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Optimising Facebook Advertising Conversion Campaigns to Get Results for your business

You will have to excuse me for this blog while I start to get a little bit technical with you. But you see, it’s with good intentions that I try to educate you around exactly what is needed to make sure your Facebook Advertising is performing as well as it can.

There are many facets to a successful Facebook Advertising campaign, but there is one thing that Facebook loves (aside from your money 😉 ) – it’s data.

They are like data addicts at Facebook and their machines are constantly crunching numbers, behaviours, interests and actions to find the most relevant content it can show to its user base. So if you were going to a dinner party with Facebook and you wanted to bring a gift to impress, a big old bunch of data wrapped in a neat bow would impress the socks off them and put you in a good position to have a stable and well performing Facebook Ads campaign.

NB: I’ve put a glossary of terms at the end of this article to help clarify any Facebook vernacular I may have confused you with.

What kind of data?

With Facebook’s craving for data, what data do they exactly need?

Finally, Facebook has given a clear indication on what data is required to properly optimise conversion campaigns to get you the best price possible for each of you conversion events.

Your ad set needs to be getting about 50 of the conversions it's optimized for per week to have a chance at success.

Note: 50 is a rough baseline minimum. More than 50 is ideal. This is directly from Facebook’s support articles outlined here. 

So if you need at least 50 conversion events each week, that means you need approximately 7-10 per day to give Facebook enough data to go on.

For some advertisers, this may seem like a lot of data!

But because Conversions are rarer and more valuable events than say impressions, clicks, views or reactions; Facebook can’t optimise without a statistically-significant number of conversions.

What if I don’t meet the amount of Facebook conversion events happening on my site?

This is a really common problem for smaller advertisers that don’t have the scale of their larger counterparts.

Target further up the funnel

Conversions events include any event that is triggered in the lead up to the final purchase. So you may need to optimise for an event that is closer to the beginning of the process and therefore costs less to occur and is likely to occur more commonly than the final purchasing event.

For e-commerce stores, for instance, you can optimise for the ‘view content’ event or the ‘add to cart’ event.

Once a customer activates those events, you can then retarget those visitors that didn’t complete a final purchase, with an ad targeted at the purchase conversion event. Because the user is closer to the point of purchase, Facebook knows your ad is more relevant to them and the cost per purchase will be lower because of this. This tactic takes longer to get someone to the purchase conversion, but It allows you to manage your budget more effectively if you can’t afford the initial cost per purchase event up front.

If you don’t have the budget or the amount of conversions required, you may need to change your campaign objective to optimise for one of the other options such as website clicks or engagement.

Optimise for clicks first

Facebook recently introduced the option to initially optimise the same adset for clicks to drive enough traffic and give Facebook enough data, once they have that they will then switch the optimisation to conversions for you.

You can set this at the adset level and you have two options when choosing to optimise for clicks first.

1. Standard

Use a combination of link clicks and conversions for a short learning phase, then optimise for conversions. Less budget will be used for link clicks and the full budget may not be spent.

This is ideal when you’re confident you will be able to get enough conversion events required to allow Facebook to optimise properly.

2. Extended

Optimise for link clicks until the ad set gets sufficient data about who is likely to convert, then use conversions. More budget can be used for link clicks and the full budget may be spent.

This option is ideal if you’re not confident you will be able to get enough conversion events required and need Facebook to continuously learn and optimise for you until they have enough data to switch to the conversion optimisation.

How is it measured?

Facebook measure these conversion events within the Conversion Window you set in your adset settings.

They contain a time-frame and an action, for instance, 7-Days after clicking window would refer to people that convert after clicking an advertisement within 7 days after performing that action.

This then allows you to re-target people that may not have converted after clicking through to your site from an advertisement while still converting them within that window.

Choosing the conversion window is important because the weekly conversion events Facebook needs to optimise for are only counted if they occur during the window you set in your adset.

The options for your conversion window are:

  • 1-day after clicking
  • 7-days after clicking
  • 1-day after clicking or viewing
  • 7-days after clicking or 1-day after viewing

The most common option for conversion windows is the 7-Days after clicking option. This then allows you the greatest amount of time to convert someone within that window and for it to be counted towards your weekly tally of conversion events that Facebook needs.

Glossary Of Terms

Conversion Events

Standard and advanced events that Facebook Measures along the path and including, the final conversion event. For example, a customer purchasing through an e-commerce store will most likely trigger the View Content > Add To Cart > Initiate Checkout > Purchase events.

Conversions

1 of the 10 campaign objectives you can optimise for. You choose which Conversion Event (see above) to optimise for at the Adset level.

Conversion Windows

Windows during which the conversion events are measured within. They contain a time-frame and an action, for instance, 7-Days after clicking window would refer to people that convert after clicking an advertisement within 7 days after performing that action.

Ad-sets

The area in an advertising campaign that you control who and how you are targeting your advertisements towards. In this area, you may control:

  • Conversion events
  • Target audience demographics and specific detailed targeting options
  • Custom Audience options
  • Ad placement
  • Budget
  • Schedule
  • Bidding and optimisation options
  • Conversion windows

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