No matter what many people say about Mark Zuckerberg and his social media platform, the truth is that Facebook is still the king of social media. Nearly 3 billion people use Facebook every month. Putting that number in perspective, that means the over one third of the world’s population is active on Facebook. Sure, there are new players in the game and platforms like TikTok and Snapchat are growing very quickly but Facebook is still the largest. After all, no one has to exclusively use one single social media platform. I’m sure you know someone who is active on three or four different social media services. Maybe you’re one of those people yourself.
So, billions of people use Facebook, and that means it’s still a prime platform for marketing and likely to remain so for quite some time. If you’re starting your business or already have one and want to scale it, you absolutely should consider advertising on Facebook. But just like on any other platform, Facebook marketing has changed and evolved over time. You can’t do the same things that worked a couple of years ago. Taking that into account, let’s have a look at what does work right now. Hare are some Facebook Marketing trends to be aware of for 2021.
1. Get some motion and sound in your ads
Once upon a time, Facebook ads were still images: photos, infographs or other designed graphics. And while still images are still in work and remain effective, video has been taking over. Video ads are currently almost 20% of all ads on Facebook and that amount is increasing each year. And its not just the amount of ads; users are interacting more with videos that with pictures. In other words, users tend to click on more videos than stills. So you should definitely consider making video ads for Facebook.
The good news is that these video ads don’t need to be too sophisticated. They don’t need to look like professionally shot ads made for TV. You will, of course, need some basic equipment and software but that doesn’t necessarily mean spending a ton of money. You can make some very engaging ads with a decent smartphone camera and video editing programs that might even come preinstalled with your computer’s operating system.
2. Augment your reality
Just to be clear here, augmented reality is not the same as virtual reality. Virtual reality creates an entire artificial environment you can explore and interact with. VR could let you explore the Titanic just like it was the moment it set sail. Or maybe walk around a fictional base on a fictional planet many light years away. In any case, the entire environment is artificially generated. Augmented reality, on the other hand, projects artificial objects into a real environment. Do you remember the craze when the Pokemon Go game came out a few years ago? That’s a great example of augmented reality: people would look through their phone’s camera and see the characters placed on real streets, benches or other real-world objects. Another example of augmented reality are those Snapchat filters people use to put on virtual sunglasses, rabbit ears or other objects.
While still new and technically more complex than creating a video ad, AR is getting some serious attention in Facebook Marketing. A lot of companies are creating their own AR filters for use in ads. Suppose your business sells designer frames for eyeglasses. AR could let people see what they look like wearing them and help them decide which model they like better. Or suppose you sell original art. Using augmented reality a potential buyer could see exactly what a painting would look like hanging in their living room.
3. Let your users in on the fun
A lot of companies and brands are turning to user-generated content (UGC) for their ads. While professionally taken photos and videos using models are still an option, a lot of people are preferring to see real users using products in everyday scenarios. Letting users send in videos and pictures is also a great way to get free content for your ads. This means that using user-generated content not only gets you images and videos that your audience can better relate to, but you save some money as well. A lot of major brands like Coca-Cola, Netflix, Starbucks and Apple have run some very successful campaigns built around UGC and this is something you definitely want to do in 2021.
4. Diversify your copy
The text on your Facebook ads can be almost any length; from just a couple of sentences to whole pages’ worth of copy. And there’s no universal formula for success. Some people react better to short ads that just drive the point straight home. Others prefer longer ads, with detailed specs, descriptions and testimonies. Yet others prefer something in between. And all of them are valuable potential customers for your brand or business. So you don’t want to lock yourself into one type of ad copy. What you want to do is mix it up. Create a few different ads of each type and have them all running at the same time so you can reach more people.
5. Hit’em where they can’t miss you
There are several places within the Facebook user interface where you can place an ad. But studies have shown that not all of them are equally effective. Since the place where users typically spend more time is their newsfeed, newsfeed ads will be very hard to miss. Newsfeed ads are not only more visible, but users tend to click on them more. Newsfeed ads have been found to have a click-through rate of about 2%, which is a lot higher than other kinds of ads.
6. Cater to their tastes
People like to feel that you are talking specifically to them. Generic, made-for-everybody ads just won’t cut it in 2021. To run a successful marketing campaign on Facebook, you have to learn to target different demographics so, depending on your business, you might want to make ads that target certain age groups only. Or one campaign aimed at men and another one aimed at women. This requires some studying, but you need to get it right. Users are much more likely to react favorably to an ad that’s personalized to their tastes and preferences.
7. Tell a story
Love them or loathe them, stories have entered social media to stay. Stories have become a prominent feature on all major platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others. TikTok is basically a giant reel of stories. For those of you who still aren’t familiar with them, stories are short, informal videos that focus on a single message. Quick and straight to the point. This makes them very well suited to advertising. If you’re following the trends mentioned in this article, you’re already going to be making video ads. You might as well use those same tools to make short videos to run as stories.
8. Learn the language of Emojis
A lot of users on Facebook might not take a second glance at an ad with just text, especially if its of the longer copy type. But using emojis in your ad can make it really shine and people will be more likely to interact with it. Some companies have actually been bold enough to make ads consisting solely of these little images. So feel free to throw them into your ads… have some fun!
Facebook has been around for a long time… just over 17 years. There is a whole generation of people who can’t remember a time when there was an internet without Facebook. But despite its age, it is still hugely popular with billions of users active on it every month. With so many people using it, Facebook is still a prime advertising platform. Whether you’re beginning your first startup or have an established brand and are looking to get more business, you definitely want to consider marketing on Facebook. But as with any other social media marketing platform, there are strategies that work and others that just don’t. To make matters even more complex, the things that work are constantly changing and keeping up with them can be hard. In this article we’ve presented some of the trends that are working in 2021 and are things you’d be wise to consider if you’re just starting on Facebook ads or are renovating your campaigns. So fire up your cameras, plan and write your copy, make some ads and start advertising.