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Facebook advertising has changed. It’s time advertisers changed with it.
Over the last few years, Facebook’s advertising algorithm has gotten so much better at automating campaign management that it can now easily outperform a human manager.
The change has come through a series of updates, best practices, and new features. Following all those changes one by one can make the evolution of this platform seem complex and even overwhelming. But once you step back, and use a new framework to understand the new Facebook, it all makes a lot more sense.
Facebook’s “Power5” set of advertising tactics is that framework. It distills all the current best practices of social advertising and incorporates all the key changes that have happened over the last few years. So if you’ve been asking yourself, “What do I have to do to make Facebook work in 2019?”, this is the answer.
The “Power5” is made up of these five advertising tactics:
- Auto Advanced Matching
- Account Simplification
- Campaign Budget Optimization
- Automatic Placements
- Dynamic Ads
Here’s a quick explanation of each tactic, and how it can drive better results for user acquisition campaigns.
1. Auto Advanced Matching
You’re only as good as your tracking.
User acquisition managers live and die by how well they can track their campaigns. They have to track every click, know where every sale comes from, and set a value for each action. And while today’s advertisers have better tracking tools than their predecessors could ever dream of, tracking is still an imperfect science.
Auto Advanced Matching makes it much more accurate. Once you’ve turned Auto Advanced Matching on, Facebook can use data you’ve collected on your website (like email addresses) to find lookalike audiences across their user base.
But that’s not all AAM can do. It adds more data parameters to each action, and each person tracked, so tracking is far more accurate than other solutions. This helps you manage your campaigns better, and usually results in significantly better ROAS, because you can more accurately pinpoint where your results are coming from.
2. Account simplification
Facebook’s simplified campaign structure can make your account go from looking like this:
To looking like this:
That doesn’t save you from naming all those Ad Sets – the real benefit of a simplified campaign structure is that Facebook’s advertising algorithm can manage all the tests and settings you used to manage with dozens (maybe even hundreds) of ad sets. So you can let the algorithm handle all that complexity. You just tell it the results you want, and let it run.
If you’re hesitant to let go of all your carefully constructed campaigns and Ad Sets, we get it. We used hundreds of campaigns and Ad Sets ourselves until February of last year, when Facebook rolled out their Best Practices update. But after that change, tests started to show it was more effective to just hand this optimization work over to the AI. With the simplified campaign structure, campaigns also get put into “Learning Mode” less often, which saves a lot of ad spend. And campaigns become more likely to hit their target CPA goals.
3. Campaign Budget Optimization
Campaign Budget Optimization is a best practice now, but you’ve got less than a month before it becomes mandatory. Facebook will switch most campaigns over to CBO as of September 1, 2019. If you’re not using one of their API tools, your campaigns will automatically be shifted over to CBO. And any new campaigns you create will use CBO, too.
Fortunately, once you know how to use it, CBO is great. You just need to pick smart goals, give it enough creative elements to do its thing, and get used to having a few hours of free time every week.
4. Automatic placements
Smart advertisers know the right placement can make the difference between success and failure in a campaign. So they test placements every chance they can get.
Trouble is, there are 14 possible placements across Facebook’s current ad inventory. Testing all those placements takes a lot of time and blows through a lot of ad budget… unless you’ve got a world-class advertising algorithm to do it all for you in the background.
Which is exactly what automatic placements can do. So not only do you have less work to do, but you’ll also get better results. Nice.
5. Dynamic ads
Relevancy is one of the power laws of advertising. Relevant ads – ads that are aligned with consumers’ interests – will always crush the performance of irrelevant ads.
Facebook’s Dynamic Ads leverage that relevancy power law. They let you show ads that feature whatever products people have looked at on your website or in your app.
To use Dynamic Ads, upload your product catalog and set up a Dynamic Ads campaign. After that initial setup, your ads will continue to run without any intervention. Any time someone has been on your website or in your app and looked at products there, the Dynamic Ads campaign will automatically show ads that feature those specific products to that specific visitor. You can manage any pricing, availability, or product updates for your ads by updating your product catalog.
Dynamic Ads have increased click-through rates by 280% and reduced CPAs by up to 60% for some advertisers. So this is definitely worth a test.
Want to know more? See Facebook’s Blueprint course on setting up Dynamic Ads.
It’s time to change how you’ve been advertising on Facebook. Thanks to the platform’s machine learning algorithm, user acquisition managers can now step back from certain parts of campaign management.
This doesn’t mean anyone is out of a job (yet). It just means it’s time to shift gears and put more time into things only humans can do, like creative development and competitive analysis.
Of course, there’s still a need for humans to supervise the machines. Many of the day-to-day tasks of campaign management can be automated now, but the overarching strategy of user acquisition still requires people – smart people. People who can see where advertising is headed, and pivot as quickly as the algorithms evolve.
Brian Bowman is CEO of ConsumerAcquisition.com.