2021 was a strange year for Facebook ads and digital marketing as a whole. With the introduction of IOS14 and new privacy settings developed directly within Apple’s software, limiting the ability to track results and conversions as we were all used to doing. Then as the industry was settling down and getting used to the new strategies required to overcome the IOS14 limitations, IOS15 was released, with even further privacy options, restricting the user from seeing personalised ads on apps like Facebook and Instagram.
Since these IOS updates, businesses saw a huge drop in results, and lots of businesses chose to scrap Facebook ads altogether.
Whilst this fallout between Businesses and Apple users was unfolding, Facebook was hard at work in developing a “new” way of running Facebook ads. We say new in inverted commas, because not much has actually changed.
What has changed is the way businesses need to run ads. We have broken down the “new” strategy methods that will set you up for success in 2022!
01. Rely Less on Your Website
Tracking your website visitors and events has become harder, there is no getting around that (for now!). So you need to start relying less on the numbers that come through your website, because it is likely to be an inaccurate representation of actual numbers. For example, users may still see your ad and click through to your website and make that purchase, but they may have set strict personal privacy rules on their device, which means that purchase will no longer be tracked.
02. Use Lead Ad Strategy
The Pre-IOS14 killer ad strategy was Conversion ads, because you could track conversion events that occurred on your website. Since the ability to do that is limited post IOS14, It is time to explore the other available ad strategies and see which ones perform best for your specific business.
The strategy we have found that performs the best is Lead Generation. Lead Gen ads provide exposure of your business to your target audience, whilst offering the opportunity to fill in their details to learn more about or claim your offer. Remember, if your audience does this, they are voluntarily giving you their details because they are interested in your business.
Using Lead Gen ads offers the opportunity to build your mailing list, which you can use in future to create lookalike audiences and target future ads to customers who you already know are interested.
Facebook offers a great tool with Lead Generation ads, which includes Facebook Forms, a pre-built adaptable digital form that users can fill in and submit without even leaving the site!
03. Use Video Ads
Video is the new craze right now, nearly all social media sites have adapted their business models and algorithms to favor video content. They want more people to spend more time on the platform, and the way to do that is to get us watching interesting videos!
Less is more when it comes to text in ads and organic posts right now, so a way to get around this is to include captions in your videos, the platforms love this, because it allows viewers to watch even when they are on mute!
04. Rethink Your Ad Placement
Story and Reels are the new trend, meaning platform algorithms prefer users who upload more s Stories and Reels, resulting in more views, so naturally, your ads will get seen more too, which results in increased results.
Facebook is very good at knowing the best places to show your ads, it knows where your audience hangs out better than you. So we still think it is better to leave this to the professionals and stick with automatic ad placement.
BUT… in order for your ads to make the most of the Story and Reels placement, they need to fit in. it is your responsibility to create and format your ads in a landscape 1920x1080 pixel format so Facebook can take advantage of this.
05. Rethink your Audience
Instead of taking a shot in the dark and hoping for the best when choosing your audience, use lookalike audiences. This is a bespoke feature built by Facebook that lets you upload your existing customer list including details you have obtained like email addresses etc. Facebook will then use it’s intelligent algorithm to find an audience that looks like the data you have provided.
Obviously this new audience can’t be an exact match, that's pretty hard unless you are targeting the same person twice! A match percentage of 3 - 5% is a good starting point.
06. Rely Less on Manual Tageting
Manual targeting is history. There. We said it. Because of the events of 2021 and the drastic fall of successful targeting we need to think of other ways to get our ads in front of customers. Facebook already used automatic targeting pre-iOS14, but have since improved this. It is still the same to the end user, but it now uses more machine learning algorithms than before and it’s targeting capabilities are constantly evolving depending on users' interactions with the platform.
The more you utilise Facebook's machine learning automatic targeting, the better your ad placement will get over time, and gradually you will see returns increase.
07. Retargeting Audiences
Because tracking users interactions have become more difficult, we need to rethink how to retarget. Previously, we could retarget people who interacted with our ad, visiting our website and showing an interest in the product or service, whilst that is still possible, it has now become harder.
Instead of 7 or 14 days, you should increase your retargeting window to users who have interacted with your ads within the last 30 days. That way, it will catch more people in the retargeting net. You also need to focus on content engagements rather than physical event actions, Facebook is still allowed to track everything that happens on their platform, but once the customer leaves Facebook their ability to track the customer journey is limited.
However you choose to set up your ads in 2022 and beyond, good luck! And if you find more winning ways to build your ads, let us know!