Your 2024 Facebook ad optimization checklist is here. This guide provides techniques and recommends tools for fine-tuning campaigns and maximizing their impact.
There are tons of guides out there on how to create your first Facebook ad because, truth be told, that's the easy part. The hard part is figuring out what’s not working within your campaigns and going from barely profitable to creating ads that maintain a healthy ROI.
That's exactly what we'll be doing in this blog.
Optimizing your tracking and attribution
When optimizing your Facebook ads, you might be inclined to dive right into your creatives and targeting. After all, they're truly the most fun to optimize.
What's even more important, however, is ensuring that:
- You capture as much conversion data as you can to see the full spectrum of your results
- The data you do have is accurate and reliable so you can make the right decisions
That's why step one is to first analyze and optimize your tracking and attribution.
Unfortunately, due to changes brought about by the introduction of iOS 14, this has become increasingly harder yet even more important to do.
Without optimizing your ad tracking, you won't be able to verify the number of results (clicks, add to carts, purchases, etc.) or how much revenue you earned from those sales. This means you could easily wind up spending more money than you earn from your ads without even realizing it.
On top of that, you'll lose out on key audience insights or the ability to retarget those who land on your website. Retargeting audiences are some of the most powerful targeting options you have available and will be a key component in our audience optimization section below.
Suffice it to say, every minute you spend without the proper tracking setup is time spent throwing money down the drain. Instead, let's focus on how we can fix that situation for good.
We’re covering the 2 main methods of tracking your Facebook ad data - the Facebook Pixel and server-to-server tracking (Conversions API).
The Facebook (or Meta) Pixel
The Facebook Pixel (now called the Meta Pixel) is the primary tracking method when you create your ad account.
If you haven't yet installed the Pixel on your website, we have a full guide on the process here.
In short, you'll need:
- A website to place the code on and the ability to edit the code base (unless you’re using a website service that has a native integration)
- Access to your Facebook Business Manager account
- Your Pixel code (if installing manually)
Due to privacy issues, Apple has restricted the type and amount of data that third-party companies can send to your Facebook dashboard, particularly in the wake of changes in iOS14 and iOS17. This is also in line with the principles of Google’s Privacy Sandbox.
Apple now requires every app in the App Store that tracks user data to prompt users by asking them if they’re willing to opt-in for tracking—meaning the default is to opt out of any tracking.
While this sounds like bad news, don't fret just yet. There is a way we can ensure we're capturing as much data as we possibly can from our ads.
Server-to-server tracking (Conversions API Gateway)
As we mentioned before, since iOS 14, Apple limits the data that's passed from third-party providers back into Facebook via the pixel.
To combat this, Facebook released the Conversions API feature and even went as far as to make this mandatory. Typically, this setup is done via a third-party integration like Shopify, WordPress, etc.
Unfortunately, as we learned earlier, that means the data is still passing through a third party, and thus, we’re not able to capture the data that’s being passed back and forth.
Facebook took another step forward and developed two solutions based on the Conversions API:
- Conversions API Gateway (using the Amazon API Gateway)
- Conversions API for Server-Side Google Tag Manager (GTM)
By using the Conversion API Gateway instead of the basic Conversion API setup, you can pass data directly from your hosting server to Facebook—meaning you become the first-party data provider and can skirt around the third-party rule.
The process looks a little something like this:
The Conversions API Gateway is superior as it's impervious to ad blockers and is not restrained by cookies or browser performance.
That being said, Facebook's recommendation is to use both the Pixel and Conversions API Gateway together. Facebook will de-dupe the triggered events internally by processing Meta events through both paths giving you more data without the extra headache.
You can find our setup guide on the Conversions API Gateway here.
In our opinion, only by using all 3 tracking services available to you (pixel, offline conversions, and Conversions API Gateway) can you capture the full spectrum of your ad results. This way, you can ensure you're making the best decisions about your ad strategy and keeping your campaigns ROI-positive.
