Is Facebook at it again? 

After the iOS 14 and iOS 15 updates, Facebook has been hard at work making all sorts of adjustments. 

But I’m actually here to give you GOOD news for once. 

Not all these changes are bad!

You can use a few to your advantage, IF you know how. ::wink wink:: 

Tune in to this episode of The Not For Lazy Marketers Podcast, where I’m breaking down all the latest and greatest Facebook updates and which ones will affect your ad costs, performance, analytics, and priorities.

We’re getting down, dirty, and a little nerdy on… 

  • The 3 main changes Facebook is in the middle of making and how they will affect YOU.
  • Why some of these changes might mean LOWER ad costs and INCREASED email open rates. 
  • What changes to expect in Ads Manager, and why some targeting options are about to disappear. 
  • The NUMBER ONE most crucial foundation of marketing you need to focus on today. 
  • And more! 

Keeping up with these updates can be tricky, but my goal is to help make it a little easier by sharing exactly what we see from the front lines. 

This is truly the freshest intel on Facebook you can find! 
If this episode helped you make any changes to your strategy or approach, send me a DM on Instagram (@emilyhirsh) and tell me about it!

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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Emily Hirsh:

Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. I hope you guys are having an amazing week and kicking off February strong. My baby, my youngest, turns two, which is so crazy. I feel like he was just born. I don’t know, time just goes so fast. He was born right before COVID really started. So it’s crazy that we’ve been in this for two years, actually. Insane. Anyways, today’s episode is going to be a little bit more techy and into Facebook updates. I like to do these about once every couple months or once a quarter, just to give you guyse changes that our team is seeing and share anything that Facebook has rolled out. I’m also gonna cover iOS 15 since that rolled out several months ago and anything you need to know around that and how that’s gonna impact your marketing.

 

I have a couple of Facebook changes to share with you guys. One of them — and probably the biggest one — is their updated events that they’re using. They rolled out simplified objectives basically. So when you go to set up an ad you select an objective of what you want that ad to be. In the past, you would add video views and engagement, and then you add traffic, conversions, and then you could have leads from all the different ones. Now, they’ve simplified it down to six different objectives. The biggest difference being they actually separated sales and leads — that used to be just like a conversion ad and then you would choose: Is that based off of the purchase conversion on your pixel or is that based off of complete registration or a lead?  

 

So the six simplified objectives that they’re rolling out across the board is awareness, traffic, engagement, leads, app, promotion, and sales. So what you essentially need to know is just that this is just gonna change in the backend. From a strategy perspective, this shouldn’t change too much for you. Facebook’s goal is constantly to simplify, setting up an ad on their platform because the easier it is to set up an ad, to choose what you want the ad to do, the more people are gonna set up ads. The more people will spend money with their platform.

 

That’s kind of their thinking. And the biggest difference here is just now, instead of having conversion, you now will have either a lead or a sale. So if you wanna get sales, you’s be pushing that, choosing that campaign objective. But if you’re getting leads, meaning complete registration or leads to your lead magnet, you’d choose leads. 

 

The other difference is they took away video views. So now you would most likely choose engagement for a video ad that you wanna run. One common question I get with choosing objectives that’s really important to note, especially around visibility ads is, I’m running ads to a podcast, but I’m using a video to promote the podcast. Do I use video views cuz I’m using a video ad or do I use traffic because I want landing page views?

 

The answer is you always want to choose with your objective and this is really important. You always want to choose the objective that you want people to do with the actual video itself that you use on Facebook. That’s your creative. That’s your type of creative that you’re using. And unless the goal is for somebody to just engage with that or watch that video, then your goal with the ad should be traffic or it should be leads or sales, even if you’re running a video ad to it. You’re actually just using a video as that form of creative, you would still make sure you’re focused on  what you want that ad to accomplish. So let’s use the podcast as an example. If you’re running ads to a podcast, you would choose traffic because you want people to click on that ad and go consume that podcast.

 

Even if you’re using a video to promote the message, “Hey, go listen to my podcast, go consume this podcast episode,” you would still choose the objective of traffic. This is the appropriate objective for going to a website, consuming a podcast or a blog post.Then with anything that grows leads such as a webinar or opt-in you would select leads. If you’re going to a sales page, you would select sales. 

 

Something that we run ads to is applications to get people to fill out an application. I would choose leads for that because that’s not necessarily a sale. Now, it will be worth testing to see if choosing sales does better. But so far we haven’t seen this impact cost at all or change anything in terms of that, hopefully it just improves the algorithm.

 

We know that Facebook is working to improve the algorithm and prove what you tell Facebook you wanna get out of your ad. They’re trying to get you that at the lowest cost, that’s always been the purpose of objectives. If you wanna get somebody to click on your ad and you choose traffic, you’re gonna get lower clicks. But if you want someone to convert now, Facebook’s actually showing that ad to people who are more likely to actually convert for something free like a lead magnet.  Facebook’s baseing who to show it off of profiles who take these actions frequently, who become leads or who click on ads and go to your landing pages. 

