Facebook campaigns getting a bit stale?
Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. Luckily, the platform’s constantly introducing new features for advertisers to take advantage of.
Here are three you should be using to optimize your Facebook campaigns.
Use Facebook Campaign Budget Optimization
The least exciting part of running a Facebook campaign? The budget part.
Let’s face it: no one loves parting with their hard-earned cash. And not knowing exactly where to funnel that cash makes it that much less appealing.
But often, that’s the case with digital ads. It’s hard to know exactly how much to allocate where, and often the process includes lengthy tests that (surprise!) still cost money.
So Facebook’s stepped up. Late last year, they announced a new budget optimization tool that allows advertisers to set one central campaign budget to optimize distribution across ad sets.
Normally, Facebook ads require you to set a daily or lifetime budget at the ad set level.
So, if you set a daily budget of $30, you might distribute $10 to each of the three ad sets in your campaign. Each set would receive the allotted budget, regardless of performance.
But the new tool uses a secret algorithm to distribute your budget to your top performing ad sets in real time. So you would assign that $30 at the campaign level, and Facebook may decide to spend $15 on the top performing set, and only $5 on one with less impressive results.
As you can see, it takes a lot of the guesswork out of budget optimization.
The budget tool is available for any campaign objective, and Facebook advises it be used for campaigns with multiple ad sets.
The benefits here are pretty clear. Instead of guessing which ad will perform the best and basing your ad spend off that guess, Facebook will automatically distribute more money to the ad sets that are performing the best.
And, if you’re worried too much may go to one ad set, don’t be. Facebook still lets you set bid caps and spend limits for each set.
How to Set it Up:
Budget optimization changes the ad set-up very little.
While you’re creating your campaign, just toggle the Budget Optimization bar to on. Then, choose if you want your campaign budget to be daily or lifetime.
Set your budget and choose a bid strategy, and you’re good to go.
A couple notes on bid strategy:
- Facebook notes that if you choose the lowest cost campaign bid strategy without a bid cap, all ad sets in your campaign must have the same optimization event
- If you choose the lowest cost bid strategy with a bid cap or the target cost bid strategy, you can optimize for different results and set different bid caps or target costs for each ad set
Facebook also recommends you use ad sets spends sparingly, as it impedes Facebook’s flexibility to optimize your budget.
Tips For Using Budget Optimization for Your Facebook Campaign
Generally speaking, most advertisers will determine ad spend allocation on a factor like audience size.
It makes sense. Naturally, you want to give a little more oomph to the ads most likely to reach more people.
But in light of the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, one of the more noticeable changes Facebook made is eliminating the option for advertisers to see the estimated size of their Custom audiences.
Because you’re in the dark regarding how many people have the potential to see the ad, it makes determining ad spend a bit more difficult.
This is a perfect scenario for the budget optimization tool. So, if you’re running a custom audience ad and another interest or demographic-based ad, you can let Facebook determine the best performing set and let it distribute the budget accordingly.
Facebook also notes a few scenarios where the budget tool may be most effective:
- Set a campaign-level budget and have some flexibility in how that budget is spent across the ad sets in their campaign
- Get the most results possible from their campaign
- Simplify campaign set up and save time by reducing the number of budgets they have to manage manually
2. Use Facebook Creative Hub For Facebook Campaigns
Inspiration for great ad ideas is hard to come by. From the overall concept to the nitty gritty’s of targeting and new formats, it’s a challenge for even the best of us.
So Facebook introduced the Creative Hub, designed to give advertiser’s some much-needed inspiration or, as Facebook says, “to be a faster, easier way to produce ideas that capture attention and delight people where they’re spending their time—on mobile.”
Essentially, the Creative Hub is a place where advertisers can test new ad formats, preview ads in a mobile format, and even share mock-up’s of ads with clients before pushing ads live.
Beyond that ability to test and share, the Creative Hub also features a section dedicated to inspiration. Here, you can view examples of brands using different ad formats and creatives – and seeing great results.
See an example you like? Use it to craft your own ad campaign.
How to Access the Creative Hub
Super simple – just launch your Ads Manager, select the menu dropdown from the top left, and click Creative Hub under Plan.
Once there, you’ll see four options along the top:
- Manage Mockups
- Image Text Check
- View Formats
- Get Inspired
The first, Manage Mockups, is where you can – you guessed it – create and manage an ad mockup.
While mockups provide obvious benefits to advertisers, they’ve rarely been used in the case of digital advertising.
Why? Well, they’re hard. The time and resources it takes to create one in a digital space has always been a challenge. But with Facebook’s new dedicated mockup section, advertisers no longer have an excuse not to pre-plan their ads.
Advertisers can create mockups of both Facebook and Instagram ads. They can upload an images, videos, text, CTAs, etc. The screen here looks very similar to the one used to create real, live ads.
When you’re done, you can see a full example of what your ad would like on a mobile screen, and tweak accordingly.
The Image Check section lets you check images to make sure they comply with Facebook’s parameters.
See, Facebook has a reputation for being strict when it comes to creatives, and having too many words on your graphics often results in a severely limited reach.
