“We’re going to make advertising more transparent, and not just for political ads. Starting next month, people will be able to click “View Ads” on a Page and view ads a Page is running on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger — whether or not the person viewing is in the intended target audience for the ad. All Pages will be part of this effort, and we will require that all ads be associated with a Page as part of the ad creation process. We will start this test in Canada and roll it out to the US by this summer, ahead of the US midterm elections in November, as well as broadly to all other countries around the same time.” – Rob Goldman, VP of Ads
So, Facebook announces new advertising transparency options and as a marketer, you are already panicking? No need to be worried, this is actually good news for your brands, and I’ll tell you why.
Dark posts were a valid option for targeted adverts, if you wanted to specify who could see your ads. It was a complicated job segmenting different target groups based on geography, interest, job title, etc. and you would not have 100 percent assurance you were reaching the final purchaser.
As we know, it is hard for brands to fight through the noise and get its message seen by as many of its audience as possible. Getting as many eyeballs as possible to see your ad is impossible as everyone is fighting for the same space and audience.
The Good News
Therefore, Facebook has realised this challenge and is rolling out its transparency ads option, which I believe will be more advantageous for brands.
- Brands will have access to the full campaign lists and types of campaigns your competitors are running. Marketers will see why they have more success than other brands and be able to focus more effort on a more intelligent marketing approach. You may not be at the same level, however, you will improve in current areas of weakness
- No more struggling for a target audience, missing reach and wasting energy. Your ads will be seen by everyone who is interested! Previously, if a dark post was visible to a target audience, you now know, for a fact, whoever is going to open that tab on your page is there for the right reason. They like your product; they want to know which type of deals you are offering them so they can choose to buy your product. Easy, fast and straight to the point
- What about saving money? Or using budget wiser and more efficiently? Yes, that’s right. Previously, brands were spreading their budgets on multiple dark posts in an attempt to test how the campaign would go. Now there is no need for that; you can invest that money and have better ads with high-quality assets
- Higher quality traffic and reach on your Facebook page.
More Good News
Users will have the whole Facebook page to rant about your product but won’t waste time to check your ads and mess up your ad post. What they want right now is not knowing which offer you are rolling out, they want to complain to you and have you resolve the issue immediately..
The result will have two benefits:
- Your social media managers can now focus on higher value customer service on your brand page and win back disappointed customers, turning frowns into smiles
- On the ads post, your engagement will be focused on selling and assisting customers to the final goal: buying your product! No more distractions and less time consuming moderation on your brand pages
…And the Bad News
One downside would be for small business and brands who are still fighting to get known by the crowd. The dark post would have helped them reach those who were not even aware of their existence, with a 50/50 chance to gain new customers who could visit and follow the page. The new Transparency rules will make these brands fight more than ever to get followers.
Let’s hope Facebook will consider giving small brands more visibility to reach their target audience. Perhaps by opening a “marketplace” to display all the new (transparency verified) ads from small brands, enabling users to see “what’s new out there”. Or by giving the brands with less than a certain number of followers a chance to still reach a wider audience after having their ads approved to go (the old way), to everyone’s feeds in a dedicated tab.
To sum it up: well done Facebook, I applaud you for thinking of a way for brands to gain more trust from fans and make the job for marketers more efficient. Just do us one last favour: do it fast, we need this soon!
What do you think? I would be interested in your views and feedback.
Tiziana Vinciguerra is a Social Media Specialist at the The Social Element. She has a love for all social media, particularly Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. A Sicilian with an unstoppable, tireless case of wanderlust, she is an enthusiastic traveller who is currently based in Italy.