Facebook is constantly changing the way users interact with and experience the social network. Each time, these changes affect the marketers and advertisers who rely on the site's reach.
Recently, Facebook announced it will be limiting ads based on user preferences. The company will offer everyone controls over the ads they see, including tools to opt out of online interest-based advertising. This will likely affect marketing plans as Facebook is an important tool.
While the change may come off as unnerving for businesses that rely heavily on Facebook ads, it doesn't mean people using the site won't be able to see your business's messages.
"While this affects available reach on Facebook, it will offer an opportunity to garner more quality impressions to advertisers," Sastry Rachakonda, CEO of digital marketing solutions company iQuanti, told Business News Daily.
"These changes were made to enhance the quality and power of the ads being produced, and to ultimately target a more interested, valuable user," added Jenny Marder, director of social media at Red Tettemer O'Connell + Partners. "I do think most consumers will appreciate the change."
Advertisers will need to shift their focus and concentrate on fine-tuning targeting and creative optimization.
"Placing your creative resources into the content the user is reading on his or her news feed daily will get more important." Rachakonda said. "Ads will start to look more 'native' and less intrusive."
This means businesses need to properly plan their content and how it's reaching users. [See Related Story: Facebook Marketing Mistakes You Need to Stop Making]
Keeping up with an evolving audience
Small businesses will need to explore other means of behavioral targeting to reach their audiences on Facebook. For example, location data presents a huge opportunity to profile audiences based on their physical locations, and then target them accordingly, said Rachakonda.
"The days of buying your prospect's attention are waning, while the opportunity to earn your prospect's attention continues to grow," said Matt Heinz president of Heinz Marketing Inc. "Smart marketers across B2B and B2C for years now have been focused on earning attention from prospects at all stages of the buying journey."
This trend will differentiate great marketing programs from those that are stuck in the past, Heinz said.
"It would take a lot of steps for the average user to go through and completely opt out," Marder said. "I would suggest, instead, putting your energy into re-evaluating your ad strategy."
Moving forward, Marder suggested creating the best content possible for users. It will be the best option when attempting to reach out to consumers who choose to stay in the advertising pool, he said.
Heinz noted that marketers should focus on relevancy. In other words, "make your content so irresistible, so valuable that prospects covet it," he said.
"What is exciting about this is that it's not about budget," Heinz added. "It's about your ideas and how effectively you express and share them."
To learn more about making the most of Facebook, check out our Facebook for business guide.