💡 Only on Smartly.io! This Facebook-only feature is not available on Ads Manager (as of March 2020). In this article you'll learn how the Bid Multipliers solution works and how you can use it to improve your campaign performance.
Facebook's Bid Multipliers lets advertisers modify the base ad set level bid by demographic information, placement, and more splits.
- In other words, you can modify your bid down by splitting your target demographics into segments and specify multipliers of 9–100 % for those segments.
- This feature requires using the Lowest Cost With Bid Cap strategy. Support for Lowest Cost (a.k.a. "automatic bidding") might come later, according to Facebook.
- You can also use Bid Optimization to let Smartly.io automatically adjust your Bid Cap up or down to reach your desired average CPA level – even with Bid Multipliers enabled.
In-depth blog post: How Facebook Bid Multipliers Can Optimize for Lifetime Value and Incrementality
Helpful webinar recording: Bid Multipliers: why, when & how
Best practices of using Bid Multipliers
If your campaign's delivery is limited by its budget (instead of bidding), using Bid Multipliers might affect budget pacing. In other words, using (especially small) multipliers might make it harder for Facebook to evenly pace the spending of your budget throughout the day. To be safe, start with more conservative (closer to 100% than 0%) multipliers and adjust if things go well.
When to use Bid Multipliers
To get the biggest impact from the solution, you should only use Bid Multipliers if one or more the following conditions applies to your campaign.
- Lifetime Value varies between user segments.
- Incremental effect of ads (i.e. conversion lift) varies between user segments.
- You are forced to bid for an interim goal — not your real end goal. This can happen when:
- Your end goal happens with a long delay: Example – an app with a free trial. You can typically only bid for that event while your end goal might be a paid subscription that happens later.
- You don't have enough conversions to optimize for the final goal.
- Meta-search/referral business: you don't get pixel events for purchases, but have data of how valuable different demographics are for your business.
- You are an (e-commerce) business with varying percentages of order returns by audience segment.
In a nutshell: if you have insight or data about valuable segments that Facebook doesn't have, then it makes sense to use higher Bid Multipliers on those segments.
Read more below on how to determine Bid Multiplier values.
When NOT to use Bid Multipliers
Bid Multipliers should not be used in the following situations as this can hurt performance:
- When you bid for your real end goal and value conversions from all audience segments equally = you have none of the above use cases
- There’s no use case for Bid Multipliers when you bid until the end of the funnel and CPA for that event is your final goal.
- It might look like some audience segments like age groups or cities perform better than others when looking at average CPAs across these segments, but Facebook optimization already takes care of the optimal budget split between these audience segments.
In a nutshell: if your analysis is based on Facebook data that Facebook is already optimizing towards, then it doesn't help to use Bid Multipliers.
How to use Bid Multipliers in Smartly.io
You can find the feature in 2 places:
- in the Campaigns view, select multiple ad sets and choose Edit > Ad Sets > Bid Multipliers
- the Audiences tab when creating a campaign, or editing/creating an ad set
In the Campaigns view:
In campaign creation:
To define the actual multiplier breakdowns and values, you also have 2 options:
- If you already have Bid Multiplier Bundles, you can use one of them
- Click Add multiplier to define manually
- You can create splits in a tree structure: for example, choose "Platform", and click "+ Platform" again to define 2 platform splits
- Under each of these platforms, click "Split" to further break down the users of these platforms
- Then, specify multiplier values (9–100%) for each split
- When you're done, it might be wise to save your setup as a Bundle:
- click Bundles, give your setup a name, and click Save
- It will be saved to the Ad Account's bundle library
- You can then re-use the same multiplier setup later, even in other ad accounts
How it works
In the example screenshot (above), we have used two types of splits: the top-level split is Platform, and under Facebook and Instagram platforms we have chosen to split further by Home Locations. (We could have chosen to split further by any dimension, but chose Home Location.)
