Hello Media Savages!
This week, we’re going to talk about the elephant in the room…
Facebook’s “Power 5.”
The Power 5 were conceived by Facebook as a best practice of sorts for media buyers.
Facebook’s “experts” frequently ramble off one or more of these recommendations each and every time you get on the phone with them.
But what is it, and what does it consist of?
The Power 5 methodology might also be nicknamed the “Jesus, take the wheel” method, because it puts all of the decision making and power into the hands of the facebook algorithm.
It consists of five main thrusts, as you might have guessed:
Account simplification. In this case, what is meant by “simplification” is lumping all of your targeting into big adsets, and then aligning that with one dynamic creative and just letting it run.
Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO). As opposed to adset budget optimization (ABO), where we determine exactly how much of our budget we’d like each targeting group to spend at the adset level, CBO simply allows Facebook’s ads algorithm to make the decisions about what adsets get the spend.
Automatic Placements. Obviously we can select where we’d like our ads to show up. This isn’t new information. For the sake of the Power 5, Facebook would like us to let them determine where to show our ads by checking the Automatic Placements box. Could be timeline, right hand column, instagram, audience network, or anything else.
Advanced Auto Matching. In theory, this can help you optimize your Facebook ads to drive better results. With Advanced Matching, you can send Facebook hashed customer information along with your pixel events, which can help you attribute more conversions and reach more people. Facebook hashes the customer information on the website before they’re sent to Facebook to help protect user privacy. Basically, this is a box you need to check on your Events Manager to allow Automatic Advanced Matching.
Dynamic Ads. You already know how this works most likely. You contribute multiple images or videos, multiple headlines, multiple copy options, and then just allow the algorithm to determine which combination of those assets will result in the highest conversion outcomes.
The combination of these five things is supposed to be the silver bullet that slays marketing inefficiency on the Facebook platform.
But, does it work?
Yes. And no…
Sometimes. It depends.
Using the Power 5 can be like trying to shove a square peg into a round hole in some instances, and in others it works perfectly as advertised.
There are a few considerations to take into account.
First, what phase of optimization are your campaigns in?
The biggest reason NOT to use the Power 5 recommendations, in my opinion, is to achieve control.
You simply can’t test empirically and LEARN anything at all if you allow the algorithm to do all of the decision making.
Back when you used to be able to pivot on individual creative combinations and get granular conversion data through breakdowns, for instance, it might have made sense to use dynamic ads for testing.
Now you don’t get anything like granular, usable conversion data.
So, if you want to know which combination of copy, image, headline, etc is converting at what rate, you have to break those out into individual ad iterations – thus invalidating the Power 5 method if you wish to learn anything at all.
So, as a result, if you’re in early stages of advertising where you’re still trying to learn what will work and what won’t for a particular product and audience combination, you’ll probably want to break free of the Power 5 for a season.
Secondly, how confident are you in your targeting?
Lumping all of your targeting together makes perfect sense when you have a number of proven audiences that convert at a known rate.
But, if we lump all of our targeting together from the inception of our campaigns, how do we then know what’s working and what isn’t empirically?
We really can’t.
This is the primary reason why we wouldn’t want to use campaign budget optimization (CBO). In instances where we want to test targeting, it simply doesn’t give us enough information to allow us to learn about our go to market strategy, which is the entire point of testing.
Third, I can barely say “automatic placements” with a straight face.
I’m not going to say I never do automatic placements, but it’s always going to be after I’ve already proven targeting and creative and I’m looking for niche scaling opportunities.
Out of all the recommendations in the Power 5, this one is most obviously entirely to the benefit of Facebook rather than the advertiser.
Sure, you might get lower CPMs by doing so, but what’s the quality of all those placements going to be?
There’s only one way to find out, unfortunately, and it isn’t by using auto-placements.
Fourth, CBO optimizes for conversion quantity, quality be damned.
So, perhaps adset 1 is getting $50 conversions and adset 2 is getting $75 conversions. Facebook is going to allocate more adspend to adset 1.
But what if I have determined through data analysis that adset 2 is of much higher quality? I might be OK with that $25/conversion premium.
But if I’m using CBO, I’m out of luck.
I can’t do anything (at least not easily) to steer that adspend to the higher quality conversion.
That being said, there is a time and a place for the Power 5.
If you were a member of HemonX, you’d already have seen our lessons on “Omnibussing.”
This is a scaling methodology that we teach when we have proven targeting, proven creative, and we’re looking to gain additional traction.
In this case, it makes perfect sense to employ Power 5 recommendations.
There are also those that would argue that the Power 5 were conceived primarily for eCommerce purposes.
And, thinking deeply about eCommerce on platform, I admit that it does make a little more sense in that context.
However, we stand by our recommendations on the discovery phases of launching eCommerce ads as well.
Testing is testing, and you can’t do it effectively using dynamic everything.
If you’ve made it this far, you should have some great ammunition to use in a conversation with your Facebook rep the next time they pop in and recommend that you consolidate everything into one adset.
Remember that the “experts” on the other end of the phone are incentivized to grow your adspend, not necessarily improve your outcomes.
Ultimately, you have to do what’s right for your business or clients.
We’re just trying to arm you with the knowledge to make that decision.