When should I pause a facebook ad?

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If you have run Facebook campaigns in the past, either lead gen or conversion campaigns, you may have experienced a dilemma on how to make the decision to pause an ad. We are here to tell you that you are not alone.

In this blog I walk you through the process we take at Metric Labs to come to a decision on whether to pause an ad or not. Let’s get into it.

As we all know optimising Facebook ads is the most commonly practiced optimisation strategy on Facebook with many marketers evangelising the need for ad AB testing. I don’t doubt its effectiveness but we need to be careful about the metrics we choose to look at before making the decision to pause an ad.

For optimal performance we need to look a good balance between hard and soft metrics.

The first thing to be mindful of is reach, before making any decision we need statistical significance, so you need to ensure that the ad has sufficient reach before you make any decision. I emphasise looking at reach and not impressions because reach doesn’t incorporate frequency as impressions do so the metric reduces individual user bias.

If you have conversion tracking properly set up with your Facebook pixel, you can start off by looking at purchases and the cost per purchase figures. I find it best to create an optimisation report with custom columns so you can make this analysis easier. I typically include metrics as shown below;

For a more advanced analysis you can dump the data in excel and calculate a link click conversion rate ((conversions / link clicks) x 100), you can treat this metric as the traditional CVR. You may also go further and calculate a conversion by reach ratio, this is the number of conversion contribution per user ((conversions / reach) x 100). This metric incorporates reach and CTR so it’s more insightful compared to the traditional CVR.

If your company implemented a measurement framework then you may have micro conversion events (video plays, newsletter subscriptions, relevant button clicks etc) set up with your Facebook pixel, you can build custom reports on these micro conversions  to map to your respected ads and perform a micro conversion rate analysis. You would follow the same process as listed above on CVR and reach conversion contribution. 

For softer metrics start off by looking at comments as a measure of user sentiment, if you find negative comments then you need to address those appropriately. The next thing to look at is the post engagement and the cost per cost engagement. This metric verifies that the specific ad and more importantly your offer is appealing. If the post engagement figures on all ads are very low with no conversions then you may have a bigger problem to address, typically this may indicate a poor audience ad match or issues with the offer at hand.

Wrapping things up, when determining whether to pause an ad or not,we need to to look at hard metrics first (CVR and reach conversion contributions) followed by micro conversion metrics and finally softer engagement metrics.

Happy analysing!