The Perfect Facebook Campaign Launch Plan for Scaling
Running and scaling a successful Facebook ad campaign isn’t simply a case of “set it and forget it”. Not yet anyway.
As nice as that would be, there are a number of checks and balances that need to be in place, in order to give yourself and your campaigns the best possible chance of success.
Setting up your Facebook Ad Campaign
First up, ask yourself...
• Do you want to reach people that convert within 1 day or 7 day?
• Will you get enough conversions to support either?
Before you make any rash decisions, you will want to get a feel for what your likely average CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) is going to be.
A good way of doing this is running a low level test campaign with a small budget, just to get a feel for whether the market is ready for your product, and what kind of conversion rates/CPA’s you can expect. This will then help shape your bidding/budgeting strategy going forward.
Once you have a view on expected CPA’s (and by no means will the test campaign be representative of what you can expect, it is just a guide), you can setup your campaign with ‘proper’ budgets.
Setting your Adset budgets
If you can, front load the budget to as few adsets as possible, so as to give your adsets as much opportunity of success as possible. This is especially true if you are limited by your budget.
When determining your budget per adset, in an ideal world you will need to set a daily budget of approximately 10 times that of your CPA. I’ll explain why below.
A good way of getting your budget into one adset, is to combine your audiences into one. This may feel counter-intuitive, and will reduce your ability to predict which specific audience performs the best. However, Facebook’s own advice supports this approach:
"Only separate a target audience into its own ad set if you'd bid differently to reach the people in that audience compared to those in your other audiences. Otherwise, combine your audiences into one ad set with a larger budget.”
Facebook generally works better with larger audiences. Often, the advice you will hear is to aim for audiences of at least 1 million.
Set your optimisation goal realistically
IMPORTANT: Facebook optimises at adset level.
The latest advice from Facebook is that you require AT LEAST 50 of your chosen conversion event per week. So, for instance, if you are optimising to purchases, then you need to get 50 purchases in a week, in order for Facebook to optimise your campaigns effectively. This applies if you are optimising to people that convert within 7 day clicks. If you are optimising to 1 day clicks, the game changes - you then need to get 50 conversions in this 1 day period.
This period of time is what Facebook call the ‘learning phrase’, and in effect, your campaign won’t find it’s feet until you are outside this period. It does of course require you taking something of a punt on your campaign, and to get some money behind it. But as the old saying goes, he who dares, wins.
In that case, pay particular attention to how many conversions you get per day. If it is 7 day clicks you are optimising to, then as it’s 50 per week, you therefore need to get between 7 and 10 conversions per day, but ideally 20.
Conversely, when choosing to optimise towards people that convert within 1 day (1 day clicks), any conversions on your adset that happen outside this window (e.g. 2 days, 3 days), will not be included in your 50 conversions. Only conversions within that 1 day window will be used. You can of course still see these attributed to your campaigns, they just won’t be used for your optimisations.
And as mentioned above, if you are optimising to 1 day clicks, then your conversion window is now narrower, and you are required to get your 50 conversions within 1 day. So if you aren’t getting a high volume of daily conversions, it is probably worth optimising to 7 day clicks. Please note, Facebook recommend letting your 7 day click adset run for at least 10 days.
To reiterate the 1 day click advice direct from Facebook:
"if your conversion window is 1-day click, the 50 or so conversions you need all have to happen within 1 day of the click that led to them."
So what if you don’t get enough conversion events?
Simple. You need to look higher up the funnel. If your Facebook pixel is all set up correctly, then you will also be tracking “Add to Cart”, “ViewContent” events. And maybe even “Lead” and “Complete Registration”.
In this case, you would simply optimise to “Add to Cart” instead. By rights, you will receive more Add to Carts than Purchases, so hopefully this will address your conversion event numbers.
If you are still not reaching this number, then look even higher up the funnel at “ViewContent”. But bear in mind this isn’t an indicator of purchase intent.
In this scenario, rather than optimising to a lower quality event, it is far better to utilise a recently added Facebook feature, which you can find in your adset settings:
"Optimize for link clicks until there is enough data to optimize for conversions. This can help improve results.”
This a great feature, and another step towards Facebook making your ad campaigns all the more hands off. So now, your campaign will optimise to clicks, until you have enough conversion data for them to optimise to your chosen conversion event.
Click the slider to Auto optimise to link clicks, and select either Standard or Extended.
Avoid significant edits to your adsets
Once launched, it is a good idea to leave your adsets as they are. As soon as you make what Facebook call a “significant edit”, you will send your adset back into the “learning phase”, effectively sending it back to square one. You want to avoid that if you can.
The learning phase starts on the hour after the edit is made, and a significant edit is defined as a change to any of the following:
- Ad creative
- “Optimisation for Ad Delivery” choice
Facebook’s definition is as follows:
“Your ad set needs to get about 50 of the result it's optimized for within a week of the ad set starting to run (or the last significant edit) to complete the learning phase.”
So now we know, not only do we need 50 conversion events, they only start counting since your last significant edit.
This of course makes it very difficult to scale an adset. What this tells us, is that if an adset is working well, then don’t touch it! Adding new ads into the adset is of course fine. But avoid significant edits.
So how do I scale my campaign then?
Quite simply, rather than making any significant edits, you could duplicate the adset, and make your change to the new adset. If you are looking to scale, then it is more than likely going to be a budget increase.
However, bear in mind, that when duplicating a campaign, none of the past conversion data from the adset you copied from will be retained to use for future optimisations in the new adset.
Alternatively, you can scale the budget SLOWLY, no more than 10% at a time. There are suggestions that this can help you not spin your adset into the learning phase. But avoid increasing budget to often - every 2 or 3 days is probably safe.
Facebook confirm that small increases are unlikely to send your adset into the learning phase:
...if you increase your budget from $100 to $101, that isn't likely to reset the learning phase. However, if you change your budget from $100 to $1000, that may reset the learning phase.
What is clear is that setting up your campaigns correctly, is of paramount importance. Hopefully the knowledge we have shared here gives you some insight into giving your campaigns a kick, and the best chance of success.
Pay attention to what your goals are, and err on the side of caution when choosing your optimisation event. While 1 day conversions are all very nice, if it’s unrealistic that you will achieve 50 of those in a day, then look to optimising to 7 day clicks.
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