Episode 15: How to Scale Facebook Ad Campaigns
Common Facebook ads problem - you have good results, but no scale. In this episode, we talk through how to scale Facebook ad campaigns.
00:02 Stewart Anderson: Welcome to today's episode of the Spend 10K a Day podcast. I am Stewart Anderson, and with me today is Steve Weiss. We're talking today about actually the topic that inspired the podcast, scaling your Facebook ad campaigns ideally to the point where you're spending 10K a day. Or more.
00:20 SA: So Steve, I know you have some specific points that you wanna hit on as key, key things that people can do to help them scale up their campaigns. Talk to me a little about what those are and how we're gonna frame the discussion today?
00:32 Steve Weiss: So the question we always get is, "I'm spending X right now." Let's say you're spending $2,000 a day right now and you wanna be able to keep your current CPA, or your current return on ad spend, but at the same time spend more money to drive more acquisitions. So that's the key to most performance marketers on Facebook, how do you keep your ROAs or CPA constant while also scaling your ad spend. We have a methodology of doing this. There's four key things that I like to talk about when I talk about scaling Facebook ads. Number one, is really understanding your data. I like to look at the time of day that conversions are coming in. We'll talk about that more.
01:11 SW: Number two, the structure of your campaigns. How you're structuring your tests, your test campaigns where you always have ads and audiences on the on-deck circle, and how you rotate those top audiences and ads into your current top ad sets. Number three, making sure that you aren't overlapping your audiences. We kind of have an audience strategy that we discuss where we try and make sure not to scale an audience that we're not overlapping. I'll go into our audience strategy. And the fourth one is leveraging Facebook Insights, which I think is really important. Leveraging Facebook Insights and taking that intelligence back to your current audiences that you're talking to.
01:54 SA: Sounds great. Sounds great. So why don't we get started with that first one?
01:58 SW: The first one's very important. People buy your product most frequently usually during a specific time of day. I think a lot of marketers aren't really looking at the time of day that users are purchasing their products. I know on Google you could do daytime parting, on Facebook you could do daytime parting. But I feel like a lot of brands and a lot of companies we work with aren't efficiently daytime parting mainly because it's complicated, it's attribution issues. But when it comes to scaling, I like to scale my campaigns or scale my budgets around specific times of day where I know people are purchasing my products. AKA, if I really wanna make a big scale across a couple of ad sets that I know are profitable, I wanna know at what time of day is consistently most people are purchasing my product, then I scale my ad sets around that time of day. It sounds like a very simplistic strategy, but a lot of people aren't leveraging just their own intelligence to actually scale a campaign.
02:56 SA: Yeah, it's a really good point. Obviously as you get more data, you want to... Just as you would tailor an audience to be more specific around the types of people that are buying. You're gonna wanna tailor your campaigns around the times of day where people are making purchase decisions. Sometimes it might be at night, sometimes it might be in the morning. But if you figure out the behavior, tailoring your campaigns in a way so you're not wasting so many ad dollars on the times where people aren't buying.
03:19 SW: And then with the new automated rules you could actually scale up during specific times of day, and then set up a rule where you can actually will scale down to different spend levels based on CPA ratios on other times of day. So leveraging time of day plus automated rules is a really amazing recipe for success.
03:38 SA: And it's one of those unique times as well based on what we talked about in our automated rules podcast. It's kind of one of those unique scenarios where you actually can use an automated rule to optimize rather than just monitor a campaign.
03:50 SW: Yep, exactly. Because a lot of people don't have the time to really be waking up at 2:00 in the morning to lower budgets. I know I used to wake up and have timers set up just to login to my ads manager and be like, "Okay, I gotta turn it down a little bit 'cause I know that Facebook isn't gonna be wasteful about my ad impressions." Now with automated rules, you can really connect that to the way you scale campaigns.
04:11 SA: Yeah, it gives you a lot more granular control over just the kind of standard daytime parting as we were talking about before.
04:16 SW: Yep. And then number two, let's talk about structure. I feel like a lot of people aren't leveraging Facebook's flexibility to really learn and test at rapid scales. So what I like to do is I always... I have my winner campaigns, or winner ad sets, should I say. I know I have 10 or 11 winner ad sets. These ad sets have been... These audiences specifically have been driving conversions, conversions, conversions consistently across the board. So you're spending $2,000 or $3,000 a day, these audiences are your main drivers. But you know that your ad, there's gonna be ad fatigue. You know that if you don't switch out your ads or you don't continuously iterate and become creative, that people are just getting tired of your ads. Whether it's people commenting and saying, "I keep seeing this on my newsfeed," and, "Get it away." You know that people really are gonna get fatigued.
