Research Report

The 2022 State of Facebook Ads Performance

We surveyed 320 companies globally to discover the most important trends related to advertising on Facebook including placements, targeting, creative, and much more.

Nevena Rudan Nevena Rudan on March 14, 2022 (last modified on June 15, 2022) • 32 minute read

In today’s increasingly complex digital world, it can be difficult for marketers to get a clear picture of how their online advertising efforts truly impact business outcomes. Consider Facebook advertising – a lot has changed for marketers and advertisers in the past two years (targeting and iOS updates being the most impactful).

Still, despite all the changes and roadblocks, according to our research, more than 60% of companies increased ad budgets on Facebook in 2021 and more than 50% of companies expect their Facebook ad budgets to increase again in 2022 – having this said, just last 2020, the social media platform giant made $84.17 billion from advertising and $1.80B from other payments. This is despite the fact that >40% of SMBs and >50% of agencies say performance from Facebook advertising either stayed the same or performed worse last year.

So, what gives? Is advertising on Facebook still worth continued investment? And for who? And how?

To bring Facebook advertising effectiveness into focus, Databox sought to explore the opportunities and the challenges agencies and SMBs are facing – from setting and managing budget and choosing the right ad objective, to selecting the right ad format, setting proper targeting, analyzing and reporting on results, and much more.

We compiled this report to serve as a guide to small and medium-sized companies while they navigate through the competitive advertising landscape in 2022 and gain valuable insight into how they can improve their Facebook advertising performance.

Facebook Ads Dashboard Template

During October and November 2021, we surveyed 323 companies globally, of which 250 were eligible for analysis.

Of 250 respondents, 140 (56%) identified themselves as Advertising, Marketing, or Media agencies and 110 (44%) as Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs). 

Most respondents have under 50 employees (both the agencies and SMBs), so all of the stats and conclusions are relevant to small and mid-sized companies.

Survey respondents profile

Many of the respondents also answered open-ended questions about their experiences. While we couldn’t include everyone’s insights, you’ll notice we included many insights in the report below. (As an aside, if you were one of our respondents — thank you for your help. We read every insight and wouldn’t have been able to complete this report without all of your contributions.)

Apart from our respondents, this report couldn’t be completed without the diligence and hard work from Tamara Omerović (Content Editorial Manager and Traffic Team Lead), Špela Mlekuž (Content Marketing Coordinator), and Stefana Zarić (Copywriter).

Executive Summary

Based on our research, we have concluded that the two main drivers of change in Facebook advertising have been the sudden increase of competition that escalated with the pandemic and the latest privacy update that came in 2021 for iOS users. These changes mean that small and mid-sized business owners, their marketing teams, as well as paid ads specialists in agencies, will find it more challenging to stay competitive, deliver results, and drive growth. Closer and more attentive campaign monitoring will be a necessity for all.

With new privacy policies in place and accurate targeting becoming even more of a challenge, companies will need to get more educated and generally improve their data tracking and analysis to drive growth and win on the advertising playing field. Further, agencies that want to prove and improve ROI to their clients, will need to educate them on the KPIs that precede revenue, to more quickly identify the ad strategy that will drive their business forward.

Findings

  1. Agencies Manage Larger Ad Budgets
  2. Budgets Are Increasing for Everyone
  3. Budgets Are Spent on Ads (vs Posts)
  4. Agencies Have More Collective Years of Experience in Facebook Advertising
  5. Agencies Are More Experienced, but Have to Justify Changes in Budget
  6. Agencies Aim for Conversion, SMBs Aim for Brand Awareness
  7. Most Agencies and SMBs Also Use Other Advertising Platforms
  8. Most Companies Use a Centralized Overview of Social Media Advertising
  9. News Feed Ads Are the Most Effective
  10. Manual and Automatic Placement are Equally Successful
  11. Agencies Opt for Auction Buying, SMBs Choose Reach & Frequency Buying
  12. Performance Results in 2021 Vary
  13. Good Targeting and Creative Lead to Success
  14. Most Successful Ad Formats: Image & Short Video
  15. Everybody’s Into Retargeting
  16. Setting the Goals Around Relevant Metrics: ROAS, Conversion Rates, CPR, and CTR
  17. Companies Are Aware of the Benefits of an Alert System for Facebook Ads, but Only 1/3 Actually Using One
  18. Staff in Charge of Paid Ads are Usually Not Specialized
  19. Paid Media and Marketing Teams Are in Charge of Performance Evaluation
  20. Agencies Monitor the Results More Often
  21. Agencies Adjust the Budget More Often Than SMBs
  22. Most Commonly Split-Tested Elements Are Design and Audience
  23. Most Agencies Use Dashboards for Tracking and Reporting on Facebook Ads
  24. The Biggest Challenges in 2021 Were iOS Updates and Targeting – and They’ll Stretch into 2022

