After the Cambridge Analytica scandal and in order to comply with the new GDPR Law, the social network announced in March 2018 that it will phase out all third-party data from the targeting options, with the first steps being taken on May 24th this year.
Some brands will be more affected than others, of course, those who are testing the waters to find their niche audience, and those whose personas rely heavily on behavioural and income data will have to remodel their social strategy.
So, what’s next for advertisers? How to re-shape the strategy to serve relevant messages to prospecting users?
As the campaigns for this group of companies are now likely to rely on demographic, location and interests targeting, and because the performance reports based on interest breakdown are not yet available, the new situation will encourage businesses to run tests, lots and lots of tests, to find out what the best message is for each specific target group: message, location, interest, time of day, device and so on and so forth.
Here is when third-party companies will bloom.
Those who can afford to buy behavioural data will be able to upload it as internal data directly on Facebook and use lookalike audience to scale their paid advertising.
Social media ad management platforms that allow the uploading of campaigns with dozens of ad sets and creatives will become more and more part of our daily routine. This is mainly due to the glitches that Ads Manager (former Power Editor) experiences when it requires several ad sets to be uploaded/amended, let alone how counter-intuitive the interface is from a UX point of view. Therefore, any alternatives that can speed up the process will be well received by advertisers.
The down side of this is budget and audience size. The different ad sets need to have enough budget to run, and the audience’s size must be enough on each ad set not only for the ads to show, but also for the results to be significant.
Lastly, Facebook tools like Audience Insights and Analytics become essential to create new custom audiences; to ensure the pixel is correctly installed and relevant events are being triggered properly must be one of the first things to check once you have decided which scenario to go for, moving forwards.
Here are few steps to help you get your house in order after May 24th.
- Review pixel activity. Add new events, if needed, in order to capture as much data from the user activity on your site as possible.
- Upload new custom audiences based on first-party data after ensuring it complies with GDPR. Lookalike audiences based on previous customers’ data tend to have the highest conversion rate.
- Choose your campaign goals carefully. Ultimately, we all want to increase leads/sales, but if Facebook doesn’t have enough historical data to optimise for those, you might not see results.
Test, test and test! Different interests, several ad formats for each age groups, split up the campaigns per platform and device… Basically anything that you believe is relevant to your business.