Scaling Facebook ads in 2021- does the 20% rule really work?
Scaling your facebook ads is a popular approach to keep your campaigns growing over time. You may have seen the generic advice to scale ads by 20%, but is there really a set rule for what increment your Facebook ad scaling strategy should be increasing by? If you have a successful Facebook ad campaign which you want to get more from, or have tried to scale an ad campaign and seen conversions drop off, keep reading. This article will take a look at the different facebook scaling options and how to create maximum growth for your Facebook ad campaign in 2021.
What is Facebook scaling?
‘Scaling’ in terms of Facebook ads means spending more on an existing ad campaign to gradually increase the reach of a successful ad.
The most popular approach to ad scaling is to ‘scale up.’ Put simply, scaling up means increasing your daily or overall ad budget, or spending more to target a larger audience with your ad.
Other methods of ad scaling for Facebook include launching more ad sets for a campaign, trying out different ad formats alongside each other within a campaign, or having different versions of your ad simultaneously with variations to things like images and copy.
This article is focused on ‘scaling up’ through budget increases. For instructions on how to scale a Facebook ad, see this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-Rzow-qhh4
Ways to scale your Facebook ad campaigns:
What is the 20% Rule?
What is the 20% rule, and why are Facebook advertisers rethinking it? The 20% rule is the idea that you can maximise ad scaling by increasing your budget for a successful ad by 20% a day. A 20% increase is also what will generally be recommended at the budget setting stage if you are using Facebook’s budget optimisation tool for your campaign.
Daily budgets are almost universally recommended over lifetime budgets for creating a successful Facebook ad campaign. The 20% rules suggests that a campaign which starts with a budget of £100 per day would scale up from £100 a day to £120 a day, and so on. While it would be great if there was 1 clear rule you could stick to with a percentage amount that always worked for scaling up Facebook ads, the percentage you increase your ad budget by is not as important to your campaign’s success as the real amount you are increasing the spend by. The 20% rule has spread more because it seems easy and simple than because it guarantees success.
How much should you scale your facebook ads?
So, if the 20% rule doesn’t apply to every kind of campaign, then what are the alternatives? Although a 20% daily budget increase could get you great results on a campaign where this means a £20 increase, for campaigns with a bigger budget, a 20% increase can lead to a far larger and riskier real amount. For example, if your Facebook ad campaign’s budget is 20k a day, a 20% increase means you are suddenly spending 24k daily, which is a very significant added spend.
The higher your budget level, the less a percentage rule for scaling your Facebook ad spending is going to get you good results. As the initial spend on your ad changes, the financial risk of increasing by 20% increments changes too, so that a 20% scaling is not sustainable for a bigger ad campaign. Instead, Facebook ad campaigns with bigger budgets are best scaled by set increments within an overall budget, as each stage of scaling is partially a test of how successful an ad campaign can get, so not worth taking a huge risk on.
However, the opposite is true for smaller ad campaigns, which can actually see great results from taking a more aggressive approach to scaling. If scaling your campaign’s daily budget by 100% takes you from £100 daily budget to £200 daily budget. This is still a manageable increase, but speeds up your ad campaign scaling. The reason speeding up campaign scaling at lower budget levels is a good idea, is that this strategy can help keep momentum behind your campaign, while still only increasing your budget based on solid results, as you need a significant testing period for each scaling level for Facebook ad scaling to really work.
How often should you scale up your facebook ads?
A good rule of thumb for scaling up your Facebook ad campaign spending is to wait 7-10 days between each budget increase. A lot of times, businesses will follow the 20% rule in their ad campaign scaling strategy, and then increase their budget on that scale every couple of days. The problem with this is that if you make changes to your campaign too often, you will trap it in the learning stage, meaning Facebook doesn’t have time to effectively process data from the campaign and target it effectively, and you don’t get high quality data on your ad’s performance.
A far better approach is to scale by bigger increments proportional to how much you actually want to spend daly rather than a set percentage increase, and then implement a wait time of at least a week to let your campaign adjust and collect strong data. After this test period has passed, you can assess your results and whether you want to scale up again based on the campaign’s success.
For a campaign with a smaller budget, a bigger increase followed by this longer testing period will get you accurate results fastest. For campaigns with bigger budgets, the wait period is even more crucial, as is carefully considering how much it is actually worth increasing your budget by. Part of the reason for the wait period when scaling a campaign is that Facebook takes time to gather sufficient data for accurate results and optimisation. This is especially true since the arrival of ios 14.5 in 2021 decreased Facebook’s access to data. For campaigns with bigger budgets, there is even more data to be gathered, as by asking facebook to provide, for example, £4000 worth more viewers for a campaign with an initial spend of £20000, you are requesting a huge amount of data processing, which is going to take time to show any positive effects. Add to this the fact that Facebook will first target your most likely prospects, and increasing your audience in huge increments becomes less and less appealing.
So to avoid your Facebook campaigns dropping off in success as you scale up, ignore any percentage rules and increase by more on lower budget campaigns, and less on higher budget campaigns, leave enough time between scaling up to get reliable data from your campaign, and remember there is a limit to how far you should aim to scale before you are targeting too broadly.
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