I’ve been sharing daily Meta (Facebook/Instagram) Ads tips for the last 6 months on Instagram and will continue to do so until the end of 2022.

Each month, I answer specific questions in my dedicated Q&A Instagram Stories.

Below are the TOP 100 questions asked during the first half year, bundled by topic.

Questions about Optimization and Performance

1.     How can attribution help optimizing campaigns?

Longer attribution settings can help maximizing results and signals. Signals are important to feed the algorithm with data about desired results. Longer attribution may generate more signals. This allows for improved optimization based on these signals.

2.     What would be a great Cross Selling strategy?

Create product segments and keep track of purchasers for each segment. Then follow up with dynamic ads showing products from product sets that are relevant. This setup works best for high traffic Ecommerce businesses.

3.     What is considered a best practice for generating Catalog Sales conversions?

Target broad and optimize for the ‘Purchase’ event.

4.     When do remarketing campaigns generate lower CPA’s than broad targeting?

High intent of remarketing audiences may generate lower CPA’s. Be aware though that these audiences are often limited in size and results. That’s why targeting broad is important to continue building and growing your business.

5.     How do you see ads/performance marketing evolve? With the phase out of third party ookies?

I’m optimistic about the future. New privacy-enhanced technologies will still allow for personalization, optimization and reporting.

6.     Are there circumstances where you would optimize for ‘Link Clicks’ instead of ‘Landing Page Views’?

Yes. When the Meta Pixel isn’t able to send (enough) data (signals) due to cookie consent choices and other custom privacy settings that limit or block data transfer to the Pixel.

7.     Best practices for more ROAS?

This is of course a very generic question. There are too many variables (market potential, audience niche, product, pricing,…). I think focus should be on your offer and maximizing ‘Purchase’ events to ensure that the algorithm can learn about your best converting audience.

8.     What would you do when you would have a high rate in auction competition?

I would consider consolidating target audiences and limit the number of ad sets.

9.     Most people use ‘lowest cost’ (now: ‘highest volume’) as the default bid strategy. What are the benefits of the other bid strategies?

Budget control. ‘Highest volume’ will try to spend your full budget, while manual bidding will try to generate results for the bid that you’ve set. This may cause the system to not spend your full budget though.

10. Does optimization on ‘Landing Page Views’ report people who opted out of tracking on iOS?

Statistical modeling may be used to account for some landing page views when data coming from these users is partial or missing.

11. I have a budget but it has been difficult to scale without increasing the CPA. Any suggestions?

Higher budgets boost liquidity. Boosting liquidity may result in higher volume of results in shorter time spans, causing CPA’s to rise accordingly. Scaling budgets and results while keeping CPA’s at lower budgets is likely to be impossible in many markets.

12. How do you plan budgeting?

Option A: Start from a budget and set realistic KPI’s and goals.

Option B: Start from smart KPI’s and goals and set realistic budgets needed to reach these goals.

13. How to keep performance steady if clients have monthly promotions and creatives?

Setup an ‘evergreen’ campaign structure and keep using the current ad sets. Update and/or add ads in the current structure.

14. If two ads (different campaigns) get viewed or clicked on. Would both ads take credit for the conversion?

Only the last ad that was clicked before the conversion happened gets credit. Credit goes to the last ad that was viewed (not clicked), provided the conversion occurred within 24 hours from that ad impression and no other ad was clicked in the last 7 days. (7-day click / 1-day view model).

15. What is liquidity and why is it important?

Less manual control and fewer constraints give the system more ‘freedom’ to find opportunities and generate results.

There are 4 dimensions of liquidity: budget / creative / audience / placements.

16. Any tips on improving the video completion rate?

Keep your video short (15 sec. for new audiences) / Start with a climax to attract attention from the beginning (the exact opposite of traditional storytelling) / Be sure your video is native to the placement (eg. vertical video for Stories) / Use eye catching elements to keep your audience captivated.

17. Recommendations to scaling new accounts?

Scaling shouldn’t be about growing at a fast pace, which is what most ‘growth’ marketers are looking to achieve, mostly by running short term ‘tweaks’…

Instead, scaling smart should be more about keeping ads perform on stable costs for longer times. Going more broad instead of targeted can also help scaling. Consider scaling by budget, placement, creative and audience.

18. Do you prefer daily spend or liftime spend for Meta ads?

I prefer to use daily budgets for always-on campaigns and lifetime budgets for short term campaign.

