Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Time For a Facebook Business Manager Checkup

Facebook Business Manager is an incredibly useful and powerful tool for advertisers. If you’re running Facebook and/or Instagram ads, it’s the command center of all account connections and activities. There’s no doubt it has streamlined various processes and made it much easier to connect employees and accounts.

But that said, who actually knows and understands all the complex ins and outs of Business Manager?

Let’s be honest: very few of us. 

How many of us have scratched our head when a button is inexplicably moved or a layout has been changed without notice? How many have tried to connect our organization into a Business Manager account and ended up super frustrated and needing an adult beverage?

Let’s be honest: many of us.

As a result, most advertisers successfully connect their pages, people, and pixels, and then they’re pretty much afraid to break anything so they don’t go any further. In short, most folks vastly under-utilize this essential tool.

We can do better.

When I built the first Business Manager training course last fall, I interviewed several dozen agencies and consultants about how they actually use it. I asked them to be brutally honest about the hiccups they’ve had, the mistakes they’ve made, and the ongoing issues they run into. My research led to some pretty shocking discoveries, including:

  1. Multiple agencies had every employee listed as an admin of every client Facebook Page and ad account.
  2. Several other agencies had employees utilizing personal profiles to connect into ad accounts via settings, therefore not using Business Manager at all.
  3. My personal favorite! One consultant had hired 34 different “contractors” in Pakistan to do posting on client Facebook pages and once he fired them, he never deleted them as admins of those pages.

It’s time to get serious.

As a Facebook/Instagram advertiser today, it’s a MUST that we keep our Business Manager fully functional and up to date for not only our purposes, but for the purposes of client protection and security as well.

We all need a checkup once in a while. It keeps us healthy. It also ensures the best security on our accounts, something that’s absolutely imperative these days.

So, let’s do this.

If you want to modify almost anything within Business Manager, it has to be done via Business Settings. You can navigate to that area via

Once you’ve clicked on the blue button in the upper right corner, it’ll bring you into the navigational menu that you can click around in.

Step One: Clean Up Admins and Employees

Within Business Manager, we all have Admins and Employees. These are the fine people we’ve connected into our organization at some point. You can then attach them to ad accounts, pages, and other assets.

1. Admins

It’s important to remember that old employees and admins can always be removed within Business Manager. You can find these within “People” in the upper left hand side of the navigation bar under settings. Anyone that has a small badge to the right of their name is an admin.

Ask yourself: does anyone have a badge who actually shouldn’t?? Admins have a lot of power within your Business Manager, so these should be used very sparingly. I reserve these only for the Business Owners, or those controlling access to the Business Manager.

2. Employees

Your employees are users who’ve been added into the account at some point. They are likely connected to assets, such as pages and ad accounts. But should they be?

Here’s an example: I no longer work with Jackson, so I’d like to remove him. You can do this by clicking in the upper right corner of that employee record and hit “Remove.”


You can also review the ad accounts, pages, catalogs, and other assets that person is attached to. If you want to remove them from a particular account, click on the asset and then on the right hand side, click the X on the asset name.

Great work cleaning up your admins and employees!

Interested in learning more about Facebook’s Business Manager? Sign up for our Business Manager training, here!

Step Two: Disconnect Old Ad Accounts and Pages

How much time do you spend getting rid of old ad accounts and pages you’re no longer connected to? If you’re like the dozens of agencies I polled last fall, it’s not much time at all — which can be hugely problematic!

There are different excuses for not taking action and here are some of the most common:

  • Agencies want to stay connected to old accounts and keep tabs on a new agency. (I do not endorse this tactic!)
  • Some agencies frankly don’t know how to do it properly.
  • Then there’s downright laziness, meaning some folks just don’t look at their account list in Business Manager very often.

In order to truly stand out as advertisers, we’ve got to stay on top of everything — which includes cleaning up old accounts and pages — as annoying and time-consuming as that might be.

1. Reviewing Old Ad Accounts

Reviewing your list of ad accounts is actually quite simple. Within Business Settings, you can click on Accounts and review the list under Ad Accounts.

Be sure to look at the accounts themselves. You can also review the people connected, which level of access they have, and then ask yourself if that person really needs access. If you’re an agency, consider if you need to be connected or is it just cluttering up your Business Manager.

If you need to remove yourself or your agency, you can do that by clicking “remove” in the upper right corner.

2. Reviewing Old Pages

The process for reviewing the Facebook pages you’re connected to is similar to ad accounts. You go into Business Settings, click the page you want to remove and select it from the top right corner.

