By Tom Murray | Managing Director
New year, new Facebook campaigns, but chances are you are using the same old types of setups and ways of structuring them. Let’s make 2021 the year we finally all move towards focusing only on business objectives instead of bright shiny object syndrome & incorrect setups.
Resolution 1: Do not split out Facebook and Instagram budgets separately.
As much as brands like to think an Instagram post is different than a Facebook post, it really isn’t. They have way more things in common than they don’t, and they function the same way. Ads on Facebook work on Instagram and vice versa. The act of splitting them out will only create inefficiencies, as well as extra creative resources to create double the amount of assets. The juice isn’t worth the squeeze.
Resolution 2: Create “stories” specific vertical creative
This one is just a big pet peeve of mine. Many brands don’t make story specific creative and just use their Facebook post that gets transposed onto Instagram Stories. The issue with this is it screams “I AM AN AD!” Instagram stories should feel organic, so any ad that stands out as non-organic will likely be skipped as fast as the thumb can swipe. Often, Facebook also overlays body copy text on top of these Facebook images, so they just also don’t look that great either.
Resolution 3: Stop optimizing for non-desired events
This one is one that gets said many times when you don’t have enough conversions to optimize for your desired events. For example, optimizing for add to carts instead of purchase. I can’t remember the last time I saw optimizing for ATC BEAT Purchase optimization, yet it gets thrown around as the go-to strategy all the time. Remember, Facebook knows the user behavior and signals better than we do, and a purchase optimized campaign without enough signals is still better than an ATC optimized campaign with more signals, as Facebook knows who exactly are the window shoppers and those that actually purchase. This doesn’t mean you can never optimize for a higher event (it can work in lead-gen for example), but for eComm it is tough to make ATC / Initiate Checkout / View Content optimization work if the desired results are purchases.
Resolution 4: Refuse “bright shiny object” syndrome
One of the biggest ailments of brands and marketers is something I call “bright shiny object syndrome,” where we all chase the newest release thinking it must be good. Being first to market in industries is typically a good thing, but when it comes to new marketing features, many times they are launched with great fanfare, and with minimal business results. For example, Facebook keeps adding placements such as Messenger Inbox & Stories, In-Stream videos, etc - when is the last time you clicked a messenger ad? Or watched a suggested video after watching something on Facebook? Very few and far between, so for direct response performance advertisers, sticking to the tried and true placements are likely better. Let other brands be the guinea pigs and waste their money as they try to figure out platforms, until things such as conversion tracking, better ad units, etc are created on the platform, and then pounce. This isn’t to say all new releases aren’t ripe for arbitrage, but being able to weed through that clutter and picking the ones that are likely to perform give you a much better chance of success.
Resolution 5: Bring creative to the forefront of all plans instead of targeting
Most media agencies focus on targeting, because that is the easiest lever to control. It is also easy to blame creative as the culprit for bad performance when you aren’t involved. All campaigns on Facebook need to now be creative-first, as that is what eventually drives the performance. Facebook will be able to find your target audience rather effectively, but if you don’t send that audience a good message when you get in front of them, you’ve blown your opportunity.
Let’s all break away from the old ways of the 2010’s and move into a more forward thinking approach for 2021!