Episode 119: 4 Facebook Ad Updates You Need to Know About

facebook ad updates october 2017

Learn about the latest Facebook ad updates and what they mean for you and your business. The experts explain how they’re using the new features and changes in their businesses.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the Facebook ad updates, this episode will be a good place to start.



  • The Facebook feature that will show your ad to people who are more likely to convert.
  • How to generate more leads using a new ad type.
  • The update that will make Facebook Messenger Ads easier to set up.
  • What the merging of Facebook Ads Manager and Power Editor means for you (« and why the merger will be better for Facebook marketers).


Facebook Business
Episode 118: How to 10X Your Facebook Ad Spend and Generate Consistent ROI [Part 2 of 2]
Episode 94: The Future of Messenger Marketing with ManyChat CEO Mikael Yang
Episode 80: Facebook Messenger Ads: Everything You Need to Know
Episode 72: How DigitalMarketer Generated 500% ROI in 3 Days Using Facebook Messenger
Episode 47: Facebook’s New Conversion Pixel: What You Need to Know
Episode 119 Transcript (swipe the PDF version here):

Molly Pittman: Hello, everyone, Molly Pittman here with Episode 119 of Perpetual Traffic. This week it’s just myself and Ralph Burns, hello Ralph.
Ralph Burns: Hello, Molly.
Molly Pittman: Hello, happy to be here.
Ralph Burns: Good to be here, too.
Molly Pittman: Me doing the intro it’s a little strange.
Ralph Burns: I know, I know. No Keith, you’re doing a great job by the way.
Molly Pittman: This episode should be short and sweet for you guys, and very informative. We’re going to cover four recent updates to the Facebook Ad platform. We love doing these episodes just to keep you guys updated, to keep you ahead of the curve to make sure that you know what’s happening inside of Facebook Ads, what’s new, but not just from a new standpoint, that’s not why we’re here, we’re not here to just say “Hey, something new is happening,” we also want to provide the why. What’s happening and why it matters to your business? Why it matters to you as a Facebook marketer? We have some new features added, some new objective, a big announcement, actually, about the Facebook user interface. Let’s go ahead and get started. Ralph you’re first, you have something really cool to cover.
Ralph Burns: Yeah. I mean, I think, one of the things that we love about advertising on Facebook, and some of the things that are probably maybe frustrating for a lot of people is that they’re rolling out so many new features, almost weekly, right?
Molly Pittman: Yeah, it’s always getting better.
Ralph Burns: It’s always getting better. I think that you can look at it two ways, you can look at it and say “Holy crap, am I completely overwhelmed, I don’t know what to do first,” or you can listen to us and we’ll hopefully boil it all down for you and tell you the ones that we really like, and the ones that we’re using. To keep yourself updated on what is going on with Facebook, I would definitely recommend to google Facebook Advertising Business, and go to Facebook Business. Then, what I do, is I actually subscribe to it so I know kind of what’s coming down the line.
Molly Pittman: Yeah. They’ll send you emails.
Ralph Burns: Yeah. Amazing, isn’t it? Amazing technology. You’ll get all the updates to what’s new, and what’s going on, and how they’re improving the platform, but you might get a little overwhelmed, especially if you’re first starting on this, then come over here and we’ll obviously have these types of episodes to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Then, in some cases we’ll actually have some tests, like we announced last week, some tests are some of these new features that we’re actually using inside the agency and inside DigitalMarketer. Cool stuff.
Molly Pittman: All right, Ralph, so what is number one?
Ralph Burns: Number one is one that we had covered briefly on Episode 118, and is the new feature that you’ll see inside, probably our favorite Facebook Advertising Objective, which is website conversions. Inside website conversions typically you set up your optimization for the campaign itself, inside your ad set level. Your campaign is for your objective, which in this case is website conversions, your ad set is the people you want to target as well as your optimization. Then, the ad is what message you want to put in front of those people that you target. Simply put, a lot of the optimization, and kind of new features of Facebook, are actually happening at the ad set level.
