Learn the 5 strategies these experts use to scale Facebook ads — and when to use them to get the best results.

Here, you’ll find: 

  1. 5 strategies to scale Facebook ads
  2. Increase Facebook ad campaign budget
  3. Optimize successful ad campaigns
  4. Test video ads
  5. Expand lookalike audiences
  6. Build a sales funnel
  7. When to scale Facebook ads

Scaling Facebook ads can be intimidating, even if you’re not a beginner.

A lot of factors are involved, making it harder to decide the best methods to scale your campaigns without burning through your budget.

So what do you do when you’re stuck in the Facebook ad scaling process?

Consult the experts!

We interviewed PPC experts who managed Facebook ad campaigns across industries to get their advanced insights on how and when to scale Facebook ads.

5 strategies to scale Facebook ads

So you’ve got a well-performing Facebook ad set based on the KPIs you set at the beginning of the campaign. You’re generating results at a cost that makes sense to your business, and now you want to scale.

But how?

Let’s dive into 5 PPC expert-approved Facebook ad scaling strategies you can use to get even better results.

1. Increase Facebook ad campaign budget

An effective and simple way to scale Facebook ads is to increase ad budget, aka vertical scaling. Increasing ad spend allows you to reach more of your Facebook target audience, possibly leading to more conversions.

But before implementing a budget increase across all your new ad sets, let’s discuss how to increase the Facebook ad campaign budget without sacrificing campaign performance or return on ad spend (ROAS).

Identify campaign budget optimization during the learning phase

First, you must go through the learning phase. The learning phase is when Facebook’s algorithm uses a portion of your ad budget to determine the best audience for your ad. This ends after Facebook delivers 50 optimization events, typically taking about a week.

There’s no way to avoid the learning phase, so give Facebook a sufficient budget to learn what it needs to know to optimize your ad campaign.

Arham Khan, co-founder of Pixated, suggests identifying sufficient daily ad spend for the learning phase by multiplying the average cost per purchase (CPP) by 50 and then dividing this by the conversion window.

So with a CPP of $20 and a conversion window of 7 days, we get a daily budget of $143.

($20 x 50) / 7 = ~143

By setting the daily budget at $143, you’re allowing Facebook to complete the learning phase and reach a fully optimized audience in just one week.

“It’s also worth noting that ad performance is inconsistent during the learning phase,” Khan says. “The key is to ride it out and not change your campaign during this time. Even a tiny tweak can reset the learning phase process and invalidate its results.”

Increase ad spend slowly

If you make significant edits to your campaign, ad set, or ad, this will trigger the learning phase to start over. So to avoid this, increase your Facebook ad budget slowly and strategically.

Aim to increase the budget by 20% once a week. That means if you’re currently spending $20 a day, you can increase the daily budget to $24 the first week, $28.80 the next week, $34.56 the next week, and so on.

Save time using custom rules

Don’t want to manually adjust your ad budget every day? Set budgets automatically by creating a custom rule.

Open the Automated Rules tool in your ad account, and click the Create Rule button. Select Custom Rule, and you’ll see this screen:

Facebook ad custom rules

You can set a custom rule to automatically increase ad spend by 20% each week. (Image: Reveal bot)

Then set the guidelines to increase your daily budget by 20%. For frequency, choose Once Weekly, and apply it at the ad set level.

Create Conditions to make sure you’re only scaling the right ad sets. For example, you can create a condition to only scale ad sets with a CPP of less than $10.

Split-test your budget

Another way to optimize your Facebook ad campaign budget is by split-testing. Khan suggests “setting up a large upfront budget at the campaign level, then letting audiences loose to ‘compete’ for it.”

The Facebook algorithm will quickly determine which ad set performs best and allocate most of the budget to that ad set.

“Split-testing enables you to scale your daily budget without wasting money on an underperforming audience,” adds Kahn.

Set a dynamic frequency cap

Riva Jeane May Caburog, PR/Media Coordinator at Nadrich & Cohen, a personal injury law firm, suggests implementing a dynamic frequency cap strategy to increase ad budget. Instead of a fixed cap, you’ll adjust the budget cap based on the sales funnel and engagement level.

