10 Facebook Ad Optimization Hacks for Massive Success

By Karola Karlson for AdExpresso.com

There’s a ton of articles about Facebook ad optimization.
However, most of them are full of basic advice like “Install a Facebook Pixel” or “Create a Facebook audience.”
That’s not very helpful, is it?
 
Optimization implies that your campaign outcomes will improve as a result.
 
It is among the key things that separate the successful unicorn ad campaigns from the rest.
 
This article is about the Facebook ad optimization hacks that really help you take your campaign to the next level.
 
Let’s get straight to the point, in this guide you will learn how to:
  • Increase your ads’ click-through rates
  • Lower your ad campaign’s cost-per-click
  • Reach even more high-ROI audiences
  • Lower your cost-per-acquisition
  • Increase your sales results at the same ad budget
 
Sounds like a difficult promise to keep? That’s because it is.
If you want to reach all your target audience members and outpace your competition, you’ll need to optimize your campaigns both before and after publishing them on Facebook.
 
The good news is that this time and effort will be worth your while.
 
So what are these 10 powerful Facebook ad optimization hacks I’m talking about?
 
Read on and find out!
1. Optimize your Facebook ads’ likes and shares
The likes and shares under your Facebook posts (and ads) are a pure form of social proof. If others like the ad, it means the product must be pretty good.
 
When setting up a Facebook ad campaign, you’ve got two options, the default being: create new ads for every ad set and campaign.
 
Often, the “Use Existing Post” option goes unseen.
 
However, it’s an incredibly efficient way of optimizing your ads’ likes and shares.
 
The “Use Existing Post” gives you the opportunity to gather all the campaigns’ post engagements under a single ad.
 
If you’ve been wondering how some advertisers have hundreds or thousands of likes under their Facebook campaigns, chances are they’re using the same optimization hack.
 
The easiest way to set up multiple ad campaigns using the same post is to first publish the promotional post on your company’s Facebook Page.
 
Next, you can select this post every time you’re setting up new ad campaigns or new A/B test variations.
 
2. Use the FTO (fast take off) method
Sometimes, it can take a couple of days before you have enough campaign results to start optimizing.
 
Especially when you’re working with small budgets, the campaign take-off can take some time:
 
That’s why I like to accelerate the optimization process by using FTO (fast take off) tactic.
 
Here’s how the FTO method works:
  • When launching a new campaign, assign Daily or Lifetime budgets that exceed your planned budget
  • You don’t want to use the Accelerated Delivery as Facebook will then focus on the speed of ad delivery over quality and cost
  • After your ads have 10,000+ impressions, you can evaluate what’s working and what need improvement
  • After the initial campaign takeoff, you can lower your budgets back to match your planned total budget
 
However, keep in mind that you need to give Facebook at least 24 hours to adjust the performance of your ads after every new edit.
 
Every time you make substantial changes to your campaigns, consider waiting for at least 24-48 hours before drawing any conclusions.
 
Read more: 22 Silly No-Brainer Reasons Why Your Facebook Ad Campaigns Fail.
3. Optimize your ad schedule
Are your Facebook campaigns running 24/7, reaching the target audience regardless of the time or weekday?
 
When analyzing Facebook ad accounts, I’ve noticed that there are always some days and hours that outperform the rest.
 
To see which weekdays contribute to the most conversions at the lowest CPA, go to your Facebook Ads Manager reports and use the Breakdown menu to break down your campaigns by Day.
 
You can use the performance data from multiple Facebook campaigns to discover the best time for advertising.
 
Next, you can set your campaigns on a custom schedule, so that you only reach your prospects at the time with the highest potential.
 
In AdEspresso, we have the audience inspector tool which allows you to recognize the best performing time of the day for your campaigns.
This data allows you to quickly see exactly what hours of the day (in either the impression timezone or your ad account timezone) are performing the best, according to the KPI most important to you.
 
You are then able to use this info to apply a dayparting schedule to your campaigns, making sure your campaign is running only at the most engaged hours of the day.
 
Another reason to keep your ad campaigns on a custom schedule is to decrease Ad Frequency – people will see your ads less often, and won’t get bored with them as quickly.
 
AdEspresso has the option to create custom optimization rules that can work as a “frequency cap” that you can apply to all of your campaigns!
 
4. Fight ad fatigue with ad rotation
AdEspresso did an analysis on how ad frequency affects the click-through rate, cost-per-click, and cost-per-conversion of Facebook ad campaigns. Here’s what they found:
 
The more people see your ads, the more bored they’ll get.
 
This means that after your target audience has seen your Facebook ad for four times or more, the cost-per-click will increase significantly.
 
So how can you optimize your Facebook ad campaign to avoid people getting tired of your ads?
 
Here’s a simple optimization hack for fighting ad fatigue:
  • Create several ad variations with different Facebook ad designs
  • Set up an ad campaign with multiple ad sets with different ads and schedule every ad set to be active on a different weekday
 
This way, people will see a different ad every day and your ads won’t seem repetitive.
I’ve found this optimization hack especially helpful when running campaigns with small audiences, e.g. remarketing campaigns.
 
In that case, people may see your ads a couple of times per day, meaning you should take extra care not to display a single ad creative over and over again.
 
