This week, Facebook integrated a 'relevance score' into their system for advertisers. This attempt to bring in an element that should help to reduce poor quality ads is to be commended, and is a promising step for serious advertisers.
The success of any Google AdWords campaign can hinge on quality score - a 1 to 10 scale where an advert is given a score based on the relevance of the ad copy, the keyword, and the landing page where a user is being pointed. In Google, quality score is a key factor in determining Ad Rank where in effect, where your ad is in the search rankings is determined by your maximum bid x your quality score (although ad extensions are also now a factor).
Facebook has taken a leaf out of Google's book with their launch of relevance score. This is also a 1 to 10 scale that advertisers are familiar with. Facebook's is calculated based on the positive and negative feedback they expect an ad to receive from the target audience. The more positive interactions that the ad is expected to receive, the higher the ad relevance score will be.
This is good news in terms of the reputation of Facebook ads, and the experience in general. There is a lot of bad perception around Facebook ads, primarily from users who constantly see spammy ads that are irrelevant to them. Facebook's ad relevance will work to start clearing this up.
Whilst Facebook haven't confirmed exactly the impact it will have, but have stated that:
"It can lower the cost of reaching people. Put simply, the higher an ad's relevance score is, the less it will cost to be delivered. This is because our ad delivery system is designed to show the right content to the right people, and a high relevance score is seen by the system as a positive signal.
Of course, relevance isn't the only factor our ad delivery system considers. Bid matters too. For instance, if two ads are aimed at the same audience, there's no guarantee that the ad with an excellent relevance score and low bid will beat the ad with a good relevance score and high bid. But, overall, having strong relevance scores will help advertisers see more efficient delivery through our system."
In theory, that's great news for serious advertisers. By making those running the spammy ads have to bid more to reach their audience, they will hopefully be driven out of the market to an extent. It would be great to know the exact impact of the relevance score, but for now the prospect of it is a positive step.
We'll be studying the relevance score across the ads we run for our clients to try to calculate it's impact over time, before writing a full report.
If you run a lot of Facebook ads, take a look at your relevance score for each ad which should now be in your ads manager. As Facebook have stated, it's not the most important metric right now, but based on the Google model, relevance score is likely to become more and more important over time. Now is the time to make sure your ads are as relevant as possible, and that your audience targeting is as tight as it can be in order to improve your relevance score, which will in turn lessen the amount you need to bid to reach your target audience.