Whether you’re an experienced Facebook advertiser or just starting and making the first steps in Facebook ads, you might feel the need to make changes to an ad that’s already been launched. The reasons vary. It can be because the ad is delivering better than you expected or otherwise failing to drive any results.
Technically Facebook allows you to edit ad campaigns any time even when it’s already up and running. Yet editing ads is not a good idea, to say the least of it. The question is do you have a reason good enough to take a risk?
What Facebook allows you to edit technically?
First of all, there is a thing that you can’t edit at all. That is the objective of your ad campaign, obviously. It’s the starting point of your ad campaign and should align with your overall business goals. All the other settings will depend on your campaign objective. So editing the objective is rather irrational, and you may as well just create a new campaign.
As for ad campaigns, hypothetically, you CAN edit the following:
At the Campaign level:
- Spending limit,
At the Ad set level:
- Budget and schedule,
- Bid cap,
- Optimization and delivery.
At the Ad level:
- Ad creative.
Despite the fact that you technically can change all these items inside your Facebook ads manager, this doesn’t mean you can do all that without messing up your advertising campaign and losing precious data. First, let’s learn about why it happens and how the learning phase is involved.
What is the learning phase and why it’s important?
When editing the Facebook ads, the crucial thing you should remember about is the learning phase.
In brief, the learning phase is the period of time when Facebook algorithms are learning the best way to deliver your ads so they perform at their highest.
During the learning phase, the cost per result is usually higher. That means the system is still looking for the most profitable users and placements to show your ads. Thus it is trying to optimize your ad’s performance.
The problem is that editing an ad can restart the learning phase. This means you lose all the data previously collected for the optimization. Some changes are huge enough to send your ad to re-review and reset the learning phase.
You should think twice before making changes to an active ad. Later we’ll talk about what you should do instead to make sure you don’t mess up.
What will reset the learning phase?
According to Facebook these are the changes that will certainly restart the learning phase and reset engagement metrics:
- Audience. If you delete or add the interests, change the demographics, decide to use another custom audience, you should understand that this is a game-changer. Imagine how Facebook algorithms were working hard to show your ads to one certain audience, and suddenly you order it to move in another direction.
- Ad creative: image, video, ad text or call to action.
For example, Facebook provides the following notification in the section where the ad creative can be edited: It’s clear-cut that editing the ad creative is a big turnaround, and you might as well just recreate the ad.
It’s clear-cut that editing the ad creative is a big turnaround, and you might as well just recreate the ad.
- Optimization and Bid strategy because it’s the way you reach the desired results. If you change the way your budget is distributed, it will pivot your campaign in another direction.
- Adding a new ad to an ad set will also influence other ads because it leads to redistribution of budget across ad sets. In this case consider increasing the budget for this adset. But anyway, all this will definitely restart the learning phase for your campaign.
- Change to a budget. Actually, it depends on the magnitude of budget change. A few dollars change will not restart the learning process. But a significant one will.
Why is editing an ad not a good idea?
Of course, you can change an ad if you need it, the reasons are numerous. If its performance is somewhere in the middle, not too bad and not too good to be afraid to lose its engagement rate. Ad campaigns don’t like it when we set them up and forget about them.
Technically you can edit an ad and you might have a wish to scale a high-performing ad campaign, for example. Despite all that, always remember about the risk of messing it up.
Instead, consider duplicating or recreating an ad. Duplicate an Ad or Ad set, depending on what you want to change.
When it comes to a bad-performing ad, better not try to restore it. This ad’s previous bad results may indirectly influence its future performance. Just stop it and create a new one. In addition, this way you’ll be able to see the statistics on both and compare the results.
Don’t forget about such an option as A/B testing. For example, if you want to change an ad copy, you can test different versions. This way you’ll make sure what works better. Thus you’ll at least know if the change you want to incorporate is worth it.
Here are two main reasons you should duplicate an ad instead of editing the original one:
- Advertising, especially on Facebook, is quite tricky. You never know for sure what will work better. Facebook ads manager allows you to create multiple ads and turn them on and off whenever you want it, and you should use this opportunity.
Duplicate an ad, edit inside it whatever it is you need and observe. If you see that the change worked out good for you, turn off the other worse-performing one. If it didn’t, isn’t it great that you still have the original one up and running?
- Editing an ad will bring chaos to your Facebook ad reporting. You won’t know where results are actually coming from, you can’t track how exactly the changes influenced your ads performance. While when you have two or more different ads, you can easily compare the results and use that knowledge in your future ad campaigns.
When can you feel like making changes?
And now let’s look into the most common situations when you may feel like editing your ad and what changes are in question.
- Scale high-performing ads
First of all, let’s think about why you would want to make changes to an ad that is delivering great? It’s got a high engagement rate, brings a lot of conversions, and so on. Extremely good results can get you thinking that this ad is a gold mine and you want to invest more in it by raising the budget. Actually, that’s a good strategy for scaling the Facebook ad campaign. If you change the budget by 10-20%, it shouldn’t harm the performance of your ad. It’s considered to be a small change and all gathered data based on its performance should be retained. Nevertheless, consider duplicating that ad set investing more budget in it.
Note: In the case your campaign is using CBO (Campaign Budget Optimization), editing it will reset the learning phase of your ad sets. So this way you can lose momentum by messing up a high performing ad.
- Give a good ad more time
When it comes to a well-performing ad, other than the budget, you can also change the schedule. If you see the ad is getting a lot of engagement, you can extend how long the ad will run.
Note: Pay attention to your ad frequency then. Be careful and don’t let ad fatigue happen.
- Correct the typos
You found a typo in an ad text… Whoops… Do you think people noticed?
If it’s huge and gets lots of negative feedback and unwanted attention from your customers side, well, yes, you should make corrections. Better avoid such situations at all, get a copy editor double-check the ad text. Otherwise, an ad may turn into a waste of investment.
But what if your results are good despite the typo? Some brands might be getting more attention due to a typo, resulting in increased brand awareness at least. So in this case, evaluate the current ad performance. Based on it decide whether you want to let it run even if it has a typo or not.
- Replace the non-effective ad creative
At some point, you see that your ad is not resonating with your target audience. And you believe the reason can be the wrong wording or call-to-action. So you decide to change the text.
The same applies to images and videos. You may come up with a new version that you think will perform better. Thus you decide to change the existing one. In such cases, it’s recommended to create a new ad with a new creative or make changes in a duplicated ad because it’s the most significant change that causes resetting the learning phase.
To sum up, even if you have a technical possibility to do something it doesn’t mean you should! Sometimes it’s crucial to weigh the consequences and resort to other options. Especially considering that Facebook does provide other options.
So instead of editing the original ad set or ad, just duplicate it as many times as you need and edit the duplicated items. Wait until you get the results on the duplicates. Then based on the performance you can compare and decide which ones should be stopped: the original ad or the duplicate one.