Training with Facebook’s Blueprint platform
by Megan Hollis (@meggiefayeZA) The free Facebook Blueprint training platform launched in 2015 with 35 training modules; today, it houses 109 of varying difficulty and format. With so much training material on offer, it may be hard to know where to start for beginners and advanced Facebook marketers alike. So I did all 100+ Facebook Blueprint Training Modules so you don’t have to.
What’s on offer for Facebook marketing beginners?
Blueprint offers all the courses you would expect — introductions to Facebook and Instagram and all of the associated advertising options are undoubtedly invaluable resources for Facebook marketing beginners. Just the sheer convenience of having everything in one place makes for a welcome change, rather than trawling the likes of Jon Loomer for basic explanations.
The best course for beginners, in my opinion, is the “SMB Fast Track” in the small/medium business category, coupled with “Facebook Terminology” and its associated resource, Facebook’s Glossary of Ad Terms. There are also in-depth explanations of all of the targeting options (core, custom and lookalike), which offer a great departure point for social CRM.
What’s on offer for agencies and brands already comfortable with Facebook marketing?
However. for those who are already comfortable with principles such as ad auction and delivery (eg Reach and Frequency, ad objectives and the various creative formats displayed on Creative Hub), I would recommend courses such as the “Power Editor course for Advanced Advertisers”, both “Facebook Messenger” courses, “Facebook Pixel”, and one all about “Facebook’s Software Development Kit (SDK)”.
The most-pleasant surprise I found was one entitled “How Journalists can best utilize Facebook & Instagram”. A collaboration between Facebook and the Poynter Institute, this highlights how journalists may use 360 and videos to break stories, as well as the handy feature, Instant Articles, which houses news articles natively.
How are the courses structured?
The core content is geared towards preparing you to become a Facebook Certified Professional. The modules are approximately 15 minutes each, and have a review section with up to six questions. Once you have done the relevant courses, and the relevant 30-minute practise exam, you will be prepared to sit the following exams: “Advertising Core Competencies”, “Certified Planning Profession” and “Certified Buying Professional”. Note that you first have to complete the Core Competencies exam to be able to do either of the others.
The exams cost R1200 each but all training material is free. The exams may be taken online or at a test centre but, either way, need to be scheduled. The pass rate for each is 80%, and there are a number of suggested “learning paths” to help guide you with a recommended combination and sequences according to your role.
How did I find completing the training modules?
My biggest disappointment with the training is that it touts a significant number of features not yet available in South Africa, eg any content which speaks about Atlas (a “people based measurement platform”) or multicultural affinity audiences (which account for US Hispanic, African American and Asian American audiences).
In addition, if you enrol in the “all content learning path” as I did, which enrols you in all 109 courses, be prepared for a lot of overlap in the estimated 40 hours it takes you to complete it. As a result, I wouldn’t recommend following suit but rather that you cherry-pick the areas of Facebook you feel least comfortable with.
Nevertheless, I would highly recommend doing a broad selection of the courses and sitting the Advertising Core Competencies exam, at least. If nothing else, the courses give you the confidence that what you know about Facebook and Instagram marketing best practice comes straight from the horse’s mouth.
Megan Hollis (@meggiefayeZA) is head of strategy of Techsys Digital. A journalist turned digital strategist, she loves writing about technology, social media and CRM. Megan would love to hear your Facebook Blueprint and certification experience, so feel free to contact her or ask her questions at m.me/megshollis.
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