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Facebook Ads - 5 Lessons After Spending $1M+ in the past year

Hey All, I have been handling marketing for a lot of e-comm Startups and SMEs from the India, USA and a few European companies. I wanted to share 5 things I've learned after spending $1M+ over this year on FB Ads collectively.

Most important lesson of all: BE PERSISTENT and DEDICATED. that's all you need to succeed when handling Facebook ads.

  1. Keep It Simple.

Facebook rewards simplicity. Especially at lower budgets (below $500 per day) I often times see people running multiple ad sets at $5/day. This is not beneficial at all. One of the most crucial things when it comes to Facebook Ads is to get out of the learning phase as fast as possible. Check out Facebook's Guide to the learning phase here - https://www.facebook.com/business/m/one-sheeters/guide-to-the-learning-phase

Quote from Facebook:

"A smaller share of budget spent in the learning phase typically results in a higher share of budget spent on stable performance and lower CPA. Advertisers with ~20% of spend in the learning phase (second decile) see 17% more conversions and 15% lower CPA than advertisers with ~80% of spend in the learning phase (sixth decile).*"

To get out of the learning phase calculate your CPA, multiply it by 50 (that's how many purchases it takes to get out of the learning phase), and then divide that number by 7. This is the daily budget 1 ad set needs to get out of the learning phase.

Especially when you're scaling from $100/d to $1000/d all you need are 1% LALs, and 1 Interest Group.

Note: Since you'll most likely have way less volume in your retargeting ads, it's okay to stay in learning limited here.

2. Always Keep Testing

Testing increases your work and many times extends the duration of campaigns. however it is essential to be persistent in this. Usually, I'm always testing new creatives with around 20% of my overall budget. Since the creative is what makes or breaks your ad account it is really important to always test here. One of the most simple ways you can test is alliterations of previous winners.

Take your previous best creative and create slight alliterations of it. E.g. changing the first 3 seconds, the background color, or something like that.

On top of that, always test against the same audience. To really find out whether your new creative/headline/ad copy is working better, keep testing against the same audience. At $500/d or below I like using LAL audiences to test against, everything above that I tend to use broad targeting with age and gender set.

3. Optimize your Landing Page / Product Page

Since Facebook is a bidding system and a big part of the auction system is your EAR (Estimated Action Ratio) it is important to optimize your Landing/Product page continuously.

The higher your conversion rate, the better your bid will be, therefore you'll pay a lower price in the auction to reach good users.

Better Conversion Rate = Better EAR = Your Ads Perform better in the auction = Lower CPA

Read more about the auction system here - https://www.facebook.com/business/help/430291176997542?id=561906377587030

If you cannot optimise your Product page further, then you can try changing your ad creative. EAR also takes into account any action which includes shares, likes and other engagements. So make your creative more sharable.

4. Structure your Campaigns

Once you start scaling you will realize that your CPM increases drastically. This is only because you haven't structured your campaigns correctly & have a high overlap of audience. Don't be lazy and place UTMs. It is crucial to be placed in all ads, so you can have the full funnel. This will give you all the data points to optimize the campaign. The first step towards structuring the campaign is to make sure you have a campaign nomenclature.

5. Facebook is smarter than you

I mention this to all my clients, Facebook is smarter than you. Don't use crazy hacks or take advice from agencies, you will end up setting your campaigns wrong or worse Facebook will block your account.

To give you a live example, a company duplicated 100 Adsets in a single campaign and kept the budget of each asset at 1$ (Rs 75/-)

The idea was that Facebook will show it to its best users. But like I said, be simple in your approach. The result was a few ads gave purchases, few didn't and CPA ended up being the same. The company's growth paused because they reached the Ads limit and the data points were affect because there were just soo many Ads!

Collect data points, understand them, find insights and act on them to make it better. Don't use hacks!

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