What Facebook’s New Campaign Budget Optimization Rules Mean for Your Company

From September of this year, Facebook began requiring all of its advertisers using native tools to utilize Campaign Budget Optimization. “CBO,” as it’s now known, is a feature that was first introduced back in November 2017, but has since been optional until now. It represents a fundamental shift in how budgets are managed on Facebook, moving them from the Ad Set level to the campaign level and contrasting with the original hierarchy that left budget management to the ad set level, where audiences and placements are set. With CBO enabled, Facebook will now automatically distribute budgets dynamically across ad sets within a campaign based on performance. 

Facebook highlights three key benefits to the change:

  1. Maximizes the total value of an advertiser’s campaign, as budget automatically shifts between ad sets in real-time based on performance.
  2. Helps lower the cost per result and increase return on ad spend.
  3. Saves advertisers time by eliminating the need to manually shift budgets between ad sets.

These benefits all pass the “smell test,” at least in terms of logic. No longer having to worry about shifting budgets manually? Putting more dollars into the best performing ad sets? It all sounds great in theory. 

In truth, Facebook’s CBO requirement only applies to advertisers working in Facebook’s native tools, Business, and Ads Manager. Tiger Pistol made the decision to shift all campaigns published through our tools to CBO in concert with the requirement to native advertisers. While the thought of any loss of control over campaign management commonly instills fear in digital marketers, Tiger Pistol has proven time and time again how ad automation nets out positively for advertisers. CBO represents another move toward further automation from Facebook.  

Worried about what CBO means for your campaigns? If you are a seasoned Facebook advertising veteran, it is likely you are no stranger to the tactics that underly CBO:

CBO is going to do what you’re probably already doing 

If you’re a regular at the Tiger Pistol Blog, you know one of our favorite testing automations that Tiger Pistol’s Platform provides is Audience testing. If you’ve been spending time running campaigns in Business Manager, you probably have been manually trying to mimic variable Ad Set budgets across your different audiences – checking every week and shifting dollars as CPX rise and fall. CBO is simply going to do this for you.

You’re probably guessing most of the time when you partition your budgets. 

Unless you painstakingly tested one audience parameter at a time and have a magic eight ball to account for seasonality and ever-changing user behavior, do you really know which among your stacked custom audiences, or that collection of interests you’ve curated, is going to outperform the other? More than likely you have a bit of data to know you’re audiences are relevant, but you don’t have certainty in terms of which is going to drive the best performance at any given time. CBO accounts for this, as it waits for performance data then simply shifts budgets away from underperforming audiences and more into the ones that drive conversions.

Humans are slower than computers. 

And of course, CBO, powered by machine learning, operates in real-time. Even in the most ideal of conditions, humans simply are not able to match an optimization computer that can take instantaneous action. CBO ultimately leaves the time-sensitive actions to the computer and frees up marketers to focus more on what they’re good at – strategy.

The move to CBO is another in a growing line of changes by Facebook to encourage advertisers to take further advantage of automation and machine learning. Automation being the core of the Tiger Pistol toolset, CBO has the potential to make what we already do better – create campaigns that respond and optimize to user behavior in real-time – while also enabling advertisers to glean new testing insights to further supercharge their campaigns. This is especially important as both social budgets and number of advertisers continue to grow. It will be those whom best take advantage of automation that will ultimately rise above the rest.

Ready to take advantage of Tiger Pistol’s CBO tools at scale? Contact us today! 

After earning his Masters in Mass Communications in 2015, Chris Mayer worked at Facebook prior to joining Tiger Pistol as a Project Manager. He specializes in helping digital agencies and national brands build scaled Facebook advertising solutions with an emphasis on local activation. Outside the office, he enjoys, basketball, Formula One, and sharing opinions on film and television.

eBook: Best Practice Facebook Advertising for Enterprise Brands

Facebook recently released their “Power 5” Best Practices. While these social advertising best practices are relevant to all types of Facebook Advertising, they can get harder to implement for multi-location brands. In our latest eBook, “Best Practice Facebook Advertising for Enterprise Brands,” we’ll cover how easy it can be for enterprise brands to locally activate their social advertising at scale – complete with impactful use cases. Tiger Pistol

 

How Value-Added Resellers and Agencies Can Start Selling Social Advertising Profitably

With Facebook SMB ad spend continuing to grow year on year, social media has become an established channel in the SMB market. The unique qualities of social advertising present new challenges for digital agencies and service providers for SMBs, particularly the question of how to fulfill social ads both at scale and cost-effectively.