5. Optimize your ad placement
When advertising on Facebook, your ad placement has a huge impact on advertising costs.
 
So much so, that according to AdEspresso’s data, the CPC can vary over 550%, depending on different ad placements.
 
To uncover your top-performing ad placements, log in to Facebook Ads Manager and use the Breakdown menu to break down your campaigns by Placement.
 
After you’ve discovered your top-performing ad placements, go ahead and optimize your campaigns accordingly:
  • Increase your bids on the top-performing ad placements
  • If an ad placement performs below all expectations, simply remove it from your ad set
 
6. Always A/B test your ideas
One of the key parts of Facebook ad optimization is finding out what works.
 
And what better way to discover new best-performing ad creatives, messages or audiences that running a quick Facebook A/B test.
 
For example, AdEspresso’s regularly testing new ad designs.
 
However, you shouldn’t A/B test everything.
 
When searching for Facebook ad A/B testing ideas, think which ad element could have the highest effect on the click-through and conversion rates.
 
I recommend that you start by testing your:
  • Ad design
  • Ad copy, especially the headline
  • Your unique value offer
  • Ad placements
  • Call-to-action buttons
  • Bidding methods
  • Campaign objectives
 
7. Test highly differentiated variations
Many Facebook advertisers make the mistake of testing too many ad elements at once.
 
For your experiment results to be relevant, you need to collect at least 100 conversions (i.e. clicks or leads) per variation before making any conclusions. Even better if you can wait until you have 300 or 500 conversions per variation.
 
When working with small advertising budgets, waiting for so long can be pretty frustrating.
 
To discover new engaging ad elements quicker, use the following formula:
1. First, test 2-3 highly differentiated variations to find out which general theme works best.
 
2. Take the winning ad from the first test and expand on its variations in the next Facebook A/B test.
 
This way, you save the time and resources you would have spent A/B testing multiple variations of all your initial ideas.
 
8. Select the right campaign objective
As you set up a new Facebook ad campaign, the first selection you’ll have to make is choosing the campaign objective.
 
The campaign objective tells Facebook what’s the ultimate goal of your advertising campaign, and helps its algorithms optimize your ad delivery for best results.
 
So basically, you’re telling Facebook how to auto-optimize your ad campaign.
 
It is critical that you select the right Facebook advertising goal during the campaign setup process as it will determine your ads’ delivery and cost-per-result.
 
But how can you know which one of the 10+ campaign objectives is the right one?
 
Always choose the campaign objective that matches your advertising goals.
 
E.g. if you’re after new trial signups, select the “Conversions” objective. If your goal is to increase brand awareness in a given location, select the “Local awareness” objective.
 
This way, Facebook will know how to optimize your campaign’s reach and ad delivery.
 
9. Exclude “converted” from your target audience
Another way to expand your campaign’s reach without breaking the budget is optimizing your Facebook and Instagram targeting.
 
It doesn’t make sense to keep delivering the same ads to a person who has already converted on the offer. These leads should be moved to the next stage of your marketing funnel and targeted with new messages.
 
For example, if you’re promoting a free eBook and someone downloads it, you shouldn’t spend additional ad budget on displaying your ad to this person again.
 
Instead, you can create a Facebook Custom Audience of the converted and exclude them from your campaign’s audience.
 
To exclude past converted from your Facebook audience:
  1. Create a Custom Audience of people who have visited specific web pages (e.g. your thank you page or a blog article)
  2. Use the EXCLUDE feature when setting up your ad campaign to stop targeting people who have already converted on this particular offer.
 
10. Set up auto-optimization rules
Did you know that you can set up automated optimization rules in Facebook Ads Manager?
 
This feature is called Facebook Automated Rules. And it’s available for free to anyone advertising on Facebook.
 
If the rule conditions are satisfied, four things can automatically happen:
  • Turn off  your campaign, ad set or ad
  • Send notification to the ad manager
  • Adjust budget (increase/decrease daily/lifetime budget by…)
  • Adjust manual bid (increase/decrease bid by…)
 
And while Facebook’s busy on the auto-optimizing your ads based on your set rules…
… You can turn your focus on brainstorming new campaign ideas.
 
How to set up Facebook auto-optimization rules:
1. Go to Facebook Ads Manager
2. Select one or multiple campaigns/ad sets/ads
3. Click on the “Edit” icon in the right-hand menu
4. Click on the “Create Rule” button
5. Set up your automated rule’s conditions
 
For example, you could tell Facebook to pause any ad that reaches the frequency of 5 ad views. Or lower the bid on ad sets with a high cost-per-result.
 
I also recommend that you also set up an email notification to receive an overview of the last 24h automated changes to your campaigns.
 
Conclusion
Facebook ad optimization is a continuous process of trial and error. While it’s not an easy process, it will save you a significant amount of time and resources in the long term.
 
Here’s a quick overview of Facebook ad optimization tactics discussed in this article:
  1. Optimize your Facebook ads’ likes and shares
  2. Use the FTO (fast take off) method
  3. Optimize your ad schedule
  4. Fight ad fatigue with image rotation
  5. Optimize your ad placement
  6. Always A/B test your ideas
  7. Test highly differentiated variations
  8. Select the right campaign objective
  9. Exclude past converters from your target audience
  10. Set up auto-optimization rules
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