As machine learning continues to advance in many of our ad platforms, it’s important to know what levers are still available to pull to help regain some control, especially if campaign performance isn’t what you hoped for or expected.
Some of Facebook’s controls can be easily missed, tucked away in the Optimization & Delivery section of the ad set editing page:
Here, Facebook still offers some helpful controls based on your chosen campaign Objective. (If you’re struggling with which objective to choose, Facebook has some tips here).
Additionally, as attribution windows are shortened on Facebook and Apple’s iOS 14 changes roll out, you will likely see changes in Facebook campaign performance, especially if your product has a longer buying cycle. If you have strict CPA or ROAS goals you might have to start leveraging some of these controls like Minimum ROAS or Cost cap.
Options by Campaign Objective
To have access to the control options for ad delivery optimization, bids, etc., you’ll need to choose Auction under Buying Type when you’re setting up your campaign:
From there, the available settings vary based on your campaign objective, so let’s walk through those now.
Because of the nature of this campaign Objective, the ad sets here will actually default to the following:
The other Awareness campaign Objective, Reach, offers some more controls.
With the Reach Objective, you can choose to have Facebook optimize for Reach (serving to the max number of people) or Impressions (serving to people as many times as possible). With Reach you can set a frequency cap as well.
For either Reach or Impressions, you have the additional choice to set a Bid Control:
These can be especially helpful if you’re trying out a new target audience for the first time, or if an existing audience is struggling with high CPMs.
For Traffic campaigns, you can choose for Facebook to optimize for Landing Page Views, Link Clicks, Daily Unique Reach or Impressions:
Note that the Optimization options will change a bit here based on what you choose as your Traffic Destination in that section of the ad set editing pane:
If you choose Daily Unique Reach or Impressions for which to optimize, you can also set a Bid control. If you choose Landing Page Views or Link Clicks you can set either a Cost or Bid Control:
Cost cap is focused on helping to gain an average cost per result, whereas Bid cap is focused on controlling your bids.
With Engagement campaigns, you’ll choose from three different types of user engagement – Post engagement, Page likes, or Event Responses – when you’re setting your campaign Objective:
Your Optimization options will vary based on which Engagement type you choose.
For Post Engagement, Facebook can optimize for Post Engagement, Daily Unique Reach, or Impressions:
As with Traffic campaigns, you can set a Bid control if you optimize for Daily Unique Reach or Impressions. If you choose Post Engagement you’ll be able to set a Cost or Bid cap.
For Page Likes, it will default to optimizing for likes but you can set a bid or cost cap:
For Event Responses, you have the same options as Post Engagement with the addition of Event Responses, where you can also set a cost or bid cap:
For App Install campaigns, you can choose to optimize for Value, App Events, App Installs or Link Clicks:
For App Events optimization you can set a Bid control. For App Installs or Links Clicks you can set a Cost or Bid cap.
The App Installs campaign Objective offers the first instance of optimizing for Value, and there are some changes for Value Optimization due to Apple’s iOS 14 updates that you should be aware of. This is just one of many changes, so be sure to read up on the new limitations and setup recommendations & requirements.
Value Optimization Changes & Setup
If you’re setting up an ad set to optimize for Value you’ll see a notification like this one:
If you’re creating an ad set for the first time using Value optimization, you’ll want to first review the eligibility requirements. If you meet the requirements, then you’ll want to review the new setup process.
The last step in the setup instructions is to turn on value optimization in Events Manager and activate value sets, as the notification outlines in the above screenshot. You’ll need to walk through this process whether your ad set is new or legacy. This process varies depending on if you’re using an App Installs campaign objective or Conversions or Catalog Sales objectives. For App Installs, you’ll follow these instructions. For Conversions or Catalog Sales, you’ll follow these instructions.
Additionally, you’ll see in the screenshot above that with Value optimization you also have the ability to specify a minimum ROAS amount. This option is ideal when you have strict ROAS goals, but be sure not to set your minimum too high or traffic could be stifled.
For Video Views campaigns you can choose from either ThruPlay or 2-Second Continuous Video Views:
Note that optimization for 10-second video views isn’t available anymore.
For either ThruPlay or 2-Second Continuous you can set either a Cost or Bid cap.
With Lead Generation campaigns, your Optimization options will vary based on the Lead method you choose – either Instant forms or Calls – in the ad set editing pane:
If you choose Instant Forms, you can only choose to optimize for leads, but you can set a cost or bid cap:
If you choose Calls, it will only optimize for Link Clicks, but you can set a cost or bid cap here as well:
With Messages campaigns, the Optimization options vary depending on the Ad Type and Messaging Apps you choose in the Destination section of the ad set editing pane:
In the dropdown there, you can choose Click to Message or Sponsored Message. Sponsored Messages are just for Messenger and allow you to send a message to users you have already chatted with. Click to Message sends users from an ad into a conversation with you and can be used with Messenger, WhatsApp, or Instagram Direct.
For Sponsored Messages, you can only optimize for Impressions and you have to set a Bid control minimum of $25.
For Click to Message, the options vary based on the App(s) you choose, with Messenger offering the most options of Link Clicks, Conversations, Leads or Replies:
If you optimize for Link Clicks you can set a Cost or Bid cap; with the others you can set a Bid control.
With Conversions campaigns, the Optimization choices will depend on which Conversion Event Location you choose in the ad set editing pane:
If Website is your conversion event location, you can optimize for Value (see important updates to Value above in the Value Optimization Changes & Setup section of this post), Conversions, Landing Page Views, Link Clicks, Daily Unique Reach, or Impressions:
With Value Optimization you can set a minimum ROAS control. With Conversions, Landing Page Views or Link Clicks optimization you can set a Cost or Bid cap, and with Daily Unique Reach or Impressions you can set a Bid cap.
If App is your conversion event location, you can optimize for App Events, Link Clicks or Daily Unique Reach:
For App Events or Links Clicks you can set a Cost or Bid cap, and for Daily Unique Reach you can set a Bid cap.
If Messenger is your conversion event location, you can optimize for Conversions, Conversations, Link Clicks, Daily Unique Reach, or Impressions:
For Conversions, Conversations, or Link Clicks you can choose a Cost or Bid cap. For Daily Unique Reach or Impressions you can set a Bid cap.
If WhatsApp is your conversion event location, you can optimize for Conversions, Link Clicks, Daily Unique Reach or Impressions:
For Conversions and Link Clicks you can set a Cost or Bid cap, and for Daily Unique Reach and Impressions you can set a Bid cap.
With Catalog campaigns, you can optimize for Value, Conversion Events, Link Clicks, or Impressions:
With Value optimization, you can set a minimum ROAS control (see important updates to Value above in the Value Optimization Changes & Setup section of this post). With Conversion Events and Link Clicks, you can set a Cost or Bid cap; with Impressions, you can set a Bid cap.
For Store Traffic campaigns, some advertisers can optimize for Store Visits and any advertiser can optimize for Daily Unique Reach:
With Daily Unique Reach you can choose to set a Bid control as well.
Additionally, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Facebook rolled out a few changes to Store Traffic ads to help businesses be able to communicate more effectively with customers.
In light of the shortened attribution windows on Facebook and Apple’s iOS 14 changes, it’s more important than ever that you understand your limited optimization options to help keep your campaign performance at the level you need. Leveraging some of these controls can help mitigate the impact of some of these changes that are outside of your control.
Have you experimented with different optimization settings? Cost or Bid caps? Minimum ROAS? Let us know the results you’ve seen in the comments below!
If you found this guide helpful, check out our Facebook Ads Placement Guide.