Leaving the Facebook Ads learning phase : how to quickly access your ad campaigns ?
Facebook Ads is the advertising platform of the famous social network. It is nowadays one of the most interesting ways to create advertising campaigns on the Internet. You can reach a large audience and even different audiences with your ads. But to benefit from it, you need to understand how Facebook Ads works. Find out how to leave the learning phase of the platform :
What is the learning phase of Facebook ads?
Learning phase : definition
The learning phase is the period during which the Facebook serving system gathers information about the audience and placements best suited to your ads. During this learning phase, the ad serving system will look for the best way to serve your ad set. It learns about your audience, your ads and your environment.
The learning phase usually starts after a paid ad or ad set is created, but also after a major change. During this learning phase, and as the ad serving system searches, you are likely to experience a loss of performance and also a higher cost per action (CPA).
The objective of the learning phase for Facebook
As mentioned earlier, the learning phase will allow the Facebook ad serving system to gather a lot of relevant information about your paid ad sets. With this information, the system will learn more about your different audiences and, more importantly, the best placements for your Facebook ad.
The more an ad is served, and therefore analysed, the more the system will be able to optimise its performance and therefore increase your return on investment.
How does the learning phase of Facebook ads work?
The learning phase on Facebook Ads is triggered when you go to create an ad campaign, an ad group or a single ad. The delivery system needs to learn more about the target audience.
It also occurs when you make a major change to your ad campaigns or simply your ads. The delivery system will then have to “relearn”.
The limited learning phase
The learning phase ends when the performance of your ads stabilises. Until this happens, you will see the words “Limited Learning” in the Delivery column.
How to get out of the Facebook ads learning phase?
Getting out of the learning phase early is a good way to unleash your performance and improve your return on investment, by lowering the cost per action (CPA). There are several ways to avoid staying too long in this limited learning phase :
Achieving 50 optimisation events
As mentioned above, your ads exit the learning phase when their performance stabilises. This usually occurs when an ad set reaches 50 times the event it is optimised for within 7 days.
If it doesn’t get enough optimization events or if the system predicts that it won’t get them in the future, then your ad campaign will remain stuck in the limited learning phase. We therefore recommend that you calibrate your target and try to reach a large audience in spite of this in order to reach the 50 optimization events quickly.
Do not modify your advertisements
Not changing your ads is obviously a good way to avoid getting stuck in the learning phase. Each modification may lead to a backtracking. We therefore recommend that you configure and parameterise your ads before launching them to avoid unavoidable modifications later on.
Limit the number of ad sets
Another major factor preventing you from getting out of the learning phase is having too many ad sets. If an advertiser runs too many different ad sets at the same time, each of these ad sets will run less often. This slows down the exit of each one from the learning phase. You will spend more of your ad budget before the delivery system has fully optimised the performance of each ad.
For this reason, we encourage you to run as few ads as possible at the same time. For example, you can run your groups in a staggered fashion, leaving enough time in between for each group to do enough optimisation events and leave the limited learning.
Advertisers can also consolidate their ad sets. This will also consolidate learning, increasing the likelihood of events and thus learning from the delivery system. We invite you to explore both of these options for your first and subsequent ad campaigns.
Setting up your ads properly
You will have understood, to quickly leave the learning phase of Facebook Ads, you must set up your different ads. This will avoid you to modify them and prolong it. But you will also be sure to quickly reach enough optimization events to get out of it.
Facebook Ads budget
The first essential parameter to take into account is your advertising budget. To get out of the learning phase, you need to reach 50 optimisation events over a period of seven days. You must therefore plan a sufficient budget to achieve this objective in time. Setting budgets that are too small or excessive is therefore strongly discouraged.
Auction and cost control
Several parameters can block your exit from the learning phase due to their very nature and configuration. These are the bidding limit, target costing, cost cap and value optimisation. Be sure to set a minimum ROAS that allows your ad sets to achieve about 50 conversions over seven days. ROAS stands for “return on ad spend” and should not be set too low.
Conversion volume is also a factor in the output of your learning phase. As with the previous parameter, your conversion event should be able to occur at least 50 times per week (7 days). If you find that the conversions for your goal are less than 50 per week, you may want to consider choosing another conversion event.
This may be the case with purchase events by your prospects and leads. You can then change your ad set to focus on cart additions.
However, keep in mind that you don’t have to avoid the learning phase at all costs. Some ads and ad campaigns have longer conversion windows. They then require more time to get out of the learning phase. Your budget and CTA will be impacted during this time, but you will also get better earnings in the future. It may therefore be worthwhile for certain specific conversion events, such as purchases.
The size of your target audience obviously impacts your exit from the learning phase. Too small an audience limits your chances of getting sufficient optimisation events. But conversely, you don’t have to try to reach a large audience. Just be careful when calibrating the right audience for your ad.
When you go to create advertisements, be aware of specific configurations that may cause a delayed exit from the learning phase.
Avoiding the resumption of the learning phase :
Limit major changes
As previously stated, you should limit major changes to what is strictly necessary to avoid a return to the learning phase of your ad set. We suggest that you reserve these for exceptional cases only. It is best to configure your Facebook ads well in advance to avoid changes later.
If you see that an advertisement on social networks is not achieving the desired advertising objectives and that a change is strategically necessary, you can consider such a change and a resumption of the learning phase. However, be aware that your CTA and therefore the budget spent will be higher during this period.
What does Facebook consider significant changes?
For a specific campaign, Facebook may consider certain changes to the budget and bid amount to be material, depending on the extent of the adjustments.
At the ad set level, Facebook Ads considers all manipulations to targeting, placement, optimization event, bid amount, and budget (depending on the size) to be significant changes. If you add new content or take an ad break of more than seven days, the learning phase will also be reactivated for the ad set.
Finally, any changes to your ads will result in a return to the learning phase. So make sure you prepare your ads well to avoid any changes. If you need to make any changes, please do so while your digital ads, ad sets or ad campaign are still in the learning phase (within the first 7 days).