What if I can't set up the tracking myself?
eCommerce business owners tend to wear a lot of 'hats' - manager, copywriter, designer, business strategist, etc. Unfortunately, to set up all of the tracking options above, you'd likely need to add ‘developer’ to that never-ending list.
That is unless you use Madgicx's Cloud Tracking.
With Cloud Tracking, Madgicx will set up and maintain all the tracking services we mentioned above within 1-2 business days - with no coding required on your end.
Our clients see an average lift of at least 20% higher ROAS inside their dashboards, meaning less money spent on inaccurate and outdated data and more budget allocated to highly profitable campaigns and ad sets.
You can get started with our Cloud Tracking services with the 14-day FREE TRIAL.
🚨 Cloud Tracking also comes with a money-back guarantee, meaning the only thing you have to lose is data by not taking advantage of this service 😏
Optimizing your Facebook ads targeting
Now that we've got our tracking set up, and we can be sure we're capturing all the data we can, we're ready to move on to the next step - analyzing the results we currently have and optimizing them.
We’ll start first by analyzing and optimizing your Facebook ads strategy.
Full-funnel targeting optimization
First, we want to take a step back and look at our targeting strategy as a whole to make sure we cover the entire sales funnel. One of the first things you might find is that you don’t even have a Facebook funnel to analyze.
It's easy to want to shoot straight to the point and go for a direct purchase campaign off the bat. After all, we all want to earn money from our Facebook ads right away.
The truth of the matter is that people typically don't buy straight out of the gate from a company they've never heard of. Therefore, you need to create an entire sales funnel that takes your audience from complete strangers to loyal customers.
Each step of the funnel should have a different strategy, message, and goal. Here's an example of a traditional Facebook ad funnel:
📣 Acquisition prospecting is a stage geared toward reaching new audiences and introducing them to your brand. The targeting setup here should be for cold audiences who have never interacted with your brand before.
🤝 Acquisition re-engagement focuses on taking that new handshake to the next step by getting them to visit your website. You would be using engagement-based custom audiences here.
🔁 Retargeting is where the action starts to happen and is all about finalizing the sale (or getting leads). This is where retargeting based on website visitors comes into play.
Retention builds upon the trust you’ve built with your new customers and helps them turn into repeat buyers. You should be working with targeting current or previous customers in the retention phase.
You must have campaigns (and, therefore, audiences) at every stage of the funnel to create a self-sustaining cycle of evergreen leads for your business.
How to create a Facebook ad sales funnel
If you find that your targeting strategy misses one (or more) of these audiences, don’t worry. There’s no time like the present to fix it. Here’s an overview of how to set up a Facebook ad sales funnel that converts:
The first step of this funnel is the prospecting stage. For this first step, we're trying to find people who have never heard of us before and showcasing info on who we are and what problems we solve. For audience targeting, we want to use lookalike audiences, location-based audiences, and general interest targeting tactics.
Video ads are particularly good for this step as they allow you to retarget people who have watched them, which will help you in the next step of the funnel. Carousel ads are a good option as well, given the amount of virtual real estate they offer, and work well for those who have more traditional e-commerce goals.
Working our way down the funnel, we then arrive at re-engagement. We’ve warmed up our audiences by giving them a friendly handshake in the first step, but now’s the time to push the needle and get them to visit our website or landing page.
At this stage, engagement-based custom audiences will help us find the best people to target. Ideally, you’d use the following types:
- Video engagements - People who have watched videos from your campaigns
- Instant experience - People who have engaged with your Instant Experience ads
- Shopping - People who have viewed or engaged with your Facebook shop
- Facebook/Instagram page likes - Fans of our Facebook/Instagram page
Sales and interactions are based on a foundation of trust. So, those who have previously interacted with your brand and had a positive outcome are more likely to take the next step and consider purchasing than strangers.
Special note: Make sure to exclude website visitors from these campaigns to ensure we're only targeting those who have not visited our site yet.
