How to Optimize Facebook
Ads Campaigns in 2021

A lot has changed with Facebook Ads in the last two years. In addition, each time there is a new update to the Android or Apple operating system, there is often a knock-on impact regarding the performance of Facebook Ads.

While it remains wise to have a presence across different channels, Facebook Ads are still a fantastic opportunity. Unlike other advertising platforms, however, there is a specific challenge relative to Facebook, as users are not actively searching for products or services. For this reason, it is essential to understand how to optimize Facebook Ads before you spend any money on your campaigns.

This article will look at some simple yet highly effective ways to create Facebook Ads campaigns that provide the best possible return on investment in 2021. As with all digital campaigns, you should be using Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, along with the Facebook Pixel, to track your campaigns and see what is working and what isn’t.

Provide Value

As with any organic campaigns across social media, providing “value” is vital. The principle of inbound marketing, in a nutshell, is that you should spend the majority of your time on social media, providing value by identifying your target audiences’ issues and interests and providing solutions. For example, if your target market is young entrepreneurs, can you provide free tools, tips, or insights into working productively from home during the pandemic?

Business owners, in general, may also be interested in webinars, documents, and videos that discuss the best sales and marketing techniques. Creating exciting, interesting, and educational content around these topics can get your target market to engage with your Facebook posts. Once you have ‘warmed up’ your audience with relevant content, you can create follow-up adverts that promote specific offers or appropriate services.

Use Different Ad Formats

While you can use Facebook dynamic creative ads to optimize ad creative for you, many Facebook ads consultants and experts still recommend using a systematic approach and testing different ad formats with split testing.

In the manual, systematic approach to testing ad formats, you can create a single ad set with an image ad, a carousel ad, a video ad, and an animated GIF. You can advertise the same offer to the same audience and see which ad format performs the best. Once you have a statistically significant amount of data, you can refine and adapt all of your ads and keep testing a single variable or element until your ads provide the best possible return on investment or level of engagement.

For example, after testing ad formats on an offer for a free webinar, you may find that video outperforms all other ad formats quite drastically. Next, you could run three different video ads with different video content or different headlines. You can then see what specific type of video works best or what kind of headline. Just make sure to change one variable at a time.

Be aware that it is always possible to use Dynamic Ads. At the time of writing, it is still probably worth taking the time to test each ad format yourself, but in time, as Facebook gets to know each user better and gets more data for its dynamic ads, this tool is likely to outperform manual testing of ads.

As always, make videos that work without sound – which usually means adding captions. There are now free apps available that automatically add captions; these include Voicella on Android mobile devices.

Facebook Story Ads

With other ad spaces rising in cost and getting more expensive, Facebook story ads may be an ad platform worth exploring. Facebook Story ads incorporate full-screen images or videos. Images show for 5 seconds and videos for a maximum of 20 seconds.

Make the Most of Audiences

The quality and effectiveness of your audiences can depend a lot on the quality of your data. This quality is especially true with “lookalike” audiences that use a customer or newsletter list and match details such as email addresses to user profiles. Facebook then finds other users with similar demographic information, interests, and other matching behaviors and characteristics to your list.

Many Facebook Ads consultants split their campaigns according to the audience. For example, you can have a cold audience based on interests & demographics, a cold lookalike audience, and then a warm audience that has engaged with your previous ads in some way.

Using Facebook’s campaign budget optimization tool, you can instruct Facebook to spend your specific budget, across these three audiences, in a manner that will help you acquire leads and sales at the lowest possible cost.

What is likely to happen in the above scenario, with cold and warm/hot audiences, is that the warm/hot audience will outperform the other two audiences significantly in the first week or two. After several days or weeks, as the relatively small audience sees that same set of ads over and over again, the warm/hot audience is going to “fatigue.” This means that the warm/hot audience will begin to perform less efficiently. As a result, Facebook’s Budget Optimization Tool will reallocate more budget to the cold audiences and move the budget away from the warm/hot audience.

Make sure that you used saved audiences on future campaigns once you have found an effective strategy. Whether you identify your target audience by interests & demographics or using another method, be sure to save, tweak and reuse them, especially if they perform well.

Once saved, you should find audiences in your “Asset Library.”

Use Click to Call Facebook Ads

If you are targeting baby boomers or selling high-value and high-end products or services, then using “call now” or “click to call” ads can be highly effective.

Rather than adding “learn more” or “shop now” call to action (CTA) buttons to your ads, you can add “call now” instead. At the time of writing, to use the “call now” CTA, you need to create a “Reach” campaign – i.e., select “reach” as your marketing objective.

Optimize Your Landing Page

While you should be spending time trialing different ad types and formats, you should not forget how vital landing page design and performance are. Remember to include one clear call to action and send users to a specific landing page – not your homepage.

For example, if you are selling houses in Florida and run an advert for homes priced under $300,000 with pools, send users who click your ads to a specific landing page regarding homes in Florida, for under $300,000, with pools, not to a generic page about real estate in Florida.

You should also include testimonials, case studies, and other trust metrics or signals such as membership logos and awards. For example, if you have won an award as a lawyer, place the award logo or badge on your landing page.

Live chat for WordPress websites can work very effectively too. It is straightforward to add to your landing page, and with a managed live chat service, you can generate leads and sales while you sleep. Live chat is the preferred communication channel for most website users, as it can provide immediate answers to queries, unlike phone calls and emails.

2021 Changes to Audiences

One of the main changes in regard to Facebook Ads in 2021 concerns the iOS 14 update. This update will allow iPhone users to prevent Facebook from tracking them, which will significantly impact the effectiveness of any Facebook advertising.

The update by Apple will make it more difficult to effectively implement any remarketing – e.g., a sales offer, which has followed on from a ‘warm-up’ ad such as a free webinar or document.

This is something to keep an eye on, as it may have a considerable impact on some of your campaigns.


Optimizing Facebook Ads campaigns typically involves lots of testing and tweaking. If you do not have the Facebook Pixel installed, it is worth learning how to do it or hiring a freelancer from a website such as UpWork or PeoplePerHour to do it for you. Only with conversion and engagement data are you able to test and optimize your campaigns.