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You know how to set up Facebook Ads campaigns. You also have knowledge of what the different ad targets are, and you even know which one to choose to achieve the desired results. Furthermore, you also know how to create a variety of ad sets, but all the time you feel that something is wrong. Seemingly, users are displaying your ad creatives, but clicks are relatively few and they are very expensive. In that case, it’s time to analyze your ads and optimize them.
What is optimization?
Let’s start at the beginning, though. You hear a lot about how important optimization is. However, what is it really? Campaign optimization is really nothing more than the process by which we make our money be spent more efficiently. Its main goal is also to get better and better results.
Optimization thus involves analyzing the many elements that make up your campaign. In doing so, it is worth remembering that it is an ongoing process. If you take on optimization once every few months, without watching its progress in the meantime, it will not be effective. As you optimize your campaign, keep checking its progress and how its results and costs change.
Optimize ad sets
Before we move on to optimizing the ads themselves, let’s stop by a very important element still: ad sets.
The first way worth mentioning is the use of exclusions. If you have several ad sets in your campaign that target the same or very similar audience, they are in competition with each other, thus resulting in the phenomenon of cannibalization. In short, your sets are competing for displays among themselves in an auction system, driving up their costs.
Want to check audience group overlap, go to the Audience tab in the Ads Manager. Select the groups you want to compare and choose “Show audience overlap.” Facebook usually assigns users multiple interests, hence it is very difficult to get an audience group overlap of 0%. Therefore, we can already consider a result below 10% as satisfactory.
Next we can apply cascading exclusions, that is, in each subsequent set of ads we exclude groups from previous sets. This can look like the following:
- Set A without any exclusions
- In Set B we exclude Set A
- In Set C we exclude A and B
When applying exclusions, however, remember to control the size of your target groups. If it is too small, our Facebook ad optimization may stop functioning properly.
In addition, exclusion is also important when we want to target new audiences with our campaigns. In this case, it is worth excluding in our ad set people who have visited our page or active users of our fanpage and Instagram. This way you will reach new audiences rather than remarketing. If you have a list of your customers or contacts for leads, these groups are also worth excluding in such campaigns.
With this treatment, your cost/conversion rate will drop, the CTR of link clicks will increase, and your customers won’t be annoyed that they see the same ad once again. It’s also a good idea to apply the same principle whenever you want to target an ad to people who haven’t yet made the conversion you want.
With their help, we target “cold” groups. When choosing interests, we need to pay special attention to the size of our audience so that it is neither too large nor too narrow. For example, “Sports” is a very broad interest. “Marketing Specialist,” on the other hand, is a group that would definitely need to be broadened so as not to reach a literal handful of recipients.
Optimizing groups of similar audiences
If you are not yet using like audience groups in your campaigns, it is absolutely worth testing this option. In many cases, you’ll find that your ad costs go down after using them.
Then optimizing such groups consists of analyzing whether it’s worth widening or narrowing the lookalike and how to do it — you can select to narrow/widen the group by percentage and retention. A key aspect is also to choose a base group of custom audiences, based on which we will create a group of similar audiences. For example, if our advertising goal of the campaign is Sales, it is best to use conversions from the purchase path — adding to cart, proceeding to checkout or purchase — as a data source.
When optimizing ad sets, it is also important to assess whether we are selecting the gender and age of our audience correctly. We should base our analysis on, for example, the CTR of link clicks for each age group and gender.
We will now discuss the most important part of our advertising campaign, namely the optimization of the ad creatives themselves.
Optimization of advertising graphics and texts
When optimizing advertisements, it is worth focusing on analyzing both graphics and ad texts. Different audiences ultimately respond to different ads. Therefore, creative optimization should consist of testing new graphics and texts the moment you see the effectiveness of active ads decreasing, such as noticing a decrease in the CTR of link clicks or an increase in cost.
Always try to test only 1 variable. Elements that are worth testing include:
- text of advertisement (copy),
- headline of the advertisement,
- graphic creation,
- duration of the film,
- CTA button,
Otherwise, when you change more elements at once, you won’t be able to tell which change had a positive effect and which one destroyed the entire optimization of your campaign.
Test also for at least 7 days to collect enough data. The effects are most often only meaningful when you spend £10 on a given creative and have a minimum of 8,000 impressions. If you have very little time for testing, first check how an ad with a different graphic will perform. Changing it usually works better than other copy.
It’s also worth remembering that many users browse Facebook on their cell phones. So when creating a large 1200×1200 px graphic on your computer, you may think that all the elements are clearly visible on it. Meanwhile, on mobile, they may be completely unreadable, making the effectiveness of our advertising diminish.
The frequency with which we show our ads to users is also a very important aspect. In my case, the rule of thumb — the less, the better — typically works in this case. The fact that we will display frequently to our users will not make them more likely to become our customers, and it often works quite the opposite. Too much frequency of our creatives can also lead to an increase in the cost of our advertising.
You can keep an eye on the frequency of your display by adjusting your columns and selecting the Frequency option. It is best not to show the same offer more than 2 times a week in the cold group and more than 4 times a week in the remarketing group.
Number of ads
Here, too, it’s a good idea to stick to the principle of what’s too much… is unprofitable. Creating many ad creatives with the hope that any of them will work is unfortunately a very bad strategy, especially if our budget is small. Our campaigns in such a situation will practically all the time be in the learning phase, because each ad will receive a small part of the budget, and thus will not be able to “unleash” for good. If you have had one creative in your campaigns so far, and after discovering what optimization is, you decided to create 10 more without changing the budget, it is very likely that your campaigns will not produce optimal results.
Patiently wait for results
If you have time to look at your campaigns every day, especially if you’re operating on big budgets where the risk of burning through it is higher, that’s really great. However, if in doing so you want to change something every time, that’s not a recipe for success. Be vigilant, keep an eye on the results, but don’t modify the target group every now and then, don’t drastically change the rates or advertising creatives. This is because each such change prolongs the learning phase of your campaign, making you wait longer for the results you want.
What about when there is a lot of work, but definitely not enough time? In such a situation, you can use Automatic Rules The system, after you set the guidelines, can, for example:
- send you email notifications about changes in certain indicators/results, so you can instantly intervene when an unwanted change occurs;
- Self make changes to campaigns, ad sets, and the ads themselves when a condition you specify occurs. For example, it can pause an unprofitable ad if its CTR falls below a certain level;
Whether you control your campaigns yourself or are assisted by automated rules, always plan in advance what changes you want to make and do it wisely, according to a set strategy. Often our ill-considered actions are due to pressure from the client – after all, everyone wants results and great results as soon as possible. However, be patient and if you’ve set everything up well so far, now let Facebook prove itself and trust its systems.
Optimization is the cornerstone of operations with ad campaigns. Learning how to analyze results and what creatives work best for your audience, at what place, at what time and on which device, certainly takes time and work. However, if you master this skill, it can pay you back with a huge investment. So don’t be afraid to make changes, test and get the most out of Facebook Ads.
If, however, you’re not sure how to properly optimize your ad campaigns, you can always enlist the help of marketing agency
She has been involved in internet marketing for two years, but despite her relatively short presence in the industry, she has already conducted advertising campaigns for small and large companies, both on the Polish and foreign markets. He treats digital marketing not only as a job, but also as a passion, which is why he tries to expand his knowledge and skills every day. She joined Up&More in January 2023, where she manages projects in Facebook Ads, Google Ads and Apple Search Ads.