 

So choosing the right objective is important. And just remember, you might see something different in the back end and you’re always choosing the objective that is going to be related to what you want somebody to do with the ad, regardless of the creative style that you’re using.

 

The second update and thing that we’ve started to see roll out is Facebook is removing some targeting options. We knew this was coming and they’ve been kind of doing this for a while. But one of the changes that we started to see come up in accounts is discontinuing certain detailed targeting options. These options have been highlighted. So we could actually see these were live ads that we had already targeting these audiences that Facebook was removing. You have to now replace or remove these ads and publish the changes to make sure your ad continues, or they are gonna turn it off. Some of the ones that we saw removed were specific audiences. We have a client who targets Christian entrepreneurs and so some of their audiences were removed.

 

It’s kind of weird because in some accounts you can still target those interests. Then some accounts say that it’s gonna be removed, which typically means across the board, it’s going to be removed eventually. It just hasn’t been in that account yet. So just pay attention. If you get a notice inside of the backend of your ads that says, essentially we’re gonna be removing this detailed targeting option. You  might have to shift your targeting and you don’t want that ad set to actually shut down or turn off. You wanna make that shift in advance. So what this means for ads is the question, which as with anything that Facebook changes and shifts, it’s like TBD because we have to see how it impacts cost. But my guess is this: I think that having broader targeting forces your ads to rely more on Facebook’s algorithm, which we know over the last or five years, that’s what Facebook’s been pushing. You set up your ad and we will do everything else. We’ll determine where the budget goes. We’ll determine what creative versions to use. We’ll determine what audiences to show it to. What placement that Facebook wants you to do. And this is just kind of furthering that because now if you’re losing detailed targeting options and some specific options, you’re gonna have to have potentially broader targeting. Which means you now have Facebook choosing out of that audience who to show your ad to. The good news is their algorithm is still extremely powerful. It’s been wonky in the last year because of iOS updates, but they’re actively constantly working to improve it. So typically when they make a change like this, it’s actually for the positive, because the reality is, the iOS update was not Facebook’s choice and therefore it negatively impacted ad costs.

 

But when Facebook makes changes and you go along and align yourself with what they want you to do on the platform, it should improve advertising costs because Facebook wants people to advertise on their platform and they wanna make it easy for you. Now, what this also means though, is if we end up moving in the direction of having broader targeting, meaning that you have an much more broader targeting and bigger audiences, number one, you’re gonna be relying on Facebook’s algorithm, which I already said, and number two, I would actually predict that would potentially lower ad costs. Because even right now, if you go put in a really broad audience, you have a lower ad cost, but you’re at the risk of getting poor quality leads. So number three, what ‘s gonna become even more important is your specific messaging. And making sure you are really clear who your offer is for who the ad is supposed to be for. And that you’re talking to your ideal client and you’ve niched down enough to be clear about that. 

 

That’s gonna become even more important because if your ad is being shown to a broader audience, now we have to make sure the actual ad copy and the creative and the headlines is actually calling out that audience and being clear who it’s for and who it’s not for. Then the more you do that, the more the right people click and interact with your ad, the more Facebook knows who to show your ad to. So with this shift in the targeting, it means number one, we’re probably probably moving in the direction of having broader targeting, where you’re gonna have bigger audiences, hopefully that makes an impact in ad cost and actually sees them go down a little bit. Then number three, your messaging as with anything is going to be even more important because you have to make sure you’re not getting poor quality leads with the targeting.

 

Okay. So those are the two major Facebook changes and shifts that we’ve seen, which I believe are coming as a result of them adapting and changing after the iOS updates. I mean, they’ve straight up said they have teams of engineers working on a multiple year plan to change all of their algorithms, their optimization tech, everything that they are doing in the backend in terms of optimizing ads and tracking ads to catch up with the iOS updates. These are hopefully good changes for advertisers and help us decrease ad costs and make things more simple. But you might see some shifts in changes in the backend of your account. 

 

Then the last thing I wanted to talk about is bringing up iOS 15, because I’ve gotten a few questions about thi from members of Market Like a Pro and what we’ve seen and how it’s impacted.

 

Thankfully iOS 15 was not nearly as impactful as iOS 14, which directly impacted ad tracking and attribution and ad costs.  iOS 15 impacted email. Essentially if you use Apple mail, the actual app on your phone you’re now asked, do you want to be tracked with your email? And of course, most people are gonna say no.  So only for the people who are using Apple mail app on their phone, or I guess on your computer, if you use that too, you’d be asked, do you wanna be tracked? And if you opt out of tracking, what that’s going to impact is your open rates. You might have noticed, you probably have noticed your open rates have increased. We saw about a 10 to 15% increase in our open rates starting about a couple months ago, maybe six to eight weeks ago that we really noticed it.