Step Three: Ensure Your Pixels are Perfect

Pixels lead to some of the most frustrating scenarios within Business Manager. But if you share the pixel properly, you can attach it to an ad account, utilize it within Facebook Analytics, and dial-in your dynamic ads. So, it holds a lot of power.

1. Is the pixel shared properly?

The first thing I check on with pixels is if they are shared into the Business Manager properly. If not, this may be why you’ve run into permissions issues in the past.

Check the listing of pixels, under the data sources > pixels area. Are all your pixels showing up here?

If not, you may need to share the pixel into Business Manager. At this stage, it’s important to note a few things:

  1. The person trying to share the pixel has to own it.
  2. You need to share it into the Business Manager that you want to own that pixel. So if this is a client’s pixel, they need to do this within their own Business Manager.

To share, click in the upper left corner and head to Events Manager > Pixels area.

Once there, hit “details” on the pixel, which brings you into the main admin screen.

Then, hit share. This brings you back into the Business Manager pixel area we were at earlier.

2. Are Partners, People, and Ad Accounts Connected Properly?

For each pixel within your Business Manager, you can assign a partner, person, and ad account to that pixel. Review each of these and ensure things are all connected, so you have no more permissions issues. This process also ensures your pixel will work as intended.

Still tons more!

Even for those of us who have been using Business Manager for years, there’s always still tons more to learn. You can always be improving, reviewing, and ensuring security is top notch for your clients.

If this topic interests you and you want to learn more, sign up for my upcoming Business Manager course.

The post Time For a Facebook Business Manager Checkup appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Ask Us Anything! New Bruce Clay Video Series Answers Your Digital Marketing Questions

Ask Us Anything! New Bruce Clay Video Series Answers Your Digital Marketing Questions was originally published on, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Digital marketing is tough. Anyone who wants to improve a website and raise its visibility in search knows that.

As a marketer or business owner, you have to make about a zillion decisions for your website along the way to prominence and profitability.

Naturally, questions come up that you need help answering. And you might not have the luxury of an expert at your beck and call.

Since articles and experts abound in digital marketing, it’s hard to know what answers to trust. That’s especially true with SEO questions.

Advice you find around the web may be conflicting, outdated, or just plain impractical.

So for marketers who are trying to figure out how to do search engine optimization, content marketing, PPC, search engine marketing, or social media marketing on their own, we would like to help clear up the confusion.

Announcing our new “Ask Us Anything” video series on YouTube!

Bruce Clay Ask Us Anything Video Series

Get answers from knowledgeable BCI team members (pictured: Bruce Clay and Virginia Nussey)

To answer your digital marketing questions, we’re launching a new video series.

Do you have a question about SEO, PPC, content, social marketing, or the intersections between them?

We invite you to submit your question here:

Answers You Can Watch

To prime the pump so to speak, we filmed answers to some of the questions that we hear from blog readers, clients, and students in our SEO training courses.

Visit the Bruce Clay, Inc. YouTube channel and you’ll find 17 videos already queued up in our Ask Us Anything playlist!

Samples of Q&A topics that are ready to watch include:

And the list keeps growing …

Everyone Appreciates Answers that Get to the Point

Brief is best when it comes to video answers.

You might be struggling to decide a particular optimization issue. For example, should you use heading tags in your navigation menus? Yes or no?

When you’re unsure what to do, it can hold up your projects. At times like these, you just need a best-practice answer.

That’s why we keep the “Ask Us Anything” videos focused and brief. (Here’s that answer, in case you’re curious.)

Each video answers a specific SEO or digital marketing question in about two minutes. According to one commenter, the short length is the best part:

“I’ve watched every one of your AUA vids. I like that you keep them short and have multiple people answering Q’s. Keep ’em coming…”

When you submit a question, we will:

  1. Quickly determine whether it’s something we can answer. (We don’t guarantee we’ll answer every question.)
  2. Choose the best person to answer it — from Bruce Clay himself to the many experienced, knowledgeable members of our team.
  3. Film away!
  4. Notify you by email if we post a video that answers your question.

The main goal of our “Ask Us Anything” videos is to provide reliable answers to SEO questions and other issues facing digital marketers.

Helping you understand the best practices better means that you can do your job more efficiently — with better results.

We hope you enjoy watching, learning, and getting your questions answered in our new video series!

Please subscribe to Bruce Clay Inc.’s channel and watch all of our video answers. And go ahead: Ask us anything!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Optimize Facebook Dynamic Product Ads The Right Way

Dynamic Product Ads are magical.

We know the flow. A user visits a website or adds a product to cart. Then they don’t purchase. Finally, we show them an ad of that specific product and complete the sale.

Many of us have this setup and it keeps on working. It’s a win-win because the advertisements aid in completing purchases and ensure the user sees a high-quality, relevant ad.