1. Agencies Manage Larger Ad Budgets

Our agency respondents manage larger client budgets than the average SMB respondent manages themselves.

Of course, it’s more common for small and medium-sized businesses to have smaller budgets for marketing and advertising activities. But, our data certainly highlights it. More than half of the small and mid-sized businesses in our survey have limited Facebook advertising budgets: between $1,001 and $2,500 per month, while only around 19% of agencies operate within this size of budget. Agencies usually have much larger budgets per client. In fact, half of the agency participants manage monthly Facebook budgets per client above $5,000, while 69.1% of SMB respondents manage budgets below $5,000.

According to Hannah Buchholz of ClearPivot, in the immediate future, clients’ willingness to spend money on Facebook ads will be making the most impact.

Part of the reason why agency respondents may need to operate with higher budgets in 2022 for their ads to pay off is the third-party cookie change with the latest iOS 14 update, which may affect accurate data tracking.

“We think Facebook Ads are effective, but the platform changes so often, and the work that needs to go into producing the correct tracking now has made us go to a higher ad budget entry cost to make the program profitable for our agency,” says Elijah Litscher of The Loop Marketing Inc.

PRO TIP: If you’re seeing success in your advertising efforts, should you continue to increase the investment? While, in theory, having a compelling Facebook Ad copy, and spending more money on Facebook ads should result in more sales, there are a lot of “ifs.” Here are the factors to put into consideration before increasing your Facebook Ad spend along with expert advice on the best ways to adjust your Facebook ad budget.

2. Budgets Are Increasing for Everyone

The majority of companies (both agencies and SMBs) reported their budgets have increased in 2021 (compared to 2020) and expect their Facebook ads budgets to increase further in 2022.

With global competition on the rise, brands will have to invest more money to reach the right audience, grab their attention, and convey their message the right way.

Over 63% of our respondents reported an increase in their Facebook ad budget in 2021, and 52% of them expect the trend to continue in 2022. For 14% of the participants, the budget will stay the same, while around 20% of business owners and agencies aren’t sure what to expect in 2022.

3. Budgets Are Spent on Ads (vs Posts)

The majority of respondents spend most of their budget on ads and find ads most effective for hitting their marketing goals in 2021.

There are several ways to leverage Facebook to promote your business: ads, boosting your posts, using Facebook groups… But which ones are most commonly used?

Both agencies and small businesses consider Facebook ads more effective than boosting posts, so 80% of the budget is spent on ads, and 20% on post boosts.

Other valuable Facebook features for many marketers include Business Pages and Groups, used by around 60% of our respondents.

PRO TIP: Trying to boost your Facebook Ads conversions? Here is how 40+ marketers optimize Facebook Ads for conversion.

4. Agencies Have More Collective Years of Experience in Facebook Advertising

Most agency respondents in our survey (over 71%) have more than three years of experience in Facebook advertising.

In order for a Facebook ad campaign to be successful, it’s not enough just to know your audience – you also need to have experience with this advertising platform and know-how to interpret the data.

The majority of SMB respondents have less than three years of experience in FB advertising. Combined with a limited budget, this lack of experience can lead to a lot of time and resources wasted.

