What is the most important index in your campaign? The one you check every morning and evening?
It’s probably the cost per conversion or click, right?
The truth is that I’m the same. Even before my morning coffee I check the cost per conversion for all the campaigns I manage. This is the guiding index. But that’s the problem. These indices that I mentioned earlier will explain to us how our campaigns “feel”, how they’re performing. But they don’t explain why they “feel” that way.
When it comes to optimizing your campaigns, the CPA and CPC on their own don’t provide us with all the information we need to see the bigger picture of our campaign.
One way to lower the cost per conversion or click is of course to turn off all the expensive ads. Where the click or conversion through them is expensive. It works for a limited time, but sooner or later we’ll need to turn off all the ads and start anew. And even then we won’t have a clue what happened to our fruitful campaign, and how we reached these high numbers. We actually won’t have any new information that will guide us in building the new campaign, so the results will be better.
In order to truly understand what happened to a campaign and how to improve the next campaign, we’ll need to analyze a few more indices other than the CPC & CPA, such as the CR, CTR, and also the frequency.
The last index is probably the one that is given the least attention of the three, and this is the index I’m dedicating this article to.
First of all, let’s define our concepts:
Impressions - the number of times our ad is displayed.
Reach - the number of uniques that the ad reaches.
And this leads us to the frequency and to Facebook’s definition of frequency:
The average number of times our ad was displayed to each user.
Let’s do some simple math: the frequency index is in effect impressions / reach
And here’s an example:
Obviously this isn’t an accurate measure and that’s why Facebook talks about “average number of times”. For example, you can’t guarantee that whoever saw our ads saw them twice. One site visitor can see the ads 3 times while another site visitor sees them only once.
Fortunately for us, we don’t need to be so precise. As soon as the numbers are high enough, the fluctuations don’t matter anymore.
So that’s the theory, but what does it have to do with optimization of our campaigns? Two reasons. One is very specific and the second is completely practical.
If you’ve read one of my posts in the past, or attended one of my lectures, then you’ll know that I really love data.
So I checked out various campaigns and how they perform. Tons of different campaigns! In fact, I checked out campaign performances in direct proportion to the “frequency” index.
The results were truly amazing.
As you can see, the higher the “frequency”, the lower the CTR, and higher the average CPC. The numbers don’t lie. Ever...
When the “frequency” rises to 3, the CPC increases by 62%. That’s a lot, no?!
And that’s exactly why we need to monitor our campaigns throughout their run time and check that the frequency isn’t too high.
You’re probably now asking “So what’s the maximal frequency?” Right?
The truth is that there’s no definitive answer. Each campaign and its optimal frequency. There are a lot of variables, it depends on the industry and your profit.
I actually started making changes to the campaign when the frequency exceeds 2.
There are niches where the profit margins are very high and it makes sense to let the frequency go above 2.
So we get why it’s important for us to monitor the frequency index, but what next?
Take into account that as soon as we go live with a campaign, the frequency increases and with it the amount of money we spend. Why? Because that’s the way the world works 🙂
There are several tactics we can use to combat the quiet index.
The first thing that we want to do is to strike a balance between our budget and the size of the audience.
If you have a daily budget of 15 NIS, even if your audience is very small, it will still take time until the frequency goes up and becomes a problem.
If you have a budget of several hundred NIS per day, you’ll want to work with much larger audiences, of several tens or hundreds of thousands of people per audience.
When the frequency of your campaign exceeds the number 3, start checking what’s happening more often. If the performance drops significantly, you have two options:
Refresh the design of your ads, maybe try a slightly different sales pitch to cope with banner blindness or change the audience altogether.
Within a month you can go back to the original audience and the results should be better.