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Power5 or how to collaborate with Facebook
These articles have been translated from the original French by Caitlin G. and Rafaelle Champagne.
I recently came across an article by Sprout Social titled "How the Facebook algorithm works and how to outsmart it." Though the article is interesting, the title bothered me for the simple reason that it's impossible to "outsmart" Facebook in any sustainable way.
One can easily find similar articles promoting unbeatable methods to always get great results on Facebook, but these methods haven't been properly tested and never work when put into practice.
The reason why these articles were written in the first place is due to the secrecy that shrouded Facebook's algorithm or best practices to obtain good results.
But the veil on this mystery was recently lifted when Facebook released the Power5.
The Power5 represents the 5 techniques that should be put in place to ensure that your campaigns have strong foundations and to make it easier to eventually increase your budget (scale).
The Power5 marks the end of an era of heavy consumption of all the data collected and processed by Facebook Ads in the goal of finding commonalities between successful campaigns.
The Power5 is proof that Facebook has become smarter than all of us and that it's better to work with the platform than to try to "outsmart" it.
In this article, we'll examine the 5 methods to implement to make sure that you have the strongest campaign structure before you consider scaling.
1 - Campaign Budget Optimization or CBO
Previously, when we launched a new campaign with multiple ad sets, the only possibility was to set an individual budget on each ad set.
What often happened was that some ad sets worked, while others didn't. Therefore we used to manually reduce the budget spent on less receptive audiences to increase the budget spent on the more receptive ones.
Naturally, those same audiences that worked well one day eventually ended up generating poor results after the budget increase. This process made optimization very unstable and added no value, since we had to constantly be at our screens in order to anticipate poor results.
At the end of the day, optimizing the budget was similar to the Cascades games found at carnivals.
You just put in one coin after another hoping to hit the jackpot (which never happens).
Facebook therefore launched Campaign Budget Optimization, or CBO, a tool that allows you to centralize your budget at the highest level, the Campaign, and eliminates unnecessary work.
You can see this option as soon as you create a new campaign. Get started soon, though, and give yourself time to adjust to it, as this option will be mandatory come September 2019.
Why is this interesting
Because instead of blindly investing in audiences that might (or might not) work, Facebook will always favor the best audience and automatically reduce the budget allocated to unprofitable audiences (depending on the chosen objective).
And, as experience has taught us, an audience that stops being profitable e one day can become profitable again a few days later. Facebook takes this into account.
This saves you from making decisions that are too drastic, and gives you a way out if one of your audiences becomes too costly.
It's also excellent for scaling.
Allocating the budget to the campaign rather than just the audience prevents you from overturning the status quo.
For the more cautious, you still have the ability to establish minimum/maximum spending for each ad set.
However, I advise that you be careful with this feature, as it has very rarely proven to be profitable for us.
To summarize, with the CBO, Facebook is asking you to stop forcing it to spend on audiences that don't work, thus avoiding degrading your results
2 - Automatic Ad Placement
Let's be honest:
Who's ever unchecked all of the placement boxes, other than the box for Facebook Feed?
We've probably all had the same thought: People are on Facebook to scroll through content. Why advertise elsewhere?
But with the advent of Instagram, the decline in Facebook users, and the sheer number of advertisers on the platform, your small placement will only be profitable for a while.
That's why Facebook now recommends that you stop using this technique, as you are forcing it to broadcast content within a saturated space, which will result in:
- You paying more.
- Your ad not running continuously (because there's a better one among your competitors).
- Slower learning and decreased optimization.
According to Facebook tests, automatic placement across all platforms could lower your costs by 20%.
However, don't forget to set up your ads in Stories format to give them the best possible appearance. Just select the option below when you're on the original advertisement.
Once this is done you will be able to import a format dedicated to this placement. Take into account, though, that your ad will no longer be able to be duplicated by its ID and that you will only have original ads.
