Have you ever launched a new campaign and after patiently waiting while the Facebook algorithms go through their learning phase, get to a point where you think they are never going to start serving properly?
Here are some things you can try to get that campaign up to speed as quickly as possible.
What is the learning phase?
The learning phase happens after you launch (or edit) a Facebook Ads campaign once the review process has been completed. This is where the Facebook - or Meta - systems are working out who to serve your ad creatives to. During this phase, the campaign performance and costs can fluctuate quite a bit before everything clicks and you start seeing consistent results.
If you find your campaign stuck in the learning phase for longer than expected, here are some ways to get it moving and start seeing those results.
Structuring your ad sets
There are a couple of things at ad set level can can put a hold on your campaign seeing the little green "active" light beside them.
Make sure your audience is broad enough
The learning phase is based on getting enough results quickly so that the system has enough data to base its decisions on going forward. If you aren't getting results, you aren't going to exit this phase. Sometimes a narrow audience can hinder this process.
Consolidate ad sets
Make sure you don't have ad sets competing against each other with overlapping audiences. You can combine ad sets or add exclusions to existing ones to make sure you aren't doubling up here. And for a more detailed look at this, check out Facebooks article about overlapping audiences.
Use automatic placements
Restricting where your ads are shown can sometimes limit the learning opportunities for your campaign, so unless you are running something that requires a very specific placement, open this up so that the system can learn quicker.
Setting up budgets and bids
The way your budget is used also has a big influence on exiting this phase.
Allocate enough budget
To exit learning, you need to see fifty results in seven days, so make sure you have enough budget for Facebook to get these initial results.
Use CBO (Campaign Budget Optimisation)
If you don't want to fine tune ad set budgets manually, you can always select CBO at the campaign level. This option takes your campaign budget and distributes it across all of the ad sets in that campaign to get the best results possible without you needing to manage each one individually.
Select lowest cost bidding
rather than setting cost or bid caps, why not use lowest cost bid strategy as recommended by Meta? This option maximises the results you can see from your budget which can help you exit the learning phase faster.
Other ways to exit the learning phase
If the above setting don't help, there are a few other things that may be holding up your progress.
Improve your creatives
If all of the other settings look correct, it may be your creative that is the bottleneck. Consider updating to see how the audience responds to a fresh ad. Check out this Blueprint article on creating compelling ads visuals.
Give your campaigns time
Every time you edit a campaign, the learning phase restarts, so if you aren't giving it enough time to get the results you will never exit this phase. Try to give the campaign a week to get the results it needs before editing. Learn more about significant edits here.
Switch to an easier conversion event
Most campaigns need fifty optimisation events to exit learning, so if your events are hard to get it is going to take way longer. Think about what other optimisation events that you could use for the campaign that might occur more often and therefore help your campaign exit learning faster. Learn more about optimisation events here.