Facebook is rolling out objectives-based ad buying and reporting in an effort to simplify and expedite the process of paid marketing on its social media platform. It wants to help brands build and measure campaigns based on their desired outcomes, including website traffic, conversions, page post engagement, likes, app installs, app engagement, in-store offer claims and event invite responses.
"In our research on our smallest and biggest customers," said David Baser, Facebook product manager, "what we continually heard was they wanted it to be easier and more direct for them to set up [their efforts] for success."
When marketers put together Facebook ads in the updated system, after inputting their outome criteria, the system will recommend an ad type. They can then select an ad unit, as well as where it appears—whether in the mobile news feed, desktop newsfeed or right-hand rail.
"[No more] playing a game of 'create your own adventure' as you are trying to figure out which ad unit works best," Baser explained. "Now the advertisers can post the outcome they want. And when they go to check on the performance of that ad, they can see a clear, measurable [key performance indicator] for each different outcome that ties directly back to that outcome."
While ad creation and measurement have been tweaked, targeting is unchanged, he said. Though in another enhancement, brands can now systematically drive mobile users to mobile sites and Web users to websites within the same campaign, enabling marketers to tailor the ad experience on a device level.
On the measurement front, Facebook's ad manager tools will show the raw number of times a campaign goal was met, as well a cost-per-objective stat. For instance, if an e-commerce firm wanted its ad campaign to drive sales conversions, it can see how the promos did on an effort-by-effort level.
"We are trying to make it easier for advertisers to understand their return on investment," Baser said. "[Instead] of sorting through multiple metrics that are displayed with the same prominence, we are focusing on one specific metric for each objective, and making it very easy to understand. This helps you set up things like A/B testing, so you can better see what's going on."
Facebook partnered with several brands to test the new advertising elements during the last couple of months but wouldn't disclose names.
It's the latest move in a string of marketing solutions developments by the Palo Alto, Calif.-based digital giant, which has been busy since spring attempting to streamline its ad products and analytics.