If we lived in a world where everyone who clicked on an ad immediately purchased from us, there'd be no need for guides like this. For those of us living in this plane of existence, retargeting is the much-needed next step of the funnel.
At this step, we want to target those who have visited our website (or viewed our lead form for lead gen advertisers) but have not yet purchased (or become a lead) and convince them to do just that. You can do this by creating a custom audience based on:
☑️ Website visitors who have viewed your store page (exclude those who purchased)
☑️ Those who have viewed your lead form or landing page (exclude those who have filled it out)
☑️ Using product catalog retargeting with Dynamic Product Ads (again, excluding purchasers)
☑️ People who added items to their cart (excluding those who purchased)
Fun fact 🤓: Retargeting can increase conversion rates by up to 150%!
So, given that you’re trying to go for gold and make a sale, you should be offering your best discounts and products. Try combining free shipping, coupons, or even free items with your ads to make the offer irresistible.4.
The easiest customer to sell to is one who has already purchased from you in the past—which is coincidentally the next stage of the funnel.
In the retention stage, we can use the product purchase information we already have from customers to cross-sell or upsell relevant products or services that will add value to their previous purchases.
For example, if a customer has just purchased a mobile device from you, you can use these campaigns to advertise a carrying case or other related accessories.
Here you can use:
☑️ Email list custom audiences based on current customers
☑️ Website custom audiences of those who have completed the purchase event
☑️ Product catalog retargeting focused on those who have already purchased
As for the best creative angle, the answer is pretty simple for eCommerce advertisers - Dynamic Product Ads. By combining the power of your product catalogs with their retargeting abilities, Facebook can automatically suggest relevant products for you instead of having to create a specific campaign for every product you have.
Audience type optimization
After you have your funnel up and running, you can then start analyzing and optimizing each of the audiences you’ve set up. You can start by reviewing the performance of the audience types you’re already using to get a general baseline.
When you do this audit, remember to only analyze and optimize audience types in the same stage of the funnel. For example, don’t compare the ROAS of a prospecting audience to that of a retargeting one, as they cover completely different segments and goals.
Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t make analyzing the audiences very simple or intuitive. The best way I’ve found to view these audience types side by side is to use naming conventions that reflect my audience types. You can then view this data inside Meta Ads Manager:
Unfortunately, if you have different campaigns using the same audience type, you’d need to combine their results to accurately judge them against the others.
If you have a Madgicx account, you can view the data on each of your audiences from every campaign inside Targeting Insights.
You’ll also be able to see how much these audiences have spent, the ROAS, Cost per Purchase, and Outbound CTR all in one place. If all that wasn’t enough, you’ll be able to see performance trends over time in the Performance Overview column.
Once you’re ready, you can then start creating different audience types to test them against each other at each stage. Then you’re able to scale your campaigns better based on those results. If you find that interest targeting is working better than lookalikes, for example, then you could focus on those audiences and reduce or even pause the budget of the other audience types to focus on what drives the best results.
Consider creating some of these tests when setting up your campaigns:
- Interest targeting vs. lookalike audiences
- Lookalike audience percentages (1%, 2%, 5%, 10%)
- Video watchers vs. page fans
- Video watchers of specific view percentages (95% viewed vs. 75% viewed, etc.)
- 30-day vs. 60-day website visitors
- Visitors who have shown higher intention (added items to their cart, added payment info, etc.)
- Product catalog sets
- Upsell vs cross-sell targeting
Facebook doesn’t feature the ability to use pre-made audience templates, so you’ll need to create these different audiences on your own.
If you want to spare yourself hours of work (and headaches), Audience Launcher features 100+ audience templates that you can use to create these segments in just a few clicks.
After you’ve launched your tests, you can wait for the data to roll in and repeat the process until you find the perfect funnel combination for your business.
Optimizing your campaign settings
While targeting, tracking, and budget optimization are crucial, sometimes we can lose sight of what we might think of as smaller or less important settings.
