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Facebook Advertising in 2021: 7 Changes & Predictions

If you advertise on Facebook, there are some big changes we can expect for Facebook Advertising in 2021.

Some of the changes and predictions will make you jump for joy, some you didn’t see coming at all, and some changes will make you scratch your head.

Either way, If you want to be prepared for what is to come, we want you to read until the end of this post.

Intro: Facebook vs. Apple

  1. Event limits
  2. Removal of 28-day click attribution window
  3. Continued rise of video as the dominant media type
  4. Rise of Facebook groups and Facebook group ads
  5. Continued removal of core targeting options
  6. Improvement or addition of ad formats
  7. Bigger emphasis on customer experience

Let’s dive right in by looking at the biggest changes that will impact how you advertise on Facebook in 2021.

Facebook vs Apple: Things to Watch Out For on Facebook Ads

Ok, we first want to discuss something that has all advertisers on the edge of their seat.

Something that is coming soon to iOS 14 – Apple’s iPhone software in which Facebook themselves claim will “harm the growth of business and the free internet.”

So what exactly is Apple doing?

Well, Apple will now prompt users to allow tracking or not allow tracking for Facebook applications.

If users opt-out, advertisers like you and us won’t be able to track the events and conversions of those users, limiting the data we have to optimize appropriately on Facebook.

Think about it!

This will affect your ability to track conversions, retarget to your audience, run effective dynamic ads, and more.

And we can tell you what… Facebook is not happy about it.

They’ve created a campaign called “Speak up for Small Business” that uses user generated content from business owners to voice their concerns.

facebook advertising in 2021

Facebook also states that, “Specifically, these changes will limit your ability to:

– Effectively deliver ads to people based on their engagement with your business
– Measure and report on conversions from certain customers
– Ensure your ads are delivered to the most relevant audiences at the right frequency
– Accurately attribute app installs to people using iOS 14 and later
– Predict and optimize cost per action over time and efficiently allocate budgets

With all of that being said, we will first tell you the changes coming to Facebook advertising in 2021 because of IOS 14 and then we will tell you our thoughts.

Biggest Changes on Facebook Advertising in 2021

1. Event Limits

Facebook will be limiting you to 8 conversion events per domain. This includes pixel events such as conversions and page views and custom conversions.

And if you have ads optimized for events that are not one of the top 8, they will be paused.

2. Removal of a 28-day Click Attribution Window

Facebook has started their process of moving to a 7-day click and 1-day view attribution.

What this means is that Facebook will only report conversions after someone clicks on your ad for up to 7-days after the click.

To help, Facebook will be using Statistical modeling to help you understand how much data is unreported due to IOS 14.

How do we feel about IOS 14 and the changes coming to Facebook as a consequence?

Honestly, we feel that it’s not the end of the world.

Yes, it does hurt a bit. Yes, some tracking will be reduced.

But, no one truly knows yet how big of an impact it will have.

The sentiment here at LYFE is to do the best you can with the tools you have, and as Facebook changes and evolves, so will we.

3. Continued Rise of Video As The Dominant Media Type

In 2016, Mark Zuckerberg stated that Facebook could be mostly video by 2021 and we are definitely seeing the effects as we move into 2021.

According to WordStream, “Video is on average 10% of the cost of carousel or single image ads.”

According to Jeff Bullas, compared to a static post, users will also spend 5 times more time on a post that contains a video.

According to this databox, nearly 69% of marketers say video ads have higher ROI than image and plain text ads on Facebook.

So what does this tell us? Use more videos in your ads!

This includes using videos for Your Facebook story and newsfeed ads.

When we talk about video, we get a ton of questions and the main question we get is if gifs count.

The answer is yes.

Any type of non-static image is a step in the right direction.

Here are a few of our biggest tips for your video ads in 2021:

A. Create video ads that look like they were created by a customer

The thought here is that people like viewing products and services from the point of view of the customer.

When talking about ads for Stories, Facebook says that your ad can be mobile-shot or studio shot.

“Mobile-shot refers to creative that resemble organic Stories content, similar to the effect of using a mobile phone camera, or ‘selfie-mode.’ Studio-shot appears to be of higher production value, more like traditional ads.”

And according to Facebook, guess which one outperforms the other?

