Facebook Ads Newsletter #5

Ban being lifted on political ads, small businesses getting discount on Facebook Shops, and how brand marketing can drive short-term sales

Change is difficult. Even people who say they like change often resist it when they’re forced to adapt to new situations. When it comes to Facebook ads, a lot has been changing recently, which has made things challenging for marketers.

Whether it’s new bans being placed on certain types of ads, the iOS 14 update that’s altering what data can be collected, or new advertising strategies, it’s a lot to take in.

But while it may seem overwhelming, it’s nothing new. The Facebook ads landscape, and the entirety of digital marketing for that matter, is constantly evolving. If you want to excel in this industry you need to be able to roll with the punches.

As per usual, this week’s newsletter will discuss a number of these changes that marketers have been dealing with. This includes Facebook finally lifting their ban on political advertising, the waiving of fees for the “checkout on shops” feature for small businesses, and new research that suggests brand marketing might lead to more sales than you think.

Image Credit: Animoto

Facebook Lifts Ban on Political Ads in the US

Image Credit: The Guardian

On March 4th, Facebook finally lifted its ban on political advertising in the United States. The ban was originally out in place months ago to stop the spread of misinformation leading up to the Presidential election on November 3rd.

It was temporarily lifted in Georgia for the state’s runoff election, but was put back in place once that was over. Other than that, the ban has been instituted across the country since the election.

Facebook isn’t the only company that banned political advertising. Google also has had a similar ban on their advertising since the election. 

These types of bans may seem harsh, but the attack on the US Capitol proves just how dangerous political misinformation can be. Many were injured and several people were killed during the attack, which was instigated by the President and other Republican pundits claiming the election was rigged.

While Google had lifted their ban on political ads in December it swiftly put them back into place following the attacks.

It will be interesting to see if the ban remains lifted, or if a slew of troublesome ads appear that causes Facebook to put the ban back in place. While I’m not always a fan of banning certain types of ads, it’s easy to understand why Facebook instituted this policy. When there’s a chance of violence you need to do whatever you can to prevent it.

I will be keeping my eye on this though to see if recent events lead to any other types of ad bans. Either way, I’m confident the 0 Penny team will be ready to adapt to whatever changes come our way.

Small Businesses Can Use Checkout with Shops for Free

Image Credit: Mike Petrucci

Facebook has been advocating for small businesses more in recent months, partly due to the effects of the pandemic and party due to Apple’s iOS 14 update which limits the data they can collect.

To further this initiative, Facebook recently announced that they’ll be waiving fees for small businesses selling with its "Checkout on Shops” feature through June 2021.

If you haven’t heard about Facebook Shops, it’s essentially a way to create your own eCommerce store on Facebook. It also allows brands to feature curated product collections and personalized content.

What’s great about this tool is that it gives you another place to send customers from your Facebook ads. If you’re having issues with your website, or you want to keep people on the platform to increase conversions, you can direct people to your Facebook shop.

As with any type of eCommerce platform, Facebook takes a percentage of each sale made through their shops. So, waiving this fee for small businesses is a big plus. If you’re running ads and sending people to your shop this is one less expense you have to worry about.

I’ve already been using Facebook Shops as part of my ad campaigns and have been pleased with the results. Being able to keep people on Facebook and still make a sale is a big advantage, as it creates a better shopping experience.

If you haven’t given Shops a try I’d highly recommend it, especially if you’re a small business and can take advantage of the discount.

Research Suggests Brand Marketing Has a Bigger Impact on Short-Term Sales Than We Think

Image Credit: Bluleadz

When marketers run ads, they’re mostly just concerned about sales and conversions. Brand awareness is great, but it often takes time and many people just want to see results right away.

I’ll admit that this often my thinking. Most of my clients want leads and sales and aren’t interested in spending money on a campaign to build their brand. But new research suggests brand marketing might be more valuable than we give it credit for.

Facebook recently teamed up with Analytic Partners and GroupM to analyze the results of 500 brand and direct response campaigns, and the results were certainly interesting.

They found that both types of campaigns were effective at driving sales. Of course, the direct response campaigns produced more sales than the brand campaigns, since they’re focused on people who are closer to making a purchase. But brand campaigns performed surprisingly well and were also cheaper since they’re aimed at a broader audience.

What was surprising was when they broke the results down by industry. It turns out that when it comes to retail and eCommerce brand campaigns actually generated more sales. Direct response campaigns performed better in hospitality, CPG, and financial services campaigns.

They also found that brand marketing might be more effective with older audiences, while younger audiences may respond better to direct responses.

This definitely gives us marketers something to think about when we create our next campaigns.

You can see the complete report here.

So, that’s the news for this week. As always, I’ll be keeping a close eye on all things Facebook and advertising to keep you up to date on what’s happening.

Talk to you next week.