Facebook Ads Strategy 2021

Here’s your Facebook Ads Strategy 2021! We’ve had a tonne of success with Facebook Ads over the (almost 10!) years we’ve been running them. But we can’t take all the credit… Our amazing Facebook Ads Manager, Allison Christie, oversees and manages all of our ads for us and we’ve persuaded her to share her top five tips for a successful, profitable Facebook Ad strategy in 2021.

Grab a notebook because, if we know Allison, this stuff is going to be golden! 🌟

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Here’s your Facebook Ads Strategy 2021! We’ve had a tonne of success with Facebook Ads over the (almost 10!) years we’ve been running them. But we can’t take all the credit…

Our amazing Facebook Ads Manager, Allison Christie, oversees and manages all of our ads for us and we’ve persuaded her to share her top five tips for a successful, profitable Facebook Ad strategy in 2021.

Grab a notebook because, if we know Allison, this stuff is going to be golden!

1.Get to grips with Facebook Business Manager

If you have a Facebook profile, you also have access to a personal ad account — and back in the day, all ads used to be run from personal ad accounts. Now, however, ads for a business should be run through a Facebook Business Manager to keep your business and your ads separate from you as a person. Not sure if you have a Business Manager? Head on over to business.facebook.com. If you have one, it will show up right there. If you don’t, you’ll be prompted to create one.

Why is Business Manager a big deal for ads in 2021?

There have been a lot of changes in how data is tracked and how it’s recorded within your ads. And as part of those changes there are some important steps you need to take as an advertiser to secure your account and to run successful ads.

For example, it’s super important to make sure the website domain that you’re sending traffic to is verified within Business Manager. You also need your Facebook Tracking Pixel installed so you can track who visits your website. And in 2021, you should also install the new Conversion API so you can track the actions that people take from your ads.

Don’t panic about remembering to tick all of those boxes though; if you’re running your ads through Business Manager, you’ll automatically be given lots of prompts, flags, and guides to tell you which actions you still need to take to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. Of course, if that doesn’t sound like your idea of a good time, you can always find an Ads Manager (like me!) to help you set it all up.

The good news is that once you have a verified Business Manager and installed all of the various things you need, you’ll be able to track a tonne of useful data AND Facebook will view you as a credible advertiser — an incredibly important step in making sure you get the most out of your ad account.

2.Know what a successful ad campaign looks like

Now you’re up and running, it’s time to think about how you’ll measure your ad success. So have a think: what does a successful campaign look like to you?

Hint: it’s probably not all about selling

In fact, most of the time, it’s not about selling at all.

Let’s say your first aim in ads is to grow your audience. People aren’t going to be buying from you at this stage but you’re still going to be spending money on ads. So success for you might mean a whole bunch of new people signing up to your email list.

To do that, you’re going to have to offer them a reason or incentive to sign up and so your first action for ads here would be to set a benchmark for the opt-in rate you’re hoping to achieve. And that will be your measure of success.

So how do you set a realistic benchmark?

You can use the figures that you already have, whether that’s the opt-in rate you get from your social channels, or when you talk about your email list in groups. Or, if you’re brand new to building an email list and don’t have any existing data to go on, you can use a benchmark from your industry — you’ll find plenty of data online.

Another success marker you’ll want to think about is the cost per signup. This is something you can think about in advance. Consider how much each good-quality email subscriber is worth to your business in the long run.

The great thing about investing in Facebook ads — versus spending money on an ad in a magazine or printing flyers, for example — is that you always have figures and stats to help you figure out how each campaign is going. So it’s really worth taking a little time at the beginning to decide on the benchmarks you’re hoping to hit so you know what you’re getting for your money, which ads are performing best, and what you might need to improve on in your next campaign.

And remember, if your first campaign doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to, it doesn’t mean Facebook Ads won’t work for you, it’s just a sign that you might need to do some tweaking so you can build on your initial results.

3.Set a realistic budget

Think of Facebook Ads as an auction. Whenever there’s an opportunity to show an ad to someone on their social feed on Facebook, or on Instagram, billions of auctions take place in Facebook ads every day. And whether or not your ad appears in the newsfeed is down to how much you are willing to pay in the auction to be the one who’s on screen. You don’t want to miss out on your ideal customer seeing your ads because your budget was just a little bit less than your neighbour’s business.

Now it’s perfectly understandable that you don’t want to throw money away on ads. Nobody wants to waste money, right? I’m Scottish, I definitely don’t like to waste money!

So here’s a little tip to help you with budget setting: I never begin with a budget of less than £10 per ad set, per day.

If you want to test out ads, this is your starting point — you really don’t want to go lower than this if you want to make sure your ads have a decent chance of being served up to your ideal audience. So resist the temptation to start out with a teeny £3/£5 toe-in-the-water budget. It just won’t work.

Starting with £10 a day gives the algorithm enough budget to learn who responds to your ads so they can then find you more people like them. Lots of businesses are trying to get their ads in front of the same person. You just won’t win those auctions or gain quality leads if your budget is too low. So start with a budget that gives you the best chance of reaching your audience.

4.Creating your audience

Let’s talk about audiences a little more in our next step. Now, you might have a lot of different audiences you want to reach with your Facebook or Instagram ads, and lots of different places where you want your ad to be served up.  But, before you get too carried away, remember that each audience will require a new ad set — and will quickly blow your budget if you’re looking at spending £10 per day, per ad set.

So prioritise your audiences. Use what you already know works well in your business. For example, do people convert more through your website or do they respond more to your Instagram or Facebook page?

Then think about email lists. Where do people take the most action just now? Is it when you post about something on your socials on Facebook or Instagram, or is it when people land on a landing page and sign up from there? What do your Google Analytics tell you about where your traffic is coming from?

Be your own detective and keep an eye on what works best in your own business. Then use what you know to help you decide which audiences will be your ideal starting place, especially if your budget is limited.

5.Don’t be looking for 1 fish in a sea of 1 million!

While we’re talking about audiences, I know that you’ve refined your client avatar so well you can picture them as a specific individual. But, in 2021, it’s not a great idea to define your audience to the extent that you’re asking Facebook to look for one particular fish in a sea of one million!

Give the algorithm some space to find people for you. Add the basic demographics that are essential for your audience — it might be a restriction that you really need to stick to, like location or age group, or a couple of other signals that’ll help Facebook find the right people — but after that, keep it open. Generally, the bigger and broader your target audience, the more people you’ll be able to reach and the better your ad will perform.

And don’t be scared if your audience size is two million and your budget is £10 per day. Remember not all of your traffic can be tracked in 2021 and you might only reach 1% of your audience in any given day. Your reach and your tracking depend on so many things: when your audience is online, the device they use to access Facebook and Instagram, whether they allow tracking on their mobile and, of course, it depends on the ad auctions you’re winning.  Don’t assume that a large audience means that your ads will reach all of that audience.

When it comes down to it, success in Facebook Ads this year comes down to one thing: testing. Get some results, use those as your benchmark, and keep testing and trying to improve on those results.

Thanks so much to Allison for weighing in on Facebook Ads. If you have any questions for her, drop them in the comments and she’ll jump in and help you out. And if you want more info on the nitty gritty of setting up a Facebook Ad, check out our in-depth tutorial that’ll tell you everything you need to know.