In this new era of digital marketing where things are constantly shifting and evolving, staying up to date with current Facebook trends is a MUST.
After all, Facebook is still king and remains the best platform to market your business online.
Every day during our huddle, my team shares hot takes on what’s working well (or NOT so well) in their client accounts in real-time so we’re always on top of the latest marketing trends.
There have been some extra juicy ones shared over the last couple of weeks that I just can’t keep to myself.
So in today’s episode of the Not For Lazy Marketers Podcast, I’m sharing current Facebook trends brought to you from the Hirsh Team Huddle, including:
- Automatic placement VS manual placement
- Dynamic creative VS post ID ads
- Video best practices & visibility ads
Tune in for all the latest NEED to marketing trends to keep your business on top.
After listening, send me a DM on Instagram (@emilyhirsh) and share your biggest takeaways from this episode with me!
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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Hello everybody, welcome back to the podcast. I hope you guys are having a great week. I love October. I know I’ve talked about that in a recent episode, but it’s almost my birthday, and my mom growing up always made our birthdays so special. Every year she’d do something big and grand, whether it was like balloons all over, or she would redecorate our bedroom while we were at school, or plan a really cool party. So I’ve carried that over into my own life, and my husband has a little bit of pressure because I’m like, starting October, “my birthday’s coming up, my birthday’s coming up.” So anyways, some people don’t care about their birthdays, but I love my birthday and that month. It means it’s fall, pumpkins, my favorite season. So I’m excited, and it’s also Q4. Can you even believe that? It’s so insane. We have been really focused. We have big goals to finish out this year, big things happening. I am so excited and just so grateful for the people I get to work with every day, incredibly smart and talented people.
Today’s episode, I actually haven’t done this in a while and I just want to give you guys a Facebook update, things that we’re talking about, a list of things. Every day on our team huddle, we ask our team for hot takes like what are you seeing? What’s working? What’s not working? Can you share that with the team? What I wanted to do is take that information that’s come out over the last 10 to 14 days and just give it to you guys in one place, which I do that at least once a quarter, every so often. So I wanted to dive into that.
So here is kind of the theme that’s coming up around Facebook ads right now, and that is the algorithm is a little bit wonky so hings that are really dependent on the algorithm, we’re kind of backtracking and retesting that. The way that that comes up is first of all, CBO campaigns. Second of all, you’ve got automatic placement previously was kind of the recommended best practice. Then you have dynamic creative ads, and this also is where you’re giving Facebook all the creative and they’re kind of choosing what, where, and what to spend, and how to pair it together.
With that said, we’ve been working on testing is automatic placement versus manual placement actually the right decision? Dynamic creative versus post IDs, CBO versus standard campaigns. We’re seeing a pretty consistent trend and this is not in every account. So that’s kind of the important thing. One thing one of our ads managers said is, “it’s really weird. In one account I can test dynamic creative and it works really well, and then in another account I test it and I compare it to post ID ads, and post IDs do better.” So it really does vary across accounts, and I don’t know exactly what causes that. It’s so strange. It’s almost like an algorithm in your account kind of sticks and then that continues to work better. I think it depends on how seasoned your pixel is, what data Facebook has on you, how much you’ve spent historically in your account, if it’s a new account or an old account.
Anyways, so the overall theme right now that our team is kind of recommending is that you go test these things instead of kind of sticking with like, “oh, automatic placement and dynamic creative, that’s what was recommended to me or that’s best practice.” We’re seeing that shift a little bit, and I will probably guess that it’s going to change again, because if you think about it, what’s happening right now on the backend of Facebook is they’re changing everything. All their algorithms, all their optimization algorithms, all their tracking, they’re having to adapt to this new privacy era. That means they’re changing a lot of their backend, they’ve already said they have hundreds of engineers on this project and they’re working on that. So I think that while that happens over the next probably six to 12 months, we’re going to see this shift a little bit. Now remember, Facebook wants dynamic creative and automatic placement and CBO campaigns, everything that gives them control, they want that to be the best performing, but with their algorithm a little bit wonky, it may not be right now.
So a couple of takeaways our team shared. First of all, to go back and test manual placement. So actually only select that your ad is seen on Instagram and Facebook, which takes out audience network and a couple of other options, and you might see an improvement. We started to notice that when we selected automatic placement, a large percentage of the budget was actually going to audience network, and I’m not sure what that has to do with iOS updates or why they would do that, but it’s worth testing. Again, that’s not for every single account, but if you haven’t tried it and compared it, would definitely be worth it to test that because we’ve definitely seen improved results in some of the accounts that are just selecting Instagram and Facebook. In other cases, you’ll select automatic placement and it will automatically serve to just Instagram and Facebook, so it just depends on the algorithm and the backend of your own account.
