If you’re paying attention (and even if you’re not!), there’s a MAJOR change within Facebook ads that you need to know about…

Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO) is taking over by September 2019.

And in this episode, Senior Strategist Roger is walking you through the “how to’s” and what we’re seeing on the side of what’s working + what’s not with this *new* feature. (NOTE: It’s not really new; the new part is that it will soon be your only option within ads manager!)

Here’s a snapshot of what we’re talking about…

The MAJOR difference between the new + old features (+what you need to know now!)
The 3 steps we take within every single ad campaign
And how to work WITH Facebook v against it

So, bottom line – if you’re not playing with how to use CBO now, you need to start asap. Listen to this episode before you get started! (And as always, share your takeaways by taking @emilyhirsh on Instagram!)

Key Points:
[3:16] How does CBO affect “what” we scale, turn off, and test?
[4:59] This is a definite change. Your only option is to figure it out
[7:26] What do YOU choose + where do you have to entrust Facebook?
[10:07] Facebook will have more control (and that can feel uncomfortable at first).
[12:00] “How can you work WITH Facebook v against it?”

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Episode Transcripts:  

Emily Hirsh: I’m Emily Hirsh, and this is the Hirsh Marketing Underground podcast. Attention innovators, influencers, creators, and game changing entrepreneurs, your internet domination begins right here. We are the powerhouse marketers that you’ve been looking for. You’re already making waves in your industry, and we’re here to help amplify those waves of change by creating a connection that cuts through the noise. We take everything you’ve built inside your zone of genius and find its audience. With killer strategy and laser eye for impact, we launch multimillion dollar campaigns and skyrocket your reach online. And now, we are doing the unheard of. We’re unveiling everything we’ve learned, taking you behind the scenes with the Hirsh marketing team, and giving away the secrets to our clients’ success. Stay tuned for top converting strategy, ROI reports, and insider knowledge that you won’t find anywhere else. You’re changing the world, and we’re the team to help.

All right. Hey everybody. I have a special guest again, back on the podcast, Roger.

Roger: Hello.

Emily Hirsh: Our senior strategist, and today we’re talking to you guys about campaign budget optimization, which for those of you who don’t know, it’s a new Facebook feature. Facebook is always changing as we know, but actually it’s a pretty big one, because what it does, and Roger will go into more detail, but basically it optimizes your campaign from the budget level instead of right now, where you go into ad sets and set the budget, you would just set it at the campaign level. And Facebook is saying that this is how all campaigns are going to be by September. That might be a little bit pushed back, but that’s a huge deal, because if you don’t learn how to do this, you’re going to be stuck when you have no option but to do this.

Roger: Right.

Emily Hirsh: So our team has been testing and using this for the last couple of months, I think, when it’s really started to rollout and Roger has spent hours testing it. So he’s here…

Roger: Right.

Emily Hirsh: To share his takeaways. So go ahead Roger. Maybe start by sharing some of the top takeaways so far of using this.

Roger: Yeah, absolutely. And this was a feature that, it came out a few years ago, and no one was really excited to use it, just because it was very practical to have it at the ad set level. But what has been awesome to see in the Facebook ad community is, once they rolled out that it’s going to be the main way of things moving forward by September, people have been playing around with it a lot, and we’ve been getting some awesome, awesome results from it. And we’re really excited about the way that, the direction that it’s going, where Facebook is learning so much, and it’s collecting so much data. And it really in the end will make your life easier. So, here’s the main takeaways that we got from that. Every day with the team, we do three things. No matter what’s happening in Facebook world, we do three things: We scale what’s working, we turn off what’s not working, and then we find out what we’re going to test.

So whenever there’s a new strategy, or a new platform, a new something or other that comes up, all you have to do is go back to those three things: How will it affect my scale? How will it affect what I turn off? And how will it affect what I’m going to test? And if you can answer those three questions, you’re good. Don’t worry. Take a deep sigh of relief, and move on. So here are the ways that I find campaign budget optimization, or as I will tenderly call it, CBO, for the rest of the time, are affected by those three things. So, first let’s get into, how does it affect what we scale? So, when we look at our ads, usually the ad sets that are doing well, we just go in and scale the ad sets.

So we can’t really do that in CBO. You can set a minimum or maximum bid on each ad set, but really that’s more to make sure Facebook is spending ads that you want to really make sure are getting the spend. And I would say that’s more of when you have budgets above $1,000 for the campaign. So I wouldn’t recommend going and doing those settings just like you are with the ad set now. Instead what I’d recommend is, again, slowly increasing your budget at the campaign level. But I have found, at least in the initial phases, that I don’t like to touch the campaigns as much. I want to leave them on their own. So if I’m setting my budget at say, $250 a day for that campaign, and it’s doing well, I like to leave it alone, and I want to start thinking of how I can scale more horizontally across campaigns.

