Facebook may be an elder among social networks, but it’s still the world’s largest player and an indispensable tool for social media marketing today, and keeping up with the times is just as important as ever.
We have identified these Facebook trends that will have a significant impact on how businesses market themselves on the platform in 2023.
What are Facebook ads?
Facebook allows businesses to run ads (in the form of images, videos, and carousel posts) that appear in the Facebook feed and Messenger app.
These ads are paid for by the business, and campaigns can be budgeted in a variety of ways, including:
- Overall spend
- Daily spend
- Cost per view or clicks.
Facebook ads will appear to users who may not follow your business’s page, allowing you to reach a wider range of people. But who sees ads, and how does Facebook determine which users to show your ads to?
Running Facebook Ads in 2023
A few years ago, Facebook advertising dominated the social media marketing landscape. It was much easier to get Facebook ads working.
Then… things got quieter. What happened?
Facebook ads got expensive and there was more competition for ad space on Facebook and Instagram. It was harder to get a return on your ad spend.
But things have started to change once again. eCommerce businesses are seeing their revenue grow. It’s easier to get valuable ad placements. The average Facebook ads cost has finally started to fall.
If you’re still using Facebook ads, it’s a good time to step up your strategy. And if you had given up on the platform, it’s time to get back to creating Facebook ads in 2023.
Are Facebook Ads still relevant in 2023?
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Facebook advertising is still essential for businesses. Marketing your ads on Facebook gives your brand the opportunity to put its best ad content in front of 2.95 billion people.
Facebook is still the king of social media, followed by Youtube with 2.5 billion users, WhatsApp with 2 billion monthly active users, and Instagram with 2 billion monthly users.
If you were to choose a single platform to focus your advertising efforts on, Facebook is a very good bet.
2023 Facebook Ads Trends
- Increased focus on e-commerce:
As more and more consumers turn to online shopping, advertisers are expected to enhance their e-commerce efforts on Facebook, using features like Facebook Marketplace, which allows businesses to set up an online store on their Facebook page, in addition to using dynamic ads, which show personalized product recommendations to users based on their browsing history.
- Greater use of video:
Video content has exploded in popularity in recent years, and this trend is expected to continue. Advertisers are likely to make greater use of Facebook’s video ad formats, such as in-stream ads, which play before, during, or after a video, and story ads, which appear in the Stories section of the app.
- Personalization and targeting:
As Facebook continues to collect data on its users, advertisers will be able to target their ads more effectively and personalize them to specific audiences. This could include the use of lookalike audiences, which allow businesses to target users who have similar characteristics to their existing customers.
- Increased emphasis on social responsibility:
With the growing focus on social and environmental issues, advertisers are expected to prioritize responsible and sustainable practices in their campaigns. This could include the use of cause-related marketing, which aligns a brand’s values with a specific social or environmental cause, or the use of recycled materials in ad production.
- Virtual and augmented reality:
Virtual and augmented reality technologies continue to advance, giving advertisers a chance to experiment with immersive ad experiences. This could include the use of AR filters, which allow users to try on products or see how they would look in different environments, or VR ads, which transport users to a fully-immersive virtual world.
These are just a few of the trends that are likely to shape the world of Facebook advertising in 2023. As with any industry, the landscape is constantly evolving, and it will be interesting to see how these trends play out in the coming years.
Best Strategies For Facebook Ads in 2023
- Know Where You’re Going Before You Start
Every business is not built for the same goals, and goals will change based on the business’ positioning. Last year many brands focused on acquisition at any cost. Next year we expect most brands will focus on profitability over everything. Some brands focus on new customer acquisition, others prioritize retention and loyalty.
Before you start breaking down your strategy you should first know what your revenue goal is, what your growth goals are, and how those ties to channel KPIs. Once you know this you can hold channels to specific accountabilities.
- Lead With Creative
iOS updates demolished data integrity and the understanding of the customer journey. As a byproduct, it also eliminated lazy marketing. Looking forward, marketers cannot light up a product flat lays with a text overlay and expect to drive engagement on Meta.
To make sure prospecting and pre-purchase retargeting ads resonate, brands need to focus on performance-based storytelling to drive click overviews. This doesn’t mean focusing on user-generated content as your go-to, instead, it means focusing on the fundamentals of performance and growth marketing.
Make Ugly Ads
The C-Suite wants to focus on creative assets that look pretty. There is a perception that the prettier the ad is the more thought and effort must have gone into it. The problem is pretty ads don’t convert well. Pretty ads are built to fill graphic designers’ portfolios, not to drive conversations or conversions.
“Ugly” ads work better. They are designed to feel organic, and natural like they are native to the platform.
Video first, but don’t ignore statics
TikTok’s emergence and explosive growth into the ad ecosystem have forced marketers to focus on a video-first advertising strategy. According to Meta, 91% of Instagram users watch Reels every week.
Meta has put a tremendous focus on Reels to compete with TikTok. With massive organic reach and bottom-of-the-barrel CPMs, Reels should be a huge part of your strategy. Considering that 75% of brand posts on Instagram are single images, Reels also presents a blue ocean for brands willing to invest in content.
With all of this said, keep images in your asset mix, they will drive engagement, and feeds still dominate eyeballs. You also want to make sure you have an asset mix
Creative strategy is fundamental to direct response. We see creative strategy as the convergence of data analytics and storytelling. It is finding new angles and opportunities, and methods to communicate them. It is the ability to read data and make decisions about creative iteration to drive growth and performance.
Require that your internal creative team is built around this philosophy or that your external resources have this built into theirs.
