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    How to optimize your campaign based on Facebook's 3 new relevance scores

    The old relevance score. Sometimes a best friend, and sometimes a terrible foe. There’s something about the way it feels so judge-y that’s hard to overcome at times. Regardless of how you feel about relevance scores, there’s no getting around them, so you might as well figure out how to conquer them. As a refresher, Facebook explains relevance scores as “calculated based on the positive and negative feedback we expect an ad to receive from its target audience.” Facebook goes on to tout the benefits of the relevance score as:

    1. It can lower the cost of reaching people.

    2. It can help advertisers test ad creative options before running a campaign.

    3. It can help optimize campaigns already in progress.

    Image from Facebook: Showing Relevance Scores for Ads on Facebook

    Now, just when you really started to love/hate relevance scores, and possibly even figure out how to make them work for you, Facebook has some news: no more relevance scores. Instead, meet three new metrics, which Facebook describes as:

    • Quality ranking: How your ad’s perceived quality compared with ads competing for the same audience.

    • Engagement rate ranking: How your ad’s expected engagement rate compared with ads competing for the same audience.

    • Conversion rate ranking: How your ad’s expected conversion rate compared with ads that had the same optimization goal and competed for the same audience.

    But don’t freak out! This doesn’t mean more stuff to track, this means more opportunities to tweak your ads and get your rankings up. Where the relevance score often caused confusion about what was actually driving the score up or down, these three new defined numbers provide much more actionable metrics. And here’s just how to put them in action for your next campaign:

    Quality ranking

    There’s no hidden meaning here. If your quality ranking is down, that means Facebook is rating your competitors’ ads higher than yours. In other words, your creative stinks. This is where the basics of creating good ads come into play. Is your image clear, and high-quality? Is your copy direct and easily understandable? Of course, there’s Facebook’s robust Ads Guide, and the company offers more pro tips in this post, including:

    1. Show people using your product, specifically images of people benefiting from your product, instead of just the product itself.

    2. Focus your message. Crop tightly around the important part of the image. If you're trying to fit too much information into a single piece of media, consider using the Carousel format to show off multiple images within a single ad.

    3. Less (text) is more. Images that are uncluttered by text have a greater impact.

    Image from Facebook: 6 Image Ad Tips

    And more than how it looks or sounds, what’s the actual content? Does it clearly offer a solution? And it goes without saying, but we’ll say it here: make sure it’s optimized for mobile! 88% of people use Facebook on mobile.

    Engagement rate ranking

    If you’re looking to boost your engagement rate ranking, you have to think up ways to catch someone’s eye and give them a clear path to engage. Consider using video. Moving images are way more eye-catching than static, and people pause over a video post five times longer than a static post. Again, Facebook offers some great insider tips to help you create videos that will resonate with your audience:

    • Tailor your story to your audience. Create unique videos (or different versions of the same video) for different audience segments.

    • Invest in production. This is the same as using a crappy, blurry image vs a high-quality, original shot.

    • Use the first few seconds wisely. Use the first few frames to catch someone’s eye and get your product in the shot.

    • Tell your story with and without sound. This is a tricky one for the creative team behind your video, but assume someone is watching your ad on the bus without headphones.

    In addition to quality, noticeable imagery, you want to make sure your copy encourages actions and engagements. You could show someone the most compelling video, but if you don’t lead them to the next step (click for more info, tap for a special deal, etc), they’ll probably just keep scrolling.

    One way to kill your engagement rate is to hit someone over the head with the same message. Keep your ad frequency to a minimum to avoid making people angry and intentionally ignoring your ads. We offered some tips on this in a previous post, “Facebook Ad Fatigue: How to Keep Your Ads Fresh,” like rotating your ads by:

    • Using power words

    • Showing a giveaway

    • Making an irresistible offer

    • Serving up something exclusive

    • Playing with length

    Another way to avoid ad fatigue is with dayparting. Strategically advertise to your audience when they’re most engaged. For more on that, check out our post, “5 Steps to Optimize Dayparting.”

    Conversion rate ranking

    Don’t get this confused with click-through rate! Conversion rate ranking focuses on the actions a person takes after the initial click through. Still not sure what I’m talking about? Check out “How to Decipher Clicks From Conversions.” There are many tweaks you can make to up conversions, including:

    • Test multiple landing pages and double check you're providing people with a great experience from ad click to conversion

    • Match your ad’s copy with customer intentions. People click on ads and buy because the ads reflect the goals people want to accomplish.

    • Consider the possibilities of remarketing. This strategy will increase your Quality Score since you're showing your ad to the most relevant audience.

    And super important is making sure you’re targeting the right people to begin with. You could have the most amazing buyer journey set up, but if you’re serving it up to the wrong audience, your conversion rate will tank.



    Change isn’t always good but in the case of Facebook doing away with relevance score for three new metrics, it’s a great thing. Keep checking your account to see when the new metrics are available to you, then be sure to update your reports so you can start capturing valuable data.

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    Breanna Lambert

    Breanna has 10+ years’ experience in marketing, though the tides & trends have pushed her almost exclusively into digital. She lives in the hills above Boulder, CO and spends her downtime outside exploring with her husband, son, and pup.