In order to understand how to approach ad structure, first you must understand the learning phase.
The learning phase occurs when you create a new ad set or make a significant edit to an existing ad or ad set.
This period of time allows the algorithm to learn about who your audience/ads most appeal to.
During the learning phase, the algorithm explores the best audiences to deliver your ad set to and finds which placements they spend most of their time on. Allowing you to get more results.
To successfully exit the learning phase you need to make sure you follow these tips...
1.) Avoid frequent edits
Manual edits made to your ad set are one of the top reasons why ad sets don’t exit the learning phase. Certain adjustments can reset the learning phase, including:
Changing optimization events
Adding new creative
Changing bid strategy
Changing bid amount
Pausing for 48hrs
2.) Consolidate ad sets once proven
Once you identify which audiences are generating the most results and are proven to get you results...
Try to reduce the number of ad sets by consolidating them.
For example, combine two ad sets that are generating great results.
This will give your ad sets more of a fair chance to exit the learning phase efficiently since they will have a larger audience and bigger budget shifted towards them.
3.) Allocate enough budget
Since ad sets need around 50 conversions over a 7-day period to exit the learning phase, the ad set should have enough budget to allow for this to happen.
If your budget is very small or too high, this gives the algorithm an inaccurate indication of the audience to optimize for.
4.) Reduce audience overlap
To minimize audience overlap, consolidate ad sets with similar audiences once proven and use proper audience exclusions.
5.) Remove audience duplication.
Make sure to exclude the custom audience that you use to create the lookalike. This ensures you don't take away from your retargeting audience and bid yourself up.
Otherwise if you don't exclude it it will raise your retargeting audience cost and lower your first time impression ratio.
6.) Campaign Budget Optimization
Allow Facebook to continuously and automatically find the best opportunities for conversions across your ad sets, and distribute your campaign budget to get the best possible results by using campaign budget optimization.
This will create the ideal distribution of your budget across all of your ad sets for you.
7.) Optimize for the right conversion event
If you want purchases then optimize for purchases. If you want leads then optimize for leads.
The algorithm is designed to help get you more of the conversion event you select.
And if it's anything other than your true goal then you'll never get the conversions you truly want.
Note: Ad sets with longer conversion windows need more time to exit the learning phase.
8.) Number of creatives
Limiting the number of creatives in your ad sets will help exit the learning phase.
Too many within the same ad set can prevent the ad set from exiting the learning phase.
Aim to include 2-3 proven ads in one ad set.
Less than 3 ads may prevent the ad set from performing well in the auction, whereas more than 8 ads can prevent the ad set from leaving the learning phase if those 8 ads are not proven.
9.) Broaden Lookalike audience
Larger audience sizes are more likely to generate enough conversions for an ad set to exit the learning phase.
Try bucketing lookalikes into larger groups to ensure your audience size is large enough: If using 0-1%, move to a larger bucket 0-3%. If using 3-5%, move to a larger bucket 3-10%.
10.) Remove bid cap
If you are using a bid cap, target cost, cost cap, or value optimization with minimum ROAS (return on ad spend) that restricts your ad sets from getting 50 conversions in a 7-day period, then the ad sets may not exit the learning phase.
11.) Custom Audience exclusion
Facebook can focus on using your budget to acquire new customers when you use the audience exclusion tool to exclude people who are less likely to take action on your ads (e.g. past purchases), or people you’re targeting in other ads.
If you have at least one ad set using Custom Audiences, but you’re not using a Custom Audience for exclusion:
Use audience exclusion to exclude people less likely to take action on your ads. This will allow Facebook to spend the budget on people more likely to take action.
Use audience exclusion to exclude people who are being targeted by your other ads. This will help prevent ad fatigue.
If you follow just some of these tips with lookalikes you'll be able to generate more results, lower costs, and scale faster...
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