With Facebook set to switch all ad campaigns (new & existing) over to Campaign Budget Optimisation (CBO) this September, we thought we’d delve a little deeper into what CBO is and how the rollout might affect you.

First of all, in case you haven’t heard of CBO, CBO is… “A way of optimizing the distribution of a campaign budget across your campaign's ad sets. This means Facebook automatically and continuously finds the best available opportunities for results across your ad sets and distributes your campaign budget in real-time to get those results.” - Facebook

Up until now, ads have been optimized at the ad set level (in other words it distributes based on the audience). After all, you want the most budget to go to your best audience right? The current budget optimization (ad set level) allows us, the marketers, control over which audience receives what budget.

Now, with CBO, the main difference is that is the Facebook algorithm (don’t roll your eyes just yet) does all the heavy lifting in finding audiences which will *theoretically* help you get the best bang for your buck. All you have to do is set one central campaign (this is where we set the goal, for example, Top, Middle or Bottom of funnel) budget for all of your ad sets and hey presto! You're ready to go…

Sounds simple right? Not entirely… To get the most out of campaign budget optimization, advertisers will still need to get their hands dirty. We have been testing CBO across our client accounts now because we want to make sure we stay ahead of the change.

Here are some tips that we have learned about to make CBO successful for you:

  • Keep Adsets (audiences) the same size - this will ensure that larger audiences aren’t preferenced due to smaller audience ad fatigue
  • Group similar audiences in the same campaign (eg. lookalikes in one campaign, interest-based audiences in the other) This will help to limit variables and ensure consistent results, data, and performance. 
  • With a limited budget (like most ecomm stores starting out), don’t have too many ads or ad sets as the campaign won’t be able to spend enough per ad to get good results.
  • Let the algorithm do its thing!  For accounts with good pixel data, CBO with broad targeting and dynamic creative has worked well. The only downside to dynamic creative that it’s hard to build social proof (likes, shares & comments) on a specific combination of copy, creative & headlines
  • Don’t touch it! Although results in the first few days are possible, we’ve seen better overall performance with CBO campaigns that have been able to run for at least a week (learning phase). This obviously depends on the account, audiences, ads, and budget. So do not turn it off prematurely, you may be missing out on the magic. 
  • Trust Facebook with your money (well, try too)! Although you can set spending limits for ad sets (for example, to ensure that audiences spend the same amount of money) it is not recommended to limit FB’s algorithm optimizing your budget. However, we have had some success setting rules, bid caps and spend limits, but that’s for another day…
  • Split out retargeting in one CBO campaign! Different warm or engaged audiences may convert better at different times. Eg Traffic 1-7 Days vs Engagers 1-3 Days.
  • Separate out ad sets based on location! This can help to capitalize on people in different countries who are more likely to convert at a specific time. Eg people in Uruguay are not converting as highly or as profitably as people in Brazil on a certain day or time so Facebook will dedicate more budget to Brazil.


We hope this helps you understand what your digital marketing team are referring to when they mention CBO.  

It is not as simple as it sounds, but if you have a good team on your side, they would have already been thinking about, testing and learning as much as possible about the budget optimization changes coming up (any Facebook changes for that matter). Facebook is implementing CBO as they believe it will both impact the user experience and also help businesses create the most successful and efficient campaigns.

It basically means that people who want to see the content at a particular time will be shown that a particular piece of content.  CBO allows Facebook to control which audiences and which ads are shown based on the algorithm and therefore, Facebook is able to continue reaching audiences and ads that are are over performing without having to abide by manual budget constraints. Facebook wants us to release the reins, just slightly. This doesn't mean your digital marketing agency is obsolete, there is still a lot that goes into setting up, managing and optimizing a CBO campaign!

We hope this helped. If you’d like to hear more about how our digital marketing team can help, feel free contact us anytime.


Subscription goodness.