Social Media Strategy,

Facebook & Instagram Advertising Trends 2020

Magdalena Andreeva

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In the fast-paced world of social media marketing, it’s a challenge to keep up with Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm updates and the newest Instagram opportunities. These are our tried-and-tested tips to help you stay on top of the major social marketing trends in 2020. 👇

Facebook Ads Manager Updates and Algorithm Insights

Facebook updates its Ads Manager algorithms every few months. Here’s what you need to know about the latest campaign budget optimization feature that will become mandatory in February 2020:

Ad Management with Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO)

Campaign budget optimization is currently an optional feature that entirely changes the structure of a campaign. To better understand its importance, let’s review the levels of an ad on Facebook:

  • Campaign level: This is where you select your optimization objective (like conversions or website traffic).
  • Ad Set level: Here you build your audience (or select a custom one), add budgets and choose placements, etc.
  • Ad level: Your actual creatives (visuals, copies, CTAs) you’re going to advertise.

As you can see, in this structure the budgets are distributed on ad set level, which means you control the budget split between your audiences:

With campaign budget optimization, Facebook allows this algorithm to distribute budgets between audiences as it sees fit. Instead of deciding how much you’re willing to spend on a target, you can select a budget for the entire campaign.

Setting Minimum and Maximum Budgets for Each Ad Set

You’re not entirely losing control of your ad set budget spend. In fact, you can set minimum and maximum daily spend, as shown below:

The bad news is that this makes ads management more complicated. For example, if you’re running ads in multiple countries (e.g. Canada, US, Spain) and separate them as different ad sets in a single campaign. If you don’t set minimum and maximum ad set budget spends, Facebook will spend most of the budget in Spain because advertising there is cheaper than in the US or Canada.

If you want to reach your targets in other countries, you’ll have to split your budget over ad sets with demographic factors in mind. In some cases, it’s better to run tests until you understand the market better.

But there’s good news, too:

More Influential Algorithms Are Changing the Social Advertiser’s Work

It used to be that a social media advertiser’s job entailed managing all of the campaign settings on Ads Manager. Now, the algorithm is taking care of most of this work. And while the algorithms are more sophisticated than ever, this naturally shifts the social advertiser’s work from manually adjusting bits and ad placements to a more strategic and creative role.

Let Facebook Identify the Right Advertising Audience

The algorithms have become so good at identifying the right audience that you don’t really need to worry about your targeting (as long as your product isn’t super specific). Broader audiences tend to perform better than overly-specific audiences, and lookalike audiences are still a trend.

It Pays to Be an Early Adopter to New Facebook Tools

When Facebook adds something new to Ads Manager (like a new ad placement), being an early adopter offers major advantages. Facebook gives an advantage to users of new features and tools so the company can test their performance. Who wouldn’t want Facebook to show their ads to more people for less money? Here are the top two 2020 Facebook tools opportunities for you:

Facebook 4:5 Ad Format

Facebook released 4:5 ad visual format in August 2019 for images on Instagram feed and videos on both platforms. We tested it out right away and it gave our client, Output, better results than the 1:1 square format. We believe the main reason is that 4:5 takes up more space on the feed which makes your ads stand out more.

Turn on the Automatic Ad Translation Feature

Recently, Facebook included an automatic translation feature at the ad level. Wherever you’re running your ads – and in whatever language – users will be able to translate them with one click if necessary. We tested it out and the automatic translations seemed pretty accurate. Facebook will translate the ad to any user’s default language chosen for their account.

Another plus is that people clearly see that these are automatic translations. Even if there are some imperfections, they really shouldn’t have a negative effect on your brand. Of course, depending on your industry, brand identity, and budgets, we suggest investing in professional translations of your ads to keep your brand voice and messages consistent.

For more Facebook Ad hacks to increase your ROI, see this article by MobileMonkey.

More Traffic to Instagram

It’s not a surprise that more people prefer to browse Instagram – and not Facebook. Instagram is more mobile-friendly and has better Stories integration (which has become the preferred social format lately). It’s been trending for quite some time now, so the teenagers that hopped on it a few years back already have purchasing power today. They might make up some of your target audience!

While the traffic to Instagram is increasing, so is the advertising competition. Here’s what you need to keep in mind to get ahead 🦄:

Get the Most Out of Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are user favorite. GIFs, filters, various modes, slow motion/time-lapse videos, question stickers, polls, and more add-on features make it an unparalleled content format.

