How Do Facebook Ads Work In 2021?

How do Facebook ads work in 2021
Ravi Davda Rockstar Marketing CEO

Written by Steve

Jul 30, 2021

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This is a question that many a business has been asking us recently. How do Facebook ads work in 2021? It’s not that Facebook’s ad platform has undergone a major revamp or something. The basic rules are still the same. But you cannot deny that running paid ads is not as easy as it used to be.

Competition is increasing every minute. With it, your ad spend increases too. Facebook’s new algorithms are not very forgiving either. That’s especially for e-commerce businesses. Then there are new features to navigate. It’s no wonder that businesses are left confused and seek answers. Fret not, for we have all the answers you need. At Rockstar Marketing, we have a skilled and experienced team of Facebook marketers in the UK. Along with Google ads, we run winning Facebook and Linkedin ad campaigns for our clients. Based on our analysis of multiple client accounts, we have created a set of best practices for Facebook ads. If you have wondered how do Facebook ads work in 2021, this list will hopefully shed some light on it.

We have divided this best practices list into two parts. Part 1 is about reducing your ad cost. Part 2 is about preventing wastage. These are the two primary things that will define Facebook Ads in 2021 and ahead.  

Trick 1 – Reducing Costs – Understanding Objectives

Its important to understand objectives to know how do facebook ads work

Every time you set up an ad campaign, you have to select an objective. But do you know how objectives affect your ad budget? Facebook Ad objectives are terribly underrated. Most ad managers rarely know how to maximise its potential. Wordstream ran a benchmark study on Facebook ads. It reveals that ‘conversion’ is the most popular ad objective on Facebook ads. Anything popular translates into competitive. However, popular does not mean that nothing else works.

Almost every business with sales or lead generation campaigns is probably using this objective. Automatically, the average bid for a click increases. But how do Facebook ads work for businesses with a limited budget? Have you ever used ‘Traffic’ as the objective? Traffic is a broad objective. But it expands your reach massively. More importantly, it’s cheaper. Its designed to show your ads to the maximum number of people. These people will then click on the ads and reach your website. The question is, why are Facebook’s ads cheaper when you use ‘Traffic’ as the objective?

It’s because these people are not at the end of the conversion funnel. It’s cold traffic. You will have to do some heavy lifting. ‘Conversions’ ad objective cherry-picks the traffic for you. The ads will be shown to people at the end of the funnel. In other words, the low hanging fruit. This does not mean that cheaper traffic will never convert. It’s just that you will have to work a little harder. Good old sales 101.

Trick 2 – How do Facebook ads work with the traffic objective?

We have a two-step process that we use. It works phenomenally well to improve conversions. As an added perk, the traffic is dirt cheap. We cannot cite the exact numbers because it’s business-specific. But sometimes, we get traffic for almost 75% cheaper. That’s when compared to other ad objectives.

Here’s our two-step plan for low-cost traffic.

Offer them content they can’t resist

Work on your creatives. Hire the best copywriter you can. Make that ad copy pop. Let the landing page offer the value proposition. This increases engagement on your ads. More the engagement, more the shares. Did you know that shares can help reduce ad costs by increasing user value? Don’t get blindsided though. Get a third-party perspective on the copy too. You can hire an editor to run a check. Alternatively, you can speak to our content experts. Our team creates copy as crisp as a freshly minted banknote.

Build on the Traffic campaign

The cheapest traffic comes with large audience sizes. This traffic is really useful for top-of-the-funnel goals. But eventually, we need conversions. That’s where the money is. There’s a secret way to use the low-cost traffic to target conversions. Create multiple content pieces with mass appeal. Analyse the engagement on each one.

If one of them gets great engagement, you have a winner. Use the audience who engaged with that content piece and create a lookalike audience. Set the percentage really low. 1% works way better than 10% as shown in this study. Analyse the results and tweak the campaign further. End-of-the-funnel content pieces are particularly useful. For example – ‘The 5 Best CRM for Shopify’. The audience that engages with these is generally closer to conversion.