But did you know that Dynamic Ads can also be used for prospecting? They can help find new customers based on online behavioral modeling. You can also use dynamic copy in prospecting ads.

Between Broadmatch Dynamic Ads, Dynamic Product Ads, and all the new features of dynamic ads, they are delivering real results. Dynamic ads can now be a full-funnel solution that can add sales and stability to your campaigns.

(I define dynamic ads as any ad using your product catalog. But in this post, I focus exclusively on the way most advertisers use them: dynamic product ads.)


Look, I knew how dynamic ads worked. I’d used them with success many times. But I still found myself thinking Dynamic Ads were somewhat intimidating.

Specifically, creating a stellar product catalog, “debugging” them, and customizing the ads combined to be a bit confusing and murky. As a result, I primarily used apps to help set things up — especially for my clients with multiple products, using an app was almost essential to making the entire process run smoothly.

All that said, a few months ago when Jon and I decided that our May training would be on Dynamic Ads, I committed to spending some serious time getting my hands dirty. I interviewed marketers about how they’re using dynamic ads, and mastering the topic with confidence.

Turns out that my fears weren’t completely unfounded; a lot of folks I talked to felt the same way. As such, there’s an incredible amount of variance in how Facebook advertisers use Dynamic Ads. Some rely on complex spreadsheets-to-database automatic uploads via FTP. Many are only utilizing 28-day add to cart remarketing. And even more common were those who set things up a year ago and haven’t changed them since.

I quickly realized there’s a very wide range of opinions, concerns, and personal experiences on the subject. In speaking with dozens of agencies and consultants and running my own experiments, I’ve uncovered several pro tips for optimization that I think everyone can use to improve their Dynamic Product Ad results.

I chose to focus on remarketing here since the majority of advertisers use Dynamic Product Ads with that goal in mind.

Onwards to optimization!

Separate View and Add To Cart

One of the most common missteps I observed in my research was when advertisers would combine “View” and “Add to Cart” in the same ad set targeting.

Facebook Dynamic Ads

It’s a recurring pitfall as it’s the first radio button on the targeting list for Catalog Sales. However, the reality is with the custom combination targeting, you’re able to differentiate the pitch to these two groups.

For example, if a new site visitor goes to a product page and views a product, it makes sense that they’re simply checking it out. They may or may not come back.

Maybe they need more context on your overall brand story. Maybe they need more value propositions of why your product is so great. Or perhaps they’d like to see what other products you have that could interest them.

In other words, they’re interested but not convinced.

On the other hand, if that same person goes to the page and adds a product to their cart, that’s a much stronger signal of their intent to buy. In this instance, adding a discount code in the Dynamic Product Ad copy is a worthwhile approach to try. They’re much closer to making a purchase, so rewarding them is a smart play.

Combining “View” and “Add to Cart” will hinder your efficiency in learning, so I strongly recommend separating them out!

Not this…

Facebook Dynamic Ads

Do this…

Facebook Dynamic Ads

Check and Control Your Frequency

One of the downsides of Dynamic Product Ads is their frequencies can become too high too quickly. Due to the small audience size in most cases, I commonly observed 20+ frequencies over a 7-14 day period. Folks, let’s be honest: this is insane and super annoying.

As advertisers, we often get tricked into thinking this practice is acceptable because many of those ads are still returning a high return on ad spend. They are profitable, so we leave them on. But in many cases, the relevance scores are a 3/10 or even lower AND click-through-rates are low while the cost-per-clicks are high. This proves the audience isn’t really loving the ad.

A common response I hear when I give this warning is “Who cares? It’s working and making money.”

Sure, I see the logic. But it’s still a crutch and you’re boxing yourself into a corner. Your brand could be seen as annoying, intrusive, and not conducting any social listening.

What I propose is simple: Monitor and control your Dynamic Product Ad frequency.

Facebook Dynamic Ads

If you check your frequencies and realize they’re high, then it’s time to optimize. I try to aim for no more than seven impressions over a seven-day period (1X per day). When my ads get to this level or higher, I take immediate action on one and/or all of the following recommendations.

Check Your Bidding

Are you bidding for clicks? For purchases? In a one-day click or view window? All of these bid types have a different effect on how your ad shows. So I’d adjust your bid accordingly to match your true goal.

For example, bidding for purchases within a one-day click window micro-targets an incredibly small group of users in an already small pool.

Simply adjusting to a longer time window can have a dramatic effect on the frequency.

Another example: If I’m bidding for purchases but the ad isn’t spending that much, changing the Event Type optimization to Add to Cart can help widen that window a bit further.

