Facebook now allows advertisers to set a lifetime budget for their ad campaigns instead of only a daily spending limit. This helps pace a campaign’s daily spend to be even across the period of time the campaign is set to run for. The more control Facebook offers to advertisers, the more who will be comfortable spending money on its ads.
Facebook’s new Help Center FAQ on lifetime budgets explains “If you specify $100 USD [as the lifetime budget for a] 10 day campaign, each day theoretically will need to spend $10/day. If the campaign only spends $8 on the first day, the system will try to make up the missed amount at a later date within the campaign.”
Advertisers can set up a lifetime budget for ads by clicking “Create a new campaign” in the “Campaigns, Pricing, and Scheduling” step of the Ads Manager ad creator. They then click the budget drop-down menu, select “Lifetime budget”, and set an amount to spend. Lifetime budgeted ads default to run for a month from the day the campaign is created, but advertisers can change the run dates using the scheduling fields.
Campaigns which are already running can have their budgets switched to lifetime. To do so, advertisers can click to edit budget on the campaign view, revealing an “Edit Budget & Scheduling” pop-up. There advertisers can switch from per day to lifetime budget and set run dates. Note that switching the budget of an ad will reset its spend for that day and Facebook will allot an equal fraction of the lifetime budget to the remainder of that day as the rest of the days of the campaign.
Ads set with both a lifetime budget and a daily spend limit won’t exceed the daily cap. Bulk Upload Tool users can utilize lifetime budgets by downloading the new Excel template which includes a “campaign_lifetime_budget” column. Lifetime budgets will also be available through the Ads API.
By more evenly allocating spend across a campaign, advertisers can control for high and low traffic days and spend less time monitoring. Lifetime budgets could prevent Facebook from perpetually earning money off of unsophisticated advertisers who forget their campaigns are running. However, this will likely be offset by the increased spend associated with increased confidence in the Facebook ad platform afforded by lifetime budgets.
[Thanks to Amit Lavi for the tip]