Posts in Facebook Ads

Key takeaways after working with FB Ads for ten years

For about 3 years, I ran Facebook Ads for small local businesses. I then joined a San Francisco-based startup as one of the first engineers to work with the Facebook Ads API. I was there for more than seven years, building data platforms that analyzed multi-millions dollars ad campaigns. If you are running FB ads, you might notice that the prices went up like crazy lately. The explanation is simple: more advertisers are competing for the same audiences (everyone is going “online”). If you are one of them, these key takeaways could help you: There is a delay between the currently reported numbers and the final numbers. Don’t trust 100% that you are hitting your daily spend goal because it might change tomorrow. Age group matters: it is true that products like music, or games, age doesn’t matter. Age does matter: a product could appeal to people between 18-24 equally than the 50-54 group. Age should be one of your key dimensions to fine-tune audiences Region matters: whether it is culturally or because there aren’t many FB advertisers targeting the same place, regions should be your second dimension to watch over. Don’t be afraid of trying new features: not only Facebook will prioritize new ad formats, or bid types, but also not too many advertisers will take the risk of learning and trying them. You can get a good boost in performance or cost reduction if you do. ┬áKeep the campaigns running: if you are getting an good steady optimization, there is no guaranteed that you will see the same results if you pause, and then a few days later, unpause your campaigns. Don’t be fooled by fancy metrics: Facebook will add and remove a lot of metrics. They can provide you new levels of insights, but don’t treat them […]

leocelis 06/01/20 Facebook Ads

Seed Audience Quality

One of the most powerful features in the Facebook Ads platform is the ability to target similar people. The question is: similar to whom? I couldn’t find any FB tech partner┬áthat is measuring the quality of the seed audiences. The lookalike algorithm is fantastic, and it works better if you seed it with both large and high-quality audiences: users that are already your customers, or people who took significant action in your marketing funnel. If you are creating lookalike audiences, make sure that: You have a large dataset. Split them into groups for different messages (if they are newsletter subscribers, move them to the next step and offer them a paid subscription.) They are actively engaged with your brand (they have high open rates, or are recurrent visitors – avoid zombies.) Follow FB best practices for creating lookalike audiences, and generate a score for each of your seed audiences.

leocelis 12/27/19 Facebook Ads Optimization Product

When to remove a platform from your Facebook campaign

Facebook gives you 4 platforms where you can run your ad: Facebook (of course), Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network. By default, you will be advertising in all of them, but how do you know when to keep or remove one? Unless you have a strong reason for keeping Instagram and not Facebook (I can’t think of any), the short answer is: look at the numbers. The numbers above are for the past 7 days. Facebook drove the majority of the volume; the cheapest cost per result came from the Audience Network. If there is no reason for keeping Instagram, you should remove it. It generated a weak volume at a high cost per result. If you are not so sure about it, create a new campaign, same audience, targeting only Instagram users, and watch the numbers. Run it for seven days; if you are still getting poor numbers, then you know what to do.

leocelis 09/22/19 Facebook Ads

Optimizing Facebook Ads for sharing

There is only one audience more valuable than your current customer: people sharing your content. They might be your customers, or not, but the fact that they think your content is worth sharing with their friends, that it will make them look good, has a value beyond your current campaign’s goal. It is free advertising. It is more effective than your paid ad because it is coming from people that the new audience already trust. There is one simple trick you can do to optimize your ads for sharing: check on which platform/placement people are sharing your ads the most: Regardless of their demographics, if people are sharing ads placed on Facebook’s newsfeed, and not in the Audience Network or Messenger, then put the majority of your budget there. Remove the platforms that don’t spread your content.

leocelis 09/03/19 Facebook Ads Optimization

A no-so quick guide on how to optimize Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads Manager offers you so many ways to optimize your ads, so many ways to visualize the data, that it might feel overwhelming. I will give you a quick and easy framework to optimize your Facebook Ads. First, you need to understand that the main goal of the game is not to beat the Facebook Ads algorithm (it is impossible.) The main goal is to get cheaper conversions. Setting goals Before you even touch a single ad, you need to have the answers for these four questions: What is the most important conversion for you? Is it visits? Is it subscribers? Is it sales? What is your budget? Are you going to spend $10k a month? $50 a day? What is the max cost you can afford per conversion? Is it $10, or $100? How many conversion do you expect per day? If I have a $1k/day budget, and the max cost I can afford is Managing time The next big question is: how much time can you devote to optimize your campaigns? Is it just you or you have a media team? This largely depends on your budget. If you are spending $1 per day, it doesn’t make sense to have a team. Their cost will be much higher than any gain they can get. On the other hand, if you are spending $1M per month, it might worth the time of a full-time media analyst focused on reducing the conversion costs. Optimization framework Assuming you already defined your audience, and you have created the ads, now you have two variables you can use to optimize your Facebook ads: levels and dimensions. Levels You can optimize your Ads at three different levels: campaigns, ad set, and ads. The latter is the lowest level. The deeper you get, the […]

leocelis 04/12/19 Facebook Ads

How to design Audiences for Facebook Ads

You can divide audiences into two groups: prospecting and retargeting. Prospecting: Interests: use the Facebook Graph to target people by common interests related to your brand. Lookalike: people similar to your current customer. Retargeting: Customers: a custom audience with your existing customers. Visitors: a custom audience with people who visited your site. Prospecting audiences are those you can create with the out of the box tool in the Ads Manager. My recommendation is that you focus more on the psychographics of your group, that is the interests they share in common, rather than demographics (age, gender, etc.) The cost of reaching people is usually low, but don’t get confused about it, the cost to acquire a customer will be higher because the prospecting group doesn’t know your brand yet. In the same prospecting group, you can create a custom audience. If you already have a customers list, you can use it to build a lookalike audience (people who are similar to your customers.) The retargeting group is where you have more chances to get a conversion at a lower price. Reaching a retargeting group is usually more expensive, but the conversion cost is lower. You have two options here: either you create a custom audience with your current customers and use it in an upsell campaign, or you can create an audience of people who visited your site and retarget them to come back.

leocelis 04/05/19 Facebook Ads

The cost of reaching people

Or rather, the attention cost. If Facebook has printed your ad 1,000 times and it cost you $10, it doesn’t mean anything from the optimization point of view. It is 0.01 cents per impression, what a bargain, let’s get more. There is no obvious action to be taken other than keep spending money on the channel. What really matters is how many people you’ve reached. If your audience is 1M users, and you’ve reached 500k at $5k, and you want to reach the rest of your audience, you have two options: A) spend another $5k or B) refine your audience. And when you start refining your audience is when things get interesting. In Facebook, you can get a breakdown by region, and see the cost of reaching 1,000 per region. If for whatever reason, a region is not relevant to your business, you can remove it, and relocate the money to those regions that you care about. Or if -again for any reason- a region is too expensive, you can remove it as well, and find the one that is relevant to your business and cost-effective. Below is a sample report you can get from the Facebook Ads Reporting tool.

leocelis 04/01/19 Facebook Ads