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Inside a Facebook ad account spending 20k/pm (How to structure an ad account for scale)

My agency is currently onboarding a client spending between 10k to 20k/pm on Facebook ads. I thought I would cover the things we found in our initial audit and what we discussed in our first discovery call. Hopefully, this will give everyone an insight into how we structure a small-medium sized ad account for scale, and the initial steps we take to optimise a Facebook strategy for maximum results.

It is an eCommerce store and the marketing has been managed by an agency for a little over a year. The account peaked last year at about a 6x ROAS in April and has been on a steady decline since. Last month saw a 3x ROAS across the board.

I’m sure you could attribute some of the decline in performance to IOS 14, but we found many errors in the account and a lack of structure overall. The decline in performance is a result of more than just IOS 14.

Here’s what we found in our audit:

General mistakes:

There were many little errors throughout the account that needed fixing. These are the little things that I preach all the time:

  • There were a few campaigns optimised for events such as landing page views and atc. These campaigns were running to make sales so they should be optimised for purchases.
  • Some campaigns were using a lifetime budget. This makes for sporadic budget distribution and less control.
  • Audience expansion was being used in many ad sets. This hinders audience testing and scaling as you don’t know who your ad is being shown to.
  • There was not one single interest ad set in the testing campaign. All of the audiences were stacked, including the LLA audiences.

Strategy suggestions

Despite seeing some very good results in the past, this ad account lacked structure and there was lots of room for improvement.

TOF strategy

Problems:

There was a TOF campaign setup but testing was minimal. There were 2-3 interest ad sets but they were all stacked, and a couple were using audience expansion. There were also a few LLA campaigns and many of them were also stacked. Some ad sets had a combination of LLAs and interests.

There was one interest ad set that had been running for months and it had generated a majority of the revenue at the TOF. However, it had 6-7 interests in the one ad set.

The TOF creatives/copy were much more solid than the targeting and structure. The creatives were high quality and there was quite a bit of variation. There was a good mix of image, video and carousel. The copy was a little weak. The products are health/wellness and usually with this niche, it’s important to lead with problem-focused copy. However, the copy led with details of the product and lacked a strong hook. Lots of the copy employed a strange use of hashtags, which I would usually recommend against unless they’re being used for branding purposes.

Solutions:

A solid testing campaign is probably the most important thing this account needs. As mentioned above, there’s an ad set that has been running profitably for months. It would be great to separate the 6-7 interests in this ad set into single ads sets and test them against one another. I’d be interested to see which of these interests perform well and which don’t, and scale the ones that do perform.

It’s also important that new interests are constantly being introduced to the testing campaign. Pretty much all of the interests being used were directly related to the niche. Secondary/indirect interests can perform surprisingly well and it’s important that they’re tested, especially for brands with substantial budgets. LLA’s should also be tested in the same way that interests are.

The account only had one TOF campaign and I’m not really sure if it was intended to be for testing or scaling, perhaps a strange blend of both. The TOF should be separated into two campaigns, testing and scaling. The testing campaign should be ABO and the scaling campaign should be CBO.

The copy needs to be adjusted to include a stronger hook and more problem-focused copy. The products solve a quite significant problem for a certain demographic and it’s important that this is used to the brand's advantage. It’s ok to include details about the product in the copy, they should just come after the problem-focused hook.

MOF & BOF

Compared to the TOF, the MOF and BOF were pretty solid. The targeting was pretty good and the campaigns were seeing some good results.

The MOF and BOF were separated into different campaigns which was great. The MOF targeting included soft interest such as website visits, view content, and engagement. The BOF targeting included strong interest such as abandoned carts and initiated checkouts.

The biggest issue with the MOF and BOF was the lack of creative variation. There weren't many creatives being tested. Although it’s later down the funnel, I think it’s still important to be testing creatives and copy. Creative/copy at the MOF should be focused on trust/rapport building.

The audience is already familiar with your product so there’s no need to focus too much on giving details about it. UGC is great at this stage of the funnel.

BOF creative/copy should include a strong CTA. The audience has already shown interest in your product and likely trusts that your brand is reputable and trustworthy. Perhaps they didn’t buy because of price or they’re still considering buying from another company. Discount codes work great at this stage of the funnel but I understand that not every brand is interested in offering discounts.

The MOF and BOF will also benefit from an improved TOF and better quality data will be fed to the pixel at a higher quantity.

I don’t wish to undermine the agency that was previously handling this account. They are much more familiar with the brand and I’m sure there’s reasoning behind their methodology. However, I think there are some non-negotiables when it comes to Facebook ads, and there are some very important changes that need to be made.

We also go into every new account with the intention to test everything. Some strategies work really well in some ad accounts and not in others. We are always humbled by Facebook and used its highly intelligent AI to our advantage.

We will be restructuring the account and launching new campaigns within the week. I always see posts about how people took accounts from x to x. I thought it would be beneficial to understand how we prepare for a new campaign and the things we look at.

This isn’t a post about taking an account from scratch to $100k, it’s about the methodology behind taking a good account and making it better.

submitted by /u/DigitalLiam
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