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One of the biggest changes for Facebook advertisers is the Campaign Budget Optimization Update, which is due to be introduced in September 2019. As the update will have a major impact on how advertising campaigns are structured in advertising accounts, in today's article I would like to explain the topic of Campaign Budget Optimization introduce.

What is Campaign Budget Optimization?

When creating a Facebook campaign, it has always been common practice to distribute the available budget at ad group level. A campaign had several ad groups and each ad group received a budget defined for it. 

With the Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO) function, the option of allocating a separate budget to each ad group will be abolished. As CBO will be the standard budget allocation functionality from September 2019, budgets can now only be defined at campaign level. Facebook will then decide independently which budget is allocated to which ad groups. Facebook will allocate the largest share of the budget to the ad groups that are likely to achieve the best results for the campaign objective. 

The CBO function has been available in the vast majority of advertising accounts since last year and can already be used there.

What advantages does CBO offer?

The big advantage of CBO is that the user-defined budget allocation at ad group level is eliminated and Facebook determines for the advertiser which ad groups are best suited to achieve the desired results. 

Of course, CBO only makes sense if there is more than one ad group in a campaign, otherwise the total budget is still available for this ad group alone. 

How can I use CBO now?

When creating a new Facebook campaign, you can activate the use of CBO even before the mandatory launch:

Campaign Budget Optimization

What should be considered when using CBO?

When CBO is activated, the campaign budget is rigorously distributed to the ad groups that are likely to achieve the best values. 

It is also important to ensure that custom audiences do not compete with core and lookalike audiences for the budget in a campaign. This is because custom audiences generally achieve the best results and therefore hardly any budget is spent on lookalike and core audience ad groups. It is therefore worth bundling custom audiences in a separate campaign. 

Workaround - if you do not want to use a CBO

There are many plausible reasons for not wanting to use CBO. Since CBO will be introduced as standard in September 2019, as explained above, the question arises as to whether the function can be bypassed afterwards. As far as I know, there are currently 2 workarounds to avoid CBO.

  1. Moving ad groups to campaign level: The obvious intention here is that each ad group to be defined simply becomes an independent campaign that is only one ad group. This means that optimization takes place at campaign level and no longer at ad group level. However, the disadvantage is also clear: for ad accounts with many ad groups, it quickly becomes very confusing. 
  2. The second method is to allocate a minimum and a maximum budget to each ad group, which is spent by Facebook. In this way, we prevent individual ad groups from hardly participating in the budget.

Minimum and maximum budgets are defined in the Budget & Schedule section for the ad group level - as you can see in the following graphic:

Spending limits Facebook campaign

Conclusion on Campaign Budget Optimization

Since the launch of CBO last fall, I have been using CBO very successfully in most ad accounts. Experience has shown that CBO works particularly well in ad accounts that have a lot of pixel data. If you want to use CBO, you should make sure that you create a separate campaign at least for the budget allocation of Custom Audiences, otherwise the budget will be used one-sidedly in favor of Custom Audience ad groups.

Tobias Dziuba

My name is Tobias and I am the founder and managing director of the Amazon agency Adsmasters GmbH based in Düsseldorf.

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