Let's assume our Bid Cap is set to $100. Here's how the above example will multiply the bids for each user segment:
- $10 for users on Facebook, living in San Francisco
- $20 for users on Facebook, living in New York City
- $30 for users on Facebook, living anywhere else in the world
- $40 for users on Instagram, living in San Francisco
- $50 for users on Instagram, living in New York City
- ($100 for users on Instagram, living anywhere else in the world)
- If you don't specify a "default" multiplier, the default of 100% will be used
- $60 for users on any other platform outside of Facebook and Instagram
How to edit Bid Multipliers
- In Campaigns view, select one or multiple ad sets, and choose Edit > Ad Sets > Bid Multipliers
- For a single ad set, you can "Edit" the ad set and go to the Audiences tab
To re-use a Bid Multiplier setup you saved earlier, click Bundles. Importing a Bundle will overwrite the current Bid Multiplier setup. You can also save a Bundle by editing an ad set where you already have the Bid Multiplier setup you want to re-use elsewhere. Read more about Bundles here.
Requirements for using Bid Multipliers
- Use the Lowest Cost with Bid Cap bidding strategy
- Support for Lowest Cost (old "automatic bidding") might come later
- Multipliers need to be full numbers between 9 – 100 %
- If you want to bid higher for a user segment, use smaller multipliers for other segments instead, and set a higher ad set level Bid Cap
- You can't use the same split again in a descendant
- E.g., don't split by age again under an age split
- Splits must not overlap
- don't specify age splits 18-25 and 25-35, as those overlap
- Available Optimization Goals:
- Offsite Conversions
- App Installs
- Link Clicks
- Landing Page Views
- Lead Generation
Limitations with Bid Multipliers in Smartly.io
- In Automated Ads (AA) campaigns, you can't edit the Bid Multipliers that were originally defined in the Audience templates
- Audience templates are what AA uses to update the existing audiences and create new ad sets if needed. One Audience template can create one or multiple ad sets.
- You can NOT click "Edit campaign" to edit Bid Multipliers of the ad sets in an automated manner
- However, you can edit the ad sets manually in Campaigns view (choose multiple ad sets, then select Edit > Ad sets > Bid Multipliers)
- If the Automated Ads campaign ends up creating more ad sets later, those will be created with the original multipliers, and you'll have to edit those ad sets separately
- Automated Ads will NOT revert the Bid Multipliers of existing ad sets when the feed or campaign is refreshed/reprocessed
Available Audience Splits
- Age: 18-20, 23-40...
- Note: age multipliers need to be above 18 years – Bid Multipliers are not available for ages below 18
- Gender: female, male
- Device Platform: mobile, desktop
- Publisher Platform: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Audience Network
- Placement: Audience Network, Facebook Newsfeed, Messenger Story...
- Home location: city, region (e.g. state) or country
- Also supports some 'neighborhoods' that Facebook recently re-categorized from cities
- Locale: The Language split. List of languages comes from Facebook
- User OS: iOS, Android, Windows, Windows Phone
- User Device: iPhone, iPhone 6, iPhone 6S Plus, iPad Air...
- Custom Audience
Splits Coming Later
These splits are not currently available in Smartly.io, but will be coming later. Give feedback using the form below this article.
- User bucket: advertiser specific tags for users, sent by the pixel/app events
- User recency: people who have a pixel event fired within the past X seconds
- Travel vertical specific splits:
- Booking window
- Length of stay
- Travel start date
- Travel start day-of-week
How to Determine Multiplier Values?
New: use our handy Bid Multiplier calculator!
We suggest that Bid Multipliers are best put to use when they help you optimize your ads for Lifetime Value (LTV) or Incrementality (Conversion Lift — prioritizing conversions that happened because of the ad, not just after clicking or seeing the ad).
For example, if you know the Lifetime Values of a new customer in each of your user segments split by age and gender, you can deduce how much you want to pay for a single first purchase of a new customer (when targeting prospecting audiences. See "LTV Multiplier" column in the table below.
Further, if you run a Lift Test and find out that your Facebook ads have varying Lift %s for different user segments (this breakdown is available from FB or Smartly.io account managers), you can factor those in as well. See the "Final multiplier" column in the table below.
