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All-Time Beginner’s Guide for Optimizing Facebook Ads

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You read some blog posts, watched a few videos on YouTube, & learned how to launch a paid campaign using Facebook ads manager.

That is amazing.

You are excited after seeing your campaign got approved from Facebook.

Brilliant!!

Let me assume that your campaign goal was to generate leads, using Facebook lead ad form.  After a few days, you now have generated quite a good number of leads from your campaign.

Congratulations 🙂

You now know how to generate leads from Facebook.

But what next?

What if the cost per lead (CPL) is high & not as you expected it to be?

How will you reduce the CPL?

How will you check if it is really possible to reduce the CPL?

This is exactly what I am going to share here in this blog post: Your All-Time Beginner’s Guide for Optimizing Facebook Ads.

Learning how to launch a campaign on Facebook is good. However, you might waste the ad budget if you don’t optimize Facebook ads to the maximum extent.

Facebook ads manager helps you to breakdown the performance of your ad campaign based on many parameters such as age, gender, region, country, etc.

After running the Facebook ad campaign for a few days, you should analyze the performance of the campaign using the “Breakdown” feature. Refer the below screenshot to get a better idea.

Beginner’s Guide for Optimizing Facebook Ads

From the above screenshot, you can observe that one can breakdown the performance of an ad campaign based on time, delivery & action to get granular details on how the campaign performed.

Let me show you the major parameters that you should check in the ad campaign to optimize the ad campaign:

Optimizing Facebook Ads by ‘Age Group’

While launching the campaign, you might have selected the most suitable age group after analyzing the product/service that is being promoted.

The age group that we have selected to show the ads may not be correct all the time. And this breakdown based on age gives you an opportunity to see users of which age group are responding to the ad.

To check this click on ‘Breakdown’, select “Age” option under “By Delivery” category. Refer the below screenshot for more details.

Beginner’s Guide for Optimizing Facebook Ads

In the above screenshot, you can observe I have got 93 leads by spending INR 5118. And the average cost per result, i.e cost per lead, is INR 55.

When you breakdown the results of this campaign, you can see that I have got only 1 lead in the age group 18-24 by spending INR 230, which is approximately four times higher than the average cost per lead.

Similarly, the cost per lead (CPL) is INR 99 for the age group 35-44, from where I got 16 leads, and the CPL is INR 62 for the age group 55-64, which got me 9 leads.

This breakdown clearly says that I need to show my ads to people of 25-34, 45-54 & not anyone else. By doing so, I have the potential of reducing the average CPL to INR 40-41 from the current avg CPL of INR 55.

Now I can duplicate this campaign to show ads to only those age groups from where I am getting leads at a lesser price.

Please note the age group 18-24, 25-34, etc. are set by default from Facebook & you cannot dig deeper for further granular details like 18-20, 21-24, etc.

Optimizing Facebook Ads by ‘Gender’

We can also check the performance of the campaign based on gender.

To check this click on Breakdown, select “Gender” option under “By Delivery” category. Refer the below screenshot for more details.

Beginner’s Guide for Optimizing Facebook Ads

From the above screenshot, you can say that the difference in CPL between male and female is almost negligible. However, you can see that more leads came from men.

Sometimes you can see a more significant difference in CPL between men and women. In such cases, you can make a call to stop showing ads to that particular gender by duplicating the campaign.

Optimizing Facebook Ads by ‘Impression Device’

You can also view your ad performance data based on the devices that people were using when they saw your ads.

To check this click on Breakdown, select “Impression Device” option under “By Delivery” category. Refer the below screenshot for more details.

Beginner’s Guide for Optimizing Facebook Ads

The data in the above screenshot clearly says that the CPL from people who uses an iPhone is 2 times higher than the average CPL. And around 90% of the leads have come through smartphone users, which is quite predictable as the percentage of people who access Facebook from smartphones are higher.

Optimizing Facebook Ads by ‘Placement’

Placement is where your ads are shown to users by Facebook. Most common placements are the news feed, instant article, right column, etc. Refer to below screenshot to know all the placements available for you to choose.