Think about it: There are more Facebook users who add something to their cart than there are purchasers. Widening it by event can be helpful.

Facebook Dynamic Ads

Adjust The Time Window

Oftentimes if my frequencies are still too high, it’s likely due to the time window being too small and not having enough prospects.

Take this example: I’m advertising to people who’ve added something to their cart but haven’t purchased in the last seven days.

This audience is probably going to be a smaller group of people. For my first action, I can widen that time window a bit, perhaps from 7 days to 14 or 21 days. This is to see if I can capture previous add-to-cart folks.

The second action I can take here is increasing the spend on and further refining my prospecting traffic. If I see my prospecting isn’t delivering as many users who add something to cart, then it’s time for adjustments. One ratio I’ve used to track this metric is on Facebook Analytics.

Simply increasing the amount of people I’m sending into my funnel via prospecting can be a great solution to solve my frequency issues. Combining this with adjusting bid type can be even more lucrative.

Revamp Your Ad Copy

If you believe this entire post on Dynamic Product Ad optimization is total malarkey, then that’s fine! But, the one thing you must try is revamping your ad copy.

Changing up your Dynamic Product Ad copy has a dramatic and immediate effect on results. Try refreshing your ad copy every week. Try another pitch, insert some fun emojis, make it seasonally appropriate, include positive customer reviews.

All the while keeping in mind that if the user sees the same ad creative, they’ll still see new copy.

Upcoming Dynamic Ads Training

If you like these pro tips and want to learn more, join Jon and me for our upcoming Dynamic Ads Master Class.

In this course, you’ll learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about dynamic ads. We’ll get into how to build them into an effective system.

Topics include setting up and optimizing your product catalog, targeting, bidding, creative best practices, setting up effective ads step-by-step, retention strategies, and much more. Join us!

Your Turn

Do you have any go-to strategies for optimizing Dynamic Product Ads?

Let me know in the comments below!

The post Optimize Facebook Dynamic Product Ads The Right Way appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Turning Facebook Analytics Into Action

I’m proud of the work I’ve done to help demystify Facebook ad tools and empower thousands of business owners and entrepreneurs with detailed information and recommendations. And one of the best tools that helps all of us understand data at a deeper level is Facebook Analytics.

Jon and I taught a Facebook Analytics course last December and we received this question, which helped prompt our thinking for a future Analytics course: 

How do I take these insights and turn them into actionable steps in my campaigns?

With that in mind, this post is meant to jumpstart your campaigns and move the needle right away by covering Funnels and Lifetime Value within Facebook Analytics. We’ll take a closer look at commonly asked questions related to these reports and some potential solutions.

[If you’re wondering how to set up Facebook Analytics or generally learn more about the topic, you can read my overview post, Jon’s post on setting up events properly, or a deeper dive on reactions via Analytics. If you’re not very familiar with Facebook Analytics, I’d recommend reading those posts first!]


Funnels within Facebook Analytics allow you to build visualized paths within your sales cycle to see how different parts of your funnel relate to one another. One of my personal favorites is using the funnel of Page View > Add to Cart > Purchase within a 90-day window.

Facebook Analytics Funnels

This funnel helps me understand how all traffic that’s come through our site within the last 90 days has behaved. I can see the overall conversion rate of the funnel, the average time to complete this funnel, and much more.

Facebook Analytics Funnels

Questions Related to Funnels

See below for a few examples of questions and answers that come to mind when reviewing this data.

Question 1:

Can I improve the percentages of people who view a page and then add something to their cart?

Here are a few potential solutions (this is not an exhaustive list!):

1. Launch an improved offer on the ad via the conversion objective, within the ad to Previous Page Views who didn’t add to cart. Perhaps instead of trying 10% off on remarketing to this group, change the ad copy to “add to cart and save 20% now,” offering an incentive to users to add to their cart.

2. Launch a Page Post Engagement Objective ad towards Previous Page Views who didn’t add to cart, thus reaching a wider selection of that audience. You could use that ad to explain more about what you do, what makes your product or service different, or launch a video describing it.

3. Launch a Messenger ad towards those who’ve added something to their cart but not purchased. The ad copy could be “what questions do you have?” and that ad drives them into a Messenger conversation. Sometimes users put something in their carts as they’re considering that product, so why not ask if you can be helpful?

4. Launch multiple ad types at the add to cart audience, such as a carousel ad, a photo post ad, a slideshow, and a Canvas ad. Gauge success over a testing period to see if you can improve the baseline percentage of those who ultimately become purchasers.

Question 2:

Some of my existing site traffic isn’t going to buy immediately, so what else can I do with that audience?

