Tag : ads-manager

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Facebook’s New Targeting Tool Comes with a Catch

For several years, advertising agency publications have been complaining about transparency and accuracy of Facebook’s self-reported results. I dismissed those headlines as Fortune 500 problems until an email from Don, one of my Kentucky clients.

Don asked me why there was such a big disparity between how many visitors his Google Analytics had shown to originate from Facebook and how many Facebook had claimed. I answered something along the lines of these points:

• the difference lay in how both entities define a click/view/visit;

• I would take Google’s word over Facebook’s stats; and

• the true numbers should still be somewhat proportional to each other.

In my post-campaign correspondence with clients since that first email from Don, I’ve often advised clients that they need to compare the results that Facebook reports with what their Google Analytics shows—and work off Google’s numbers.

Facebook wasn’t trying to mislead advertisers.

It just had limited measurement. One of their newer tools combats that limitation and gives advertisers better data.

Facebook previously counted people who clicked on any or all links in your ads and promoted posts. Four people make that a problem.

(1) the accidental clicker, who clicks right back to their newsfeed after seeing it disappear to a link screen

(2) the impatient clicker, who won’t wait for a page to load (often on cellular service)

(3) the indecisive clicker, who decides they don’t want more information after all

(4) the double clicker, who could be any of the first three but clicks a second time

I’ve been all four of those clickers.

Facebook’s solution was to get what Google has: measurement on the other end of the link.

Facebook built measurement into their pixel code. Now, advertisers who use the free code on their website can give and receive anonymous reporting through that pixel. In so doing, Facebook affirmed the disparity of results but offered transparency. That removed most of the suspicion of inflated reporting.

Then this summer, Facebook added a tool to bridge the gap of the disparity between link clicks and page views. They added the ability for us advertisers to optimize ads for people likely to visit a specific landing page. For auctioneers, this might be an auction even page, online catalog, or even a seller services page.

Facebook Ad Optimization Options

Facebook’s algorithms know who is likely to click on advertising. Up until 2017, that was the best you could get when prospecting. Those algorithms now also know which Facebook users are most likely to visit landing pages—those who do more than just click. What this means is that you can prioritize your ads to serve to the segment of your target audience most likely to actually visit your website.

For the auction industry, that’s what we want. We need to get people off Mark Zuckerberg’s platform and onto ours. We want people to move through our sales funnel, and we want those to be the right people for what we’re selling. The option to optimize for landing page views allows us to find more and/or better needles in the haystack.

This incredible opportunity does come with a catch—four of them, actually.

You must have a Facebook pixel installed on page where traffic is heading.

If you use Facebook’s Business Manager, this would be your business’ pixel. If you use Ads Manager, this would be your pixel and/or your vendor’s pixel. (You can have multiple pixels installed at the same time, and they don’t interfere with each other.) Fewer than half of my clients have installed a pixel of any kind. It’s a shame, too, because the pixel offers some other mind-bending abilities. Rather than insert the pixel code on each page, it’s a lot easier to paste the Facebook pixel code into your site’s header, where it will automatically and invisibly populate to every page on your site.

You must be prepared for fewer clicks from your ads.

I’m only a few months into this tool, but my sample size indicates that these ads will get fewer clicks than ads optimized simply for clicks. They’ll be better clicks from more qualified clickers, because you’ll be paring out the unproductive fluff. Unfortunately, that means that any of your past case studies or results reports that emphasize clicks—inflated numbers—will seem to overpromise results from ads optimized for landing page views. Depending on how many auctions you do a year, it may take a bit to rebuild your case studies for clients.

You’ll have to educate your sellers.

It makes sense to assume that someone who clicks to your website inherently becomes a visitor. Now you know why that isn’t true. So, you’ll have to be careful not to call clicks “people coming to the website.” I used to pass along that assumption—before Don’s email.

You can’t optimize for landing page views when using boosted posts or promoted posts.

Even if you have the pixel installed on your site, you can’t use it to optimize posts for landing page views. You can still use it to create custom audiences and lookalike audiences for promoted posts, but only ads can be optimized for clicks to your website or for landing page views. If you don’t know the difference between an ad and a post, I created this guide for (1) telling them apart and (2) knowing when to use each.

