Facebook Ads: Should You Edit Them Or Not?

January 15, 2015
 Editing Facebook Ads

Last week we published an infographic with a few simple tips to improve the performance of your Facebook campaigns. Most of them were quite straightforward, but the one that that seems to have spiked the most curiosity was:

So, why is it better re-create (or duplicate) your ad sets when you want to change the targeting or the bidding?

Facebook certainly allows you to edit your campaigns midway if you want to, but we think it is best practice to re-create them and here’s why:

When you run Facebook ads targeting a certain audience, Facebook optimises the ads for that specific audience, which means that whether you use CPC or CPM bidding, Facebook automatically shows the ads that are more likely to generate more actions from that audience more often. 
If you change the audience while the ads are running, Facebook will have to gather that information all over again (for the new audience), and re-start optimising, which can take time and might waste you money in the process.

Moreover, it will be harder to analyse the performance of your ad sets if you change the targeting, because you won’t be able to understand the relationship between the ads and the results correctly. Think of your Facebook campaign as an experiment, and of targeting as a variable – you don’t want targeting to be a confounding variable, so it should be kept constant throughout the whole experiment.

Therefore, it is safer to re-create the ad sets with the new target audience.

Pro tip #1: 

Duplicate the existing ad sets and change the targeting instead of re-creating them from scratch. You can pause the old ads if you want to stop running them. (Click to tweet)

Regarding bidding, the issue is similar – changing your bid type from CPC to CPM (or vice-versa) might lead you to incorrect conclusions when analysing your campaigns, so it should be kept constant.

Furthermore, Facebook has a pacing algorithm based on an optimal bid, that determines how your budget is spent relative to time, and ensures that your ads generate actions evenly throughout the day. When the budget is changed, pacing has to learn what the new optimal bid is which, once again, takes some time and will affect your campaign performance. This becomes even more important if you’re running campaigns over a short time frame (1 or 2 days): the pacing algorithm can take a few hours to kick in when you create your ad sets, so if you change your bidding or budget your performance won't be very good. Facebook itself doesn’t advise changing your budget many times.

Pro tip #2: 

If you must make budget changes, making them in the morning affects pacing less than if they are done later in the day. (Click to tweet)