January 19 – save the date! Meta has announced that audience targeting changes are coming to Facebook ad campaigns.
In response to industry pressure, Facebook parent brand Meta is holding up to its earlier promise and will scale back advertiser targeting settings.
This is also indicative of a broader trend.
On one hand, a high degree of targeting precision supports creating highly personalized experiences, which allow for relevant and valuable user interaction.
At the same time, there is rising sensitivity when people are identified based on their affiliation to social causes, health conditions, or demographic characteristics.
Having taken this into account, Facebook is thus limiting advertising options to no longer allow targeting based on these sensitive parameters.
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What’s Changing In Facebook Ads Targeting
Starting on January 19, Facebook will remove targeting options in four main categories along with niche segments that are rarely used.
- Health causes (e.g. breast cancer awareness).
- Sexual orientation (e.g. LGBT).
- Religious practices and groups (e.g. Catholic Church ).
- Political beliefs, social issues, causes, organizations, or figures (e.g. political party or political candidate).
Meta’s update on the upcoming changes mentions that campaigns can keep delivering to impacted audience targets into late March 2022.
Additionally, the changes will not fully propagate through the Meta ecosystem.
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For ad sets created prior to January 19, it will be possible for you to make campaign-level edits, such as budget amounts or campaign names, without impacting targeting until March 17.
However, edits at the ad set level will trigger audience changes.
Similarly, if an ad set is paused prior to March 17, when it’s reactivated, the new targeting changes will kick in.
After March 17, it will no longer be possible to edit prior campaigns that leverage deprecated targeting settings.
For it to be possible to make changes at the campaign, ad set or ad level, you might need to revise the detailed targeting settings before March 17.
Will There Be Any Broader Impact For Social Advertisers?
It will be interesting to see if other social media platforms will follow suit and also adjust their targeting capabilities. So far, Meta has seen more pressure than other platforms.
Without reviewing and potentially also reducing their targeting granularity across sensitive criteria, other social platforms risk drawing the same scrutiny as has been directed at Facebook.
You might expect that in the near future, they too will scale back their targeting away from personal characteristics.
Meta has not indicated whether it envisions further targeting adjustments or if this will be the only tweak in the foreseeable future.
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Still, you can take comfort that Meta is responding to the mounting vocal feedback and hope that it will continue to take note of further developments.
While this has come up first in the context of social media, programmatic and search advertising providers should also be careful.
Historically, these vehicles have made great use of data that allows a high level of targeting precision and provides granular insights using demographic, socioeconomic, and other parameters.
If these players do not directly address the sensitivity of granular ad targeting and reporting in light of the above developments, they may be forced to (as soon as implications from cookie deprecation gain momentum).
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From social issues due to profiling to the bigger trend of data privacy concerns, advertising platforms and advertisers alike need to be prepared to tackle sensitive topics.
Featured Image: Jirsak/Shutterstock
Instagram Rolls Out Updates To Live Videos & Remixes
Instagram is rolling out updates that will give users a new way to promote their live videos, and more options when it comes to remixing videos.
Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, announced these updates while reiterating the company’s focus this year is building on video and messaging.
“We’re focused on building for teens and creators, and in the spaces of video and messaging. And these are within those themes.”
Mosseri first hinted at the new direction Instagram is headed in when he proclaimed last summer: “We’re no longer a photo sharing app.”
Instagram is bringing that vision to life this year starting with two updates that are focused on video — both live video and recorded video.
The updates include:
- Promoting scheduled lives streams with a new banner
- The ability to remix any video
Let’s take a look at these enhancements and what they can do for you as a creator.
Highlight Scheduled Live Videos On Your Profile
When you schedule a live video on Instagram, you can now highlight it on your main profile page with a new banner.
“Creators have been able to schedule lives for a while now, but now, you can separate scheduling a live from creating a feed post, or even now a story post, about that live. You also get a little badge on your profile that’s lets followers know, or anybody know that goes to your profile, that there’s a Live coming up and they can subscribe to be reminded.”
You can create as many scheduled live videos as you’d like. This gives you the option to promote a livestream that runs every day at the same time, for example.
See an example of what the new banner looks like in the screenshot below:
People visiting your profile can tap on the banner to create a reminder for your upcoming live video.
Remix Any Video On Instagram
Users now have the ability to remix any video on Instagram.
A “remix” on Instagram means taking videos published by others and responding to or reinventing them with your own video. It’s similar to TikTok’s video reactions.
In fact, when Instagram first rolled out the remix feature, it was basically a copycat of the reaction videos made popular on TikTok.
Previously, users could only remix the TikTok-inspired Instagram Reels.
Now, users can remix any public video on Instagram whether it’s a Reel or a feed post.
Simply tap the three-dot icon that appears in the top right corner and select “Remix this video.”
Remixing is an opt-in feature, so users can pick and choose which videos they want to allow others to remix.
Source: Adam Mosseri on Twitter
Featured Image: Mehaniq/Shutterstock
Are SEOs Unwilling To Say “I Don’t Know”?
This topic came up in a discussion during the latest episode of Google’s SEOs & Devs video series.