“Our biggest challenge was experimenting with different ways to target/place our ads and optimize for the best results,” confirms Becky Brown of ShoppingKim. “It’s a very data-heavy process, so it takes a lot of resources for a small business like ours.”

PRO TIP: While experience can’t be gained overnight, it can be helpful to learn from someone else’s mistakes. Here are the most common Facebook advertising mistakes marketers make when generating leads.

5. Agencies Are More Experienced, but Have to Justify Changes in Budget

Agencies are more aware of the challenges they are facing, have less trouble predicting what might happen, and are generally more informed about Facebook advertising.

Agencies Are More Informed, but Have to Justify Changes in Budget

Over 18% of SMB respondents in our survey are not sure what ad placement works better, more than 16% of them aren’t sure what buying type to use more often, and almost 24% of them aren’t sure how their budget will change in 2022.

At agencies, these percentages are significantly lower. However, agencies may struggle to justify their spending in 2022 despite understanding that their budget will need to increase for better results.

“Things are “costing more” on Facebook and it’s becoming harder to prove that the efforts are converting to sales, so what our client used to see was 5x ROI and it’s dropped. Also, it’s hard to show clients what a successful brand awareness or video view campaign is when it doesn’t directly result in sales,” says Claire Trafton of Entrigue Consulting.

PRO TIP: Struggling to prove the value of your work to your clients? Learn how to create an agency report that’ll showcase your results in a compelling and effective way.

6. Agencies Aim for Conversion, SMBs Aim for Brand Awareness

The most common Facebook ads objectives for agencies are conversions, followed by traffic, lead generation, and brand awareness.

The most common Facebook ads objectives for SMBs are brand awareness, followed by conversions, traffic, and lead generation. 

Brand awareness is the top objective for SMBs, even for 48% of SMB respondents at companies older than 5 years, who presumably should have stronger brand awareness than younger companies. At the same time, only 2.33% of companies founded less than a year ago reported brand awareness as their top priority.

Brand awareness, resulting in an increased number of followers, for example, and even a high engagement rate, may create a false image of a campaign being successful if the ultimate goal is to increase conversions or traffic to a website. It’s critical to follow the right KPIs that match your goal to evaluate the campaign properly.

PRO TIP: What Facebook Ad objectives should you choose for your small business or agency? We asked 60 marketing professionals about their preferences, and here are the insights they shared.

7. Most Agencies and SMBs Also Use Other Advertising Platforms

In addition to Facebook, the majority of respondents also advertise on Google, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

The majority of respondents are advertising on Google properties with 84.40% spending on Google and 48.40% on YouTube. 73.20% also advertise on Facebook-owned Instagram. Many companies are advertising on other social networks too: LinkedIn (60%), Twitter (35.60%), and relative newcomer TikTok (26%).

PRO TIP: Wondering which social media platform drives the highest quality traffic? 30+ marketers give their expert advice on which social media platform works best for them.

8. Most Companies Use a Centralized Overview of Social Media Advertising

The majority (61.6%) of respondents use a centralized view of ad performance across multiple social media sites and/or ad platforms.

Just shy of a quarter of respondents say they’re able to analyze performance effectively without a centralized view. Around 10% say they plan to build a centralized view: they realize the potential of having a holistic view of the data across platforms in terms of understanding the data better.

“A dashboard data tool to combine the different channels is key for reporting and understanding which channels perform best. Why? This way, we can figure out what to prioritize, what to pause, and what to scale,” confirms Jonathan Aufray of Growth Hackers.

Having a centralized view of your data in a single dashboard is also a time saver and helps you share the data with your team faster. “With all the data in one place, you can create reports instantly and share the results with your team more conveniently,” explains Lundin Matthews of AdminRemix. “You don’t have to manually create reports by consolidating data from different monitoring and tracking tools. It also allows making adjustments a lot easier because you can immediately see and compare areas that are lacking and areas that do well.”

9. Facebook News Feed Ads Are the Most Effective

Both agency (over 90%) and SMB (around 85%) respondents consider Facebook News Feed ads the most effective.

