Once your Facebook ads start generating massive results, the next thing you’ll probably consider is how to blow up your profits accordingly. Obviously, this involves scaling your Facebook ads. After all, if something has been working, the most logical approach to hit your goal is to do more of it, right?
However, scaling your Facebook ads improperly can backfire on you and put you in the red – if you don’t know how to do it right. So, how do you do it? Here are some of the most effective ways to scale your advertising efforts and increase your profits.
Scaling Facebook Ads: 6 Tactics that Produce Real Results
Increase winning ad budget – carefully.
Most advertisers believe that scaling simply means increasing the budget of their winning ads. Unfortunately, this is not the way it works. Spending more money doesn’t necessarily drive better results. In fact, you may lose tons of it if you scale too quickly.
Keep in mind that the Facebook algorithm optimizes your ads over time to make sure they are performing at optimal levels. Now, if you suddenly put it a huge sum of money on an ad campaign, it can trigger a new learning phase on an ad set, enough to throw off the whole Facebook algorithm and cause your ROI to drop big time. As a result, you’ll lose money (sometimes lots of it) before you even know something’s wrong.
Does this mean that you shouldn’t increase your ad budget? Well, no, but you should do it gradually to avoid shocking the system. Ideally, you’ll want to bump your ad spend for your most profitable campaigns by no more than 10% to 20% every 4 to 7 days. Let it run and review the results after 4 to 7 days. When it comes to increasing your budget, slow and steady wins the race.
Explore new Facebook lookalike audiences.
What is a lookalike audience and why should you care? Basically, a lookalike audience is a segmentation tool developed by Facebook that helps you find users who, by virtue of sharing similar characteristics (demographics, interests, etc.) with your existing audience, are most likely to be interested in your business. If you’re a business owner, marketer, or advertiser, there is no way you can ignore lookalike audiences.
How do you start building your lookalike audience? Here’s how.
- Open your Facebook Ads Manager and go to “Audiences”.
- Click the “Create Audience” dropdown menu and choose “Lookalike Audience”.
- Choose your source audience. The source (or “seed”) audience can be created using pixel or app data, data from an existing customer file list or newsletter subscription list, or page fans. Your source audience needs to have at least 100 people from the same country, but you’ll get better results if you use a group of 1,000 to 50,000 of your best customers.
- Select the countries or regions you want to target.
- Choose the desired audience size using the slider. The smaller the number, the higher the similarity with your source audience and the greatest likelihood of finding a match. However, if you want a wider reach, choose numbers on the higher end of the scale. This is a question of quality vs. quantity, and it’s up to you to find the right balance for your business.
- Click “Create Audience.” It may take anywhere between 6 to 24 hours to create your lookalike audience, but you can create your ad while waiting for it to be finished.
When creating a lookalike audience, most advertisers start with a 1% lookalike of their existing customers, since this consists of the people who are most similar to your custom audience. However, you’ll notice that your ad performance will eventually wane over time. This usually happens when the majority of your lookalike audience has seen your ad.
When you reach this point, consider expanding to a 3% to 5% (some even recommend going for as high as 10%) lookalike audience from the same group. While you’ll be targeting people who share fewer similarities with your seed audience, this will significantly increase your audience size, lower CPA (cost-per-acquisition) and CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) rates, and increase your conversion volumes.
Go outside your target locations.
Similarly, you may expand your audience reach by finding secondary markets. Why not consider the viability of targeting a global audience? With fierce competition in the U.S., consider showing your ads to consumers in other English-speaking countries like Australia, Canada, and Europe. With the lower CPMs in these regions, you can significantly increase your reach and generate better profits.
You can also expand your reach by enabling the Facebook Targeting Expansion feature. With this feature, you allow Facebook to show your ads to people who may give you better or cheaper results based on the platform’s algorithm. Don’t worry, Facebook still won’t show your ads to people who are included in any of your exclusion lists.
Increase saved audience list sizes.
Should you stop scaling once you’ve marketed to your Facebook custom audience and lookalike audience? Definitely not! You can still use your saved audience to save the day.
What is a saved audience, and how can you use it in scaling your FB ads? Basically, “saved audience” refers to the target audience that you create by defining your target audience’s demographics, behaviors, and interests. You can create the saved audience list in the Audience Manager and during the campaign setup phase.
While this can be a good option for reaching potential new customers, this may not yield the same results as custom and lookalike audiences, since these people don’t even know who you are. They merely fit the advertising profile you specified for targeting purposes. Think of it as cold calling on Facebook.