  This is one that we had noticed, in which our partner manager had told us about, which is a new feature inside website conversions, which is inside the ad set level, like I said, and you’ll scroll way down to the bottom where, if you’re in your site, your ad site, you’re going to see optimization for ad delivery. Nine times out of 10, in that little drop down, it will pick conversions. If you pick that first top one, it says “Conversions, we’ll deliver your ads to the right people to help you get the most website conversions at the lowest cost.” But magically about two months ago, or a month and a half ago, this other metric, this other optimization appeared, which was very intriguing to us, it just appeared out of nowhere, it’s called value.
  This one says “We’ll deliver your ads to people to maximize the total purchase value generated and get the highest return on ad spend.” What this objective is doing, what this optimization for ad delivery is doing is trying to find people in your audience, let’s say if you’ve got a million-person audience that you’re targeting at your ad set level, Facebook’s algorithm is going to target people that buy your stuff the most using this new objective, or this new sort of optimization strategy.
  As we had reviewed last week, we did actually test this against the one that we typically use, which is conversions. Sure enough, the value ads actually were more effective at doing the exact thing that they promised, they actually created a 1.86 return on ad spend versus our control, which is straight on the conversions, which was 1.44. We got a little bit more people to actually buy our stuff, not necessarily the first step in these particular ad sets, which is in this case is a book funnel, we are selling a book to them in their first interaction, their first transaction with us. But what this also did is we also have purchase pixels on all of the other things that they can buy after that initial purchase. Facebook took this information and showed our value ads in front of people who they knew would convert more and make us more money, or make our customer more money.
Molly Pittman: Interesting.
Ralph Burns: Definitely something to take a look at, and test. This might be one that you want to do like a real split test on, which is the way that we had done it, through Facebook itself. But even if you have sent a small amount of budget to it, or just tested sort of off your regular campaigns, it’s definitely worth checking out, or testing it more, a more widespread basis. This test that we did was about $5,000 or so, which is fairly significant. We definitely got statistical significance, as they say. These ads definitely created more value as opposed to just conversions.
Molly Pittman: Just to clarify, what would you need to have set up on your end to use this feature? Would you need to do something with the pixel to make sure that your purchases are recorded at an actual dollar value? How does that work?
Ralph Burns: Yeah, that’s one of the things that is a little more advanced, and this is probably beyond the scope of this episode here, but you might want to go back to Episode 47, that’s Facebook’s New Conversion Pixel: What You Need To Know. Andrew Tweito is a guest on that episode, goes through exactly what you need in pretty great detail.
Andrew Tweito: The word pixel comes from the older days where when you wanted to track what someone did on your website, the advertising platform, or the analytics platform, would give you an image tag, and there was a one-by-one image that you wouldn’t see if you’re on the page, but there was an image tag nonetheless and it was one-by-one so people started calling them pixels. That’s where the term comes from and it’s just kind of stuck.
Ralph Burns: For most people like myself who are not programmers, this is beyond the scope of my skills. In our case, we have somebody like Andrew who helps us out with that to set this kind of tracking up. But your regular programmer, if you have a programmer on staff, or somebody that you can hire probably on fiverr.com, which is a great resource, they’ll know exactly what to do here. It involves adding a little piece of code to the right pages that all your transactions, or your final conversions actually, occur on, you can do it a number of different ways, but Andrew actually explains it really well in Episode 47. Go back and listen to that one. But you do need to have that set up, that sort of dynamic conversion value associated with a purchase standard event, which is technically what you really need, you go back to that episode, or instruct your programmer to do it. You can set this up and really start seeing some pretty impressive results.
Molly Pittman: Yeah, very cool. I think that’s just another step in Facebook’s optimization. Not just saying “I want conversions,” but “I want the highest, average, order value possible.” If you do have data, and if you do have this set up already through the Pixel, this is a great way again to say “I’m not just looking for purchases, but I’m looking to make the most money possible.” Really cool. Again, shows that Facebook is just continuing to update their algorithm and their ad product so that business owners can make more money.