The majority of agencies also find success on Instagram, both feed and stories; the majority of agencies selected Instagram feed (70.71%) and Instagram stories (53.57%) as two of the top 5 most effective placements. This is not the case for SMBs. For SMBs, the only ad placement used by the majority was the Facebook News Feed, while Instagram feed and stories on Facebook and Instagram weren’t nearly as successful for them in 2021.

PRO TIP: Don’t know what to post on Facebook? We asked 40+ social media marketers to share their top tips for creating engaging Facebook content.

10. Manual and Automatic Placement are Equally Successful

When it comes to manual vs. automatic ad placement on Facebook, it’s a draw. Around 44% of respondents opted for manual placement, while 43% chose Facebook automatic placement.

Manual and Automatic Placement Is Equally Successful

PRO TIP: When should you set bids for your campaigns and when should you let Facebook automate the campaign delivery? Nearly 50 pros weigh in with their best Facebook bid strategy tips.

11. Agencies Opt for Auction Buying, SMBs Choose Reach & Frequency Buying Instead

Agencies are more likely to use auction buying (57.14%), which can lead to more efficiency and control but requires more management to ensure the best results. The most common choice among SMBs is “reach and frequency buying” (around 35%), which is much easier to manage, but usually not as effective in terms of conversions.

Agencies Opt for Auction Buying, SMBs Rather Choose Reach & Frequency Buying

PRO TIP: Should agencies use cost cap or bid cap in your cost control settings for Facebook Ads? Learn which factors to consider from the 15 marketers we surveyed.

12. Performance Results in 2021 Vary

Most (67.60%) respondents either improved or maintained their performance year-over-year. However, SMBs reported improved results more often than agencies.

This discrepancy could have to do with the goals of the typical campaigns since agencies are more focused on conversions than SMBs in our sample, who are more focused on brand awareness. After all, it’s a lot easier to achieve brand awareness goals than conversion goals, of course.

Also, since agencies are more informed and aware of the challenges that come with Facebook advertising, they may have been more likely to rate their campaigns as low-performing, potentially because of the iOS update, “Since the vast majority of iOS users are opting out of tracking, the retargeting and lookalike audiences that have long been our best-performing assets are either largely unavailable or not performing well anymore,” explains Madhav Goenka of Frazile.

Goenka isn’t the only one to have witnessed a decline in Facebook ad performance in 2021.

“The pandemic-driven market has been quite challenging to navigate through. In the last 12 months, the biggest challenge we’ve faced is a loss in traffic and lead generation,” says Johan Liebert of DazzDeals. “Our Facebook Ads have always been very successful in generating traffic for our website, but in 2021, it was quite disappointing. We believe it’s because of the rise in popularity of other social media platforms and Facebook losing its audience in terms of ecommerce.”

PRO TIP: Looking for new ways to up your PPC game? Check out how 50+ experts boost their PPC campaign performance.

13. Good Targeting and Creative Lead to Success

Our respondents singled out targeting and ad creative as the most relevant factors contributing to strong Facebook ad campaign performance.

Targeting has also been the main affected activity after the iOS update.

According to Lauren Espach of Spitfire Inbound, “Facebook users will have more control over their privacy, their data, and how that data is shared with marketers. This presents a unique challenge to marketers as we rely heavily on audience demographics for accurate targeting. It’s going to make it more difficult to reach the right people who our ads are relevant to.”

That’s why in the upcoming year, it will be necessary to address targeting differently – carefully and knowledgeably – in order to deliver results.

How will agencies and SMBs achieve that? By “learning to target specific [geographic] areas, as opposed to specific audiences,” claims Harry Gandia of Criminal Defense SEO. “That has helped us get results. We attempt to target areas that may recognize the brands that we are running ads for; since the people in those areas may recognize a client’s logo or name, we have been able to get results based on brand recognition in those areas.”

PRO TIP: Facebook’s tracking pixel offers valuable insight into your customers’ behavior. Learn how to tap into that knowledge and optimize your targeting with advice from 12 marketers.