The benefits of optimizing for landing page views outweigh the above considerations. In most situations, the more targeted our audience, the better; and I’ve found Facebook’s algorithms to outperform my educated guesses most of the time. That doesn’t mean I would optimize all my Facebook advertising for landing page views. Each auction and its various target audiences require different goals, and I currently use all five optimization options for ads and posts in different situations. That said, this will probably be my default setting when available going forward.

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181: What Kind of Facebook Advertising Should You Use?

The biggest confusion I encounter when teaching people how to advertise on Facebook is the difference between an ad, a promoted post, and a boosted post. Part of that confusion comes from Facebook using similar buttons and terms to describe all of them. Don’t be fooled, though. These are very different tools with different purposes for savvy advertisers to use.

Origination

One of the biggest differences between the three is where the posts are built. Ads can be created only within Ads Manager (or Business Manager). Posts can be created only on your business page’s timeline. Ads do not show on your timeline at all, which often leads my clients to ask, “Did you build the ad already?” Both ads and posts can be scheduled for a specific release time.

Organic Distribution

Ads show organically only to the Admins and Editors of your page. Posts show organically only to 2-10% of the people who have hit the like button on your page.

Paid Distribution

Both ads and promoted posts are distributed through Ads Manager (or Business Manager). The confusing part is that the first step for both is to click the green button that says, “Create Ad.” Boosted posts are distributed from the “Boost” button under the post on your Facebook page. Boosted posts do not have all of the targeting and optimization options available to ads and promoted posts.

Content Formats

Ads can distribute with a photo, photo carousel, slideshow, or video. Ads can also leverage the Facebook canvas tool or the adaptive single-image tool. Boosted and promoted posts can be single images, a photo album, a video, or a link. On the photo albums, you can determine which top images get shown in the collage preview.

Buttons & Links

On an ad, the illustration (photos, slideshows, and videos) are all clickable to your website. So is the headline and link description. The viewer doesn’t see the URL, and the advertiser doesn’t need to include the URL in the text of the ad. In boosted and promoted posts, clicking on a photo advances the viewer to the next photo—not the advertiser’s link. URLs must be pasted into the text portion of your post and/or your photo captions. Posts do not have clickable buttons, either.

Facebook design comparison insert

Default Optimization

Facebook knows our tendencies as consumers, whether we’re likely to click on links or try to stay in the newsfeed. So, it allows advertisers to choose how advertising is targeted (“optimized”). The default setting for ads is link clicks. For promoted and boosted posts, the default setting is for engagements: likes, comments, and shares. Both ads and promoted posts can also be optimized either for impressions (showing to the same people as many times as possible) or unique reach (showing to as many people as possible). Boosted posts offer no options for optimization and are inherently aimed at engagements that keep the viewer on Facebook.

Distribution Platforms

Ads can be distributed to Facebook’s newsfeed, right column, Instant Articles, In-Stream Videos, or Canvas. They can also be pushed out to Instagram and the Audience Network (selection of editorial websites that show Facebook ads). Promoted posts can publish only to Facebook’s newsfeed & right column and to Instagram. Boosted posts can publish only to Facebook’s newsfeed and to Instagram.

Primary Measurement

Facebook’s default reporting tends to focus on total audience size and a single column of content results. For ads, the results are clicks to your website. For posts, results are measured in terms of combined engagements—likes, comments, and shares. Cost per engagements generally run much lower than cost per click. To compare apples to apples, make sure your reports for both ads and posts show the cost per click. Within Ads Manager (or Business Manager), you can customize which analytical data you want to see in your reports and in what order. Below is a recent sample showing the standard columns I use for my personal and client reports.

Anonymized Facebook report

Click to enlarge

Strategy

Ads prove a high stakes game of risk/reward. Single-photo and video ads have one first impression that must get someone to click to your website. Carousel and slideshow ads give you slightly more content to attract a buyer or client. Promoted and boosted posts offer the option of the photo gallery, which allows consumers to meander through your content before deciding to leave Facebook for your website. You can and should have different copy in the captions for each photo; and you should have a link pasted in the description, too.

Because of their content and distribution models, each kind of Facebook advertising has a different use. Ads align best with the pursuit of the most motivated consumers. Promoted posts appeal to consumers whose interest can be developed. Boosted posts are best suited for community awareness; that community can be either interest-based (fans of your Facebook page) or geography-based (people in a specific location).

