Facebook is aiming to take the guesswork out of picking the right ads with new tools released Tuesday designed to automate the process around an advertiser's expressed objectives.
The social network has reconfigured the ad-buying process to start with a question: What's your advertising objective? Facebook will then recommend an ad type for one of eight possible objectives: Web site conversions, clicks to Web site, Page post engagement, Page likes, app installs, app engagement (a new option introduced last week), offer claims, or event responses. The system is designed to give advertisers more of the results they want with the least amount of manual labor.
Facebook will, as usual, auto-determine where to place ads, but it is also letting advertisers chose where their ads appear so they can tailor desktop and mobile ads to link to distinct destinations. In addition, the Ads Manager tool now correlates campaign results with chosen objectives and calculates the cost per conversion.
The objective-based system is built into all of Facebook's ad creation tools, including its API, meaning advertisers will have access to the hand-holding approach no matter where they purchase ads.
The new leave-it-to-us system seems geared around giving Facebook's selection of advertising options, already simplified in recent months, the broadest appeal possible. By telling marketers and advertisers exactly what to buy, how to bid, and where to run their units, the social network is dumbing down the process so that even clueless advertisers can get more bang for their buck. If it works, the new formula could have a noticeable impact on Facebook's advertising business.