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Facebook is limiting the targeting options for certain ads while also updating its metrics. Here’s everything you need to know.
Facebook is trying lately to keep everyone happy or at least to find a balance between its profitable business model and everyone’s reaction to it. When it comes to their Ads, the challenge is to keep both advertisers and consumers satisfied.
This month there were two key stories that had to do with Facebook Ads and here are the main changes we need to know.
Facebook phases out Relevance Score to introduce more ‘granular’ metrics
Facebook introduced the Relevance Score some years ago as an attempt to ‘grade’ the ads in terms of their relevance to their target audience. There were many cases that advertisers were confused by this score and it wasn’t always clear how its grading system worked.
Thus, as the advertising landscape is evolving, Facebook has decided to introduce more ‘granular’ metrics to replace the Relevance Score.
Instead of the current Relevance Score, Facebook will introduce three new metrics to determine ad relevance:
- Quality ranking: your ad’s quality and how it’s perceived from the particular target audience
- Engagement rate ranking: the expected engagement rate for your ad and how it compares with other competing ads
- Conversion rate ranking: the expected conversion rate for your ad and how it compares with other competing ads
The so-called ad relevance diagnostics will not factor an ad’s performance in the auction in a similar way that it was happening with the relevance score.
However, they can help advertisers understand in more detail the success of their ads and what they need to improve. It can be considered as Facebook’s attempt to improve trust with advertisers by offering more detailed insights on what makes a successful ad.
The ad relevance diagnostics will start showing up over the next weeks while the relevance score will be removed on April 30.
Changes to potential reach and less actionable metrics
Facebook’s potential reach is about to become more accurate. This is the metric that we see when we’re creating an ad and we see the potential audience that the ad can reach. Up to now, this metric was calculated based on the total monthly active users on Facebook.
From now on, Facebook will only consider people who saw an ad on Facebook in the last 30 days. This way, the calculation of the potential reach becomes more specific and possibly more accurate.
Apart from this change, Facebook is also removing seven less actionable metrics to reflect on what advertisers find more useful.
From April 30, these metrics will stop showing up in our Ads Manager:
- Offers Saved
- Cost Per Offers Saved
- Relevance Score
- Messaging Replies
- Cost per Messaging Reply
- Mobile App Purchase ROAS
- Web Purchase ROAS
Offers Saved and Cost Per Offers Saved will be replaced by Post Saves, a new metric that will be more inclusive for all types of saved ads.
Messaging Replies and Cost per Messaging Reply will be replaced by New Messaging Connections and Messaging Conversations Started. These two should help with the attribution to the conversations that started through the ads both with new customers but also with people who may have interacted with a brand in the past.
Finally, the two ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) metrics will be consolidated into one main Purchase ROAS metric. Facebook understands that it’s harder nowadays to measure ROAS per channel so the goal is to adopt a holistic measurement focusing on the purchase.
If you’re using any of these metrics in your reporting make sure you update your strategy soon.
Facebook removes targeting options from certain ads to beat discrimination
Facebook has had settlement agreements with civil rights organisations that pushed them to protect people from discrimination through their ads.
That’s why they’ve decided to remove many targeting options from ads in housing, employment, and credit. If you’re running ads in any of these areas, you won’t be able to target based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or even zip code.
This is an attempt to fight off discriminations and protect people from future misuse of their ad tools.
According to Facebook:
Advertisers offering housing, employment and credit opportunities will have a much smaller set of targeting categories to use in their campaigns overall. Multicultural affinity targeting will continue to be unavailable for these ads. Additionally, any detailed targeting option describing or appearing to relate to protected classes will also be unavailable.
As Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, mentions:
Housing, employment and credit ads are crucial to helping people buy new homes, start great careers, and gain access to credit. They should never be used to exclude or harm people. Getting this right is deeply important to me and all of us at Facebook because inclusivity is a core value for our company.
What do these mean for marketers and advertisers?
It’s always useful to stay up-to-date with Facebook’s latest changes. After all, they can affect our advertising strategies and our next campaigns.
We’ve talked to Tyson Quick, CEO and Founder of Instapage, to ask him his thoughts about the recent changes on Facebook Ads:
“Data behind ad performance is essential in today’s competitive environment and the updates from Facebook provide advertisers more actionable information, and granular data, compared to just a relevance score. This will allow advertisers to more acutely focus their efforts when optimizing ad campaigns, make better decisions around how they choose to spend their ad dollars, and understand how to best tailor specific campaigns, saving valuable time and resources.
For example, if their conversion ranking is low while the other metrics remain high, advertisers know that Facebook perceives their post-click experience to be lacking. They then can focus on improving the post-click experience while leaving the ad itself alone. Frankly, it removes much of the guesswork into which portion of the ad journey is hurting performance.”
How will these changes affect our work? Tyson answers:
“$273 billion was spent on digital advertising last year but fewer than 4% of visitors converted. Now, Facebook has explicitly announced that ad rankings will take into account how well advertisers convert visitors. The best way to ensure you are making the most of your ad dollars is to build a personalized experience for visitors that will ultimately encourage more conversions.”