Potential Solutions:

1. Launch a Lead Gen ad at Previous Page Views, asking for that user’s email address. That way you can add them to your email list and use email to help them better understand your product or service.

2. Launch a video advertisement that gives more of your company backstory to those users. Help them understand who you are in a more complete, compelling way.

3. Launch an article for Page Post Engagement to that audience to help them see external validation of your product.

4. Showcase your products using an engaging Canvas ad, which combines video and photos to more completely describe who you are.

These are just a few examples of successful tactics I’ve launched using Funnels. There are many more.

Lifetime Value

One of the most valuable target groupings that surprisingly doesn’t get much attention is previous purchasers. As advertisers, we focus a lot of attention on brand new acquisition and sometimes we forget about the people who already know us. This group of customers shouldn’t be forgotten.

Compounding this problem, many advertisers do not properly calculate Lifetime Value. They focus on Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) instead of Lifetime Value, which can help provide more of a buffer when acquiring new customers versus only looking at your average order value and calculating at what cost you must obtain a new customer.

As competition rises and prices continue to increase, we must consider what a true value of a customer is over his or her lifetime. For example, let’s take a recent conversation I had with a client and break it down.

  • Their average order value is ~$40.
  • Their CPA goal is $20. If an ad set CPA goes above $20, they turn it off immediately.
  • Their lifetime value (LTV) is $80.
  • Their ads are having a hard time getting conversions at $20.

It’s a challenging conundrum because as competition rises on Facebook and Instagram, advertisers have to consider measuring their LTV, not just CPA. You can find this information via Lifetime Value within Facebook Analytics.

My first advice to them was “consider raising your CPA goal to $30.” By increasing it, you allow your ad sets to get a higher CPA before turning them off and you’re considering the lifetime value.

Consider these LTV graphs from Facebook Analytics.

Facebook Analytics Lifetime Value

Facebook Analytics Lifetime Value

Here are a few overall observations:

  • Over a 12-week period, the LTV has increased from $40 (likely their first purchase) to $84.
  • The week of March 7-13, you can see those users are already at $71 for their LTV in week 4.

Question Related to Lifetime Value

Here’s a sample question on the Lifetime Value topic:

What can I do to increase Lifetime Value of these customers? How can I improve from $84 to $100+ over a 12-week period?

Potential Solutions:

1. Launch a series of ads for twelve weeks, introducing them to new products in your store.

2. Launch a Dynamic Product Ad utilizing a new product set they’ve not yet been exposed to before.

3. Do a Facebook Live showcasing new products and advertise it only to previous customers via the conversion objective.

4. Create a custom discount code only for previous purchasers to use, asking them to come back and try another product.

5. Launch a series of different objectives, such as Page Post Engagement and Reach at the previous customer audience to see if you’re able to touch a wider segment of that core audience.

Raising the LTV has a lot to do with storytelling, so the more you can turn customers into advocates the better.

Learn More

If you want to learn even more or if you have questions about how to dive deeper into these topics, join us on April 24 and 26 for our upcoming master class on Facebook Analytics.

The post Turning Facebook Analytics Into Action appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Facebook Responds: No More Partner Categories Targeting

The first shoe drops. In a very brief statement, Facebook announced that they will be shutting down Partner Categories (a way for advertisers to target users based on information provided by third parties) during the next six months.

Let’s take a closer look at what Partner Categories are/were, what this means for advertisers, and why this is happening now…

What Are/Were Partner Categories?

I first wrote about Partner Categories in 2013, so this form of targeting has been around for more than five years now.

The easy explanation for Partner Categories is targeting that Facebook can’t surface itself without the help of data mining companies. These partners have information on people based on their activities away from Facebook that can be used (anonymously, of course) in ad targeting.

An example: A car dealership wants to reach people in the market for a car. Partner Categories can help an advertiser reach those who are not only in the market for a car, but those who currently own a particular model.

Facebook integrates Partner Categories into “Detailed Targeting” within an ad set. Facebook calls out these options when highlighting the source.

Here’s an example…

Facebook Partner Categories

There are hundreds of these Partner Categories, but only within seven countries.

  • Australia: Acxiom, Experian, Greater Data, and Quantium
  • Brazil: Experian
  • France: Acxiom
  • Germany: Acxiom
  • Japan: Acxiom and CCC
  • United Kingdom: Acxiom, Experian, and Oracle Data Cloud (formerly DLX)
  • United States: Acxiom, Epsilon, Experian, Oracle Data Cloud (formerly DLX), TransUnion, and WPP

Examples of Partner Categories targeting include the following:

  • Automtove shoppers
  • Company size
  • Charitable donations
  • Credit union member
  • Corporate executives
  • Retail purchase behavior
  • Likely to move
  • Business travelers

Here’s how it works…

You perform a certain action away from Facebook. These data mining companies collect this information. They then pass it on to Facebook. Facebook matches it up to your profile. Advertisers can then target you based on that activity.

