The 9 Biggest Updates To Facebook Advertising Of 2015

by | Dec 22, 2015

Wow. Just. WOW.

Facebook’s been an advertising power-house for some time now…

But it was 2015 that brought an avalanche of the most exciting updates to their platform by far!

Revamped Ads Manager, Reports and Power Editor; Facebook Pixel, Instagram ads, Local Awareness Ads, Lead Ads, Multi-Product Ads, Dynamic Product Ads, Detailed Targeting, Bidding & Optimization, and more… – head spinning already? You bet!

If you’re not amazed by Facebook advertising yet, you will be by the time you finish this article.

So let’s dive in and see what were the biggest Facebook advertising updates of 2015!

P.S.: Yes, some of these were *introduced* in 2014, but they were only rolled-out to everyone in 2015 – and that’s what counts for me! After all, what good does it make, if a feature is only accessible via 3rd party tools or to companies with multi-million ad budgets? Don’t you agree?

1. Redesigned Ads Manager and Power Editor:

First, Facebook completely redesigned the Ads Manager:

So we revamped both Ads Manager and Power Editor to make it easier to create, optimise and monitor ad campaigns. Starting today we’re rolling out updated versions of both tools with simplified layouts and new features, so advertisers can get more value with less effort on each campaign.

It’s sleeker, easier to control, and offers more immediate information about your campaigns’ performance:

New Layout of Facebook Manager Ads Dashboard 2015

I love the Performance, Audience and Placement graphs – these three tabs can give some incredible insights on your ad campaigns already!

I’m very happy with the Performance, Audience and Placement graphs – these are the first things we analyse during our coaching calls, and usually we get some pretty interesting insights about the campaigns (like Facebook pushing all of the budget to the audience network, instead of the other placements…).

And although it’s definitely not perfect (count the number of clicks it takes to see the full preview of an ad…), we have Power Editor to make up for it!

Power Editor also became more user-friendly: with the new sidebar navigation, it’s now easier to make changes in the ad set level, then jump to the ads, get back to ad set, move to the campaign, duplicate them, return… – you get the idea!

New Layout of Facebook Power Editor tool for creating ad campaigns 2015

I like the new sidebar navigation, you?

LEARN MORE: learn more about all the numerous changes by reading this Ads Manager guide by Andrea Vahl, and this article by Jon Loomer.

2. New Facebook Pixel:

In 2015 Facebook also introduced the new Facebook Pixel, which is designed to merge the two previous pixels – conversion tracking pixel and remarketing pixel – into one.

The new Facebook Pixel for conversion tracking, optimization and remarketing

After you install the pixel on your website, you can use it for both remarketing and conversion tracking.

The two separate pixels caused a lot of head-aches to beginner advertisers – what’s the difference between them, where to find them, how to install them on your website, on which pages the have to go, and so on…

With the new Pixel you can build your Website Custom Audiences (i.e. build a specific target audience of everyone that visited your website) and track conversions with Custom Conversions at the same time:

New Facebook Pixel Dashboard - Audiences and Custom Conversions

The ‘Pixels’ dashboard displays the Total Traffic the website received in the last week. You can create specific remarketing audiences based on that.

LEARN MORE: To learn exactly how to implement Facebook Pixel on your website, listen to this podcast by Rick Mulready or read this article by Lauren Marchese on Kissmetrics.

After all, if you’re not using remarketing, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to get more sales!

3. Detailed Targeting:

When I first saw Detailed Targeting appear in Power Editor, I started jumping on my bed, screaming with joy!

And why was I so excited?

Because it gives even more precision to your targeting. And more precision means more relevance, and more relevance means better results – less expensive leads, customers and sales.

Facebook Detailed Targeting Explained - Example Target Audience

Use Detailed Targeting to target the sweet-spot of your audience.

For example, imagine you’re launching a Kickstarter campaign for a watch you designed.

Now, instead of targeting a very broad, multi-million interest like Kickstarter, you can target people who are interested in both Kickstarter and Tag Heuer/Breitling/Tissot/Rolex/Longines… and so on:

Select more relevant Facebook target audience with Detailed Targeting

By using AND rule, you can target people who are interested in both A and B.

With this, you’ll be sure to reach just the most relevant people, instead of wasting your budget on random Facebook users! Hoooray!

LEARN MORE: See exactly how to use detailed targeting in this article I wrote.

4. Bidding and Optimisation:

Before, you could choose to optimise for your objective, but then you’d automatically be charged for impressions… why?

Facebook asked it themselves and decided to fix it – after an update to Optimization & Pricing, you can specifically choose what to optimise for (results, clicks…), how you want to get charged (by impressions, actions…) and how much you want to bid (use automatic bids or set a maximum bid).

Changes to Facebook bidding and optimization

You now have more control on what you want to optimize for, when you get charged, and how much you want to bid.

