EXPERIMENT: Lesson Unlocked (9 Views)

Hey, welcome back to my experiment! I served you a Facebook ad because you have viewed 9 or more pages of my website during the past 180 days.

Today’s video lesson is embedded below…

We often give very little thought to the placements that we select when creating an ad set. By default, Facebook recommends that we choose “Automatic Placements.”

In that case, all eligible placements are fair game. Facebook will show your ads to the placements that will give you the best results.

If you trust Facebook’s optimization, that’s actually not a terrible place to start. The costs and volume are different for each placement. The competition is different. If Facebook isn’t getting ideal results from a placement, they will theoretically make adjustments on the fly.

Of course, there are times when this may not be a good idea. I’ve written before about the potential problems with Facebook ads optimization. There are times when Facebook doesn’t care about quality (optimizing for clicks and engagement, for example), and some placements may be prone to padding your numbers while generating fraudulent, accidental, or low-quality actions.

That’s not really the concern in this experiment, though. I am optimizing for Reach, so all I care is that you see my ad. However, placement does become a bit of a concern since I use frequency capping.

If you’re only going to see my ad once in three days, I want to be sure you actually “saw” it (as opposed to it simply appearing, and you may have missed it). So, when I’m capping your impressions, I may want to focus only on the highest quality placements (like news feed).

Of course, the highest quality placements will also be the most expensive. And eliminating placements will also lower my ability to reach people. It’s a constant balance.

Once my earlier lessons (which were targeted to a broader audience) ran for a week or two, I’ve decided to both decrease how often they are shown to people and focus only on the highest quality placements. In the ad set for the first lesson, for example, I’m only showing ads in news feed now.

But now that I’m at the 8th lesson (which will only be shown to those who have viewed at least 9 pages of my website), I know that the audience is going to be small. As a result, I am choosing — at least for now — to use more placements in an attempt to reach people and maximize the audience size.

In addition to mobile and desktop news feed, this ad set will use the following placements:

  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Facebook Video Feeds
  • Instagram Explore
  • Instagram Stories
  • Facebook Stories
  • Messenger Stories
  • Instagram Reels
  • Facebook In-Stream Videos
  • Instagram In-Stream Videos

In time, if this ad set continues to run and the audience size isn’t an issue, I may decrease how often ads for this lesson are shown (with frequency capping) and limit the placements.

It’s a constant adjustment. My initial goal is to make sure the ads are shown. Once distribution isn’t a problem and an ad set has been given an opportunity to show ads to as many people as it can, I’ll start throttling a bit to limit waste.

If you want to get more tips served to you, you’ll need to first qualify! The next threshold to hit is viewing at least 10 pages of my website in 180 days.

View Prior Lessons

I have multiple engagement thresholds for viewing lessons in this experiment. If you were already ultra-active on my website, it’s possible you’ll skip a few of the initial lessons. As a result, I will link to all prior lessons at the bottom of each one.

Here you go: