How to nail your Facebook Ads Strategy in 2021
Read Time: 7 Minutes

How to nail your Facebook Ads Strategy in 2021

16 Feb, 2021 Read Time: 7 Minutes
Published by
Kineta Kelsall
Senior Director, Training (Social Media)
Inspire Inform Ignite

Facebook Advertising can be overwhelming, but selling stuff on Facebook works. 

Whether it's health services to professionals, or food and beverages to consumers, if your audience is on Facebook, you should be marketing there too. 

So if you’re looking to ramp up your advertising game on Facebook this year, here are my top tips/quick wins to get you back in the game.

Let Facebook do the hard work

When selecting your bid or determining your placement, give control back to Facebook and let its learning algorithms do the hard work for you.

What this means

Use Lowest Cost bidding and Automatic Placements, let Facebook determine where you can get the most results for your budget, at the lowest cost. 


Setting a specific bid or selecting a placement will restrict you getting more results at a lower cost. For example, if you set a bid cap at $1, you will likely lose bids opportunities for $1.01 or less. And restricting your ad placement to one place, for example the Facebook Newsfeed, means you're not giving Facebook the opportunity to find the right audiences within the budget you have. 

But if consistency is more important to your business than volume (results), you can use the Bid and Cost cap bidding strategies. Also, if your campaign is solely designed for Instagram, then of course you can switch to Manual Placements. So it’s not that these options are redundant, but if you want volume and better results for your budget, automatic delivery is recommended.

Explore different audiences for different objectives

With all the different audience options available on Facebook, it’s sometimes hard to know which one to choose for your chosen objective. 

What this means

There are three main different targeting options to choose from on Facebook.

Saved audiences: defined by choosing people’s interests, location, age, gender, used devices, income level, etc.

Screenshot of Facebook saved audiences

Custom audiences: high-value audiences based on 1st party data

Screenshot of Facebook custom audiences

Lookalike audiences: reach the people similar to your existing source, for example people that have similar attributes to people who purchase on your site.

Screenshot of Facebook lookalike audiences

If you're prospecting, you should ensure your audience is broad as this will give Facebook lots of opportunities to find relevant audiences, therefore great for reach and brand awareness campaigns. Also, broad (4/5% of the population) Lookalike audiences of website visitors or customers could also work here too. You have the opportunity to target up to 10% of the population, so experiment with audience sizes and determine what works best for you.

Whereas if you’re looking to target people to do something like click, download or purchase, you should consider also targeting people who have already interacted with your website, app, page or content across the Facebook family. This means building Custom audiences - targeting people who have already interacted with you. 


With ‘interest based’ audience targeting, the data sets tend to be bigger, therefore better to use for reach/awareness campaigns because you’re giving Facebook more opportunity to find the relevant users. 

Whereas Custom audiences use 1st party data, this is information that you collect directly from your audience or customers. Usually smaller in size, but most valuable to your consideration and conversion campaigns as you're targeting people who know/have interacted with you, therefore are more likely to buy from you. The trust is already there. 

So although it’s still relevant to target ‘interest based’ audiences for conversion campaigns (some businesses are finding them more effective), custom audiences are where you’re liking to see a quicker return. Again, it’s about testing to see what works for your business because different verticals are seeing different results.

Adapt creative for different placements 

If you’re running your ads on Automatic Placement, you have the option with some objectives and formats to adapt for different placements across Facebook, Instagram and the Audience Network.

What this means

At the ad level you can take one ad creative and optimise it for the different placements. Adapting means you're changing your ad creative to look different on Feed V Stories for example. This means changing the size, creative and text to suit, therefore giving audiences more authentic experiences where they are browsing. 

Screenshot of Facebook ad creative options


When a user browses Instagram Stories for example, they are more likely to engage with ads that ‘pop’ so switching out a static creative to motion will provide the user with a better experience, therefore likely generating a more valuable action.

Organise your tracking parameters 

And finally but most importantly, setting up tracking using the Facebook pixel is imperative for measuring the effectiveness of your advertising, understanding what people do on your website/app and building sophisticated audiences. 

But you may have noticed prompts in your Facebook dashboard recently asking you to prepare for the Apple iOS update. This is because advertisers can likely expect limitations to data tracking, measurement capabilities, and targeting a​cross platforms if iOS users opt out of Apple’s Tracking Prompt, therefore media buyers need to prepare for this. 

What you need to do

  • Ensure your brand has its own Business Manager 
  • Verify your domain in Facebook Business Manager
  • Identify the top 8 conversion events, otherwise Facebook will do this for you. Basically, what do you want to track on your site? Search, view, add to cart?
  • Reporting is going to only be available for a 7-day click attribution window. So any activity that falls outside those days, e.g. conversions, will not be visible in Facebook therefore ensure when reporting to clients or wider marketing teams that there might be a decrease in conversions if you’ve been using a longer attribution window. 

Looking to learn more about Facebook Advertising? We have a bunch of interactive courses ranging from introductory to advanced media planning and buying on Facebook.

See the different courses and bundles below.

Introduction to Facebook Advertising

Facebook Media Planning 

Facebook Media Buying

Facebook Media Planner and Buyer Bundle

Facebook Practitioner Bundle

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