“For instance, you can limit initial exposures to a low frequency to prevent ad fatigue among new prospects,” Caburog says. “As users progress, incrementally increase the cap to ensure they receive more relevant messaging without feeling overwhelmed.”

Facebook ad frequency cap

Adjust the frequency cap to help alleviate ad fatigue. (Image: Facebook business)

Caburog also suggests raising the frequency cap of those who clicked but didn’t convert so you can retarget them. And you should lower the cap for those who already converted to avoid unnecessary ad exposure.

“This dynamic strategy maintains ad freshness and maximizes your budget efficiency. It also prioritizes spend on users showing higher intent and minimizes waste on those who’ve already taken action,” Caburog adds.

2. Optimize successful ad campaigns

After finding a winning ad set, it’s time to optimize it for the best results. Find your best-performing ads and run tests to determine what would drive better results. Then, run Facebook ads with your optimizations implemented.

Test, optimize, and scale

Magee Clegg, CEO and founder of Cleartail Marketing, takes a 3-part approach by testing, optimizing, and scaling to get the best results for clients.

During the optimization phase, Clegg takes data from testing to determine where to start with optimization. For one specific client, this involved “refining the ad copy and visuals, adjusting the targeting parameters to focus more on the audience segments that showed the highest engagement, and improving the calls-to-action to drive more conversions.”

Once his team was confident about the high-performing ads, they gradually increased ad spend and monitored campaign performance, constantly testing new ad variations and fine-tuning the audience targeting.

The results?

“The campaign resulted in a significant increase in the number of inbound calls for the client. Over a period of three months, we observed a 25% growth in calls, which directly translated to a substantial increase in revenue.”

When A/B testing your new campaign creative, remember to just test one element at a time. For example, if you’re an ecommerce brand, you might try testing out different CTAs like “add to cart” or “buy now” to see which performs better.

But when you change more than one element during an A/B test, then you won’t know which of the elements contributed to the ad’s performance.

Don’t forget to optimize landing pages too

Your ads aren’t the only factor that impacts conversions. If you want to get better results from your high-performing ad sets, take time to review and optimize your landing pages.

David Godlewski, CEO of global cloud communications company Intelliverse, suggests implementing A/B testing to identify the landing page elements that convert best. He suggests using heatmaps and analytics tools to pinpoint where users drop off the page. Then, refind the user journey according to your findings.

Here’s an example of an eye-tracking heatmap that shows which areas of the page get the most attention and are actually seen by the visitor:

eye tracking heat map

Use heatmaps to optimize your ad landing pages for conversions. (Image: Hotjar)

“Increasing your ad budget without optimizing landing pages is like pouring water into a leaky bucket,” Godlewski says. “You need to master optimization to preserve ROI and ensure the additional budget yields better results. Doing so creates synergy between ad spend and landing page performance, which drives more value from your Facebook ad campaign.”

Duplicate successful ads

In addition to optimizing existing ads, you can also manually duplicate your most successful ads and serve them to a new audience. This form of horizontal scaling allows you to create additional ad sets with a higher budget, increasing conversion opportunities.

You can even create a custom rule that’ll notify you when an ad meets certain conditions identifying it as an ad you may want to duplicate.

For instance, if it reaches a certain amount of impressions, purchases, CPP, or another one of your KPIs.

duplicate successful Facebook ad

Set a custom rule to alert you when an ad meets the right criteria for duplication. (Image: Shopify)

3. Test video ads

Facebook users consume millions of hours daily on the platform. In fact, Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg says that video accounts for almost half of all time spent on Facebook.

So, it stands to reason that many businesses can produce better Facebook advertising results if they incorporate video ads into their social media ads strategy.

Put a familiar face in the video

Getting compelling video ad content from your brand or client may be challenging. However, sometimes a familiar face is all it takes to stop the scroll and get people to engage with your video ad.

