Are Facebook ads dead?
It’s a question I’m hearing more and more.
Rather that though than the statement “Facebook ads are dead”.
Anyone making that statement really needs to let me have a look at their ad account so that I can see what exactly is going on and why they think ads are dead.
They can’t do that – because most people making that statement actually aren’t running any ads. They’re just making a judgement based on what they hear, what other people might say, rumours, speculation and suchlike.
So for people asking the question “are Facebook ads dead”? Good question. Let’s take a bit of a deeper look.
What’s making it harder to get Facebook ads to work?
I think it’s fair to say that Facebook ads feel like they’ve got harder in the last year. In fact, it’s not accurate to say that ads have got harder, when the truth is that with the iOS 14 changes, what’s actually happened is that it’s become harder to target people – which just makes Facebook ads FEEL harder. There have also been some changes in Facebook’s own audience targeting, which kick in this month and they are removing more of the targeting options, which again will make it feel like it’s harder to reach exactly the right audience, but, none of this can be defined as Facebook ads being dead.
Potentially it’s become more expensive for lead generation than it might have been historically (this is down to there being a lot more competition and more people vying for the same audiences). And if you’re completely new to Facebook ads then targeting may feel more difficult (I refer this to new advertisers, because those with established audiences will definitely suffer less because they have established their warm target audiences already), but there are still so many opportunities for low cost targeting and this ensures that Facebook should maintain its place in everyone’s sales funnel.
Why is it still a good idea to advertise on Facebook?
With 2.91 billion monthly active users Facebook is the world’s third most visited website, only beaten by Google and YouTube. If someone is active online and has any sort of social media then it’s likely that they will visit Facebook. If they don’t, they’ll probably visit Instagram, which is owned by Facebook (and still targeted with the same ads).
And sure, we all know people that have proudly stated that they’ve “come off Facebook” but we pretty much know that just means they’ve deleted the app off their phone – only to have a sneaky scroll from their laptop, or reinstall the app pretty sharpish when they miss keeping up with the latest news from their social circle.
At present, no other platform can compete with the reach that Facebook gives its advertisers. But, what people are frustrated with is that the “organic reach” for posts on their business Facebook page is on the decline, and this then starts them on the “Facebook is dead” path… But they seem to forget – Facebook IS A BUSINESS. Why would one business help you with your business, for FREE? Facebook is a pay to play system – if you want your potential customers to know about your business, consume your content, download your freebies, sign up for your challenges and webinars etc, then you need to use ads, which in turn you will need to pay for. You wouldn’t expect to put an ad in the local paper for free, would you?
And if you know how to effectively target the right audience and create content that’s of interest to them, then you’ll stand out from your competitors and get a decent ROI on your ad spend. Your ad budget will ensure that your content reaches far more people than you ever could organically.
What can you do to make Facebook ads work for you?
Remember that if it’s harder to target your specific audience, then your ads will be seen by a lot more people, so you need to ensure that when your ad is in front of someone that it could be relevant to, it CAPTURES THEIR ATTENTION.
The quality of your copy and creative is more important now than ever before. No-one can get away with weak creative and wishy washy copy! For an ad to convert, it must grab the attention of your ideal customer/client and resonate with their pain points.
Make sure that you still pay attention to building your warm audiences (Facebook page likes and Instagram followers) as well as website visitor audiences, email contact list and video views. The bigger and more relevant (i.e. full of your ideal client) your warm audiences, the better your lookalike audiences (the cold audience Facebook can create for you) will be. And these LAL audiences have the potential to convert extremely well if they REALLY DO look like your target audience!
What else can you do?
Honestly? Work with someone that understands Facebook ads… Someone like me! And I’m not just saying that to drum up business. If you have no idea what you’re doing, then realistically you’re just gambling with your ad budget. You might get lucky and have successful ads, but equally, they may bomb and you spend all your budget and produce no leads.
You probably wouldn’t “have a go” at making a radio commercial, or a tv commercial; that would be crazy, right? So apply the same logic to your Facebook ads, and make sure they’re in the hands of someone that will get you the very best results possible for your spend, and can effectively guide you on content, creative, placement and targeting.