Everything You Need to Know about Facebook Automated Ads
Has trying to keep on top of too many ad campaigns become overwhelming? Between tracking and optimising each ad set, and creating new campaigns, it’s a lot to handle. Fortunately, Facebook automated ads can take a lot of the burden off your shoulders.
Facebook's automated ad tool was designed for both novice and experienced professionals alike. It is simple to use and performs many of the manual tasks that would normally take hours to do. As such, it can be used to scale ad campaigns for businesses of any size.
In this Facebook automated ads guide, we'll explore the following:
- What are Facebook automated ads and their features?
- Step by step on how to launch an automated ad on Facebook
- How to optimise your marketing strategy for automated Facebook ads
- Facebook automated ads pros and cons
- Facebook automated ads vs Boosted posts and Facebook Ads
- How MagicBrief can enhance your automated ad campaigns
- Should you use Facebook ad automation for your next ad campaign?
What are Facebook Automated Ads?
Facebook automated ads are ads that are automatically created and optimised by Facebook's algorithm based on your goals and target audience. After inputting your desired objectives and parameters, such as budget, location, age range, and gender, Facebook's AI handles the rest.
Once ads are launched, Facebook gradually optimises your ads by adjusting its ad placement, targeting, and creative elements on the campaign, ad set, and ad level. These multidimensional decisions are data-driven and made in real-time, giving your ads the best chance to achieve the best results.
Features of Facebook Automated Ads
Let’s break down what you can expect when running Facebook’s automated ads:
- Creates multiple versions of the same ad, aka A/B testing, to find the one that best resonates with your audience.
- Provides real-time performance updates on campaign tracking metrics, i.e., cost per click, impression rate, conversion rate, etc.
- Allocates more funds to top-performing ad sets, while scaling back funds from those that aren't.
- Tests different ad creative components (including headline, image, text, etc.) to find the combination that gets the most impressions, clicks etc.
- Refines your target audience based on engagement levels and conversion data. For example, if people over 50 are ignoring your ad, Facebook may prioritise targeting a younger demographic.
- Identifies the best places to showcase ads, i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network, etc.
In essence, Facebook's AI does a lot of the legwork for you, an ideal scenario if you have limited time or resources to manually do these tasks yourself. You’ll save time, money, and energy while still yielding excellent results.*
How to Run Facebook Automated Ads
After creating your Facebook ad account and setting up your business page, you're now ready to launch automated ads.
To get started:
- On your business page, click on 'Advertise'.
- Under 'Choose ad type', choose 'Get started with Automated Ads'.
- Proceed to fill in the necessary information about your business.
- When asked 'Do you want people's contact info,' your answer will determine if you're running a lead gen campaign or just a regular ad.
- Fill in the rest, such as the target audience’s location, interests and the ad creative you want to use.
- On the final page, choose your campaign goal. However, if you agree to collect people's contact info, Facebook will recommend that you run a lead gen campaign.
- Increase or decrease your budget to how you see fit. Your ad's duration, meanwhile, will be automatically set to 'continuous' for automated ads.
- Select ‘Advantage audience’ if you want Facebook to you want Facebook to utilise your page details and insights to automatically create a suitable audience for your ad.
- Adjust your ad’s placement if necessary. For example, if you don't want ads showing up on a user's newsfeeds, you can opt for messenger-only placement.
- On the right, Facebook estimates the number of accounts you’d reach daily.
- Once satisfied, add your payment method and click 'Promote now' to start your automated ad.
Congrats! You've successfully launched an automated ad campaign.
Now, you can simply let Facebook’s A.I do its thing as you monitor your ad’s performance. Just remember that automated Facebook ads take time to optimise, so be too hasty to make any drastic changes.
Optimising Your Marketing Strategy with Facebook Ads Automation
Now it’s time to learn how to use Facebook automated ads to optimise each stage of your customer acquisition funnel. Depending on your goals, you can use automated ads to acquire and nurture leads, drive conversions, or even upsell existing customers.
But first, you need to know what key performance indicators (KPIs) are most relevant to your business.
Tailoring KPIs to Your Business Model
For B2C Companies: B2C (Business-to-consumer) businesses focus on driving conversions and sales. When running Facebook automated ads, monitor metrics such as Website Purchase ROAS, Cost per Purchase, Cost per Checkout Initiated, and Cost per Lead.
For Mobile Apps: Here, the goal is to increase app instals and engagement. Monitor metrics as Cost per Install, Cost per Level Completed, and Cost per Microtransaction could be more relevant.
For B2B Companies: If you have a lengthy sales cycle that includes multiple touchpoints, monitor KPIs such as Cost per Content Download, Cost per Demo Request, Cost per Free Trial, and Cost per Contract.
Defining Maximum Cost Per Outcome
When running automated ads, you should have benchmarks of what you consider a successful outcome. A good way to do this is to first establish your CPA, and work backwards to set a maximum cost per result that you are willing to pay.
Example: E-commerce Store
Let's say your end goal is to get a sale of $50 (Cost Per Acquisition or CPA).
- End Goal: Your maximum CPA is $50. This is the maximum you're willing to pay for a purchase, so anything below is considered a success.
- Mid Funnel: Assume that 1 in 5 people who add an item to their cart makes a purchase. As such, any Add to Cart worth less than $10 is good.
- Top of Funnel: Now, let's say that 1 in 10 website visitors add an item to their cart. To get 5 people to initiate a checkout, you'd need 50 website visitors. This sets your maximum Cost per Website Visitor (or Lead) at $1.
