Facebook is continuing to improve solutions for advertisers with a recent upgrade to its Ads Manager. While still in beta I have been testing it for a few weeks with my own client campaigns and it will be rolled out across all accounts in the next few months.
The new Ads Manager interface seeks to assist larger advertisers and agencies with a range of new features allowing users to quickly check the real time performance of ads. It now also follows AdWords’ hierarchical structure with a top level overview of all campaigns for quick review and changes. In a similar vein, Reports, Billing, Settings and Pages navigation has been given greater prominence on the left hand menu.
Similar to Google AdWords’ new interface, users now have improved navigation between sections and inline ad editing. This new structure seeks to increase ease-of-use in making rapid optimisation to multiple creative executions, targeting, bids and campaign budgets. The bulk upload feature is also due out soon which will make it possible to run very large campaigns: currently large campaigns can be very time consuming because of the interface.
The new campaign page shows an overview of all high level statistics advertisers need. A redesigned interface enables easy editing of multiple campaigns at once. It also makes tracking campaigns easier, with all campaign information and messages displayed at the top of the interface, in addition to customisable graphs at the bottom of each page.
The billing section has been improved but still only allows for one credit card to be used for payments. The ability to run multiple client projects remains difficult without an admin feature similar to My Client Center available in Google AdWords.
Reporting functionality still has a lot of catch-up to play in order to match other advertising or affiliate networks in ease of use and ability to automate campaign reporting. This can make the tracking of campaigns more time consuming as you are locked into the Facebook interface.
The most requested feature currently is the ability to integrate conversion/goal tracking within Facebook, which could mitigate client complaints over lower CTR for campaign ads. Speaking widely, Facebook campaigns can benefit clients in providing demographic guidance.
One strange feature is the ability to set start and end times for a campaign, but there is still no option for dayparting and the daily budget is still set to reset at 12am PST (6pm GMT+10).
Facebook offers business and marketers a whole new channel, but it does require more care and planning initially. Under the new interface, this is getting easier.
David Iwanow is in no way affiliated with Facebook and has yet to be lucky enough to receive any large baskets of cash for comment.