In short, with Automatic Placements, Facebook invites you to stop using placements that have either become too expensive or that aren't always accessible.
3 - Dynamic Product Ad or DPA
We’ll make this short as we’ve already covered this system in another article (part 3B), and because Dynamic Product Ads are sometimes complicated to set up depending on the sales manager that you are using e.g. Shopify, WordPress, etc.. We cannot say with certainty that this tool is useful to everyone.
To briefly explain how it works, when you visit a product page and then come back to Facebook, an ad may appear for that specific product along with other, complementary ones. The latter would be a DPA.
Facebook and your e-commerce manager will take care of exchanging data so that you can target the same person and offer them the products for which they've shown an interest.
This can even be used in acquisition with the powerful Collection format.
Again, DPAs are a way to give Facebook more options (and less restrictions) with regard to the product it has to sell. Essentially, the more leeway Facebook is given, the better it performs.
To summarize, DPAs are the "off Facebook" optimization. In addition to optimizing the broadcast location or audience, Facebook now has a hand in what you sell
4 - Auto Advanced Matching
This is a new feature that is not yet mandatory. It won't have an immediate impact on your ads and their delivery, either. However, it's important to take it into consideration.
This tool allows Facebook to capture more conversions (e.g. sales) on your campaigns, and increase the quality and quantity of your retargeting (and Lookalike) audiences.
You visit a website to shop for products. You leave your email address and phone number during a checkout visit, but you don't complete your purchase.
Through encryption (without capturing sensitive data), Facebook will be able to add to its targeting an email, a phone number, a postal code, etc.
If we go further, when you return to the site to complete your purchase (without going through Facebook) and register the same data (email, phone), the sale can be attributed to Facebook if you haven't gone beyond the campaign's conversion window. It will have recognized the information you gave during your previous visit.
To set it up, simply go to your Events Manager and follow these steps.
In short, Auto Advanced Matching allows Facebook to have a clearer understanding of its performance and access better retargeting audiences. It’s another way that makes it more likely for the platform to get you results.
5 - Account Simplification
This is perhaps the most IMPORTANT point of this entire article; it's what we're gradually doing with all of our clients, and it works! I'll probably do a full article, complete with tests, in the future to more thoroughly explain the maneuver.
Account Simplification is a technique that drastically reduces the number of campaigns, audiences, and advertisements in place.
We're used to testing a lot of elements, and this can have a negative impact in the long run if you don't make concrete decisions afterwards:
- You have several campaigns with the same objective: you are competing against yourself.
- You have restricted audiences: you are restricting Facebook.
- You have exactly the same audiences in different campaigns: you are competing against yourself.
- You have a lot of audiences (and / or ads) in place: You're preventing Facebook from achieving its 50 results a week with too many elements to continuously test and deliver.
Here, Facebook simply asks you to have a single acquisition campaign: 2 to 3 broad (but different) audiences and a maximum of 2 to 3 ads in each.
However, that doesn't stop you from testing. That's actually what Ralph Burns continues to recommend on his podcast Perpetual Traffic.
In my opinion, this last point is the most significant in terms of the level of intelligence reached by Facebook's algorithm. With account simplification, it clearly tells you: Let me do it and it'll be all right!
6 – Conclusion
Now that you've read the article, you probably understand why Sprout's title irked me. Facebook has reached a level of intelligence that simply urges you not to clutter it with unnecessary elements that just slow down its algorithm. It's therefore unrealistic to think of surpassing it in the long run.
I'm not suggesting that it's impossible to achieve good results within the first few days (72 hours maximum) with "innovative" techniques. It's true that Facebook tends to deliver ads quickly at the beginning of a brand new campaign. But if you don’t have a high-quality Facebook campaign, it will quickly come to a standstill.
Money, placement, format (and product sold), conversion and audience are the most important elements of a campaign. Power5 can be seen as an upgrade of this whole system. So, if I can offer some final words of advice: when Facebook offers you a new tool, master it. Don't get left behind!