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March 17, 2014

Suddenly, Facebook boosted posts are amazing– and a surprising conclusion

Have you seen Facebook’s barrage of educational materials on how ads work?
This is their latest guide to boosted posts:

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It’s a 4 page document that explains why brands must pay for reach.

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Boosting a post directly from the timeline is convenient. But the trade-off to ease-of-use historically has been low quality engagement. These ads would target fans and friends of fans, who might not be in a brand’s target audience.

Enter recent enhancements to optimized CPM bidding, the default bid option. Now Facebook’s algorithm is automatically choosing the right audiences for you, even if your target is in the millions.

LAZY MARKETERS REJOICE

We’ve seen boosted posts drive engagement that rivals complex precise interest combos, even into offsite conversions. You don’t need to create as many ads. The new “business objective” ads flow, unified interest targeting, and website custom audiences are all proof of Facebook’s drive to simplify things for marketers and to drive real ROI.

Internally, a couple weeks ago, Facebook told ad software partners like us that optimized CPM is getting smarter about conversion optimization, too. Here are their own words:

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In our meeting at Facebook last November, they explained how all of us have to create unique value, beyond the Facebook platform alone.

THE HAMMER DROPS

This means that pure Facebook analytics and pure Facebook ad management players need to find something else, as they’re not going to beat Facebook at their own game. Of course, Facebook will have the best Facebook ad management software and best Facebook analytics.
The real value is tying all your paid search efforts together, to tie together all your audiences across all channels, and measure overall impact. So:

  • If you’re an analytics person, that means you have to bridge over into the paid ads side, so that you can paint the full picture of what’s working and to be able to make recommendation. Reach beyond the data and become strategic in your analysis.
  • If you’re an ads person, you must get deeper into the data. Fine-tuned optimization, scalable business logic, amplified organic content, and programmatic ad buying means you must be an analytics person. Balance the creative and data side of things.
  • If you’re a tool jockey, you’re in great shape. You will need to bridge across multiple tools to trace the path of creatives, traffic, and conversions. The pure-play Facebook tools will give way to platforms that manage ads, analytics, and apps in a singular architecture.

THE GOOD NEWS

For brands that don’t have teams to keep on top of every change that Facebook makes or every new enhancement to every marketing channel, there’s hope for the overwhelming, increasing pace of marketing technology.

More of the mechanics are being handled by the platforms and 3rd party tool providers themselves. You can certainly learn about the mechanics of optimized CPM and newsfeed optimization here on our blog. Or you can let the tools do it.

You can learn how to do long-hand division with a pencil first, before just trusting your scientific calculator. Or drive a stick shift instead of an automatic.

We all need to play a level up by learning how these systems fit together strategically, as opposed to knowing how every nut and bolt is assembled.

Is your approach tactical or strategic?

comments

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