One of the ways SEOs and developers can improve their working relationship, Splitt suggests, is if SEOs could more readily admit when they don’t know something.
He says it’s common for developers to say “I don’t know” and be open to learning new things through testing.
However, it’s rare hear those words from an SEO professional, Splitt says.
Why is that?
Mathews shares her insight as an SEO manager and enlightens Splitt to the fact that SEO professionals constantly have to be on the defensive.
SEO Professionals Always Have To Defend Their Work
The work of SEO professionals is constantly being questioned, Mathews explains.
This puts them on the defensive, and saying “I don’t know” will only lead to greater scrutiny.
“SEOs are constantly questioned, so it gets to a point where we almost kind of get on the defensive. When we’re asked a question, or how is this going to work, or if we do this thing what’s the result going to be, it’s hard for us to say ‘I don’t know’ just for that reason. Because we’re constantly under scrutiny or constantly being questioned.
What I usually tell other SEOs is it’s okay to say ‘I don’t know’ because [developers] are going to say ‘I don’t know’ too sometimes.”
Or, if you’re not comfortable with saying “I don’t know,” you could suggest testing things together to see what happens.
Not only will that approach reduce friction between the SEO and the developer, it will help cover both parties down the road if a launch doesn’t work out as expected.
“When we do launch things, and they say ‘how come it’s not working,’ instead of us digging in and trying to understand which algorithm is not letting us rank, it’s okay to say ‘I don’t know’ and ‘let’s try something else and move on.’ But it’s very difficult for SEOs because we are constantly under scrutiny.”
Mathews adds that everyone within an organization scrutinizes the expertise of SEO professionals — from management, to developers, to content writers.
She talks about a time when she was advising a content writer to use a particular keyword so a webpage could rank for that keyword.
Rather than taking her advice, the writer pushed back because they preferred to use a different word. Apparently not understanding the importance of using keywords in copy.
While saying “I don’t know” may lead to a smoother working relationship, it would also help if people within an organization were more trusting of an SEO professional’s expertise.
That’s is just one of many points discussed in Google’s new video, which you can watch below in full:
Featured Image Khosro/Shutterstock
10 Best Digital Marketing Facebook Groups
What makes a good Facebook marketing group?
To find out, I vetted over 35 of them based on the volume of activity in the group, the quality and relevance of the content, and how the admins and members engaged with each other.
Before getting into the list, do remember that many marketing groups require you to answer some simple questions before your request is approved, such as what you hope to get from joining the community.
Here are the 10 best Facebook marketing groups that made the list:
- Marketing Solved
- SaaS Growth Hacks
- CXL — Conversion Optimization, Analytics & Growth
- SaaS Products & Marketing
- Facebook Ad Hacks
- Sisters in SEO
- Google SEM Mastermind
- Dumb SEO Questions
- Local SEO Strategies & Google My Business Help with Tim Kahlert
- Superstar SEO
Are you in the social media space? Here’s a community for you to expand your network, grow your social media presence, and learn from some knowledgeable folks.
Founder Kat Sullivan noticed that few Facebook group founders actively engaged with members and sought to fill the gap through Marketing Solved. Its main point of difference is its focus on connecting small-business owners and marketers with useful resources.
From my observations, Kat is generous in sharing her experiences of working with entrepreneurs and brands. She’s also been featured in publications, including Inc., Entrepreneur, and Fast Company—and is the co-founder of social media management tool Tassi.
In turn, members share a myriad of content, such as interesting marketing case studies, invitations to free marketing courses, and questions on entrepreneurship and monetizing online brands.
As with most marketing groups I came across, self-promotions aren’t allowed unless they are on specific threads. These include Instagram Mondays and Pitch & Promote Your Biz (the latter happens at least once a month).
Founder: Aaron Krall
Group type: Private
Topics covered: Entrepreneurship, general marketing, conversion rate optimization (CRO), growth hacking
Ideal for: Mid-level to experienced marketers, founders
Member count: 27.4K
Sign-up link: Facebook
Just like Kat’s Marketing Solved, SaaS Growth Hacks was conceived when founder Aaron Krall noticed the lack of a quality community for SaaS founders.
As a SaaS conversion specialist, he’s helped convert expired trial users into paying customers through email nurture campaigns. Today, the Facebook group is an extension of Aaron’s experiences and includes the founders of established tech companies such as Intercom and AdEspresso.
From what I’ve gleaned, its members are happy to share insights on how to start or scale a SaaS business, as well as improve or build better products.
Other topics of discussion include growth strategies for email marketing and product launches. Considering this, the group is probably better suited to more experienced marketers.
Peep Laja is a big believer in evidence-based marketing, and he built growth platform ConversionXL (CXL) on this very premise. His Facebook community is just the same: Members are candid in sharing about their failed experiments and frequently run polls or seek advice on analytics, growth, tag managers, and more.
Given the depth of the conversations, you’re bound to learn something new from the sizable community of CRO-focused marketers. Peep also enforces a no-spam, no-link-dumping rule—something I reckon all of us will appreciate.