Why are Partner Categories Being Removed?

It should be easy to read between the lines here. This announcement comes on the heels of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook took several actions in response, including shutting down app approval and improving access to privacy controls.

Partner Categories hadn’t become a focus of scrutiny… yet. But it’s a targeting capability that is difficult to describe to non-advertisers. It’s easy to see this stuff as being a little creepy — if not an invasion of privacy.

See this as Facebook getting ahead of a potential problem.

Remember, though, that Partner Categories are not new. The reality is that they’re rather archaic in marketing age. And if you ask 10 advertisers what kind of success they’ve seen with them, I’d bet most will give you less-than-glowing reports.

It’s a targeting option that always sounded potentially amazing. But the results rarely matched up.

While Facebook doesn’t say it, it’s a good assumption that these are being removed due to the creep factor and the expectation that, while it’s not unique to Facebook advertising, this would likely come under scrutiny soon given the current environment.

Combined with the fact that Partner Categories aren’t particularly innovative, new, or effective, it’s probably an easy decision for Facebook to remove these now before they become a new PR problem.

Now What?

First, this primarily impacts targeting in the United States, though some Partner Categories exist in six other countries as well.

Second, you can continue to use this targeting for now. It will be phased out during the next six months.

Note that this not only impacts advertisers accessing this targeting directly through Ads Manager, but also those advertisers who work directly with ad reps to get special Partner Categories access.

Most advertisers didn’t rely heavily on Partner Categories. But there are exceptions. Check for interests and other Facebook categories that are similar or related to the Partner Categories that you were using.

Worst case, this creates a challenge for advertisers to experiment more. Rely less on what you’ve always done and try something different.

Your Turn

Do you use Partner Categories for your Facebook ad targeting? What are your thoughts on this update?

Let me know in the comments below!

The post Facebook Responds: No More Partner Categories Targeting appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Two Strategies to Scale Your Facebook Ads

If you ask a dozen different Facebook advertising experts how to properly scale accounts, you’ll no doubt receive a dozen different answers. Scaling effectively doesn’t follow an easy-to-follow recipe.

But if you’re someone who enjoys multivariate testing, monitoring campaigns closely, and moving potential customers along your sales funnel in creative ways, scaling will be very rewarding. You’re also probably a super nerd like me.

That said, if you’re someone looking for a “set it and forget it” plan, scaling will prove difficult and tiresome. Scaling techniques change frequently and with just a minor algorithmic shift, your ads can quickly turn to dust after performing perfectly the day before.

To help you better understand scaling, let’s look at the difference between vertical and horizontal scaling before jumping into a couple of common scenarios…

Vertical vs. Horizontal Scaling

To scale successfully and sustainably, you can’t just increase your budget, leave it, and see amazing results. This method of scaling, also known as vertical scaling, depends entirely on the budget being the only lever you can pull for improved ROI.

Instead of using only one lever, I prefer utilizing horizontal scaling. In this case, an advertiser spreads testing across multiple ad sets, audiences, and types of creative with the overall purpose of building a more stable account structure for long-term, scalable success.

So let’s dive in with a couple recommendations that you can use right away. In regards to successful horizontal scaling, here are two common scenarios that Jon and I are often asked about…

Scenario #1: Scaling a Lookalike

Problem: “I have an ad set targeting a lookalike of my previous customers that’s performing well with more than a 2X return on ad spend (ROAS) and I want to grow it. What options do I have?”

Solution: Try launching ads to two new lookalike audiences based on pixel events. You can group them into one ad set or separate them, depending on the amount of audience overlap between them.

Most advertisers test a 1% lookalike of previous customers as their first prospecting audience. This is a great start, but as a next step try building lookalike audiences from pixel events. Customer lists work well, but pixel events are dynamic, meaning the core audience updates in real time and the lookalike audience regenerates every 3-7 days.

Scenario #1: Set Up the Audiences

After thousands of tests, a couple of favorite audiences to create lookalikes from are add to cart last 30 days and 2X page view last 30 day audiences. Here’s how to get them going…

First, set up the add to cart audience pool for the last 30 days.

If the site gets solid traffic volume, meaning at least 5,000 uniques per month, I’ll also create a 2X add to cart audience, from which I create a lookalike audience.

Then create the lookalike for that audience.

Then create the Page View Audience.

