It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it? There’s been so much going on in Facebook Ads that it’s without a doubt worth a good summary! Four of our Facebook Ads specialists answered 9 questions about trends, challenges and changes that had taken place in the past year. The questions they answered were as follows:
1. How has the pandemic affected the industry? What kind of elements have changed?
2. According to you, what was the most important event of the year?
3. What kind of changes have been the most challenging: for the industry as a whole/for you as a professional?
4. What were the most important trends in 2020? Which of them was the most surprising to you?
5. What was your team’s biggest success in 2020?
6. What was the tool you couldn’t imagine working without in 2020?
7. What were your favourite podcasts/books/blogs etc. that you used to listen to/read in your free time?
8. What sort of changes will 2021 bring in your opinion? Which areas of the industry will grow the fastest and which strategies will stay the same?
Nine questions, 4 fine Facebook Ads experts. Who are they?
Radosław Kmita – Team Leader
Mateusz Mikołajczyk – Team Leader | Paid Social Media Manager
Joanna Sałgut – Facebook Ads Specialist | Content Manager
Piotr Ostapkowicz – Facebook Ads Specialist
How has the pandemic affected your sector? Have any of its elements changed?
It is much easier to work remotely, especially with foreign clients. Suddenly the barrier of working with someone from abroad 100% remotely has become much lower.
In the beginning – in March – there was a lot of turbulence. Some of our clients encountered several problems, not knowing until the end whether they would “switch off” their industry overnight. This resulted in a very dynamically changing situation with campaigns, which did not serve well to exploit the full potential of Facebook’s algorithms (machine learning), CBO (Campaign Budget Optimisation), etc.
In the early stages of the pandemic, Facebook was absolutely raging, rejecting loads of ads. Then it started to calm down and I haven’t seen a lot of changes since then. The only thing that has come to my attention is that lookalike campaigns didn’t work quite well, and group segmentation was working with less and less success. It seemed better to operate on a very wide range of groups.
Certainly, CPM (cost per thousand) rates have increased, because at the beginning of the pandemic many companies had to move their – until now mainly offline – marketing to online. In addition, I believe that many companies have bet on creative marketing – during the pandemic, there were many really interesting creations and ideas for advertising.
On the negative/technical side, I noticed an extended waiting time for ads to be accepted and many different bugs from FBAds (such as rejecting ads not related to the pandemic).
According to you, what was the most important event of the year in Facebook Ads?
I can’t point out the single most important one, but there are a couple of events that come to my mind:
1. Moving increasingly towards server-side tracking of user behaviour rather than through browser events (e.g. using Google Tag Manager or Segment).
2. Limiting the use of messenger bots (e.g. at manychat.com or chatfuel.com).
3. The introduction of App Tracking Transparency in iOS, resulting in reduced ability to reach and measure iOS users.
4. Limiting the ability to collect all search terms in Google Ads, causing a decrease in information about the user’s click intentions.
Facebook’s most important conference “F8”, during which new products are presented, did not take place in its current, offline form. Instead, Facebook started to use video conferencing and the GoToTraining platform, trying to transfer activities to the online sphere, but in my opinion, it was not very professionally prepared (they definitely have a lot to improve here – it would be good if they were inspired by Google 😉 ).
The introduction of Facebook shops. Although there are not yet any or only a small number of such shops in Poland, in my opinion, this will be a breakthrough. Then there’s the toughening of data processing laws in Europe and the “EU vs. Facebook” dispute. Facebook temporarily even threatened to leave Europe, but it was obvious that this was impossible – in terms of sales, Europe is second behind the USA in terms of market value.
The launch of IG Shopping – I think this could strongly change the way the e-commerce industry looks at Instagram.
What were the most challenging changes in Facebook Ads in 2020?
The biggest challenges were the frequent changes to client budgets in the March-June 2020 period and the government lockdown of certain industries that also resulted in campaigns being stopped. In the Facebook Ads tool itself, however, I have not observed any major changes.
For me, as someone who works with an online product/service, it was important to do as much as possible during the pandemic. It was a challenge to increase budgets and to be creative with the ads so as not to get bored.
