facebook ads retargeting

Facebook Ads Retargeting Has Changed! Do This…

Today, I’m going to go over how Facebook ads retargeting has changed. iOS 14 and other changes have had a big impact on retargeting and how that works in the Facebook ads platform. I’ve seen lots of people saying things like, “Facebook advertising is dead,” and other things like that. But that’s not true.

You will need to make adjustments to your Facebook and Instagram campaigns in order for them to continue to work well under this new set of rules. And if you do have a Facebook ad campaign with a retargeting component then you need to read this article so that you know what to do and how to maximize your potential ROI.

How to Maximize Your Facebook Retargeting Campaigns

I’m in an example campaign here and I’m at the ad set level. We are going to assume this is a retargeting ad set and we’re retargeting the 180 website audience.

Facebook retargeting audience - ad set level

These are folks who have visited the website within the last 180 days.

There have been a lot of changes since late January and early February of 2021. And these changes have resulted in a drop-off in performance of retargeting audiences. I’ve gotten so many messages from people who are saying things like “you know my retargeting ad set used to get 8 times ROAS and now we’re down to 5 or 4 times ROAS.

Why Are Facebook Retargeting Campaigns Declining?

We know that with the changes that are being implemented, Facebook’s visibility over the actions that people take after they leave Facebook or Instagram are being curtailed. Facebook is not able to track people as well once they leave Facebook and get to your website.

So, not only is the overall audience starting to shrink – and that can be hard to work out because Facebook often doesn’t often give audience sizes around custom audiences and hasn’t for a long time for privacy reasons – but Facebook also has far less visibility over the actions that people are taking off their platform.

For example, let’s say we give Facebook a big audience such 180 day website visitors, previously Facebook was absolutely fantastic at working out who within that audience was most likely to purchase and become a lead or whatever it is that we’re targeting for and they are still better at doing that than any other advertising platform.

But the power with which they can accomplish this has decreased and that’s what’s happening right now. It’s why Facebook retargeting ads are performing worse for many people.

Step #1. Make Your Retargeting Audiences Bigger

Make your audience bigger

I’m going to try and go through this iOS 14 process and I’m going to be as honest as I possibly can. Even with the changes we’ve made, we are still seeing a retargeting performance drop off of 20% to 30%. Which sucks. But if you are seeing a larger drop-off than that, here is what I recommend you do.

Make your retargeting audiences larger. For a long time I’ve been a big fan of larger retargeting audiences, but now it seems to be even more important.

This makes sense because Facebook has less ability to be super specific with who they target within your audience. If you give them a larger group of people to choose from then this becomes less of an issue.

For example, if you are operating with a custom audience that is a 30 day website visitor audience then make that 180 days or at least 90 days.

If you are targeting an email list, then make sure that you are using the whole list and not just a small segment of it.

We’re seeing with our own campaigns and those of our clients that larger retargeting lists are helping with some of these issues.

Step #2. Reduce Your Budget

The next thing you need to do is to reduce your budget.

I’m a fan of using a retargeting ad set inside of a campaign budget optimized (CBO) campaign. That way you don’t have to manually adjust the budgets at the ad set level, because it’s handled by Facebook at the campaign budget level.

When you set things up this way Facebook can redistribute budget if your retargeting ad set performance is dropping off and put more money into your cold audience ad sets, for example.

But if you have a separate campaign specifically for retargeting – you probably want to reduce budget for the timebeing.

I’m Expecting Facebook to Keep Improving the Experience for Advertisers

Facebook is constantly putting vast resources into improving it’s ad platform. Therefore I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m writing another article in six months or so where retargeting is performing better than ever.

Remember that Facebook is n incredibly valuable company and processes hundreds of billions every year in advertising. With their resources I’m confident that they’ll find workarounds for the tracking limitations.

Don’t think that the drop off in performance we’re currently seeing in retargeting ads is here to stay.

The future of retargeting might be in a different form and with different strategies, but I think this particular aspect of Facebook ads is very much in a transition phase and things are likely to improve.

More Free Facebook Ads Training

There is nothing I like better than to see business owners increase their ROI with Facebook Ads. In order to help business owners succeed with Facebook ads I’ve created a FREE webinar training that you can register for here.

Free Facebook ads training

When you attend this webinar you’ll learn:

  • 3 different Facebook ad strategies that we use every day. These strategies have generated millions of dollars in revenue and are tried and proven to work.
  • How to customize the Facebook ads strategy to your particular business. There is no such thing as a one size fits all approach to Facebook ads.
  • How Facebook and Instagram have changed and how to adjust your ad strategy to what works in 2021.

How to Fix Your Facebook Ads Retargeting Video Tutorial

In this video I show you how to maximize your performance from your retargeting audience even after the iOS14 changes. I also go over why I think Facebook retargeting ads will continue to perform well going into the future.

The Bottom Line on Improving Facebook Ads Retargeting

To summarize, there are two quick wins you can apply today to help recover at least some of the performance of your retargeting campaigns.

The first one is to make your retargeting audiences larger. The second one is to reduce your ad spend on your retargeting campaign or move them into a CBO campaign with cold audience ad sets.

Ultimately, Facebook wants you to keep spending money on ads so I believe they will have this worked out eventually.