So what does that look like? Well that looks like audiences and interests – so maybe you have different campaigns with different categories of different types of interests. So you might have retailers as one, digital marketers as one, gurus as one, keywords as one … really broad-based, really refined ones … or scale out horizontally with your creatives. So you have your set audiences that have really converted well with these two creatives that work for you, but you really want to try some new messaging and some new images. Well scale out that way, try out those things in a separate campaign. So that’s how I would…

Emily Hirsh: So basically, let me just stop right there for a second, because this is so good. And I think this is like, a big takeaway. So basically right now we would do that in the ad sets, where you separate out the different creative and the different audience groups. But now with this you have to do several campaigns. So that’s like the biggest change people are going to see is, you’re going to have a lot more campaigns.

Roger: Yes. That’s exactly right. So if you looked in my ads manager two months ago, you would have seen maybe two or three campaigns with a lot of different ad sets in them and those things broken out. Now in my ads manager, you’ll see maybe 15 to 20 campaigns, because I’m scaling things out. And not to say that they’re all active, but I’m testing them out at the campaign level. That’s exactly right. So just like I would multiply out ad sets in a campaign, now I’m multiplying campaigns and looking at it from that more holistic, big picture perspective, which ultimately is what Facebook wants you to do. They want you to focus on having different creatives and not kind of spamming the same audiences over and over again. That’s the best way that you’re going to…

Emily Hirsh: Yeah, and we find that with, whenever Facebook rolls out something new like this or pushes this, like, you guys have no choice but to use this. It’s because it’s like, their algorithm is already going in that direction, and so it’s really going to just help the ad results by going with their way of wanting to do it basically.

Roger: Absolutely.

Emily Hirsh: So have you tested direct like, CBO campaigns versus regular ones and seen a difference in results recently?

Roger: I do, and I’m not going to say one is always performing better than the other. It’s always across the board. It’s more of, I would love to have the option to use both, because then I would always be able to use both and always be able to test both. But knowing that it’s not going to be an option come September … I mean, they did say that about standard events, and then it took them like, three years to eventually transition. But knowing that it may very well be the only way moving forward, we’re just kind of getting our minds wrapped around that right now. And if it’s not working, let’s not abandon it. Let’s figure out how to make it work.

Emily Hirsh: Yeah. And that’s so key is like, across our entire team, obviously we have to be ahead of this for when they roll it out for sure in September in all the accounts. And so like, Facebook controls it, and so you don’t have a choice but to try to make it work. And so, right now is when everyone should be starting to use it and test it.

Roger: Absolutely.

Emily Hirsh: So it’s not so foreign and tanking their results once it comes around, like who knows, maybe it will be September, right? And you have no choice but to use it. So basically, I think the biggest takeaway is that, really you’re letting Facebook do more work in the optimization. So just like, everybody think of it just like how Facebook could choose where the budget went in the ads within the ad sets. Now Facebook’s going to choose where the budget goes in all of the ad sets that you set within a campaign. And the only control factor you have is the budget of the entire campaign basically. And so then you’ll have multiple campaigns, testing, and you can kind of work the system that way, right? Just like how you used to, way back, work the system with ad sets and put only one image, because you had to make sure all the budget went there, now you could do that with campaigns and test it that way.

Roger: Yeah. And knowing that Facebook is going to isolate certain ad sets at a time, we’ve had some success with taking a great … So say we have a 1% purchase lookalike audience, we’ll put maybe 5-10 just slight variations of those in one campaign, because we know eventually Facebook is going to isolate a few of those. And that way we’re just setting ourselves for success. So even if Facebook only goes to like, one or two, it’s not a huge loss, because we’re using our best audience, and Facebook is just doing everything it can to find the winners in those audiences.

Emily Hirsh: Yeah. So what’s the minimum spend, and I know obviously it varies, but like, would you say that your guys are setting right now on your team, the CBO campaigns at, to make sure it’s enough budget?

Roger: Sure. Yeah. So, and that’s where I got into, how does this affect what we test? It affects very little. We’re still setting 30-50 ad sets, and we’re still looking at a desired KPI per ad set. So if I have a $5 KPI for an ad set, then I’m going to put my 30 in there, and I’ll put it at $150 a day. It affects very, very little. Yes, there will be some ad sets that don’t get as much spend, and we’re still kind of thinking through, when do we turn those off? Right now I’m under the impression of, or I’m under the influence of, “Hey, let’s give it that 24 hours.” And no matter what the spend is, maybe Facebook is determined, “Nah, not for me today.” And we just turn it off.

