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:
- Maximizes the total value of an advertiser’s campaign, as budget automatically shifts between ad sets in real-time based on performance.
- Helps lower the cost per result and increase return on ad spend.
- 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.