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Facebook Ads Update: September 2014

Written by Kyler Patterson

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Facebook-Ads-Update-Sept-2014
In March of this year, Facebook made some changes to the way in which ad campaigns are managed; essentially providing for better campaign management via increased granularity. This allowed for significantly better A/B testing; one example being the ability to split mobile ads into a unique ad set separate from regular newsfeed ads, which proved to be exceptionally helpful. Eight months later, they’re at it again with a new update.
 

Advertising Update 2014

Facebook Ad Structure
 
On August 13th, Patricia Lai posted news on the Facebook PMD about new changes in the structure of campaigns.  For those who like to exercise as much control as possible over their campaigns, these will again be welcomed changes. Let’s take a closer look.
 

What You Should Know

Ad Changes On Facebook
 
The biggest change for the September 2014 update is highlighted in the picture above. You may remember back in March, Facebook updated the campaign structure as follows:

  • Campaign: Objective
  • Ad Set: Schedule and Budget
  • Ad: Creative, Placement, Targeting and Bidding

The most notable change was the introduction of the ad set. For this update, Facebook will be reversing the roles of ads and ad sets.
 
With the new structure, it will look more like this:

  • Campaign: Objective
  • Ad Set: Schedule, Budget, Bidding, Targeting and Placement
  • Ad: Creative

 

When Is The Change?

September 1st, the rollout will begin on Ads Manager, Ads Create Tool, and Power Editor. By mid-September the rollout should be complete and all advertisers will be able to start using the new structure on October 1st.
 
If you are an API developer, you will have at least 5 months to update your systems because they will need to work with the new system by January 2015 at the earliest.
 
Advertisers, if you are using Ads Manager, Ads Create Tool, or the Power Editor, then you will see this change soon. If you are using a third party tool, you may not notice the update until 2015.
 
As for your existing campaigns, you do not need to make any updates to them at this time. You can continue to run these until January. At that time, Facebook will have the option to migrate existing campaigns within the Ads Manager.
 

Major Hints For Coming Updates

Facebook Ad Update
“This will also pave the way for launching advanced delivery controls, audience management, and a campaign spend cap in the near future.”
 
It is very exciting to see this platform evolve. Hopefully these new advanced controls will prove to be another useful evolution.
 
What do you think about these new changes and the path that Facebook is on with their advertising platform? Will it become everything that Adwords isn’t, or just another platform that doesn’t live up to the hype? Let us know in the comments!

What Is A Dark Post On Facebook?

Written by Kyler Patterson

Friday, August 15th, 2014

dark-post-facebook

 

The featured image on this article is not a post that you will find anywhere on the HostGator Facebook Page.  But yet many people have seen it. How? The answer: Dark Posts.

 

Dark Post – What Is It?

According to the definition from Google, a dark post is the following:

An unpublished post is a status update, link share, video or photo that was never meant to be shared as an organic post. Staying true to its name, it’s never published but is only surfaced as an ad.

Basically, it’s a Facebook post that you control exactly who sees it through ads. If you have seen the main image on this page on Facebook, then that means you have seen one of our dark posts targeting you.

 

Why Dark Post?

The purpose of these posts are to create a message for a specific goal without cluttering up the newsfeed for those who would see it as irrelevant. For example, if you’re trying to sell your services and all of your followers already use your services, then it wouldn’t make sense for them to see an ad on their newsfeed for your services. However, you still want to post a message for selling your services to drive sales. This is where dark posts come into play. You can create a dark post with a message to sell your services and use that to advertise to your target market.

 

How To Create A Dark Post On Facebook

Facebook has a video on creating dark posts and you can find it here. Unfortunately, this video is very outdated. The power editor no longer looks like it did in the video. This walkthrough will show you how to create a dark post so that you can put Facebook to work for your business. Please note, we will be using Google Chrome because the power editor doesn’t work in other browsers.