19. How would you do performance projections for a new social account without historical data?

When available, I prefer to use own (similar) account data instead of using industry benchmarks. I don’t believe in industry benchmarks that much as there are too many differentiating factors. When historical data isn’t available, allocate a test budget to refine predictions.

20. Few of my clients have been seeing unpredictable CPR using advantage plus. Any reasons?

Advantage+ was made to simplify best practice campaign setup for less advanced advertisers. You will need to guide the system some more by tweaking the audience targeting and budgets in this case.

When the defaults of Advantage+ don’t work for your business, consider to reverse back to manual setup which allows for more advanced controls.

21. Best advice for small budget Ecommerce (€ 500 – € 1.000)

Dynamic retargeting based on product views and add-to-cart activity.

22. When to use ‘Cost Cap’ per conversion?

When you want to keep your ‘Cost per Action’ (CPA) around an average cost. I suggest going for ‘lowest cost’ instead, though. That bid strategy allows for more liquidity and results.

23. When should I use Cost Bidding in Meta Ads?

When you know how to set your bid realistically. If not, it may limit the number of results and desired outcomes.

24. With new accounts, is it better to start with ‘Conversions’ campaigns or ‘Landing Page Views’ to feed the Pixel?

The more ‘signals’ you collect, the better your campaign can optimize. Be sure to send enough data (signals) to reach your most important goals. Whether that’s quality traffic or conversion events.

25. What attribtution settings do you suggest?

In most cases, using the default would be the best option: 7-day click and 1-day view. When you have lots of traffic and daily conversions happening though, consider using 1-day click.

26. Bid cap or Cost Cap?

I would prefer to use ‘Cost Cap’ (now renamed to ‘Cost per Result Goal’). Bid Cap may limit ad delivery too much when the bid caps are being set too optimistic.

27. If I know the max. CPA I’m willing to pay, how do I consider that in a campaign setup?

If that CPA is a realistic number, consider using the ‘cost per result goal’ bid strategy.

28. How do you optimize conversion campaigns if no split by OS is made during setup?

Don’t worry too much about splitting users by OS in your audience targeting. Instead, look at the results from your conversions campaign at a more holistic level. Splitting audiences may limit results.

29. Do you have any advice for the sudden drop in performance of Meta Ads?

Check the change rate of ‘cost per result’ and ‘frequency’. Your audience might be exhausted. Refresh your creative/offer in that case. Consider broadening your target audience too.

30. What is a good daily budget?

For action-based campaign objectives (Consideration or Conversion): Set a daily budget that allows for generating at least 50 of your desired actions within 7 days.

Daily budget = (Cost per action x 50) / 7.

31. Do you have a ‘rule’ or calculation for a minimum budget per audience?

No ‘rule’ as it depends on too many variables. As a guideline, I like to use the estimated audience size and benchmark the ‘CPM’, ‘Cost per Result’ and ‘Cost per 1.000 People Reached’ with similar audiences I’ve targeted in the past that also have similar audience sizes in same campaign objectives. Use these metrics to calculate a daily budget needed to reach your objective.

32. Learning Limited. Keep running or make changes?

Keep running the ads when results are positive. Else, consider expanding your audience targeting, consolidating ad sets and/or optimizing for events higher up the funnel.

33. How to work with upselling and cross-selling campaigns?

Create specific product sets and target people who purchased products relevant to these sets.

34. How to stop ad budget cannibalisation? It stops many ads from getting exposure.

Run less ads. Target a maximum of 3 ads per ad set. A/B test to find the top 3 to use.

35. Does each ad set really need 50 conversion events when running a CBO campaign?

Not necessarily, however… When 1 ad set is generating 50+ events, while other ad sets generate less conversions, CBO will start allocating more budget towards the winning (50+) ad set.

36. How do you run good lead generation campaigns? The leads are often low quality.

Ask very specific questions and make these answers required.

37. When running ads for only 1-4 days, would your recommend daily budget or lifetime?

Lifetime. Let the algorithm free to spend your budget by opportunity.

38. Do you have a tutorial on setting up Conversions API?

39. New ad account – how to get rid of the limited daily spend?

Comply to the policies and try spending the full daily budget cap.

Questions related to Objectives

40. Does the ‘Store Traffic’ objective really work?

For businesses that have lots of physical stores, a ‘Store Traffic’ campaign is a good choice. Else, try running a ‘Reach’ campaign targeting people in a specific radius around your store.

41. Do you suggest the ‘Reach’ objective for retargeting?

It really depends on the audience size. I prefer the following setup:

Small retargeting audience = Reach.

Big retargeting audience = Conversions.

