I was browsing Facebook the other night, and I saw a few things that might improve the overall content experience for users.
(Or is that user experience for content?)
These things relate to ads, although they cover different aspects of connecting potential ad buyers with an optimal advertising experience.
Make Facebook Blueprint More Visible
The Facebook Blueprint courses are fantastic. Any business owner looking to harness what is arguably the most powerful audience targeting platform of all time should review these free courses.
As an advertiser, I get a box on my homepage letting me know about my recent ad campaigns. I also see an invitation to enroll in a Blueprint course.
Here’s what the invitation currently looks like:
Introducing these courses to advertisers on the homepage is a great idea, but I feel the call to action could be improved.
In my opinion, there are a few problems:
- The link to the course doesn’t pop out. Maybe Facebook has tested this, but my eye glosses over the grey link. The notification red color might be an option, but I’d guess thats against brand guidelines.
- The headline could target how the user is using ads. Either the headline or the text could be more targeted at specific use cases. The general, “How to create a successful Facebook Campaign” is broad and might not resonate as much as a specific message. Perhaps something like, “How to Reduce Your Website Cost Per Click” or, “Learn tips like how to reduce your cost per website click with this free class.”
- Inactive advertisers could be encouraged to advertise again. It might be a good idea to include a link saying, “Create your next campaign” when there are no active campaigns. (Or make it even more benefits-driven based on the previous campaign: “Send more visitors to your website with a new campaign”
Ultimately, I think this project could deliver a positive return on investment. Better visibility for these classes mean advertisers will be smarter about their ad spending. This delivers better advertising results, making them happier.
(And, naturally, if they’re happy about their Facebook ad results, they’re going to keep using the platform. Investors are happy, too.)
Here’s what the revised call to action might look like:
In my opinion, that stands out a lot more than the current solution. Of course, brand guidelines would have to be reviewed, but I think if someone is opting-in to advertising, they’d be fine with a call-to-action that stands out like this.
Expanded Text Ads on Facebook
With the news that Google is moving into expanded text ads, it’s a good time to revisit how Facebook ads use length restrictions.
Here’s how Facebook ads current treat ad copy that’s too long for right side desktop placement:
The last little bit of the ad gets cut off. If advertisers were hyper-meticulous with their ad copy, they could write it in a way that would place the ellipses at the most intriguing spot.
Unfortunately, the text is cut off automatically, and besides, requiring an insanely high level of copywriting skills to create ads raises the adoption barrier. We want as many people as possible to use these ads, right?
Here’s an idea that might improve ad engagement. When users hover the mouse cursor over the ad, the ad could expand to show the entire text.
Here’s what I mean:
The white space around the ad expands, pushing the other ads down a few pixels to make room for the full ad.
I believe this delivers on expectations a little better. While Facebook advertising professionals understand the difference between the News Feed placement and the right side placement length requirements, the average business owner exploring Facebook ads might not.
Some Closing Thoughts
The suggestions above would mostly improve the ad experience for smaller advertisers, like small business owners spending between $150-$3000 per month. After that point, I’d hope they’d put their Facebook advertising into the hands of professionals who would already be aware of the items discussed in this article.
I’m not sure what percentage of ad revenue comes from smaller spenders such as the business owners I’m describing here – perhaps they only represent 2% of total ad spending while the rest is handled by professionals who understand the nuances of text limits. In that case, making a change like this might not be worth the effort for the Facebook ad team.
However, if this type of ad buyer represents a significant portion of ad income, perhaps adjusting to shifting expectations in the online advertising space (as well as recently relaxed standards for Facebook’s own ads) might make sense.