|Lifetime Value||LTV Multiplier||Lift %||LTV x Lift %||Final multiplier
(scaled to 100%)
|Females 18-30||$200||$200/$300 = 67%||65%||43.3%||87%|
|Females 31-55||$300||$300/$300 = 100%||50%||50.0%||100%|
|Males 18-30||$150||$150/$300 = 50%||75%||37.5%||75%|
|Males 31-55||$250||$250/$300 = 83%||55%||45.8%||92%|
You can then enable these Bid Multipliers on top of your Bid Cap. Determine your Bid Cap based on the row with a 100% multiplier above:
Females 31-55: $300 LTV x 50% Lift = $150 per FB-reported conversion
How to Test Bid Multipliers
To test if this feature improves your campaign performance, we suggest a 3-cell split test:
- Cell 1 (Control 1), campaign 1 — combined ad set(s) with 1 bid for all targeted users
- Cell 2 (Control 2), campaign 2 — split ad sets with different targetings and different bids
- Cell 3 (Test), campaign 3 — combined ad set(s) with Bid Multipliers
- Make sure the adjusted bid (ad set level bid x multiplier) for each user group is the same as the ad set level bid for the corresponding ad set in Cell 2
Bid Multipliers can also be used to optimize towards incremental conversions. If you have the required budget for it, run a Lift Test and analyze incrementality by result breakdowns (e.g. age, gender, country). Ask your FB or Smartly.io rep to help with the analysis.
You can then adjust Bid Multipliers to boost delivery towards user segments with higher incrementality/lift. To measure if this feature increases the incrementality of your campaigns, run a multi-cell lift test:
- Cell 1, campaign 1 — business-as-usual (combined or split ad set(s))
- Cell 2, campaign 2 — Bid Multipliers optimized towards the most incremental user segments
Before creating the test, read more best practices on Lift Testing. After running the test and gathering enough data, you can compare the lift of the two cells: if cell 2 has higher lift %, it is the winner. Remember you need a lot of data for this test.
Read More on Bid Multipliers
Read the blog post: How Facebook Bid Multipliers Can Optimize for Lifetime Value and Incrementality
Frequently Asked Questions
What does "default" mean?
It basically means "everything else". For example, you can split by age and define brackets for 18–19 and 22–23. If you add a default, that will match users below 18, between 20 and 21, and over 24. If you don't specify a default, those users will get a 100% multiplier. In other words, the default "default" is 100%.
You can even split the "default" further, by other dimensions such as gender, location, platform... Users not matching the other buckets next to "default" might then match the multipliers under "default".
Note: the behavior of "default" is different for user buckets. If you define a multiplier of 100% to bucket 1 and 50% to "default", that means that other user buckets have a 50% multiplier. However, users not in a user bucket at all still get the default 100% multiplier.
Bid Multipliers only allows me to scale bids down for certain segments. How can I "boost" segments instead?
Correct, the Bid Multiplier values need to be between 1% and 100%, where 100% would mean that the Bid Cap is used as it is. Thus, the only way to boost the bid for a certain segment is to set low Bid Multipliers for other segments.
For example, if your Bid Cap is $10 and you want to boost ages 20–25 with double the bid, you need to change your Bid Cap to $20, give ages 20–25 the value 100% and give other segments a lower value – now, 50% would correspond to a $10 bid.
You can use the "default" segment to account for anything else; in the above example, "20–25" gets 100% and "default" gets 50%.
How can I boost only one user segment with a higher bid, using Bid Multipliers?
Give that segment a 100% multiplier, and add a "default" segment, giving it a lower multiplier. Then increase your Bid Cap to match what you want to bid for the 100% segment.
How does Bid Multipliers work with budget pacing, or Accelerated Delivery?
Earlier, Facebook informed us that Bid Multipliers would disable budget pacing, and require the use of Accelerated Delivery (spending the budget as fast as bids allow). However, in our tests, we have determined that Bid Multipliers works nicely even without Accelerated Delivery, and that daily budgets are paced nicely so that you don't run out of budget before the end of the day.
How do I re-use Bid Multipliers from one ad set to another?
You can use Bundles for this. Edit an ad set, or multiple, where you have some Bid Multipliers set up. Click Bundles, give your setup a name, and then click Save.
Now you can edit another ad set, or use the Campaigns view to edit them in bulk; click Bundles again, search for the Bundle you saved earlier, select it, and click Import. Remember to save your changes.
What if multiplier splits overlap?
If location splits overlap with each other, the priority order is: city 1st, region 2nd, country 3rd. For example, you can set a 50% multiplier for United States, 80% for California, and 90% for San Francisco, and everything will work as expected.
If two Custom Audience splits overlap, Facebook simply uses the multiplier for the first Custom Audience in the list that matches. However, since there is no way to explicitly define priority, nothing is guaranteed.