That sums up part 1 of our best practices. Now you know how you can get low-cost traffic. We even showed you how you can maximise the effectiveness of this traffic. Time to move on to part 2.

Part 2 – How do Facebook ads work in 2021 – Reducing Wastage

Some businesses feel that budget wastage is inevitable with PPC. That’s not true. A skilled PPC marketing team will ensure that you get maximum ROAS. If even a single pound of your budget is wasted, then you need to reevaluate your campaigns. At Rockstar Marketing, PPC ad budget wastage is at the top of our priorities. In fact, it is one of the ways in which we create winning ad campaigns. We have a four-step process that helps us achieve this.

 Want to know how do facebook ads work every time? Use fresh creatives. Stale creatives can hamper your campaign.

Step 1 – Stale creatives are draining your budget

Have you ever come across an ad that keeps reappearing in your stream? You sometimes wonder why the brand never changes it. A lot of businesses are guilty of doing the same thing. We call it ‘stale creatives’. It is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a business. Your creatives need to be fresh. At the same time, they need to be equally engaging as the last one. Don’t cut corners while designing creatives. Speak to a professional design team with relevant experience.

Bonus Tip – Check what the competition is doing and replicate the results. (Don’t tell anybody we told you this).

Step 2 – Understand budget planning to know how do Facebook ads work

Facebook offers the most diverse budget management tools amongst PPC platforms. But more is not always better. New businesses are often overwhelmed with choices. For instance, daily budget seems like a straightforward thing. You set a number and that’s all you will spend in a day, right? Yes, it will. But if you set a daily budget, Facebook will spend that much. That’s regardless of whether it converts or not.

Lifetime budgets will help you spread out your spend over days. But on some days, you may notice that the spend is sky-high. On other days, it’s super low. This makes it tricky to pace the campaigns. Which one should you use for your business? Here’s how we do it.

  • Daily budget for evergreen ad campaigns where the client approves budget fluctuations.
  • Lifetime budget for campaigns with a definite end date.

To add to this, we also use other tools. For instance, ad scheduling to reduce ad spend.

Step 3 – Don’t overdo Audience Mapping

Our experience in SEO allows us to structure and segment campaigns. Every experienced PPC marketer will do the same. But is your PPC team overdoing it? There’s a thin line in behavioural segmenting and underserving. The narrower the segmentation, the higher the cost. Don’t get us wrong. We are all for segmentation when necessary.

But we don’t recommend unnecessary narrowing. Broader audience = cheaper traffic. Also, Facebook’s algorithms are constantly learning. The more data they have, the better your ad performance. Let’s try and give them that data.

Step 4 – Keep a watch on audience overlapping

Facebook’s audience targeting tools are immensely powerful. But it’s not without its flaws. One glaring issue is audience overlapping. We have noticed that some of Facebook’s users are present in different audience pools. They might have been in one particular audience pool. Then shifted to another one and converted for a goal. So, Facebook has the same user in two different pools. You may be paying money to show ads to the same person.

This causes two problems.

  • It drains your budget
  • It causes ad fatigue to the user

Thankfully, Facebook has the perfect solution to this. Log on to the Facebook audience manager and check for the Audience Overlap tool. Run some comparisons. Do you have a similar audience in multiple groups? Time to fix it then.

Closing thoughts – How do Facebook Ads work in 2021 – By staying one step ahead of ad spend

That sums up our two-part guide. As you would have noticed, there’s no secret sauce. All we do is ensure that we run cheap ads that convert and keep a plug on wastage. With this, you are one step closer to creating winning campaigns.

But it’s not the be-all, end-all. Facebook Ads is a massive platform with tons of opportunities. But to make the most of it, you have to separate the chaff from the wheat. Our team can help you do exactly that. Speak to us today to know how we can help.


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