multiple countries.

We’re wondering if this is Facebook’s effort to make these audience perform better than they have been. Since the removal of thirty party data sources, some have reported the 1% Lookalike Audiences are no longer performing as well as they have been. Instead, 2-3% could be the next best thing. What do you think of this? And what have you experienced? Let us know in the comments.

Facebook Ad Updates

Video Ranking Algorithm Changes

Facebook has updated its video ranking algorithm to surface video content that is usually sought out by users and watched repeatedly. Along with videos that keep people engaged for a longer amount of time. This also means limiting down ‘sharing scheme’ videos that are unoriginal or repurposed by Pages.

For marketers, it means we need to reevaluate our organic video content. Make sure you are regularly checking which videos are being watched the most and which ones have the best engagement. A rule of thumb is to make sure content is at least 3 minutes long and has creative detail you can easily fit into your marketing strategy.

Source: Marketing Land

“Create Multiple New Ad Sets” feature Removed

This one may be hard to swallow for all the marketers out there, but you can no longer create multiple new ad sets using the Ads Manager Guided Creation. For some, this made ad creation easy and fast. But now if you want to use ad sets to compare audiences you’ll need to perform a split test or duplicate them.

Generally, we prefer to duplicate the ad set. For example, if we want to test the same ads but for a different audience, we create the first audience as an ad set and create the ads within it. We then duplicate the ad set in the original campaign, creating 1 copy at a time and of course selecting “show existing post engagements on duplicated ad”. You can also select a split test from here as well, but we like to maintain control when comparing audiences.

Facebook Ad Updates

Source: Facebook

New Design for Ads in Messenger Inbox

We actually only discovered this update when investigating the other updates for this blog. It just goes to show there are always new things appearing on Facebook.

Facebook has updated the design of ads in Messenger Inbox to better fit the look and feel of Messenger. The new design will now use single images for traffic, messages, conversions or mobile app installs campaign objectives.

Campaigns using catalogue sales, reach and brand awareness objective or ads with only videos and carousel formats, will no longer deliver to Messenger Inbox. This isn’t the end of the world as Facebook’s automatic placement algorithm is really good at showing your ads in the right place, but if you do want to hit hard in Messenger make sure you select the right objective.

Advertisers will also be able to customize how their ads look in the new design while creating or editing their ads, in which they recommend you use a 1:1 aspect ratio.

Facebook Ad Updates

Source:Facebook

10 Second View Optimization Phasing Out

Facebook is making ThruPlay the default buying option for video ad campaigns and sunsetting the 10-second view optimization option. Starting on July 31st, Facebook will pause campaigns still set to use the 10-second video view optimization, so make sure you look out for this!

For those who don’t know what ThruPlay is: it launched in September and optimizes ad delivery to target users who are likely to watch the entire video or at least 15 seconds of longer videos. The 10-second delivery optimization option focused on users likely to watch 10 seconds or more of a video. Hopefully, we should see better results from this switch.

Facebook Ad Updates

Source: Marketing Land

New ‘Inspect Option’

You can now quickly analyze any ad set you have running with the help of the Inspect tool. Located on the left-hand side of your view is a magnifying glass that allows you to observe the correlation between cost per result and first time impression ratio, as well as analysing the effect big changes you made have had to your ad set.

It also goes more in depth to understand the dynamic between audience saturation and cost. If for example, you were trying to get signups for a webinar, you’d be able to see if your audience needs several touch points before they commit. This would show when results improve and frequency increases.

Auction overlap is now also clearly explained to you and you can see if your ad sets are competing in the same auctions.

Facebook Ad Updates

It’s good to see that Facebook has finally given us the analytics we want to see. Our understanding of ad performance should be so much better now we can see what is actually happening. This feature is still rolling out but we love to hear how you’re finding it.

Source: Super Spicy Media

Things to Keep an Eye Out For

As always along with the updates, there are a number of rumours and speculations being passed around. Although some have been announced, they do seem to take a while to roll out, therefore worth keeping an eye on.