Know that results will wildly vary. For the most efficient and effective Facebook advertising, you have to experiment with different Facebook tools and then measure their effectiveness.

Facebook comparison chart full size

Click to enlarge

Stock image purchased from iStockPhoto.com

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171: The 5 Ways to Outsource Your Facebook Advertising

Over the past two years, I’ve become an editor or administrator of more than 40 different Facebook pages for businesses across the country. Recently, that quantity has been changing almost weekly, as more and more auction companies are hiring me to manage at least a portion of their Facebook advertising.

As a vendor, I’ve learned the advantages and disadvantages of the five different ways you can outsource your Facebook marketing. I’ve assembled a brief overview of each here, in case you’re wondering which option is right for your business.

Business Manager Editor Access

Using the Business Manager interface, companies can assign different levels of access to both employees and vendors contributing to their social media. In business manager, the Facebook pixel and billing are tied to the page’s account rather than to the personal account of each individual who places ads.

PRO: This is the most secure way of the five for bringing in additional marketers. You keep Facebook pixel stability, regardless of turnover. Billing is direct to your company credit card (especially beneficial if you collect credit card points). All admins and editors can see analytics.

CON: A bit more work to set up (more steps and more technical prowess required).

Additional Admin or Editor Access

This is the solution most of my clients choose. After you create your page, you can add employees or vendors as admins or editors under Page Roles, which is under Settings on your business’ Facebook page. Using Ads Manager, anyone on the team can place ads, use a Facebook pixel, create a custom or lookalike audience, etc.

PRO: It’s literally only four clicks to add a marketer to your Facebook team. You have all of the same advertising options as Business Manager. There’s still some control/access differentiation between admins and editors.

CON: All admins and editors need to install their Facebook pixels on your website for ubiquitous use.

Primary Admin Access

Some of my clients didn’t have a Facebook business page before hiring my services. They outsourced creation of their Facebook business page and asked me to add them as admins, so that they would get notifications on page activity and could answer inquiries via Facebook Messenger. Once everything is up and running, the back end works and looks the same as the previous option. Some gymnastics need to be done for the person who founded the page to demote themselves to editor and give you the only admin access, but it’s not difficult.

PRO: You don’t have to set up your Facebook page. You get notifications of page and advertising activity without needing to place the ads or even know how to navigate Ads Manager. You have all of the same advertising options as Business Manager.

CON: You are giving someone else complete control of your brand on the platform with more daily users than any other on the planet. All admins and editors need to install their Facebook pixel on your website for ubiquitous use. Billing is tied to individual users. Only the person who scheduled the ads can see the analytics natively (without screen capture or similar sharing)

Third Party Branding

I don’t offer this as a service, but a bunch of companies inside and outside the auction industry do. Instead of creating a Facebook page for your business and tying your advertising to it, another company places the ads through their page.

PRO: You don’t have to set up a Facebook page or handle your own Facebook advertising.

CON: Your sellers’ assets are being sold by another brand, which builds their interface—instead of your website—as a marketplace. Sometimes the ads are linked to your website; often, though, they are linked to your listing on that vendor’s website instead. To use any Facebook pixel advertising (if even offered), you have to give another company access to your web traffic.

Account Takeover

This is stupid—nothing short of unwise. I mention this option only because I’ve had three different entrepreneurs request this over the past year. This is where you give a vendor your personal Facebook login information to create a business page in your name, make you the admin, and then place ads on behalf of your brand.

PRO: You don’t have to set up your Facebook page. You get to see notifications and analytics in your Ads Manager without placing your ads.

CON: Your vendor could ruin your reputation and put your brand in hot water. They could commandeer not only your Facebook business page but also your personal Facebook profile. They can post as you, message as you, comment as you. They could change your password and lock you out of your own account.

Right now, Facebook offers the most targeted marketing to the largest audiences in the world. Your brand, your assets, and your services need to be there. Outsourcing isn’t always the best option. (In fact, some of my clients only outsource a portion of their Facebook advertising.) When an outside vendor can add value or ease your workload, though, now you’ll know how best to engage them.

Stock image purchased from iStockPhoto.com

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