- A way to guarantee a certain number of people will see your ad
- It has a minimum spend – so not possible with small campaigns
- It won’t guarantee any other KPIs like clicks or engagement (although you can still set these as targets)
- You don’t always get the best price
Reach and Frequency is a type of campaign Facebook rolled out in 2014 to try to make their network feel more familiar to traditional advertisers – and has some big benefits.
It essentially allows you to guarantee hitting a given number of people with a piece of content – meaning that if you’ve set reach as your KPI for a campaign, you can crack open a cold one and put your feet up. Results are in the bag.
So how does it work?
First, let’s clarify terms ICYMI:
Reach = the number of unique Facebook users your post was seen by. A single user can see a post more than once. (We call the total number of times a post was loaded – by the same person or not – impressions)
Frequency = the number of times a given person has seen a post. So a frequency of one means any one person will see your post only once – two is twice etc.
Setting a good frequency is essentially a balance between making sure a user has actually noticed your post, and bombarding that user with the same post they weren’t interested in first time around. This just annoys people, and setting a high frequency is one of the top things my clients say they don’t want to do (who wants to annoy people, right?).
The set up of the ads is similar to auction advertising – you can simply choose the reach and frequency option in ad manager right at the start:
From there, setting up interest targeting is exactly the same as auction campaigns, with one key difference.
Once you have defined your audience on a reach and frequency campaign, you get a much better visualisation of your target audience:
I’ve found this to be incredibly useful for helping clients understand how big their potential audience is – and giving them different options in terms of how much to invest.
Facebook can sometimes feel like firing messages out into the void for some clients, and it can be difficult to get to grips with who the audience is and how many of them we can talk to.
This tool can help lay all of the target information out in a much easier-to-understand way. The buying then gives you the added bonus of guaranteeing to hit any percentage of it.
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This is probably a good time to mention that there is a minimum spend on this type of campaign, which is based on reaching at least 200,000 people. The actual spend will vary, but it would rarely come in under around £500.
The frequency will also affect how your spend translates into reach – so on a frequency of one you’ll reach more people than you would on a frequency of two. This is because the impressions, which your CPM is based on, will stay the same (or very similar) but lots of people will see the ad twice (due to the higher frequency).
So costs should factor into the balancing act too. A general rule of thumb is that a frequency cap of two will work best for most clients. One ad impression can get missed – but if it’s appeared twice it’s likely to have been noticed. Any more than two times means you start getting into annoying ad territory, and you start getting far less bang for your buck.
If you just want to hit as many people as possible – a frequency of one will do the trick.
It’s possible to give a secondary consideration to your campaign, so that all the people you are reaching are encouraged to do something. This might be click-throughs to website or video views or post engagement.
Facebook will use this to serve your ad to people most likely to do the thing you want them to. But it’s important to realise that this isn’t what you’re being charged for.
The ad will be delivered on reach alone – which is, as I said, guaranteed. But if you wanted to generate click-throughs at a specific price per click, say, then this is not the type of ad you should be using.
(That would be an auction campaign)
The relationship between set price Reach and Frequency campaigns and the auction bidding campaigns is the same as any set price vs auction. You don’t always get the best price – you simply get a predictable one.
You know how much you’re going to pay and what you’ll get for it. That means poor quality work will still reach lots of people, but great quality work might not get great pick-up for little money. You’re unlikely to get a surprise hit like you can with auction buying – so it kinda takes the fun away a bit.
It’s also worth noting that costs start to increase exponentially once you’ve hit around 50-60% of the audience. This is because some people use Facebook more than others – and once you get closer to total coverage of an audience, you start targeting people who hardly ever log in, who therefore cost more to access. You should never hope to hit 100% of an audience.
- These campaigns are super useful – particularly for big ad campaigns where saturating a market is the tactic
- They are also really good for talking through targeting with clients who have little experience with Facebook marketing. You can plug in different audiences and give loads of options for accessing them
- They work better bigger – you can’t hope to spend any less than about £500