 

1. Visit the Facebook Power Editor. https://www.facebook.com/ads/manage/powereditor/

power-editor-on-facebook

 

2. Click “Download to Power Editor” and choose the choose the advertising account you wish to download. For many of you, there will only be one option. For those who manage accounts for multiple clients, make sure you select the correct account. You don’t want one client paying for the ads of another.

 

3. Select the + sign under Campaigns.

add-facebook-campaign

 

4. Determine the Campaign Name, Buying Type (I always choose auction), and the Objective. The Objective is what you’re trying to achieve with your ad (Generate leads, get website traffic, increase page likes, etc)

create-ad-objective-facebook

 

5. Now that you’ve created your Campaign, click the Ads tab facebook-ads

 

6. Click the + sign again to create an ad

 

7. Select the campaign you just created, create an ad set, and then name your ad. (You can also create your campaign from this point if you’d like)
organize-facebook-campaign

 

8. In the Creative tab, you can choose the Facebook Page that you wish to use for the ad and the post.

 

9. Once you’ve selected the page, under Page Post, click the + at the right.

facebook-page-post

 

10. From here you can choose the Post Type: Link, Photo, Video, Status, Offer. For this example, we’ll create a Link. I’ve set one up just for this article.

unpublished-page-post-facebook hostgator-facebook-ad

 

11. Be sure to choose the option “This post will only be used as an ad”. It should already be selected but make sure it’s there.

 

12. Review your post.

facebook-dark-post-example

 

Now that you’ve created your post, you can begin to use it for your ads. This article does not cover how to create ads and how to target customers but the opportunities are virtually endless. To get started, check out this article on basic Facebook ads. Be sure to come back to the blog as we will add more articles about more advanced Facebook methods such as targeting and optimization.

 

Hopefully we have shed light on what a dark post is and you have found this information valuable. If you have any other questions about Facebook, please let us know in the comments. We will be more than happy to write about what you want to know.

6 Online Apps To Help You Focus

Written by Jeremy Jensen

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

6 Online Applications To Help You Focus

Approximately two thirds of working Americans find themselves on a computer during the day. Many of which spend their entire shift glued to a screen, only a mouse click away from accessing the endless distractions that can be found on the internet. With so much information coming at us daily, our focus is quickly becoming diminished in exchange for the stimuli of the latest YouTube sensation.

For some it can become a serious problem, leading to low productivity, bad performance reviews, and the additional stress of bringing work home. Luckily we’ve compiled a list of six applications proven to break bad habits and help you get your work done on time!

 
1. Freedom- Block the internet for a certain amount of time

Have you ever played the psychological game with yourself that only after X amount of work, you’ll reward yourself with X amount of entertainment? Easier said than done. Freedom has one simple use, and that’s to block your internet completely for a specified amount of time. You’d be surprised just how quickly a glance at Facebook, or reading that ‘crucial’ article can take hours out of your day.

If turning off the internet completely is not an option, take a look at Anti-Social. It’s built for those who still need the internet, but would like to block certain sites while the web browser is open.

Freedom cost: $10
Anti-Social: $15

 
2. StayFocusd- Limit the amount of time you spend on distracting websites

With opposite functionality to ‘Anti-Social’, Stayfocusd is a productivity extension for Google Chrome that works by restricting the amount of time you can spend on certain sites, rather than blocking them entirely. Once you’re allotted time is spent, those websites will become blocked for the remainder of the day.

Many prefer this calculated approach as they still desire intermittent breaks in working, but do not like to go beyond a certain point. Want to give yourself 45 minutes to space out? This app is right for you.

StayFocusd cost: Free

 

3. TrackTime- Understand how your time gets spent while online

While we acknowledge we spend a lot of time on the computer, most of us have no idea how that’s broken down into individual application use. How much time did you waste on Twitter today? How often were you actually using your Word Processing application?

TrackTime allows you to monitor your activities daily by providing you with statistics and colorful timelines of where you spend your time, and how often you’re switching between applications

Tracktime cost: Free (only available on Mac)

 

4. RescueTime- A more in-depth look at where your time goes and how to take action

RescueTime will give you one of the most accurate picture’s on the market as to where your activity is performed on your computer. With detailed activity reports, weekly email summary, and daily goals built right into the interface you’re guaranteed results in becoming more efficient.