Some of these settings, however, can have the biggest impact on your campaign’s performance and delivery—therefore, this section of the blog is dedicated to general campaign settings optimization tips.
Budget distribution optimization
Part one of funnel creation is setting up the right environment to lead our prospects down the path to becoming a customer. Likewise, you should also ensure you’re budgeting the correct amount for every stage to make sure your flowing funnel doesn’t turn into a leaky faucet.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to identify your percentage of spend by funnel stage in Ads Manager as there’s no ‘funnel stage’ breakdown. The best way to analyze how much you’re currently spending across your funnel stages is to
- Identify and manually tag each campaign by sales funnel stage.
- Add up the total amount of money spent in each stage.
- Calculate the percentage of your total monthly budget that each stage takes up.
You can add a tag to any campaign by clicking the checkbox next to the campaign name inside Ads Manager and selecting the tag icon to sort your campaigns.
The rest, unfortunately, is manual spreadsheet math. If you have a Madgicx account, however, we’ll show you a breakdown of your top KPIs by funnel stage in the Meta dashboard.
Since you now know how much you’re spending across the funnel stages, you can review your spend percentages to see if they match our guidelines. Our recommendation for budgeting the funnel stages is:
- 70-80% Acquisition (Prospecting + Re-engagement)
- 15-20% Retargeting
- 5-10% Retention
If you’re a visual learner, here’s a quick illustration of the stages and their respective budget.
⚠️ If your campaign goals are focused on getting leads (think real estate, B2B sales motions, etc.), the retention phase doesn't apply unless you have a partner affiliate program to use.
Instead, you can re-invest this budget allotment evenly back into the retargeting and acquisition section of the funnel. Just note that retargeting doesn’t get more than 20% of the total budget.
Campaign objective optimization
Each campaign should have a clear, action-oriented goal in mind before you ever hit the publish button. The campaign objective is your way of giving Facebook that information so they, in turn, can direct their algorithm to find people who are more likely to take that action.
Each campaign objective has different settings available (placements, ad formats, and optimization for ad delivery) that are geared towards getting you that end result you’re looking for. Therefore, in order to optimize for the right objective, you need to make sure your campaign objective aligns with the goal of the campaign.
There are currently 11 different campaign objectives on Facebook. However, Facebook is making changes at the moment to whittle this number down to just 6. These 6 are:
- App Promotion
For most e-commerce goals, your main choice here should always be Conversions, which is now called ‘Sales’. However, as with all things, the main thing we want to do here is to test and see which objectives give us the best results.
If you want to view this information on Facebook, you can do this one of two ways. First, you can go to Ads Manager and customize your default view to add Objective into the columns.
After you do this, there’s still some manual work to be done. Once you have the Objective column you can add up the performance data of all the campaigns with that specific objective and compare them against each other to see which performed best.
Those with Madgicx accounts will have a much easier job by viewing the Campaign Objective chart inside Auction Insights.
Here, we can quickly see a breakdown of all our campaign objectives, as well as how much we’ve spent on each and their ROAS. After analyzing your data, you can then use your best-performing objectives for your next campaigns.
Advantage campaign budget vs. Ad-Set Budget Optimization (ABO)
There’s only one thing more divisive than the age-old Star Trek vs. Star Wars debate—and that’s whether to use Advantage campaign budget (formerly known as campaign budget optimization (CBO)) or ad-set budget optimization (ABO).
The main difference between the two lies in how the campaign budget is split among its ad sets.
With Advantage campaign budget, the budget is set at the campaign level. Facebook’s algorithm then optimizes the budget automatically to split it between the campaign’s ad sets (based on performance).
Ad-set budget optimization takes the opposite approach. With this approach, the budget is set for the ad sets individually, and the optimization of the budget happens on the ad level.
While the technical difference is ‘small,’ there are several pros and cons to each approach. So much so that we created an entire chart for it 😉
As with everything else, this is something you’d want to test yourself before you decide which you want to go with.