Although the traditional oCPM (optimized cost per mile) option is no longer there, you can still select the same bidding and pricing combination.

LEARN MORE: have a look at Facebook’s help section and read this article by Jon Loomer where he goes into much more detail.

And now, let’s look at even more interesting things…

5. Multi-Product Ads:

Technically, multi-product ads (a.k.a. carousel ads) were introduced in 2014 and became available via the Facebook ads API.

However, in 2015 they were released to all advertisers on Facebook!

With these, advertisers can promote multiple products and links within a single ad, instead of having to create separate ads:

The New Multi-Product or Carrousel Facebook Ads

An example of a carousel/multi-product ad on Desktop News Feed.

By doing this, you can increase click-through rates by as much as 180%, according to Foodpanda, and let people choose the product they’re most interested in – that’s a win-win for everyone.

LEARN MORE: read this tutorial I wrote about how to create them with Power Editor, and check out these 7 creative ways of using multi-products ads on AdEspresso’s blog.

6. Dynamic Product Ads:

If the multi-product ads weren’t enough, dynamic product should be!

Dynamic product ads are displayed to people based on the exact product/page that they visited – and managed by Facebook automatically.

Previously, it was available through third-party tools and Facebook Marketing Partners. Now, however, you can upload your entire product catalog directly to Facebook, create templates for your ad campaigns, like what to use for the headlines, text, images and so on, and let Facebook do the magic!

How to use Facebook Dynamic Product ads

According to Facebook, “JUNIQE, an online art retailer, increased conversion rates by 50% while reducing cost per purchase by 63%, using dynamic product ads.”

OK, the magic isn’t so easy to set up, but it’s epic nonetheless.

LEARN MORE: you can learn more about how to set it up in this article on Social Media Examiner.

7. Local Awareness Ads:

And then Facebook amazes you with a new ad format for local businesses – Local Awareness Ads (again, they were announced in 2014, but were only rolled out globally in 2015).

As with detailed targeting, the key here is to make ads more relevant, thus, more effective. And what’s the best way to achieve that for local businesses? – Location-based advertising.

So now, you can promote your restaurant or offline store by exclusively targeting people who are within a selected radius from your location. For example, target just those people who are within 1 mile from your coffee-shop and are interested in coffee – genius!

Facebook Local Awareness ads, designed for local businesses

Target people who are the closest to your business with Local Awareness Ads!

LEARN MORE: discover how to create Local Awareness ads in this article by Rocco Alberto Baldassarre and check out these 8 ways to use Local Awareness Ads for your business.

8. Lead Ads:

But how about those businesses that don’t have a brick-and-mortar store? Those which rely on getting phone calls, email inquiries or sign ups?

Well, we’ve got Lead Ads come to the rescue!

This new type of ads significantly simplifies the sign up process on mobile devices. No more dealing with mobile-unfriendly websites or filling in long and inconvenient forms – just tap twice on the ad, and you’re good to go!

Example of Facebook Lead Ads on mobile devices

Just two taps and you’re signed up!

And although these are not 100% perfect either (e.g. you lose out on building a website remarketing audience, and you can’t integrate it with your email service providers within Facebook), they’re still worth a try.

LEARN MORE: learn how to create Lead Ads in this article I wrote. And read this article and case study by Jon Loomer where reports a decrease in cost per lead by 47% – that’s massive!

9. Instagram Ads:

And the queen of them all – Instagram ads.

Technically, they were also introduced in 2014, not in 2015. However, only in 2015, Instagram ads became available to all advertisers, not just big brands – first on Power Editor and now on the Ads Manager too!

More than 400 million users are now on Instagram, so that gives a massive advertising opportunity for product-based companies, who can very easily fit into the context of Instagram.

Instagram ads now available on Power Editor and Facebook ads manager

Use Instagram ads that seamlessly blend into people’s news feeds.

Just please, don’t use the same ads on both Facebook and Instagram, will ya? That is definitely not cool – for each network its own creative.

So get some shots of your product being used, slap that Lark filter on it, and you’re good to go!

LEARN MORE: If you want to use Power Editor to create Instagram ads, read this article, and if you’d rather use Ads Manager, read this tutorial by Kristi Hines.


So here you go! Plenty of exciting developments on Facebook’s advertising platform – I hope I didn’t miss anything else?

All of these updates can help your business grow and flourish. But if you’re not sure how to make the most of Facebook advertising, feel free to get in touch for a one-on-one coaching session – I’ll be sure to help.

Looking at the above, I have no idea what will happen in 2015, but I have a feeling Facebook ads will get even more mind-blowing (like the global rollout of Canvas and “Buy” buttons?.. 😉 ).

Your Turn:

What was the most exciting update for You? And how do you think Facebook advertising will change in 2016?

Let me know in the comments below – cheers! 🙂