Ads will look a little different in 2019.
Facebook, in particular, has introduced and improved upon some PPC features that will change the game going forward.
Here’s what advertiser’s need to know to plan a successful strategy in 2019.
Facebook Ads 2019: Focus on Building Audience Segments (Not Just Keywords)
In traditional paid search, keyword targeting has been the tried and true method for finding audiences.
In 2019, that won’t quite be the case.
Some are claiming 2019 will be the year the keyword dies.
While declaring a flat line is a little extreme for most, most marketers do agree that audience targeting is quickly becoming a great way to get qualified users.
And the more detailed audience data you can come up with, the more success you’re likely to find.
It means that audience segmentation is a crucial component of any 2019 strategy.
Just like you segment your email lists into groups based on interests, behavior, demographics, etc., you too need to be segmenting the audiences you plan to target on Facebook.
Some recommend creating 20-100 audience segments.
With each segment mapped out, you can better create content catered to each audience’s specific interests, which gives you a much better chance of crafting a message that resonates.
Facebook Ads 2019: Embrace Automation
Automation is the new watchword when it comes to PPC campaigns.
In search especially, people (and Google) are quickly replacing what used to be manual tasks – bidding, headline optimization, reporting, etc. – with machine learning and AI.
And while Facebook doesn’t yet offer all the AI-powered features of Google, it has ventured into the territory by adopting new ad categories like Dynamic Ads.
Using Dynamic Ads, advertisers can upload an entire product catalog and set their campaign time, and let Facebook do the rest.
Working in conjunction with the Facebook Pixel, Facebook will automatically show the right products to users who have visited your website previously.
Beyond Facebook’s built-in ad capabilities, more and more tools are becoming available to help automate campaign tasks.
And, while some fear this might spell the end for PPC managers, that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, I suspect in 2019 campaign automation will prove pretty valuable to those in the field, as it allows employees to turn over otherwise mundane tasks like bid management and focus more on creative aspects like copy and overall strategy.
Facebook Ads 2019: Focus on Cross-Channel Initiatives
PPC isn’t a one-channel-fits-all kind of business.
And as we enter 2019, you can expect more advertisers to embrace PPC as a multi-channel affair.
Because Facebook boasts one of the biggest audiences outside of Google, it will become increasingly common for traditional search campaigns to extend to the Facebook audience.
In fact, customers who click both social and search ads are 2x more likely to convert than users who click just one.
Not only that, but a recent Kenshoo study showed that paid search audiences which were already exposed to Facebook advertising generated a 30% improvement in return on ad spend and a 7 percent uplift in CTR.
And while it’s certainly possible to include even more channels in your campaign, most brands will find that Facebook and Google naturally compliment each other.
Some ways to consider using the two together include:
- Reinforcing your goals across platforms
- Retargeting users from search ads through Facebook ads
- Creating Lookalike Audiences that align with search queries
Learn more about these methods and how to connect your Facebook and Google PPC campaigns here.
Facebook Ads 2019: Video (and Stories) Ads Will Be Bigger Than Ever
While the power of video in advertising isn’t new, Facebook introduced a number of features this year that will certainly make themselves known in 2019.
First up: Facebook Stories Ads.
Stories are undoubtedly one of the biggest things to hit social media in the last few years, starting with Snapchat and exploding into Instagram and Facebook.
Even Facebook knows that the success of Stories ads could have a major effect on the platform as a whole, with Mark Zuckerberg stating in Facebook’s Q1 2018 earnings call:
“One of the interesting opportunities and challenges over the coming years will be making sure that ads are as good in Stories as they are in feeds. If we don’t do this well, then as more sharing shifts to Stories, that could hurt our business.”
Though Stories haven’t seen the same success on Facebook as on Instagram, they clearly represent the overall shift in how users are consuming social media, and you can expect Facebook to heavily promote the feature.
And in even better news for advertisers, Facebook also announced that intends to make Stories ads unskippable.
Also new to Facebook – and the world, really – is the introduction of Augmented Reality Ads.
