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Wellness Brands: A Meta Targeting Deprecation Hits in March 2022

14 Feb 2022 Sacha Mohabeer

in Digital, Social Media

In December, Meta announced that they would deprecate some interest-based targeting options within their platform. While they framed the categories as “niche” or “rarely used,” many brands have already been impacted by this forthcoming change and have had to alter their strategies in preparation.

Meta detailed that the changes would take place in four main groups:

  • Health causes (e.g., Breast Cancer Awareness, Pregnancy, and Infant Loss Remembrance Day)
  • Sexual Orientation (e.g., LGBTQ)
  • Religious Practices and Groups (e.g., Catholic Church, Diwali)
  • Political beliefs and figures (e.g., political parties, specific political candidates)


Brands, particularly in the health field, will no longer be able to target key groups or communities that have proven successful for them when it comes to performance. While live campaigns using these soon-to-be deprecated targeting options will serve until March 17th, marketers will need to find ways to compensate for the loss of targeting and potential campaign performance.


Because a lot of these targeting options are so niche, it’s not as easy as creating a new audience based on what is available within the platform. Here are five strategies that brands can implement to account for the targeting loss, while also increasing the quality of their campaigns.

  1. Before the change goes into effect, consider heavying up budget for campaigns that feature those detailed targeting audiences. Those audiences aren’t completely gone yet (within some parameters), so why not try to make the best of it? Increasing budget within the next month or so allows brands to take advantage of top performing campaigns or ad sets and fuel their top-of-funnel audience. This move, along with an enhanced retargeting strategy, is a good short-term fix for successful campaigns.
  2. Ensure CAPI is installed: While this Facebook offering isn’t new, Conversions API continues to offer richer, more reliable, and sophisticated data. CAPI allows brands to develop enhanced custom audiences that can be used to create higher quality Lookalike Audiences (LALs) to reach the core demographics.

  3. Test Lookalike audiences of all shapes and sizes and test, test, test. Develop LALs on pixel data, from high value seed lists, engagement audiences, and CRM lists and test them at all different sizes. CAPI will absolutely help develop higher quality LALs as well. Layering LAL audiences instead of segmenting will add some efficiencies to campaigns during this time of testing and learning.

  4. To quote my colleague Andrew Halfman, “lean into the machine” and test a broad targeting strategy. Using this approach, brands do NOT include any type of targeting 😱 (beside exclusions) within their campaigns and let the algorithm do its thing. While broad targeting may seem scary to many, allowing the algorithm to optimize toward an audience that shows high intent signals around your brand might be beneficial to finding your core audience. It is best to test broad targeting with high converting creative. Creative that has been proven in other campaigns, especially video, is highly retargetable.

  5. Consider other platforms. If you need to target specific keywords pertaining to your brand, there are other social platforms where you can find your demographic. Pinterest, for example, is a great place to find consumers who are searching for inspiration, remedies, ideas, and support. Pinterest users are planners, so providing them with the content that they require in their need state is an easy yet effective way to gain potential new customers and fuel top-of-funnel strategies.


It will take some hard work, but in the face of these targeting options becoming obsolete, you will find your audience and efficiencies again. Testing is key. While this change is not ideal for many marketers, there are work-arounds to find new consumers and make campaigns stronger long-term. Not all of the suggested strategies may work for all brands; we expect one or two will set your brand on the right track. Connect with us if we can offer help or guidance.

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