With the consequences of Apple’s new app shell update Facebook is still working through the digital advertising sector and is working to counter the effects of data loss everywhere, to ensure that its advertising products continue to deliver good results, despite less insight into the audience.
The full impact of the ATT update is still evolving, so we do not know what it will mean for the reach of the public and the accuracy of the goal in general, but many media buyers are now moving towards more automated goal-oriented options, with Facebook and Google too push marketers to their machine learning tools to maximize the response based on estimates and predictions.
This is where Facebook is headed with this move – as part of it latest API update, Facebook has included this note:
“To help advertisers find additional opportunities that were not initially available to them, advertisers will automatically be included in Targeting Expansion when they use detailed goals and optimize for conversions, value, or program events.”
Purposeful expansion enables Facebook’s advertising algorithms to show your ads to a wider potential audience than those that fit your specific ad targeting choices.
‘You can use this option if you want us to show your ad to other people, who we think may achieve more and / or cheaper results. Our system implements targeted expansion when it determines that it can improve performance. ”
The Facebook system can therefore notice that your ads respond better when shown to more users outside the scope of your goal, and it will then show your ads based on its own estimates, even if the people do not match the groupings that which you have explicitly chosen.
There are some important caveats to this – especially the goal extension does not apply to options for location, age or gender. So if you want to reach women between the ages of 25 and 30 in Delaware, your ads will still only be shown on the subset. But within this, if there are additional people who think Facebook that your ads may be valuable to you, beyond other interests or qualifiers you have chosen, it can automatically go beyond your parameters displayed.
Is that a good thing?
Well, it depends. Some ad buyers and marketers will have very specific subgroups that they want to target, and they may derive value from the ability to tailor their ads to specific interests – and they may not get the value that Facebook claims to expand their audience. But at other times, trust in Facebook’s automation can yield much better results – and as noted, with less data to work with, Facebook is working to improve its system understanding to show ads to the right users, even without the full insight that it has access to before.
Basically, Facebook’s ad targeting systems are getting a lot smarter, but it’s not going to be infallible either. You would assume, as Facebook now makes it the standard, that it will deliver better results the most brands, but it can especially affect smaller businesses, especially by withholding them to keep their goals in line with their chosen interests.
This is anyway already in place-targeted expansion will now be added by default to most conversion-based campaigns, and in many cases you can not eliminate. However, you will be able to exclude certain audiences from the option in Ads Manager if you want to retain specific control over your reach.
You can read more about Targeting Expansion here.