Much of what we are writing today could be used as general tips and tricks for paid advertising on Google Paid Ads (AdWords), LinkedIn, etc. Today, we’re talking specifically about Facebook Paid Advertising in Meta Business. Though much of this is applicable, we aren’t talking directly about boosting posts within your Facebook account. This is related to Ads manager within Meta Business.

On to Facebook Advertising Best Practices…

When initiating a campaign or ad set, Facebook (Meta) requests a minimum budget from you to ensure the consistent delivery of your ads. The determination of minimum budget requirements and recommendations takes into account various factors such as your business vertical, budget type, buying type, bid strategy, optimization, currency, and schedule. This comprehensive analysis aims to prevent under-delivery of your ads.

There are alerts within Meta Ads Manager, which signal if your budget falls below our minimum requirements. Additionally, in Ads Manager, you may receive recommendations if your budget meets the minimum requirements but might not be sufficient for optimal results.

Follow these recommended best practices for minimum budgets:

  1. Allocate a suitable budget for your chosen optimization event. Different optimization events may necessitate varying budget amounts based on their level of difficulty. For instance, optimizing for purchases might require a higher budget compared to optimizing for landing page views. If increasing your budget is not feasible, consider optimizing for an event that is easier and more cost-effective to achieve. Learn more about optimization.
  2. For ad set budgets, advertisers charged for impressions should allocate a minimum of $1 per day for daily budgets. Keep in mind that minimum budget requirements may vary depending on your chosen billing method. Lifetime budgets and Meta Advantage campaign budgets (formerly known as campaign budget optimization) may also have slightly different requirements based on your settings. The Advantage campaign budget allocates budget freely across all ad sets, reducing the risk of under-delivery.
  3. If employing the cost per result goal bid strategy, ensure that your daily budget is at least 5 times the amount of your cost per result goal. For example, if your cost-per-result goal is set at $5, your daily budget should be at least $25.
  4. When lowering your lifetime budget, maintain the new amount equal to or greater than the total spent so far, plus 10% of the amount spent over the past 2 days. For instance, if you’ve spent $300 thus far, with $100 spent in the last 2 days, your new budget must be at least $310.
  5. Exercise caution when decreasing your budget toward the end of the day, as the system may not have sufficient time to apply new settings. For example, if you reduce your daily budget from $200 to $100 at 5 pm, the system may have already spent beyond your new daily budget of $100 or may not have adequate time to adjust and slow down delivery.

What does “Learning Limited” mean?

If your ad set is not generating a sufficient number of optimization events to transition out of the learning phase, the Delivery column will indicate “Learning limited.” It’s important to note that “Learning limited” is not a penalty; rather, it signals that your budget is not being utilized effectively due to the ad delivery system’s inability to optimize performance with the current configuration.

An ad set becomes learning-limited when it is unlikely to accumulate approximately 50 optimization events in the week following your last significant edit. This diagnosis can occur at any point after creating an ad set or making a substantial edit to an existing one.

Typically, an ad set becomes learning limited due to factors such as small audience size, low budget, low bid or cost control, high auction overlap, infrequent optimization events, or issues like running too many ads simultaneously. If a low bid or cost control is the limiting factor, a tooltip will appear when you hover over the learning limited status.

Here are troubleshooting steps to enhance the performance of learning-limited ad sets:

  1. Combine ad sets and campaigns: Consolidating ad sets and campaigns accelerates the achievement of desired results, leading to stable outcomes sooner.
  2. Expand your audience: Increasing the audience size provides more opportunities for people to complete your optimization event.
  3. Raise your budget: If your budget is insufficient to generate around 50 optimization events, the ad set is unlikely to progress beyond the learning phase.
  4. Raise your bid or cost control: If your bid or cost control is too low to acquire around 50 optimization events, the ad set may remain in the learning phase.
  5. Change your optimization event: Consider selecting an optimization event that occurs more frequently—for instance, transitioning from purchases to add to cart.

Once a learning-limited ad set accumulates 50 optimization events since the last significant edit, it will transition from “Learning limited” to “Active.”

Thoughts on maximizing low budgets vs. your competition

It is difficult to know who your direct advertising competition is on Facebook. You will obviously see competitors’ ads in your area, but there is no way (within Meta Business) to see your “impression share” or “impression loss” as you can in Google Paid Ads. However, some data points are DIRECTLY affected by your budget. Two major data points are:

Frequency – how often a user sees your ad. Depending on your market the ideal frequency could be higher or lower. If you have a product that is more geared to an “impulse purchase”, a lower frequency is probably best. If your product or service has a higher cost that someone would need to plan toward, a higher frequency is needed. If you aren’t reaching your ideal frequency, you need more budget. If your frequency is higher than ideal and you are still not hitting your desired goals, it’s most likely a quality issue in content/message/etc. (another conversation)…not budget.

Cost Per 1,000 Impressions (CPM) – You can view more specific information on Meta’s Business Help Center, but
CPM serves as a metric in the online advertising world, offering a means to assess the cost-effectiveness of an advertising campaign. It is one of the best ways to compare the performance of your paid ad budget to your competition. If your CPM has spiked, but your reach or results or frequency hasn’t improved (or some other metric that doesn’t feel good), the supply & demand in your market could have changed. So, your competition could have grown in number or your current competition could have increased their budget or there are less people searching for what you offer. This could be temporary or seasonal, but if you do not respond in kind with the budget, your expectations will need to change.

You can’t make good decisions without good information. When you are investing into your business with paid advertising, you need to make sure your expectations match reality. Paid advertising is one of the fastest ways to get information on your audience and competition to help form those expectations and plans for advertising and the other elements of your marketing plans.

If you are looking for help in getting started, tracking your campaigns, evaluating the data…or anything else related to advertising, marketing, content creation, etc. please…reach out.