It’s impossible to talk about digital marketing and not consider Facebook. The Meta-owned company is the largest social network on the planet with over 2.9 billion users. No matter what industry you’re in and what product or service you’re trying to sell, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to find a buyer on Facebook. To put that into context, consider that with over 2.9 billion users, Facebook’s reach expands to nearly 37% of the entire global population.
Annual ad spend on Facebook from the US alone tops $50 billion. It’s expected to grow 12.2% year-over-year in 2013 to a whopping $65.21 billion. If there was ever a vote of confidence needed in the social network’s ability to be what its advertisers need it to be, this is most certainly it.
Merely running ads on Facebook isn’t enough. If not done properly, it can quickly become a money pit that swallows your entire marketing budget whole without giving anything in return. It’s extremely important for marketers to know how to optimize and scale their Facebook ad campaigns in order to extract the maximum ROI.
What is scaling and why is it so important?
The main problem that marketers face when running ad campaigns on Facebook is that their Return on Ad Spend is extremely high. That means they’re spending way too much money than they should be to hit their campaign objectives. Even if it may seem like the logical thing to do, you don’t throw money at this problem.
Scaling up a Facebook ad campaign does require an increase in ad spend but that should result in a higher positive return. Scaling the campaign is a key part of overall optimization. It’s important because it enables you to reach wider audiences with the best possible ROI.
Tips to scale Facebook ads in 2023
Cast a wide net for your target audience
Audience saturation is one of the harsh realities of online advertising. Even if you’ve found the perfect target audience and the campaign delivers great results initially, there will come a time when that audience will become saturated. The initial results are promising in that the campaign is optimized enough to meet its objectives.
Once you see the ad costs and frequency start to increase, that’s when you know that the audience has been saturated. Scaling up the campaign from there will require you to expand the target audience. This method of horizontal scaling is best executed in a separate ad set, so that you’re instantly able to see what results the expanded audience is able to achieve. Compare multiple options by running A/B tests and then add the winning segment to the optimized ad set.
Duplicate ad sets that are performing well
It’s best not to change things on ad sets that are performing well. There’s no point in messing up their performance. Instead, duplicate those successful ad sets with a higher budget to more effectively reach the entire intended audience.
However, audience overlap should be kept in mind when duplicating ad sets, since multiple ad sets will be targeting the same audience. This is one of the more aggressive tactics for scaling up campaigns and when executed correctly can deliver incredible results.
Opt for gradual budget increases
Increasing the ad budget is an important part of scaling up your campaigns but it needs to be done in a mindful way. For example, if your current budget is $100 and the campaign is performing well, bumping it up to $500 a day won’t bring you a 5x bump in performance. The fact of the matter is that a significant budget increase can restart the learning phase for the campaign which is what you want to avoid when scaling up a campaign that’s performing well.
It’s considered to be a good idea to increase the budget by 15-20% on ad sets every couple of days. This will ensure that the performance of the campaign remains stable as a new learning phase won’t kick in. This gradual approach to budget increase will ensure that the ad set has a longer life and is able to continue its winning streak.
Leverage lookalike audiences
Lookalike audiences are what makes Facebook advertising so powerful. This method of horizontal scaling opens up an entirely new audience for your campaign based on the data that it has already collected. Create lookalike audiences for your campaigns once your existing audience segments have become saturated.
Facebook’s algorithm uses those seed audiences to find people who are most similar and are most likely to be the relevant audience for your ads. For example, a seed audience can be your list of highest paying customers or those that have interacted the most with your posts.
Pay attention to ad fatigue
If your audience is seeing the same ad over and over again, they now have what’s referred to as ad fatigue. Regardless of the method you utilize to scale up that campaign, if they’re no longer interested in the creative, the campaign isn’t going to benefit from any of it.
When scaling up a campaign, it’s just as important to test new versions of creatives. This can include minor changes to the ad copy and the creatives that are already performing well. Keeping things fresh for the audience helps retain their attention for longer. Otherwise, they will begin to subconsciously ignore your ads if they’ve already seen them multiple times, thereby defeating the whole purpose of scaling up.
For Facebook ads, the proof is in the pudding
Great digital marketers are incredibly data-driven. Dive deep into your campaign’s data to figure out where it’s struggling and what needs to be done in order to turn things around. The data is also going to show you clearly which ad sets can be scaled up for maximum impact.
As long as an entirely simple approach of merely increasing the ad budget every time a campaign is to be scaled up is avoided, there’s a lot of value that can be unlocked continuously from your best-performing Facebook ad campaigns.