Facebook aims to simplify advertising for marketers

New consolidated ad tools to reduce complexity will roll out in the coming months

Facebook is gearing up for a new project to simplify its advertising platform, making it easier for marketers to decide how to place ads across the site.

One of the plan's major goals is to reduce redundancies in the 27 different types of ads that Facebook currently offers to marketers, by either getting rid of some options altogether or merging some tools into one product. Many of the types of ads Facebook currently offers do a lot of the same things, such as encouraging online sales, in-store sales or in-app downloads, the company said.

For example, Facebook provides an online Offers product to advertisers to let them drive traffic to their website or product page, but many companies just insert a link into a Facebook Page post to drive traffic, so the option to create a dedicated online offer will disappear under the changes, Facebook said.

Because the program is still in its very early stages, many of the changes either were not disclosed or are still being worked out. The company announced the project during a briefing with reporters on Thursday at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Most of the new advertising tools will not roll out until late summer or early fall.

For Facebook users, the project is designed to provide a more unified set of ad formats, so advertisements appearing in the News Feed, in the right-hand rail on the desktop and on mobile devices will look more consistent.

The new program is based on what Facebook has learned over the last year or so from marketers as more of them have opted to advertise on new areas of the site, such as the News Feed.

"A couple of years ago, the question was, 'Do Facebook ads work?'" said Brian Boland, director of product marketing at the company. "We now know that they do," he said.

Under the way Facebook sells advertising today, it presents marketers with a long list of options for how to advertise on the site and the marketers choose which ones to use to target their audience. In the future, Facebook will present a more streamlined set of options based on specific marketing objectives, such as getting users to go to a company's physical store or encouraging them to buy an app.

Instead of choosing among various ad products, companies will be able to tell Facebook they want to create an ad that, say, drives awareness of a message, or gets consumers to look at a video. Facebook will then put together a type of ad that will accomplish that.

"Facebook is starting to realise they need to really simplify what they offer to marketers and make what they offer actually social as opposed to traditional display advertising," said Zachary Reiss-Davis, an analyst with Forrester Research.

The project is aimed at reducing complexity, not control, for advertisers, according to the company. Companies will still be able to target and personalise their ads to certain audiences, but it will be easier to align those ads with their objectives, Facebook said.

Finding new ways to target ads to the right users is a perennial goal for Facebook. Last year the company rolled out its Custom Audiences tool as a way for marketers to target people they've previously done business with by using their phone number or email address.

The program was expanded in February to third-party marketing firms to give advertisers even more data for targeting their ads.

Earlier this year, Facebook also announced its acquisition of Microsoft's Atlas Advertiser Suite, an ad analysis platform. The acquisition was intended to increase Facebook's ad revenue and give marketers better information about their campaigns on both desktop and mobile.

Facebook's ad revenue for the quarter ended March 31 was US$1.25 billion, representing 85 per cent of the company's total sales and a 43 percent increase from 2012's first quarter. Mobile advertising revenue accounted for 30 per cent of total ad revenue.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

In these tough times finding an earning opportunity that can be weaved into your lifestyle is hard. Doordash fits the bill nicely until y...

Fred Lawrence

DoorDash launches in Australia

Read more

Hello , great article!Fake followers have really become a big issue that needs to be identified and bring to an end.You can also include ...

Caitlyn Davis

Fake Twitter-follower market is adapting, growing, and getting ever cheaper

Read more

Did anyone proofread this document before it was published?

Beau Ushay

CMO Momentum 2020: How to embrace agile marketing

Read more

he decision to limit the initial version of the code to two US companies is discriminatory and will inevitably give an unfair advantage t...

Azeem Sohail

Google hits out at ACCC draft code of conduct for news media negotiations

Read more

You’re a warrior woman from way back. Just let the muscle memory take over!

Hannah Sturrock

Why fear trumps marketing theory - Marketing edge - CMO Australia

Read more

Blog Posts

Creating a culture club builds ownership of teamwork

Workplace cultures are the sum of everyone’s beliefs, behaviours, attitudes and skills. This means that no single person is responsible for culture, it belongs to the team.

Colin D Ellis

Culture change expert, author

A Brand for social justice

In 2020, brands did something they’d never done before: They spoke up about race.

Dipanjan Chatterjee and Xiaofeng Wang

VP and principal analyst and senior analyst, Forrester

Determining our Humanity

‘Business as unusual’ is a term my organisation has adopted to describe the professional aftermath of COVID-19 and the rest of the tragic events this year. Social distancing, perspex screens at counters and masks in all manner of situations have introduced us to a world we were never familiar with. But, as we keep being reminded, this is the new normal. This is the world we created. Yet we also have the opportunity to create something else.

Katja Forbes

Managing director of Designit, Australia and New Zealand

Sign in