Mobile-shot in almost all cases.

facebook advertising in 2021

According to Facebook, mobile shot is:

– 78% better at driving ad recall
– 80% better at driving intent
– 84% better at getting users to view content
– 63% better at driving purchases, app installs and checkouts

So, rest assured that you don’t need to create a video ad fit for the super bowl. You simply need to create an ad that is representative of the customer experience.

B. Create video ads that work without sound

Did you know that Facebook gives users a setting to turn sound off for all of their videos?

In-fact, 85% of people watch videos with the sound off.

And a study of Facebook video ads found that 41% of videos were basically meaningless without sound. OUCH.

Which means the goal for your video creation should be to capture attention and convey purpose whether the sound is off or not.

In short, create a video that doesn’t need sound to be effective.

Here are two tips to do this:

  • Add subtitles to your videos. This will either let the reader read what is being said or convince them to turn on the sound as they can tell they are missing out on audio.
  • Add words, logos, and products to your video that get across the meaning.

4. Rise of Facebook Groups and Facebook Group Ads

During Super Bowl LIVE, Facebook spent an estimated $10 million to run a 60-second commercial with the sole objective to promote Facebook Groups.

In addition, Facebook recently went through a redesign to put more emphasis on groups by placing it in the nav bar and giving posts within groups an algorithm-based feed.

And if Facebook goes all-in on a feature like groups, you likely should follow.

But we bet you are wondering what Facebook Groups have to do with Facebook advertising in 2021?

Well, Facebook has been quietly testing Facebook group ads since late 2019.

facebook advertising in 2021

And with the continued rise in popularity of groups and Facebook’s push to make them an important part of the site, we wouldn’t be surprised if they launched Facebook group ads in 2021.

And a dead giveaway was Zuch’s move to an algorithm-based feed in groups.

Where there is an algorithm, there is better engagement with monetization not far behind.

We got our eyes on you Zuch!

5. Continued Removal Of Core Targeting Options

If you were not aware, Facebook has five core audiences

A. Location – Allows you to target your ads to specific cities, communities and countries.

B. Demographics – Allows you to target your ads based on age, gender, education, job title and more.

C. Interests – Allows you to target based on users’ interests and hobbies such as Home and Garden or Vehicles.

D. Behavior – Allows you to target your ads based on consumer behaviors such as shopping trends based on past purchases.

E. Connections – Allows you to target or exclude your ads based on those connected to your Facebook Page or event.

A key priority for Facebook in the past and in the future is the evolution of their targeting options to remove those that are discriminatory, duplicates, or rarely used.

In 2018, Facebook removed over 5,000 targeting options to reduce discrimination mostly based on ethnicity and religion.

Here’s what Facebook had to say about the removal in 2018 in a press release titled “Keeping Advertising Safe and Civil”:

facebook advertising in 2021

“We’re committed to protecting people from discriminatory advertising on our platforms. That’s why we’re removing over 5,000 targeting options to help prevent misuse. While these options have been used in legitimate ways to reach people interested in a certain product or service, we think minimizing the risk of abuse is more important. This includes limiting the ability for advertisers to exclude audiences that relate to attributes such as ethnicity or religion.”

Then seven months later in 2019, Facebook removed targeting options related to housing.

Here’s what Facebook’s COO Cheryl Sandberg had to say about the removal in a press release titled: Doing More to Protect Against Discrimination in Housing, Employment and Credit Advertising:

“We believe that the changes we’re announcing today as part of our settlements with the NFHA, ACLU, CWA and other groups will better protect people on Facebook:

– Anyone who wants to run housing, employment or credit ads will no longer be allowed to target by age, gender or zip code.
– Advertisers offering housing, employment and credit opportunities will have a much smaller set of targeting categories to use in their campaigns overall. Multicultural affinity targeting will continue to be unavailable for these ads. Additionally, any detailed targeting option describing or appearing to relate to protected classes will also be unavailable.
– We’re building a tool so you can search for and view all current housing ads in the US targeted to different places across the country, regardless of whether the ads are shown to you.”

And then AGAIN in August of 2020, Facebook removed over 1,000 targeting options due to low usage.

Here’s what Facebook had to say about the removal in 2020 in a press release titled: “Simplifying Targeting Categories”

facebook advertising in 2021

“As part of our latest efforts to simplify and streamline our targeting options, we’ve identified cases where advertisers – of all sizes and industries – rarely use various targeting options. Infrequent use may be because some of the targeting options are redundant with others or because they’re too granular to really be useful. So we’re removing some of these options.”