Beginner’s Guide for Optimizing Facebook Ads

I have seen that Facebook feed gives good results for lead generation ads. However, you should test yourself to know which placement is giving you the best results.

Beginner’s Guide for Optimizing Facebook Ads

In the above screenshot, you can see that 85% of the leads came from mobile news feed placement, and very few leads are from desktop news feed & stories.

Observe that the CPL is INR 113 for the lead generated from the Instagram mobile app feed. Without a second thought, I can say that I need to remove the Instagram feed from the placement. In fact, I can uncheck all other placements apart from Facebook feed, as this placement alone is giving me 85% of the leads at the lowest price compared to all other placements.

Optimizing Facebook Ads by ‘Platform’

Similar to Facebook placement, you can check the campaign performance based on the platform. Currently, Facebook has four platforms where it shows your ads: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, & Audience Network.

Beginner’s Guide for Optimizing Facebook Ads

In my case, the leads from Instagram placement is almost negligible & even the CPL is  1.4 times higher than that of Facebook placement.

Usually, when you try to uncheck Instagram or any other placements while launching the campaign, Facebook smartly shows a notification to you, which says the campaign can perform better by x% if you select the Instagram or Audience Network platforms.

Beginner’s Guide for Optimizing Facebook Ads

You can just ignore the message as you are taking action & optimizing your Facebook ads based on the campaign performance data. So there is no need to worry about this.

Optimizing Facebook Ads by ‘Region’

This optimization is a must if you are running ads in multiple regions. Choose the “Region” option under breakdown “By Delivery” category.

Beginner’s Guide for Optimizing Facebook Ads

The above screenshot is from a recent campaign that I am working on at the time of writing this blog post. You can observe that I have not yet got a single lead from Tamil Nadu even after spending INR 164, whereas the average CPL is INR 125. The CPL is higher in Delhi compared to other regions.

I can stop showing ads to Tamil Nadu & Delhi regions once I get a considerable amount of data to take a call.

I consider removing the target if I don’t get a single lead even after the ad is seen by 500 people. In other words, I wait until the ‘reach’ metric becomes 500 to take any action.

Optimizing Facebook Ads by ‘Country’

If you are running ads targeting multiple countries, you can breakdown the ad performance by country to gauge the performance.

Though you can target multiple countries using a single ad set, it is advised to create multiple ad sets, each targeting to one particular country. This will help you in two ways:

  1. To pause the bad performing ad set without the need for duplicating the best performing ad.
  2. To start the ad sets targeted to different countries from 00:00 of that particular country.
Beginner’s Guide for Optimizing Facebook Ads

Above screenshot is from one of my ad campaigns where I targeted NRIs in 10 different countries. Here you can observe the CPL is high for the ad set targeted to Australia & the lowest CPL is from the ad set targeted to New Zealand.

Since I had a separate ‘ad set’ targeted for Australia, I had an option to again breakdown this particular ad set performance by region, age, gender, etc. & then decide whether I should remove something from targeting or to pause this whole ad set targeted to Australia.

In this particular campaign, I had used a video in the lead ad. And I had retargeted people who watched the video by creating a custom audience.

You can observe the above screenshot where the CPL is INR 77 from the retargeted ad, which is almost 3 times lower compared to the average CPL. This is the beauty of custom audience & retarget ads.

These are the evergreen & basic steps one should take to optimize Facebook ads & reduce cost per result.

When you have just started the campaign, it is fine if you create a single campaign & ad set to target the whole audience. However, you should create multiple ad sets & even campaigns after your test campaign has got enough data to analyze and optimize for better results.

For the test campaign I have considered here in this post, this is how the actual campaign is going to be structured after analyzing the test campaign.

Beginner’s Guide for Optimizing Facebook Ads
Beginner’s Guide for Optimizing Facebook Ads

Please note that the optimized Facebook campaign shown in the above flowchart is contextual. The number of ad sets & other targeting options will definitely vary based on your observation from the test campaign.

I hope this detailed guide for optimizing Facebook ads helped you to understand various steps which one can take to improve the ad performance.

Feel free to share your feedback by commenting on this post, and don’t forget to share this post if you like it. Also, like the official Facebook page of Learn SMM to get updates on Facebook marketing.


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