The 2X Page View last 30-day audience is preferred because these people viewed at least two pages on your site in the last 30 days. They are more valuable than those who came to your site once and left.

This audience is very similar to a top 25% time on-site custom audience but it generally performs better for lookalike purposes. (This recommendation is purely from my own testing. Please let me know in the comments if you see better performance with other audiences!)

Scenario #1: Overlap

Now that you’ve built these audiences and their lookalike counterparts, you can use them in either separate ad sets or group them together, depending on how they overlap with one another. You can uncover this information with the Audience Overlap tool.

In some instances, visitors who simply browse your site might have many different qualities and behaviors than those who actually add something to their cart. However, they can also be similar, so ensuring the audiences are different will help you in the Facebook ads auction so you’re not competing against yourself.

It’s important to keep in mind that you can only obtain useful overlap information from audiences with at least 10,000 people, so remember that fact when selecting audiences to compare. You can use Custom Audiences, Lookalike Audiences, and Saved Audiences.

To get started, head into Audiences.

Second, select two or more audiences to compare.

Then select “show audience overlap.”

Your overlap will be displayed.

Smart advertisers will try to avoid any overlap north of 20-30%.

If the overlap is higher, you can group those audiences into an ad set to avoid bidding against yourself.

Scenario #2: Avoiding High Frequency

Problem: “People tell me I’m bombarding them with ads. I have Website Custom Audience remarketing ads set up for anyone who has come to my site in the last 90 days. It has done well and produced a 3X ROAS in the past, but the frequencies are above 10 and performance is going down. What should I do?”

Solution: Most advertisers have a super simple remarketing program running on autopilot. They need a more sophisticated approach.

Consider this: if you saw something 14 times in 30 days, would that encourage you to buy it? That level of frequency would most often lead to annoyance.

So in most cases, the mistake that’s being made is lumping all remarketing traffic into one ad set with the same pitch going to the same group. If you visited a website 90 days ago and you’re seeing the same message as someone who came to the site yesterday, this is clearly a problem.

Remember: effective remarketing is about quality, not just quantity.

Scenario #2: Set Up the Audiences

The solution to this problem is to set up different time windows with different ad creative/copy pitches going to each grouping. You don’t have to get super complicated from the get-go; you can start smaller and work your way up.

Begin by creating different windows for your remarketing ads. When starting to scale an account, I drive new traffic into my top funnel and hope they stick with me for a longer journey.

At a minimum, I like to start with a 3-day, 10-day, and 30-day audience pool via the Custom Audience creation tool.

If you’re an e-commerce retailer and you have Dynamic Product Ads running, you can also customize those time windows.

Each of these pools then gets an ad (or a personal pitch) that is a little bit different from the next. Someone who came to your site 30 days ago might need a little bit bigger of an incentive than someone who visited in the last three days, for example. You can customize these pitches with different offers, promo codes, and more.

The different time windows allow you to scale sustainably because you’re showing a variety of value propositions to your audiences, thus helping you learn what exactly is resonating and what isn’t. You’re diving deeper into customer data, ad optimization, and creative/copy testing–in other words, the true essence of horizontal scaling.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: You should exclude the 3-day audience from the 10 and 30-day audiences (and 10-day audience from the 30-day audience) to prevent audience and messaging overlap. You can view a complicated approach to this with evergreen campaigns.]

Training Program

These are just two scenarios when it comes to scaling; there are many others. If you’re interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us next week for our training program

When it comes to scaling, there are countless nuances and unlimited “what if” scenarios. This results in a great deal of confusion, which is exactly why Jon and I are focusing on scaling for this month’s training program.

Another reason why we wanted to build this program is because so much of the expert advice about scaling is just plain wrong, misleading, or outdated. I’ve successfully scaled accounts from spending $2,000/month to $200,000/month, but I didn’t do it overnight.

I’d love to share some of these experiences with you!

Your Turn

What have you learned about scaling? Anything else you’d add?

Let me know in the comments below!

The post Two Strategies to Scale Your Facebook Ads appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Facebook Ad Bid Strategies: Lowest Cost and Target Cost

Advertisers often complain about cost stability and an inability to scale. There are Facebook ad bid strategies that may improve these results.

Are you not getting the cost per event that you’d like? Are you having trouble maintaining a stable cost when raising your budget? Bid strategies could help.

Let’s take a closer look at these bid strategies, how they work, and how you might use them.

What Are Bid Strategies?

Facebook distributes ads based on an auction format. The costs that you spend to reach a user will depend, at least partly, on the bid that you make to reach that user.

In most cases, Facebook automates bids (this is the default option). But advertisers can choose to manually bid in an effort to better control their costs. The primary goal of a manual bid is to get cost per desired action (typically a conversion) down.

