Facebook ads have been around for ages now, and businesses of all sizes have been using them to get new clients and boost conversions. In 2021, there were more than 200 million small businesses using Facebook’s tools globally.
That said, Facebook has been getting a lot of hate lately, and many users have been deactivating their accounts because of privacy concerns. That raises the question, are Facebook Ads worth it?
Well, the short answer is yes, they are. Facebook is still the giant it has always been, and for a good reason. Actually, for several of them, which we’ll be explaining in this article.
So, are Facebook ads worth it? Let’s find out.
Are Facebook ads worth it?
As mentioned, yes, the mighty hasn’t fallen yet. Here are the reasons Facebook ads are still worth it:
Powerful targeting options
One of Facebook’s main advantages as a marketing medium (other than the fact that they have almost 3 billion monthly active users) is the multitude of targeting options they have.
Facebook offers three basic targeting categories, which are:
- Core audiences, including people you can target by demographics
- Custom audiences, which are people who have engaged with your brand before. This is the option with which you’ll probably see the most success
- Lookalike audiences, which are people who behave like people who have engaged with your business or brand
If you’re just starting out with paid advertising, those are more than enough to help you reach the right people and potential customers.
As the name suggests, retargeting involves marketing your products or services to people who have interacted with your brand before. That includes people who viewed the products/services on your website, added it to their cart but didn’t check out, or engaged with an ad of yours.
Remarketing is an excellent way to stay at the top of mind of potential customers. Even if they haven’t made a purchase or clicked through the first time they saw your ad, chances are they’re going to do so once they come across it again as they browse Facebook.
Retargeting ads usually bring great results, which is why many marketers consider them to be the holy grail of paid advertising.
Not only does Facebook let you choose to whom you can market your products and/or services, but it also gives you control over where your ads show up. Here are some of the placements with which we’ve seen great success in our clients’ cases.
These full-screen, vertical ads appear between people’s stories.
These ads show up as users scroll through their Facebook or Instagram feeds.
These ads appear before, within, or after video content on Facebook and Instagram.
These ads show up within search results on Facebook and Marketplace.
These ads are shown as sponsored messages on Messenger.
Facebook offers several other placement options, including in-article ads, apps, and Occulus. Occulus is a division of Meta that specialises in producing VR headsets. In 2021, Meta (previously Facebook) announced that they started testing ads in virtual reality, something that many users predicted would happen eventually.
Furthermore, there are countless variations within those placements that you can explore and try out.
Ad campaigns include plenty of variables. If you don’t want your money to go down the drain, you need to analyse what’s working and what isn’t. That’s why Facebook offers robust analytics options within its Business Manager.
Granted, Facebook’s analytics can seem complicated when you’re just starting out, but once you’re comfortable with the platform and how it works, you’ll love all the data points you can check and tweak.
Some of the data that you can see on Facebook Business Manager include:
- Page analytics
- Post engagement
- Ad analytics
- Conversion rates
- Audience insights
- Group analytics
- Live analytics
- Video analytics
Using that data, you can refine your ad campaigns, focusing on what works to get a good ROI. So, for the analytics offered by Facebook, the answer to “are Facebook ads worth it?” is a resounding yes!
As mentioned above, custom audiences allows you to target people who have already interacted with your brand before. To create a custom audience, you’ll have to upload the first-party data you’ve gathered. Some of the sources you can use to create a custom option include:
- Your own sources: website and app activity, customer list, offline activity
- Facebook sources, such as videos, lead forms, Instant Experience, shopping, Instagram, etc
Using that data, you’ll be able to target specific segments of your audience. For example, you can show your ads to people who have made a purchase before but haven’t done it again (yet).
With lookalike audiences, Facebook can take insight from your current audience, analyse it, and target new customers who – hey, surprise! – look like the old ones.
Here’s a tip when using lookalike audiences: start by targeting around 2 to 3% of lookalikes. As your campaign scales, raise the lookalikes to around 10%. That way, you can maximise the audience pool size while taking advantage of the machine learning capabilities of the giant social media platform to target the right segments within that pool.
Facebook’s diverse ad options are as powerful as its targeting options. While most websites display pop-up ads that no one likes, Facebook offers image ads, video ads, story ads, collection ads, and many, many others.
It’s not just a platform; It’s a metaverse
Back in October 2021, the Facebook company got rebranded to Meta. Now, even before that change, Facebook has always been a big company with several platforms under its wing. Those platforms include Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, just to name a few.
When using Facebook ads, you’re not limited to advertising just on Facebook, even if that can take your business to the next level on its own. You can actually reach users on all of the platforms under Meta. Notably, you can also show your ads on Instagram using the Facebook Business Manager.
To minimise your advertising costs, you can use the same ad creatives and budget and let Facebook choose the right placements for your ads. Automatic placements are great if you’re new to the game. That said, once you get used to analysing the different data points offered by Facebook analytics, you should use manual placements instead. That’s what we do for our clients.
Paid ads are faster and easier to scale compared to organic reach
The title says it all. According to Hootsuite, organic reach is ever in decline. Unfortunately, SEO isn’t as effective as it used to be (though it’s still a great marketing option). Besides, it needs a lot of time and effort to get right and reach the right audiences.
Facebook, on the other hand, allows you to reach potential customers and get them to know about your business faster. Once you understand how to target the right people and present the ad content they want to see, you’ll be able to get ahead of the pack and win the pay-to-win system that’s Facebook ads.
By using Facebook, you’ll reach more people than you ever could organically, and you can scale your successful campaigns with ease.
People are online now more than ever
Ever since the CoVID-19 pandemic started back in 2020 (well, technically, 2019), people have turned to the online world as a way to escape the scary reality.
According to a study by Pew Research Center, 90% of Americans say the Internet has been essential to them. While most businesses struggled to survive in 2020, Facebook finished the year stronger financially than how it started it.
All of that to say that at this time and age, Facebook is essential in the life of billions of users worldwide. That makes it the perfect place to reach people who might be interested in your brand.
Do Facebook ads have any drawbacks?
Reading all of the above, you must be saying, “If Facebook ads are that great, why isn’t everyone using them?”
Well, despite all their advantages, Facebook ads still have several drawbacks, including:
There’s a learning curve
Starting from scratch is now harder than ever. There are plenty of metrics that you need to understand, a lot of changes to keep track of, and numerous targeting options to master. Seeing success through Facebook ads requires a lot of trial and error. Of course, you can always skip the learning curve by hiring a Facebook advertising agency to leverage their expertise.
The dreaded iOS 14 updates
The privacy-focused changes Apple implemented in the iOS 14 update have been on every marketer’s mind ever since its introduction in 2021.
Basically, iOS users can now prevent apps from tracking their data. Since Facebook relies on data to feed their machine learning algorithms, the update did affect Facebook ads performance to a degree. We’ve touched more on that in our article about the subject.
Of course, Facebook is rapidly responding to the threat, and you can adapt to the changes by following the company’s guidelines and tweaking your strategy as needed. If you can’t do that yourself, you can always reach out to our paid advertising experts for help.
There’s no denying that advertising on Facebook is more expensive than ever. After all, more and more businesses are turning to Facebook for their advertising needs. As more advertisers bid for ad space, the cost naturally goes up. Despite that, Facebook is still one of the more affordable options when it comes to digital marketing.
Want to see results with Facebook ads?
If you’d like to know more about the advantages of Facebook over other platforms when it comes to paid advertising, book a discovery call. One of our digital marketing experts will get in touch shortly and further develop the answer to “are Facebook ads worth it?”