On the whole, it was important to come up with ideas to move activities online – many of our clients were certainly waiting for our recommendations and we had to be very proactive.
The most important trends in 2020? Which one surprised you the most?
The most important trend of 2020 is remote working and sending asynchronous video communication (e.g. using Loom). A transition of all companies to online lead generation, and as a result – a huge increase in the popularity of automation and bots on Linkedin.com.
The introduction of Facebook Dating (Is FB turning into Tinder? The “secret crush” functionality is interesting) and the Facebook Shops functionality, so that purchases can be made without leaving the FB environment. After the introduction of the Store tab years ago, I was betting that FB would want to take over the e-commerce part and transfer some of the shopping without leaving FB – something that I believe offers user convenience and awesome opportunities, especially for small e-commerce players.
Tiktok development during the pandemic and the hot16challenge 😀
Your team’s biggest success this year?
Delivering campaigns and services to the clients of major importance. They include:
– 1 of the 5 largest companies in the world,
– 1 of the 10 biggest banks in Poland,
– 3 SaaS companies operating globally ranked in the TOP 10 000 of the global CrunchBase ranking,
– 1 e-learning platform with a focus on Europe in the TOP 2 000 of the global CrunchBase ranking.
Absolutely smooth and stress-free transition to 100% remote working. The quality of our work, communication and smoothness of interaction has not changed. MTA people <3 thank you!
In one project – e-learning platform – excellent results at the beginning of the year, related to the pandemic.
Record-breaking sales results with a major customer!
A tool you could not imagine working without in 2020?
Google Meet – Without a doubt. The smoothness of the operation, the ease of connecting with the team and clients, the integrations with Google Calendar, the additional features that started to appear in the second half of the year (like Q&A, surveys, “Rise Hand”, overlays, background blur) – absolutely useful.
Asana, because without planning I would have died under the pressure of tasks
Any favourite podcasts, books, or blogs, that you have used in your spare time?
There were quite a lot of them:
George Gammon, Wolność w Remoncie, Real Vision Finance, VETO Media, Turkusowe Śniadania, Wojna Idei, Marcin Iwuć, Prosta Ekonomia, Jeffalytics, MeasureShool, Growth Tribe, Strategy&Future, Strefa Psyche SWPS, Jordan Peterson, Jason Swenk, Valuetainment, Macrovoices, Ivan on Tech, Menedżer Plus, Dział Zagraniczny, Crealytics
I can highly recommend Kim Scott’s book “Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity” – about bringing radical honesty to the team. The podcasts that I listened to in 2020 were Menedżer Plus by Mariusz Chrapko and Wolność w Remoncie by Tomasz Wróblewski and, as far as my latest discoveries are concerned – Dział Zagraniczny.
Actually, here I was catching up with crime books. I wanted to switch off from electronics after work. 🙂
What sort of changes will 2021 bring in your opinion? Which areas of the industry will grow the fastest and which strategies will stay the same?
A deeper transition to server-side tracking and a trend towards learning to ‘feed’ the algorithms of advertising platforms with relevant data that enables the optimisation of campaigns towards customer groups that are most valuable in our point of view.
I have believed for years that Facebook would go on to take over a big part of e-commerce. It started by introducing a Shop tab to fanpages perhaps in 2016. The introduction of Facebook Shops is, in my opinion, a big step in that direction and I think in 2021 it will be one of the main areas developed by FB.
Machine learning will move forward again! I think that targeting is going to lose its importance on Facebook. In fact, this is already slowly happening and they are removing some of the targets. It is also clear that the wider the group is, the better the results are, as then the algorithms have more ” space “.
A lot of companies will stay online after the pandemic – they will see that it’s not expensive, or unaffordable, or even more that it’s not redundant. I also think the event industry will change significantly.
If you could move to January 2020 again, what would you say to yourself?
That we should acquire clients from the e-commerce industry and those who sell digital services & products. And that the pandemic won’t hit the service sector in online marketing as hard as one might have expected.
Dude – you won’t believe what’s going to happen this year…
Do not plan your holidays.
Interested in what has happened in Google Ads in 2020? Read our Summary of 2020 in Google Ads!