Understanding the Fully Optimized and Automated Ecosystem of Facebook

Did you know that Facebook knows people better than anyone else? The amount and quality of data is their competitive advantage: they don’t just know your location, age and mobile phone model but also when you fall in love.

Ever wonder how optimization algorithms such as oCPM or lookalikes work? The first part of our series described Facebook’s budget pacing algorithm. Now we reveal the secrets of the oCPM bidding and how to use automation in general for competitive advantage in the ecosystem.

Facebook’s Latest Algorithms at Your Service

Did you know that Facebook knows people better than anyone else? The amount and quality of data is their competitive advantage: they don’t just know your location, age and mobile phone model but also when you fall in love. Both lookalike and oCPM algorithms utilize approximately 100,000 different attributes per person to find the most relevant Facebook users for your marketing campaigns.

Facebook’s lookalike algorithm lets you find new people who are likely to be interested in your business. It helps you reach people who are similar to your current customers, page fans, mobile app users or website visitors. If you want to build a lookalike from your CRM data, the algorithm requires emails, phone numbers, Facebook user IDs or mobile advertiser IDs.


Elvis lookalike from Norway

From CPM to oCPM – Towards Next Generation Bidding

Optimized CPM is the most innovative bidding type invented by Facebook’s engineers. Like the lookalike algorithm, it identifies the people from your broad target audience who are most likely to take an action on seeing your ad – e.g. purchase a product at your web store. However, oCPM needs click and conversion data in order to identify the right people from a broad audience.

How the oCPM Algorithm Works

As in all of the Facebook bidding methods, your oCPM bid is converted into a comparative metric called effective Cost Per Mille (eCPM) before the auction. The eCPM can be calculated from oCPM with the following formula: your maximum oCPM bid * estimated conversion rate (eCVR) + quality score. Please note that the quality score is a broader metric than the relevance score.

In the beginning, the oCPM gives the ad some impressions to calculate estimated conversion rates (eCVRs) for everyone. Along with the eCVRs, the algorithm utilizes about 100,000 attributes Facebook knows about your audience. The algorithm predicts the individual conversion rates based on different attributes – such as age, likes, mobile phone model. For example, young single people using the latest iPhone could have higher predicted probability to convert. Thus, the eCPM bid is more competitive for the people with the higher estimated conversion rates. The eCVRs and eCPMs will be updated as the algorithm collects more conversion data.

The first day of your campaign does matter: achieving high click-through and conversion rates are crucial success factors. The more click and conversion data the campaign gets, the smarter the oCPM algorithm becomes. Please note that the oCPM uses data from the last 24 hours, so the algorithm needs new conversion data every day. In addition, oCPM for actions requires a conversion rate (CVR) of 0.5 percent or more with a 1 day click-through window in order to work effectively. Having large target audiences and high bids help to attain this. If you have trouble getting enough conversions, you can try to change the action eg. from a web store purchase to a landing page or something else upper at the conversion funnel.

The Optimized Ad Format: Multi-Product Ads

Showcase 3-10 images and links within a single ad unit to direct people to specific locations on your website or mobile app. This feature will optimize the performance of your ad by selecting and ordering the best-performing images and links automatically. Using the new ad format, Multi-Product Ads for Mobile App Installs, to promote its app, our customer Foodpanda increased click-through rates by 180 percent and reduced their cost per install by 39 percent.

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