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Facebook is cutting back on the types of ad formats your brand can promote. In an effort to make Facebook advertising more effective, the company announced on September 15th that it would be putting restrictions in place. These restrictions remove the ability for brands to take any post published on their Pages and pay Facebook to promote them by “boosting” them on their newsfeeds. Now, Facebook is being more specific about what those promoted posts include. In this article, we take a look at the ad formats that have been retired and what you can do moving forward.
What is a boosted post?
A few years later “Promote Post” became “Boost Post” and was further refined. As Facebook’s organic reach has continued to decline over the past few years, many page owners are turning to “Boost Post” to get their messages in front of their audiences. There are two major options for boosting a post: driving website visits or driving engagement: reactions, comments, and shares.
Facebook Target Options:
- People who like your Page – Targets all of your existing fans
- People who like your Page and their friends – Targets all of your existing fans and their friends
Both ad groups can be optimized to target individuals by location. Or, you can choose to create a new audience based on location, age, sex, and interests.
Although you can choose specific interests to target with boosted posts, the targeting choices continue to be fairly limited. You can’t use Detailed Targeting to reach people who are interested in both Interest A and Interest B, and you can’t include or exclude your page fans or Custom Audiences from seeing your post.
What’s Going on at Facebook?
During the company’s recent earnings call, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg repeatedly emphasized these business results, and Facebook product manager Jyotika Prasad echoes this approach in an email statement to Marketing Land, stating: “We want businesses to utilize Facebook ad products that give them the best opportunity to achieve their business goals, and removing these inessential boosting options will reduce complexity and help them find the right products to get the best results.”
The September 15th deadline marks the demise of 17 types of posts, including:
- Boosting share of products from shops
- Page sharing a shop, then boosting the story
- Boosting a check-in on a map, at a restaurant, or in a city
- Boosting the share of a note
- Boosting the share of a poll
- Boosting place recommendations
- Boosting the share of cultural moments
- Boosting the share of comments
- Boosting change of a Profile picture
- Boosting a file upload or share
- Boosting a sports event
- Boosting of a video or image uploaded through the Facebook camera
- Boosting a post related to attending an event
- Boosting the share of a video playlist
- Boosting the status of watching a television show, movie, or other types of programming
- Sharing an already sponsored post that is an app posting to a Page’s timeline, then boosting that story
- Boosting a political endorsement
Any ads purchased before September 15ththat boost these types of posts will stop running after September 29th. A blog post announcing the change states,“Advertisers rarely promoted these post types, and when they did, results were not as strong as results with our more popular ad formats.”
What Can You Do Moving Forward?
If you’ve relied on some of these types of boosted posts in the past, it’s time to rethink your Facebook advertising strategy. And now you know what types of ads you can’t do, determine what will work for your business. You may choose to boost different types of posts, or you may decide to create optimized Facebook Ads targeted at the right audience. Optimized ads can help you spend your PPC budget wisely and earn a positive ROI. We’ll go through three examples of different types of Facebook ads that can help you be successful in promoting your brand.
Creating Successful Facebook Ads
First, let’s take a look at the four components of a successful Facebook ad.
1) It’s visually striking. Visual content is treated more favorably in the Facebook algorithm and is more likely to be shared and remembered than written content. Ensure your post (whether boosted or a unique Facebook Ad) contains images that will invite your audience to learn more.
2) It’s relevant to your audience. Relevancy is the most important element of Facebook advertising. If your ads aren’t relevant and valuable for your intended audience, you’re wasting your time, and you aren’t likely to see much success. When creating Facebook ads, you’ll receive a relevance score from Facebook. This score rates your ads in a similar way to Ad Rank in Google AdWords. The more relevant your destination page, copy and images are to your audience, the higher your score will be -- and the more favorably Facebook will treat your ads.
3) It reveals your USP. Your unique selling proposition isn’t only useful in marketing collateral. It can also be shortened and used in your advertising campaigns to quickly explain why your product is better than your competitors’. Make sure your value proposition is clear, compelling and comes off as believable.
4) It includes a clear CTA. A visually impressive ad is great, but without a call-to-action (CTA), your buyer won’t know what to do next. Your CTA should offer clear instructions on what you want to accomplish. For example, your CTA might be to visit your website, buy now, or download a piece of content.
3 Facebook Ad Examples by Type
You’re ready. You know what you can no longer post on Facebook and the four elements every great Facebook ad must have according to best practices. Here are three examples of the latter type of ads in action. (*Note that there are several more types of Facebook ads, and this is a small sample of ads that have been proven to work.)
1) Facebook Video Ad
Video ads appear fairly large in the user’s News Feed and immediately attract the user’s attention. And with billions of videos being watched on Facebook daily, there’s reason to try this format for your brand if you haven’t already.
Here’s a great example from Kay Jewelers:
Why this works:
- In 2016, 85% of videos on Facebook were viewed without sound. This ad allows the user to understand what’s going on quickly, without needing to turn up the volume.
- This ad is set up to attract page likes. It has a clear CTA to “like” the brand’s page.
- It connects with the user on an emotional level.
Creating Your Own Video Ad:
First, understand Facebook video ad requirements including length and video size. Create a video that displays your product or service in the shortest amount of time possible, and upload directly to the Facebook ads managerby following these instructions. If you are boosting your video post, simply publish as normal and hit “publish.”
2. The Local Ad
Local Ads work for businesses that want to drive physical foot traffic to their location. Targeting local users can help you reach your goals, especially when you target within a specific mileage radius from your store. Create an event and run your ad a few days before to drive interest.
Why This Works:
- The CTA is clear. It gives the user an easy way to find local Ugg stores.
- The copy is fun, “walk, skip or jump,” and includes a specific address.
- The image is appropriate for the ad.
Creating Your Own Local Ad:
Choose your copy, images and CTA. CTA options include: “Like” page, get directions, call now, send message, learn more or save (location). Determine which type of CTA will help you best maximize your brand’s reach.
3. The Boosted Post
We’ve talked about the types of posts that can’t be boosted, but what does a great boosted post look like? The following boosted post from Bustle promotes one of its articles.
Why this works:
- Most internet users are familiar with the Amazon Prime logo, but not in neon lights in a window display. By changing things up, the post catches the user’s eye for a longer period of time and makes him/her question what’s different.
- People love Amazon (and buying on Amazon) which makes us curious to know which of its amazing products is considered “brilliant.”
- There is a clear call-to-action to learn more by reading the article.
Social Media doesn’t have to be difficult. Stay tuned here for more insights, and be sure to read our “5 Social Media Trends to Prepare You for 2018” blog to prepare yourself for next year’s biggest social media changes.