‘Out with the old and in with the Review’ – why 2018’s Facebook updates make 2019 the year to nail advertising on Facebook!

Facebook advertising is set to grow well into 2019, providing small businesses with a cost effective opportunity to precisely target millions of users.  As we enter into the New Year, we take a look back at some of last year’s key announcements and developments which solidify why Facebook is the place to advertise your business in 2019.


Launch of The Facebook attribution tool

2018 saw the launch of the Facebook Attribution Tool which does what Google Analytics, and other such ‘stand alone’ attribution and analytical tools have been doing for some time, but its free to use, and allows you to leverage your other marketing platforms and streams. You aren’t limited to understanding Facebook, but can add over 30 other key marketing platforms including Bing Ads, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest.

The tool allows you to interrogate and analyse the different areas of your marketing strategy’s effectiveness, including how customers interact with your digital platforms, to a degree of sophistication that even the most Facebook ‘savvy’ professionals are only just beginning to understand.

So, the Facebook Attribution Tool is a powerful and effective tool to allow digital marketeers to understand better than ever before how to attract, convert and retain customers.


Custom Audience size may be returning in certain scenarios

Early last year, Facebook removed the ability to view audience reach estimates in any campaign using Custom Audience targeting.  The official Facebook response stated that Custom Audience size data would simply no longer be available, leaving many small businesses frustrated and questioning the long term viability of Facebook Custom Audiences for their business.

However, recent research and testing[3] has found some instances where Custom Audience size seems to be returning.  Advertisers are currently not seeing Custom Audience size for Website Audiences, but they are populating for certain engagement audiences, which are detailed below:

·         Customer Audience – Customer list

·         Customer Audience – Engagement – Video

·         Customer Audience – Engagement – Instagram

Custom Audiences offers a cost effective way to interact with both existing and new customers and it still provides a massive opportunity to target large numbers of people and grow your business exponentially.


Facebook Ads & Info section allows you to benchmark

Benchmarking is a tried and tested business technique that allows you to analyse your own performance by comparing it against others – the beauty of the Ads & Info section is that Facebook collects a lot of the data for you in a manner that is easy to analyse.

This newly introduced section has created a new tool in your armoury.  Whilst it could present a threat to your business if you haven’t developed an effective and coherent marketing strategy, for those business who are willing to critically analyse themselves, and learn from their competitors, it presents a useful means to really maximise the incredible opportunities that advertising with Facebook presents.


Updated Carousel ads

The Carousel ad format allows the advertiser to showcase up to ten images or videos within a single ad, each with its own link. Carousel ads provide advertisers with more space, interactivity and flexibility – and with more creative space within the advert. Advertisers can highlight different products, showcase specific details about one product, service or promotion, or even tell a story about a brand that develops across each carousel card[2].

Carousel ads bring fun, engaging and creative content with multiple places for users to click. They’re the perfect showcase for promoting your business’ story, products, and services and should be a strong contender of ad format for any business wanting to promote themselves online.


Enhanced Facebook Ad Metrics

As a response to businesses demanding more insight into Facebook measurement tools and metrics, Facebook launched a series of ‘new labels’ to clearly show how each metric is calculated. In order to provide more clarity and advice on how you should consider using the information to evaluate your advert performance, Facebook have begun to label some metrics in Ads Manager as ‘estimated’ or ‘in development’.

It has also removed approximately 20 metrics which customers reported as confusing, out of date, or not frequently used.  Removing these types of metrics means that it will become easier for the marketeer to focus on the key metrics which will impact their ad performance.  This will ultimately create a cleaner interface with less noise, which centres on the true measurement metrics that will drive and enhance business performance.

These changes are only the start, but it’s hoped that having fewer more meaningful metrics which users actually understand will in turn help the user to deliver a more coherent and effective strategy.


Facebook Stories ads

With the launch of ads on Facebook Stories businesses have even more places to advertise within the Facebook platform.   These placements support the same objectives as their Instagram counterparts such as brand awareness, reach, conversions and lead generation.  Furthermore Facebook’s Ad Manager Measurement information is also available across the stories platform closing the loop and enabling businesses to evaluate performance and evolve their strategy.


Hopefully this has been a useful run-down of the major changes to the Facebook platform in terms of promoting your business – if something has caught your eye then there’s a full blog article on each element which should give you some useful advice on how to exploit every element.  Like any complex platform, Facebook keeps changing and refining its tools, and it’s hard to keep up.  In the coming year Honey Badger will continue to monitor the changes and provide a handy source of advice and information.

What is easy to understand is that it’s never been a more exciting time to start developing your advertising strategy and get your business onto Facebook.