Unlike search PPC advertising, which requires mostly keywords and a simple sentence of ad copy, social advertising mimics traditional advertising by requiring rich media content and copy variation that’s built upon acquisition strategies to delve deeper than simply “X person is searching for Y.”

With these advanced needs, digital service providers, whom serve thousands of advertisers with small core operations teams, must have ready access to scalable fulfillment operations. Many turn to ad-tech providers to enable the operational efficiency required for a scaled social advertising solution.

Tiger Pistol enables scale for digital agencies through an innovative approach to social ad fulfillment. When you combine turnkey solutions with smart automation, it becomes simple for any agency, large or small, to build a social ads program that is both profitable for them and their clients.

The first element that is key to scale is end-advertiser on-boarding. With the ability to integrate with CRMs, customer records are easily translated into the Tiger Pistol Platform. We also make managing communication with end-advertisers easy with automated emails available for every step of the social advertising experience, from acquiring page permissions and providing reporting dashboards to even delivering leads. With these tools, on-boarding end-advertisers really can be no-touch through Tiger Pistol.

When it comes to ad fulfillment, the platform enables an operational framework that is as efficient as it is scalable. Like standing up a search PPC campaign, which typically involves 15 minutes of keyword selection and some light copywriting, Tiger Pistol takes a similar approach with our customer libraries.

 

Our Platform’s campaign library model allows for simple and quick one-time on-boarding to enable SMBs to advertise on Facebook effectively. With a set of clear Ad Objectives that are curated based on SMB needs (Traffic, Leads, Awareness, or Offers), campaign assets are organized into four libraries Audience, Media, Copy, and Call-to-Action and tailored to the chosen objective. Digital agencies can simply upload a set of campaign images, write copy variants, create audiences and then let Tiger Pistol’s smart automation do the rest of the work.

To ensure campaigns continuously drive the best performance, Tiger Pistol automates A/B testing. Not only does this reduce ad fatigue by creating fresh campaigns every month, it allows our machine learning to make performance-driven decisions to improve ad performance over time. It is in this way that a simple, a sub-15 minute campaign build process provides agencies the ability to manage thousands of end-advertisers cost efficiently. While being able to bring to market a social offering with all the benefits of a traditional marketing agency – customization, A/B testing, and performance-driven optimization.

Ready to simplify your social advertising and enable local activation at global scale? Contact Tiger Pistol today! 

After earning his Masters in Mass Communications in 2015, Chris Mayer worked at Facebook prior to joining Tiger Pistol as a Project Manager. He specializes in helping digital agencies and national brands build scaled Facebook advertising solutions with an emphasis on local activation.

Reinventing Advertising in the Age of Privacy

On May 14, 2019 Facebook announced a set of new changes that allow their users to take more control of “Off-Facebook Activity” tracking. This change effectively includes two new changes for advertisers. First, Facebook will now expose to end-users which organizations are utilizing Facebook tools to collect data on them. This is inclusive of, “a list of the apps and websites someone visits that use our business tools such as the Facebook pixel, SDK, and API.” In addition, Facebook is including a new feature to allow its users to opt-out of off-Facebook site tracking.

Facebook has had a difficult year with continual PR challenges related to privacy, starting with the news of Cambridge Analytica, a third-party firm that gained access to the private information of nearly 50 million Facebook users.1 This data was later sold and used in ad targeting. Facebook responded relatively swiftly and moved to block third-party data input into its Platform’s advertising tools.2 This also included the CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerburg being called to testify before the US Congress on the data breach.3

It is clear that 2019 is very much the year of privacy, as Facebook is not alone in their efforts to improve their user privacy tools. Mozilla, recently announced new user data security features to be included in their upcoming updates to their popular ‘Firefox’ web browser.4 Google, who controls two-thirds of the global Internet browser market share through their browser Chrome, announced new security and data privacy features in April.5

For digital advertisers, the attempts of browser developers and social media platforms to reduce passive user tracking may sound scary. And the changes may bring some new challenges for those who never paid the issue any mind. For the most part though, the changes should not prevent social advertisers from being able to leverage user data. The new world just means they will have to collect the data more openly.

