We are halfway through the year and many people are wondering what’s working with Facebook Ads in 2023. Or even “Are Facebook Ads still working?” The answer is YES!
Facebook and Instagram ads are working better than they have in a long time when you follow a few key guidelines.
In this article, you’ll learn what types of optimizations are working with Facebook and Instagram ads, what new trends you should watch, and how to test your ads to make sure you are getting the best results.
Optimizations that are working with Facebook Ads in 2023
Facebook’s machine learning and AI has gotten much better in 2023. Which is good news for marketers. Facebook knows what we want to buy before we do 😄
In order for you to get the best results with these optimizations, you will need to be using either a Leads or Sales objective and using the Facebook pixel. You can also use the Instant Forms Lead objective (all on Facebook).
I’m typically focusing most of my budget on the Leads and Sales objectives and occasionally adding Engagement ads at the Top of the Funnel with a Video ad.
#1 Use Wider Targeting in Facebook Ads
Wider targeting is working well. I used to be a big advocate of keyword targeting and targeting other Fan Pages in ads but Facebook has removed a lot of keywords in the last year or two.
I do recommend basic demographic targeting like age range, gender, and location. But other than that, as long as you are using the Leads or Sales objective, use wider targeting.
If you are using any other objectives, then I would add in the keyword targeting or Lookalike Audiences just to get your ads in front of the right people.
The traffic, engagement, or awareness objectives are typically lower CPM which means they are seen by a really wide audience. So, for those objectives, it’s better to have a higher quality, more targeted audience.
#2 Advantage+ Placement is working with Facebook ads in 2023
I was never a big fan of the “All Placement” which is now “Advantage+ Placement”. But now, it is often working better than splitting out your placements into Facebook and Instagram separately and only using the News Feed.
Of course you still want to test what’s working for you but I’m seeing good results with the Advantage+ Placement when I split test.
I will still sometimes split Facebook and Instagram into their own Ad Sets if I do want to control the budget on each placement and scale them differently.
#3 Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns
If you have a catalog or shop on Facebook, definitely use the Advantage+ Shopping campaign.
It has very wide open targeting and not a lot of options but Facebook’s algorithm delivers your ads to the people most likely to purchase.
Facebook Ad Trends to Watch in 2023
#1 Use more Ad Creative variations
This isn’t a new trend but it is now easier than ever with ChatGPT and more tools available.
Here are some ideas to test when it comes to Ad Creatives:
- No text images vs. ads with text
- Images vs video
- Long text vs short text
- Testimonial at the top of the ad text
- Casual video taken on mobile phone
- Leading with different pain points in ad text
- Customer images
- Still images with videos embedded
- Faster moving Gif images
For more ideas grab my updated FREE e-book: 50 Inspiring Example of Ads that Work
#2 Implement the Conversion API
The Conversion API is not a new thing but as Facebook improves their learning capabilities, tracking on the server side rather than just with the Facebook pixel is much better.
Facebook is even offering sessions in some cases to help get the CAPI installed with you.
The Conversion API is easy to implement depending on your website and shopping cart. My favorite WordPress plugin is PixelYourSite and they have tutorials that will walk you through the process.
Facebook also gives you some guidelines on how to Generate the Access Token and add it to your site.
#3 Advantage+ Creative Standard Enhancements
I haven’t been a fan of the Advantage+ Creative because when I’ve tried it, the ads look very different from how I intended. Sometimes the text in the ad is completely messed up.
But with all of the AI that Facebook is implementing, never say never.
Facebook is making it easy to do A-B testing and so why not test your design skills against Facebook?
Be aware that sometimes Meta is adding music and making more major changes to your ads when you use Advantage+ Creative. Look at the Ad Previews to see if you want those changes.
#4 Improved measurements and tracking
Facebook has brought back the 28-day Attribution window and there are rumors they may even be testing longer attribution.
Facebook is making changes to the Aggregated Event Management currently and we’ll see how those changes affect optimizations.
But I do know that many of my clients are getting better results than they have in a long time so that’s good news!
#5 Lead with more value
I think people are tired of opting in to things in general. How can you bring more value to both the things you give away and to the content you are sharing?
We all have optin-fatigue.
Now that ChatGPT can crank out free ebooks in 2 minutes or less, what will make you stand out?
Here are some of my thoughts:
- Deep experience – showcase your knowledge with customer stories and your unique approach.
- Personality – people are still working with people. How can you make something fun or entertaining as well as useful?
- Personal touch – show that you have something tailored just for them.
Ad copy is more important than ever before for communicating some of these concepts and I’m finding that long-form ads continue to do well for many types of businesses. Ecommerce tends to do better with shorter copy.
In all cases, testing for yourself is the key.
How to Test Your Facebook Ads in 2023
Testing is critical to getting better results with your Facebook and Instagram ads.
Facebook has it’s own “A/B Test” button but I’ve tended to just duplicate the Ad Set to keep all the tests in one campaign.
There are a few more things you can control when you duplicate the Ad Set compared to the way Facebook sets up their A/B testing.
The good thing about Facebook’s A/B Test option is they will give you more analysis. If you manually test your ads, you can get these same numbers in the reports but you’ll have to set up your own Breakdown reports.
You can get more information about how typically run Facebook Split testing in this post: 10-Day Beginner Facebook Ad Test Plan
With any advice, it’s important to know your own baseline numbers and test for yourself to see what works.
The good news is that I’m seeing Facebook and Instagram Ads performing better than they have in a long time and other ad managers are as well.
Let me know if you have any questions or please feel free to share your experience in the comments below.