Why, God, why? Not here to talk about religion, but these thoughts have certainly passed through your mind more than once during your marketing career.
Why do results fluctuate so much?
Why has my evergreen campaign all of a sudden become my biggest underachiever?
Why do certain types of ads generate better and cheaper results?
These are all problems we’re facing daily when dealing with Facebook and its ever-changing and mysterious algorithm. Due to his mysteriousness, and the fact that no one knows how it works, there is a lot of industry theories. Some are good and proven, while others go that far that they have become “folk theories”, unseen and unapproved. They circle around the industry like theories about Loch Ness monster, they say it exists, but pictures of it are always blurry and far away from the truth.
In this short article, I’m going to address proven theories and leave you with 3 good tips that you can utilize to beat the algorithm.
DON’T MESS WITH YOUR WINNING CAMPAIGN – JUST DON’T
How many times have you had a campaign that has given you consistent results, and all of a sudden you think: “This is good, but if I did some tweaks, the results would certainly blow up”. Well, first things first, due to the algorithm’s overall randomness the word “certain” should be forever removed from your dictionary. Now, other than your clear vocabulary issue, you have a second issue, and it’s quite a big one. All of a sudden, your campaign has stopped working.
How can this be? I just did some simple modifications. Days pass by, results are stagnating, metrics are not good, and report days are around the corner. You’re just waiting for your client to give you a call and ask: “Have we stopped with advertising on social media?”. To prevent this from happening here is the first tip from our side. Ready?
Any change in a campaign will reset the learning phase. Write it on a piece of paper and stick it on your monitor, tattoo it on your hand if you need to, but remember these words. Any significant adjustments will restart the learning phase, and you’ll have to go through the process all over again and who knows how Facebook will deliver those ads. Significant adjustments include changes to your objective, targeting, ad creative, pausing the ad set for 7 days or longer or adding a new ad to the ad set.
The way learning phase works, you want to get to 50 conversions per ad set per week to achieve more consistent results. For example, with a 7-day conversion window, you will need roughly 50 conversions within those 7 days for Facebook to optimize properly. Facebook will show you when an ad set is in the learning phase, and when it has completed the learning phase. Let’s say you are optimizing for purchase events. You need 50 purchases in that period of time for Facebook to optimize its delivery correctly and bring in more consistent results. It’s also essential that you don’t make any significant adjustments to your ad, your ad set, or even the campaign during the learning phase. There is a big chance you will confuse Facebook’s algorithms targeting and negatively impact your campaign.
Remember next time when you get that thought, just duplicate your campaign and go on with your thing.
Leave the initial campaign with the original setup and do as The Beatles said: “Let It be”.
VIDEO FOR THE WIN
Have you ever scrolled down your newsfeed and seen a video that gets your attention and you can’t help yourself but watch it? An hour later, you realize that you have just seen every possible way a person can fall off the skateboard, and seamlessly saw a couple of cool ads.
Well, video is being rewarded these days. Video format on Facebook enriches the experience and its more engaging for the end-user. For that reason, it tends to have lower CPM prices, and you can reach more people. Facebook users watch close to 3 billion hours of video every day, including over 16 minutes of video ads every month. I don’t know about you, but I think that this is one heck of a stat. Don’t just put out any kind of video: people nowadays, especially the ones on social media, have a short attention span and will scroll you down without hesitation.
You are probably wondering now…how do I create an awesome video ad?
Well, when creating video ad good practice to follow is :
- Grab attention early
- Keep it short and sweat
- Throw in the engaging title and description
- Focus on sound off views
You need to hook people early in the video and give them a reason to stay with you and listen to your message. Next thing you need to do is identify their problem and offer a solution for that. Finally give them some kind of call to action, depending on which direction you want to take them. Oh yeah, don’t do long-duration ads. I’ve seen ads after which left me with a feeling like I’ve watched LOTR trilogy, twice!
Don’t run away from the video ads! Remember when someone watches your video, whether it’s the entire thing or only half of it, they are probably interested in your product and the value it provides.
HEY BRO – BROADEN YOUR AUDIENCE
Facebook likes more broad targeting these days since it gives more people for Facebook to work with, and with the use of relevant creative, you can define your ideal customers within that broader audience. That being said, the ideal audience would have more than 1.000.000 users. Just let the algorithm find your customers in a bigger data set so that you can get better and cheaper results. Sure, you can target narrow, but the issue with narrow audiences is the increase in cost to reach them.
Start as broad as possible with your targeting to give that system the most flexibility. As your campaign matures, when you start getting some decent results, you can experiment with segmenting and creative strategies to further improve your performance. When you do that, please just remember the first tip I wrote and DON’T MESS WITH YOUR WINNING CAMPAIGN.