When it comes to digital marketing, especially advertising on Facebook, everything changes very rapidly. Strategies and tactics have to adapt to the algorithm updates, which can get tricky. Along with that, the more time you spend analyzing different ads and settings, the more complex they become.
This article contains advanced knowledge and actionable scaling strategies that we've gathered over the past couple of years. If this is just a beginning of your Facebook Ads journey, please see our Facebook Ads Automation Guide first.
Note that all of these strategies can be implemented with either Facebook Ads Manager, other tools, or manually. Using automated rules is a great way to get rid of the routine and repetition of the same actions over and over again. But we suggest to start managing the ads manually and when the logic becomes clear, build up the automated rules based on it. In this article, we’re going to use Reveal for all of our rules examples.
The most well-known strategies:
- 20% Budget Increase
- Comparison with the Parent Value
- ROAS based
- Complex rules with nested conditions
- Custom schedule and multiple timeframes
20% Budget Increase
How it works: every 2-3 days ad set budget increases by 20%Many marketers rely on this method due to its stable results. Such a gradual increase does not trigger a new learning phase on a given ad set thus its performance fluctuates less. It takes time to grow the budget with this strategy, but the ad set's life will be longer and with fewer dips in performance.
How it works: duplicate successful ad set without making any changes to the original one.Some marketers prefer not to touch what is working well and launch the exact copy of successful ad sets. You can scale campaigns faster if launching the duplicates with a higher budget. Just beware of the overlapping as these ad sets will be targeting the same audience.
Sometimes a good ad can still get mistreated. You can duplicate a «bad» ad to give it a second chance. Choose a precise time frame to analyze the results:
In this example the rule will duplicate an ad that meets either set of conditions below:
Impressions > 8000, Purchases < 1, Cost per Link clicks > $5
Impressions > 8000, Purchases < 1, Relevance Score < 7
Now let's move on to some advanced and not so widely known scaling strategies.
The idea behind the conversions tunnel is to set boundaries (a so-called «tunnel») for your key metrics. You never let the metric values out of the tunnel but adjust other settings according to them.
If your manual bid is too low for the ad to win the auction the ad set will not be able to spend the budget. The following rule will adjust the bid every 3 hours if the ad set is not serving enough impressions.
If the ad set is not profitable, then you can decrease the budget to minimize your loss:
Or decrease the bid to prevent the Facebook from bidding too high:
Comparison with the Parent Value
Even if the automated rule takes action at the ad level, it still can take its parent ad set, campaign, or account data into account. Checking a metric against its «parent» (in our case it’s either campaign or ad set levels) value is similar to comparing it to the average. The advantage of this setting is that the values are not hardcoded but can change depending on the overall performance. Facebook ads are infamous for their volatility, and such settings make the rules adapt to the current performance.
Say, one of your ad sets has a very steady start in the morning, and you are ready to through some extra money. Before doing that, you can check how the campaign is doing against the target metric.
The same strategy is useful for spotting under-performers. Say, you have 3 ad sets in a given campaign. Each ad set has one conversion with a CPA (cost per action) of $15, $20, and $35, respectively. The parent campaign's CPA would represent the average CPA of those 3 ad sets and would equal $23.3. You can set up a rule that will automatically turn off the ad set if its CPA is greater than that of the campaign. Such a benchmark is especially helpful when you have lots of ad sets, and you’re not sure what threshold to set for your CPA.
Here’s how to set up the rule:
Just like in traditional marketing, a funnel is a path an ad completes from impression to conversion. The goal is to spot opportunities and possible loss as early as possible. Sometimes there is not enough conversion data to make a decision – this is when going up the funnel could be a solution.
When creating a stop-loss rule, you can take Add to Cart along with Conversion into account. So if many people have added to cart but not purchased yet, you will give them some extra time to convert.
ROAS is Return On Ad Spend. It equals Total Ad Revenue / Total Amount Spent. The Facebook pixel allows you to track different events where most common are Add to Cart, Initiate Checkout, Purchase, and App Install.Let’s say we have spent $2000 to turn prospects into clients. As a result, we make $8000 in revenue. Then the ROAS is 4:1 meaning for every $1 spent you generate $4 in revenue.Usually, an ROAS value of 3 and more is considered profitable (enough to cover expenses and still bring profit).
So the rule to pause ad set with low ROAS can be set up like this:
If you’re looking for ROAS of mobile apps events, choose the Mobile app revenue in metrics:
A more advanced strategy might involve a time schedule:
Time > 01:00 PM on Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fr and
ROAS (Pixel Purchase Revenue / Spend) < 3 (Today) and
Spend > $100 (Today)
We advise to set up a custom schedule for checks in order not to make decisions when not enough data is available.
Complex rules with nested conditions
Nested conditions enable complex automation logic for ads aiming at several targets simultaneously.Say, you run a campaign promoting a mobile app and have KPIs measured in app installs, purchases, and revenue. You want to scale ad sets that demonstrate high performance and have three independent conditions for that:
cost per app install today is less than $3
cost per app purchase today is less than $20
Make sure that the ad set has gathered enough data, e.g. had a required minimum spend, before checking other conditions. To set up such a rule you can use nested conditions.
Here’s how it works:
Custom Schedule and Multiple Time Frames
Some settings, like budget adjustment, can affect the pacing unless it is done before noon. There are two ways to set specific timing in Reveal. The first option would be a custom schedule:
Or setting up a condition is also possible:
Check One Metric Against the Other
This feature allows you to use advanced settings in condition. Say, on average 10% of your Add to Cart converts into Purchase, then this rule will adjust the budget if the ad set has an outstanding day today.
Experienced marketers, just like Chief cooks, have their own unique recipes for each campaign. We believe a good formula for finding your way through is experiment > make mistakes > analyze > automate. And remember: we’re always ready to share our experience and knowledge with you.
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