Facebook offers one of the most effective social network advertising platforms in the world. It’s one of the largest social media kingpins and is an excellent tool to get started with lead generation, building branding awareness, and increasing sales and conversion. With Facebook advertising, any sized business with a marketing budget set aside can get started creating an ad and launching a campaign. Digital marketers can choose from different ad formats and campaign objectives, and get their ads served to a very specific set of people or target audience. But too much of a good thing is rarely a good thing.
Even though Facebook marketers can have a lot of success on the social network with their ads, it’s not always a good idea to run multiple ads from their Facebook ad accounts. Although it is possible to run several ads at once, Facebook advertisers need to understand the problem of audience overlap and what they can do to make sure it doesn’t derail their Facebook ad campaign.
What happens after you build the ads?
Every Facebook ad you create and launch consists of the following metrics:
The campaign itself. This is where you will set the objective, such as post engagement, or clicks to a landing page on your website.
The ads set. Ad sets are defined by their bids, scheduling, and population targeting for custom audiences.
The ad itself, including the ad copy and actual content that is seen on your Facebook page.
Ad level includes the ad copy, images, and links. Setting campaign levels is also relatively straightforward once you know the different, basic ad formats. But many marketers run into issues when it comes to the ads set. Audience overlap can occur, which can completely ruin your advertising goals, and running several ads at once is one way to create audience overlap.
What is audience overlap?
Audience overlap happens when a business markets to the same audience, but with different ad sets. A substantial overlap will result in a higher cost per lead and cost per click, and campaigns will perform poorly and fail to reach their objective. It’s not worth it for Facebook marketers to pay for two or more ad sets that compete for the same target audience’s attention.
When a business creates and launches ads to two or more target audiences, running into issues with audience overlap is a significant risk. In most cases, the audience Facebook advertisers create isn’t very distinct from one to the next. So what happens is businesses end up paying for the ads to mostly run against each other, and the results of the campaign can be dramatically affected. To fully comprehend the problem of audience overlap, marketers will need to understand how Facebook campaigns are structured.
A single campaign is a home to several ad sets that contain individual ads. Ads that are in the ad set automatically compete against each other, but this isn’t an issue, because it’s supposed to happen. You want to show a range of different ads with the same goal to the same target audience. This creates a sort of split test where you can see which ad type or ad copy is most resonating with your targets. With this data, you can refine, hone, and tweak your Facebook marketing strategy.
So, what’s the problem exactly? The problem of audience overlap won’t happen until you create second, and the third ad sets. Since you already have ads within one ad set competing against each other in a naturally-occurring split test, you don’t want to further dilute and confuse the data with more competition.
When you run ads against yourself, it will cost more to reach Facebook users, and the number of impressions you get will decrease. You end up paying way more for way less. So, in essence, you can run multiple ads at once within the initial ad set – that’s how Facebook ads are supposed to be structured. But you don’t want to run even more ads through multiple ad sets at the same time.
Are you concerned there is already some audience overlap present in your Facebook campaigns? You can compare targets and discover your overlap with a new tool from Facebook.
Discover Audience Overlap
You can find Facebook’s new audience overlap tool in the Ads Manager. Go to “Tools,” then click “Audience.” Facebook advertisers working with Power Editor can go straight to the “Audiences” tab. Hover the cursor over each ad group, and select “edit ad set.” Then, scroll down to “target settings” and find “Save this Audience.” Give each audience a specific name that is easy to remember and distinguish.
Next, visit the “Audience” section in the ads manager. In the menu, choose “Show Audiences Overlap” to view the first audience you want to compare. This will take you to the Facebook tool that allows you to control audience overlap. It’s possible to control for audience overlap for up to five different audiences at once. The audience that is selected first will be the one you compare to all of the other audiences in your ads manager account.
To add any new audiences for comparison simple click on “Add Another Audience and enter or choose any new audiences that might be overlapping. Seeing and checking for audience overlap is very easy with the tool. Facebook will automatically generate a Venn diagram displaying the amount of overlap between the first audience with every other selected audience. You’ll also see what percentage of people are overlapping, and the exact number of overlapping Facebook users in your target audiences.
Are there limits to using the Audience Overlap Tool?
The audience overlap tool is an excellent mechanism for Facebook advertisers looking to hone and refine their campaigns strategy. Without it, it’s challenging to ascertain audience overlap for multiple ads and ad sets. Even though its an excellent tool for improving costs per click, it’s not without its limits.
For one thing, the audience overlap tool doesn’t give you the capability to analyze an audience with fewer than 1000 Facebook users. That’s because of privacy reasons. Attempting to add audiences to the tool with fewer than 1000 members will only result in getting a notification from Facebook about privacy protection.
What are some other ways to prevent advertising against yourself when running multiple ads?
If your Facebook campaigns are currently dealing with a significant amount of audience overlap within your set of target audiences, there are ways to fix the problem.
- Regroup overlapping ads into fewer ad sets.
If you have ads placed under different ad sets, but they are targeting the same audience members, you can keep them from competing. Instead of having several ad sets running at once, try to regroup your competing ad sets into a single ad set. This way, they will only run against each other as a split test, which is how Facebook initially designed them. Doing so will prevent audience overlap and higher acquisition rates.
- Change your targeting options.
Audience overlap occurs when the audiences your ad sets are displaying to are too similar. But you can change your audience member criteria, preventing overlap. Consider using more detailed targeting criteria. You can include new characteristics, interests, and behaviours, or exclude the, instead. Refining your targeting approach can help you prevent or reduce overlap issues with your ad sets.
If your cost-per-click seems to be too high, and if your number of impressions have gone down since launching several ad sets, audience overlap may be to blame. But with a few simple changes and insight into your campaigns with the audience overlap tool, you can turn your Facebook ads around. Even if you’re not currently running several ad sets at once, using the audience overlap tool anyway will give you further insight into your ads, and allow you to hone and tweak your strategy for maximum conversion and ROI.
Are you ready to take your Facebook advertising campaigns to the next level? Contact our expert digital marketers at Australian Internet Advertising today. Together, we can create an optimised and customised Facebook advertising strategy for your unique business, whatever your goals.