If you’ve been wondering whether it’s worth using Facebook Ads in 2023, it’s still a solid ‘Yes’.
Despite some headline dominating challenges for Meta, aka Facebook, there remains a huge pool of potential for marketers.
In this article, we’re going to look, in brief, at the changes that have affected Meta for Business. And then we’ll look at how you can still win at Facebook ads, even with the changes that have happened.
What has changed at Facebook?
It’s been a tough couple of years both for Facebook, aka Meta, and the marketers using their ad suite. In April 2021, the hammer blow of the iOS 14.5 update reduced the capacity for marketers to target Apple users.
As you probably know, Apple introduced their iOS 14.5 update that required users to opt-in to Facebook tracking. As you might expect, the overwhelming majority have chosen not to do this, leaving Facebook looking rather flaccid on the digital marketing stage.
With an accumulation of negative headlines over the past few years, Mr. Zuckerberg decided a rebrand was in order. And so Facebook became Meta, tying into Mark Zuckerberg’s enthusiasm for the impending opportunities in the metaverse.
In 2022, Meta laid off 11,000 employees as a result of the underwhelming results of their metaverse project.
But, despite these challenges, Meta remains a major force in marketing.
Why Meta Ads are still relevant (and worth using)
If you’re in marketing the truth is, Meta for Business is an incredibly powerful tool. They still own the biggest social media platforms: Facebook and Instagram.
Yes, TikTok is a challenger, but they don’t come close to the audience size or reach of Meta’s two biggest platforms. (source)
Put simply, Facebook (or Meta) is to social media what Google is to search engines. And although there are challenges to the throne, the chances of a revolution still look distant.
For you, this means that Meta for Business still presents some of the best opportunities for marketing online. If only you know how to play the game.
With that in mind, these are our tips for remaining competitive in the world of Facebook Ads marketing.
How to win at Facebook Ads in 2023
Although the ability to target Facebook and Instagram users has been diminished slightly, there are still a number of ways you can improve your marketing results using Meta for Business.
Perhaps the most effective method of driving clicks to your ads is to focus on the creative, not just the tracking.
Sarit Shternbach, Growth Manager at Cheq ClickCease says, “The businesses that perform best on social media advertising are those that embrace the strengths of the platforms.”
“People don’t want to be advertised to. But they do like to see interesting facts, funny videos and shareable information.”
1. Less us, more you
This applies to all forms of marketing, but especially on social media such as Facebook and Instagram.
As Sarit points out, “You want to appeal to people’s needs, or pain points, instead of selling your benefits. Nobody is interested in how your product works, really. But they do want to know how they can increase their sales, get a good deal or improve their personal gains…”
Put simply, presenting a relatable point will encourage more engagement and clicks.
This might be opening with an alarming statistic, asking a question or even just going with a cute cat picture (if that works with your brand). By highlighting the problem, or capturing attention, you can then dive into more detail throughout the ad.
By the time you get to your CTA at the end, hopefully your customer has found your content engaging enough to stay long enough and to click.
2. Visuals work
Another factor with social media is the visual element. On Google Ads, for example, you can spend hours creating content for your PPC ads. But with Facebook, Instagram and every other social media platform, it’s all about that thumb stopping moment.
Silvia Yaniv, Acquisition Manager at ClickCease, points out, “A thumb stop is when you see a statement or image that makes you stop scrolling. Although you can do this with text, it usually works best with an image – for example a meme, bright colours or strong design.
“If you can stop people from scrolling for a fraction of a second, you stand a better chance of them engaging with your ad.”
In short, to really win at Facebook marketing, you need to make sure your images and your content stop people in their tracks.
3. Embrace video
It is easier than ever to create videos for your brand, whatever your budget. And when it comes to engaging your audience, nothing works better.
In fact, Facebook itself generates 8 billion video views a day. And as the third most visited website in the world, in-feed videos are a very effective promotional tool.
When we’re talking about thumb stopping, video has the power to make people want to find out more. Especially as on Facebook and Instagram video ads will autoplay in the feed.
Also, if you’re using speech in your video, don’t forget to add captions. You can either auto-generate captions when you upload your video to Facebook. Or, add your own in the edit suite.
85% of videos viewed in Facebook and Instagram are viewed without sound, so those captions are essential.
4. Less is sometimes more
When it comes to our marketing, we often want to say so much and give the customer so many reasons to convert.
But maximising conversions on social media involves a different approach.
If you’re running a campaign, keep your message clear and simple. Focus on one benefit per ad, rather than trying to keep people’s attention for two minutes to watch a whole video or read a 500 word post.
“People’s attention spans are short, especially on social media. And increasingly people are wary of ads on Facebook or Instagram. So a really short ad with a simple focus can keep the attention and even make them want to find out more,” says Sarit.
In short: keep video ad runtimes under 30 seconds (or less ideally) and focus on one benefit per text ad. There’s nothing wrong with running multiple ads focusing on different features and benefits.
5. Run multiple ads
Catching attention on social media is an art form. And when it comes to business marketing, you’ll want to run different versions of ads to find out what works.
Although A/B testing is nothing new, increasingly we need to focus on having different versions of your ads across the same campaign. Especially with the reduced targeting capabilities on Meta for Business.
Multiple ads are also a good way to make sure you don’t oversaturate or bore your audience.
You can use different visuals, text and videos to keep your campaign fresh and to maintain a higher level of attention and engagement.
Running multiple ads also means you can tailor your ads to different geographic locations, audience types and other demographics without needing to drill down into your targeting.
Tracking changes are coming
Although Apple has hobbled Facebook’s targeting potential, the truth is there is more of the same on the way.
The Facebook Pixel will soon be no more, and many of the familiar methods of analytics and tracking are about to change.
So the truth is, what is happening with Facebook Ads is likely to become the status quo.
The consumer is increasingly being given more control of their data, which is obviously great for us as individuals. But as a marketer it presents a different challenge, and the need to refocus your mindset.
The challenge of fake profiles
Alongside these changes, fake profiles and automated web traffic remain an issue.
Facebook and Instagram regularly remove fake accounts, often used by click farms and other automated traffic sources such as bots. In 2019, Facebook removed 2.2 billion fake profiles from their platform.
Despite this huge clearout, a further 1.7 billion fake profiles were removed at the end of 2021. In short, there are always a huge amount of fake profiles on Facebook and Instagram.
Marketers are increasingly aware of the need to eliminate fake profiles from their targeting to maximize their return on ad spend. Fraud filters and bot prevention are no longer a nice to have but an essential tool in an advertisers armory.
Whatever your Facebook ads marketing strategy in 2023 and beyond, reducing fake traffic is going to be an important element.
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