Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with new links and content.
Original Publication Date: August 16, 2017
Manual Bidding on Facebook is a topic of constant debate.
Ad buyers who have perfected manual bidding swear by its abilities. In contrast, those who use the newest automatic bidding have been able to achieve some pretty impressive results.
You can control your bidding and budget in three ways: what you’re optimizing your ads for, how you’re being charged, and whether you’re using automatic or manual bidding.
We’ll address manual bidding on Facebook Ads and the various methods we use in our own campaigns in this post.
5 Primary Manual Bidding Methods
- Start Mid Range of Facebook’s Suggested Bid and Increase/Decrease as Necessary.
- Start Low, Slowly Increase.
- High Start, Slow Decrease.
- Start Really High and Never Change it (2-3x suggested). “The Bully Method”
- Start Really High and After a lot of Spend Drop it Super Low for Cheap Clicks.
Our favorite method from the five above would definitely be #4, aka “The Bully Method”.
The Bully Method
When Facebook is optimizing your audience, they put users into what we like to refer to as “buckets”.
Let’s say you’re bidding for purchases for jewelry. While Facebook is learning your audience and presenting your ads to users, it’s important to be patient.
Their algorithm will eventually recognize the various types of users. Then place people into buckets, such as most likely to purchase, likely to purchase, somewhat likely to purchase, and so on.
When bidding low, your ads will most likely be shown to “somewhat likely to purchase” users. If you’re lucky, some who are even “likely to purchase”.
If you bid at the highest level suggested by Facebook, you will attract more people who are “likely to purchase”, and you may even start breaking into the “most likely to purchase” crowd.
But, if you bid really high (2-3x suggested bid) your audience will primarily consist of people who are “most likely to purchase”.
When to Use the Bully Method Manual Bidding
Now, this strategy is not for everyone. It is also definitely not for every situation. But, 90% of the time this is the exact bidding strategy we use on our campaigns.
One thing to note: This method requires higher budgets than you may be used to. You’ll typically need a $1000/day per ad set or higher, but it can work at smaller amounts also.
Many times the first day will have the highest cost. But, day two the cost comes down, and day three it comes down even more.
The reason for this is because you are “Bullying” people out of your audience. Some will pause their ad sets the first day their costs go up, others will wait a few days which is why your cost will gradually drop.
[DISCLAIMER: If you have lower budgets and cannot afford to lose the money or you are new to manual bidding, please do NOT use the Bully Method. It is meant for more advanced manual bidders.]
Benefits of “The Bully Method” Manual Bidding Strategy
- Campaign Performance is More Consistent Day to Day.
- When you make your lookalikes after you have 100+ sales, those sales and customers will be made up of the highest converting users, not the lower grade customers.
- It starts your ads off at a better placement in the newsfeed which leads to higher CTR’s and lower CPC’s than you would have received bidding in the middle of the suggested range. (Auto bidding is essentially the same as bidding in the middle of the suggested range).
- This strategy also helps you keep your competitors out as they will likely auto bid, or manual bid lower. When their costs come out higher because you are pushing their bids up or they get no traffic, they will be forced to move on to other demographics leaving yours open.
In the cases where the bully method does not work simply duplicate the ad sets, pause the old ones, adjust your bids on the new ones and try one of the other strategies!
This should give you all a little insight into bidding and the strategies we use. Happy Bidding!
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