Facebook does a really good job of optimizing for conversions. It’s why Facebook ads are so effective for ecommerce businesses. But, Facebook ads optimization is much less kind to content creators.
When I speak of content creators, I’m referring specifically to bloggers in this case. People whose website content is central to their business. Like… me.
The quick counterargument would be that you can easily run ads for content creators now. You can run traffic campaigns or engagement campaigns. But, this is missing the point. The point is that Facebook ignores quality for these options.
It’s actually something that’s been driving me crazy of late. My business relies on content to attract people — the right people — into my funnel. The more of those “right” people I can bring in, the more revenue comes out the other end.
I know I’m not alone here. Let’s discuss the problems with optimization for content creators and what Facebook could do about it.
The Problems with Optimization
You want link clicks or landing page views? FINE! Here’s a whole bunch of them, nice and cheap.
Because that’s how Facebook ads optimization works. You tell Facebook you want link clicks or landing page views and Facebook will get you as many as it can for the lowest cost.
Sure, those clicks may be spam, bots, accidental clicks, immediate abandons, and people who are confused once they get to your website. Facebook doesn’t care. Quality is not a consideration.
Wait, you wanted people who will actually do something after visiting your website? Sorry. Facebook won’t know how to do that. And this, of course, is the problem.
It’s not that I expect all of these people to do something. But if Facebook sends me 4,200 people (like what happened in this example), I expect some of them to do things like convert. I’ve found that this just doesn’t happen.
And, of course, there’s not anything technically wrong with that. Facebook is doing what Facebook thinks we want. But, it’s not that simple.
If a content creator wants to grow, they need to attract a new, cold audience. One method to do that is with Facebook ads. But, doing this will only be productive if Facebook can bring in quality people who will actually care about the content they’re consuming.
If you’re wondering, I’ve tried every option and applied every guardrail possible to help show Facebook what a quality visitor looks like. Instead of landing page views, I’ve even optimized for conversions where the goal action is a custom event based on time spent, scroll depth, or pages viewed during a session.
Amazing, even that doesn’t help.
Low-quality traffic is counterproductive. It waters down my retargeting audiences. It makes my funnel less effective. I need Facebook to find quality readers — not just people who will visit, but people who will click around and return later.
What Facebook Can Do
What bothers me about this is that there’s really no excuse. Facebook has all of the data in the world. They’re certainly capable of helping content creators send quality traffic with ads.
I can see it. Facebook could do it.
What if, when running a traffic campaign, you could optimize for…
- Traffic Volume (essentially what happens now) OR
- Traffic QUALITY
If you choose Traffic Quality, Facebook will then optimize to show your ads to people most likely to:
- Spend the most time on your website
- View multiple pages of your website
- RETURN to your website
Facebook would learn based on these target actions and report on these things as your goal results.
This, of course, would mean fewer and more expensive traffic events. It may make it harder to exit the learning phase and may require higher budgets.
But — and I’m sure I speak for a whole lot of content creators out there — it’s a tradeoff I’d take any day.
What do you think? Is this something you’d use?
Let me know in the comments below!