With premiere, you also get the benefits of:

  • Customized Site Blocking
  • Track Offline Activity
  • Notifications- Notify yourself when spending too much time on something, or for being super productive.

RescueTime cost: $9/month or $72/year

 

5. Concentrate- Work and study more productively between tasks

Many of us are responsible for more than one type of task throughout the day; for instance, there’s times when I’m writing, budgeting, updating my web-page, or producing new content on Social Media. Needless to say these tasks can become intertwined unintentionally and break our focus.

Concentrate allows you to create custom activities that run a corresponding set of actions to only allow applications and websites to run that support productivity within that activity. In English, that means if I’m writing I can only access my word processor, and websites I haven’t placed on a block list while I’m working. You can set up multiple forms of activity to segment your work day and focus on each item individually.

Concentrate cost: $29

 

6. FocusWriter- Creating an optimal environment for your thoughts

Writing can require the greatest self-discipline of any profession, especially in the last decade as life and internet have become so intertwined. FocusWriter commandeers your desktop to provide a distraction-free writing environment so you can focus on what really matters, the words.

Some additional features, include:

  • Daily writing goals (word count or writing time)
  • Typewriter sounds
  • Standard text-editing features

FocurWriter cost: Free, but with a suggested “tip”

 
Do you have any other apps or tips that you use to stay focused? Let us know in the comments section!

 

Image Source: http://betanews.com/2014/02/26/are-you-reading-this-when-you-should-be-working/internet-distraction/

Stand Out On Pinterest With Rich Pins

Written by Kyler Patterson

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

 

If you haven’t started using Pinterest to share your products and blog posts yet, then you should start doing so. Especially if your target market happens to include a fair percentage of females. Although it may sound cliche, I will still say it: Go where your customers are. And Pinterest is definitely home to a lot of active users. But how do you stand out in the crowd of pins? The answer is actually pretty easy.

 

Rich Pins

If you’ve been following the HostGator blog and have implemented some of the suggested seo strategies, then you’ve likely already optimized content such as meta data and share buttons. If you’re using WordPress or another CMS, you may be able to find a plugin to add these if you haven’t already. For sites created without a Content Management System, you will need to manually add these tags onto your pages. For information on what is needed for Rich Pins and how to apply, please review the Rich Pin Documentation.

 

What Do Rich Pins Do?

Simple Answer: Make You Stand Out. Whether on the home page or within a board, there is a sea of pins. With Rich Pins, you will pop out in the crowd. Take a look at this picture of a Pinterest live feed:

Pinterest-Rich-Pin

You may have noticed that, unlike most of the other pins on the page, the HostGator pins display:

  • The title in bold
  • The associated Favicon
  • The title of the source blog

These extra cosmetic enhancements make these pins stand out in the crowd, drawing the audience’s attention. If you have physical products on your page with prices, it will even show the price! This shows the viewer that the product is for sale and if they like what they see, they’re just a click away. But the enhancements don’t just stop on the boards. Your actual pin has new features too. Taking a closer look:

Pinterest-Tips-Tricks
 

Just like on the board, you’ll see some of the same features: bold title, blog title, favicon, but also the Author’s name. For products, you’ll also see the price. However, there’s one additional feature that is not just helpful for SEO, but will show even more content to your readers, enticing them to click your site’s link! This is your meta description data! For most blogs/product pages, this is the first few sentences of your content. But for those who know how to optimize their meta description, this can be your sales pitch! If used properly, you should start driving targeted leads to your page straight from Pinterest.

 

How To Get Rich Pins?

First you need to make sure your page is optimized for this. The link for tips on this is posted earlier in this article. After you’re optimized, you can validate the pin using the Rich Pin Validator. If successful, it will allow you to Apply. The turnaround time on this can vary from a single day up to several weeks.

 

Hopefully this helps you stand out on Pinterest! Good luck!

 

Do you have other Pinterest tips? Please share them in the comments below.

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