The past two years have been a whirlwind for digital marketers – especially those who advertise on Facebook and Instagram.
First, COVID-19 disrupted everything in 2020. Then, Apple rolled out iOS 14.5 earlier this year. Now we’re wondering what will happen with cookies across the web.
For most of us, the name of the game the past two years has been survival:
“How can I maintain (or at least get close to maintaining) the same ROAS and CPA I was back in 2019? I just want to make it through the whirlwind… and not get fired or lose my clients.” Right?
Brew Interactive wants to help you change your mindset (and your ROI) in 2022. In this post, we’ll hit on:
- A review of the biggest shakeups from 2020 and 2021
- How to thrive on Facebook in 2022
- 3 tactics working right now (along with examples of their most successful ads from 2021 – with metrics)
2020 and 2021 were some of the most unpredictable for marketers since the recession of 2008. If you closed your eyes, you probably felt like you were the leading character in the latest binge-worthy Netflix series – with Apple and COVID-19 as the villains.
Let’s look at both and examine what they mean for Facebook advertising:
The world saw a significant decrease in Facebook advertising costs during the coronavirus outbreak, beginning in March 2020 – a 100% drop in many industries.
In many industries, these lower ad costs meant all-time highs in ROAS and revenue.
Yet for other industries, the revenue and ROI dried up.
So depending on what industry you’re in, the COVID pandemic may have helped or hurt your advertising efforts. But rest assured, costs have begun to level out – despite the presence of variants and threats of further lockdowns.
If you’re in an industry that continues to see volatility in ad costs and buyer behavior, do your best to forecast for 2022 with your customers, your government, and data from the past two years in mind.
Just when Brew Interactive thought things were starting to level out, Apple announced that iOS 14 would seek to prioritize consumers’ rights to privacy and offer more options to opt-out of tracking.
This was great for those concerned with privacy, but a rude awakening for digital advertisers.
The update finally arrived with 14.5 and made Facebook very unhappy. The update has had a huge impact on Facebook ads specifically, affecting:
- Targeting: Brands have lost a big portion of their custom audiences due to the limitations of iOS 14. Many saw their retargeting lists shrink by 50% or more.
- Reporting: Apple’s policy has limited businesses’ ability to measure their ads performance and forced Facebook to estimate and aggregate data more than they did previously.
It’s much more difficult to target precise audiences, and just as tough to track results. And unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to tracking and reporting on ads. Cookies appear to be crumbling. Google Chrome will remove all third-party cookies in January – making their situation even more difficult.
Regardless of your industry, make sure you’re intimately familiar with Apple’s update and what it means for your Facebook ads and make follow Facebook’s prompts (which we’ll touch on below) to limit its impact on your ads. If you rely heavily on third-party cookies, be ready for even smaller custom audiences in 2022.
These updates sound grim. But most of the marketing world isn’t all that concerned.
Some companies have made the decision to shift ad spending to other platforms, but many continue to invest in Facebook ads. In fact, eMarketer forecasts Facebook ad revenues to hit all-time highs in 2022.
You can continue to see success on Facebook in 2022.
Your first step – if you haven’t taken it already – is to get intimately familiar with the iOS 14.5 update and its impact on your ads.
- Read UP the Update: If you haven’t already, take some time to read Facebook’s update on iOS 14
- Follow Facebook’s Lead: If you run ads on Facebook, you’ve probably already seen Facebook’s prompts to verify your domain, update your event setup, and prioritize your most important conversion events.
One way to increase visibility and test in the new world is to diversify. Run different types of ads and see which are working. So much has changed in the last two years (both for the platform and consumers), it’s time for fresh hypotheses and new experiments.
Double down on optimizing for and experimenting with:
- Instant Experience Ads
- Messenger Ads
- Video Ads
- Carousel Ads
Expand your tests beyond placements as well, test new messaging, creativity, and targeting as well.
Many industries are operating in a completely new landscape than you were in 2019. If that’s true for you, don’t make the mistake of relying on old conclusions. Test. Test. Test.
Brew Interactive recently compiled all their Facebook advertising data from 2021 to pull out their best-performing ads. Of nearly $1.5 million in spending and almost 1 billion impressions, they not only compiled up-to-date Facebook ad costs, but they also identified three tactics that lead to the most engagement and revenue for their clients:
In an age of fake news and unreliable marketing claims, consumers are craving transparency.
Not only does this mean you should operate with integrity and spotlight your people, but it also means you should seek to use real data and back your claims with reliable sources. People are becoming more and more conditioned to look for real data to back claims.
And when your data is impressive, it’s hard to ignore.
In an ad for Hitachi Asia, they wowed the audience with impressive stats around their world-class, ultra-high-speed elevator. Once hooked, the click-through was a no-brainer. This ad received nearly 3k engagements, but more importantly boasted a CTR of 28%.
Brew Interactive knows this isn’t groundbreaking, but so many continue to throw up ads using unoriginal stock photos and basic creative. If you’re going to spend money to get your ads in front of people, make sure you invest in creative that catches their eye and converts.
When possible, use custom artwork that the audience hasn’t seen before.
Brew Interactive created custom artwork for this ad from SUSE Asia, which resulted in nearly 6k likes and a 21% CTR.
There’s an old Native American proverb that says:
“Those who tell the stories rule the world.”
In 2022, they might say that those who tell stories run highly effective ads.
Stories do a few things in advertising:
- They resonate. People connect with stories far better than sales copy.
- They appeal to the entire funnel. No matter where someone is on their journey with your business, stories work.
- They make the customer the hero. Stories in marketing can certainly promote the product or service, but more often than not they paint the customer as the hero of the story.
They ran a campaign for Nikon Asia that focused on telling a photographer’s story and showcasing their work. This ad below received over 17k reactions and a CTR (click-through-rate) of over 18%.
Advertise with Confidence in 2022
The advertising landscape has been volatile for almost two years now.
But don’t let that cause you to timidly and fearfully tiptoe into 2022.
Consider the reality of your industry, weigh the risks that could be coming, make a sound strategy, and create a few contingency plans. Then, advertise with confidence.
If you want any help crafting or executing your Facebook ad strategy in 2022, let them know! Their advertising team at Brew Interactive would love to help.