Been meaning to experiment with Facebook ads but first-time jitters holding you back? We don't blame you. PPC, no matter which platform you're using, has the tendency to make marketers who are new to online advertising break out in a cold sweat. You have to learn the nuances of the platform, decipher the meaning of proprietary metrics, understand your segmenting options, and then there's the bidding. Oh, the bidding! That's a science in itself.
Well yesterday, Facebook announced plans to streamline the ad creation process, making it easier for Facebook advertisers to create ads and Sponsored Stories that are more closely aligned with their stated goals, such as generating more business page likes or promoting page posts. These changes will aim to give advertisers more guidance as they're building their Facebook ad campaigns and help them achieve the right balance of Facebook ads and Sponsored Stories to achieve their particular goals.
The new interface seems to also build off a feature Facebook introduced in May, which helped advertisers measure the performance of their ads based on their stated objectives. Thus, Facebook's latest move makes the entire ad campaign process goals-driven, from start to finish, creation to measurement.
For those of you who could benefit from a little hand-holding, these changes may be just what you need to overcome those first-time jitters.
What Changes Are Coming?
According to Facebook, the upcoming changes to its ad creation process are simply front-end design changes to its ad creator interface rather than alterations to its application-programming interface.
As you can see from the full screenshot below, courtesy of TechCrunch, the interface first prompts advertisers to select what they want to advertise, and then choose their goal: 'Get More Page Likes,' 'Promote Page Posts,' or get more specific with their goals by selecting 'Advanced Options.' Once advertisers have identified their goal, the ad creator will recommend a combination of ads and Sponsored Stories to achieve that objective. In addition, a new feature enables advertisers to preview how their Sponsored Stories would actually appear in users' news feeds.
According to a Facebook spokesperson, as reported by AllFacebook:
"We’ve seen that ads and Sponsored Stories, when combined, provide the most impact for advertisers. This is because ads can help people connect to pages, and, once they connect, Sponsored Stories can drive the distribution of those connections to more people … Today’s changes to the ad create flow makes the entire process of creating, optimizing, and measuring ad campaigns easier through objective-based recommendations."
The Marketers Pespective
It's pretty easy to see how this change will help Facebook, given that the new interface encourages an integrated approach to Facebook advertising, suggesting a combination of different ad types to achieve advertisers' goals. So if an advertiser only intended to purchase an ad, perhaps the new interface might persuade them to purchase a Sponsored Story as well. Sneaky sneaky, Facebook.
That being said, we can't help but think that this new guided approach will be a big help to marketers new to Facebook advertising, and we always think it's a good thing when marketers make decisions based on their particular objectives and goals. This may help keep marketers more accountable to consider their end goals rather than doing Facebook advertising just for the heck of it. So if they hadn't already thought critically about their reasons behind doing Facebook advertising, the new interface will force them to.
So when will we be seeing this new ad creation design? It's hard to say. For now, it seems like Facebook currently has the interface in beta for some users, so we'll just have to be on the lookout for news from Facebook about when it will be rolling out to all users.
What do you think of the new ad creation process? Will it help you overcome your own barrier to entry into Facebook advertising?