 

That is because of iOS 15. Essentially everybody who opted out of that tracking and has that app. Now they just count as they open your email. It’s not actually decreasing your open rate, it’s actually increasing your open rate. They just count as opened. So you should expect to see about a 10 to 15% increase in your open rate. That’s fake, it’s not realistic. And so what you can do is compare where you were about a couple months ago. So maybe November, October, November of last year, and look at where your email open rates were and then base that as your baseline, and then whatever you saw, if you saw it spike up in December and November, I would say that’s your inflated increase. So you have to adjust. I would still track open rates, but you have to adjust if you’re seeing a 40% open rate, but you were previously getting a 25% open rate, you’re probably more at like 25% as your average.  What you’re looking at you now have to adjust a little bit because it’s inflated because you are kind of losing that data. 

 

Now, click rates in your email are still great metrics to still track. You still want 1% click rate in your email. At least that means 1% of the people who open it are clicking on your email. And actually you might see that go down a little bit because now your open rate is increased and they might be counting it as open when they didn’t really open it. But your click rates are accurate information. So you can also base the value of your email copy and the engagement of your email copy off of your click rate. That can be accurate. Now, the one other thing I will say that’s directly impacted us with iOS 15 is that we use Entreport for our email software, but a lot of emails have to filter out inactive contexts.

 

Essentially if people don’t open your emails or don’t click on your emails, they put them in what’s called a re-engagement campaign that essentially says, “Hey, you haven’t opened our emails in a while. Just don’t wanna be on our list?” Then sends them maybe three or four emails. And then if they still don’t open or click any of those emails, they are either removed or they’re marked as inactive. What this does is it allows you to keep a very active list. You don’t want an inflated list of 20,000 people but only like 5,000 actually open your emails, but you’re sending all these people emails, cuz your open rates will tank and it won’t be accurate. Right? So having something where you automatically clean your list and kind of remove those inactive contacts is beneficial.

 

However, because of iOS, 15 a lot of these email platforms, they took away the counting as an open rate as active.So what Entreport did is they stopped counting. If somebody opens an email as active and now they only count an interaction with an email, they’re clicking on the email. And so I didn’t like that because I was like, well, people might be opening my emails, but not clicking on them. I don’t wanna remove that person from my list or put them in our re-engagement campaign. So we paused our re-engagement campaign for now because I think Entreport will come up with a better solution. I think some of these other email providers will come up with a better solution, but pay attention to that. Because if you have something in place where you’re automatically kind of cleaning your list, you’re putting people who did not open emails or click on emails through a re-engagement campaign and it’s automated and it’s set up, check with your email provider to see if they change the qualifications of what is an active contact because Entreport removed opening an email as counting as an active contact. But that’s a problem because a lot of people are gonna open emails and they’re not gonna click on one. And I don’t, want those people to be marked as inactive. 

 

So I personally just paused our re-engagement campaign until I’m gonna give it a few months, see what Entreport comes up with. I think a lot of the email providers are gonna be working on a solution. The other thing to note on this is one of the reasons it’s a good idea to keep your list clean is because then when you go to email your list, if you have super low open rates and super low click rates, Google, and the servers ding you for that. You get put in the promotions tab or even worse spam. But now the question is that nobody really knows officially the answer to is can the servers now tell like, cuz they’re gonna also lose the data on open rates, it’s gonna be inflated.

 

So doesn’t that matter as much or are you not really gonna get dinged for that? So that’s why I paused our re-engagement campaign and I’m just sending our emails to our current active list, but I’m not filtering people out until Entreport figures that out. I don’t really like that qualification of an open rate. So with iOS 15, to break it down and summarize, you may have seen your email open right increase. It’s probably inflated go back to around October, September and look at what your email open rate average was then, and then how much it increased. That’s probably about how much your open rates inflated. You can make decisions based off of that. 

 

And then number two, pay attention to find out from your provider, your email provider, if they’ve made any changes around how they qualify active clients, I mean not active clients, how they qualify active emails,contacts on your list because you might need to make changes if you had something in place that was cleaning your list or removing an active contacts or you plan to put that in place. Because what you’ll see is your email list size will go down and you’re like what these are supposed to be active. And it’s because the email provider made a change to the way they’re qualifying an active contact. Then finally, just pay attention to that click rate, cuz that is still an accurate metric in your emails. 

 

Those are my updates! This was heavy on the technical and behind the scenes information on Facebook ad stuff. Again, I like to do this about once every quarter cuz I get a lot of intel from my team on our daily huddle around things that we are seeing or shifts and changes. So I always keep you guys posted on that. Thank you so much for tuning in today, guys. And I’ll talk to you next week.

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