At the end of July we were invited to Facebook’s first UK independent agency day down in East London’s Tobacco Dock. While we may have been slightly disappointed not to get in another trip to Dublin, we conceded the location was more appealing for some of Facebook’s big UK media buyers.

The aim of the day was to bring together advertisers and share product updates, success stories and new solutions from Facebook’s platforms across a range of agency objectives. Below we will share some top themes of the day without stepping on the toes of our NDA...


Campaign Budget Optimisation

Previously in Beta but now available across all ad accounts, ‘campaign budget optimisation’ is a setting which lets you control your budget at campaign level rather than ad set. Facebook then distributes your budget in favour of the ad sets which are performing well, removing the need for manual budget changes and good for campaigns with multiple ad sets.

This is automation we’re all familiar with because of Google, and is one of Facebook’s key moves into the technology. Initially this strategy has yielded some good results, but it may not be suited to campaigns which will likely have new audiences added in over its lifetime. You may find these have a very low reach as the system relies heavily on historical data.


As well as Facebook and Instagram, Facebook’s platform inventory also includes Messenger and the Audience Network. So, it’s worth testing campaigns over multiple platforms and placements and not just confining ads to the news feed.

The algorithm will optimise towards the best performing placements, so adding in multiple placements will scale the reach of the campaign and hopefully bring in incremental conversions.

As a note, the audience network is blind, with no feedback on where ads have appeared. This wouldn’t be suitable for any campaigns with a sensitive audience or message that may need to go through compliance.


Facebook’s big theme for the day was Stories, which will soon be monetised across Facebook and Whatsapp, as well as Instagram. The key opportunity here is getting better at vertical creative, and creating video edits with the 9:16 ratio in mind.

It seems obvious and trite, but we hold our phones vertically and consume our content this way, so it’s logical we should create ads that take advantage of this full-screen experience.

Some brands are already creating some brilliant Instagram Story ads - John Lewis, TRESemmé, Calm - so next time don’t just swipe past, take 15 seconds to see what kind of content brands are putting out there.


Clicks to Conversions

Where possible, we should be moving away from link click campaigns and focusing on conversion driven campaigns. Link clicks are typically expensive, do not correlate with a return on investment, and don’t necessarily equate to a landing page view.

You may experience high bounce rates with link click campaigns as the system default optimises towards “clicky users” - Facebook’s term not mine...

It’s best practice to have the Facebook pixel installed, and set campaign objective as a conversion, not traffic. Like with any of the Google automated bidding strategies, there needs to be a certain level of conversion data to add benefit.

While a purchase may be the final conversion, it’s important to add in the ‘upper funnel signals’ as custom conversions as well. The key is to target the highest intent event that has adequate data. So, if your final purchases are few and far between, optimise higher up the funnel to give your campaigns the best chance.

View Tags

As part of Facebook’s efforts to “examine our systems and protect people’s privacy”, they are updating the way view tags work on the platform. Historically, view tags have been used to measure ad impressions on desktop and mobile browsers, and using this to attribute view-through conversions (where an impression is served but an ad wasn’t clicked) to the campaigns.

This is all changing:

“Moving forward, we’ll work with a more focused set of view tag providers to allow them to count impressions for verification purposes, but view tags will no longer be used for measurement purposes beyond counting.”

The reasoning behind this is that the way view tags measured was a bit ‘clunky’, and didn’t work particularly well on ads served on mobile (i.e. most of them).

Facebook is expanding out the partnerships available to help us better measure the impact of our campaigns. They now have over 40 measurement partners across a variety of capabilities including marketing mix modeling, viewability, mobile app measurement, reach, attribution, brand lift and sales lift.

The changes to view tags applied to new campaigns built after 1st July, and will apply to current campaigns by 1st October.