Making Sense of Facebook’s New Ad Updates
Facebook has proven to be a powerful social network for advertisers. People who see ads on Facebook are four times likelier to make a purchase based on that ad compared to those who see ads on any other social platform. So all eyes have been on Facebook as the social giant launched several new updates in the past months that might change the game for advertisers looking to target consumers.
The updates include Messenger ads, which will appear on Facebook Messenger's home page; Marketplace ads, which will look like sponsored Marketplace listings; and a household tool, which enables advertisers to tailor ads to entire households, or specific decision-makers within a family.
While these updates might seem exciting, it’s important for advertisers to use them strategically rather than diving in head first. Advertisers should gain a better understanding of what each update offers and then determine how each might fit within current advertising strategies.
But advertisers can’t stop there. Even with a clear strategy in mind for incorporating these features, they need to follow targeting best practices such as targeting relevant keywords and reviewing engagement data to adjust overall spend. Proper targeting strategies will allow advertisers to take full advantage of these new features and maximize revenue.
Here’s a closer look at the new updates and some advice for advertisers looking to use them.
Understand the Updates and Incorporate Them Strategically
Each new feature offers something a little different. While one may be perfect for your strategy, another might not be worth your investment. The key is understanding the nuances and how they might fit into your advertising plan.
A good way to approach this analysis is first to define your objective and how you want to measure it. A common misstep is starting with the creative you may have in mind. Even the most creative campaigns can be ineffective without the right strategy for the target audience at hand. Consider the following examples for each of Facebook’s newest features:
- Messenger ads: Messenger ads are best used to reach a mass audience with a general awareness messaging. One example might be a music artist promoting their concert or new music. The ads can lead to a website or be used to start a conversation thread with customers inviting them to buy tickets or the album.
- Marketplace ads: Marketplace ads should be used for more specific objectives in comparison to Messenger ads. But unlike household targeting, these ads are unique to an industry or category. A great example would be a retailer promoting Halloween costumes and decorations. The feature would allow this advertiser to target those researching Halloween products on Facebook Marketplace.
- Household targeting: This feature is best used for advertisers that aim to reach a specific audience within a certain income range, location or household makeup. Subscription services like Spotify might be a good example for this. Your ad dollars will go further if you use household targeting to reach individual households that don’t already use and share your service.
The biggest mistake you can make with these new features is forcing them into your ad strategy. Reaching audiences through the wrong ad types on Facebook is a waste of ad spend as it won’t help achieve your goals.
Andrew Selby is VP of Client Services at Strike Social, a global company that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to help agencies and brands succeed in YouTube and social media advertising. With teams based in Chicago, Kraków and Manila, Andrew oversees a portfolio of 500+ clients worldwide, including Beats, Xbox, Honda, Mattel, Lionsgate and Trunk Club. Andrew holds a Bachelor’s in Journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.