This year has seen a few changes in how the Facebook Ads Manager optimises campaigns and measures the performance of ads, with new features being introduced and a few being taken away.

The big one that’s happening right now is Campaign Budget Optimisation which is now mandatory for all campaigns. This is a way of optimising the distribution of your budget across your ad-sets. What this means that marketers are essentially allowing Facebook to bat for them in terms of how their budget is spent, based on performance changes.

What does this mean for advertisers?

  • Increased automation
  • More efficient ad-spend
  • Simplified campaign budget

When it comes to measuring the performance of ads, previously Facebook awarded each ad with a Relevance Score. The Relevance Score gave a good indication of how well Facebook expected an ad to perform when served up to its chosen audience, depending on how likely the audience was to take the required action from the ad.

The only problem with this metric was that it was a blanket measurement for literally every kind of ad, so it wasn’t too specific or helpful in terms of predicting how an ad might perform. I know many Facebook marketers whose ads bombed despite having a good relevance score.

So how do we get more granular?

Facebook has since got rid of the relevance score, replacing it with three new metrics;

  • Quality Ranking – how well your ad’s perceived quality looks compared to other similar ads fed out to the same audience
  • Engagement Rate Ranking – its expected engagement rate compared to other ads served to the same audience
  • Conversion Rate Ranking – how likely the conversion rate from that ad is compared to other ads served to the same audience, with the same optimisation objectives.

These new metrics offer us a more detailed method of reporting, by enabling us to assess the effectiveness of each element of ad – creative, targeting and post-click. By implementing these metrics Facebook is essentially using its insights to steer the quality of ads in the feed.

This is helpful because Facebook is enabling marketers to understand how an ad should perform according to how it is optimised, making these metrics much more useful than the relevance score.

For example, if we had a lead generation client looking to increase click-throughs to a landing page, our optimisation would be set differently to that of an e-commerce client looking to create social proof around a product range.

Not every ad is optimised for conversions, so using that metric may not be the most relevant way of measuring the success of my campaign. However, I would expect Quality Ranking to be unilateral across the board, and in a crowded market place where more businesses are vying for attention in the feed it is this metric that I would pay closest attention to.

However, the results for each metric are displayed as Above Average, Average, or Below Average which is still pretty vague if we’re wanting to drill down into detail. It would have been perhaps even more useful to give each metric a score out of ten to really satisfy the data geeks. Maybe this is the direction Facebook is heading in as more and more businesses compete on paid social.

With all things Facebook, the only way to achieve optimum results is to constantly test and measure. Just like Facebook, you shouldn’t sit still for long.

If you need any help understanding Facebook’s advertising platform, let’s get the conversation started.