Core Messaging Strategies
Testimonials – People trust people. Use your customer voice to help build trust and sell your product to your next customer
Social Proof – If your brand has been featured in a trusted source within your community, showcase it in your ads to build trust quickly. If you haven’t been featured, start contacting publications, influencers, and thought leaders to get your product or brand exposed to in-market audiences while also leveraging the brand Features, Benefits & Value Props – What do you think differentiates your product or brand? Why do you think people buy your product over your competitors?
Value – Discounts & Promos – This should be used sparingly and for audiences who have not resonated with other messaging. You do not want to rely on price breaks to drive purchases.
Top Ad Variations
Us vs Them – Highlight what you think differentiates your product or brand from competitors.
Before & After – Showcase how your product or brand will solve your customer’s deepest pain points.
FOMO – Make your audience feel like they are missing their shot to be a part of something bigger than them. Build assets that put your brand into the zeitgeist.
X Reasons Why – This is one of the best ways to highlight features, benefits, and value props in a video.
User/Creator Generated Content – People buy from people. Show real customers talking about or using your products. This asset class has driven direct response over the past year, so our suggestion is to keep it in the asset mix but don’t make it primary, when you do what everyone else is doing you will get lost in the noise.
- Follow With Data
Without beating a long-dead horse, following iOS data degradation first-party data is and will be essential to sustainable success. To be clear, first-party data is any information your brand collects directly from your customers and owns.
First Party Data – We are constantly testing Shopify and Klaviyo analytics and audiences. Your brand owns this data and uses it to help build loyalty and find new audiences through lookalikes.
Sharing First Party Data – We have recently been testing sharing pixel data with complementary, non-competitive brands to target new audiences and create lookalike audiences.
Third-Party Data – Third-party data solutions like Black Crow and Disco Network are popping into the ecosystem daily. Not really, but you get it. While these solutions come with big caveats – costs, quality, and audience overlap – they are worth testing to discover new opportunities.
Third-Party Analytics – It goes without saying that the best third-party solution to layer data analysis is Triple Whale. We have brought Triple Whale onto nearly all of our clients to supplement the in-channel reporting and assist with cross-channel optimizations.
- Account Structure
Account structure is where there is the most contention among marketers.
Should you build your account out vertically or horizontally? Which method will allow you the most scale but with deep insights into what is working?
Give Meta Control or Give Meta Options
At ATTN Agency we believe in maximizing reach without cheating. We do not run reach campaigns, but we do build horizontal structures with big audiences – 100 million – 1 billion.
We consistently test all placements but also drop in placement-specific sizes. We want to give Meta enough autonomy to drive down CPM and CPA, but also build in.
We believe in a broad asset mix, incorporating statics, gifs, and videos, with on-model, flat lays, lifestyle, and user-generated content.
Diversify your value props to constantly explore what will drive the next conversion.
Meta tends to recommend vertical structure. This means fewer campaigns with more consolidation at higher budgets. This was previously known as the Power Five.
In our experience horizontal structuring still works better for two reasons. The first is the ability to get to your best-performing audiences faster, the second is controlling ad spend distribution between new and existing customers.
The new kid on the block is Advantage Plus. In our analyses powered by Triple Whale, we consistently find that Advantage Plus hunts for the lowest-hanging fruit. It will prioritize past purchasers and retarget audiences to show the highest return on ad spend. If you choose to lean into Advantage Plus we recommend making sure you have your exclusion lists in place so you push Meta to discover new audiences.
- Landing Pages
The last piece of our anti-playbook playbook is the integration of sales pages and optimization of collection and product pages to help tell your story to new customers.
We find that a lot of brands send their prospects to product description pages (PDP’s) expecting them to “just get it” and purchase. The reality is that those prospects are still at the beginning of the decision tree trying to understand why they should want your product in their life. They need to know what makes your product so great. Often a PDP will just show variations, sizes, colors, and a brief description.
This is not salesmanship.
To improve conversions, we find that driving top-of-funnel audiences from Meta to sales pages containing product specific add to cart blocks or exclusive offer calls to action drives significant improvement in conversion rate. Some of our top-performing pages are,
8 Reasons Why – This listicle-style article should come from the voice of a consumer and highlight the key value propositions from ads. Tagged correctly you should also be able to gain insight into which value prop your prospects are attracted to most.
Us vs Them – Call out your competitors! If you are better, say it and say why. Show your prospects why your product is the one they need in their life.
Brand Story – Every story is unique and customers love hearing about the blood, sweat, and tears you put into building your brand. These stories are endearing and foster connections with your customers.
If you explore using sales pages, we recommend testing them through third parties like Fascination and on your own website. Third-party sites will build more credibility in the content while your owned site will provide better insights and clearer results.
An icon of a screwdriver and wrench.
- Tools for Success
There are two tools we are recommending to all of our clients, Triple Whale and KnoCommerce.
You likely already know why Triple Whale is the solution of choice for data analytics and creative analysis. It is a powerhouse tool to supplement in-platform data. We use it to understand performance across channels and to find missing success indicators.
KnoCommerce post-purchase surveys help us validate the information we are getting from Triple Whale and in-platform reporting through the customer’s voice. We can quickly learn where incremental conversions are coming from by asking customers where they discovered the brand.
- Promotion Planning
Treat your full year as a discount and promotion sandbox environment for Q4. Everything you test should be tracked for what worked and didn’t work. If you execute this through the entire year you should know exactly what type of promotion resonated the most with your customers to drive the deepest impact when it matters most.
Leveraging Experts for Facebook Ads
We hope this article has been informative and that you’ve found at least one insight or suggestion that can help you evolve your business in 2023.
If nothing else, the biggest takeaway from this is to stay agile. Build your marketing strategy around testing, learning, and iterating. Do not buy into playbooks – even when it comes from Meta itself. Instead, constantly seek out new opportunities, lean into what’s working when it’s working, and always be testing.
And if you want help measuring, visualizing, and optimizing your Facebook Ads, contact Next Level here.