Update Your Meta Advertising Assumptions

I get it. You’ve been advertising for years. You were running Facebook ads before they were Meta ads. You’ve found an efficient system that works for you. But don’t forget to update your assumptions.

Let me explain…

Things Change

It’s important to remember that Meta advertising today looks nothing like it did five or 10 years ago. We shouldn’t be using five or 10-year-old strategies.

Just think about how much has changed during the past few years since iOS 14. Attribution, optimization, and targeting all took a hit as a result of iOS users opting out of tracking.

But we’ve also seen changes with targeting generally. Meta has removed countless interests and behaviors. The “Advantage” expansion products allow the algorithm to target people outside of the detailed targeting, lookalike audiences, and even custom audiences that you specify.

New restrictions were added to certain special ad categories due to legal pressures. You aren’t able to target people the way you once did.

Meta is pushing us more and more towards accepting a more significant role of automation and optimization that is outside of our control. This applies to ad copy and creative and distribution. It’s much more hands-off now.

It surely took some of us a while to adjust our strategies to these changes. But you must.

You need to adjust your assumptions about what works and doesn’t work. You should revisit those strategies that, at one time, you’d never consider.

Stay fluid.

Example: Placements

There was a time when I’d manually adjust placements to only include the “most effective” ones. This was my way of optimizing my results.

You see, I’d use breakdowns by placement to uncover what was working and what wasn’t. And if I saw that I was spending money on a certain placement that wasn’t working, I’d turn that placement off.

And often, I’d apply that learning for new ad sets going forward. Sometimes, I’d only run ads on news feed.

There are a couple of exceptions (particularly when optimizing for link clicks, landing page views, or ThruPlay), but this approach is mostly outdated now. If you are optimizing for a conversion, use Advantage+ Placements (leave all placements on) and allow the algorithm to sort it out.

The difference now is that the algorithm’s sole focus is getting you the most results possible at the lowest cost. If a placement isn’t contributing to those results, the algorithm will adjust in real-time and spend less there. Or more budget will be spent in places that will bring more results.

If you select only a few placements, you’re restricting the algorithm. You are missing opportunities, in many cases, to get cheaper conversions. It’s also possible that impressions on certain placements you’d turn off would have contributed to a conversion on a different placement.

This is a big shift in thinking for many of us.

Example: Broad Targeting

This was a painful adjustment for me. I was always a huge believer in micro-targeting. I didn’t trust the algorithm to find my ideal audience. I’d create super small audiences (often based on custom audiences) of people whom I believed were most likely to act.

This worked really well for me. I’d create ad funnels that people passed through who would watch a series of ads. The engagement and conversion rates were ridiculous.

But, one reason this was so effective was that ad costs were low. It started getting more and more expensive to reach these small audiences. While I haven’t abandoned micro-targeting entirely, it’s now a much smaller part of my strategy.

And now, we’re talking about broad targeting. I’m not just talking about using big detailed targeting or lookalike audiences. Remove all targeting and let the algorithm work.

This approach would have sounded insane not long ago. It took me a while to come around to even trying it. And while it isn’t necessarily the default solution going forward, it’s something you should try. The algorithm is often very good at finding the people most likely to act if you allow it.

Or, of course, you could stick to your micro-targeting approach and assumptions that broad targeting won’t work for you.

Evolve Constantly

I totally understand why this is hard for people. It’s tough for me.

We need structure. We create structure for ourselves with tried and true strategies and processes based on tried and true experiences. But we need to treat these strategies and processes as temporary.

This is the strategy that you’re using right now, in this current environment. But do not ignore changes to what is and isn’t working. Be open to accepting that things today aren’t the way they were just a few years, months, or even weeks ago.

Evolve. Update your assumptions. Update your strategies and processes.

If you don’t, you put yourself at risk of becoming obsolete.

Watch Video

I recorded a video about this, too. Check it out below…

Your Turn

What assumptions have you needed to update over the years?

Let me know in the comments below!