Let’s focus on Facebook’s reasoning more specifically and look to how we as advertisers can shift our approaches to ensure we can continue to deliver results for our clients;

1. Giving people transparency and control is good for businesses.

It’s hard to argue with this logic, Facebook itself is a prime example of how a lack of transparency and control can be bad for bottom lines. As advertisers, we should be open-sharing where our data comes from. At the end of the day, targeted ads see better engagement6 – suggesting most users don’t necessarily mind seeing ads for products they are genuinely interested in.

2.  We’re showing people how advertisers use our tools.

This does mean more exposure for advertisers, but it is in the same vein as transparency; advertisers who collect data openly and use it to target relevant consumers have nothing to hide in how they use it. This is another change that will likely only hurt the bad actors.

3. This feature may impact targeting.

When someone disconnects his/her off-Facebook activity, advertisers can no longer use the data they clear for targeting. While it is hard to prognosticate how many users will clear this data, it is perhaps the most concerning of all the changes. As it means it will be more difficult to passively track some users, as they now have a means to proactively opt-out.

However, there are still many tried and true means of collecting first-party data. For one, POS and customer loyalty data, which via outside collection (read: not tracked via website behavior), is still fair game, as is any other form of active data collection that consumers may have already opted into. So long as Facebook advertisers have access to this data, we still have a way into the most powerful of Facebook’s audience targeting tools: Lookalikes.

4. Measurement will remain intact.

We can all breathe easy. While we may have to adjust how we collect data, it’s just going to take putting more effort into transparency and outside sources. Facebook is still Facebook, and advertisers we will still be able to track ROAS on our lookalike, conversion, retargeting, and whatever other audiences we can come up with.

Whether we like it or not, the digital age is evolving to be more open and transparent. As advertisers, we share in the responsibility to evolve with the times to ensure we can continue to deliver meaningful results for our clients. Not only for our bottom lines, but most importantly the consumers we collectively serve.

Ready to simplify social advertising, and enable local activation at global scale? Contact Tiger Pistol today.

After earning his Masters in Mass Communications in 2015, Chris Mayer worked at Facebook prior to joining Tiger Pistol as a Project Manager. He specializes in helping digital agencies and national brands build scaled Facebook advertising solutions with an emphasis on local activation. Outside the office, he enjoys, basketball, Formula One, and sharing opinions on film and television.

1NY Times ‘Facebook and Cambridge Analytica: What You Need to Know as Fallout Widens’
2Techcrunch ‘Facebook will cut off access to third party data for ad targeting’
3The Guardian ‘The key moments from Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to Congress’
4Forbes ‘Firefox Takes Aim At Google With A Bunch Of New Security Features’
5TechCrunch ‘What Chromes browsers changes mean for your privacy and security’
6Marketing Land ’10 Steps To Target And Connect With Potential Customers Effectively’

How Can My Brand Best Use Our Locations to Drive Foot Traffic or Leads Through Social Advertising?

Most brands have robust national advertising campaigns, and while these are important for driving broad awareness through activation via traditional channels, they ultimately lack a local touchpoint that allows them to reach potential customers when and where it counts. Social media enables brands to activate locally, reaching consumers on their social media feeds throughout the day- where they spend most of their time.

As a national brand, you have two challenges when it comes to advertising:

  1.     Communicating your brand message and product positioning at scale
  2.     Activating local consumers to visit your locations in their area

Facebook advertising through Tiger Pistol is built to meet these challenges. What does it look like? Let’s take a look at two examples: 1) CPG brand that sells through independent businesses, and 2) A national financial services brand that sells through sales agents.

1)    Taking a CPG brand from Global to Local:

Through a local program, locations that sell your products can advertise both their business and your products at the same time.

For example, promoting your latest product, Tiger Pistol helps scale a national campaign locally by publishing your product messaging via the individual location’s page.

global campaign promotes your product, but can only indirectly promote the locations where your consumers can actually purchase it. Consumers will need to take extra steps to discover where they can buy your product.

Turning this into a local campaign can super charge this activation by promoting sales through local channels.

Notice, the local campaign is still brand controlled, but the call to action is now local, driving sales directly to the point of consumption. This way, your marketing dollars now drive local sales more efficiently, by directing consumers exactly where they need to go to buy.

To enrich their campaigns, Creature Coffee can utilize their corporate data, such as web traffic, to their product pages to segment their consumers. Through local campaigns this data can be geo-fenced for the individual locations to leverage in their campaign targeting along with a means to show potential customers the products they are most interested in.

This same tactic can work with services too!

global campaign promotes your services, but again, imperfect for driving local action. For Insurance Co., consumers must take the steps of finding an agent to get to the point of purchase.

local campaign maintains the brand message and positioning of the service, but now consumers can engage directly with agents and submit their contact information to start the buying process more efficiently.

