Facebook Ads Budget Optimization: Everything You Need To Know

By Greg Finn

Facebook has major news for advertisers. Come September 2019, account managers will no longer be able to set budgets at the Ad Set level in Facebook Ads. Instead, Facebook's Campaign Budget Optimization will become the default setting for all campaigns, forcing advertisers to rely on the Campaign level when setting a budget.

Read the official Facebook announcement.

While the ad set daily budgets are being removed, there will still be some *lifetime* controls that can be implemented to help restrict Ad Set spending in a campaign. This won't perform in the same way that Ad Sets previously operated, as the only location to set the budget will now shift to the Campaign level.

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Who - Who's Affected?

Let's take a deeper dive on this migration over to Campaign Budget Optimization:

Everyone. All advertisers. There's no one using Facebook Ads that won't be affected by this update.

What - What is Facebook Campaign Budget Optimization?

According to Facebook, "Campaign budget optimization 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.

Campaign budget optimization has been an option since November 2017. But with this new update, you don't have the option anymore.

However, you can still set Ad Set spend limits within your campaigns. These are very different than a budget though.

These limits are called desired spend limits and are a non-guaranteed minimum and/or guaranteed maximum lifetime budget for your ad sets. In simpler terms:

  • You can tell Facebook to at most spend $XXX in an Ad Set over the lifetime of the campaign - and it will.
  • You can tell Facebook to spend at least $XXX in an Ad Set over the lifetime of the campaign - and they'll try, but won't guarantee anything..

That said, you basically won't have any control over your ad set budget.

Advice: If you want to control your spend, make every ad set into its own campaign (similar to Google Ads).

Where - Where do you use this?

Campaign Optimization can be set at the campaign level within Facebook Ads Manager. To activate, click on the settings within a campaign by toggling this switch:

Once toggled on, Budget Optimization is now active! You can hop back to the campaign view and hover over any campaign in the 'Budget' column to see where the budgets are set.

When - When is the update?

Facebook campaign budget optimization will become the default budget setting in September 2019.

Why - Why should advertisers use Facebook Campaign Budget Optimization?

Although no one will ever know the true answer to this question, Facebook gives us a list of benefits for using this method including:

  • More value
  • Less time
  • Simplified
  • De-duplicate audiences
  • Avoid restarting the learning phase
  • Efficient spending

In reality, this would be great for anyone that is tracking conversions and is looking to test a variety of different audiences, messages, targeting or more.

Read Facebook's campaign budget optimization tutorial.

How - How would you use this?

Currently, the budget optimization option is a toggle button under campaign budgets. But in September 2019, all campaigns will be migrated to campaign budget optimization.

Eligibility Requirements:

All ad sets have to have the same budget type.

There needs to be fewer than 70 total ad sets.

All ad sets have to be published.

All ad sets need to have the same bid strategy.

All ad sets need to have the same optimization for ad delivery if the bid strategy is at the lowest cost.

All ad sets have to use a standard delivery type.

All ad sets need to be scheduled to run ads all the time.

Make sure to keep a close eye on upcoming Facebook announcements because we're not sure how the exact process will be updated.

Our Opinion:

Facebook's budget update will make some lives easier from a management perspective - especially if advertisers are already used to setting up campaigns with Google Ads.

When you need to segregate budget, we suggest separating everything out at the campaign level. We also know that all conversions are not created equal. Facebook will optimize for the lowest common denominator and take the easiest conversion path. Just because the results look good, we strongly recommend thoroughly reviewing and scoring any leads to make sure the value matches up.

Whether we like this update or not, it's coming. All you can do now is accept the change, prepare yourself, adjust your campaigns, and continue to learn the best way to leverage Facebook Ads for your needs.

By Greg Finn


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Meet the Author

Head of Performance & Innovation / Partner

Greg Finn

Greg is the Head of Performance and Innovation for Cypress North's digital marketing team and one of the founders of our agency. In 2010, he and Matt Mombrea started Cypress North in Buffalo. Greg oversaw the opening of our second office in 2022, located in his hometown of Rochester.

As Head of Performance and Innovation, Greg co-manages our digital marketing department and works closely with our team to ensure all our clients achieve the best possible results. He is always looking for ways to test new digital marketing techniques and technology, and oversees all teaching and training efforts to ensure our agency stays ahead of the curve.

Greg is also a co-host of our weekly Marketing O'Clock podcast, where he and the team provide updates, insights, and hot takes on the latest SEO, PPC, and social media marketing news. In addition to weekly news shows, Greg hosts our Marketing O'Torial digital marketing tutorials and often co-hosts bonus Marketing O'Talk episodes that bring together panels of digital marketing experts.

With nearly two decades of experience, Greg is a known and trusted voice in the digital marketing community. He’s a contributor for Search Engine Land, a member of the Search Marketing Expo (SMX) programming team, and has been a featured speaker at some of the largest search engine conferences, including SMX, eSummit, and Pubcon. 

When he’s not working or staying updated on the latest trends, Greg enjoys watching his kids play sports and coaching their soccer team. He’s been named the runner-up “Greg of the Year” on Marketing O’Clock’s annual Clockscars Awards four years in a row. While the coveted award has evaded him for many years, Keanu Reeves has not. Greg once saw him at Gabriel's Gate tavern in Buffalo (and noted he was very tall.)