The 5 Things Power Editor Can’t Do (But Third-Party Platforms Can)

The 5 Things Power Editor Can’t Do (But Third-Party Platforms Can)

May 8, 2014

So you’ve come to a crossroads – you’re running large scale Facebook advertising campaigns that require robust management tools and capabilities beyond those offered by Facebook’s Ads Create tools. You need to be able to upload thousands of ads to Facebook and be able to optimize and apply actions quickly and easily across multiple ads at a time. Is that so much to ask?

Thankfully, you’re presented with two options: use Facebook’s self-serve tool for power advertisers, known as Power Editor, or work with a third-party tool that integrates with the Facebook Ads API. Third-party tools include self-serve options, that are run and managed by the advertiser, and fully-managed offerings like AMP, where the tool is managed on behalf of the advertiser by a team of media specialists. From the outside, Power Editor and third-party vendor tools may appear similar – they are both designed for “power advertisers,” offer campaign management tools for bulk uploads, and the ability to change large ad sets – but in reality, there are quite a few differences between the two options that could make all the difference when you’re managing your campaigns – especially when it comes to efficiency.

We take a closer look at both of these tools, where they vary, and discuss the specific benefits these differences enable.

But First, the Basics…

First, a short lesson in what it is these tools do. Power Editor is Facebook’s self-serve campaign management solution that provides advertisers with large, complex campaigns one cohesive dashboard for building, targeting, and delivering ads on Facebook. Power Editor features the same core functionality as Facebook’s Ads Create tool with additional campaign management tools built-in, such as bulk ad creation and greater control over where your ad is placed.

By opening it’s API, Facebook has enabled Ampush and other third-party technology partners to create their own campaign management tools that provide the same base functionality as Power Editor, in addition to more advanced capabilities that make it easier and more efficient to run large Facebook advertising campaigns. Keep in mind that each third-party tool offers different features and benefits; however these are five common differentiators that distinguish AMP and other tools built on the Facebook Ads API from Power Editor

1. Swift Multiple Actions

During a campaign, you’re constantly optimizing for better results – increasing or decreasing bids, adding or decreasing budget, and turning ads on or off depending on performance.  With Power Editor, it’s easy to see all these ads, but making changes isn’t always easy. Users have two options: one is to make the changes to each individual ad via the Power Editor UI, and the second, more viable option is to download Excel spreadsheets of the campaign offline, make changes in bulk, then reupload the spreadsheets back into the Power Editor UI.

Tools built on Facebook Ads API streamline this necessary, but tedious process by allowing advertisers to perform multiple actions across multiple ads or campaigns in a matter of clicks – no downloading and re-uploading required. Advertisers can change multiple ads based on pre-determined ad filters in a single unified stroke. For example, with AMP you can filter ads by budget, bid price, clicks, spend, impressions and numerous other criteria to find the exact ads you need to change, select the ads you want to change, then apply the change in a matter of a few clicks.

Once these changes have been made, hit submit and you’re good to go – no time wasted waiting for excel documents to upload, and more time to spend working on your campaign. Tools like AMP also make it possible to optimize campaigns in incremental steps. In other words, if you make a bid price change that you later want to undo, it’s easy to reset your ads back to their prior state without having the start from scratch.

2. Automated Bids and Scheduled Actions

Advertising is often unpredictable, but there are some absolutes. For example, say you know you want to turn off an ad if the CTR falls below 1% or you want to raise your bid if an ad is driving a 10% clickthrough rate. Scheduling these types of actions is not possible with Power Editor, but easy with third-party tools.

Using the same capabilities we mentioned before, third-party tools offer the ability to filter through and select ads that fit a certain criteria and schedule actions accordingly. This way, campaign managers are able to set campaign markers ahead of time, and act on performance metrics in real-time – greatly increasing efficiency and maximizing performance.

Examples of this would be to schedule a campaign to “switch off” if the conversion rate (CR) of the ad drops below a certain percent or to increase the maximum bid if a certain number of impressions aren’t reached. This allows the advertiser to maximize performance gains across thousands of accounts without increasing the campaign’s budget.

3. All Your Mobile Metrics in One Place

Access to post-install metrics is essential for mobile app developers to measure and improve campaigns, and is easy to use thanks to Facebook’s partnership with Mobile Measurement companies like AdX and ApSalar (known as MMPs). These partners provide metrics crucial to understanding app user behavior post-install, including how much they spent in the app, how long they kept the app installed, whether they are driving revenue, and ultimately if their efforts are driving ROI.

Users of both Power Editor and third-party tools have access to this data, but viewing this data in a singular dashboard alongside your other advertising metrics is only possible with a third-party tool – MMP data cannot be integrated into Power Editor. Third-parties bridge the gap between Facebook metrics and those provided by MMPs, providing a holistic view into campaign performance and making it that much easier to optimize campaigns.

4. Changes by Percentage and Multipliers

When making changes to bids in bulk, it’s important that ads are changed consistently across the board. The easiest way to do this is making changes by percentage, rather than by precise numbers – the fourth differentiator between Power Editor and third-party tools.

As previously noted, all changes in Power Editor must be made manually and using specific, precise numbers. So, if you need to increase your bids by 22%, you will have to manually calculate what this number is, and then manually input each change into Power Editor.  With so many small changes and mental math involved, it’s easy for inconsistencies to arise. Third-party tools solve for this by enabling advertisers to bulk change ads by percentage or set bids using other multipliers.

Pricing efficiency can be taken to the next level by incorporating CTR and CR into your formulas. One way to do this is by setting bids at Conversion Rate X Target CPA. Say your CPA goal is $5 (in other words, you don’t want to pay more than $5 to acquire a customer) – set your bids to $5 x CR. This way, an ad that converts at 25% gets bid at $1.25 CPC. That same formula treats another ad that converts at 50% by placing the bid at $2.50, and so on. The ability to scale successes and mitigate poor ad performance can be built in to third-party tools., but currently is not possible with Power Editor.

5. Access to Facebook Products in Testing

The fifth and final difference is timely access to new products. Vendors that integrate with the API often receive early access to Facebook products currently in testing that have not yet been integrated into Power Editor.

Having early access provides advertisers an opportunity to “work out the kinks” of a new targeting tool or ad unit alongside their third-party partner, establish a firm grasp of best practices, and potentially get a leg up on the competition. Because the third-party is also invested, they too are eager to help users of their tool find success using the product and can provide added support throughout the process.

The Takeaway

Facebook Power Editor is a useful tool to manage actions within a campaign. However, changes are modular (one at a time in the UI), tedious (Excel spreadsheets), isolated (no MMP integration), and difficult to scale (lacking formulaic percentage changes), besides lacking early access to cutting edge beta projects.

Tools integrated with the Facebook Ads API are designed to enhance efficiency and success at every opportunity through scalable scheduled actions based on up to date third-party data without the tedium of granular maintenance. The choice is clear – to scale results with ease, or micromanage always a step behind.

Kevin Wyckoff, Media Analyst at Ampush, is a graduate of the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. When he’s not busy admiring the aesthetics of Page Post Link ads, you’ll find him bumping his head on doorframes and getting spiderwebs caught in his hair. He has three cats.


edwin headshot
As a Media Analyst at Ampush, Edwin specializes in making ROAS look easy for his gaming clients. When he isn’t disrupting the ad tech space, the OC native enjoys making balsamic reductions, reading up on sustainable agriculture, designing minimalist power-station desks, and big data.