Ad costs, cries, weeping, and panic are circulating in the Philippines E-commerce community this September 2020. We see a lot of complaints and worry and all sorts of fear as bad ads performance enters its 2nd week. However, nothing happens without a reason. Why is this happening? Has it happened before? and what can you do?
First, why is it happening? You need to take into account that Facebook ads are all about auctions running on multiple algorithms. Any slight change will affect some people temporarily. So we have done some research and we are able to itemize some of the reasons why it is happening or why some people are affected.
The notable one is the changes brought by the new iOS update. As we know that Facebook released a statement on September 10, 2020, regarding changes coming to their placements. Apple announced modifications coming to iOS 14 at its annual developer conference in June, including a change to a unique code linked to each device, known as an Identification for Advertisers, or IDFA. App developers, including Facebook, have historically used IDFA to help target users with ads, and track the performance of ads across different devices. The iPhone maker will require developers to show a warning label to users before collecting IDFA info on iOS 14, and will also require that users opt in to share it. Many in the advertising industry believe this will significantly limit developer access to IDFA information.
Facebook on Wednesday said it won’t collect IDFA through its own apps on iOS 14 devices, a decision that will “severely impact” Audience Network. Thousands of developers use the Facebook platform to fill the ad inventory within their mobile apps, and without IDFA information to help target those marketing messages, Audience Network revenue could drop as much as 50%, the company said. Facebook is considering eliminating the service altogether for iOS 14 users.
Take note that even Facebook said it expects “less impact” on its own advertising business. The company doesn’t need device-level information for targeting inside of Facebook and Instagram, for example, because it has extensive profile information, as well as phone numbers and emails for many of its users. Also, Facebook says that many of its developers and publishers will be “hurt” by iOS 14 at an “already difficult time,” and that it plans to invest time and resources into building monetization products for publishers and supporting platforms outside of iOS 14. Now I want you to think about it. Facebook ads business is 100% SAFE but some publishers will suffer for this because FB will try to recover the revenue elsewhere or somehow. This one of the reasons why your ads may be performing badly.
Now next question is: Has it happened before? Yes, in fact it happens every now and then. We see changes every now and then especially during the end of a quarter and entry of a new one. This should not surprise you because it is not the end of ads. What you need to do here is to ask my NEXT question which is what can you do?
Now there are a lot of things we can do and the least of them is blaming FB for your results. They are not entirely responsible because there are people running ads too and they are successful, So what you need to is to ADAPT and change your angles. But let’s look at some factors that can drive up your ad costs:
- Placements: All ad placements have a different CPC and impression. This means you can eliminate high-cost, low-performing placements to improve results. Look at your numbers and determine with ad placements are taking up most of your money and take it down.
- Relevance score: The formula is very simple here. The higher your score, the less you’ll pay, and the better your results will be. Read more here from Facebook
- Bidding strategy: Every strategy on Fb has its own PROS and CONS. It is time to control your bidding if the automatic bidding is costing you so much that you can afford it. You can prevent unnecessary, expensive clicks by setting a bid cap or target cost.
- Ad schedule: Setting an ad schedule can help you reduce costs and maximize results.
- Targeting: This is one of the big factors why your ads are costing too much. Facebook’s ad real estate is limited and some audiences are more sought-after than others. This makes it more competitive and expensive to get your ads shown to certain audiences.
What more can you do? Here are some of my tips.
- Do Split testing: Split testing is always gold. Create different versions of the same ad campaign that use different images, videos, and copy (both in the description and the headline). Online Optimism’s Taylor Kincaid advises the same: “test your audience to make sure you’re speaking to the right people. You can even A/B test through the split test feature right in Facebook Ads.” if you want to keep your CPC low. It doesn’t matter if you’ve come up with the most genius offer ever—you still need to split test it.
- Shift To Retargeting: If you have a lot of data, This is good for you Retargeting is a practice of showing your ads to users who are familiar with you and your product. Because this is a “warm” audience, they’ll be more likely to interact with or click on your ad, increasing CTRs and lowering CPC.
- Change your offer: You cannot sit down there and keep blaming Fb for your failures, You can make some changes as well. If a product seems to be in decline. Try a different angle. Remember it is BER-Months and people love deals at this time of the year. Run giveaways, draws, promos, bundles, free gifts and all
- Target desktop placements only: Did you know that desktop newsfeed ads on Facebook have consistently higher CTR and engagement rates than other placements (possibly thanks to the larger pictures, longer descriptions, and ease of desktop navigation). This, in turn, increases relevance score and lowers the cost of your ads and always has high CTR.
- Try multiple CTAs: Fun fact is that “Learn More” will sometimes drive more clicks than “Shop Now” for cold audiences that don’t trust you yet
- Clean Ads: Make sure to write a good ad copy that gets right to the point and doesn’t leave users guessing at what they’re clicking on or why they should.
- Resurrect your OLD LLAs: Old wine always tastes good. It might be the time to try out your LLAs you created weeks back and see what happens.
- Watch Your Frequency: Keep your frequency (or the number of times the same user sees the same ad) as low as possible. If the frequency gets too high, your CTR will fall.
Now, these are my suggestions. Rest assured everything will be back to normal soon because that is how it has always been. Ecommerce is not a child’s play, Some of you were relaxed because august was a good month and they are shocked now with the results in September. This is a reminder that consistency is the key here and the ability to adapt.
It is ok to turn off ads, it is normal if you want to. If you are still new this is an opportunity for you to know that this is how the game is. Do not panic because this is business.
Get up, go back to the drawing table, and find another way. That is how you should react as an entrepreneur.