Identifying The Optimal Manual Bid For Your Ads

I like to scale my Facebook ad campaigns with manual bids. One of the the tough decisions is to identify what is the optimal bid with regards to the best combination of number of sales and profit per sale. In short, getting the best return on ad spend (ROAS).

One manual way that I’ve used in the past is to start my ads by placing a bid that would result in 1.00 ROAS. For example, if the cost of goods sold is $10 and I’m selling the goods for $30, I’d start by placing a manual bid of $20. What this translates into is that I’m willing to break-even to initiate the learning phase for the ad-set.

Then I reduce this bid by 10% everyday until my ROAS keeps getting better and stop when the spend starts going down. This has helped me identify the right manual bid in the past. But there’s one drawback and that is the auctions change everyday and I only run the top down bid-identifying strategy once. So my manual bid may not be the most optimal manual bid everyday in the future.

However, since the launch of campaign budget optimization (CBO), there’s a simple solution to this problem. You can create multiple ad-sets with different manual bids and place them in a CBO. So if you’re selling that $10 product for $30, you can may be create 5 ad-sets in a CBO with a bid of $13, $14, $15, $16 and $17. The CBO will automatically choose the ad-set that’s likely to get the best results and each day a different ad-set with a different bidding may be getting the sales for you.

Why I Use Accelerated Delivery For Facebook Ads

I haven’t met many people who use Facebook’s accelerated delivery for ads. The reason why people don’t use that option, beside the fact that many people don’t even know about it, is that accelerated delivery consumes your daily budget as quickly as it possibly can ignoring to spread it evenly through-out the day.

The problem with this kind of execution is that you’re basically asking Facebook to win all the bids possible in order to serve your ads which means you’re willing to pay as high as possible to get the results. Then why would I or someone else possibly use this option? There’s a very good reason for that and I’ll explain this just in a bit.

I scale a lot of my campaigns with manual bids. For example if a campaign is working well for me @ $100/day ad-spend but suddenly stops working for me at $200/day ad-spend, I can’t possibly scale this campaign using automatic bidding. I’d instead scale this campaign by placing a manual bid of say $20/purchase and setting the budget to $1000. If Facebook can find me $20/purchase, it will spend all $1000. If it can’t get me any purchase in that amount, no budget will be spent. If it can get me a few sales in that cost, the budget will be spent accordingly.

Even with manual bids, Facebook will also attempt to evenly spread my budget through the 24 hour period. However, that may be unnecessary with manual bids. When I’ve provided a cap per result, I would ideally like to spend all my budget even in a 1 minute period as long as the cost per purchase is met. And this is where the accelerated delivery does the job just right.

In summary, I like to run most manual bid campaigns with accelerated delivery in order to steal cheap bids as quickly as possible, even if that means spending day’s budget in an hour.

Losing Bids And Winning Campaigns

Every performance marketer has different techniques to run their ads. Most professional marketers use a wide range of techniques in order to scale depending on the goals of the campaign. Losing bids is one of the ways to run a profitable campaign.

Losing bid sounds like you’re losing something. But often that isn’t how it works. In fact, losing bid actually means you’re not willing to pay the top dollar for the eyeball. Instead you will bid on whatever audience is left after the auction competition.

This works particularly well for campaigns on a budget. This also works well for campaigns that are not led by the sense of urgency. But it can even work well for campaigns that you really want to scale quickly.

You can run these kind of campaigns by setting a very small daily budget if you are doing automatic bids. Sometimes I run ad-sets for as low as Rs 125 (less than $1) per day. As Facebook is going to evenly distribute your daily budget in a 24 hour period, you will automatically get a lower bid. You can also run such a campaign by setting a low manual-bid with a higher daily budget, which the ad-set may or may not consume.

It is true that you will be getting lesser impressions, clicks or sales compared to higher bids or budgets but at a lower cost which is great when you don’t have the urgency to get your lead or sale, and can wait a few days.

But you can even scale such kinds of campaigns using horizontal scaling methods. To scale, you can duplicate your ad-sets with different targeting for each ad-set while maintaining low budget per ad-set.

We’ve run campaigns with $1000/day budget by using 50 ad-sets spending $20/day each. We obviously avoided paying the premium for the bids as well as were able to spend a large amount of money daily on our campaign reaching the scale we intended.

This kind of strategy definitely works and I encourage you try it if you haven’t already.