Facebook to Re-Work their Advertisement Tools

Published on June 23, 2013

Facebook has taken a bold step in consolidating their advertisement base, announcing a move that they hope will create a more streamlined ad experience for user and advertiser alike.  Feedback from market analysts kept coming back to the same concept: simplify the product base.

We have long been proponents of Facebook ads, for the granular level options in targeting your audience.  Historically Facebook ads have had a lower response rate the some of the competition, but the ability to hone it to your audience at a granular level, alongside only having to pay for results (with a pay-per-click versus a cost per impression model) has reduced the importance of the click-per-impression metric.

At present, Facebook offers 27 different ways to promote a product.  Over the course of 6 months, they intend to cut that number by more than half, removing those which are not successful, and combining previous tools that produced virtually the same outcome into a single tool at its optimal state.

The tool which will be most drastically revised is what is known as "Sponsored Story Ads."  Sponsored Stories are essentially Facebook posts triggered by user activity.  For example, if you "like" a Page, event, or story that is sponsored, there is a strong likelihood of this activity showing up in your friend's news feeds. (So-and-so has "liked" Tomatoes - You should like Tomatoes too!)

As you can probably imagine, Facebook users have also been complaining about this type of advertising, as notification inboxes get filled up with Sponsored Stories - with no way to opt-out of receiving them.  The original "liker" also may not feel the greatest about being publicly attached to a product name while it is being promoted across all of their friend's Facebook feeds.

Now while this tool has been successful for advertisers (13.7% more successful at getting another "Like" than Facebook's non-social ad products).  It is also quite a bit more expensive than non-social ads- 43% to be exact.  Additionally, there are at least a half-dozen different "actions" that an advertiser can choose to sponsor.

In part of Facebook's simplification effort, Sponsored Story ads are going to be merged into the already-existing Page Post Photo Ad. Instead of announcing the activity of the individual who "liked" the product, the post will show up with a recognizable message from the brand, making the overall look of social-based Facebook ads much more consistent.

In their announcement, Facebook stated that ultimately they want to both "eliminate redundancies" and "make ad units look more consistent."  We hope that this will create a better overall Facebook experience for users, and a more productive use of marketing resources for companies.

Looking to advertise on Facebook?  Aren't entirely sure what these changes would mean to your company?  Give us a call!