If there’s one thing the last few months have taught everyone, it’s that Facebook has a vast amount of data about its users.
Understandably, the recent scandals have cast this revelation in a distinctly negative light — some users feel uncomfortable with their private data being shared. A handful of large brands such as Mozilla and Commerzbank have taken a stand against the platform over security fears.
But amidst all the doom and gloom, we marketers shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that data, when used appropriately and securely, is a gift. It allows us to run campaigns that are both highly effective for advertisers and relevant to users, thereby minimizing the number of annoying or useless ads they’re bombarded with on a daily basis.
But that rich data isn’t solely used for targeting purposes. When running Facebook ad campaigns, you’re presented with a host of automated optimization options which, used correctly, can help you to run more efficient and effective ad campaigns.
Let’s look at some of the ways you can use Facebook’s highly sophisticated machine learning to improve the performance of your campaigns, with proven examples of its success.
Having worked in other channels before social, one of the first things I noticed and loved about the Facebook Ads Manager is that it forces you to select an objective for your campaign.
I’ve seen countless examples of search or display campaigns that are trying to be a jack-of-all-trades, and they inevitably end up master of none. “I need this campaign to achieve great reach, a high volume of clicks, and of course a positive return on advertising spending (ROAS).”
All too often, advertisers can forget that if you want to achieve multiple objectives, you need multiple campaigns. But Facebook doesn’t let you forget:
When each new campaign is created, think carefully about what you’re trying to achieve, and select appropriately from the 13 options at your disposal. If you’re trying to achieve two of those objectives, create two campaigns.
That campaign objective isn’t just a vanity attribute. It tells the Facebook algorithm who it should be putting your ads in front of. If you choose Video Views, the algorithm will put your ads in front of users within your target audience that it knows are more likely to complete video views.
At Merkle (my employer) we’ve seen dramatic results from ensuring campaign objectives accurately reflect a client’s needs. We once took over running Facebook activity for a new utilities-sector client and noticed that, despite it being abundantly clear their main objective was account switches, all campaigns were using the Traffic objective.
It’s not possible to change a campaign objective post-launch, so we decided to rebuild from scratch and switch to Conversions. By making that one simple change, the team was able to achieve a 40 percent increase in account switches and stay well below target cost per action (CPA).
Top tip: Users Facebook deems “clicky” tend to be very expensive, and …read more
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