Facebook offers two bid strategies that can help advertisers achieve lower or more stable costs: “Lowest Cost” (the default) and “Target Cost.”

Facebook Ads Bid Strategies

These two options perform very differently.

Lowest Cost Bid Strategy

Facebook designed the lowest cost bid strategy, formally known as “automatic bidding,” to get you the lowest possible cost per optimized event while spending the entirety of your budget.

Facebook Ads Lowest Cost Bid Strategy

BENEFIT: The primary benefit of the “Lowest Cost” bid strategy is efficiency. Facebook tries to get you the lowest cost per event in the short-term.

DRAWBACK: The primary drawback of this bid strategy is that achieving those low costs may be short-lived. Results may be unstable as you spend more or competition increases.

Lowest Cost: Set Bid Cap

You can also set a bid cap if you want to control how much Facebook will spend for an event while using the lowest cost bid strategy.

Facebook Ads Lowest Cost Bid Strategy Bid Cap

Note that when using a bid cap, Facebook may struggle to spend your budget if you get cute and try to set it too low. However, setting a bid cap can help prevent an ad set from overspending for an event.

For example, if a particular conversion is worth no more than $2 for you, it prevents a cost per conversion of $2.50 or more. In that case, not spending your full budget may be a good thing.

When setting a bid cap, keep in mind that this is the most you want Facebook to bid for a single event. Since a bid is the most you’ll spend for that single event, you’ll usually spend less than that. So a bid cap can stand to exceed the value of an event to your business.

How to Set a Bid Cap

Facebook recommends using an average cost per result from prior campaigns as a starting point. Also consider the most you can pay for an event (not target, but maximum) while turning a profit.

Finally, Facebook recommends a daily budget that is at least five times higher than your bid cap. This is because Facebook needs at least 50 events (the learning phase) within a week to properly optimize.

After completing the learning phase, you may decide to raise the bid cap if you’re having a difficult time getting the distribution that you want.

Whether you set a bid cap depends mostly on the results you’re seeing. Facebook doesn’t know the value of an event to your business. If you need to prevent Facebook from overspending for an event, this gives you control. At the same time, you may want to set a higher bid cap to increase distribution on a high-value event.

Target Cost Bid Strategy

The target cost bid strategy, formerly known as “manual bidding,” is only available for the following campaign objectives:

  • App Installs
  • Conversions
  • Lead Generation
  • Catalog Sales

Facebook recommends using this bid strategy for achieving more stable results as your spend increases.

Facebook Ads Target Cost Bid Strategy

In theory, this is the bid strategy you should use when planning to raise your budget as your costs should scale better.

When using this bid strategy, you are required to set a target cost based on the chosen conversion window (7-day click or 1-day view by default).

What should you use for your target cost? As a starting point, use the amount you’d like to average on a cost per event basis. Find the lowest possible costs by lowering this amount until you are no longer able to spend your entire budget.

BENEFIT: The primary benefit of this bid strategy is cost per event stability. Especially useful when scaling.

DRAWBACKS: You may see higher fluctuations in cost until the learning phase is complete (50 events in a week) using this approach. You might also find that your overall cost per event is higher when compared to using “lowest cost.”

Additionally, Facebook will always try to get you a cost per event around your target cost, even if they could have found you lower costs. This can result in significant waste if you don’t set this target cost judiciously.

What Should You Use?

As always, it depends. There is never a universal strategy for all situations.

Most advertisers should stick with the default “lowest cost” without a bid cap. But consider applying a bid cap to prevent Facebook from spending more than the highest cost that would still be profitable.

In theory, you should use “target cost” when planning to run a long-term campaign or look to scale and raise your budget. This would establish a more stable cost per event. When doing so, experiment with the lowest target cost possible that will lead to spending your budget.

I say “in theory” because it’s very easy to overspend and get poor results with the “target cost” option. In my opinion, this option is best for the smallest group of advertisers who are the most sophisticated and dealing with the highest budgets.

Scaling Facebook Ads for Success Training Program

These bid strategies will be part of the discussion within my upcoming training program, running on March 27 and 29 (hosted by my friend Andrew Foxwell). The goal is to help you understand how best to scale your advertising efficiently, strategically, and without waste.

Those within Power Hitters Club – Elite, the highest level of my exclusive membership, will get automatic access to this training. If you read this post after the dates of the program, you can sign up for PHC – Elite to get access to the replays.

Your Turn

What’s been your experience with these bid strategies? What do you use and when?

Let me know in the comments below

The post Facebook Ad Bid Strategies: Lowest Cost and Target Cost appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.