The last Q4 we ran multiple stores for scaling but one broke all records – CBO PLAYED A BIG PART IN THIS
I want to share some insight into how we did it so you guys can use this right now.
CBO – Campaign Budget Optimisation is not just a new way of managing budgets, combined with a formalised test process, optimisation, scaling, DPA and DCO it’s a game changer.
Let me start by wishing you all well this Q4. For some ecom businesses they’ll generate anywhere from 50-80% of their revenue and profit between Oct-Dec.
I’ve been doing this since 2005 and each year it’s the same – panic, fear, failure in equal measures with success, profit and growth.
Nowadays I work closely with the Facebook team, challenging them and supporting them to do better for advertisers.
In the last 6 months alone my agency’s run $8M in ad spend – with a lot of that profitably through CBO for accounts large and small.
So here are my 7 tips for maximising your results this Q4 using CBO
1) It’s more than a winning product
To succeed with fAcebook ads and Ecom in 2019 you need more than just a winning product – you need a great sales funnel, lots of creative testing, great customer experience.
Facebook are doing everything they can to ensure users have a great experience on THEIR platform – which means if you want consistently good, profitable traffic, keep users happy.
That means measuring and improving:
Page Load Times
Website Engagement Rates
Funnel Conversion Rates
Reducing Refund Rates
Answering Queries Fast
Keeping Page Monthly Satisfaction Scores above 4.0
Stop thinking in terms of products and focus on experience.
We did this on this store to bring LOWER CPMs and HIGHER conversation rates resulting in higher ROAS – because you give Facebook what it wants and they give you the best users for the cheapest costs.
At peak we had CPMs hovering between $6-8 in competitive markets.
CBO works better when you have pre-tested your audiences, creatives, products and funnel. What I call the CORE-4. It’s essential for growth WITH profitability.
2) Invest in testing now and through October for high scaling in Nov & Dec
I’d usually say if you haven’t started testing for Q4 by now – which means you know your best products, angles, audiences and started working on funnel optimisation and user experience now, you’re in trouble.
But reality is you still have time. But. You can buy yourself more time, if you can afford it.
I loved watching The Matrix and seeing Keanu/Neo learn new fighting skills by plugging a training program into his brain and mastering it in seconds.
Whilst we can’t do this, yet, you can pay to accelerate your knowledge – find the thing you have least knowledge of and can provide the highest leverage and find a way to outsource it.
Here’s an example – I’m launching a new Ecom store but I’ve ‘outsourced’ the product side of it – I’m a marketer, not a product guy. So I’ve an hired ace product team to help research and direct us on product whilst me and my team focus on our zone of genius.
It costs more in the short-term but we’ll profit higher, faster.
Here’s another example – when scaling for Q4 I’m willing to invest money in September for testing audiences and creatives heavily and refine those learnings in October as we start to scale. are you?
Or in October I’m willing to invest in building up interest in my site and products by building up ATCs, ICs etc ready for the frenzied buying in November. are you?
We did this in that store last year to devastating effect by testing a controlled list of creative angles and audiences using CBO so that we could enter October with so many learnings and a batch of angles/creatives ready to go.
3) Build the right test, optimise and scale structure
Something as simple as excluding ENGAGED audiences from COLD audiences and SITE VISITORS from ENGAGED audiences can make all the difference.
I use the COLD, WARM, HOT audience grouping to decide on my angles, budgets, exclusions, targeting and more.
COLD: new traffic, not engaged or visited your site
WARM: engaged (eg page fans, engaged with posts, video viewers etc) but not visited your site
HOT: visited site not purchased
Each grouping excludes the one below, so COLD excludes WARM which excludes HOT.
this keeps auction competition low and helps to serve the right message at the right time.
I use INFINITY audiences in WARM and HOT, using DCO and DPA to keep the amount of creatives changes here to a minimum – because if someone has watched a video to 75% for example in 7 days, then every 7 days there are new people in this audience. Firing up a DPA or DCO ad here does a great job of keeping ads fresh and with CBO, using multiple audiences, Facebook decide each day which audience is working best and which to put budget into.
We scaled top of funnel ads, despite a lower ROAS than our target, because we had this funnel structure in place, allowing us to measure the trickle down from COLD ROAS to WARM ROAS to HOT ROAS and seeing an overall ROAS with high profit, at scale.
So it’s not only helping your audience targeting, it is also helping analysis and decision making.
Learn how to use funnels now and maximise ROAS in Q4.
4) Signal Facebook that you’re ready
Assuming you’ve followed steps 1-3, you’ve now given Facebook all the right signals. But we can do more:
post regular updates on your PAGE – this gives Facebook the signal that you care about fans
Test for virality of your best posts – I’d recommend boosting posts to see which catch on in terms of engagement using PPE – paid and organic engagement help your Page score
Focus on high website conversion rate over high CTR – this counts for more to Facebook – CTR is more vanity than website CVR%
Take Facebook’s Ad Relevance Metrics seriously – FB now tell you, beyond what Relevance Score used to (a rating from 1-10), and now split your scores by your targeting, creative and site performance. Big clues here on where to focus and improve.
People that wonder why CBO isn’t working for them underestimate the importance of feeding the Facebook engine good fuel.
These small but significant shifts will bring your CPM further down – take them seriously as I do – low CPM and high conversion rates – a big secret to high ROAS.
5) Test AOV and LTV promos early
Here’s a hack – use Halloween to test your Xmas/BFCM promos – whatever bundles or offers you think might work, test them.
It goes a long way to see what people will buy into. We’d use a Split Test on Facebook to do this.
Once you know which promo works best, plug that into your CBO. CBO works best when you have pre-tested as much as possible.
Because aside from lower costs and higher conversions, a higher AOV/LTV is what’s goingn to bring you far higher profits.
Doesn’t matter if your product is $20 or $200. You should find ways to bump up the revenue whatever you’re selling.
I launched a $97 product recently which is doing a $160 AOV – that’s 40% extra revenue by testing and tweaking my upsell journey
6) Know when to exit the battle to win the war
Managing budgets on Facebook is a daily battle at all levels of spend. Knowing when to quit and when to fight is part of becoming an experienced media buyer.
When running a cBO campaign, whilst Facebook needs as much data/time/budget as possible, fast, to get your stability the reality is FB will make you lose money fast if you don’t control it.
Learn, by time of day and campaign, what good looks like and react early. If you know by 12pm your cost per ATC should be $15 and it’s $35 – pause it. Duplicate it, move on. If by 3pm ROAS should be 4 and it’s less than 1, kill it.
CBO will learn and adapt but it needs your help.
7) Scale comfortably
There are many options for scaling a CBO:
duplicate to higher budget
duplicate into segments
various manual bids
lifetime budgets and more
Knowing what to apply when happens in October so you’re ready for November.
i prefer a mix of budget increase and duplication but we’re testing more with lifetime budgets. Manual bid’s great for short-term spikes but auto bids win long-term, when you’ve followed the above steps.
GO GET IT!
I’ve shared a taste of what goes into building a $16M Ecom store and of course there is much more to it.
Without CBO we would not have been as confident or profitable.
And I know some of you will be in the same boat.
If you have the time to heavily test these strategies and CBO before Q4 then get started right now.