How it Affects Your Campaign

In November, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, announced that they would be removing certain detailed ad targeting options that are commonly used by political campaigns and advocacy groups.

Starting January 19th, 2022 organizations will no longer be able to target users referencing causes, organizations, or public figures that relate to health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, or sexual orientation.

This is a continuation of Meta’s escalating crackdown on political advertising, and a reversal of their stated policies ahead of the 2020 Presidential Election. After January 19th, it will be harder than ever for small campaigns and organizations to reach their audiences on social media.

Meta’s advertising policies for Facebook and Instagram will look a lot more like what advertisers have found on Google. Campaigns and organizations will now be limited to high level demographic and geographic targeting options if they do not have access to their own first-party data.

How Campaigns Will Adapt

Meta is not removing the ability for advertisers to use first-party data, as well as pixel-data and Custom Engagement Audiences. This means campaigns already using their own first-party data sets to target users will still be able to run their Facebook and Instagram campaigns unchanged. Crucially, Meta is also still allowing look-a-like audiences to be built based on first-party data, Custom Engagement Audiences, and website pixel data.

However, campaigns and organizations that have relied on Facebook Ad Detailed Targeting audiences to construct their audiences will need to shift their tactics and employ the use of first-party data sets. This will likely cause many small campaigns to incur costs that will eat into their already limited ad budgets.

The Bottom Line

Running an ad campaign on Facebook and Instagram is going to take more planning and advertisers are likely going to see a negative trend when comparing their current campaigns against campaigns post January 19th.

Facebook and Instagram will remain a crucial part of a comprehensive digital campaign, but the lack of detailed targeting is going to have a significant impact on campaigns’ and organizations’ ability to effectively reach their ideal target audience.

Programmatic media is likely going to take an increasingly significant role in the digital strategies campaigns and organizations use in 2022 and beyond.

The Digital Team at Victory Enterprises is already taking the steps needed to transition our clients away from any Detailed Targeting audiences on Facebook and Instagram, as well as testing the impact and quality of different first-party data sources.

If you have any questions about the shifting digital political advertising landscape, email or reach out to any of the Digital Team members at Victory Enterprises.