Despite its limitations, a saved audience list can still be a good prospecting tool, so go ahead and use it in scaling your FB ads. Just remember to increase the size of your saved audience lists to tap a larger user pool and enjoy lower CPMs.
Build a funnel.
If you are a B2C or B2B advertiser who wants to use Facebook ads for generating leads, you’ll need to build a community by engaging and nurturing potential shoppers. You wouldn’t just start advertising on Facebook and expect to get the same results as your paid search campaigns, right?
Let’s face it: Facebook gives great results for ecommerce purchase campaigns that don’t require much consumer education. However, if you’re planning to promote a product that most people don’t know about, you’ll need to try a different approach.
The best way to do so is to build a “warm audience” through designing a Facebook ad funnel optimized for higher-funnel objectives, introducing your product to your target audience and collecting valuable lead information by offering free gated content through things like ebooks, guide, whitepaper, video, podcast, and running contests or polls. With their contact information on hand, you can then retarget these people with your core offer (e.g., a free demo of your product) at a later date.
Here’s a great example of a brand that recently did this well. Seal Skin Covers, a car cover manufacturer and reseller, ran a contest on Facebook for 3 days. The target audience for the contest was set as people who met two criteria: One, users who owned Mustang models, and two, users who were concurrently not Seal Skin followers.
The contest tested how well these car aficionados “knew their Mustang,” providing a series of models to be rearranged in order based on manufacture date. An entrant who correctly ordered the Mustang images from oldest to newest was entered for a random draw to win a Mustang car cover. Despite running on a shoestring budget, the contest was able to generate a great deal of engagement for Seals Skin, resulting in retargeting 25,900 people to their product. Talk about ROI!
Did all of these users become Seal Skin customers right away? No, of course not. But they were now all familiarized with Seal Skin’s brand and offerings, making them prime targets for targeting down the line. The contest had turned them from a “cold” audience to a “warm” audience, which is key to Facebook growth.
Retargeting a warm audience comes with several benefits. For one, you can expect better ROAs since these people have been introduced to your product and are more likely to convert. Second, higher funnel objectives (clicks, content views, video views, add to cart, initiate checkout) cost less to bid on. Thus, you can use your savings to retarget for purchases.
Explore and use the “Facebook Power 5.”
Have you ever noticed how your CPMs and CPAs rise when you scale your FB ads? Many digital advertisers often experience this problem, until Facebook Power 5 came along.
In a nutshell, Power 5 is Facebook’s internal best practices for direct response advertisers. It consists of five pillars that will dramatically improve your campaign performance. It includes:
- Account simplification. Gone are the days when you need to manually create multiple campaigns and ad sets. With the account simplification tactic, Facebook will automatically test which creative and ad placements drive the best results and optimize it in real-time to further improve efficiency.
- Campaign budget optimization. Now, you don’t even have to manually allocate budgets at the ad set level. The system will automatically distribute your budget to top-performing ad sets in real-time. Thus, you’ll spend less on underperforming ads.
- Automatic placements. Building separate ad sets for each placement can be tiresome, so Facebook takes this out of the equation. With automatic placements, you can deliver the right ads to the right person at the lowest possible cost.
- Auto advanced matching. Not sure where your leads come from? This feature takes out all the guesswork by accurately attributing conversions to their source.
- Dynamics ads/creative. This feature allows you to show the right product ad to the right audience, based on the interests they expressed on your website, app, or other sites on the internet.
Note: If you have automated ads that vary based on user preference, make sure you send them to a landing page or product that reflects the ad creative they clicked on. Otherwise, you are wasting the click and will most certainly be getting a bounce.
There are several other ways by which you can scale your Facebook ads, but you can start getting great results by implementing the tactics mentioned in this article. Many digital advertisers have found success by increasing the budget for winning ads, creating lookalike audiences, increasing saved audience list sizes, going outside target locations, building a funnel, and implementing the Facebook Power 5 method, and so can you. You just have to test which method works for you. Don’t be afraid. You wouldn’t know which method will provide you with the best results unless you try, so act on it now!
This guest post was submitted by Andy Beohar.
Andy is a co-founder of SevenAtoms, a SF based marketing agency that is a premiere Google AdWords Partner and a Gold level HubSpot partner. Andy develops and manages ROI positive paid marketing campaigns for Tech, SaaS and Ecommerce companies.
Tina Johnson helped bring The Marketing Folks from a-weekly newsletter to a full-fledged news site by creating a new website and branding. She continues to assist in keeping the site responsive and well organized for the readers. As a contributor to The Marketing Folks, Tara mainly covers industry new.