 

Insurance Co. can now easily funnel leads to agents by retargeting their website visitors and customer data while also capturing new leads directly in their local agent’s service area.

Both of the above examples show how a global campaign can be re-positioned to activate locally. But how do you measure success? It’s really no different at the local level. It’s simply additive by including the end-location within the strategic framework. For Creature Coffee, this means driving sales at their independent locations and measuring foot traffic. Both serve the global KPIs of promoting the Creature Coffee product and the local KPI for Joe’s Coffee Shop with happy customers right through their door.

For Insurance Co., a global-to-local campaign can measure responses both locally and in aggregate. Agents gain value with a means to be proactively involved with their individual sales processes. Through a personalized campaign using brand assets and messaging from Insurance Co. Even better, it’s a win for customers because now they can reach out to Insurance Co. agents directly to engage in the buying process.

Ready to simplify social advertising, and enable local activation at global scale? Contact Tiger Pistol today.

After earning his Masters in Mass Communications in 2015, Chris Mayer worked at Facebook prior to joining Tiger Pistol as a Project Manager. He specializes in helping digital agencies and national brands build scaled Facebook advertising solutions with an emphasis on local activation. Outside the office, he enjoys, basketball, Formula One, and sharing opinions on film and television.

Connect with Chris

The Power of the Facebook Pixel

3rd party data has been a hot topic amongst the public and within the Facebook advertising industry in the last few months. In the wake of Cambridge Analytica, strengthening of privacy laws in the EU, and increased scrutiny from congress, Facebook has moved to restrict access to user data within its advertising platform. The message from Facebook is clear: the days of 3rd party data are over. In this new world, 1st party data reigns supreme.

The concept of “1st party data” is simple. It is data you as the end-advertiser collect on your own, with no reliance on a third party to obtain it. The Facebook Pixel is a simple and direct way for you to build audiences with 1st party data – i.e. your own web traffic. So while the prospect of data generation might sound scary to those in the SMB space, the pixel actually makes that data building quite easy. It requires very little technical know-how or effort to install. It’s as simple as copy/pasting 10 lines of code and waiting a few days for the Pixel to get some fires.

Facebook bills the Pixel as “a piece of code for your website that lets you measure, optimize and build audiences for your ad campaigns.” Funnily enough, this tagline is actually in reverse order in how one should approach leveraging the Pixel. In practice, the order of operations best works like this:

1. Build

2. Optimize

3. Measure

From the moment you install the Facebook pixel on your website it begins tracking visitors and matches them to Facebook users. While website visitor data alone opens up its own set of tactics (e.g. remarketing via Paid Search), where the power of the Pixel truly manifests itself is through Lookalike Audiences. These audiences are created by Facebook hashing the website visitor data captured by the pixel and finding other users with similar attributes. It works out something like this:

The lookalike process is anonymized: you won’t know exactly what traits the hash aggregates, but that’s okay. The resulting Lookalike Audience generated will include users with similar characteristics whom have not yet visited the website. Put simply, Lookalike Audiences create an avenue to finding new customers.

For example, a golf related e-commerce website might have a lot of users visiting their website, who also like the PGA Tour Facebook Page, and/or are “interested in” golf. The Lookalike Audiences will account for this – Facebook will literally find more people who like the PGA Tour Facebook Page, are also “interested in” golf, and share similar traits and demographics as the website visitors.

Lookalikes are also available with Custom lists, provided your business has such information like name, email, and phone number stored for your customers or prospects. The Pixel is not only perfect for audience building, it also enables you to measure the success of your ad campaigns more effectively. Pixel tracking also let’s you track website behavior, such as ‘adds to cart’ or ‘newsletter signups’ and, if set-up correctly, can even provide a view on the dollar return of conversions.

If you’re skeptical about pasting the Pixel on your site, think again… The data speaks for itself:

  •  The sock e-commerce company Bombas saw a 2X increase in product purchases and a 23X increase in sales per ad set using Lookalike Audiences based on their most valuable customers.
  • When the fast food chain Rally’s and Checker’s added Lookalike Audiences to their targeting for it’s “1 Day Deal” campaign, it saw a 10% increase in sales over the previous year.
  • Game Hive targeted its ads to a Lookalike Audience based on those whom already downloaded the app and saw a 40% increase in app installs.

