Should I Run Facebook Ads in 2023?
Posted by Charlie Recksieck
Is It Diminishing Returns?
How's that for an answer? This could be a very short article. But let's elaborate and dive a little deeper to give an idea who should run Facebook ads in 2023 and who shouldn't.
Benefits Of Facebook Ads
There are ton of great reasons for running Facebook ads. Micro-targeting a demographic you want to explore, various call to actions (purchase, website click, requesting more info, etc), you can dip your toe in the water of a particular ad strategy for small campaigns and not much money.
Why They've Slipped A Little
There still are plenty of great demographic factors that you can leverage with Facebook ads - location and age being two of the biggest no-brainers.
But as of 2022, user interests as declared in their Facebook profiles are now off limits to advertisers as Facebook is at least slightly trying to improve their image for privacy. This digitalmarketer.com article covers changes nicely - health, race, ethnicity and politics are allegedly off the table. I only say "allegedly" because every company's search and ad placement policies are proprietary.
Facebook vs. Other Social Media
This is where it really starts to matter WHAT you are advertising. If you're selling necklaces on Etsy, then Pinterest starts to make sense. If you're promoting a video game with a younger demo, then lets forget about Facebook. Any good social media marketing consultant can help you with your choices; and likely you can just think it through logically and come up with a decent starting strategy.
That said, Facebook isn't as cool as it used to be - if it ever was "cool". Other social platforms tout themselves as being more relevant. That said, Facebook still dominates all other social media networks for ad revenue, eyeballs, everything.
We provide review and consultation to several clients of their Google Analytics and across the board in a variety of industries we see a better click rate on Facebook than every other platform. It's not even close.
Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads
This is slightly misleading because we should break Google "ads" down to two things: Paid search and Google Ads. We've covered this before but organic SEO continues to be less controllable or manipulate-able and paid search is increasingly necessary for any organization.
When you put marketing money there, you are trying to capture people who are actively searching for the thing you are selling. That's its own market and definitely effective.
Case in point, it's great for a client of ours who does immigration law, specializes in tech worker visas. When someone needs an immigration lawyer, it's not a whim. They are looking for a good one; paid search is the best time to go after those potential clients.
Now when it comes to Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads, they both offer incredible power for demographic selection and targeting. Both are placing ads based on what they know about the viewer and the owner of the page and both match up very effectively based on your ad's setting. For instance, if we're advising our diamond merchant client on their ad demographics, you'd want to come up with a demographic of people with good jobs in their late 20s and a relationship status of "in a relationship" - or on pages that discuss anniversary party planning.
In my opinion and experience, Google is the best broad market. Facebook's stronger demo would be people between 30 and 65.
Where Else Could Your Advertising Budget Go
Even if you believe that Facebook ads are going downhill, it brings up the question: If not Facebook, then where?
As we've been hammering here throughout this post - your demographics are the most important factor in choosing your ad platform(s). If you don't know your demographics, look at your Google Analytics or whatever site visitor stats you have and they should lay out your target demo for you in a pretty obvious way.
Based on who you think a typical customer would be, or who would be sway-able as a potential new customer - then pick your platform. It could be a social network. It could be during Google or Yahoo searches (in our case of people needing an immigration lawyer). Could be YouTube (if you're trying to promote an indie movie or band). It could be people searching for community answers like Reddit or Quora (a Texas Rangers board if you sell baseball or Rangers merch). Or it could be in-app advertising (if you're selling a boutique small-batch bourbon, people using Uber and Lyft at night are likely active drinkers).
Or we always love to tout affiliate marketing solutions with our friends at Goodsell Marketing.
Whatever it is, have a plan. Let your product, your customers and your best advertising budget be your guide.