14. Most Successful Ad Formats: Image & Short Video

Image and video ads have performed much better than other formats for agency respondents, while SMB respondents say video ads have been the most effective for them.

Agencies also seem to have success with short videos, carousel, and story ads compared to longer videos and slideshow ads. However, stories have performed better than carousel ads for small businesses.

Both agencies and SMB respondents (around 80%) rate playable ads and messenger ads as relatively unsuccessful.

PRO TIP: Dive deeper into Facebook’s most successful ad formats by learning how exactly 50+ marketers use both images and video to drive engagement and maximize the potential of every ad campaign they run.

15. Everybody’s Into Retargeting

86.4% of respondents were using retargeting in 2020/2021.

Over 54% of agencies reported that retargeting increased their revenue in 2021, 44.29% stated they acquired new customers by retargeting, and for 42.14%, retargeting resulted in much higher conversion rates.

Agencies are also more likely to report a higher click-through rate when compared to SMB respondents, which isn’t surprising given their increased focus on conversions.

There is no single benefit that was chosen by a majority of SMBs surveyed. For 37.27% of SMBs, retargeting improved brand awareness and increased revenue, and 19.09% reported no benefits.

Companies will continue to use retargeting in the future. “Retargeting ads will likely have the biggest impact on our Facebook advertising performance,” notes Ouriel Lemmel of WinIt. “We typically see a good conversion rate from our retargeting efforts, so it’s something we’ve increased in Q4 of this year.”

Justin Charpentier of Charpentier Development believes the ability to identify good data will lead to better retargeting. “When we can improve the data we are capturing, we will improve the ability to create more relevant audiences and the ability to retarget prior visitors.”

PRO TIP: There’s no doubt that retargeting people–whether customers, prospects, or website visitors–via Facebook campaigns is one of the most powerful forms of advertising. But, there are a lot of ways to retarget people of interest to your brand. Here are 10+ Facebook retargeting tips for converting warm leads.

16. Setting the Goals Around Relevant Metrics: ROAS, Conversion Rates, CPR, and CTR

Most agencies set goals around ROAS and conversion rates, while most SMBs set goals around conversion rates and CTR.

For agencies, the top five Facebook ad metrics in 2021 were: ROAS, website conversion rates, CPR, CPA, and CTR. In the case of SMBs, the situation is similar, with top metrics being website conversion rates, ROAS, CTR, clicks, and CPC.

Most agencies (around 60%) set goals around ROAS, while SMBs mostly set goals around website conversion rates (around 55%).

Only 3.57% of agencies do not set goals around any metric (opposed to 8.18% of SMBs).

PRO TIP: Watch the video below to learn how to set up and track your Facebook ROAS alongside other important metrics, like Facebook Ad CPM, CPC, and CTR in Databox.

17. Companies Are Aware of the Benefits of an Alert System for Facebook Ads, but Only 1/3 Are Actually Using One

An alert system can notify you about significant fluctuations in your Facebook Ads.

Alerts can save a substantial amount of your time by letting you know when something is going on with your campaign. This way, you can dig into your analytics deeper once you’re alerted to an issue, like being out of budget or a click-through-rate drop.

Almost 36% of the respondents are already using that kind of alert system, while 39.6% plan to use one in the future.

An alert system can help you optimize your Facebook ads budget by sending you notifications when you reach a specific threshold or when you have large fluctuations in specific metrics.

PRO TIP: You can use a free Databox account to setup alerts for any Facebook Ads metric. Not sure where to start? Read how to improve your business bottom line by setting goals and alerts in Databox.

18. Staff in Charge of Paid Ads are Usually Not Specialized

Having specialized staff dedicated to paid ads to set and monitor Facebook ads isn’t very common.

One of the potential issues both agencies and SMBs have is the lack of specialized staff that can focus on Facebook advertising entirely. Even in most agencies (around 54% of them), there aren’t people specialized in paid advertising to manage Facebook ads. Only 19.09% of small and mid-sized companies have an employee dedicated to paid ads.