05:07 SW: So what I like to do is I always like to have one or two ad sets. I call that my on-deck circle, kind of like we're playing baseball where I always have ads on my on-deck circle just literally testing specific ads on audiences that I'm not targeting. I know my best audiences, I don't wanna target on the on-deck circle audiences anything that's already working. So then what I do is once I have ads that are working on my on-deck circle, then I'll bring those ads into my killer audiences already. I like having an on-deck circle for my ads, and that will allow me to actually keep scaling my current campaigns by bringing in these ads that are already converting.
05:50 SA: That's awesome. Yeah. It really, really helps to be prepared as you said, and have stuff just waiting. Things constantly lined up so that you're always testing something. Really, really good point.
06:03 SW: And it also allows you to test both the ads in the audiences in a place where you know you're not just conversion-focused. You know that your goals for these on-deck circles or you're testing engagement, you're testing CTR, you're testing reach for specific ads, you're testing time of day, you're playing around, you're testing conversion objectives. So now you could literally play around and not be so conversion-focused at very small budgets. But then once you have winners in there, then you could take those winners and pop them into your best audiences already. And now your best audiences have seen ads that are already working. [chuckle]
06:41 SA: Fantastic.
06:41 SW: So you're not burning out your best audiences.
06:43 SA: Love that. Love that. So let's talk about your third item on your list.
06:47 SW: Third item on your list is something very important. And I feel like a lot of Facebook marketers don't put a lot of stock in this, and that's audience overlap. I think a year now Facebook came out with a tool that allowed you to kinda measure the overlap between your audiences. Let's say you're targeting multiple Lookalike audiences, Lookalikes of customers, Lookalikes of emails. Well, there's gonna be overlap between ad sets. And what happens when there's overlap between ad sets, Facebook will target the same users in each ad set, and when you target the same users in each ad set, without you knowing, your conversion rate goes out.
07:24 SA: Of course.
07:24 SW: And that's kinda one of the keys to scaling is making sure you're not overlapping your audiences. So if you're running Lookalikes 10% of your current customer list, you wanna make sure there's no overlap between Lookalikes of 1% of your current WCA traffic. Continuously on a daily basis, people move between audiences a lot on Facebook, so I like to continuously use my audience overlap tool, especially when I'm trying to scale campaigns, to make sure that I'm not targeting the same users. 'Cause that'd actually kill my conversion rate as I try and scale up from 1,000 a day to say, two or 3,000 a day. So I use that tool a lot. Audience overlap is very important. And to second that, I also really, really encourage everyone to not focus so much on using Facebook's audience pixels for targeting. I always like to say upload as much email data as possible, 'cause that's gonna be the constant. Remember, people aren't always logged into Facebook when they check out. Most of the time they are, but sometimes they're aren't. So you could be missing a lot of audience data if you're not keeping your emails refreshed.
08:34 SA: Yeah. And it goes back to actually something I tell a lot of people when they ask me about important things for audience targeting on Facebook. And I say it's just as important what you include in an audience. It's just as important to be really, really tactical about what you exclude from an audience as what you include from an audience. It's very, very important. So what are some ways that people can kind of prevent, shall we say, a lot of audience overlap and audience creep when they're doing campaigns? Obviously they don't wanna be constantly checking and checking. Is there a way that people can construct audiences that allows Facebook to do a lot of the work for them?
09:16 SW: Proper exclusions. I think that if you're able to properly exclude and be very diligent with how you exclude audiences, so if you're targeting a very high percentage Lookalike, make sure you're excluding your Lookalike ones, and your Lookalikes... I like to have a spreadsheet just kinda mapping out all my audiences that I'm targeting just so I know whenever I create a new ad set that I'm not overlapping manually when I create these ad sets. Remember, when you target a high percentage Lookalike, it's a much bigger audience so there's a good possibility that when you target high percentage Lookalikes that you're gonna hit not only your WCAs but your emails, your other lower level Lookalikes, but you're gonna hit all those people. So I really like to make sure that I'm very diligent with my targeting making sure I'm not overlapping between all these users.
10:08 SA: Yeah. Exactly. So let's move to that last item on your list.
10:12 SW: And there's one more that I'm not gonna talk about, but the next one's Facebook Insights. I feel like when people target Lookalikes, they will just target the whole Lookalike. Lookalike 10%, which is great, but what if you just targeted specific segments inside of that Lookalike 10%? So you look into your Facebook Insights, you see that your best conversions are people between 40 and 50 who live in Midwest. Or remember we talked about having our on-deck circle of audiences that we're playing around with? Well, what if you're able to target specific segments inside of really big Lookalike audiences. I'm kind of a big proponent of that as one of my ways that I scale is looking into the insights, and then kinda taking that intel and targeting really large segments of users inside of big Lookalikes. I think that's been a good key to success 'cause the bigger audience that I have, and the bigger Lookalikes, the more I know about Facebook, there's a lot more meat on the bone on Facebook targeting that's available. I really am a big proponent of leveraging the Facebook Insights as much as humanly possible.