42. Can you tell more about ‘Reach & Frequency’ campaigns?

It allows you to book campaigns in advance with predictable, optimized reach and controlled frequency. This is only available to qualified advertisers though.

43. For the upper funnel, is it better to use Conversions / Reach / Traffic or Landing Page Views to get qualified traffic?

I prefer using Conversion campaigns optimizing for ‘Content Views’ to generate qualified traffic. Check this post for more details.

44. With the ODAX update what major changes can we capitalise on?

Scaling by reducing complexity of your campaign setups.

45. Is it smart to use retargeting and prospecting audiences in the same campaign using CBO?

This is not a best practice for most objectives. In most cases I prefer to seperate these audiences into different campaigns or use ABO (ad set budget optimization). The system will probably allocate most of your budget to the ad set that delivers most results at the lowest cost, causing it to allocate most budget to the prospecting audience. You’ll want to allocate a seperate retargeting budget and keep these audiences seperated from prospecting audiences.

46. What is the difference between ‘Conversions’ and ‘Catalog Sales’ campaigns?

You need to have a product feed to run ‘Catalog Sales’ ads. You don’t need a feed to run ‘Conversions’ campaigns and your conversion event can be any valuable action you choose.

47. Reach and Conversions campaigns as a mix? Good idea?

Definitely! I love running ‘Reach’ objective campaigns next to ‘Conversions’ campaigns. Reach campaigns are also a good choice for reaching as many users as possible in small, higly relevant audience segments.

48. Will the ‘Conversions’ objective optimise for purchases if I don’t pass the conversion value?

You could create a ‘Purchase’ Custom Conversion based on the success URL after the purchase (thank you page). This way you would not need to pass values and you can still optimize for purchases using the ‘Conversions’ objective.

49. What’s the difference between ‘Brand Awareness’ and ‘Reach’ campaigns?

‘Brand Awareness’ will focus on a segment of your target audience. These are people who pay more attention to ads and so are more likely to remember your brand. ‘Reach’ will focus on reaching as many people as possible within your target audience and budget, regardless of the quality of that ad impression.

50. Are there any benefits to ODAX?

ODAX makes choosing the right objective more intuitive. Choosing the right objective is key to generate desired outcomes. In that way it may help a lot of advertisers that have limited experience running ads.

51. What is your basic structure for an online sales campaign?

Focus on: Driving quality traffic / Optimizing for purchase / Retargeting ‘hot’ audiences

52. What is the best way to promote an Instagram account with Meta Ads?

Run ‘Visit Profile’ campaigns within the Instagram app itself.

Questions about Creatives

53. How many creatices do you advice at the ‘Bottom of the Funnel’ and when should they be replaced?

 I suggest running to 2 to 3 ads per ad set. Update or add new ads when frequency and cost per result increase too fast.

54. Do you prefer long or short copy?

Short and clear.

55. How many ads to be live at a time?

Best practice is to run 3 ads per ad set. Meta also limits small- to medium-sized Facebook Pages to running 250 active ads.

56. Your go-to ad? Something that almost always works?

A good offer!

57. For ‘Conversions’ campaigns, what are the best performing creatives? Static ads or video ads?

Your offer will be the most important ‘asset’. I see video ads outperforming visuals in many action-based objectives.

58. Creative frequency to cap to avoid ad fatigue and performance drop? Weekly or monthly timeframe?

There is no specific number. Monitor frequency and cost per result. If both start increasing more rapidly, be sure to update your ad and/or broaden your audience targeting.

59. Any tips for makeup products in Ecommerce?

Create short videos. Try keeping these videos as non-commercial and native as possible. Also consider working with (micro) influencers.

Get inspired by scrolling through make-up related Reels and TikToks and see what triggers the audience.

60. Are Call Outs (labels) any good? How to preview them?

A ‘preview’ is only available as a demo right now. I would suggest adding labels that build trust, like ‘Page Ratings’ and ‘Page Followers’. For a local business, also consider adding ‘Opening Hours’ and ‘Location’.

61. What do you do with disapproved ads?

Check the policies and if they made a mistake, I would appeal. This will solve the issue 9 out of 10. Else, have a support chat. If the rejection is justified, I would edit the existing ad to make it compliant.

Questions about Reporting

62. What are your favorite metrics to report when finishing an awareness ad?

People Reached / Frequency / Cost per 1.000 people reached

63. Do you notice that conversions at the ad set level don’t always appear at the campaign level?

Yes. This happens when attribution and/or optimization of your ad sets are different. You’ll need to report results on the ad set level in that case.

