Diary of a Growth Freak

When Facebook Ad Performance Hits the Fan: A Visual Tool

“Ads were working SO well, and then all of a sudden everything seemed to stop. What did I do wrong?”

That’s something I hear quite a lot from new bushy-tailed, bright-eyed Facebook marketers, still bitter about the fact they were well on their way to $100k/day in ad spend with a 2.0x RoAS.

If only (choose from) [disabled ad account, falling CTR %, disabled ad, exponentially rising CPM/frequency/CPC, hadn’t happened].

The truth is that every ad account will stall out at some point, otherwise you’d be able to scale into infinitum.

When that happens, what do you do? The answer isn’t always straightforward. Either that, or people paying me up to tens of thousands per month to turn around an account are wasting their money.

That being said, the image above will help resolve 50% or more of cases. The chart above should be used when seeing a decline in campaign performance after increasing budget.

The full explanation of the chart is part of the 30+ hours of Facebook ads lectures that I teach, so it would be impossible to explain everything here. But here are a few notes that might be helpful:

  • “Did daily reach plateau as you raised budget (e.g. from case study)” refers to a case study in which daily reach was graphed against ad spend over time. While ad spend increased linearly, daily reach plateaued and flattened.
  • “Proceed to next phase” roughly translates to “you’re fucked, but stay calm.” The next actionable steps are outside the scope of this article, but it essentially entails trying to bring the ad account back to a previous state while finding new audiences that are low CPM or have a high propensity to convert (i.e. low cost/conversion).
  • “Are your relevancy scores in prospection >= 8” won’t be applicable to all companies. It seems that more brand-focused accounts may never see a high relevancy score with Facebook ads, but that’s ok as long as the more important metrics, i.e. CAC and RoAS, are fine.

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