Ralph Burns: Yeah, and they know that. They know the more value that you can see inside your Ads Manager, like you’re spending X dollars and you’re making X plus dollars through a metric like this, they know you’re going to spend more. And it makes sense. Why wouldn’t you? Especially if you’re making practically two to one, like we did in our test. Certainly something that we’ve ramped up in that ad account, and definitely check it out, test it out, but Facebook knows, you’re not going to spend money unless you know that you’re making that money. I think that’s where a lot of these improvements are coming, is through that type of reporting.
Molly Pittman: Awesome update. What is number two, Mr. Burns?
Ralph Burns: All right. Number two is another one that we just started testing in one of our awesome account managers. Angela just started doing this just this past week. This is really hot off the presses here. Super cool. Facebook introduced this not too long ago, I mean, literally within months. It’s ads inside Instagram stories.
  Pretty cool feature. Obviously we’ve talked about this plenty of times on the podcast, is that we’re now default, we’re sending our traffic to all platforms. We used to say “Deselect audience network, deselect Instagram,” until they sort of figure that out, and then just run on the news feeds, mobile, and desktop, as well as right-hand column, obviously we’ve talked a lot about Messenger ads as well.
  Within the last three to six months, we’ve stopped separating out, or even favoring one particular platform, or placement over another. We’ve started to run everything all together, including Instagram. In the agency, we do a lot of video, and a lot of videos sometimes they’re greater than a minute, in order to run a Facebook ad inside Instagram on a video, it has to be less than 60 seconds. But what we have found is that shorter videos on Instagram are getting really, really good conversions for us.
  When we saw this running ads on Instagram stories, we were pretty excited about it, and actually did a test on it, and so far, the cost per acquisition, in this particular case, which is a lead to a registration, is running about neck and neck with all placements. But the relevant score is way higher, and there’s way more engagement, and plus, it’s just another whole area where we weren’t advertising before. We can now expand and scale.
  The particular ads that we’re using right now, we’re using them just as videos, very short videos, just to introduce people to the product that’s being sold, then it invites them to the online training, really pretty straightforward stuff. Actually, the video itself was created inside Instagram stories, and then we monetized it in the Ad Platform. A really cool other way to reach people as well as engage them. Instagram stories came out last year, mid 2016, in the summer time. Ads and stories really just was introduced back in March. This isn’t new news, but it’s news for us because we’ve gone out and tested it, and now we see that we can capture more registrations, more leads in a different type of platform, and a very different type of ad, and the ones that we’re using at this short videos.
  You can also use image videos, or you can use images as well, which are also converting really well. Definitely something to check out, and we’re seeing good results.
Molly Pittman: If you think about how Instagram stories work, it’s kind of like Snapchat, you’re clicking through these videos, or images that your friends have posted that have a short lifespan. When you’re clicking it’s usually a pretty rapid click, but you can’t miss it. For example, I saw a great Instagram story the other day from a company that is called Remote Year. You do a year abroad, if your job is remote, and I was clicking through and they had a really cool video from somewhere in Asia, and they ad copy was something to the effect of “Want to work from here? Swipe up.” And it went over to their landing page.
  These are not only just new real estate that we’re now able to monetize, but it’s a bit different than Facebook, where you’re scrolling through a feed and you really have to catch their attention. These ads definitely need to be engaging, but the person is almost forced to look at it because they’re clicking through their stories, and this ad is presented just like a story would show up from one of their Instagram followers. Really, really cool, I’m excited to test it, and I think that’s a huge update. I think we’ll see more stuff like this. Is Facebook running out of newsfeed inventory? Yes. Is that expected? Yes. But does that mean that they’re not going to utilize other parts of their platforms? Absolutely not.
  I think Instagram stories is just another opportunity, and like any other ad, when you’re creating one, think about the environment that you’re in, I think that’s why those head-on videos work really well. I saw one from Lewis Howes the other day, it looks like an Instagram story from a friend standing there giving you some sort of update about their day. Again, as always, think about relevance and how you can fit in to the end users experience that they’re having with Instagram stories.
Ralph Burns: This really is native advertising. I remember when Facebook first started putting ads in the newsfeed way back, you know, four or five years ago. This is almost like the same thing. Instagram stories have long been, for about a year or so, obviously, the ideas for stories did come from Snapchat, but it’s been a huge feature for Instagram users. Until just recently, the last three or four months, it has been ad free. Now it’s just one more place that you can get that user, like you say, Molly, even though the newsfeed is getting crowded, there’s always going to be these types of innovations that are going to allow you, the advertiser, just different ways in which to get in front of your customer.
