If you’ve worked with Facebook Ads for some time, you’ve noticed that not all campaigns perform at the same level. In fact, your ad groups’ cost-per-click can vary by thousands on percentages. Different audience targeting could result in an over 500% difference in CPC (cost-per-click).
Facebook Ads are often unpredictable, and it’s hard to say what triggered a spike or a downfall in the results.
There are several reasons why your Facebook campaigns might be underperforming: poorly targeted audience, wrong bidding method, seasonality, ad fatigue… the list is long.
Up next, you’ll find a 120-minute routine for improving your Facebook Ads results. Don’t worry if you’re just getting started with Facebook ads; we’ll provide helpful guides along the way!
No matter whether your campaigns are working like an 80-year old car or like a well-oiled machine, there’s always room for improvement.
Block out 2 hours of your next week’s schedule, bookmark this article, and follow the ten steps to get better results for the same advertising budget!
1. Start with a quick analysis (30 minutes)
To improve the problematic elements of your Facebook campaigns, you first need to find out about your campaigns’ performance – what’s working and what’s broken?
A quick analysis will also help you to gather all the information that you’ll need in later phases. After 30 minutes, you’ll have a sufficient overview of each campaign’s health. You’ll also know what needs tweaking and how to do it.
Create a spreadsheet that includes the names of your each ad campaign and ad set. Don’t forget to include the information about each ad set’s target audience as it plays a huge role.
2. Check your past 30-day campaign history
The first thing you’ll want to check is whether your Facebook Ads campaigns are producing the wished results. For example, the chart below shows a huge increase in cost-per-click near November 28.
This could mean that your audience is tired of seeing your ads, and Facebook’s run out of new people to deliver your ads to. Or it could signify a change made by you or your team members.
If you notice that your advertising results aren’t as good as at the beginning of the campaign, it’s a sign you can improve things.
Add your findings to the spreadsheet you created (or create the spreadsheet now). It should include your campaigns’ names, ad sets, and each ad set’s audience.
3. Check your ad frequency
AdEspresso’s research has shown that when people see the same ads twice, the cost-per-click increases by 49%. But when shown repetitive ads for four times, the CPC is already 68% higher.
Ad fatigue (that’s what happens when people see your ads too many times) can severely damage your Facebook campaigns’ performance. That’s why it’s important to check whether it’s under control.
To check ad frequency, go to Facebook Ads Manager, click on a campaign, and in the reporting section select Columns > Delivery.
If your ad frequency is over 3, it’s a sign you need to tweak your campaign’s audience or change the ad visuals. (We’ll do these things in the next steps of this article.)
4. Find the best and worst times to advertise
If you’re new to Facebook Ads, this might come as a surprise: you can schedule your ads to show at specific times.
You can also break down your campaign results by the time of day.
To see which days and times of day deliver the highest results, log in to your Facebook Ads Manager and select a campaign.
From the Breakdown menu, select “ Time of Day (Impression Time Zone). Note that your ads are always served by your audience’s time zone.
Check which times per day deliver the best results – the highest CTR and the lowest cost-per-lead. Write down the results for each ad set as you’re going to need this information later on.
5. Which ad placements deliver the best results?
When you create your ads, you can choose to run your ads across all eligible placements on Facebook, Instagram, and the Audience Network.
But not all ad placements work well for all your campaigns.
To check which placements have delivered the best results in the past 30 days, go to Facebook Ads Manager’s campaign view.
When looking at the results, find the best- and worst-performing ad placements. For example, in the picture below, you’ll see that Mobile ad placement’s cost-per-lead is around 90% higher than for Desktop placement.
Add the information about the average cost-per-lead per each ad placement to your spreadsheet.
Now, you have an overview of the most important aspects of your campaign results. Hopefully, you’ve managed to complete the analysis in 30 minutes, as we’re going to need the rest 90 minutes for making some serious improvements!
6. Pause or change campaigns with a high ad frequency (15 minutes)
When analyzing your campaign results, did you notice some ad sets with the frequency of over 3? If so, it might be a good idea to tweak the ad set’s audience.
If you target people based on their interests, add some new interests to the list. But be careful not to add irrelevant interests that don’t match with your offer.
When your ad sets are targeting a Facebook Custom Audience that’s based on your website visits, pause the campaign for 10 days and then re-activate it.
People will get a break from your ads, and the next time they’ll see your promotion, the ad fatigue has decreased.
7. Exclude all past converters (15 minutes)
Marketers often forget to exclude the people who have already clicked on your ad and converted to a lead/client.
If you don’t exclude these people as a Custom Audience, they’ll keep seeing your ads even after the purchase (or another type of conversion). This could lead to a higher ad cost and fewer results.
Go to Facebook Ads audience manager, and create a Custom Audience of all past converters. Next, edit all your ad sets and exclude this Custom Audience.
Now, your ad budgets won’t be spent on targeting people who have already engaged with your offer.
8. Optimize your ad placements (15 minutes)
As you noticed while analyzing your campaigns, some ad placements work better than others.
It all depends on your offer and the audience you’re targeting. If you compiled a spreadsheet during the analysis phase, you’d know which placements performed the best with specific ad audiences.
Review all your Facebook ad sets and select only the ad placements that delivered good results.
If you’re targeting a small niche audience and get very few conversions, you can also keep all the placements if they bring any results.
Pro tip: you can edit multiple ad sets together when selecting all of them in the campaign view.
9. Set up custom ad schedules (15 minutes)
When working with various clients, I’ve seen over 300% differences in ad costs, depending on the time of day.
The 15 minutes spent on optimizing your ad schedule could result in a significantly higher return on your ad budget.
To change ad schedules, go to Facebook Ads Manager and select one or multiple ad sets.
You can change the ad schedule in the Budget & Schedule section by clicking on Ad Scheduling and selecting “Run ads on a schedule.” Note: to use the custom ad scheduling feature; your ad sets need to run on Lifetime budget.
Pro tip: Set up 2-3 ad sets with different ad visuals. Schedule each of these to show on specific weekdays.
By using this scheduling technique, you can deliver a different ad to your audience each weekday. If people see a particular ad only once per week, they won’t get as tired and bored.
10. Update your ad visuals (30 minutes)
The best way to regain your audience’s attention is to update your ad visuals.
Don’t just change the text on your ad, make it different enough for people to notice it.
If there’s one specific color you’d like people to associate your brand with, play with light and dark hues, like LinkedIn has done here:
Instead of single-image ads, test carousel ads to tell a story.
Brainstorm a few ideas and ask your in-house or freelance designers to create new ad designs. If you create the ad images on your own, ask a colleague to help you out. The more people participate in the brainstorming session, the more original ideas you’ll get.
Start by changing the images in campaigns that have the highest ad frequency as fixing these is most critical.
Copy your existing ad sets and create new ones with updated ad images. This way, you’ll get a better overview of each image’s performance. (This only works with large budgets as you’ll need lots of clicks and conversions for A/B testing)
By now, the countdown clock’s notifying you that the 120 minutes are up. You’ve managed to get an insightful overview of your Facebook campaigns’ performance, created a small report, and made tons of changes to improve your results.
Now it’s time to sit back and wait until the results start to show!