The easiest way to analyze this on Facebook is to use our old friend Tags. Just like with the other analytics, you’ll need to tag each campaign with ABO/CBO, add up your results, and go from there.
And just like everything else, Madgicx has this information built into our dashboards already inside Auction Insights under Campaign Type and Budget.
From here, we’ll split your ABO and CBO campaigns and their respective data side by side. You can also refine your results further and dive deep into ROAS, ad spend, and outbound CTR. This will allow you to really understand if CBO or ABO performs better for you.
Our recommendation for this optimization is actually to use a combination of both, depending on where you are with your campaign status. ABO is best for testing out new ad sets or audiences. We at Madgicx typically use this strategy for our experimental campaigns where we’re testing different audiences.
After we’ve picked out the winning strategy by using ABO, we then use CBO to scale our winning audiences. Moreover, we recommend using CBO mostly in acquisition prospecting campaigns.
However, if you see that CBO performs better for you in any other funnel stage - or for test campaigns - leverage that. Everything depends on your results, and every ad account is different. We have our recommendations, but you should try them for yourself.
Bid strategy optimization
If you need to catch the train during rush hour, you know there are only so many who can cram in the small space before the train leaves the station, and the stragglers are left behind.
This is similarly true for the Facebook ads auction. During the ad auction, Facebook ranks advertisers on a myriad of things, including;
- Your ad relevance. Facebook uses its ad relevance statistics to calculate how relevant your ads are to your target audience.
- Estimated action rates. Facebook also wants to make sure your target audience is likely to take your desired action (purchase, click, etc.).
- Bid. Much like a train, Facebook is also a pay-to-ride system. In this case, Facebook judges how much you’re bidding compared to what other advertisers are paying for the same bid, as well as what prices you typically pay for such actions.
The most important thing to remember here is that the correct bidding strategy is critical to your success. If your bid is too low, you’re likely to see restricted delivery or worse—no impressions on your ad at all.
The first step to optimizing your bid is to review what your goals for that campaign actually are. If you’re following our Facebook ad funnel, this will change from campaign to campaign.
From there, you can then choose from Facebook’s bidding strategies depending on the stage they’re in.
Overall there are three different types of bidding categories, each with its own unique strategy—spend-based bidding, goal-based bidding, and manual bidding.
🚀 Spend-based bidding focuses on spending your entire ad budget to get the most results possible. This includes the highest volume and highest value bid strategies.
- Highest volume aims to give you the most conversions at the cheapest cost and is the default bid strategy for ad campaigns. This is useful for top-of-the-funnel campaigns (prospecting) where the goal is to reach as many people as possible.
- Highest value is designed to get the maximum value from a conversion. This means Facebook will try to go after people who would likely result in driving more revenue for your campaign. Since it’s revenue-focused, this would work well for the re-engagement, retargeting, and retention steps.
🎯 Goal-based bidding, on the other hand, is for those who need to stick to a strict budget and who are very aware of their current costs.
- Cost cap bidding lets you set the desired CPA you want to maintain for as long as possible. This makes it perfect for lead-gen advertisers at the retargeting stage who need to keep a flat cost per lead.
- Minimum ROAS bidding is used to ensure a minimum return on your overall budget. If you’re selling products with a low price point and need to ensure a bare minimum return, this is a great bidding method for the re-engagement, re-targeting, and retention phase.
🛠️ Manual bidding is for seasoned Facebook ad veterans who have hard data on their costs and want the most control possible over their bids.
- Bid cap bidding strategy is similar to cost cap, albeit more strict. Here, you set the maximum amount you want to pay for each auction without going over it. You can use this at any stage of the funnel, but ensure you have accurate data on your costs before you do.
Here’s a handy chart you can save that has a quick explanation of them all:
If you’re already using different bid strategies for your campaigns, that’s great news! However, you should always analyze and optimize your bidding strategies by comparing them together.
