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TOP 5 TIPS TO REDUCE FACEBOOK ADVERTISING COSTS

Want to know the secret to lowering your Facebook advertising costs? We know how crazy it can be to see those costs slowly go up and have no idea how to fix it.

In this post, we're going to give you 5 tips on how to lower your Facebook ad costs so you can get the most out of your budget.


Why are my Facebook ad costs going up?

If you have noticed that your ads are costing you much more than you thought (or more than you would like) or you see that your ads are slowly getting less results, you may be paying too much for your ads.

This can be especially frustrating if you don't know why your ads are behaving this way when they were doing well before. Usually, your Facebook ad costs go up because of a few simple reasons.


We will now discuss these issues in more detail:
  1. Start using Retargeting ads
  2. Keep the frequency of your ads below 5
  3. Change your ad formats and messaging
  4. Do not rely on automated placements
  5. Pay attention to the Relevance Diagnostics of your ad


If you want to lower the cost of your Facebook ads, keep reading.



Start using Retargeting Ads


We use Facebook to advertise because of its targeting options. And the magic of Facebook targeting really comes when you start using retargeting. Retargeting ads are shown to people who have interacted with your page, website or content. These ads work well because you show them to an audience that is interested.

You have a lot of targeting options for Facebook ads (we took all of this literally from the Facebook Help page):

  • Viewed or added to cart but not purchased: Promote products from your catalogue to people who have viewed them or added them to their cart.
  • Added to cart but not purchased: Promote products from your catalogue to people who have added them to their cart.
  • Upsell Products: Upsell products from your catalogue to people who have viewed products from your product set.
  • Cross-Sell Products: Cross-sell products from your catalogue to people who have viewed products from your product set.
  • Custom combination: Promote products from your catalogue to a Custom Audience based on how people have interacted with your products.

    If you choose this option, you can select the audience interactions by selecting inclusions and exclusions.

    For example, you can include people who have added products to their cart in the past 45 days and exclude people who have purchased products in the past 45 days.


We'll show you how to set up retargeting ads. With retargeting ads, we recommend using Dynamic ads. You will need a Facebook Pixel that is properly set up to collect data.

How to set up Dynamic Retargeting ads in Facebook?
  1. Start by creating your Dynamic ad
  2. When you select your audience, choose Retarget ads to target people who have interacted with your products or service
  3. Choose a retargeting option (we've covered these above)
  4. Enter the number of days the action took place for your retargeting option
  5. (Optional) Select Advanced Options to add a Custom Audience or Lookalike Audience to your targeting


This should lower your Facebook ad costs and increase your click-through and conversion rates. Do pay attention to your frequency when running retargeting ads. This refers to how many times each person sees your ad. If these numbers get too high (more than 5) you run the risk of annoying your audience and losing customers.

If you don't have a retargeting audience yet, you need to build one.


Read here why retargeting is so important!



Keep the frequency of your ads below 5


You may have the "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" kind of mentality when it comes to your ads. And while this idea may apply in general, it can be harmful to run your ads unchanged for a long period of time. Even if they work.


How is frequency calculated by Facebook?

Facebook tracks the average number of times your ads are shown to each person in your audience. Facebook gives its best estimate of the number of times each person in your audience has seen your ad.

The correct frequency for your ads is between 1 and 4. When the ads reach a frequency of 4, it is time to refresh the ad.

The way to keep your frequency low is to keep an eye on your frequency and adjust the creative part of your ads if necessary. If you have less time to do this, you can use Dynamic Ads to avoid having to manually change your ads once in a while. If you give Facebook enough interesting combinations, you can use those ads much longer than others before your frequency starts to increase. This will depend on the size of your audience and how many options you have uploaded.

Follow these steps to find the frequency of your ads:

  1. Log in to your Ads Manager
  2. Navigate to the Campaigns tab, Ad Set or Ad
  3. If the frequency is not in one of your available columns, add the column
  4. Click the blue plus sign and find "Frequency" in the list
  5. Select it to add it and click on Save
  6. Now you can see the numbers in the new column



Change ad formats and messaging


Even your biggest fans will get irritated if they only see the same ad. When we talk about this problem, we are talking about one ad being seen too often. Now if you're thinking about frequency, we're happy about that! But this point applies more generally to your ad formats and messaging as a whole.

It's easy to find an ad format and style that works, make it a template and pump out the ad content. Many companies make this mistake of using a standard ad format and style and then running as many ads as possible. That may be great for productivity or efficiency, but it's a bad marketing tactic.

