3 Key Insights from Facebook’s Build To Break

Some epic Facebook statistics: 93% of marketers use Facebook Ads regularly, images account for 75-90% of advertising performance, and the average CPC is $1.72 while the average CTR is 0.9%.

In short, it’s no surprise Facebook has quickly become a staple in the channel marketing repertoire of millions of companies.

But that doesn’t mean all marketing campaigns are created equal; given the platforms endless amount of features, updates and shifts, there’s a great amount of learning to be done to become skillful at driving high performing campaigns.

~~Stage left, enter Facebook~~

The Build To Break conference is a semi-annual event held at Facebook headquarters where marketers from the most industry disrupting startups come to sharpen their Facebook prowess and use the tool for all its might.

I had the privilege to attend and couldn’t help but to share the 3 most valuable insights I learned along the way.

#1: Automation is King

Rumor has it the Facebook Advertising Algorithm is getting more intelligent by the minute as it collects more consumer data, and recently has reached a level of near human parity to be able to optimize for you.

Most importantly, in:

  • Targeting: no longer do marketers have to create niche target audiences to advertise to, but Facebook encourages you to target as broad as possible (18+ male & female across your target country) and the algorithm will itself target the right people as it collects clicks & conversions during the campaign
  • Placements: you’re encouraged to target “All Placements” (at the ad set level) across the Facebook network of apps (Instagram, Facebook, Audience Network) since weighing towards select placement has been known to overload their inventory and thus drive up costs (CPMs and CPCs)
  • Budgeting: Campaign budget optimization (CBO) is a recent feature that if toggled (at the campaign level), automatically shifts budget to ad sets that are performing best, in turn automating a cumbersome element of campaign management

#2: Not All Bids Are Created Equal

Bidding strategies are a misunderstood concept for millions of marketers and I was able to distill each of the 3 options on Facebook to their most essential purpose & strength:

  • Lowest Cost: gets you the “lowest hanging fruit” of leads first and then repeats that. However, this doesn’t take advantage of medium to high quality leads available and ultimately leads to rising costs over time (because of greater competition and spend)
  • Lowest Cost with Bid Cap: gets you a combination of low cost, middle, and potentially high quality leads (depends on how high your bid cap is). This is the recommended bid strategy by Facebook given it’s scaling-friendly and averages giving you higher quality leads than Lowest Cost
  • Target Cost: provides the most control by maintaining a stable CPA at your desired target cost with the tradeoff of missing out on the “low hanging fruit” leads that Lowest Cost gets you. Similar to Lowest Cost, Target Cost is said to be not ideal for scaling

#3: ABT: Always. Be. Testing.

Facebook encourages having a methodical approach to creative testing by 1st defining all the “variables” you could test.

For example, you could not only test imagery and copy, but also the models (ex. sexes, ages, emotions), call to actions (ex. button color, size, placement), framing (ex. 4 panes, 1 pane, vertical, landscape), logo (ex. placement, size), and point of view.

You could even do what Nike did, where they set a 15-day testing schedule, switching in a new variable every 3 days until they ultimately had the most optimally performing ad that they could expand upon.

Important to note they needed a large enough daily budget to be able to reach 50 conversions within each 3-day cycle.

In short, Facebook is constantly evolving and it’s to great have touchpoints with your Facebook representative so to make sure you’re abreast.

Cheers to Kristin Kupke and Yomei Kajita for their dedicated help and expertise, and of course Mark Zuck for giving the world a highly effective marketing channel for millions of companies.


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