And that’s not the only specialized skill you need to maximize your Facebook Ads ROI. “The greatest challenge is getting accurate conversion tracking for both lead generation and sales campaigns without needing to be an expert coder/developer or hire one,” says Lisa Cutter of Amp Up My Biz.

PRO TIP: Looking for a Facebook ad pro that you can learn from (or even hire to manage your ad campaigns)? Keep an eye on these 90 Facebook Ad specialists and thought leaders.

19. Paid Media and Marketing Teams Are in Charge of Performance Evaluation

Results of Facebook Ads campaigns are typically scrutinized by multiple teams and at multiple levels of an organization.

Who is evaluating Facebook ads performance?

Over 60% of agencies have paid media teams that evaluate Facebook ad campaign performance. 50% of agencies report that management reviews results. 65.45% of SMBs have their full marketing team review results and 42.73% have management reviews. Clearly, having multiple people review results from Facebook Ads is a common activity.

Both agencies and SMBs also report that their Board, VPs, or C-level executives review results 25% of the time, which adds more pressure to people in charge of Facebook ad campaigns – they need to prove the value of their strategy.

20. Agencies Monitor the Results More Often

Typically, agencies monitor and report results much more frequently than SMBs.

Monitoring and reporting on Facebook ads

Agency respondents reported monitoring Facebook ad campaign results daily (around 62%) and at least weekly (around 30%). They also do reporting more frequently than SMBs – most agencies report on Facebook ads weekly (55%) or monthly (an additional 35%).

On the other hand, most SMBs typically monitor their results just weekly and report on them just monthly.

How often marketers will monitor their results may depend on the tool they use.

“Dashboard tools like Databox significantly shorten the time that it takes to view the overall health of ad campaigns,” explains Elijah Litscher of The Loop Marketing Inc. “This means that campaigns can be monitored weekly instead of bi-weekly or monthly, and errors or opportunities can be addressed. Our agency has seen a 40% increase in ad performance from better monitoring.”

PRO TIP: Busy executives and agency owners like to use scheduled snapshots to keep tabs on key performance metrics and activities, growth trends, and issues that may arise. Here is why agencies and B2B leaders find them so helpful.

21. Agencies Adjust The Budget More Often Than SMBs

Agencies report changing the elements of their advertising strategy more frequently than SMBs.

Modifying Facebook ads

As far as what they change most frequently, agencies adjust their budgets throughout the campaign more often. This doesn’t come as a surprise if you remember that the most common metric agencies care about is ROAS.

PRO TIP: Driving conversions from Facebook ads is always great but optimizing your return on ad spend (ROAS) is the tricky bit. Dive into these expert tips for optimizing Facebook Ads ROAS.

22. Most Commonly Split-Tested Elements Are Design and Audience

Both agencies and SMBs split test design more often than other elements.

Split testing Facebook ads

Another element that both SMBs and agencies commonly split-test is the audience.

“Ever-changing Facebook algorithms will remain one of the biggest challenges. Even with high-quality content, it’s important to A/B test regularly to see what resonates best with the target audience,” says Brian Nagele of Restaurant Clicks.

PRO TIP: If you’re new to the world of Facebook A/B tests, check out these tips to ensure you’re making the most out of each split test.

23. Most Agencies Use Dashboards for Tracking and Reporting on Facebook Ads

The majority of respondents, agencies, and SMBs alike use Facebook Ad Manager and Google Analytics to track and report results.

The native analytics tool, Facebook Ad Manager, is undoubtedly the most commonly used tool to monitor campaign performance. Since many companies use Google Analytics to track conversions from multiple sources, it is used by over 50% of both agencies and SMBs to track Facebook Ads results.

However, this presents some of its own problems, since these two tools track and attribute the data differently. “How Facebook attributes data differs from how Google Analytics does it,” says Mandeep Singh of AdComp – Digital Studio. “Since Google Analytics is still the gold standard of website reporting and the metrics reported by Google & Facebook always have a higher level of deviation, the way Facebook mitigates the situation will be interesting to see.”