Fractional CMO and Facebook ads expert for small businesses, Stacy Reed was helping a client scale her growth with Facebook ads. During that time, she tested different video ads with and without the founder of the business speaking.

Reed discovered that the videos with the founder performed better than those without.

“We found that her audience wanted to see and hear from her,” she says, “so we also applied that learning to her organic digital marketing strategy.”

Don’t rely too heavily on audio

If you want your video ads to be successful, optimize your video creative for the Facebook feed. This means creating video ads that are meant to be consumed quickly, frequently, and without sound.

Did you know that 75% of Facebook users watch videos without sound?

If you want people to engage with your video ads, create compelling videos that are consumable with or without sound. One option is to incorporate captions into your video ad content.

Facebook video ad captions

Use captions in your video ads to ensure people understand the content without sound. (Image: Adweek)

Keep the captions short and sweet. And make sure they help the user understand the value of what’s happening in the ad.

Get to the point

The Facebook feed environment is fast-paced, so get to the point quickly in your video ad to increase click through. That way, people can be impacted by the ad even if they don’t watch it all the way through.

Nielsen and Facebook did a study to see how brand lift was impacted by the length of time a person watches a video ad on Facebook.

The results showed that from the moment someone viewed a video ad, there was brand lift across ad recall, brand awareness, and purchase consideration. That means the ad still impacted the people who never watched the video but did see the impression.

Facebook video ad impact

The video ad creative still had an impact on those who watched less than 10 seconds of the video. (Image: Facebook business)

As you probably expected, the lift increased the longer people watched the video. Those who watched under 3 seconds of the video ad created up to 47% of the total campaign value. While those who watched fewer than 10 seconds created up to 74%, depending on the metric.

Your video ad can be impactful even if someone watches less than 10 seconds of the ad. So ensure it’s compelling from the very first second.

4. Expand lookalike audiences

When you expand your custom audiences or detailed targeting audiences to their limit, it’s time to create lookalike audiences. Lookalike audiences help you bring in new potential customers based on your best customers.

Find your best-performing audience segments

To build a lookalike audience, identify your best-performing audience segments and use them as your source. Often, this will be a list of your best clients or hottest leads.

For example, Sarah Jeffries, Managing Director for First Aid Course Leicester, created a lookalike audience based on her past and current students to bring in more qualified leads for her first aid courses and trainings.

“By utilizing lookalike audiences, we were able to effectively target potential customers who share similarities with our current satisfied customers,” says Jeffries. “This strategic approach allows us to reach individuals who are more inclined to convert, resulting in a higher return on investment for our efforts.”

To set up a lookalike audience, click the Create a Lookalike Audience button in Ad Manager. Then choose the source, which will be a custom audience you create from customer information, Facebook pixel data, or even fans of your page.

Facebook lookalike audience source

Use a custom audience as the source for your lookalike audience. (Image: Hootsuite)

Source audiences should contain at least 100 people from the same country. For best results, choose a source audience of 1,000 to 5,000 people, as long as it’s a high-quality source.

At HawkSEM, we use our proprietary software, ConversionIQ, to find the best-performing audience segments for our PPC clients. It identifies keywords that high-converting audiences use to help us optimize ads to attract more of the people who are likely to become a lead or buyer.

Start small

Start small with your lookalike audience, setting your audience size anywhere from 1 to 10%. The smaller the percentage, the more similar your lookalike audience will be to your source audience.

Facebook lookalike audience size

Start with a 1% audience size to reach those who are most similar to your source audience. (Image: Hootsuite)

Facebook Ads Manager will let you create up to 6 lookalike audiences from your source. This allows you to test different lookalike audience sizes and similarity levels to find the winning ad segment.

5. Build a sales funnel

As you scale Facebook ads, you’ll find there are ways to expand your Facebook advertising funnel. Not just using Facebook ads for sales conversions, but using them throughout the customer journey.

Use Facebook ads higher up in the funnel

Beginners might focus on using Facebook ads just to drive revenue. But the experts incorporate Facebook ads throughout the marketing funnel.

Facebook ads expert, Stacy Reed, used this approach when a client came to her with an email list the client had grown organically with subscribers that weren’t always in her target market.

