Refresh for Facebook’s Right Hand Side Ads

Social Media

What is the objec­tive of this cam­paign?’ should be where every Face­book adver­tis­er should begin.

This has been the core ques­tion that has fuelled Face­book in its sim­pli­fi­ca­tion process of their ad for­mat offer­ing since they announced it back in June 2013. This has evolved to encom­pass elim­i­nat­ing redun­dan­cies, through reduc­ing the sheer num­ber of ad for­mats avail­able and pro­vid­ing con­sis­ten­cy; to stream­lin­ing their tar­get­ing options and re-vamp­ing their cam­paign struc­tures.

The first of these changes was to reduce the twen­ty-sev­en ad for­mat offer­ing to less than half. Yet even after these efforts it was still not pos­si­ble to choose one image size for all place­ments. While mobile and desk­top News Feeds were uni­fied adver­tis­ers still had to use anoth­er image for the ‘tra­di­tion­al’ Right-Hand-Side (RHS). There are and will con­tin­ue to be use cas­es for this, for exam­ple when text is used and left illeg­i­ble in the RHS place­ment, but for the most part it meant an extra step. Not only for the paid social team but also the cre­ative agency.

Face­book recog­nised this, and on April 9, they announced that they were push­ing through anoth­er change. The plan has trans­formed into a two pil­lar approach; the first of which begins today. The cur­rent sev­en slots in the RHS place­ment will be reduced but become larg­er. This will be a grad­ual roll out how­ev­er, with the small­er ads still being deliv­ered until August. It is worth not­ing here, that this will also start to affect any FBX activ­i­ty you are run­ning as these will also start to utilise the larg­er ad specs.

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What does this mean?

  • RHS ads will be larg­er.
  • Users will see few­er ads on the RHS.
  • The pro­por­tions of these ads will match those of News Feed so mar­keters can now use one image spec across all place­ments.

How will this affect my Face­book cam­paigns?

  • The larg­er for­mat should result in high­er CTRs and engage­ment with your ads. Face­book has run pre­lim­i­nary tests where they have seen up to three times high­er user engage­ment. Sim­i­lar results were seen when they updat­ed their Page post link ad for­mat ear­li­er on in the year.
  • Decreased inven­to­ry will lead to a nat­ur­al decrease in impres­sions and sub­se­quent increased com­pe­ti­tion may lead to small increas­es in CPCs and an increase in CPMs. Essen­tial­ly, this should bring per­for­mance met­rics clos­er in line to what is seen in News Feed.

How can adver­tis­ers take advan­tage?

  • Be ahead of the curve. Start upload­ing with the larg­er image specs and updat­ing pre-exist­ing ads as this is a grad­ual roll­out.
  • The ‘grad­ual’ is impor­tant here. If you start bid­ding with the larg­er ad for­mats soon­er rather than lat­er you may be able to take advan­tage of the lack of com­pe­ti­tion while oth­er adver­tis­ers ramp up.
  • Adobe Media Optimizer’s algo­rithms will auto­mat­i­cal­ly adjust to these changes when you imple­ment them. How­ev­er, there may still be a few days where per­for­mance varies. There­fore, we rec­om­mend close mon­i­tor­ing of the port­fo­lio for 2–3 days as it adjusts to the new per­for­mance. If in doubt, ask your Account Man­age­ment team.

Bid­ding strate­gies will have to be tweaked over the next cou­ple of months. Keep a close eye on per­for­mance; hope­ful­ly it will be a pos­i­tive one!

Social Media

Posted on 06-24-2014


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