7 Habits of Highly Effective Facebook Advertisers
Facebook ads have an inherent complexity that can leave many advertisers feeling overwhelmed or at least worried that they aren’t checking all the right boxes when it comes to proper management.
However, managing a Facebook advertising account isn’t overly complicated and several principles will make life easier for you in the long run if you make them a habit.
Whether you’re managing a Facebook Ads account with a long history or just starting over, these same basic rules apply. In this post, I’ll walk you through some of my basic principles of managing a Facebook advertising account.
7 Habits of Highly Effective Facebook Advertisers
People who tell you that Facebook advertising works and those who don’t can often come across these seven basics.
They organize campaigns by purpose rather than by audience
Let’s start at the highest level: the account as a whole. The Facebook advertising account structure is incredibly important to its long-term health, reporting visibility, and ease of customization. The easiest way to plan an efficient account structure is to consider the three elements a campaign should comprise:
- ad set
If you plan properly how you want to organize your campaigns, everything else should go well. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen Facebook advertisers make is confusing the campaign level objective with the ad set level. Campaigns should always be focused on a central goal: specific conversions, web traffic, video views, etc.
Learn more in our full tutorial on how to advertise on Facebook
But often, I see people naming/organizing their campaigns by particular audiences. For example:
- Ad set: Restaurants (multi-restaurant audience in one)
- Ads: (mix of restaurant promotions)
Example #2 (my preferred method):
- Campaign: Restaurant Ebook Conversions
- Ad set: restaurant owner
Advertisement (3-4 variations of a typical promotion)
The reason I usually stay away from example one is that centralizing the campaign around the audience can mess up the account when you introduce more ad sets and promotions.
Instead of focusing the campaign on the goal or desired outcome, you can then consolidate multiple audiences within one.
They Keep Their Audience Refined
This leads me to my second problem with Example #1—many people will add multiple audiences to one ad set. Facebook encourages this consolidation because it makes for a larger audience that gets you out of the learning period faster.
Although I prefer to take a more sophisticated approach, especially with smaller budgets. This allows me to have tighter control over optimization which I will discuss further in the post.
They Consolidate Their Conversion Goals
It should be noted that I’m not forbidding testing multiple promotions against each other, but I do recommend that if you do, make sure each has a common conversion goal associated with it—example For, a simple custom conversion event parameter in the thank you page URL—so you have a conversion for any current or new ebook conversion actions.
They make reporting easy for themselves
Ensuring that there is an alignment between the goal of a campaign and the ad that leads to the latter is paramount. If you’re running a campaign aimed at increasing website traffic, you can essentially swap ads in and out that lead to any page you wish.
But if your objective is to drive leads or specific actions, there is naturally going to be more complexity. This is one of the primary reasons why I structure accounts the way I described them above. A straight line from campaign to conversion goal is the easiest way to make sure everything is easy to read and report.
Since the iOS 14 update, there are up to eight conversion actions that can be used in your campaigns (overall event measurement). It is very important to track conversions simply and efficiently. This goes back to my point above about how a generic parameter for “similar” functions can make a world of difference.
Let’s say, for example, that you have two e-books whose destination pages are very different. To launch the two ads separately, you’ll need to create two separate custom conversions, and if you want to run both together in one campaign, you’ll eventually have:
There is no way to see the conversion number at a glance.
This may not seem like a big deal on the surface, but you can save a lot of time by being able to see how many conversions have occurred in a campaign-level view.
Otherwise, you’ll have to dig into each ad set and go to the ad level to see how many of them there are. When everything is neatly organized and planned, you can make account-wide decisions much faster.
They choose the daily budget at the ad set level
There are a few ways you can manage budgets for Facebook campaigns:
Daily budget, ad set level: in each campaign you can control how much you want to spend on each ad set/audience per day
Daily Budget, Campaign Level: This allows you to specify how much you want your campaign to spend as a total per day. This means Facebook’s machine learning allocates that total budget to the ad set it thinks will perform for optimal cost.
