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Creative Ways to Make Facebook Ads Work for Low Budgets

Published: August 3, 2016

Author: Elise Wang

Recently I had a client expanding to an international geo with a small budget to test the waters. With this low budget, we had less opportunity to test new audiences and creative copies. So we had to get creative to made this work.
The following are some adjustments we made to enable good Facebook ad performance on low budgets. Enjoy!

1.   Don’t Show Ads on Days You Know They Won’t Perform

This is intuitive: if you have a business-facing product, and your audience doesn’t respond well to your ads on weekends, don’t show them ads on weekends. Make sure to schedule your ads at the ad set level so you have this type of control.
With help from 3Q Search team, which had racked up data already that we could learn from, we identified that Friday and Saturday are the lowest-performing days of the week. So we decided to only run ads from Sunday-Thursday. Here’s the before-and-after performance snapshot:
Many marketers are concerned about ramping up on spend after a quiet weekend; however, volume seems to be consistent. Pro tip: giving Facebook a lifetime budget actually allows their algorithm to shift more spend on pockets of traffic that it knows will perform.

2. Run Creative Testing (Let Facebook Pick the Winner)

While user segments allows us to A/B test creatives, often this means extra budget and sacrificing volume and quality. Unless you have a big audience (which often means a lower-quality audience in smaller geos), splitting them into user segments is going to limit your reach and drive up your cost.
A good rule of thumb is to always have 4 ads per ad set; when you rotate in new creatives, make sure to keep one old creative. This old creative is going to make sure your performance stays consistent while your new creatives get exposed to your audience

3. Explore Lookalikes (One at a Time)

Something every advertiser working with Facebook should try is lookalike testing. Small budgets don’t prevent you from testing lookalikes. But don’t go overboard; while it’s good to test how different lookalike seed audiences perform, we have actually seen multiple lookalike hurting volume and performance.
The key to picking a good seed audience is quality over quantity; keep your seed audience high quality while minimizing noise (like audiences from different geos).
Put these tips into play, and you should see improved results no matter how small your Facebook budget. Good luck!

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