11:23 SA: Yeah. I love that. Facebook Insights is just a significantly underutilized tool. It can really give you a lot of great market research and planning information when you're doing campaigns. I remember saving a ton of money potentially because I was running a campaign where I was asked to run a campaign for someone I was working for and they were just like, "Yeah, we wanna target people in this specific sector." And they had an app for iPhone but they didn't have an app for Android. And one of the first things I did is I went and added as many interests that were relevant to this audience as possible to give me a good picture. And I wanted to see how many of these people had Android devices versus iOS devices, which is one of the things you can look at on Facebook Insights. We found over 80% of the people in his audience were Android users versus iOS. I said, "We shouldn't run this campaign 'cause we're not a loaded audience. This is not the best target to go after, we should go after another group if we have only an iOS app." So definitely check out Facebook Insights. Steve, I think you mentioned you have a bonus item here, number five.
12:24 SW: One thing before we go on number five, definitive exclusions, as I call it. If you could come up with definitive exclusions that these specific users don't ever wanna buy my product, those are the best things. That's the best intel on Facebook because then you could take all those definitive exclusions outside of all of your audiences. For instance, if you're able to see that nobody on Android devices have ever purchased my product, or no one in audience network has ever purchased my product, you should not be targeting that audience. And now your ads are gonna be served to people who are most relevant to purchase your product. I always say continually look for the definitive exclusions, the definitive groups or segments of people who aren't interested in my product. Last but not least, I think people overall, and I say this a lot, people overall can sometimes be way too conversion-focused.
13:18 SW: We have this thing called a top of funnel methodology, the mid-funnel and the bottom of funnel. Real quick, top of funnel, "I never heard of you and I don't know about your product. I've never see your ads." Mid-funnel, "I've seen your ads, maybe I've never clicked on an ad, but I've seen you or I clicked on an ad and I haven't bought." Then bottom of funnel's all your highest intent users. "I put in my email address, or I bought in the past." With that said, I think the top of funnel is where the most innovation... The best marketers, or the people that are best at bringing people in at the top of the funnel, and pushing 'em through their funnel to the bottom where they're making a purchase. I think that people, top of funnel, a lot of Facebook marketers that I talk to, they're very conversion-focused, top of funnel.
14:00 SW: I think that's actually a detriment because of the way Facebook's algorithm works. Facebook's algorithm, if you remember, it targets people inside of audiences that they think, AKA Facebook thinks, are most likely to do the conversion objective that you set. With that said, Facebook is charging you a super high CPM, $17, $18, $19 plus, because they're taking their intelligence to target the people inside of a large audience who they think are most likely to do that specific product. So your reach is going down, and Facebook is targeting people most likely to do an action. Well, your goal top of funnel is to bring as many people in. Might not be to purchase now, but to bring as many people in as possible.
14:47 SW: So I like to change up the conversion objective top of funnel at different budgets and really I'm gonna optimize for reach. I'm gonna optimize for different conversion objectives, non-conversion focused when I have a winner ad, 'cause now I'm gonna be bringing so many new users into my funnel, and then they're gonna be getting hit with the correct ad down the funnel and that's gonna increase my re-marketing buckets. That's gonna allow me to get higher conversion rates down the funnel. I stress that it's very important to really be good at the top of the funnel and to continuously optimize your conversion objectives at the top of the funnel because you're gonna be leaving cash on the table if you just focus 100% on conversions.
15:29 SA: Completely agree. Completely agree. Well, this has been a little primer into how to start scaling your Facebook ad campaigns. There's more that goes into it and we'll be doing more podcast episodes about it, but this is one of those initial episodes that we wanted to launch covering the exact purpose of the Spend 10K a Day Podcast which is getting up to the point where you can start spending $10,000 a day on Facebook ads.
15:52 SW: Yeah, we're gonna be having a lot more intel coming just on scaling. I feel like that's one of the hottest topics in Facebook ads. Everybody has their own little strategies that everyone uses to scale. I don't think there's one specific strategy that I use. My scaling strategies are always continuously evolving with the platform because the auction changes every single day. What's constant tomorrow is gonna change tomorrow.
16:15 SA: Definitely.
16:15 SW: What's constant yesterday should I say is gonna change tomorrow.
16:18 SA: Absolutely. Well, this has been another episode of the podcast. We are looking forward to seeing you next time. We're gonna be talking a little bit about compliance on Facebook, how to make sure that your ads aren't getting nixed, your account isn't in jeopardy, things like that. So we will see you next time.