  In this case, probably ahead of the curve too. Because probably not a lot of people are actually doing these types of ads inside Instagram stories, pretty exciting stuff.
Molly Pittman: Okay. We’ll move to update number three. Mine aren’t as exciting as Ralph’s, but they’re things that you definitely need to know.
  The first was announced on September 26th, just a few days ago. This announcement is pretty cool. It doesn’t change the functionally a lot, but it will make Facebook Messenger ads easier. Facebook is adding messages as an objective for Facebook ads. When you start a Facebook campaign, the first thing that Facebook asks you is “What is your objective?” We talk a lot about this. You can select traffic, engagement, conversions, there are lots of options.
  Now, there is a messages objective, which is really, really exciting because in the past, for almost a year now, to create a Messenger ad, whether it’s a destination ad that looks like a regular ad, the newsfeed that you click on and it opens in Messenger, or a sponsored message, which is basically a broadcast to all of your Messenger’s subscribers no matter what you were doing, you had to choose another objective, and then set Messenger as your destination at the ad level.
  Now, you can actually set messages as your objective at the campaign level, which is going to make things a lot easier. Facebook says that “The message objective will also serve as the new home for Facebook’s existing messaging ad product, and will make it easier for advertisers to drive conversations at scale, in additional to click to Messenger ads, the message objective will also allow businesses to re-engage in existing conversations using sponsored messages. Businesses can expect to see sponsored messages incorporated into the objective in the coming weeks.”
  Right now, they’re just rolling out the objective across ad accounts, if you don’t have it yet, don’t panic, if you use the objective, it will be for the destination ads, so the ads that show up in the newsfeed that you can click on. But as Facebook says they will eventually incorporate the sponsored messages into this objective too.
  I don’t think this will change the performance of Messenger ads, or a whole lot in terms of how these work, but it’s just going to make it a lot easier to set up one of these campaigns. In the past you had to use the traffic objective, or the engagement objective, so this is just going to make it a lot easier, a lot cleaner, I think it’ll also help with the usage of Messenger ads, and really spreading the word that this is now an option inside of Facebook.
  If you’re curious to learn more about Facebook Messenger ads, go back to Episode 80, Episode 72, and Episode 94, those are all about Facebook Messenger ads. Look for that objective inside of Ads Manager very, very soon.
Ralph Burns: Yeah. Before this objective, you were using either traffic, or conversions, correct, as your objective?
Molly Pittman: Yeah, or engagements.
Ralph Burns: Or engagement, yeah. That wasn’t really something specific just for-
Molly Pittman: Message.
Ralph Burns: Yeah, for message. This is kind of a big deal, whether or not it helps with the effectiveness of the ads, too early to say at this point, but this is just one other way. It lets kind of take a step back here to communicate with your potential customers. First it was email, now it’s like email and ads, and now it’s all these Messenger apps. It’s really, it’s a great way to re-engage with people, especially deep, deep within the funnel itself, bottom of funnel is where we use a lot of Messenger ads now.
  The amazing thing is that messaging apps, according to Business Insider, are now bigger than social networks, more people are on messenger apps, than they are on all the social networks combined. Pretty amazing stuff here, and it’s a cool technology that Facebook understands, is an emerging technology that’s going to be instrumental, I think, for any business to grow in the future, not only today, but five, 10 years out.
  What is number four?
Molly Pittman: Number four. Number four is similar to number three, it’s more of a change in interface. But it’s something that we want to make sure you guys don’t panic about. You might have heard that Facebook is merging Ads Manager and Power Editor. Historically, for the past seven years at least, there’s been Ads Manager, which is more of your basic interface, and there’s Power Editor, where you go to duplicate big campaigns, and do more advanced Facebook advertising.
  If you’ve noticed over the past year, the two have become very similar. They look very similar. I used to always go to Power Editor, and now I find myself creating ads in Ads Manager a lot because they look the same, right? Ralph, would you agree?
