Will the need for Facebook marketing training increase or decrease over time? This is a surprisingly difficult question to answer.
On one hand, Facebook is aggressively simplifying the marketer’s experience. The end goal is that you as a brand simply plug in your goals, content and audiences, and then press a button for Facebook to take over from there.
There is no need to learn the mechanics of marketing optimization, any more than you’d use an abacus nowadays. Some will use the car analogy and say that self-driving care and self-optimizing ad campaigns are on the way.
On the other hand, machines can take you only so far. They can’t produce your content or govern your strategic decision making. The Facebook Marketing Partners program (formerly Preferred Marketing Developers) is about attracting vertical experts that bring domain expertise and relationships well beyond the core platform principles that Facebook provides.
So in a sense, both camps are right. The mechanical operation of Facebook marketing campaigns, whether organic or paid, will be automated to such a point over the coming years that the corresponding training will be miniscule. Complexity transfers from the user to the algorithm. Let lookalike audiences bring in the new customers, oCPM (optimized cost per thousand impressions) does the sub-targeting and bidding.
The single-channel marketer is dead — Facebook and Google increasingly are handling the corresponding training and optimization of their own ecosystems. Yet the need to coordinate between the growing number of places you have to manage is not something any particular network will be able to help you with.
Even if they could, they wouldn’t be able to overcome perceived bias. Would you trust Facebook’s advice on how much budget you should allocate on Google campaigns? Third parties will play an ever-increasing role between the gaps, while single-tool players are one-trick ponies headed for extinction.
A review of Facebook’s new marketing training
By now you’ve probably had a chance to go through the 35 learning modules in Facebook Blueprint, a self-paced training course released by Facebook for brands, agencies and partners. Access it at facebook.com/blueprint.
Each module will take you five minutes to complete, and the questions at the end are easy. Place this certification on your LinkedIn profile if you want to impress your boss, clients or future employer. Share this out to other folks who aren’t aware of it yet so you can appear in the know.
If you’re a small business, you’ll want to also check out this training, which is not run through a LMS (learning management system). So it’s not as interactive and there are no quizzes.
A couple of years back, Facebook’s agency site had some killer interactive training on pages and ads. There were animations that explained how different ad types worked and voiceovers professionally done — far more content than the current Blueprint offering. And my personal opinion is that it was both deeper in strategic insights and tactical campaign elements.
Sadly, you can’t access this training anymore, but you can still see the courses in your dashboard when you log in.
So it’s no surprise that Facebook is not going as in-depth with the training as it used to. Instead of 29 ad products, the social network cut it down to 15 ad types. Now it’s down to 10 types (if you don’t count premium ad units). And arguably, you can say there are just two or three types if you decouple business objectives from the fact that you can post natively.
DoubleDutch senior online marketing manager Mike McEuen said:
Facebook has significantly simplified its ads offering, allowing marketers to focus on what’s important: the message and audience. In the past, advertisers had to constantly tweak their bids to best complement their conversion goal. Now, optimization can be automated by selecting a campaign objective and oCPM bid type. Today, you’d learn more from a great copywriter or psychologist than an “ads guru.”
Fewer types of posts and ad units equals less training necessary. If you have an iPhone, how much time did you spend reading the manual?