Facebook Advertising After Cambridge Analytica: A #PPCchat Recap

Our #PPCchat discussion on April 10 dealt with how advertisers are responding to Facebook’s recent targeting changes.

If you aren’t familiar, #PPCchat is a weekly Twitter chat that occurs Tuesdays at 12 PM ET.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal has resulted in the removal of third-party audience categories, as well as the elimination of reach numbers and audience insights for custom audiences. For a full rundown of these changes, check out Facebook’s updated product terms.

Many digital advertisers who manage client or in-house ad spend on Facebook are curious about how the changes will impact performance and how to proceed next.

In this article, we’ll recap a few highlights learned from the discussion.

Advertisers Aren’t Worried

While there’s disappointment over losing features, experienced PPC professionals have survived frequent upheaval across ad platforms over the years. Changes just mean adapting to different strategies on a platform that is still delivering a return for many.

In general, the consensus was that the hit to the potential user base would be insignificant. When participants were asked if they thought users and advertisers would leave Facebook, here were some responses:

In addition, budgets are not moving away from Facebook solely due to the recent changes. As long as opportunity remains and the return on investment stays strong, ad dollars will stay in Facebook’s platform.

What Tactics Can We Use Now?

We also talked about next steps to adapt to the changes. Despite the removal of third-party data, Facebook still retains a wide range of targeting capabilities, including interest targeting, custom audiences, and lookalikes.

Thankfully, lookalike targeting is still available. Facebook’s machine learning has an incredible ability to find users with similarities to custom audiences you’ve built. Even if third party data is taken away, Facebook’s own system still holds a wealth of data about individuals to identify potential prospects. Continuing to feed Facebook with data from audiences in your sales funnel will contribute to building better lookalikes.

What Will Happen Next?

Looking ahead to the future, many people seemed confident that Facebook would on some level restore some of the features taken away once the press attention wears down. Ultimately, Facebook depends on ad revenue to keep their business model alive, so giving advertisers a robust platform is in their best interest.


Links to Resources

I also asked participants to share links that they’ve found helpful in understanding the current situation and its impact on advertisers. Here are some articles, covering both the marketer’s standpoint and a general overview of the situation.

What are your thoughts on how advertisers should proceed on Facebook in light of the recent events? Share in the comments below!