Facebook's Ongoing Quest for the Right Kind of Advertising

By Erin Schell | June 7, 2013
Facebook is responding to the complaints posed by several of its advertisers and revamping the design of its advertising options, but how will they do it?

The company announced Thursday at a press event in Menlo Park, Calif. that they are beginning an attempt to consolidate advertising options and working to potentially throw out half of the existing ad formats from which advertisers are currently able to choose.

According to Forbes' Robert Hof, “The No. 1 complaint of most advertisers was that it was too complicated to figure out which ads to use,” Andrew Bosworth, director of engineering and design for ads, said in an interview. “They’re saying, ‘We know what we want to accomplish, we want to know what tools to use.’”

As of now, advertisers are not satisfied with the fact that over two dozen advertising templates exist. This makes choosing an effective ad incredibly difficult for inexperienced companies. Basically, this means that unless the business has an unlimited amount of money to spend on trial and error, there is no guarantee they are gaining from Facebook advertising.

One research study using Lysol ads found that Facebook advertising is three times more effective than TV advertising  This could cause a drastic increase in sales for many companies. Many wish to take advantage of this advertising medium, so what is standing in their way? Decisions, Decisions.

Advertisers are calling for a less complicated process of creating Facebook ads. They want FEWER options.

Facebook has responded by gearing the formats of the ads more toward the specific objective the company wishes to accomplish. Whether the goal is to persuade Facebook users to install the company’s app, sell a product, gather fans, or physically take a trip to this business, Facebook will—have an ad for that.

Previously, Facebook advertising could appear embedded into a person’s news feed or it could appear on a user’s page through a social context. For example, if a friend “Liked” or commented on an ad, it would appear on the user’s newsfeed as well. Now, each ad will automatically include the social context feature that allows an ad to pop up on the newsfeeds of Facebook friends.

This will also create a more consistent style for the appearance of the ads. Of course, the company will still have the option of tweaking details, but that will not be a requirement. Ads that ask questions and ads that stand-alone will be elements of the past. It seems simplification is key.

The Facebook team promises a more successful advertising technique by using one of the recommended formats. They claim that the preset ad will reach the indicated demographic and accomplish the objective of the company quickly and more efficiently.

This remodeling process has already begun, but is not likely to be finished for the next six months. The Facebook team has a lot of kinks to work out in order to satisfy their skeptical advertisers.