Today, Facebook supports over seven million active advertisers and is now reportedly relying on more ad spending dollars from small business accounts rather than big brands to make money. However, despite depending on small businesses’ ad revenue, the social platform is continuously changing its ad requirements — which small to mid-sized businesses don’t usually have the resources to keep up with. In fact, 39% of SMB owners say they have a limited advertising budget, and 40% said their limited time was a challenge for their advertising efforts.
But even so, Facebook has decided to implement new mobile ad restrictions once again, which went into effect August 19. The new rules mean that marketers and small businesses must re-tool their ads according to the regulations in order to ensure advertising success in the new mobile newsfeed.
So, what exactly is changing? Simply put, everything is getting a lot smaller: Facebook’s mobile ads will now only show three lines of text, compared to the previous seven lines, and users will have to click if they want to see more. Photos and videos will also change to a smaller 4:5 aspect ratio, compared to the previous 2:3 ratio. Copywriters and designers: It’s time to start cutting.
Here are a few quick tips to ensure your Facebook ads don’t lose their effectiveness in the new regulations:
1. Edit all existing ads to the new format
First thing’s first: You’ll need to edit, resize or re-create all of your current running ads to make sure they fit the new requirements. If you have a photo or video ads with black bars on the top and bottom, they might be cut out in the new, smaller photo/video ratios. Ads that are cropped badly or only show half of the text are bound to lose their effectiveness immediately. Additionally, if you are currently running ad copy that has important information near the end of the caption, you’ll need to edit that copy to ensure viewers can see the crucial information first, without needing to click to see more.
2. Try out different ad copy length
Dropping from seven lines of text to just three is a big change for any copywriter. Now, if you want your target audience to see the entire ad copy without clicking “See More,” you’ll need to dramatically cut down on your writing and make sure the most important information appears in the first three lines of text. However, if you’re open to trying out different copy lengths, you could try out some A/B testing to see if your ads are still effective when people need to click to see more copy. Try out an ad using one sentence, bullet points, or a full paragraph, and see which one is the most successful. Once you find out what works for you in the new format, you’ll know how to run more effective ads for the foreseeable future.
3. Create a simpler image/video approach
Image courtesy of RankOne Marketing
As everyone knows by now, images and videos are the most powerful tool any ad can use. 80% of marketers say they use visual assets in their Social Media Marketing, and video ads have surpassed blogging in usage as a Social Media Marketing asset. But with less and less room to work with, it’s becoming clearer than ever that every business needs to create compact messaging that can fit into smaller amounts of space. This means photos that can make an impact with just a few words and videos that are designed with a small ratio in mind. Small business owners should brainstorm ideas with their team to create new ad messaging that will be simple, but powerful.
The Facebook ad climate can be challenging for any SMB owner, but it’s not impossible to maneuver. As long as businesses continue to keep their eye on the changing requirements and adjust their advertisements accordingly, they can keep up with newsfeed transformations and make sure their business thrives in the new ad climate.