If you look at major brand campaigns, you will notice that no one sticks to the same format, style, or messaging every time. Of course, logos, slogans, and puns stay the same over time, because we need that continuity to build a relationship with your audience. But, they take risks with other aspects of advertising. And that includes changing:

  • How you communicate with your audience
  • What your message to them is
  • What your images or videos look like
  • What products you show



You have to keep even your biggest fans interested, and you can't do that by showing the same thing over and over. You need to test new styles and tones strategically, especially if they are a big departure from your normal way of working, but you need to prioritise them. To test and keep track of these ads, we recommend you run A/B tests. Then create a document that you can use to keep track of what you are testing and how the ads are performing.



Do not rely on automated placements


Depending on your campaign objective (clicks, video views, likes), your ads may be displayed on:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Messenger
  • In-stream video
  • Marketplace
  • Apps



By looking at the reports within your Ads Manager, you can figure out the best placement for you. Follow these steps to find the right placement for your ads:

  1. Log in to your Ads Manager
  2. Navigate to the Campaigns tab, Ad Set or Ad
  3. Navigate to Reports
  4. If the placement is not in one of your available columns, add the column
  5. Click the blue plus sign and look for "Placement" and optionally "Platform" in the list
  6. Select it to add it and click on Save
  7. Now you can see the numbers in the new column




Once you know what placement the best for your ads is, you can apply it by setting it in Ads Manager in the following way:

  1. Go to Ads Manager
  2. Choose your objective and click Continue. However, not all objectives support all placements
  3. Go to the placements section, Automatic placements (Recommended) is pre-selected
  4. Choose Manual placements to exclude certain placements. Deselect the box next to any placements that do not work for you to remove them
  5. If you don't see a box, your ad type or objective does not support the placement



You can also choose to disable placements by deselecting the Facebook, Instagram, Messenger or Audience Network checkboxes.



Pay attention to the Relevance Diagnostics


If you've been advertising on Facebook for a while, you know this topic by its old name: Ad Relevance Score. This has been replaced by Ad Relevance Diagnostics, which includes 3 measurements and means this (we have taken all of this literally from the Facebook Help page):

  • Quality Ranking is the perceived quality of your ad compared to ads competing for the same audience.
  • Engagement Rate Ranking is the expected engagement rate of your ad compared to ads competing for the same audience.
  • Conversie Rate Ranking is the expected conversion rate of your ad compared to ads with the same optimization goal that compete for the same audience.


Facebook measures whether you have a good quality ad that is shown to the right audience. Facebook recommends to look for the ideal combination of ads and targeting, and not just focus on the ideal ads or the ideal targeting.

What is a good score?

You want each of the three metrics to be at the average or above average, ideally. If your Relevance Diagnostics are below average, there's a chance your ads will cost you a lot of money without seeing any results. You will see significant ad performance and cost improvements if you increase your metrics from below average to average or above average (by changing your creative and targeting). You will see small improvements if you increase your average score to above average, so focus on increasing your below average scores if you have them.

Where can I find Ad Relevance Diagnostics in my account?
  1. In your Ads Manager, navigate to your Ads tab (Ad Relevance only applies to Ads, not to Ad Sets or Campaigns)
  2. After that, Quality Ranking, Engagement Rate Ranking, and Conversion Rate Ranking should be visible
  3. If you don't see these columns, reset your column view to "Performance (Default)" or click the blue plus sign to add the columns
  4. You will then find the Ad Relevance Score



What do these diagnoses mean?

None of that information is useful if you don't know what to do with it, right? So, let's look at some possible outcomes and what they might mean for you.

If you have everything at average or above average, you're doing great and probably won't have to worry too much about adjusting the ads that are running. When that campaign is over, it's one that we would consider running again (or running a similar campaign) for a similar audience.


But if your conversion rates are below average, but your engagement and quality scores are above average. That means you might be:

  • You're targeting an audience with lower interest than you think
  • You don't have an attractive CTA
  • That you are losing people after the click through website or leadform experience


We would look for the simplest solutions first. Here's what you can do:

  • Target a higher-interest audience
  • Write a better CTA


But if the performance of your ads is still not improving, look at the post-click experience and change it.

In some cases, you don't have to worry about a below-average Conversion Rate Ranking. We know, it might sound weird, but sometimes you already have a lower conversion rate because you sell high-ticket items, for example. If the conversion rate meets your expectations, don't worry about it.


If your Facebook quality score is below average, but your engagement and conversion is above average.

Most people would say "I need to design better ads", and that may be true.

Or, it could be that you are just not showing the ads to the right people. It means they are low quality for that audience, although they might not be considered low quality for another audience.

It's important to look at each metric in conjunction with the other two and make adjustments accordingly. Also remember that you will need to make adjustments all the time and that you will just have to test certain things as you go. A/B testing can be super helpful for this as well.



Conclusion


When you run ads, you want to show your ad to the best audience at the best price. Even though Facebook is the most affordable advertising platform for small businesses (for now), you can spend more money than you want if you don't optimise your ads properly. Ads will naturally increase in cost over time. No campaign can last forever.

But now you know what to do to lower your Facebook ad costs.


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