We have done creative updates the same day, within 24 hours and occasionally never in over a month.
Our usual process takes three business days for a fresh creative update from the ground up.
Here is the rationale behind it all.
The decisions we make to update the creative or to keep it running is based on official Facebook guidelines available online, from their videos on their official Facebook & Instagram accounts as well as Facebook-owned & operated marketing groups.
We use this knowledge, our experience of 8 years and the data from the ads to make judgements on whether to pause the creative, adjust it or start a new one.
We approach FB Ads with a trader’s/investor’s mentality — all data, 0 emotions.
Our goal is to maximise your success as we get paid when you spend more. And you’ll only spend more when your return is higher.
This is how we do it:
Understanding the Facebook Learning Phase
When we put out your ad for the 1st time, we start with a low budget. We first look at your CPC (Cost per Click), CTR (Click-through rate) & CPM (Cost per 1000 impressions).
These are the only viable parameters as sales often don’t occur in the 1st week or their quantity is limited.
If it’s terrible, we immediately shut the ad off & commence the process to add fresh creatives. However, for ads that perform very well, or average (by industry & our standards developed over the years), we keep them running.
We know that Facebook is learning about our goals and will refine it over time using its internal algorithm.
Different day/Different result
We run every creative for 5–7 days minimum. Why 7 days?
Because every day’s different and people react to every day differently. And so is their response to the ads.
Traditionally, there’s an increase in activity during the start of the week which fizzles as we approach the weekend and then it starts to rise back up again.
Facebook also has a 7-day (and a 28 days) attribution model. That means that it could attribute a conversion to the ads as far as 7–28 days after the user’s 1st interaction with the ad.
Updating ads prematurely and then finding the older ad giving us a better result after 7 days isn’t a happy finding.
Facebook Impression Count
Facebook advises you to have at least 5000 impression count before taking a decision.
Depending upon the available budget & ad settings, this can take a day, a week or more.
We refrain from updating ads before this milestone is reached.
Facebook Ad Rankings
Facebook Ad Rankings gives the quality of your ad, targeting & website.
These rankings are not available immediately but accumulated over a while. When they appear varies between 500–5000 impressions. Takes longer when a dynamic creative is involved (which include a large number of ad variations requiring a more substantial spend & impressions for FB to figure things)
Unless we get these details, we refrain from deciding on an ad which is performing average or above average.
However, once we get it and it comes out negative, the update or scaling process commences immediately.
If it’s not broken, don’t change it.
Updating a creative is considered a “Significant Change” as per Facebook’s algorithm.
What that means is that all the data you’ve collected is of secondary use as soon as you add a new creative to the Ad Set. Once you do, Facebook will try to re-learn based on the fresh input you have given, and the campaign re-enters the Learning Phase.
Another option is to create a new Ad set & put the new creative under it. But that requires an additional budget.
As you can see, it’s a risk that occasionally may not be worth the reward. Especially when we have a limited budget to spend.
The 50–100 weekly conversion rule
When we witness an above-average campaign, but without the necessary number of conversions (50–100 weekly conversions as per Facebook), we keep it running as we expect the ads to get better over time.
However, if we have a campaign that has exceeded the 50–100 events quota, the process for a new creative commences.
There’s a limit to how many people can see the video depending on the audience size. As the audience gets exhausted, the creative deteriorate in performance.
All ad sets have a finite audience size. As the ads run at peak budgets, the audience gets exhausted.
This is reflected in the ad performance. We are always on the lookout for such indicators and the process commences whenever there’s a slight hint of it happening.
This prepares us to have an update ready without sacrificing the campaign performance.
Limitations of Ad Budget
Often people opting for our service to start with a minimum viable budget and understandably so.
This creates certain limitations in the optimisation process, as stated above.
To preserve the budget and get the best performance out of the ads, we decide to update or not update the creatives.
In such situations, other optimisations in terms of targeting and other KPI’s are carried on irrespective of the budget allocated.
When do you change it?
Definitely, once every 3–4 weeks irrespective of the ads meeting the above conditions.
We recognise the concept of Ad Decay & Ad Blindness.
Even if the ad’s performing well and the Frequency isn’t very high, we make it a point to update it.
We also do this to add new approaches to the campaign.
However, if the previous ad is performing well, it gets scaled with the new ad being nurtured alongside it.
What we as marketers & business owners get wrong about “Split-testing.”
Honestly, we change ads as and when required.
This means when the campaign requires it and when the client demands it.
We consider it our job to inform the pros & cons of adding new creatives based on the above factors.
However, occasionally clients infer the non-updating of a campaign to slacking on our part.
Split-testing is now a well-established marketing buzzword. However, how it’s approached with Facebook ads has changed over the years.
The entire premise of our service is split-testing. But our approach isn’t traditional.
No longer does putting out 100s of ads and using 10s of interest as targeting make for the right method of “split-testing.”
Facebook advises broad targeting with horizontal scaling. (Source: FB Auction Live Facebook Group)
They understand that we know less than them. The process of automation is in place. Our job is to give it the right input and then act accordingly.
Facebook ads is a vast field. It has a technical side & a creative side.
The technical side is complicated and can be difficult for people to grasp immediately.
As agency owners & firm believers of maintaining transparency, we understand our responsibility of educating our clients & prospects clearly & comprehensively.
At the same time, we request you to communicate your issues, frustrations and doubts directly to us without any hesitation.
This will allow us to set clear expectations & deliver results that you signed up for.
After all, all of us want to grow. And what’s better than growing together.
Stay safe & happy advertising
(Director, 0-Penny Ads)