Facebook Ads Bidding Part 3: Everything you need to know to build an effective advertising strategy
In part 2 of Facebook Ads Bidding we explained in detail the factors that affect your advertisements delivery and the ad bidding strategies you can choose from depending on your company’s needs and objectives.
In this article we will go through all the updates on the Facebook’s Ads bidding system that took place in 2018.
Recent Updates on Facebook’s Ads Bidding System
One major change in Facebook’s bidding methods is that of the manual bidding system. This update has led to the new bidding options we will explain in the following section.
To view and set your bidding options, go to the “Budget and Schedule” section which you can find in the Ad Set level of your campaign. When you click on the “Show Advanced Options” the following window opens where you can set up additional bidding options:
As you can see a few things have changed such as the conversion window, the bidding strategies and the delivery type. We will go through each one of them in a little more depth.
Have you ever landed on a product page after clicking an ad or even added something to the cart but you did not actually buy it until a week later?
That is why it is very important to carefully select your ad’s conversion window. If a user sees or clicks on one of your ads and then converts within the specified conversion window, then that conversion is attributed to your current ad.
Let’s take a look at an example. Let’s say that you have set a conversion window to 1 day. A potential customer sees your ad, adds a product on the cart but does not have their credit card on them. So, they end up purchasing the product 5 days later. As a result, Facebook will show that the user clicked (and you were charged for that), but that the ad did not manage to convert them, even though it actually did. This will create a hassle as you will not be sure which ads are actually converting and which are not. Now, if the conversion window was set to 7 days then that conversion would be attributed to the ad, and you would know that the ad worked.
Under the new changes you can also select whether you want to count conversions that happen only after seeing an ad or after clicking on one.
Therefore, it is always a good tactic to give customers a few days to consider your offer.
The Bidding Strategies
The bidding strategies that are currently available for advertisers are very similar to the strategies that we have had in the past, but they have different names and some minor changes. So, we will cover each one of them in more detail.
The strategies are:
- Lowest cost
- Lowest cost with a bid cap
- Target cost
Lowest cost: Facebook will do it’s best to help you get the most conversions possible at the lowest cost. This method is recommended for businesses with budget limitations as Facebook will still get you good placements as long as they have the lowest cost of what you could be paying.
Lowest cost with a bid cap: when using this bidding strategy be certain to keep things at or below a specific cost.
With this particular strategy you can set a bid cap and inform Facebook the highest bid you are willing to pay for any placement.
This is helpful if you have a limited budget or if you know exactly how much you want to spend.
If for instance, you have calculated that converting a customer does not worth more than €3, you could set a bid cap there and therefore avoid having a negative ROI.
Target cost: the particular strategy lets you define the average cost per conversion. Facebook can move up or down as long as the average will eventually come out to the same bid amount. This bidding strategy is recommended for more flexible or larger budgets or for businesses who are willing to pay more for high priced placements.
When to use each bidding strategy:
- If your objective is to maximize profit and obtain leads at a low cost, then choose the lowest cost & lowest cost with a bid cap strategies
- If your objective is to maximize the ad delivery and get the most conversions possible (even if they cost a bit more), then choose the target cost strategy
The delivery type that you select has to do more with scheduling rather than bidding itself, however the two are related in a complicated way.
You have 2 options to choose from: standard or accelerated delivery.
Standard delivery: When you choose this type of delivery, Facebook will keep your campaign running evenly throughout the scheduled date, or what they believe is a reasonable amount of time spend on your ads.
Accelerated delivery: Focuses on getting results as quickly as possible. If for example, you are in a hurry with your campaign because an upcoming event is approaching or it is two weeks before holiday season, getting as many placements for your ad at rapid speed may sounds more reasonable. The drawback of accelerated delivery is that you might eventually pay more in order to gain some of those competitive spots when you are in a rush. Facebook, moderates this by letting you pick accelerated delivery only when you have set a bid cap, to make sure that they will never exceed the highest bid that you are willing to pay for any placement.
Recent updates have also occurred in the the way optimization now works. So, when you choose your ad’s delivery optimization method, you are basically choosing which groups of people you most want to deliver your ad to.
For instance, if you choose to optimize for Conversions then Facebook will deliver your ads to the people who are most likely to convert. If on the other hand, choose to optimize for Post Engagement, then Facebook will show your ads to the people who have previously commented, liked or shared one of your ads.
Choosing an optimization method for your campaign is an important decision and you have to be certain that you are choosing the right action, as it can directly influence your campaign’s success. The method you choose to optimize for is also affecting the way you are being charged. If for example you are optimizing for link clicks you will be charged per click whereas if you optimize for awareness you will be charged per impressions.
Optimization method options:
- Conversions: this is Facebook’s most recommended bidding method for optimizing your campaign. With this method, Facebook will show your ads to the people who are more likely to convert after seeing one of your ads and thus get the most results at the lowest cost.
- Link clicks: if your goal is to drive traffic to your Facebook page or to an external landing page then CPC is the best option to go for. In this way Facebook will deliver your ads to people who are most likely to click on your ad and follow a link.
- Impressions: with this option your ad is delivered to as many people as possible. This method is suitable for businesses that want to build brand awareness or reminding a remarketing audience of their limited-time offer. When optimizing for impressions Facebook will show your ads to any audience members for as many times as possible and not based on their engagement level.
- Daily Unique Reach: choose this option if you wish to show your ads to people up to once per day. It is recommended for fairly small remarketing audience or when you want to deliver you ad to all your audience members. Daily Unique Reach is also effective for keeping a low ad frequency and thus avoiding ad fatigue.
- Post Engagement: this optimization method will focus on getting you the most likes, shares or comments for you ads. If you want to promote your blog articles or a contest on Facebook then this is the best option for your campaign.
- Brand awareness: when opting for the Brand Awareness optimization method, Facebook will show your ads to the people who are more likely to notice them.
- Leads: this is interrelated with the lead generation campaign objective. Facebook, will focus on delivering your ads to the members in your audience that are most likely to share their information. It will do this at the lowest cost possible.
- Landing Page Views: as the name suggests, Facebook will delivery your ads to the people who are most likely to click on your ad and load your landing page.
What is important to note here, is that not all of the above bidding options are available for every campaign.
Below is a list of the most popular campaign objectives and their corresponding bidding methods:
- Conversions – bid on Conversions, Link Clicks & Impressions
- Traffic – bid on Link Clicks (CPC) & Impressions
- App installs – bid on App Installs, Impressions & Link Clicks
- Video views – bid on 10-Second Video View & Impressions
The most important thing you need to remember about Facebook ads bidding is that this is an auction. Thousands of advertisers bid on having their ads delivered to their selected audience and compete with each other to win a placement in Facebook’s real estate.
There are numerous factors that affect whether or not you will win your bid and therefore show your ads to the people that most matter to you. So, understanding all of these factors and how Facebook ads bidding works will help you achieve your goals as well as stay ahead of the competition.
Are you already using any of the Facebook’s ads bidding strategies in your campaigns? What is your favorite one?
Let us know in the comments and remember that testing is the best way to learn!
by Christina Kotziapashi
Social Media Specialist at Clickhouse Media