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What is the Future of Facebook Ads?

Facebook has undergone several significant changes in the past couple of years, including a somewhat controversial branding update with its switch to "Meta." Of course, some of these changes will have more impact on businesses that utilize Facebook's platform than other adjustments. (After all, Facebook to Meta is primarily a name change.) 

One of the biggest areas of concern involves Facebook ads. Some companies have supported significant changes related to the social media giant's advertising system, while other organizations have decried the "new normal." In either event, one thing remains certain: Facebook is still a significant player in the advertising industry and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. 

How Facebook Changed in 2022 

From a business owner's perspective, the most significant change Facebook introduced to its marketing features is the removal of Detailed Targeting options. Since January 19, 2022, Facebook no longer allows advertisers to target platform users based on topics and interests that may be deemed "sensitive," such as religious, sexual, and political views, not to mention health causes such as "lung cancer awareness," etc. 

According to Facebook's public statements on this decision, they removed detailed targeting after careful thought regarding the competing interests. Of course, regulatory pressure and public opinion undoubtedly played prominent roles in the decision. However, the good news for advertisers is that there are still ways to reach core demographics with their messaging via the Facebook platform. 

Facebook is a Robust System 

Despite the recent changes to Facebook's advertising policy, the company remains a titan in the social media sector and still enables customers to present their ads to the right people.  

For example, Facebook offers a wide range of options and supplements for its ads, including: 

  • Engagement Custom Audiences 
  • Lookalike Audiences 
  • Website Custom Audiences 
  • Location Targeting 
  • First-Party Data Targeting 

In the grand scheme of things, Facebook is still the #1 social media network globally, with an array of statistics that back up its dominance. For example, some 69% of American adults say they use Facebook at least some of the time, compared to only 40% for Instagram and 28% for LinkedIn. This rate is even one percentage point higher (70%) for ages 18-29. 

The point is that allocating business resources to social media marketing (and to Facebook ads in particular) is still a wise investment and can help your company generate exposure, traffic, sales, and partnerships that would be otherwise inaccessible. 

Reach Your Local Customers 

Despite the removal of Detailed Targeting options, Facebook ads are still an excellent tool for reaching specific demographics and customer segments. For example, Facebook's geographical capabilities give local businesses plenty of opportunities to reach customers who live within the community. Deploying location-based targeting tactics allow you to focus on those users who are most likely to purchase your products or services. At the same time, it prevents you from wasting money on irrelevant ads. 

Granted, some of Facebook's targeting features are no longer in use, and it appears there is no specific workaround for the loss of such features. Nevertheless, Facebook remains one of the most effective platforms for reaching people with relevant ads and increasing brand awareness for small businesses and large corporations alike. 

A well-rounded digital marketing strategy will include Facebook ads as a critical component in the overall plan, but not the only (or even most important) one. It's well-known that Facebook ads convert at a lower percentage than display or video ads. However, when used as part of an integrated campaign to raise brand awareness across all marketing channels, Facebook ads can drastically improve your ability to reach customers. 

Continue to Leverage Facebook Ads for Business Growth 

Facebook ads have undergone significant changes, especially since the beginning of 2022. Some business executives are concerned that their effectiveness will decrease dramatically by removing Detailed Targeting options. However, the fact remains that Facebook ads can be a powerful marketing tool for companies that use them properly, with or without the Detailed Targeting features. 

Of course, it may be challenging to keep up with the various changes occurring on Facebook (as well as the other major social media platforms). In this regard, assistance from an experienced digital partner can prove invaluable. Marketing professionals who stay up to date on the latest trends and developments in social media marketing can help you navigate the variety of changes that have occurred and prepare you for any other changes that are "coming down the pike."  

In the final analysis, your business still has much to gain by investing in Facebook ads and shouldn't quickly discount its effectiveness. With a reputable digital partner, you can continue to leverage Facebook ads for business growth, now and into the future. 


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Emily Wideman

Written by Emily Wideman

Emily Wideman is a Regional Sales Manager for Federated Digital Solutions. Emily has over 20 years in media marketing as both a leader and a marketing consultant. She has experience in advertising sales, broadcast TV and radio as well as sales management. Her passion for helping local businesses solve their marketing challenges is what drives her. The marketing experience Emily brings to the digital world allows her to not only be a consultant on digital but also a consultant with all her clients marketing needs.

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