Facebook Advertising Myths to Leave Behind in 2021

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Martina Bretous
Martina Bretous


Every day, there's a new article on Facebook Ads. Case in point, this one right here.

Facebook marketer launches new ad campaign

Given how powerful the advertising platform is, there are tons of recommendations out there aiming to steer you in the right direction for your next campaign.

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However, not all recommendations are worth implementing.

Let's revisit some of the most common Facebook Ads assumptions out there and get to the truth. It won't be as dramatic as an episode of The Maury Show, but it will do.

Myth 1. Facebook Ads don't work for B2B brands.

Truth: Facebook is a great platform for B2B advertising.

When it comes to advertising to businesses, the first place people think of is LinkedIn, a network known for fostering professional relationships. Facebook has always been seen as a strictly direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising platform.

Facebook wasn't designed to be a business networking app, said Rex Gelb, paid ads director at HubSpot, and thus, wasn't a top consideration for B2B lead generation. He argues it should be.

"To some extent, people are always open to business-related content, even if they're just mindlessly scrolling through their Facebook and Instagram feeds after a long day at the office," said Gelb. "If you work in B2B, don't hesitate to give Facebook a try – you might be surprised by the results."

Based on HubSpot's 2020 Not Another Marketing Report, brands see the most return on investment (ROI) on Facebook compared to other social media platforms.

SaaS companies like Honeybook say Facebook is their largest acquisition channel, according to the social network. And they're not the only B2B company that relies on Facebook Ads to generate leads.

"We find it to be successful for B2B companies like ourselves to promote content and signups," said Nicole Ondracek, paid ads marketing manager at HubSpot.

If you want to ensure you reach the right audience, Facebook Ads' lookalike audience feature allows you to target users based on their job title, industry, and employer – similar to LinkedIn.

Myth 2. You need a lot of money to get started.

Truth: You only need $1 a day to compete with the big brands.

While some advertising channels require a decent budget to compete, brands can reach Facebook users for as little as $1 a day.

"There's no big upfront commitment required and no large minimums," said Gelb. "You're free to take things as slowly as you'd like and only scale when it makes sense to do so."

He adds that while one dollar will limit the ad inventory you have access to, you'll be on an even playing field with everyone else.

Ondracek echoes this sentiment.

"While it's nice to have a large budget to bring in enough conversions and learnings to optimize your campaigns," she said, "sometimes all you need is a small daily budget to start bringing in leads and customers."

On Facebook Ads, a little can go a long way.

Myth 3. You should create small, targeted audiences.

Truth: Build your target audience but leave some wiggle room.

Facebook Ads' targeting capabilities are impressive. You combine that with the idea that the more targeted your campaign, the better the results, and you run the risk of getting too narrow.

"It's all about testing," said Ondracek. "In some cases where we've tested large audiences (20M+), we've seen better success than narrowed audiences [and] going after a specific list of contacts."

Creating exclusions during your audience creation process makes sense most of the time. For instance, excluding users located outside of a specific region. However, when your targeting gets too narrow, you can miss out on opportunities to reach audiences who would convert on your ad.

"Within your target audience, don't restrict Facebook too much by layering on dozens of filters such as age, device, placement, and gender," said Gelb. "Facebook's ad serving algorithm was designed to find the most qualified audience at the cheapest cost."

"If you give Facebook the freedom to go find those people," he adds, "in many cases, you'll end up with more scale and at a cheaper cost."

Essentially, let the algorithm do its job. Define the key characteristics of your target audience and leave some room for your ad to reach those you may not have considered.

Myth 4. You should retarget all of your website visitors.

Truth: Not everyone should be retargeted.

The Facebook pixel allows you to track user behavior on your website and retarget those same users on Facebook to guide them down the funnel. However, not every person who visits your website should be retargeted on Facebook Ads.

You should still segment which website visitors to focus on, as not everyone who visits your site is ready for retargeting.

For instance, let's say someone visits your "About Us" page. There are many reasons for this: They could be interested in your products, but they could also be looking for a new role. With that in mind, retargeting users based on any action taken on your website may not be valuable or cost-effective.

Instead, focus on visitors who exhibit high-intent behaviors and will be more likely to convert. For instance, visitors who add products to their shopping carts, visit your pricing page or read your testimonials.

Being selective will not only help you manage your budget better (especially if you have a small one) but it can also help you yield better results.

Ondracek highlights that sometimes, you should re-evaluate if retargeting is even the right strategy.

"When retargeting works, it's great," she said, "but we've found, in some cases, that retargeting site visitors is actually more expensive than prospecting."

It's all about finding what works for your brand. Just because Facebook is known for retargeting, doesn't mean that's the strategy that will work for your company every time.

Myth 5. Boosting a post will yield the same results as a campaign.

Truth: Boosting may not always align with your goals.

When you boost a post on Facebook, it's a quick and easy way to expand your reach and gain some quick exposure. However, boosting a post won't necessarily convert users in the same way a campaign would.

Why? Well, if your post isn't already designed to drive a particular action and you boost it, you may gain more impressions but no conversions.

Depending on your goals, you may yield better results for less by creating an ad campaign. With the manual bidding feature, you can monitor how much you spend. You can also optimize your campaign based on your conversion goal.

So, while boosting a post may seem like the best solution for a brand with limited Facebook Ads experience and a small budget, it may be quite the opposite.

If you are going to use that strategy, be sure to consider the following:

  • Does this post have a clear call-to-action (CTA)?
  • Will boosting this post help you reach your goal?
  • Could this work better as part of a larger campaign?

Answering these questions will help you determine when to boost and when to go in another direction.

The biggest takeaway here is that there aren't hard-and-fast rules when it comes to Facebook Ads. Some strategies may work for some brands and not for others. The only surefire way to figure out what works is by experimenting with various strategies.

Ever wonder what's fact or fiction when it comes to Facebook Ads? In this article, we debunk some myths about the social network's advertising platform.

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