Here are the potential updates to look out for:

  • New Messenger and Features for Businesses
  • Introducing the “Clear History” Tool
  • Buying from Influencer Posts on Instagram
  • New Ad Creation Platform for Small Businesses

New Messenger and Features for Businesses

Facebook announced the arrival of a lighter, faster version of Messenger to ensure the app is stable and user-friendly with it’s increasing popularity. Along with this they also announced new features for businesses who drive in-store traffic to generate leads and provide customer services, so what do we have to look forward to?

  1. Appointment Booking - Facebook has a built-in service that can be integrated with a calendar system to provide people with up-to-date availability for meeting and calls without ever leaving the app.
  2. Lead Generation with Qualification - There will be an automated question-and-answer flow within Messenger where leads can input answers swiftly and easily with quick reply buttons.
  3. Easy Authentication - This will allow a business to direct customers who are already authenticated on a mobile app or website seamlessly into a Messenger thread to create an instantly personalised experience.

Whilst we love the direction Facebook is taking Messenger, we can’t help but think they are trying to compete with the likes of Octane.ai and other Facebook Bots. Octane.ai can do all of the above and more like sending personalised discount codes and order updates to their customers.

If you’re interested in the new Messenger update or the potential of Octane.ai, you can check out its features here.

Source: Shed Social

Introducing ‘Clear History’ Tool

Facebook also announced they are introducing a ‘Clear History’ tool to the platform. The feature will allow users to disconnect their off-Facebook activity from their profile. What does this mean for marketers?

The feature doesn’t actually delete a user’s browsing activity or offline actions but makes the data anonymous. It will remove that persons information and demographics which could affect targeting, but will still provide us with data we can analyse.

As always the feature is designed to deliver more transparency for users, showing them a list of apps and websites they have visited that employ Facebook business tools like the Facebook Pixel to capture this data.

It will begin rolling out in the coming months, more than a year since it was first announced.

Source: Marketing Land

Buying from Influencer Posts on Instagram

Most of us saw Instagram create a new profile @shop to promote their new shopping feature but now users will be able to buy items from brands tagged in creators posts right in the app.

Facebook Ad Updates

This update is part of Instagram’s social e-commerce efforts to reduce the number of steps it takes someone to purchase a product they’ve seen. It’s also going to provide an incentive for brands to look out for influencers who can potentially help promote their products.

Is this something you’ll use? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Marketing Land

New Ad Creation Platform for Small Businesses

Facebook is rolling out a series of new tools aimed at small and mid-sized businesses like an Automated Ads platform, video editing features and appointment booking capabilities. All with the aim of being able to help businesses grow in size and create new jobs. But what do these new features do?

Automated Ads

There’s now a tool that can automatically create up to six different versions of an ad to run across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network. The tool will lead advertisers through a series of questions about their business and goals and be able to suggest a number of CTAs, text and creatives they can use.

It will also offer ad targeting recommendations and budget suggestions based on the goal of the ad. As well as providing estimated results based on the budget. Advertisers will also receive performance reports on their campaigns that include recommendations to enhance results.

Sounds pretty good right? The feature is still rolling out but Facebook has a guide on how to create automated ads.

Video Editing Tools

Can we just appreciate the genius of this tool? It’s helped us so much with our ads. There’s nothing worse than having a lovely image or video that can’t be placed on Instagram because it’s the wrong aspect ratio. Well there’s a tool to help with this.

Facebook has three new video editing tools: automatic cropping, video trimming and image and text overlays. It’s now even easier to create and optimise your visuals without paying for expensive resources.

Facebook Ad Updates

Appointment Booking

Businesses on Facebook and Instagram now have access to appointment management tools that allow customers to book services on the platform. Customer can schedule an appointment, once the business accepts it, the system will send reminders to them through Messenger or via text. You should also be able to manage appointments from your business page.

All these features are designed to help businesses who are lacking in know-how and resources to make the most of Facebook Ads, and it shows along with the updates, Facebook are trying hard to make Ads Manager a platform anyone and everyone can use.

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 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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