Stories are also quick, authentic, and engaging. Companies use them to connect with their customers on a more personal level. Here’s an example of a high-quality Instagram Story showcasing Output’s Arcade – a product-oriented towards music makers.

Grow Your Brand Faster with IGTV

As a video content platform, IGTV is a perfect tool to use for brand awareness – even more so if your audience is younger. It’s a standalone app that’s owned by Instagram, and its basic features are available within Instagram itself.

Currently, there’s no advertisement available on IGTV, so you don’t need to pay for it. It comes down to good ol’ organic social reach and engagement! For now, at least… 💸

You can quickly repurpose existing content into videos or simply adjust the format of videos you already have. Then you’ll be ready to test it out!

The main advantage of IGTV is that you can share longer videos (up to 60 minutes for large and/or verified accounts). On Instagram’s feed, for example, you’re limited to 1 minute-long video.

At first, only vertical videos were available on IGTV, but now when users flip their phone they’re able to view your video content on a full horizontal screen.

Other IGTV specifics you need to keep in mind:

  • Video length: 15 seconds to 60 minutes (The full 60 minutes video is currently available only to large accounts or verified accounts. Everyone else has a limit of 10 minutes.)
  • File type: MP4
  • File size: up to 3.6GB
  • Video thumbnail: JPG file

Top Performing Ad Content Trends

Now that we’ve discussed the social marketing platforms, let’s take a look at what kind of content can give you an edge.

Social media users are becoming pickier and grabbing their attention isn’t as easy as it once was. You need to make sure that you’ve built your buyer personas correctly and create the best content for them.

Tweak Your Creatives to Fit The Different Buyer Personas

The more specific your ad creatives are, the better. Your audience needs to recognize themselves in your content in order to engage with your brand and (eventually) become customers.

We used the third season release date of the popular Stranger Things TV show to customize our ad for broadband comparison. We segmented our audience by the interests “Stranger Things” and “Netflix.” This personalized our ad to the targeted audience and made it more attention-grabbing. As a result, this campaign had a 5 times better conversion rate than our general campaign targeting a broad audience with generic creatives.🤑

Of course, you don’t always need a mainstream product or service to build a campaign for a more specific audience. Consider how to connect your offer with a more personalized message. In the case above, it was easy to come up with a TV show idea (since we were offering broadband). Sometimes it’s a bit harder, but it’s always worth a brainstorm session and a few tests.

Why not break down your target audience by gender (if possible) and come up with different creatives for women and men?


Video Is King

Videos exploded across social media channels a few years ago. To learn more about a product, people often prefer to watch a short video instead of reading text or clicking on an ad. That’s why videos are best for both brand awareness and conversions.

You don’t need bags of money to produce videos. In fact, you can quickly record a selfie video on your phone or use tools like Lumen5 to create videos like this one:


Below, we’ve compiled top social media video trends that can help build your video ad strategy while making the video-making (and editing) process more efficient.

Keep Your Videos Short and Pack a Punch

You want to grab the viewers’ attention, short and sweet videos are preferable. A great way to share more information about your product or service – and to convince people to convert – is to tell them a story by using video sequences. Here are two types of video sequences suggested by Google that you can try on Facebook and Instagram:

1. Tease, Amplify, and Echo

Tease is the first phase when you want to show your audience a 30-second video ad to grab their attention. Amplify provides more information and creates a deeper experience. Echo reminds your audience about you and entices them to take action.

2. The Conditional Miniseries

Consider breaking your story into three 30-second videos and deliver your message in chunks with a CTA (call-to-action) in the last video:

Add Video Captions

Providing video captions definitely has a positive impact on video views. At the very least, it improves the viewer experience.

People don’t always turn their sound on while scrolling their feeds. In fact, many social media users prefer to listen to music while browsing social media and looking at random stuff. When your video ad shows up, the captions may grab their attention more than anything else. That makes them one of the top micro trends on social media now. 😎

Learn More About Social Media Advertising

If you want to learn more about social media advertising – from quick tips to advanced guides – check more of our social media blog posts!

Magdalena Andreeva
Magdalena Andreeva

Lead Designer

I design what people see on their screens.

Ready to scale your marketing-sourced revenue?