After Facebook’s winter re-release of search ads, the social platform-turned-advertising-giant has recently expanded this option to more advertisers. In addition to the typical locations advertisers could place their ads, like the news feed and stories, this new option now allows ads to be generated as results right in Facebook’s search bar!
With this game-changing new feature potentially becoming available to all advertisers soon, here’s a bit of history–and some tips for adjusting to the expansion of Facebook search ads using social media PPC advertising.
Facebook’s search ad feature gives search engine-like functionality, allowing businesses to reach potential higher-intent individuals through advertisements that appear within that tiny top bar of facebook.com.
Facebook previously introduced its original version of search ads briefly in 2012, but earlier iterations were messy and fiercely competitive as they allowed for targeting that could give apps and pages the chance to cut ahead of competitors’ organic (possibly more relevant) results. Advertisers’ actions in pulling traffic away from competitors could be considered unethical, at best.
A re-imaged version of the feature returned to select advertisers toward the end of 2018 and has just recently been opened up to even more. In this newer version, you simply select Facebook search ads as a placement option, just like you would for the News Feed or Stories. You can choose where you’d like to direct your traffic, including outside of the app and straight to your site.
The creative is up to the advertiser and the live ads appear with the “Sponsored” tag just as they would in any other available placement locations. As of now, video formats aren’t supported and it’s required that any ads that appear in the Facebook search bar must also be placed in the News Feed.
While it’s natural to think that the Facebook search ads feature operates just like Google’s search ads, it’s not the same. Facebook’s version offers more limited options for keyword targeting, but gives advertisers the opportunity to experiment with creative and formatting.
Despite its differences from more traditional forms of PPC advertising, like search and display ads through search engines, this new addition to Facebook’s advertising offerings has forced professionals to continue to evaluate the relationship social media PPC advertising has with eCommerce businesses.
Facebook search ads don’t operate the same way other forms of PPC do, but that doesn’t mean they should be ignored. There are creative and strategic ways you can build Facebook search ad placement into your overall PPC strategy.
Will this resurgence of Facebook search ads lead consumers to start using Facebook’s search bar like they use Google? Will advertisers jump on board immediately? What type of return will this new placement option bring businesses?
While there’s no way to predict how–and how quickly–the industry continues adjusting to the expansion of Facebook search ads, with a little upfront knowledge and careful planning, you can stay ahead of the curve.
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Published on 10/21/2019 by Ronald Dod.
Ron is the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder of Visiture. He is supported by a team of creative geniuses that strive to help clients achieve new levels of success. His passion is helping eCommerce business owners and marketing professionals navigate the search marketing landscape and use data to make more effective decisions to drive new traffic and conversions.