64. How do you track/report on opted-out conversions? Do you include iOS users in Conversions campaigns?

I’m using Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM). I don’t exclude iOS users in Conversions campaigns.

65. Best way to compensate for lack of iOS 14.5 tracking?

At this time, UTM parameters are very useful for recovering lost performance insights. I’ve written an article about using parameters to recover data.

66. My campaigns reports way more conversions than what Google Analytics reports. What could be the reason?

Different factors may cause differences in reporting, here are some of the most common reasons:

  • Google Universal Analytics only reports last non-direct results by default. Meta uses a different attribution model.
  • Meta also reports 1-day view conversions, Analytics doesn’t.
  • Results in Ads Manager may be modeled due to tracking limitations.
  • People see or click on you Meta ad and go to Google to search before converting. Facebook will attribute a conversion if a conversion happened within 7 days post click or 24 hours post view. Google Analytics attributes that same conversion to Google Search instead.

67. We are seeing over estimated sales via 7-day click & 1-day view attribution. Should we shift to only 7-day click attribution?

Keep the default attribution setting and think about creating dedicated landing pages for Meta Ads only if your need more transparancy in results.

68. How important is CPM? And how to decrease this metric?

In many cases, I don’t consider CPM to be an important metric. Let me explain with an example: During high season, the CPM tends to increase due to higher competition in the auction. But then again, the conversion rate also increases because people are more likely to buy. Your campaigns generate higher ROAS, while CPM increases.

69. How to validate the purchase that came from Meta ads with real offline data?

You could upload offline data back to Ads Manager to see attribution for offline purchases.

70. Does the Meta Pixel store all traffic to the site or only traffic coming from Meta Ads?

The Meta Pixel collects all traffic. You could isolate paid traffic using utm parameters and create ‘paid traffic’ audiences.

71. Will my ad report any conversions beyond 1-day window if I set my attribution to 1-day click?

No, it will only report on conversions within 1-day in that specific setup.

72. My accounts show more Add-to-Cart events than ‘Link clicks’?

There can be multiple causes for this to happen. Eg. The 1-day view attribution will report Add-to-Cart events from people who viewed your ad, but didn’t click. This is more likely to happen in retargeting campaigns.

73. Do you have an explanation for the big difference in ‘Link clicks’ vs. ‘Landing Page Views’?

Here are some possible reasons:

  • People not accepting marketing cookies.
  • People not allowing tracking (iOS).
  • Partial, delayed and modelled data in Ads Manager.

74. How can we measure traffic sources? How to report on the Placements?

Add a dynamic UTM parameter {{placement}} to your tracking field. This will allow you to see the placement from which users entered your website in tools like Google Analytics.

75. What is the first thing you look at when getting access to a new account?

The number of active campaigns. The more I see, the more changes are likely needed.

76. How do you handle the difference in conversions between Meta reporting and Google Analytics?

I compare both and look for differences between both data reports. The truth is mostly in between. Check the real outcome with sales dept. and CRM data. Also consider setting up dedicated landing pages for your Meta campaigns only.

77. Best way to set up the Meta Pixel? Manual or using a plugin?

There really isn’t a ‘best’ way. If you’re using a CMS, then the easiest way would probably be installing a plugin. For custom setups, I prefer using Google Tag Manager to fire the Meta Pixel.

Questions about Audience Targeting

78. I’m advertising for a board game. Any tips?

A lot of people like board games. Consider targeting broad audiences instead of interest targeting. Share the fun of playing the board game.

79. How to re-engage iOS 14.5+ users?

  • Target broad for inclusion.
  • Retarget users who engaged with your ad on Facebook/Instagram.
  • Upload your own databases.

P.S. Conversions API is NOT the solution for retargeting iOS users, but it can help to increase total matched events and audience sizes.

80. Is it better to do manual or automatic placements?

No best or worst choice here, as it depends. I mostly prefer manual for ‘Reach’ objectives and automatic for ‘Conversions’ objectives.

81. Does adding more interests in the targeting make the target audience more narrow?

No, adding more interests increases your audience targeting size. Adding too many interests may cause irrelevance though.

82. Automatic or manual bidding?

Automatic allows for liquidity, while manual may limit performance of your campaign when your bid is too optimistic. If you set realistic bids, using manual bidding can help to scale.

83. Do you use any interest/behavior targeting in catalog ads and if kept open how do you optimize?

In most cases, I don’t use interest targeting or add other targeting options for DPA. Though I’ve seen some great results by adding ‘Engaged Shoppers’ behavior. This option optimizes for reaching people who click ‘Show Now’ CTA buttons.

