4 CBO Structure Ideas You Should Test

Dave Nash

In this post, we’re going to be exploring various options we have when organizing Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO) campaigns and ad sets. Everyone swears by their own organizational structure when it comes to CBOs. However, I’m here to tell you that for the most part, any structure will work if your funnel is good enough.

What does good enough mean? It means that your video creative is a scroll-stopping beast that holds the attention of the viewer for all 45 seconds. It means that your ad copy contains a headline that entices the viewer to read the 2nd line, and the 2nd line compels the viewer to click “continue reading,” read your bullet points and finally click on your “Shop Now” CTA. It means that your product page is designed well, and is clear about the benefits the product has and the problems the product solves. It means that you are providing enough testimonial, social proof, and trust elements that allow the potential customer to zoom through the landing page funnel without a doubt in his or her mind that they are being scammed.

If your funnel is good enough, then no matter what you launch, you will achieve exceptional results. For example, if I tasked you with the job of running ads for a strong brand like Snow Teeth Whitening, allowing you to utilize their brand image as well as their ad creatives featuring public figures like NFL tight-end Rob Gronkowski, I guarantee you that you would give off the perception of being exceptional media buyer.

No matter how good your funnel is, there are still best practices that are commonly accepted when it comes to launching CBOs. I will now outline four of these organizational strategies.

CBO #1: Tiered LAA Structure

What it is: The tiered lookalike audience (LAA) structure involves each custom audience (CA) getting their own LAA CBO campaign. In other words, each CBO campaign will have only 1 type of custom audience in it. You’ll separate that custom audience into LAAs of 0-2%, 2-4%, 4-6% and so on.

The Setup:

  1. Create a custom audience for any given parameter. We will use View Contents in the past 180 days (VC_180d).
  2. Create five LAAs based off the CA of VC_180D in this structure: 0-2%, 2-4%, 4-6%, 6-8%, 8-10%.
  3. Create a CBO campaign with five ad sets, placing each of these five LAAs into their respective ad sets.

Reasoning: This organizational structure allows you to optimize between audiences that are not overlapping. We are split testing completely different audiences when using this strategy. The benefits of this is that if one audience does not perform well on any given day, Facebook can shift ad spend toward the better performing audiences instead.

CBO #2: Overlapping LAA Structure

What it is: The overlapping LAA structure also involves each CA getting their own LAA CBO. This time, each CA will have an LAA structure that will overlap in terms of audience. Let me explain.

The Setup:

  1. Create a custom audience for any given parameter. We will use Add to Carts in the past 90 days (ATC_90d).
  2. Create 4 LAAs based off of ATC_90d in this structure: 0-1%, 0-3%, 0-5%, 0-10%.
  3. Create a CBO campaign with 4 ad sets, placing each of these four LAAs into their respective ad sets.

Reasoning: This organizational structure allows you to test the effects of increasing audience size, while still maintaining the strongest part (lower percentages) of the total LAA for any given custom audience. Ie: 0-5% will be more broad, but still contain the strong audience of 0-1%.

CBO #3: Segmented LAA Structure

What it is: The segmented LAA structure allows only similar tiers of LAA percentages to optimize together. Each CBO will have multiple CAs in it, but will maintain the same LAA percentile across CAs.

The Setup:

  1. Create CAs for up to 6 different events. We will use VC, ATC, PUR, 50% VV (video views).
  2. Create LAAs for each CA using the same percentile: 1% VC, 1% ATC, 1% PUR, 1% 50% VV
  3. Create a CBO campaign, and place each of these 1% LAAs into their respective ad sets

Reasoning: If you’ve run LAAs in CBOs in the past, you’ll know that ad spend distribution tends to favor LAA percentiles closer to that 0-1% range. The segmented LAA structure attempts to circumvent that by putting similar strength percentiles in the same CBO. You can also do 1-2% LAAs and repeat the same structure. Another tip: you can leave out 1% Purchase LAA from this structure and run it separately. This is because 1% PUR is usually the absolute strongest audience there is to advertise to, so spend will trend towards the purchase LAA in each CBO.

CBO #4: ULTRA LAA Structure

What it is: The Ultra LAA structure combines LAAs for multiple CAs into an ultra-big audience.

The Setup:

  1. Create CAs for up to 5 events. We will use 25% TS (time spent on website), 95% VV, ATC, and PUR.
  2. Create LAAs for each CA using these percentiles: 0-5%, 5-10%.
  3. Create a CBO campaign with two ad sets. One ad set will stack 0-5% for 25% TS, 95% VV, ATC, PUR. The other ad set will stack 5-10% for the same CAs.

Reasoning: Facebook ads optimize the best when given a large audience and big spend into each audience. Combining all LAAs into one audience allows for a big 10M+ audience (for the US). This will allow each ad set to exit the learning phase faster and achieve peak daily optimization.


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