- 4 October 2021
For many businesses, the Facebook Ads platform is the wild west. The platform is constantly evolving with updates to the algorithm, new features, and changing consumer preferences that can make or break your ad creative. As a preferred Facebook Business Partner, we’ve had a front-row seat to the changes in the platform and how they impact campaigns. In this blog post, we’re sharing our most up-to-date learnings for getting consistent results in the Facebook Ads platform.
Target In-Market Prospects
While it’s common knowledge that Facebook can target users based on their demographics, location, and platform behavior. A lesser-known tactic is to leverage interest data to find people in the market for your product or service. To leverage this data, we target Facebook and Instagram users who have visited pages or websites related to popular brands in a given industry. As an example, when creating ads for our apartment clients, we target Facebook and Instagram users who have searched for apartments on popular listing sites. This ensures communities meet equal housing opportunity advertising requirements for the industry while marketing to an audience that is more likely to convert into a lead or resident.
Allow Facebook to Manage Ad Placements
In the old days of Facebook Advertising, we manually selected placements and segmented campaigns by platform as a common practice. Today, Facebook has become more sophisticated in adapting ads to fit more than one format and they can deliver impressions intelligently across a variety of ad placements. It’s now more common for advertisers to give Facebook control over ad delivery and to use ads that fit across a variety of placements.
The one exception to this best practice we’ve experienced is with Stories ads. While you can still run this placement with an ad designed to run in the Facebook feed, Facebook will auto-adjust your photo or video to show a blurred background at the top and bottom of the content. Since these placements are presented in a full-screen photo and video format, we recommend using a vertical video or photo designed just for Stories so your ad looks more native to viewers watching Instagram and Facebook Stories.
Avoid Optimizing Campaigns in the Learning Phase
When an ad is first launched in the Facebook Ads platform it can take a few days for Facebook to gather enough data about users’ reactions to optimize delivery. This is known as the “learning phase.” It’s best to avoid making changes while the ad is in this state. If changes are made, Facebook will reset the learning phase and keep your ad in this stage for a longer period of time. The faster you can get out of this stage the better. Once you exit this stage, Facebook will optimize your ad delivery and maximize your budget.
Your budget and audience are both variables that impact how quickly you exit the learning phase. The larger your audience and daily budget the faster your ad will exit this stage. If you have a very small budget and a highly targeted audience, it will take Facebook longer to reach enough users to exit the learning stage.
Update Ads Every 30-40 Days
At the same time, you don’t want to avoid updating your Facebook ads altogether. After analyzing thousands of ads we found that ads that ran for less than 15 days or over 50 days don’t perform as well as ads that run for 30-45 days. This showed us that the sweet spot for updating an ad is monthly. If you make updates too quickly you run the risk of disturbing the learning phase and you lose the momentum of Facebook’s data collection and optimizations. If you let an ad rotate for too long it can end up delivering a high volume of impressions to the same audience and become stale.
We hope you found these tips helpful in understanding how the Facebook ad platform works and what you can do to get the most out of the platform. For more tips like these check out How to Create Thumb-Stopping Moments, Facebook Domain Verification for iOS14, and other articles about Facebook advertising on our blog.