In order to analyze your bid strategy performance, you can view them together by using the bidding and optimization view inside Ads Manager.
If you don’t want to go through your campaigns and ad sets one by one, you can get an overview of your bidding strategies in Madgicx’s Auction Insights tool.
If you find that your bidding needs a little work and your results are lackluster, there are a few things that you can do to optimize it:
- Make sure your ad is of good quality
- Ensure your ads are relevant to their target audience
- Spend more than the bare minimum bid
If you still can’t seem to make it work with the strategies you’re trying now, test multiple bidding strategies and varying amounts to see what works.
Chances are if you’re asked where you’d want your ads to appear on Facebook, you’d proudly proclaim, “Absolutely everywhere!” However, your wallet may be a little less likely to take that leap.
Instead, we can pick and choose where our ads will be shown on Facebook—leading us to the ad placement optimization dilemma.
There are currently over 19 different ad placements across Facebook, Instagram, and the Audience Network. Each of these placements has a different cost, ad format, and, typically, ROAS. When you create your campaign, you can choose to have Facebook automatically select the best placements for you, or you can select your own.
Unfortunately, the only way to figure out which placements are best for you is to do what scientists do best and experiment.
Once you have campaign data and have been using a variety of placements, you can view the results inside Ads Manager to determine which placement is giving you the best ROAS to optimize performance.
Of course, Facebook (again) makes this difficult. In order to view these stats, you need to go to the ad or ad set level and then select Breakdown>Delivery>Placement inside Ads Manager.
You then need to customize the columns to add ROAS. Since Facebook won’t group these all together for us, you’d need to add up all of the placement results together and calculate your own ROAS per placement type manually.
Madgicx customers have it way easier, thanks to Auction Insights. This tool will collect all the placement data on your account and show you how each placement performs and which truly moves the needle.
After you’ve determined which placements are giving you the best results, you can continue to use the top performers in your future campaigns and focus on testing things like ad copy and creatives.
Optimizing budget with loss-prevention automation
Retail stores have one thing that Facebook advertisers wish they had—a loss prevention department.
While we can’t send a team of tiny security guards into the Facebook platform to do our bidding, there are some ways we can prevent serious loss of revenue during our tumultuous testing phases. We do this by using Facebook’s automated rules.
Rules are a simple tool we can use to say, “If X happens, then do Y.” You can find them by clicking on the Rules button inside Ads Manager.
With rules, we can make sure to set specific hard caps on the spent budget and automate actions, so we’re not constantly staring at Ads Manager every second of the day. Today, we’ll cover our top three examples of optimizing your budget with automation.
Permanent stop loss for underperforming ads
When testing new creatives and audiences, you’re taking a risk that what you’re doing can cause you to lose money. This can happen quickly and means that you need to be vigilant.
Therefore, it’s good to have a rule set up that prevents you from spending too much without any results.
To combat this, we want to create some rules that pause our ad sets when they go below our typical ROAS.
Our rule setup should be based on these factors:
✔️ Hours since creation greater than 72 (to give our ads some time to perform)
✔️ The amount spent in the last 7 days is greater than or equal to 1.2x the account’s average CPP in the last 7 days (to allow enough spend to drive results)
✔️ ROAS in the last 7 days is lower than 0.5x the average account ROAS in the last 7 days
We recommend setting up these same rules at the ad-set level to cover targeting experiments and at the ad level to pause unprofitable creative experiments.
Unfortunately, this setup is not possible to replicate inside Ad Manager as you’d need to use a tool that can set up these advanced rules for you: like Madgicx.
For Madgicx customers, this feature lies inside the Advanced Automation Strategies and will already take your averages into consideration, so you won’t have to do any math when setting them up.
Temporary stop loss for ads that don’t drive clicks
Another thing to pay attention to when testing your ads is your clicks, as it can take some of the biggest nosedives, particularly when testing your creative elements.