Now, advertiser’s can kiss that problem goodbye by running those images through the Image Check section.
Once uploaded, Facebook will let you know what you can expect. A green check mark means your image is good to go. If your image returns anything else, you may want to rethink the image or try moving some text to the text area of the ad.
Then you have the new View Formats section. Because frankly, there’s tons of formats to play with across Facebook and Instagram. But if you haven’t used them before, you can’t always know how they’ll turn out.
Say you’re thinking about venturing into Instagram Stories ad territory. You might have a thousand ideas popping into your head about how to use the format for your clients, but no good (or timely) way to deliver your vision.
Enter the Creative Hub. Here, you can easily transform you vision into a live mockup to share with clients, in an extremely timely manner.
And, you can even draw inspiration from brands doing it right in the Get Inspired section.
This last section houses a collection of examples from different brands, categorized by each ad format.
Select a category, and you can scroll through existing ads to draw inspiration and form your own strategy, based on tactics proven to work well for other similar brands.
Clicking on an example will bring you to a close-up of the ad with a short description.
Tips For Using the Creative Hub to Optimize Your Facebook Campaign
This one’s pretty straightforward: just use it.
There’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t run an image through the text checker or create a full mockup of an ad you plan to run.
After all, you’re investing money in this campaign; you may as well make sure the reality of it meets your vision.
I’d recommend a look through the examples in the Get Inspired section before you do any creating – especially if you’re thinking of trying a new format.
Really pay attention to what those advertiser’s are doing right, and how you can (legally) emulate it.
Where are their CTAs? What do they say? Do their images have text? How long are the videos they’re using? Is there an average number of images in a carousel ad that seems to be performing better?
Then, apply those rules to your mockup (and even look at the examples as you create your own).
Create Custom Remarketing Audiences From Videos for Your Facebook Campaign
Okay, custom audiences aren’t new.
But they remain one of the best ways to optimize a campaign, and a surprising number of people don’t really know what these custom audiences are capable of.
As the king of targeting options, one of Facebook’s cooler options is the ability to build custom audiences based on past engagement with your lead forms, canvas ads, posts, and of course, video views.
While all of them are great options, I’m a big fan of video views because 1.) People (and Facebook) are all about videos, 2.) it’s a great way to retarget users who have already show interest in your brand, and 3.) you can set your audience based on how long they watched your video, enabling you to weed out anyone who quickly clicked away.
Like custom audiences, the ability to base them on videos isn’t new. But what is newer is the options you can play with to set your targets more exactly.
You can choose when an audience viewed your video, how long they stuck around, and even include multiple videos in your parameters.
How to Set it Up
As usual, begin in your ads manager. Navigate to the Audiences section, click Create Audience, and select Custom Audience.
Select Engagement, and then click Video.
Then, you’ll choose your video. You can select from an existing Campaign, your Page, or from your Instagram business profile. Or, you can select videos from all of those places.
Using the Campaign option, you’ll use the search bar to find the video you would like to use. If you select from your Page, you’ll check the boxes next to the videos you want select. Same process if you choose from your Instagram business page.
You’ll also be able to choose a duration from the following:
- People who viewed at least 3 seconds of your video
- People who viewed at least 10 seconds of your video
- People who viewed at least 25% of your video
- People who viewed at least 50% of your video
- People who viewed at least 75% of your video
- People who viewed at least 95% of your video
A note from Facebook here: The time duration need only apply to one of the videos. So for example, If you select 50% of a video and select multiple videos, we’ll look for people who have watched at least 50% of any one of those videos, not at least 50% of each of them.
Tips for Using Video Views for Facebook Campaigns
Generally speaking, I recommend starting with at least the 10 second views. That way, you’ll know you have an audience that’s somewhat engaged.
But really, you should base your choice off the goal of the campaign. While 10 seconds may be enough for an Awareness campaign, if your goal is conversion and sales, you may want to up the ante a bit and select the 75% of 95% options.
I’d rarely use the 3 second option. Remember, Facebook starts videos automatically. You’ll find a lot of people scrolling by will give it 3 seconds, but doesn’t mean they’re qualified or engaged.
Or, mix and match them. With this targeting option, you can potentially target people throughout all stages of the buying funnel by selecting multiple videos for different durations.
For each video you select, you can assign it a different engagement rate. So, if you have a general intro video you would like to use for a brand awareness campaign, assign it 10 seconds.
Then, create a new custom audience for videos focused more insider tips, how-to’s, industry news, etc. to use for a lead generation campaign, set it to 50%.
And then, for videos more suitable to the top of the funnel, select the 95% option to build that audience.
From there, you’ll have custom audiences built based on where these viewers are in the buying cycle. Obviously, those who spend less time with your videos still need to be nurtured, and you can design an ad campaign to target their needs.
It’s official: Facebook campaigns are in it for the long haul.
The way we use them, however, is subject to change.
The features above are some of Facebook’s newer ways to amp up your ad campaigns, and trust me, they’re ones you don’t want to miss.