Scheduled/Lifetime Budget: This can be used if you have a set period for a campaign and want to ensure that the campaign meets that specific budget.
My preferred method in most cases is daily budgeting at the ad set level. The primary reason for this is that for many of my clients there is an excessive emphasis on lead quality down-funnels.
A particular audience that generates a large number of leads does not necessarily mean that those leads are of high quality. So when it comes to testing audiences and their respective quality, I find it very easy to make sure my accounts are performing optimally for my customers by controlling individual ad set spending.
For some scenarios, campaign budget optimization is easier, although it usually happens when the target is higher in the marketing funnel.
They measure up to the right metrics
Assuming everything is neat and tracking is working properly, optimization becomes a game of viewers and ads. Depending on the goal, optimization can vary in some ways and so should your way of measuring results.
Traffic/Interaction→ Surface-Level Metrics
When you have a fairly broad goal for a campaign (like web traffic, engagement, etc.), surface-level metrics play a central role in reporting your performance. I refer to any standard metric, such as impressions, clicks, CPC, and CTR provided on the Facebook Platform, as “Surface-Level”.
Some of the key metrics you should see over time to guide your optimization are the relationships between reach, impressions, and frequency. For example, if you notice that your reach has inevitably been narrowed and impressions and frequency are only increasing, it means that your audience could potentially be tired.
You will then want to see click performance in terms of volume, cost, and CTR over the same period. This will indicate if the audience is really tired and you need to stop the ad set or introduce new ads.
Lead Gene → Leads and Conversions
When your goal is lead generation, focusing on conversions or the number of leads over time will be the primary metric to measure campaign or ad set performance.
If an ad set or ad has performed very well in the past, but you’ve seen a decrease in volume and an increase in cost per lead, you can later look at surface-level metrics to determine whether the ad set or ad has performed its course or not.
The beauty of the custom account structure I mentioned above is that once you get tired of an ad set or ad, you can very quickly introduce a new audience or ad without creating an entirely new campaign.
Lead Quality → Website Metrics
This is the next layer of Facebook ad optimization where you essentially combine the performance you see on the end of your website with the performance of the account.
With my preferred account structure, it should be relatively easy to understand which leads are coming from which audiences and so you can start making decisions within the account that most align with the success of your business.
They Don’t Over-Audit
What I refer to as an “audit” simply means looking at the account as whole and making adaptations or changes to the way things are structured. Many marketers wonder how often they should audit Facebook ads. From a very general point of view, “if it isn’t broke don’t fix it” is true.
If you’re seeing success with your Facebook advertising account, the best advice is to just let things go until you need to and don’t interfere. This is why I place so much emphasis on account structure and proper tracking because if you have taken care of those elements, you are automatically in a better position for long-term success.
Personal campaigns, ad sets, and ad changes and customizations become much easier, as well as finding where problem areas are on the account.
Some may tell you that when X reaches ad Y frequency it is tired and you should stop. However, this rarely represents the full picture, and many times I have seen ads with higher frequencies continue to perform at a reasonable price.
My point is that cookie-cutter scenarios are rarely how often you should optimize. Every business and advertising account is different and understanding the specifics of each will help you better make those decisions when needed.
Adopt these habits and improve your Facebook ad performance
Facebook advertising can be a complicated endeavor when viewed through the lens of all the options and decisions at your disposal. However, the reality is that the platform is as simple as you make it.
When you have a clear purpose and way to reach that goal in a strategic and organized way, everything else is fine. The biggest problem most people have is that they are not covering the basics and spending their budget too quickly. Those are the people who will tell you it doesn’t work.
In a nutshell, here are seven Facebook advertising tips mentioned in this post:
- Organize campaigns by objective rather than the audience
- Keep Your Audience Refined
- Consolidate your conversion goals
- Make reporting easy for you
- Choose a daily budget at the ad set level
- measure with the right metrics
- Do not over-audit