Overcoming Facebook targeting challenges


There are times when Facebook advertisers lose customers and can’t spend their daily budgets because their own campaigns compete against each other, even before reaching the online auction. The reason is due to duplicate targeting. You can prevent the problem by designing your campaigns carefully with the instructions in this article.

Here’s an example: We are running two Facebook campaigns for our web store called “Kalle’s Comfort Shoes” (name changed). The first campaign, called “WCA, main page visitors,” is targeted at web store visitors in Germany and has a daily budget of 1200 euros. The second one, called “Lookalike, seed audience: checkout page WCA,” is targeted at a lookalike audience in Germany and has a 1000 euro daily budget. Because both campaigns are targeting people in Germany, there is a possibility of overlapping audiences. Thus, you can end up competing against yourself!

unnamedReceiving enough impressions and conversions while spending the daily budgets becomes very challenging because using a lookalike audience can steal impressions from a campaign using WCA targeting. In this example, the campaign targeted at a lookalike audience spends about 1000 euros per day, while the campaign using WCA targeting ends up spending only 100 euros per day. Both of the campaigns utilize oCPM bidding, which causes problems for the WCA campaign since it can’t achieve the minimum amount of daily conversions.


There is a simple solution to this problem: dedupe, or, in plainer terms, stop targeting the same people twice. In the example above, the duplicate targets problem was fixed by excluding the WCA targets from the campaign targeting a lookalike audience (see the graph “Excluded Version”). With no targeting overlap amongst the two campaigns, it’s easier to have stable spend and get the minimum conversions, for the oCPM algorithm.

Two days after removing the overlapping targeting, the campaign using WCA targeting started to spend about 600 euros per day and the campaign targeting a lookalike audience began spending 500 euros per day. Now it’s easier to analyze and control the performance since the campaigns spend in a more predictable and stable way.

Kalle Tiihonen works as an Account Manager/Growth Hacker at Smartly.io, one of the highest growing Facebook PMDs in Europe.

Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.com.