These ads use the power of AR to allow users to virtually interact with products in an attempt to make ads a bit more personal and fun.
For example, if you sell a product like makeup or sunglasses, a user could try them on virtually through the ad with a “tap to try on” options.
For advertisers, this represents an opportunity to potentially gain more engagement with ads, as users will not only be attracted to the functionality of ad but the novelty of the new feature as well.
And, for any business in the app game category, Facebook recently introduced Playable ads that allow users to try the game before buying.
Facebook Ads 2019: Groups Could Enter the Advertising Scene
If your a brand on Facebook, creating and managing a dedicated Group is one of the best ways to increase engagement with your followers.
Recently, Facebook re-emphasized the importance of Groups, and has even begun to offer ways to monetize Groups.
One of the bigger Group-related announcements was that of the Facebook Pixel, which can now be implemented in Groups.
Using the Pixel, admins can track user behavior after thay click on posts, which can help them understand which posts drive specific actions on their websites.
While Groups have long been touted as one of the higher engagement-drivers on the platform – especially given the declining reach of organic posts – it was difficult in the past to prove any direct correlation between Group activity and any actions taken on site.
But with the Pixel, brands will be able to gain a much deeper understanding of how Group members interact on and off-site.
And in regards to advertising specifically, AdEspresso Facebook Ads Expert Paul Fairbrother told CPC Strategy that he thinks it likely admins will be given the ability to boost posts to gain broader visibility, and it’s even possible that Groups could be added to interest targeting.
Facebook Ads in 2019: An Emphasis on Creative Planning With Tools Like Creative Compass
Understanding a user’s journey and the full impact of an ad has long been a challenge for marketers.
Luckily, Facebook is making it easier for advertisers to gain insight into performance with tools like its new Creative Compass, which it recenlty began testing with select partners.
The Creative Compass was designed as a “creative pre-testing tool” to help advertisers understand how an ad might perform before it goes live.
The tool measures several key factors like visual impact and brand fit, as well as more advanced factors like fit and emotional reward.
Though still being tested, the tool is expected to be released to all advertisers sometime next year – and could be a game changer for Facebook advertisers.
Additionally, Facebook rolled out its Facebook Marketing Consultants program this year to help smaller businesses better optimize and deploy campaigns.
Facebook clearly knows that the future of brands on the platform lies in advertising, and seems dedicated to making the process as seamless as possible for smaller businesses to take part.
Facebook Ads 2019: Brands (Should) Leverage Custom Conversions
This one isn’t new to Facebook, but Ignite’s PPC team and I are pretty confident that custom conversions are – and will continue to be – one of the most effective ways to reach your goals on Facebook.
In a nutshell, custom conversions allow you to track and optimize actions on specific web pages.
For example, if your overall campaign goal is to drive a specific conversion – say, and ebook download – you can create a conversion event for it. This will allow Facebook’s algorithm to optimize ad delivery to those most likely to complete the preferred action.
Why is all this necessary? Because it’s another way to ensure your ad finds the audience most likely to perform the desired action.
As we’ve covered, audience segmentation is key to successful campaigns, and creating custom conversions is one way to essentially let Facebook find segments for you.
So if the conversion event you’re going for is a purchase, you can select the “Purchase” event, telling Facebook to show your ad to only those in your audience most likely to make a purchase.
Now, many of these fall under standard Facebook conversion events. The custom part comes into play when your goal falls into the “non-standard” category.
For reference, standard events include the following:
So, while Facebook can track purchases as a standard event, if you run a clothing e-commerce store and want to specifically track jacket purchases, you would need to create a custom conversion.
It’s pretty cool stuff, and I highly encourage any businesses who haven’t yet explored the feature to get on it in 2019.
Wrapping Up Facebook Ads in 2019
It’s been a big year for Facebook. And while not all of it was good, the channel did introduce a few features that should make for an interesting year.
By adopting some of the new strategies above, advertisers should be ready to plan a successful PPC strategy in 2019.