To monitor for these types of discrepancies and to get a complete picture of performance, the majority of agencies (54.29%) also use an all-in-one dashboard that combines data from different systems (like Databox) while only 29.09% of SMBs use dashboards. This is probably because agencies deal with multiple clients, larger budgets, and a larger volume of data. Also, agencies report (to clients) more often and have more specialized teams that look at data – so dashboards help them in monitoring, analyzing, and reporting their advertising performance.

“A dashboard tool like Databox really showcases how a campaign is running,” confirms Reuben Kats of Falcon Marketing, LLC. “It gives you a way to analyze the keywords used to reach the clientele you’re attracting. The engagement metrics are more detailed and definitely allow our teams to work more efficiently without wasting so much time.”

PRO TIP: Did you know that Databox offers more than 70 pre-built PPC dashboard templates you can download for free? Track some of the most common PPC metrics and KPIs and analyze your PPC performance for free with just a few clicks.

24. The Biggest Challenges in 2021 Were iOS Updates and Targeting – and They’ll Stretch into 2022

Most agencies stated that the biggest challenges in 2021 have been related to iOS 14 update, while SMBs struggled with targeting (which is very related).

“The greatest challenge that we have had from Facebook ads is reaching our target audience,” says Charles Leduc of Mold Busters. “Compared to other digital avenues, their ads have not made sense for our company. The return on investment was not good, and we have decided to focus solely on content creation and search engine optimization.”

Being patient and experimenting with new ways to reach the audience is the way to go according to Jackie Kossoff of Jackie Kossoff Marketing & Design.

The Biggest Challenges in 2021 Were iOS Updates and Targeting - and They'll Stretch into 2022

After targeting, many respondents in our survey agreed on another aspect that’s going to make Facebook advertising difficult in 2022: the latest iOS 14 privacy update.

“When the iOS 14 updates first took effect, performance for most of my clients’ ads experienced a setback. What followed was a two-month period where we experimented and simplified our campaigns until the algorithm learned how to optimize with the new tracking capabilities.”

PRO TIP: Attributing Facebook conversions is only getting more difficult after the iOS 14 update earlier this year. Here’s how to overcome this challenge along with 6 others most commonly faced by the social media experts we surveyed.

Key Recommendations

  1. Data tracking has become a challenge with the new privacy updates and it’ll become harder to reach the desired audience. Relying heavily on the collected data and experimenting with new approaches could help generate better results.
  2. Companies will need to invest in the specialization / know-how to make the most out of their advertising budget.
  3. To achieve better results, SMBs and agencies will need to monitor their campaign performance more attentively and more frequently.
  4. Careful and detailed targeting is necessary to avoid wasting your money on costly audiences that are not high-intent ones. As Mason Yu of Arete Media says, “small advertisers will be more and more crowded out, while bigger companies with large budgets that can build their own custom audiences easier will win.” That’s why it’s necessary to be incredibly precise when targeting your ads.
  5. Tracking your data correctly, especially after the iOS update, is crucial for understanding your ad performance. One way to be sure your data is attributed accurately is to use UTM links. “After the iOS 14 update, it has become even more challenging to make sure you are tracking your Facebook ads campaigns the right way. This is because Facebook’s internal attribution system has become quite unreliable to track conversion data that is essential for optimization,” says Emily Anderson of ROI Hacks and adds a tip: “Because of this, it is indispensable to track your Facebook ads campaign with UTM parameters, so you can turn off or scale ad campaigns based on the correct conversion data that you can see more accurately in Google Analytics or in an analytics dashboard software (e.g. Databox or Data Studio).”
Facebook Ads Dashboard Template

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About the author
Nevena Rudan
Nevena Rudan Marketing Research Analyst at Databox. Being an experienced Strategic and Creative Planner, with more than 15 years of practice, Nevena is passionately dedicated to untying the knots and entanglements of marketing, sales, and human behavior in order to deliver understandable, useful, and actionable insights for businesses.