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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags advertisingInternet-based applications and servicesMicrosoftsocial networkinginternetsocial mediaFacebook

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?