Overcoming challenges from recent changes and resetting your sights on scaling centers on the common themes of simplicity and increasing liquidity. We’re sharing actionable and accessible changes you can make in your accounts today to improve your outcomes.
These changes are fairly universal in application, but if you’re a current Marin Software client you can also get personalized recommendations from your dedicated expert account team.
Simplify Account Structure
All new ad sets, or those that are treated as new by the system because their learning phase has been reset by a significant edit, start out in ‘Learning’. This isn’t necessarily a bad stage to be in - all ad sets will spend some time in learning, and typically anything less than 20% of spend (overall) being in learning is fine and won’t negatively impact performance. However, we want to spend as much of your campaign budget in an efficient way, and reduce time in Learning as much as possible. Simplification and consolidation are key to improving liquidity, in particular by moving spend past the Learning Phase more efficiently.
There are four key levers that impact the learning phase:
- Campaign and Ad Set Volume
- A simplified account structure will maximize signals in the auction to get you out of the Learning Phase faster. Ad Sets and segments that exist more for reporting over value or receive less than the 50 conversions/week threshold (88 installs/day for SKAN campaigns) should be consolidated.
- Manual Edit Frequency
- Each time you make a significant edit (such as to budget, bid or targeting, at campaign, ad-set or ad level) the Learning Phase is reset. As a result, hourly and daily performance metrics will be noisy and incomplete due to restricted and delayed reporting.
- Meta recommends waiting 72 hours to evaluate performance to allow for the reporting delay in opt-out conversions and to avoid editing an ad-set or ad until it has exited the Learning Phase.
- Targeting and Placement
- Gone are the days of over segmentation, especially in retargeting campaigns. Since user opt-outs from tracking will reduce the potential reach of retargeting campaigns, Meta recommends broadening placements and targeted audiences for more effective optimization over time. The “expanded interest” option is another great way to increase liquidity.
- In retargeting specifically, Meta also recommends monitoring for audience saturation and considering shifting more budget to Lookalike Audiences and Broad Audiences.
- When deciding on placements, Meta recommends taking advantage of their machine learning system, that will place your ad in the most optimal surface for you. Including more placements often helps you find a wider audience because our audience targeting works the same across all available placements. The more places your ad is displayed, the more chances your target audience has to see it and take the desired action.
- Bidding and Budget
- Ensure that your budgets are set high enough to reach 50 conversions per week. If you’re launching a net new campaign, take a look at the average account CPA for a good starting point, then multiply that number by 50 to get your ideal weekly budget.
- Conversion Event Frequency
- Are campaigns/ad sets failing to hit 50 conversion events per week? A quick analysis could be: “Of the X number of ad sets you are currently running only Y are hitting the requisite 50 events per week (or Z hitting 100 per week. Learning doesn’t stop at 50!)”. Watch out for very new campaigns/ad sets!
With all of this talk of simplification and liquidity, you may be wondering, can I simplify things too much? The answer is yes!
Sometimes consolidating activity too much can do more harm than good. Generally speaking you shouldn’t consolidate when:
- The ad sets have different objectives
- The ad sets are targeting audiences with different values that the auction cannot detect
- There are differences in franchises obligations or shipping costs
- There are significant differences in performance - we don’t want to drown out good performing ad sets.
When considering scaling strategies for the new normal, our common theme is to increase liquidity. Take these steps to get your accounts to a place to scale:
- Simplify account structure
- Do you often see your ads stuck in the “Learning” stage? This could be a sign that it’s time to simplify. If the adset doesn’t reach the 50 conversions threshold needed (or is predicted to not reach this threshold), it will display as “Learning Limited” and won’t hit optimal performance. If this is the case, check for audience overlap using the “Inspect” tool in ads manager. If you have overlapping audiences in your account, learning will be split between multiple ad sets. This means you could be missing out on potential opportunities! If you don’t have overlapping audiences but still have ads stuck in the Learning stage, pick your strongest performers and pause the rest to allocate budget more effectively.
- Reduce frequency of manual edits
- Manual edits, while sometimes necessary, can push your ads back into the learning phase and prevent your ad sets from reaching optimal performance. Even if there is enough conversion volume to exit the learning phase, repeated manual edits will reset the learning process and keep your ads in learning longer. Try to limit manual edits post-launch or group together necessary edits, and find a list of manual edits that trigger the learning phase here.
- Broaden audiences
- Our inclination can be to be extremely refined in our audience targeting, but this can work against us by limiting the reach and thereby learning of our ads. Test out an expanded lookalike audience or even broad audiences to discover new scaling opportunities.
- Utilize CBO
- CBO, or Campaign Budget Optimization, is when you set one overarching campaign budget instead of setting budgets individually at the ad set level. This helps simplify campaign setup and helps reduce the number of budgets to manage manually, since the budget at the campaign level is flexible across all ad sets and prioritizes top performers. If you prefer to have more control over ad set budgets and leverage manual bidding, Marin customers can enjoy Social Rules that automate bid changes based on your internal KPIs to similarly automate with more granular control.
- Prioritize events with the largest, most diverse audiences
- If you’re looking to scale, you’ll find that growth in event optimizations that are further up in the funnel. For example, if you typically optimize for Sales you might test a Leads or Engagement objective in order to broaden your reach, then nurture those users to drive additional scale in your ultimate goal of Sales. Learn more about different Campaign Objectives in Meta here.
If you’re a Marin customer and would like more tailored recommendations, please reach out to your account manager for assistance. Our team members are seasoned experts in social advertising and can help you create a personalized scaling strategy.
Marin social customers also enjoy time saving tools such as bulk uploading, bulk ad creation, and unified reporting. If you’re interested in learning more about Marin’s social capabilities, please reach out to us today.