Optimizing your campaigns is the key to success on Facebook. But how do you optimize properly? I’ve developed a checklist that will help you with optimal optimization.
Is my pixel firing properly?
I’m a huge advocate of tracking as much data as possible and then optimizing based on the data. Make sure you’ve installed the pixel on your landing page so you can optimize.
Have I chosen the right objective to support my goal?
Choosing the right objective from the start is key, as it will later affect your ad delivery and bidding options. If you want to avoid messy campaign structures and inefficiencies, you have to keep this in mind.
Example: If the goal of your video ad is to drive clicks and not just views, you need to select the traffic objective. If you are selecting views, Facebook will deliver your ad to an audience that is likely to watch a video, but not necessary to take action (in form of a click).
So how can you know which one to choose, especially if you’re just starting out with Facebook ads? The rule is simple: To select the right campaign objective, choose the one that’s closest to your current advertising goal:
- Awareness: Objectives that generate interest in your product or service
- Consideration: Objectives that get people to start thinking about your business and look for more information about it
- Conversions: Objectives that encourage people interested in your business to purchase or use your product or service
*Within this checklist we are focusing on b. Consideration and c. Conversions, since these are the objectives I found to be of particular interest to our audience.
Especially important for designers, freelancers or agency owners: If your goal is to get new leads, you could select the “Lead generation” or “Conversions” objective.
Once you’ve chosen a Facebook campaign objective, you’ll have different delivery optimization options, depending on what you selected.
Ad delivery optimization lets you tell Facebook what results you’d like to get. Based on this information, Facebook will auto-optimize your campaign, so that it will reach the right people. Every Facebook campaign objective has different delivery optimizations options and supported ad types.
For example, you will be able to choose from the following when selecting “Traffic” as objective: Link clicks, landing page views, daily unique reach and impressions. Make sure to think about these optimization options!
We all know the “conversion” objective (*only thing to mention here is that you have to pick a conversion type that happens about 50 times per week per ad set, otherwise FB will not be able to optimize properly), but when should you choose other objectives? Below is a quick outline of other relevant objectives you might consider.
When to choose the “Video Views” objective? Video views ads are great for targeting cold audiences as they’re engaging and help to increase brand awareness. Note that you can also promote videos with other Facebook campaign objectives, such as “Conversions”, “Lead generation” or “Engagement” (see bonus tip below) *Bonus tip: For recent campaigns, I tested the video views objective against engagement. In several tests, I was able to reduce cost between 25-40% and increase 10-second video views by 20-30%. Therefore, I recommend the engagement objective over video views. However, make sure to run split tests from time to time in order to validate this theory.
When to choose the “Engagement” objective? With the “Engagement” objective, FB will show your ads to people who are the most likely to like, share, and comment on your post at the lowest possible cost. Remember that this objective is automatic when using Facebook Boosted Posts to amplify your Facebook post’s reach.
When to choose the “Traffic” objective? Select the “Traffic” objective when your goal is to lead people to your website or blog, and there are no specific actions you wish them to take. For example, if you’d like more people to read a blog article or read a case study. you can use the “Traffic” campaign objective.
Important: When analyzing your campaign at a later point, make sure to select columns that align with your objective. E.g. if you select “Lead Generation”, you will need to look into the number of leads generated, at what cost (CPL), the lead conversion rate, etc.
Can my landing page be optimized further?
As I mentioned in class – you are making a promise in your ad and you need to keep it on your landing page. Just as important: When potential clients see your ad and click to the landing page, does it have the same type of language, similar colors, and the same vibe? My tip is to write your landing page copy and then pull pieces of it into your ad so it feels like a seamless experience.
After you have driven some traffic to your landing page, make sure to check your conversion rates (% of people who took the desired action vs. the total number of people that visited page) If your conversions rates are too low, think about adjustments you can isolate and test. You can find additional, technical points on the checklist below: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/landing-page-checklist
Am I compliant with FB terms or conditions of use?
Stay on top of FB terms or conditions of use. They get updated frequently, so make sure to stay on top of them instead of waiting until your ads get disapproved. https://www.facebook.com/terms.php
Is there too much text in my ad image?
The most frequently violated policy is too much text in the promotion image. Less than 20 percent of the image used to mean you’re in the clear, but lately, any amount of text might cause Facebook to show your ad to fewer users — and, if this is the case, they’ll tell you that during the ad setup phase. If you are working on ad creatives without setting up an ad, make sure to use Facebook’s text overlay tool: https://www.facebook.com/ads/tools/text_overlay
Is my budget too low?
