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.
October 2019 Facebook Ad Updates
We’re still continuing to see new updates to the Facebook Ads Manager interface this month, but Facebook has slowed down this month focusing more on updates to come and further streamlining their new interface.
Here are the main updates we’ve seen in October:
- Updated Audience Interface
- Updated Ad Editing Interface
- New Campaign, Ad Set and Ad Icons
Updated Audience Interface
Facebook has updated the interface for their audiences. At first glance, the audiences and tables are the same as before, apart from they are a bit smaller. There is, however, a new filtering method to the left-hand-side. The different audience types are now under the 'Type' drop-down so you can filter out your custom and lookalike audience which could be really helpful if you're looking for something at a glance. Otherwise, this update isn't really going to help marketers with the process or efficiency, but it's good to see some coherency with the rest of ads manager.
Updated Ad Editing Interface
We now have Primary Text and Headline boxes that allow up to 5 variations in our creation. Whilst this is similar to before, we can now easily create variation of text without selecting Dynamic Ads. The downside of creating variations this way is that you can't actually see which ones perform best, so if you'd like to see definitive results here then do test these individually. Along with this, you can also change the text and headlines for the placements you select.
This means with placements like Mobile News Feed that now only allow you to have 3 lines of text before you have to click a ‘see more button’, you can change the text on this placement only to ensure it fits within those 3 lines. We think this is a good addition to ads manager as marketers now have more control over how their ads look on different placements and can optimize accordingly. The only thing that draws this back is not being able to see the results clearly when it comes to which headline or text performs best so as we said before if you really want to see a difference then make sure you keep your ads separate from each other when testing these.
New Campaign, Ad Set and Ad Icons
Facebook has updated the icons for our Campaign, Ad Set and Ad level navigation. They appear to be a lot bigger than before and instead of all being the same size, the overview is now a lot smaller. The designs of the icons have also been made a lot simpler using thinner lines which we believe actually makes them less noticeable than before but in all, they do appear to be more in line with the interface Facebook is creating but it’s unlikely to impact marketers in any big way.
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 October:
- Facebook is testing in-app checkout
- Facebook is testing the ability to turn organic shopping posts on Instagram into ads
- New Updates to Ad Reporting
- A New Ad Preview Experience
On Monday the 9th of September Facebook announced it's testing two new ad features: in-app checkout experience for dynamic ads running in the Facebook News Feed and the ability to turn organic shopping posts on Instagram into an ad via Ads Manager.
Facebook is testing in-app checkout
Users will soon be able to discover a product using dynamic ads and checkout without ever having to leave Facebook. It's only available to a small subset of users currently but this helps take out the extra step and could potentially increase the number of conversions from Facebook Ads. If we get access to this we'll definitely have to test it and see how it influences the performance of the ads.
Facebook is testing the ability to turn organic shopping posts on Instagram into ads
Facebook is also testing a new ad feature on Instagram that allows advertisers to turn their shoppable posts into ads through Ads Manager. We’re excited about this one as it’s a great way of leveraging and organic assets, especially when it comes to creating social proof.
But how is this going to affect us, marketers? Facebook estimates friction in the online checkout processes will cost US businesses $213 billion this year. Therefore they are aiming to create a more efficient e-commerce process across its apps by allowing users to purchase directly in the apps. This in-app checkout process is already being tested on Instagram but as of yet, we haven't seen this option released fully to all marketers despite reporting on this back in March. We can see how this may could benefit marketers and the performance of their ads but until Facebook rolls this out for all businesses we can’t say how effective this will be.
Source: Marketing Land
New Updates to Ad Reporting
The delivery column is being updated with simpler statuses and new icons to help you better identify delivery issues. They’ll be introducing the 'Learning Unsuccessful' status for ad sets that fail to exit the learning phase after 7 days so you can better understand how edits affect the learning phase.
We’ll also have the ability to build custom metrics in Ads Reporting, leveraging existing metrics to formulate and save custom metrics in your account.
You can find out more here.
A New Ad Preview Experience
Facebook has changed the design of their preview placements to an expanded experience to help you see side by side previews of how your ad will look across different placements. They've added contextual entry points to Placement Editor to edit and customize your media (images and video) for different placements. You will also be able to view and address any errors with the new error filter option.
Being able to understand errors in Facebook Ads will be a big plus point for marketers. Currently, feedback for errors isn’t great so it’ll be good to see how this improves.
Learn more about this 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.” After you select ‘View Now’ you’ll see all the notes in the right-hand menu just like below:
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.