The second piece is dynamic creative versus post IDs. So dynamic creative means you load all your headlines, all your images, all your body copy, and you tell Facebook, “you choose the pairing, you choose where to put the budget,” and you let their algorithm do its thing. Post ID ads are when you put the pairing, you create the ad, the original ad, and then you take that post ID for that ad and you bring it across all your other ads. The one positive of that, and this is the way that I used to do it when I started doing ads four years ago, this was the better performing way and then they came out with dynamic creative. The positive of post ID is that all of your social proof ends up on one ad. When you use dynamic creative, you have like a hundred ad variations because in each campaign and each ad, you have all these different variations. So that’s the downside.
Previously the algorithm doing a good job and choosing, and the algorithm kind of favoring dynamic creative outweighed the social proof issue, but now we’ve been seeing post ID ads start to outperform dynamic creative. I prefer the post IDs because then you get the social proof. I wish they’d figure out how to do that with dynamic creative, they probably will at some point, but that really does make a difference with ads. So if you haven’t tested post ID ads compared to dynamic creative, I would definitely test that.
The next thing is just remembering with, this has come up a few times with my team, is just remembering that short videos, short, entertaining videos like Reels, or you can do a regular video, but keep it under two minutes, are doing the best. This has changed a lot over the last several years. You used to be able to do a Facebook live for like 15 minutes or 20 minutes and it would do really well and you would get people watching it. I think that’s because Facebook live was so new, that was how you consumed video. Reels and even Instagram stories didn’t exist then. Over the years that’s changed, and our audience’s attention span has changed, and the way our audience consumes content has changed.
Somebody recently just asked me this. They said, “why do you think that we have to refresh creative so much? And why do you think we have to have these short, entertaining, constantly new, new, new videos?” My answer was one of the biggest reasons is it’s because that’s the way content is now being created. TikTok has become such a huge factor in people’s entertainment. So when the bar is set there where that is the norm, that becomes where you have to meet that bar, right? Because if people are not watching long videos on social media, and then you just continue to create those, it’s not going to do well.
Using really short videos actually for visibility ads has been successful in building warm audiences for some of our client accounts. Just to recap what a visibility ad is if you’re not familiar, a visibility ad’s purpose is for someone to watch that so that you get those video views, you get that engagement, and you can then retarget those people. In the past, I would say, “make a 12 minute long video and then you can use that as an ad, target cold traffic, get views on that video.” Now I would say make those visibility videos like two minutes. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but it actually is enough time to get someone to be like, “oh, I like what he or she is saying. I want to learn more of that. I’m going to go check them out. I’m going to go to their profile. I’m going to go follow them,” and when they watch that video, you’re capturing an audience.
So if you’re not, first of all, utilizing visibility ads, I do highly recommend that. I recently talked about in a podcast about the new way of looking at Facebook ads and kind of increasing your ad spend to visibility ads, which means you’re actually spending about 10 to 15% of your monthly budget on visibility ads, because they’re inexpensive and then you’ve got these audiences that you can retarget. They also are not impacted by the iOS updates. So somebody who watches a video on Facebook or engages with your profile, even if they’ve opted out of tracking, they still are tracked. So that is another positive because you can take that audience and utilize it for lookalike audiences, which then allows you to have a really solid base for that lookalike. Where if you’re just counting on pixel data, like someone who goes to your website or goes to a landing page and they’ve opted out of tracking, you’re losing that. You’re losing that data with iOS updates.
So record some two minute, three minute max videos that are very hot topics, like mistakes your audience is making, or the one thing somebody needs to know to get to achieve X, Y, Z. Very focused on desire, on outcome, on frustrations. Remember, you’re not giving them like the A to Z how to go do something. You’re exposing a problem, or you’re speaking to a desire. You can take those videos and link to something more in depth, like a podcast episode, or like a blog. But even just that short video, you don’t have to even link to something. Just having someone watch a short video, you then can use that audience, that’s a touch point with your brand. So test out those short videos for your visibility ads and then use those audiences, send them to your webinar or your slow funnel or your e-commerce products. Then also use those as lookalike audiences. We’re seeing that work really well in accounts.
So these are some hot takes that have come up that I think were pretty significant from our team and I just wanted to do a Facebook update episode, because I knew a lot of you guys look to me for that and for the insider intel. That really speaks to how quickly things change, because I guarantee you could go back six months and find a podcast of mine where I’m like, “use dynamic creative, use automatic placement.” I’m pretty sure I have a podcast that’s about leaning on the algorithm because that is where Facebook wants us to be. But in the same note, you can’t forget that you have to continually test and never be like, “oh, this is the way we do it. We never change.” Knowing that Facebook is going through so many changes on the backend with their algorithm means that we have to constantly be aware of that and question and be like, “is this really the best way? Is this really how we should do it?”
That is what we’ve been doing and finding in some accounts, not everyone, that things not leaning on the algorithm have started to do better. Again, we’re going to continually test this. In 3, 4, 5, 6 months from now, this might not be relevant, but right now you want to make sure you’re testing and you’re questioning things that are driven by the algorithm to make sure you’re having it working in your favor and getting the best results. I hope you guys found this was helpful. I will talk to you all next week. Thanks so much for listening.