In all the examples above, and many more, advertisers took their campaigns to the next level by leveraging the audience building and measuring power enabled by the Facebook Pixel. Just 10 lines of code gives every business, from sole proprietors, to the nation’s biggest brands, access to first-party data. No outside research firms or guesswork required.

Tiger Pistol can help take even more of the guesswork out of Facebook Advertising. Help Center today to learn more.

Chris Mayer is a Client Solutions Lead at Tiger Pistol and leads onboarding of U.S. partners. He has extensive experience in the brand and SMB Facebook advertising space.

Coming soon: Offers: Digitizing your print coupons with Facebook Offer Ads, by Patrick Koepke.

Facebook vs. Instagram

You may already know that Facebook and Instagram are now fully integrated for advertising, but have you ever wondered which platform is best for your business? With continual updates to Instagram as an advertising platform, the platform has closed the gap between Instagram’s ad type availability when compared to that of those available on Facebook. But even as the platforms become more similar in their advertising offerings, the question remains, when is it best to choose Instagram over Facebook, or vice versa?

At Tiger Pistol, our philosophy is:

It’s often best to leverage both Facebook and Instagram, to get the widest reach. Facebook also recommends this approach to drive the most success for placement optimization; essentially, you’re giving Facebook the power to find the most relevant person within your target audience, on either platform, for the cheapest cost and estimated highest return. Plus, experience has shown that ads run on both platforms reinforce one another, and therefore yield better results overall – as in a15% increase in brand awareness!

The Case for Instagram

The wealth of targeting options across Facebook carry over to Instagram. However, the Instagram platform on it’s own has many unique advantages:

  1. It’s almost exclusively mobile. When was the last time you viewed Instagram via Instagram.com? Instagram was built for mobile users, and for a long time wasn’t even available on desktop. And since 80% of people now access social on mobile, it’s where your audience lives.
  2. It has high user engagement. According to Izideo, Instagram users are the most engaged on any social platform. Even more astounding, 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business, and 60% of userslearn about a product on the social network.1  Furthermore, a recent article in VentureBeat suggests that brands fare better on Instagram when it comes to engagement (it should be noted, however, that the article is referring to content posts only, not ads).
  3. It’s image centric. This one is probably obvious, but Instagram is, first and foremost, a visual platform. These qualities make Instagram a sound choice for any e-commerce business, or even local retailers, restaurants, and bars. Any business with products, especially ones that photograph well, are more likely to thrive using Instagram ads.

But what about Facebook?

Facebook offers an advantage in that it allows for users to have access to more information about the business without taking the user off the platform, instead directing them to a Facebook Business Page or providing more detail via the ad copy itself. Facebook continues to be the go-to platform for ads for more service-based industries such as law firms, or home services. Other benefits include:

  1. Facebook offers an expanded range of  ad types not available on Instagram, such as instant articles.
  2. It has a slightly older user base (more on this later!)
  3. It offers integrated messaging. Facebook has expanded options to use Messenger as a marketing and customer support tool.

Go Native

An important consideration when choosing between Facebook and Instagram when it comes to social media advertising is how well each platform displays ads. One key advantage that exists with Facebook and Instagram is that ads are placed where most people spend their time: their respective feeds. With both Facebook and Instagram, ads can appear as native content. Given the more limited creative options and focus on imagery, some might say Instagram has an edge because ads emulate the user-generated content already being shared to the platform. But if having your ads look more like native content is your primary concern, both platforms are flexible enough to allow you to do so.

Your Target Audience

One final consideration in deciding on which platform is best for your needs, is the user base itself. The demographics of each platform do differ slightly, as the latest demographic breakdown on Facebook from Pew Research shows:

 

Instagram skews a bit younger:

 

When it Comes Down to it…

Choosing between the two platforms doesn’t have to be difficult. Campaigns targeted to a more diverse customer base will mostly likely benefit from leveraging both platforms. At Tiger Pistol, we can publish to both Facebook and Instagram via our automation platform, so our campaigns work to reach the largest audience possible, dependent on the advertiser’s needs. But as indicated in the review above, each platform does offer some unique features of its own. Still, rather than second guess the largest, most influential social media platform in the world, the best choice may be to let Facebook do its magic and choose for you.

Ultimately, advertising on either platform – or both – is a wise business decision for nearly any business of any size. Give it a test drive, and if you need some expert advice, read the low cost, insanely easy way to get results with social advertising.

1 Facebook Partner Bootcamp, April 2017