Money Maker Or Time Waster?

It’s The Hot New Feature In Facebook Ads, But Is It Worth Considering? Every Facebook advertiser is gagging to hear about the new feature that will single-handedly revolutionize their campaigns. Well, I’m afraid… it’s not coming. However, this feature may be a bit of a game changer in terms of how we structure campaigns, and, as a result, how they perform. So, is Campaign Budget Optimisation (CBO) for you? Will it
improve your advertising performance? Let’s delve a little deeper and find out…

What Is It?

CBO does what it says on the tin, it optimises your campaign’s budget. But how? Well, before CBO, Facebook would get you to allocate a budget to each ad set, and try to spend that budget for each ad set. With CBO, the budget is set at campaign level, and ad sets are run against each other, with the best performing sets (in terms of conversions) getting more of the total spend. This is done to drive more conversions within the time frame for which the campaign is running. As the best converting ad sets are most beneficial to you, they get the most spend, to facilitate the most conversions. Not only that, but CBO
also optimises at ad level, meaning you get the most out of each individual ad, as well as each ad set.
Along with getting more conversions for your best performing sets, CBO also means that your less effective ad sets are more efficient at converting, maintaining most of the conversions you would have got before, but at a drastically lower cost. This reduces the overall Cost Per Lead/Conversion. Facebook uses machine learning to continuously improve the feature, meaning it should get better over time. It is also important to
remember, that Facebook will optimise around the event that you specify, so, for an eCommerce that
may be purchases, and for service providers it may be leads.

How to Use It

Facebook advises a minimum of 50 conversions for each ad set, to ensure that they deliver in a stable manner. So, in practice, it’s best to wait around a week of using CBO before trying to scale up. As we said before, Facebook works using machine learning, which is continuously developing. So, the more you allow the programme to learn about you, your customers and your ads, the better Facebook will be able to optimise your campaigns, and the more conversions you will get. Furthermore, it is well known that Facebook, as a whole, prefers larger audience sizes. So, allocating a larger audience size may give the CBO algorithm more to work with, and more data, means better optimisation, which means more conversions. This goes for budgets too, as higher budgets also allow for better optimisation, because Facebook has a wider range to test across, because CBO manages far more variables that the previous system. Finally, we know that CBO can optimise at the ad level as well as at ad set level. This gives advertisers the freedom to try out multiple different creative elements, and allow CBO to run these against each other. That way, we can see which ads perform well, and which may need to be cut.

Potential Drawbacks

Nothing can be perfect, and CBO is no different, so, what issues may arise that you should be aware of?
As we said before, CBO needs conversions to optimise around, however, if the company advertising is not selling many products, for example, a very high-ticket item retailer, then Facebook may not have sufficient data to use CBO effectively. To combat this, we advise changing the event, around which the programme will optimise. For example, rather than purchases, it may be beneficial to use add to cart, or visitors to a specific page, as the optimisation event. This will give Facebook more information to work with, and should help boost conversions. This also applies to budgets, as optimising around purchases requires a bigger budget, because it, statistically, needs more people landing on the page in the first place. Another downside to CBO is the fact that ads cannot be run on a schedule, or to a strict ad set budget . This may mean that CBO is not for you if you need to run ads on a schedule, or have tight budget restraints to meet at ad set level. You can set minimum budgets to ad sets, meaning that you can ensure they all spend at least a certain amount, but this may be detrimental to performance as, after all, that is what CBO is there to improve.

So, is CBO for you?

If you have a relatively large budget and audience, and are flexible about where your spend goes, then yes, jump in and see how it works. If, however, you need to keep ad set spend consistant, the CBO is not the way to go, as it takes over the allocation of budget at that level.

This is not to say that CBO will only work for big ad accounts, it certainly should improve the performance of most campaigns, just the big players may see more benefit at first. But, as long as you think it could work for you, we recommend giving it a good go.

Let us know how CBO works for you!

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