To combat that, we’d also like to create a temporary stop loss for ads that don’t drive clicks.
This rule is a bit more simple than our last: our only goal here is to pause ads that have cost us more than $10/click. Of course, you can set a lower or higher amount, depending on your average CPC.
Given that this rule is based on clicks (and not Pixel data), it won’t be affected by iOS 14 changes, and thus, it won’t have any issues with data that isn’t tracked.
Ideally, we’d like this rule to only run for today and then turn our campaign back on tomorrow. After all, if the ad has only spent $10, there’s a chance that it could still perform well but it just needs some time to do so.
However, with Facebook rules, there’s no way to set the rule to turn off and turn your ads on again at midnight, so you’d need to use a tool like Madgicx that has this ability built in.
Revive ads you turned off due to delayed attribution
Given all we learned earlier about iOS14 and its changes, it may come as no surprise that some conversions can be attributed to ad sets at a later date.
For this issue, we actually want to create a rule to turn on ad sets that had been previously paused due to what we thought was underperformance at the time.
The conditions will be ROAS in the last 7 days greater than 1.5x the average account ROAS in the last 7 days. The spend for the previous day should also be set to 0.
Sometimes you might want to pause ad sets and ads and keep them paused even if the performance looks great. Perhaps it’s because you ran a limited-time offer or your products are sold out. In this case, you can make sure the automation only applies to ad sets that do not have “PAUSED” in their name. Just remember to add “Paused” to the ad set name when you want to keep it paused no matter what, and the automation won’t regard it.
These three rules are just a small sprinkling of things you should be adding to your ruleset and, in our opinion, are the bare minimum.
Inside Madgicx, we have created an entire rule-based template for every possible situation you may find yourself in with Automation Tactics.
Within this powerhouse lies a rule for every situation. You’ll find rules for frequency limits, pausing losing ads for the day (like we did before) and even ones to help you scale your ads/ad sets that are performing better than normal.
If all that wasn’t enough, Custom Automation Tactics also gives you complete control over every aspect of our rule system, meaning you can create sophisticated automated rules for any situation and metric.
Optimizing your Facebook ad creatives
Now, we’ve come to the most fun you can have with Facebook ads (aside from rolling in all the money you’ll have earned by following this guide)—optimizing the creative side of your ads.
Ad format optimization
Before we even go into copy and design, we need to focus on what sort of ad type we want to use for our campaigns in the first place.
As with all the things we’ve seen here today, the type of ad you use can vary widely depending on what the goal of your campaign is and what stage of the funnel you’re at.
That being said, you can easily use a video campaign in both a prospecting and a retargeting campaign as long as the content is personalized for each goal, so feel free to get creative with what you use.
There are five general ad formats available on Facebook:
- Image - an ad with a single image
- Video - an ad with a video
- Carousel - a swipeable ad that features multiple images
- Instant Experience - a full-screen experience for mobile devices
- Collection - Multiple product callout images that open into an Instant Experience
The best way to see which format works is to simply test them on your own and see which gives you the best results. One way to do so is to test them against each other using the A/B testing available inside Facebook and then view the results under the Experiment tab.
This would need to be repeated for every ad format you’d like to test across your account. Just like before, you’d need to collect all the data across all of your tests and compare them together to find the winners.
Inside Madgicx, you can find this data inside without having to set up split tests in the first place.
In the Creative Insights dashboard, you’ll find a list of ad formats used in your account, as well as data on your most important KPIs so you can see your results right next to your spend.
Once you’ve tested your formats, all you need to do to optimize this part of your strategy is focus on your top-performing formats in future campaigns.
When I read online articles about optimization, I typically see the design element at the top of the list. While the design of an ad is typically the part that grabs your eye, the messaging is what inspires us all to take the opportunity that's in front of us at the end of the day.
Messaging to us refers to the overall tone of your ad, not just the words you use. It looks at how you speak to your audience and the overall feeling the graphics and copy convey.
