Frequency and CPA in Facebook Ads

August 19, 2019

When advertising on Facebook a few questions always arise around creative, when should you change ads, how often should you introduce a new ad, when is it time to get rid of an ad, etc. In this blog, I’ll shed some light into how to best answer questions like these and give you a better understanding of how much time to expect to put into creative needs for Facebook. 

Checking Frequency and Cost Per Results

Before we really dive in I want to make it clear that there’s no universal timeframe for how often to rotate your ads. You need to be aware as an advertiser when your current ads or audience may begin to fatigue and need a quick refresher based on the data you’re observing in your ad account.

One quick check you can do is at the ad set level. If your ad has been running for at least 5 consecutive days and had at least 500 impressions you’ll be able to set the delivery insights reporting within the Facebook UI.

To get there simply hover your mouse over the delivery status on the ad set you’d like to check and a box will appear. In that box you’ll be able to select delivery insights

Once you’re in the delivery insights report of Facebook you’ll be able to see a few different charts; audience saturation, activity history, audience overlap, auction competition. These reports are all very useful, but the one we want to look at is the audience saturation. In that report you can change the metrics to show cost per result (CPR) and first time impression ratio. Here you’ll be able to see as your first time impression ratio declines what happens to your CPR. See example below:

In this chart you can see that the first time impression ratio starts to steadily decline after about a week of being live. Around the same time you see a large spike in CPR. In layman’s terms, the amount of daily impressions has been staying about the same day over day, but you are reaching fewer and fewer new people with your ad. Since these users have already seen your ad and didn’t convert, and the users you already converted won’t convert again, the CPR starts to rise a bit quicker. You can see that in this chart as well. At this time you’ll most likely want to swap in new creative and test different messaging that might work better for the users who haven’t converted. 

Another area where you can look at when it’s time to rotate new ads in is by clicking view charts when at the ad set level.

From here you’ll be able to see some of the same stats that the delivery insights section has, but you don’t need the minimum 5 days and 500 impressions. From here select the custom section and set your metrics to be Frequency (lifetime) and Cost per result.

When looking at the same ad set, during the same time period you’ll see the same story. Around a week into the campaign the lifetime frequency is steadily climbing and CPR starts to increase at a greater rate. At this time you’ll want to test new creative for this audience. 

Testing Creative

When testing new creative it’s important to learn from what worked well. You don’t need to make a completely new ad, use an image that performed weill and test out different ad copy or vice versa. If you’re trying to find a ‘true’ winner it’s important to structure your ads properly, test one element at a time. If you change your headline and your image and your new ad performs worse, you won’t be able to definitely tell if it was the image or the ad copy. Maybe the image you picked for that ad was the WOAT (worst of all-time) and your ad copy was actually pretty good. You’d have no idea and be scrapping great ad copy because of poor planning. It’s best to have at least 3-4 different ads running at anytime within Facebook.

PRO TIP – When making new ads, leave one ‘winner’ from the old set but duplicate and repost the ad. This will tell Facebook’s algorithm that it’s a new ad, even though its not, and help increase your daily impression volume. 

Every account is different but it’s important to be aware of how often you’ll need to refresh creative. If you can do it, rotating creative every week or every other week would be ideal. This would allow you to test many different ad elements over a few months and dial in what truly works for your offering. If you think you’ve exhausted your current creative and need help testing new ads and ideas, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Four15 Digital. We are experts anyway!