To make sure the client was attracting her ideal audience of tech professionals, they created a free video series that educated that audience on Web 3 and how they would benefit from being a part of a community of techies that shared the same values.

Using Facebook ads higher up in the funnel allowed Stacy to help her client warm up people who were actually in her target audience.

Test the funnel

“We did a fair share of testing to determine the best messaging and funnel to drive traffic to,” Reed says. “We also experimented with audiences in the U.S., Canada, U.K., and specific African countries, which led to a low cost per lead ($0.78).”

Reed’s budgeting strategy was to start low and scale up once they found the high-performing ads. She started with a $10-15 daily budget to determine which audiences and creatives produced the best results. Then, she scaled up gradually to maintain efficiency.

“A lot of brands want to dump all their money into one campaign to judge the effectiveness of ads, but they really do take testing to find the sweet spot.”

Overall, Reed increased her client’s email list by 62% in 4 months using a marketing funnel and targeted low-production video ads that called in her client’s target audience.

When to scale Facebook ads

To scale Facebook ads or not to scale?

While that might not have been Shakespeare’s question, it is a compelling one for Facebook ad managers and marketers. So let’s talk about how to know it’s time to scale Facebook ads.

You’re tracking every aspect of your Facebook ad campaigns

To scale efficiently and effectively, ensure you’re tracking the results of your Facebook ad campaigns. And not just measuring how many leads you got, but getting into the nitty gritty, such as which ad placements are bringing in the most sales and what time they’re converting.

If you’re tracking all the different ad touchpoints and can analyze the data, then you’re in the best position to scale profitably.

At HawkSEM, we handle tracking every aspect of your PPC campaigns. To learn more, check out our PPC management services.

ROAS and CPA are stable or improving

At HawkSEM, we keep campaign performance top of mind when scaling campaigns. There are certain factors we look at and set prior to scaling, such as ROAS, cost per acquisition (CPA), and customer lifetime value (LTV).

When we have a campaign that’s meeting our goals for these metrics, we consider it high-performing. And we’ll continue to watch these KPIs to ensure profitability as we scale.

Lisa Richards, digital marketing specialist and creator of the Candida Diet, agrees: “Profitability is the ultimate factor I consider when evaluating a campaign. If I see a healthy return on investment and anticipate that scaling will lead to higher profits, I proceed with caution.”

But if you notice inconsistent campaign performance, your fluctuating conversion rate, or a high CPA, you should probably optimize your Facebook ads before scaling.

Your ads have great engagement rates

Engagement metrics like click-through rate (CTR) and post-engagement rates can also determine if it’s time to scale. These rates show how interested (or not) your audience is in your ad content.

“Engagement is key, so actively monitor your ad performance,” suggests Leona Everly, marketing consultant and Editor-in-Chief at Crosswords Weekly. “Keep an eye on click-through rates, engagement rates, and conversion rates. If you notice certain ads are performing exceptionally well, allocate more budget to them and pause or optimize the underperforming ones.”

On the other hand, when engagement rates start to decrease as frequency increases, this can be a sign of ad fatigue. This is a great time to refresh your ad creative to see if results improve. (Check out these great Facebook ad examples for creative ideas!)

“Also, if you’re noticing a growing number of negative comments, feedback, or complaints, it’s a clear indication that your audience is not responding positively to your ads,” Richards adds. “It’s crucial to address these concerns and make necessary improvements before expanding your reach.”

The takeaway

Scaling Facebook ads can be a complex process. If you scale too quickly or early in the process, you might waste a lot of time and money. But when you’re strategic about scaling, you can do it in a way that’s efficient and profitable, getting amazing results for your business.

Once met with the complexities and challenges of scaling social media ads and Google ads, a lot of marketers choose to partner with a PPC agency that has experience getting results for their clients.

HawkSEM would love to be the paid social agency to scale your PPC ads for even better results.

Book a free consultation with our Facebook ads experts to see if we’re the right agency for you.

Contact HawkSEM for Free Consultation