FB requires you to meet a minimum budget to help deliver your ad consistently. Minimum budgets are calculated as a daily amount, but apply whether you’re using a daily or lifetime budget. If, for example, you’re using a lifetime budget for an ad that’s going to run for five days, the budget must be five times the minimum daily budget. (*FB usually gives you a warning)
Most of you will use automatic bidding (lowest cost bid strategy), without a bid cap. This allows to bid as much is needed to spend your full budget. It’s also the least time-consuming form of bidding. Should you, however, look into max bid caps or cost target, you can troubleshoot as explained.
♣ If you’re using a bid cap (maximum bid cap), increase it. This is likely to increase delivery, since it allows FB to bid more for you. Make your increase, monitor the results and adjust again as needed. You should think of your bid cap as something that needs to be monitored and adjusted based on results, not as a perfect amount you can find and then use indefinitely. ♣ If you’re using a cost target, change it. You’re more likely to be experiencing performance issues if your cost target is too low (not competitive). If that’s the case, increase it. Aim for an amount that’s as low as possible while still getting consistent delivery.
Most of you will use automatic bidding, but if you would like to dig deeper, please check out the link below: FB Bidding
Where in the funnel is the audience I am speaking to?
Understanding where in the funnel your audience is will have an impact on many things: Your messaging (e.g. avoid aggressive, salesy ad copy in the awareness stage), your bidding and your analysis of performance metrics.
Check which of the 3 stages your audience is in: Awareness (cold audiences at the top of your funnel), Consideration (warm audience in the middle of your funnel) or Decision (hot audiences at your low funnel).
Cold audiences are people who have never visited your site or interacted with you in any way. You haven’t served them a video or anything like that. Because you have no idea who these people are and what you can offer them, you show ads to cold audiences using lookalike audiences or only an interest.
Tip: For a cold audience, share something that doesn’t require much time or effort from the user. share content that says hello and explains who you are. A blog post or video can offer value quickly without asking for anything in return.
Warm audiences are usually that engagement retargeting group. These people might not have visited your site but may have downloaded a PDF so they’re on your email list. They’ve encountered you somehow, watched 25% of your video, any of those things.
Tip: Think about the content you’d share with someone who has met you but isn’t ready to sign on the dotted line yet. They’re not a stranger, but you wouldn’t hand them your business card and say, “Hey, let’s get signed up and go.”
Your hot, bottom-of-funnel audiences are people who have been to your site. Sometimes, you put extra parameters on the audience to make sure they’re really engaged. For instance, you can create a retargeting audience of people who visited your site but only those who visited a certain number of times.
Tip: Content for the hot audience will be focused on selling because that audience already knows who you are and what you offer. You’re at the point of deciding to do business together. With this audience, you can talk about how you do things and how you can help (in more detail). Although the content is salesy, it doesn’t necessarily feel that way to the prospect because you’re dealing with people who know who you are.
But how do these stages affect your bidding? When you understand your audience and have it segmented based on where they are in the funnel, it’s easy to make informed decisions about what to bid. The logic is always, the further down the sales funnel that person or group is, the more you should be bidding on them.
Double check your audience targeting
This goes along with my previous point on funnel stages and the level of awareness your audience has. Determine what kind of audiences you already have. For instance, do you have an email list, and if so, how large is it? How much traffic does your website get? With this information, you know what data samples you can use as a starting point for retargeting. You can create a lookalike audience based on your email list or people who submitted a lead form on your site.
If you don’t have any audiences start targeting interests first and build your audience from there. If you do have these audiences, you need to find out whether they contain enough data for retargeting. And if you discover you have a treasure trove of data, you can dig into all of your different audience options.
Once you are setting up your targeting make sure to double check your audience layering (AND, not OR). Always make sure to check your audience insights once you have collected enough data with ads. Everything else is explained in class. Make sure to follow my 5-day launch plan, then use the breakdown reports and optimize your targeting.
Am I using creative sequences?
That’s the fun part. The idea is to create different visuals that tell a convincing story with the intent to pull your audience through your advertising funnel (from cold to hot lead).
Think about your ad creative, what story it tells and how it aligns with the different funnel stages listed above.
An example could be to warm up a cold audience with a video as a first touch point, then retargeting that audience with a lead magnet to establish credibility, before targeting them with more aggressive visuals & copy after they visited your site.