— February 19, 2019
Anyone who’s run a successful Facebook ad campaign knows the feeling of wanting to go bigger. To reach new people, to drive more app installs, and ultimately, to start scaling your ads. However, like most things, scaling comes with risks. It’s possible that increased daily ad spend could result in negative ROI if done incorrectly and you could end up wasting money. But as we all know, the potential for increased ROI, more customers, and an uptake in sales could make the risk worth it for your organization.
Mitigate the risk of failed scaling by following a set strategy. Whether your aim is to achieve a higher return on ad spend, gain more customers, or increase sales, following the guidelines below will allow you to successfully reach that goal.
1. Adjust Your Budget
A general Facebook best practice is to use a target cost bid strategy to scale ad spend. This allows you to maintain a stable cost per result while incrementally increasing your budget. In order to spend your budget wisely, it’s best to first understand the cost threshold your organization can comfortably spend. From there, you can use Facebook’s automation tools to help set and maintain your budget for optimal scale. Consider the following:
Establish a Cost Target
Facebook recommends starting with a sustainable cost target or the ideal average cost your organization would like to pay for your campaign. From there, you are able to increase spend as needed. Adjust your budget until you’ve reached an equilibrium between the lowest possible spend and consistent ad delivery that still spends your entire budget.
Respect the Learning Phase
The “Learning Phase” is the period of time during which Facebook does not yet have the data to maximize the efficiency of your ad budget, targeting, and spend. During the learning phase, resist making significant edits to your ad set, as this will cause the algorithm to restart and reset the learning phase.
Incrementally Increase Bidding
Higher bids give you greater access to high-quality leads, but it’s important to resist bidding too high. This can result in wasteful spend and hurt overall campaign performance. After the learning phase has commenced, start increasing your bid amounts incrementally to find the sweet spot. Start by testing a 10% increase on your bids. If you don’t see significant changes after a week, increase that to 20%, and so on. When you find the tipping point, you’ll have reached a scale equilibrium.
2. Expand Your Target Audience
Increasing the size of your target audience broadens your reach and can help increase leads. However, it’s easy to get carried away with audience expansion. Remember to only target who matters and place your ads in front of the people you care about. There are two paths you can take to expand your audience the right way:
Increase the Size of Your Lookalike Audiences
Lookalike audiences are arguably the best tool Facebook has to scale targeting. These audiences enable Facebook to take your existing audiences and find similar users to put your ads in front of. We recommend creating a value-based lookalike audience to maximize ROAS.
Broaden Your Location Targeting
Facebook recently expanded location targeting to allow advertisers to target cities, states, and provinces in a record number of countries. For global companies, this is especially helpful. Targeting a global audience is a surefire way to expand your audience at a low cost and reach your most relevant audiences.
By including multiple countries in your targeting, you can easily increase your reach at a lower CPM than would exist in the United States. To ensure success in countries outside of the United States, set your language settings to match the language(s) used in your ads so that relevant audiences will see (and be able to understand) the contents of your ad.
Organizations can expand reach and avoid audience fatigue by growing and refreshing target audiences. However, you can run into issues like audience overlap and audience saturation if you aren’t careful. Be sure not to make your audience too large – this will result in a low click-through-rate and cause your ads to fail.
In order to narrow down your targeting, try defining audience interests and tightening your focus.
3. Creative Is Key
Advancements in machine learning and AI have allowed Facebook to automate budgets, bidding, audiences and placement decisions to maximize results. These advancements have left creative as the only real differentiator for Facebook ad performance.
Your audience doesn’t want to see the same copy, videos, and images over and over again. Even high-performing creative has to be replaced before it goes dry.
Ensure your content stays fresh by targeting each specific audience the right way – personalizing your messaging across multiple ads, optimizing creative for multiple placements, and deploying high-performing videos and images that resonate with each stage of the buyers’ journey.
If you’re stuck, try utilizing a creative studio to alleviate your internal design team’s tunnel vision, develop fresh ideas, and produce a high volume of new concepts.
4. A/B Test Your Ads
To find winning ad creative, dynamic testing is critical. Be careful, however, as testing can also produce financial waste. Follow these guidelines to efficiently test your Facebook ad campaigns:
- Test 1 variable
- Know your KPIs
- Avoid data contamination & reduce overlap
- Ensure test geo is representative
- If slow pace, increase bids by same percentage
- If under-delivery, make slight changes to all ads
- Pause & re-run test to get clean data
- Consider lift & results to determine winner
- Use multiple KPIs to determine winner
- Test & iterate further for continuous improvement
Testing multiple ads and forming hypotheses will help you understand what works and what doesn’t within your Facebook campaigns.
The key to scaling Facebook ad campaigns is simple: strategy, strategy, strategy! Take these best practices and test them on your ads. Once you master bidding, audience targeting, creative optimization, and testing, you’ll be successfully generating ad campaigns at scale.