Now, they say history repeats itself and we believe we will see more targeting options removed in 2021 as Facebook fights to stay compliant with federal regulation, while providing advertisers with options to reach their target audience.

Now, should this worry you as an advertiser? We don’t think so.

Facebook has more than enough targeting options to reach nearly every type of audience there is.

In addition, any removal of targeting options by Facebook, is simply a consequence of a legal requirement or to help make targeting easier for us advertisers.

6. Improvement or Addition of Ad Formats

There are currently about 16 Facebook ad types:

  • image ads
  • video ads
  • page likes ads
  • lead generation ads
  • carousel ads
  • collection ads
  • post engagement ads
  • slideshow ads
  • instant experience ads (previously called Canvas)
  • dynamic ads
  • messenger ads
  • stories ads
  • playable ads
  • augmented reality ads
  • app installs
  • branded content ads
  • search ads

While most of these ad types are not new, Facebook continues to refine them for a better user experience and a better outcome for advertisers.

For example in recent time, Facebook has continued to update their ad types by:

– Adding polls to video ads
– Releasing the Creator Studio Mobile App
– Updating Story ads with ability to start conversations in Messenger
– Allowing advertisers to send traffic to a mobile-optimized, on-platform shopping experience for Auto inventory ads
– Adding multiple text options
– Expanding dynamic product ads

And much, much more.

Thus for Facebook advertising in 2021, we can expect more updates to come to the ad formats we know and love, and possibly new ad formats such as group ads.

We’re expecting to see a lot more Augmented Reality ads from big brands that immerse users in the product experience and more tools from Facebook to make the ads easier to create.

For small businesses, we expect an uptick in video ad usage and more tools like polls rolled out from Facebook to make video ads even more engaging.

7. Bigger Emphasis on User Experience

2020 saw an unprecedented amount of Facebook accounts being disabled in an attempt by Facebook to get a handle on violations of its ad policies by advertisers.

One of the ways Facebook is attempting to be transparent about who they ban or restrict in the form of a Customer Feedback Score.

Facebook uses a variety of information, including surveys from people who purchased your products to help verify whether you are accurately representing the products delivered to customers.

And then, provide you a feedback score based on that information.

One of our clients recently had his customers surveyed by Facebook.

Customers were asked to rate the product quality, whether they received the product or not, customer service level, and delivery speed.

Your Customer Feedback Score is a rating between 0 to 5 with 0 being the worst score and 5 being the best.

According to Facebook,

  • For pages more than a year old:

If your page’s score drops between 1 and 2, your page will see a delivery penalty applied to its ads.

This means your ads will reach fewer people for the same budget.

If your page’s score drops below 1, it won’t be allowed to advertise.

  • For pages less than a year old:

If your page’s score drops below 2, it won’t be allowed to advertise.

To check your feedback score, visit and choose your Facebook account.

To keep yourself in good standing with your Feedback Score, we suggest the following 3 things:

a. Make it extremely clear what users can expect from your products. This includes images, colors, materials, and sizes.

b. Make shipping expectations clear. Prominently display expected shipping times at points of checkout on your website and always provide a tracking number.

c. Make your return policy extremely clear.

Currently, the feedback score appears targeted towards advertisers that sell products but we expect the feedback score to evolve to ensure customer satisfaction for advertisers that provide a service as well.

Facebook Advertising in 2021: Final Takeaways

We’ll there you have it, 7 Facebook advertising changes and predictions in 2021.

Nonetheless, as we move further into 2021, we would like to leave you with one of our favorite quotes of all time:

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance,” by Alan Watts.

Here is a recap of the 7 changes and predictions in Facebook advertising in 2021 that we’ve discussed:

  1. Event limits
  2. Removal of 28-day click attribution window
  3. Continued rise of video as the dominant media type
  4. Rise of Facebook groups and Facebook group ads
  5. Continued removal of core targeting options
  6. Improvement or addition of ad formats
  7. Bigger emphasis on customer experience

If you follow the tips we listed above, you are most likely to be one step ahead of the competition.

But, if you want to take your Facebook marketing to the next level, we recommend working with the experts to get the results you want. LYFE Marketing is here to help.

Just click this link today to get started!

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