If you’ve been advertising your business on Facebook, you might have noticed that your ad campaigns are producing a lower return on investment in the last 30-60 days. There are two main reasons for this, GDPR (The EU ruling that places strict fines on any companies they deem to be spamming EU residents, which I’m sure you’re tired of hearing by now), and the Facebook Cambridge Analytica Scandal.
Here are 3 key Facebook Ads Changes that are affecting your campaigns:
- No more Partner Categories (Not all true, more of this in a bit)
Likely the most upsetting change that Facebook is making is the removal of Partner Categories, which are targeting options provided by third-party data firms, like Acxion, Experian, Cambridge Analytica and more. This data allowed advertisers to target offline behavior, like persons buying a home or purchasing a car.You could imagine the uproar from people who felt compromised after learning about the removal of these targeting options, but it is important to note that this is a fairly common practice in digital advertising. These data firms, or data brokers, created detailed profiles using various methods that you may have opted into unknowingly. In addition to large purchases, they also know what offline and online stores you have visited, your political or religious affiliation (despite whether you’ve disclosed this on Facebook), income and socioeconomic status, and much more.
This feature is what made Facebook Advertising so effective, attractive, and affordable for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Now, if you want that kind of targeted information, you will have to work with the data brokers themselves, going directly to companies like Acxiom and purchasing their services directly.
Facebook may be removing this feature, but it doesn’t mean it won’t come back. The main lesson from the data scandal is not that people do not want to share this information, it’s that people just need to know what exactly they are sharing and why (the basis for GDPR).
If you’re using Partner Categories in your current Facebook Ad campaigns, you had until August 30, 2018, to complete those campaigns with the targeting options still available.
- Informing site visitors of Facebook Pixel use
It’s common now to visit sites and see a “cookie banner” pop up asking you to accept the fact that your activity will be tracked on that site. That is because GDPR is requiring companies to ask for explicit consent from European Union visitors and customers to collect and use their data, even if it is just website activity.Facebook Pixel is code that you can place on your site that helps Facebook collect information about your website visitors so that you can use it to target them later using Facebook Ads.
Even if you don’t have many website visitors from the EU, this is good practice anyway. There’s no telling if the U.S. will follow in the same footsteps, but if large companies like Facebook are making these changes, other companies will follow suit to avoid trouble in the future.
- Tighter restrictions on Facebook Custom Audiences
Another great feature of Facebook Ads is the ability upload your own list of email addresses that you can either specifically target using ads, or create “lookalike” audiences to find new, similar people to those on your email list.Facebook will now require advertisers to receive prior consent from the individuals on your email list before you’re allowed to use them as a Custom Audience. That means you can no longer use the downloaded contacts from LinkedIn, emails you’ve collected from business cards at a recent networking event, purchased lists from email brokers, etc. — unless that is, you have received explicit consent from those contacts.
How Facebook will police this in the future is uncertain, however, they will be placing the responsibility on you, the advertiser. That means you should meticulously document the actions from your list so that if a GDPR representative were to ever approach you, you’ll have the information you need to prove your compliance.
Yes, it is true that partner categories for targeting are no longer available for new advertisers and most were removed from being accessible at all. You should know, that if you’ve never used them before, they were a GOLD MINE!
But, a handful of advertising agencies are slowly getting access to these “gold” categories and by application only. Tech Guys is proud to say that we are one of those agencies and this is how we can provide an unfair advantage to our clients so they can get, not only an ROI but a great ROI that beats all expectations!
Would you like us to analyze your Facebook advertising campaigns for free? We can show you where there is room for improvement and the small tweaks that create a large impact. Contact us today to schedule a quick call with our head of Facebook ad management.