84. My target audience is 16-18 years but I cannot target them with detailed targeting. What to do?

Keep your ad message and offer clear. This will make people click who are interested in your offer. The more people show interest, the better the system will learn who to target, eliminating the need for detailed targeting.

85. Should I exclude my retargeting audience in my prospecting campaign?

It depends on the retargeting audience type. A current customer database of the product/service you’re promoting? Then yes. A retargeting audience of website visitors? Then no. If you would exclude website visitors, you’re excluding prospects after 1 visit. You’ll probably need more exposure and visits to convert these prospects.

86. Do you make a funnel like tofu, mofu and bofu? And how do you plan campaigns?

Yes, definitely. I’m using 2 funnel approaches.

1: The ‘classic’ funnel where I’m targeting audiences based on previous behavior, from top to bottom.

2: The ‘optimized’ funnel where I’m targeting broad audiences in every stage of the funnel and let the system optimize for each funnel objective (awareness, interest, conversion).

87. Should we have multiple ad sets targeting multiple interests?

Think about dropping interests instead of adding more variations. Many products or offers don’t need detailed interest targeting. Sounds crazy? Think about it. People can be interested in your offer without already being matched to your defined interest catagories.

88. Any advice for using (or not using) automatic rules on Meta Ads?

Use them carefully when running rules that may change budgets and bids. I love to use automated rules to receive notifications for specific changes in delivery, frequency and optimization.

89. Standard structure for Ecommerce Meta ads?

Prospecting targeting broad, interest and lookalike audiences + Retargeting based on engagement and product activity.

90. Any tips on audiences when the objective is to increase engagement?

Consider targeting a lookalike audience based on Page engagers.

91. How about recruitment campaigns/special ads and Facebook Jobs no longer available?

Be sure to select the ‘Employment’ Special Ad category. Then select the best matching interest out of the available list. When you can’t find a relevant interest, consider targeting a special category lookalike audience based on visitors of that specific job offer landing page.

92. How do you avoid audience overlap for prospecting campaigns?

Audience overlap should not be that much of an issue when prospecting audiences are large enough. Otherwise, consider excluding audiences or consolidating ad sets.

93. How are you approaching interest targeting now? One broad interest or narrow down?

Continue to select the most relevant interests. When you see that adding more interests doesn’t result in more reach, stop adding alternatives. Also consider using ‘interests’ that are no longer available as ‘keywords’ in your ad copy. Target by keyword this way.

94. Can we run interest, lookalikes and retargeting audiences together?

Sure. Just be sure to use isolate the retargeting audiences in seperate campaigns, or use ABO. Though I would also consider the ‘Lookalikes’ and ‘Interests’ audiences into 1 audience, just pick one targeting option. If you’d rather not, use CBO so that the algorithm van allocate budgets between these two audiences.

95. How can we create paid traffic audiences?

Add UTM parameters to your ads. Eg: utm_source=meta&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=campaignname. Then create a website custom audience from people visiting specific pages containing ‘cpc’.

96. For niche, high end products, would you use detailed interest targeting rather than broad targeting?

For niche, I would first test to target by interest to guide the system. Select 1 to 2 highly relevant interests.

97. Should you use detailed targeting expansion when testing audiences at the ad set level?

Yes, for action-based objectives, the expansion feature can help you to increase results and lower the cost per result. Be sure to enable it for all sets when testing different audiences.

98. Tricks and tips when dealing with special ads campaigns (housing, recruiting,…)

Targeting options are often too limited for these categories. In that case, consider using lookalikes. I’ve seen great results using Special Ad audiences when default targeting options are too limited to be relevant.

99. Do you always create lookalike audiences when you launch new ads?

Yes, I like to create lookalike audiences based on traffic/engagement for future use. I also like to turn on lookalike expansion. Note: People in your source audience are excluded from your lookalike audiences.

100. How do you handle the very few targeting options in recruitment campaigns?

I’m a big fan of Special Ad lookalike audiences for recruiting ads. Consider creating lookalikes from people who viewed relevant vacancies on your website.

Did you find this article helpful? Then you should hit that follow button on my Instagram account @bram.social and LinkedIn profile. I’m looking forward answering some of your own questions during a next Q&A session.

About the Author

Bram

Bram Van der Hallen is an all-round Belgian Digital Marketer and Meta Certified Professional with 14+ years experience in media planning and buying.Bram talks about Facebook Ads on LinkedIn. Click here to Follow Bram on LinkedIn.

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