Ralph Burns: Totally, they’ve almost, just the look and feel is nearly identical right now. This was just a matter of time.
Molly Pittman: Basically what’s happening is on September 12th, Facebook introduced the updated Ads Manager. They say “they’re always looking to make advertising on Facebook easier, which is why they’re combining the powerful ad creation and editing features of Power Editor, with the ease of use, and familiarity advertisers love in Ads Manager all in one tool. Starting later this week, advertisers will begin to see an updated Ads Manager, where they previously found Ads Manager, or Power Editor. The updated Ads Manager interface is designed to feel familiar without sacrificing any capabilities advertisers enjoyed from the old Power Editor or Ads Manager.”
  It’s “creation flows that work best for each advertiser. We are committed to supporting users who prefer Power Editor’s quick creation as well as those who liked Ads Manager guided creation, which is why in the updated Ads Manager, people will automatically be opted into the workflow they used in the past.” Very cool. “And everyone will have the option to change their preferred workflow at any time using a button in the top right hand of the ad creation window.”
  It says “The updated Ads Manager combines the comprehensive charts and activity history of Power Editor,” which I’ve always loved “with the breakdowns, summary rows, date benchmarks, exported insights reports and the ability to customize columns from Ads Manager. Now advertisers can create, manage and view results in one easy to use interface.”
  Facebook says that by “focusing their efforts on improving a single platform, we hope to bring greater efficiency to our advertisers. The updated Ads Manager will continue to evolve as we release more improvements.”
  I think the big takeaway here is do not panic, it’s not going to look that different. They’re basically taking the best of both of these platforms and putting them into one. I think what this will allow us to do is it actually, I think in the coming months, we will see a more stable Facebook ad platform. Because before, they’ve had to work on both of these at the same time. I would assume that there is a development team for Ads Manager, a development team for Power Editor, and it’s kind of been divide and conquer. Now that they’re the same, we’re not losing any features, it’s still going to be an interface that we’re all familiar with, and Facebook can really focus on making this one product the best that it can be.
  Again, if you hear the news, do not panic, it’s not a huge change, and it’ll only be better for us as advertisers.
Ralph Burns: You said it all. Now I think it’s a natural evolution. Why have two interfaces for the same ad platform? Because we get the questions all the time “When do you use Power Editor? When do you use Ads Manager?” Well, we used to use it, create ads in Power Editor, and optimize, and look at your reporting inside Ads Manager. Well, I think I was creating ads last week inside Power Editor and I actually thought it was Ads Manager.
Molly Pittman: Ads Manager. You really can’t tell the difference.
Ralph Burns: Yeah. Better functionality, if you’re experiencing some technical difficulties inside either one of the platforms, is probably just because they’re tweaking things behind the scenes, doing an overhaul to try to make this merge finally occur.
  When is the projected date in which it’s actually going to happen, Molly?
Molly Pittman: This was released two weeks ago, and based off of that documentation it’s said that it will start rolling out to ad accounts. I would expect this any day. But honestly it’s not going to be a huge change, you might not even notice.
Ralph Burns: True.
Molly Pittman: Awesome, guys. Four updates. Ralph, do you have anything else to add?
Ralph Burns: I mean, we’ll do this in a regular sequence because we have been doing them in the past. But there’s a lot going on, I would definitely keep your finger on the pulse, so to speak, by going to Facebook for Business, just google that, and you can actually see they post pretty regularly stuff that’s coming out, new updates, things that are coming in the future, so definitely use that resource as well as the other resources that we mentioned here from the podcast.
Molly Pittman: Absolutely, and as always guys, these episodes, these update episodes are not meant to induce shiny object syndrome, we just want to keep you guys updated and make sure that you know about the updates so that you’re not surprised. But most importantly, you know the why behind it, you know why these updates matter.
  As always, head over to the Show Notes at digitalmarketer.com/podcast. Please share the podcast, please leave us a review if you get any value, it means a lot, we regularly go and read those, and share them with one another. As always, we appreciate you guys and we will see you next week.
Ralph Burns: See ya!
Molly Pittman: See ya!

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