If leads from your automated ads are costing over $1, you'll instantly know something needs tweaking. This could mean changing your targeting or ad's creative. It’s just a simple case of taking action i.e performing A/B testing on your ads to decrease your cost per lead.
Similarly, if the ‘add to cart’ cost exceeds $10, you can adjust your mid-funnel strategy. You can optimise your product descriptions, offer special discounts, or even change your CTA’s page position. It’s the collection of small changes like these that make uncertain leads into paying customers.
The Pros and Cons of Creating Automated Ads on Facebook
When launching an automated ad on Facebook, it’s like having an extra set of hands on your marketing team. You give the A.I your end goal vision, and it works in the background to make it a reality.
Here are some of the pros and cons that come with using Facebook Automated Ads:
Facebook Automated Ads Pros:
It Saves Time: The process of testing, and optimising ads takes a fraction of the time using automated ads. Since it does the job for you, you can focus on other things like customer service, content marketing or changing up your ad’s creative.
Budget Management: Automated Ads maximise your budget by allocating funds to the best-performing ads. Facebook ensures you get maximum return on your investment by getting the most out of every dollar spent.
Simplified A/B Testing: A/B testing is a daunting proposition for many businesses. Automated Ads automate this process, creating up to six versions of an ad to test against each other.
Real-time Optimization: Your ads' ongoing performance is automatically monitored and adjusted to keep up with the ever-changing landscape in digital marketing.
Scalability: Facebook's AI can manage multiple ad sets and campaigns simultaneously, allowing you to efficiently scale your advertising efforts.
It's Easy to Use: Since it's an automated process, you don't need to be an experienced digital marketer to use it effectively.
Provides Data for Future Campaigns: After your ad campaigns are finished, you can use the data i.e your optimised target audience to new, better ad campaigns.
Facebook Automated Ads Cons:
Limited Settings and Features: If you're a hands-on marketer, you'll want more control than you get with automated ads. Unlike Facebook Ads, you can’t conduct advanced A/B tests or choose your preferred ad formats, i.e., Carousel, Collections, etc.
Limited Audience Targeting: Automated Ads require you to input your audience's basic interests or choose their ‘Advantage audience’ feature. You’re restricted from inputting your audience’s age range, gender and more detailed targeting finesse such as ‘life events’ or ‘behavioural targeting’.
You're Not Making the Decisions: If you're relying solely on automation, you're handing the reins over to Facebook's AI. While it can effectively control your campaigns, it may not have the same nuanced understanding of your brand and target audiences as a human.
There Are No Guarantees: While this remains true whether you're using automation or manual Ad campaigns, it bears repeating. AI isn't a miracle worker, so your ROI might not be as high as you'd like if there are fundamental flaws in your campaigns.
Inferior Ads Don't Run Their Course: Facebook will automatically deprioritize ads that aren't performing well. However, even bad results can give you valuable insights about where you went wrong.
How do Automated Ads Compare to Boosted Posts and Facebook Ads?
When it comes to nitpicking how one type of ad is better than another, it often depends on your experience level, time, resources and budget. Automated ads provide somewhat of a middle ground between boosted posts and Facebook ads, making it a good option for most advertisers.
Here's a quick comparison to help you understand the differences:
Boosted Posts vs. Automated Ads vs. Facebook Ads
User Experience Required
Time to Set Up
Nearly full Customization
Audience’s interest.‘Advantage Audience’ feature is also available.
Your existing post
Videos and images. Facebook then decides which ad formats to use
You can choose all ad formats, including Carousel, Slideshows and more.
Ease of Use: Facebook Automated Ads literally take minutes to create, and are generally easier to create than boosted posts or Facebook ads.
Targeting Options: Since there’s no detailed targeting option. You simply state your target audience’s interests and Facebook will do the rest. However, you can select ‘Advantage Audience’ which uses your page details to create a suitable audience.
Ad Creative: Boost posts are created from existing page posts. Automated Ads utilise the images and videos you provide and dynamically optimise them to fit various ad formats such as single images, carousels, slideshows, and collections. Lastly, Facebook Ads allows users to choose the ad format of their choice.
How to Make the Most of Facebook Ad Automation with MagicBrief
Before giving Facebook automated ads a try, you need to ensure your ad's creative is on point. With MagicBrief, you can get the creative help you need to make your ad stand out from the competition.
With our Chrome extension, you can save competitor ads into our advertising Facebook Ad library (which can store TikTok and Instagram ads too!) You can then build ads collections and start analysing the competition.
Once you understand what works, use our Ad Storyboard and Brief to easily create compelling ad creatives. You can then use these creatives when creating your automated ads, and rest assured that they look great.
Register now and start creating compelling automated ad campaigns today!
Final Thoughts - Should You Use Facebook Automated Ads?
Before diving head first into the world of Facebook automation, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I willing to give up some control over my campaigns?
- Do I really know my target audience?
- Do I have the time to monitor and adjust campaigns as needed?
- Do my ads require a specific ad format i.e. Carousel, Collection ads etc?
- Am I prepared to experiment and iterate on my ad strategies based on automated recommendations?
When you’re short on time or inexperienced, automated ads are a great option. However, you should still be aware of their limitations and are far from foolproof. If your target audience is way off or your ad creative is simply bad, A.I won’t be able to make up the difference.
As such, it's important to remember that automated ads is a tool, and not a one-size-fits-all solution. It can be very useful if used correctly, but it also carries its own risks and limitations. Be sure to do your research before investing in automated ads for your business.