Build a sound foundation to scale your Facebook campaigns

With SMX East right around the corner, it’s a great time to start the conversation that will shape my talk in November – How to Structure Your Facebook Campaigns for Success. This can surely seem a daunting undertaking. There are so many levers to potentially pull, and so much information available on the topic that it can at times be overwhelming for even the most seasoned digital marketer. However, if you’re able to keep these two things in mind, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a sound foundation to scale your social program.

The first step is to simplify your account structure where possible. We all remember not too long ago when the typical Facebook account looked like this: 

Multiple campaigns, dozens of ad sets, with you, the advertiser, struggling to identify the little pockets of performance to scale efficiency. Today, most publishers are recommending a more simplified approach, with Facebook (and Google) taking the lead for that recommendation. At my company, 3Q Digital, we’ve tested extensively into this simplified structure and found that for most of our clients it performs with better conversion rates and lower costs. This is because when using that simplified structure, you’re reducing the likelihood that you’ll have ad sets with significant overlap (which could cause increased costs if multiple ad sets are bidding for the same user in auction). Simplifying and reducing the number of ad sets per campaign also increases the data density for each ad set, which allows the algorithm to optimize more efficiently. When shifting to this more simplified structure, you’ll essentially be paring down all potential for campaign/ad set overlap, so that you go from a structure that looks like the above, to one that more closely resembles this:

The second item is something that I’m sure you’ve heard before but bears repeating – always be testing. With the numerous levers available in-platform, it’s imperative that you know the strategies that will enable stable performance for your evergreen campaigns. I’ve found that developing a roadmap to outline your test ideas, and (most importantly) to record the results, is the most straightforward way to approach this, and can be as simple as creating a G-Sheet. Some of the things to ask yourself as you’re thinking about testing can be:

  • Do I know the bidding methodology that provides the best results for my business goals?
  • Do I know the creative that is most engaging and encourages conversion for new customers? Potential customers who have visited my site but haven’t converted? Existing customers?
  • How is customer lead quality (or AOV for e-commerce) impacted by serving impressions outside of Facebook and Instagram’s Newsfeed?
  • Do I know the value of recent website visitors compared to older website visitors? Which are the segments of users I should bid up (or down) on?

Adopting an always-on mindset for testing is even more important considering a major change coming to Facebook in early 2020 – the removal of ad set budget control and the shift to Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO). At 3Q Digital we’ve tested into this new feature to better prepare our clients for the change, with relatively positive results. For most clients, testing into CBO and enabling real-time budget distribution based on performance results in increased conversion volume, with similar or more efficient costs.

However, because every business is different, there’s no guarantee that CBO will generate more efficiency or increase conversion volume for your account. If you haven’t already, it’s time to put it as a priority on your testing roadmap – that way you’ll be able to go into the New Year confident that you’ve figured out how to make this new feature work for your account.

I hope these insights give you confidence as you’re reviewing your existing Facebook structure, or considering a structure for a brand new account. If you’d like more information or just want to chat, please check out my session at SMX East this upcoming November!

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