While creating messaging is its own skill, there are a few tried-and-tested best practices that you should always follow when creating high-converting copy:
- Know your audience before you write. Take a step back and put yourself in the mind of your prospective buyer and write with words and terms they use.
- Use emotion to drive action. We’re emotional creatures at heart, and emotions can be used to sway your audience into taking that next step. You can use FOMO (the fear of missing out) to urge your audience to take action soon or speak about their problem with empathy and endear them to your brand.
- Test often and think differently. While we always recommend split testing, oftentimes, we see split tests in copy that change only one word of the sentence. Instead, think about testing two completely different approaches. For example, you might want to test several of the benefits of your product against each other to see which intrigues your audience the most.
For this optimization, we can set it up exactly as we did before by running an A/B test on Facebook and viewing the results on the Experiments tab. Again, we’re limited by having to manually process this information ourselves for the next tests.
Madgicx users are a bit luckier in that they have the power of AI backing their copywriting skills 24/7 and can find a breakdown of their copy under Ad Copy Insights.
Here, we’ll give you a complete breakdown of everything copy—including length, which emoji to use, and even which copy works best for each of your audience segments.
By using these features, you can pinpoint what to say at each stage of the funnel to drive your audience one step closer to your goals.
Last but not least in any regard, comes design optimization. While you can technically argue that copy is design, we’re specifically talking about the graphic elements of your ad.
Just like with messaging, the design can help to further expand upon the tone and impression we want to convey. Therefore, it’s important to create an array of different designs to see which works best.
There are a few basic rules to follow when designing your ads:
☝️ Design with your end goal in mind. If the goal of the ad is to purchase a specific product, don’t create an image that promotes another product or offer in the process.
☝️ Don’t create a wall of text. The fewer words you can use in your image to convey a point, the better. Images with too much text are typically hard to read (especially if you’re targeting older audiences). In fact, Facebook used to penalize images with an image composed of more than 20% text.
☝️ Keep on brand. If you take a moment to think about it, you can pretty easily remember the features of your favorite brand. You might remember the colors, logos, how the font looked, etc. So wouldn’t it be strange to see a different version of those items constantly rotating? Try to stick to your brand's general color palette and overall design themes when creating ads.
If you’re not a creative person by nature, don’t fret. Madgicx’s Creative Workflow has your Facebook ads covered from inspiration to deployment.
The Madgicx Ad Library, available for free to everyone, allows you to easily spy on your competitors or other brands in the industry, getting a bird’s-eye view of what is trending. It also lets you save ads and organize them in boards for just $9/month!
Once you’ve got your inspiration, you can submit a quick design brief along with your ad references. Our design magicians will get working ASAP to bring your ads to life—all without draining your budget!
After you’ve received your ads, you can then optimize them. And yes, Madgicx has yet another tool to solve this ugly pain point - Madgicx Creative Insights.
Creative Insights analyzes your own ad elements with AI-based object recognition to identify the specific points that give you the best results at the lowest price.
You’re more than welcome to continue sticking with Facebook’s age-old data viewpoints, or you can sign up to use Madgicx during a 7-day FREE TRIAL and get access to this and all of the other features we mentioned today for $0.
The ultimate Facebook ad optimization checklist
No guide is complete without a full checklist. Here’s a quick overview of how to optimize all of your Facebook ad assets that you can use whenever your campaigns need a tune-up. You’re welcome 😉
Meet Madgicx: the secret weapon used by the top ad agencies! 😎 It’s a super app that offers you AI optimization, automation, creative production, cross-channel reporting, targeting, and tracking - and you can try it for FREE!
Tory is a digital marketing specialist and the current Marketing Manager of Breadcrumbs.io. She's been featured in various high-profile marketing blogs like Hootsuite, AdEspresso, and Databox and holds certificates for both Google and Facebook Ads. In her spare time, she gardens and paints from her house in the Florida panhandle.