And if it doesn’t make a conversion within 24 hours, we’ve been turning them off. And then knowing, though, that that might not be because it’s a bad audience, now we can take those audiences out and turn them into another campaign. Whereas before we were kind of thinking, “Oh, well, maybe it’s a bad audience, or it’s not a good ad.” But maybe Facebook just didn’t find the conversions in that 24 hour period. That doesn’t mean it’s a waste. That just means, “Hey, let’s work with what we got, and then let’s take the stuff that didn’t work and put it in another campaign and test out that.”

Emily Hirsh: Yeah. So awesome. Yeah. Well that’s great. Is there any other big things that you’ve learned that, takeaways that you want to share just based on this?

Roger: Oh yeah, for sure. So, the last one that I was … So we talk about how we scale, we talk about how we test… And testing is pretty standard, it’s just like you’ve always been done doing things before… How we turn off has been a little bit different, and here’s why. And this is something, I want to credit one of my mentors, Jason Hornung, who’s been helping me think through a lot of this stuff. One of the things that I do for turning off now is, instead of looking at it from an ad set perspective, I do want to take the whole performance of the whole campaign into account right now. So instead of just turning off an ad set that’s out of KPI, I’m recognizing that Facebook is looking at it from a campaign perspective, and I’m recognizing that Facebook is possibly having some attribution errors.

So I will wait until the whole campaign trends out of KPI before I start turning off the high ad sets. Whereas before, I hope that makes sense, whereas before, if an ad set was out of KPI, I’m like, “All right, you’re done. Get out of here.” But if it’s that the campaign level now, because Facebook is looking at it from that holistic perspective, I’ll go, “Okay, now we’ll go in, I’ll shut things off,” and I look at just the active ad sets, so that it can tell me ceteris paribus, all things being equal, if this continues to perform as it is, then this is what the results will look like at the campaign level, and see if those results stick. Did that make sense? I know that it was a lot.

Emily Hirsh: It makes total sense, no, that makes total sense. And if you’re not as tech-y on Facebook, I think it will still make sense. But basically you’re letting Facebook have more control. And I think that this has always happened, where people tried to continually outsmart Facebook and its algorithm and control it so much. And I’ve seen this happen to the point where they put a million “ands” in their audiences, and they’re like, “This is going to be the best audience ever!” and it never works. And so it’s kind of the same concept here of like, you’re trusting Facebook a little bit with where it puts the budget, how it spends it, and letting it ride. And I think that’s hard for people to do honestly, because they want to just control it. But Facebook actually wants you to get good results, too. So they want you to spend more money, the want your campaign to work. And so you have to know, I think the key is, and what we are constantly doing on our team is, making sure we know how to work with Facebook’s algorithm and on the same side and not against it. And that really sounds like what you have to do here, too.

Roger: Yeah. And so first of all, I want to encourage everybody that’s using Facebook ads to start playing with CBO now, because you want to be ahead of the curve. And the second thing is, if you’re spending under $10,000 a day, even if you’re spending under $5,000 a day, your focus should not be on all of the Ninja stuff, all of the optimization stuff. As you just said, Emily, we’re working towards letting Facebook do its thing. Just keep focusing on your headlines. Just keep focusing on your messaging, keep focusing on your offers. At the end of the day, this won’t change so much that you need to change what you’re doing. It’s always been the same. Just focus on your messaging. Sure, as you get to the $10,000 plus a day, we have to start doing some strategies, which and you should talk to her Hirsh Marketing about stuff like that!

But if you’re doing under that, don’t let it freak you out. Facebook is just trying to take the control to get you the best results possible. Focus on your messaging.

Emily Hirsh: Yeah. I love that. Such a good note. Thank you so much. Thanks for sharing…

Roger: My pleasure.

Emily Hirsh: … all the information, and yeah, Facebook’s always changing. This will be another big one, just like it was when standard events went away and people freaked out finally when they pushed it out. So start playing with it now so you’re not freaked out if you are running your Facebook ads. And then as always, if you want to work with Team Hirsh, we are always staying ahead on this type of thing, because it’s so crucial to our clients’ success when the time comes that it switches over, and also now, so that we can get them the best results. So you can go to HelpMyStrategy.com to apply to work with our team. See you guys later.

Thanks for listening to the Hirsh Marketing Underground podcast. Go behind the scenes of multimillion dollar ad campaigns and strategies, dive deep into The Hirsh Process, and listen to our most popular episodes over at HirshMarketingUnderground.com. If you loved this episode of the podcast, do me a favor and head over to iTunes to subscribe and leave a review so we can reach more people and change more lives with this content. That’s all for now, and I’ll catch you next time.