Run by Tomer Aharon—co-founder of software development platform Premio and SaaS product Poptin—this group helps SaaS founders and digital marketers of all levels share knowledge, ideas, and growth hacks.
I’ve found the community to be a helpful one. There are discussions on lead generation methods for SaaS startups, sharings on B2B marketing outreach tactics, as well as brainstorming threads on marketing outreach.
While promotional posts are allowed, these must be strictly SaaS-related. You’ll also find freelance and full-time job postings for marketing roles on occasion.
This group is ideal for anyone who’s interested in discussing marketing best practices, social media ad campaigns, and management of client relationships (for agencies). While there are many insightful discussions, these can get fairly technical. Thus, having prior marketing knowledge is probably useful.
Founder Catherine Howell, who also helms social media agency Eight Loop Social and has been featured in the likes of Entrepreneur and Inc., is just as active in the community as the members.
For instance, she regularly poses questions or relatable memes.
If there’s one drawback of Facebook Ad Hacks, it’s the high volume of activity in the group. There are about 28 posts daily, which means questions tend to get washed down or go unanswered. I ultimately opted to turn off notifications for the group and visit it on occasion when I’m in need of advice or inspiration.
Sisters in SEO began in 2018 to support women, minorities, and gender-diverse folks in the tech space.
Its founding story is interesting too: After attending an SEO course by The Content Factory, Samantha Pennington reached out to agency owner Kari DePhillips. The pair soon found common ground in wanting a safe place to share SEO knowledge—and so set up the Facebook group.
Today, the community remains an inclusive and safe space for members to discuss general and technical SEO, career advice or job openings, and recommended SEO tools.
The camaraderie is apparent and reminiscent of Women in Tech SEO’s. I also like that there’s plenty of support and encouragement from members, as well as occasional SEO jokes.
This marketing group is a little more niche, with a myriad of questions on redirects, Google Search Console, improving low click-through rates, and more. And there’s plenty to learn, with active engagement of up to 20 quality posts a day.
Founder Schieler Mew is a passionate SEO himself and has the experience to speak for it. After working as an affiliate marketer for tech majors Uber and Lyft, he turned his focus to local SEO to help small businesses thrive.
Today, he’s the co-founder of ServiceLifter.com, a marketing agency that helps home-service companies grow their online presence.
Schieler’s focus on sharing knowledge with Google SEM Mastermind members is clear. Apart from anecdotes and interesting findings, he runs educational polls to help marketers find further growth. There are also moderators who share interesting takeaways with the growing community.
With a name like Dumb SEO Questions, joining this group quashes any potential embarrassment about asking, well, dumb SEO questions. After all, this encourages more open discussions among members.
Expect healthy activity of up to seven posts daily, with discussions centering on technical SEO, Google Analytics, and Google Search Console.
Given how open the community is to marketers of all levels, it’s an excellent space to pick up tips from experts while asking “green” questions without fear of being judged. It’s also nice that the page has a strict policy against self-promotions, ensuring that learnings and discussions are streamlined for members.
Founder Jim Munro maintains an active presence in the group too.
Every month, he compiles questions from the group and takes them to SEO experts like David Rosam and Tim Capper via a livestream session on his YouTube channel. The channel is currently on its 426th episode—that’s some real dedication.
Ready to learn some solid, local SEO strategies? This group may be a good starting point. As an SEO himself, founder Tim Kahlert faced multiple roadblocks when he got banned from several marketing groups for being overly helpful in responding to members’ questions.
In response, he built the Local SEO Strategies community to further his knowledge-sharing, as well as help businesses drive leads and conversions through local marketing strategies.
The community seems better suited to business owners and entrepreneurs who need basic SEO advice, although there are quite a few marketers who weigh in on discussions too. From what I’ve gathered, many questions are to do with Google My Business profiles, local area pages, ranking better in Google Maps, and SEO.
To ensure the shared content is kept fresh and relevant, the community disallows the cross-sharing of Facebook posts and YouTube videos. That’s something I quite like, having scrolled past my share of unrelated or tired content in other marketing groups.
Want to get better at SEO? This Facebook group is built on the power of collective knowledge—with the aim of improving lives by building and growing better products and businesses.
That’s according to founder Chris Walker, whose shift to SEO was out of serendipity. After stints in IT and politics, he fell into affiliate marketing before setting up freelance marketplace Legiit and Superstar SEO.
The latter community comprises a healthy mix of SEOs, marketers, and agency owners. And the content is insightful, no matter your level of experience: discussions span technical SEO, portfolio-building tips, toolset recommendations, and then some.
Chris, too, poses SEO-related Q&As and occasional livestream sessions—and often receives positive responses from members.
Overall, I like that fellow members are respectful and generous in offering their thoughts. There’s no such thing as a bad question; rather, it’s all about gaining knowledge as a community.
It’s far more beneficial to join a handful of quality Facebook groups than every group you stumble upon. Observe, engage, and don’t be afraid to be picky. Also, respect the community guidelines and always keep an open mind!
If you want to further expand your network, we’ve got more this way:
Did I miss anything out? Ping me on Twitter with your thoughts and suggestions.
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