Meta/Facebook Ads has traditionally employed automated bidding that attempts to deliver a specified result in an efficient way, such as link clicks, video views, lead form submissions, Messenger conversations, website sales, and others. This is generally still the case, but there are more options now, and it’s more sophisticated.

Note: In case you aren’t already aware, ad delivery through Meta/Facebook ads happens through an auction system with bids placed by the advertiser – or on behalf of the advertiser – to display the ad to viewers most likely to perform a chosen optimization action (link clicks, video views, website sales, etc.).

Bid-related settings are now in both the campaign and ad set level setup panels.


At the campaign level

In the campaign settings, you have two choices:

  1. Turn off campaign bid settings (which then leaves all bidding options at the ad set level for that campaign).
  2. Turn on campaign bid settings, and then choose the strategy that will apply to all ad sets in that campaign.

If you turn on campaign bid settings, you’ll see four strategy options:

Highest volume — For getting the most results for your budget

Cost-per-result goal – For achieving a specified cost per result while maximizing the number of results

ROAS goal – For achieving a specific “return-on-ad-spend” while maximizing the value of results

Bid cap – Allows you to set the maximum bid for each auction, which (in effect) sets bidding to manual instead of automated

Note: If you choose cost-per-result goal, ROAS goal, or bid cap, you’ll specify a dollar amount within each ad set in the Optimization and Delivery section. (If you choose Highest Volume, there is no need for cost specification since the system will simply try to deliver the most results for your budget, regardless of the cost of each one.)

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At the ad set level

In the Optimization and Delivery section of the ad set setup panel, you’ll choose the specific action you want the viewers of your ad to take. The optimization setting is an important one because it’s the most specific instruction you’ll give the system for the results you’d like to achieve. It will directly affect how Meta uses the ad auction on your behalf. Meta will use its massive data repository and machine-learning systems to focus on achieving your optimization result. The Optimization and Delivery section is also where you’d enter a dollar amount if using the bid cap, ROAS goal, or cost-per-result strategy.

The options you’ll see for optimization depend on the objective you choose when setting up the campaign. (See the list of possible options below.)

Note: Whatever you choose as the desired optimization action will be represented in the “Results” column when looking at ad reporting data. For example, if you chose Messenger conversations as your desired optimization action and see the number “12” in the Results column of Meta Ads Manager, that means you have received twelve Messenger conversations from your ads.

All settings under Optimization and Delivery

Here are all the settings that can be found in the Optimization and Delivery section of the ad set creation panel. Keep in mind that not all these options appear for every campaign objective.

Optimization for ad delivery – Choose the desired action you want your ads to achieve from the drop-down menu. (See the list of possible options below.)

Cost per result goal/ ROAS goal/Bid cap – Depending on your choice for campaign bid strategy (see above), you might see an option for Cost-per-result, ROAS goal, or Bid cap where you can specify a dollar amount. If you leave this field blank, Meta will focus on spending your entire ad budget to get as many “results” as possible.

Attribution setting – This sets the window of time for which you’d like the system to attribute conversions to ad clicks or ad views. The maximum time window is seven days for an ad click and one day for an ad view.

When you get charged – By default, Meta charges by impression. But with some campaign objectives, you can choose to get charged by link click or video ThruPlay instead.

Frequency Capping – (Awareness objective only) This allows you to limit the number of times a person would see your ads within a specified time, such as a day, week, or month.

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Possible options under Optimization for Ad Delivery

Here are optimization choices that might be available depending on your choice of campaign objective and conversion location.

Reach — Ad will be served to the maximum number of people.

Impressions — Ad will be delivered to people as many times as possible.

Ad Recall Lift — Ad will be served to maximize the total number of people who will remember seeing your ads.

ThruPlay — Ad will be delivered to get the most video plays of 15 seconds or longer (or complete view if the video is less than 15 seconds in length).

2-Second Continuous Video Views — Ad will be delivered to get the most views of 2 continuous seconds or more.

Landing Page Views — Ads will be delivered to people most likely to click the ad’s link and load the website or Instant Experience.

Link Clicks — Ads will be delivered to people most likely to click on them.

Daily Unique Reach — Ads will be delivered to people up to once a day.

Calls — Ads will be delivered to get the most calls possible.

Conversions – Ads will be delivered to those most likely to take the defined conversion action.

Leads – Ads will be delivered to those most likely to become a lead.

Conversion Leads – Ads will be delivered to those most likely to become a lead and then complete a defined conversion action.

Value — Ads will be delivered to maximize the total purchase value generated and get the highest return on investment (ROAS).

App Events — Ads will be delivered to people most likely to take a specific action at least once.

App Installs — Ads will be delivered to people most likely to install your app.


4 Key things to know about optimization and delivery

  1. When it comes to optimization, keep in mind that Meta does not only look at your account’s history to collect data; It looks at the history of all accounts. Let’s say you choose leads as your optimization goal. Meta’s system will consider a wide range of factors to determine how, when, and where to place your ad in order to increase the likelihood of a lead.

Note: The data used for optimization is drawn from hundreds of millions of ad accounts over a period of years!

  1. The options available for optimization are based on usefulness for the advertiser, but also practicality in terms of how Meta can use its collected data.

Do you know the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for?” It applies to Meta optimization, meaning that you might get what you want but not at the quality level you need. For example, suppose you optimize for link clicks. In that case, Meta might decide to show most of your impressions through the Audience Network outlet, which is known to get more clicks, but of lower quality (including accidental clicks). It helps to understand where your ads are likely to be placed based on your optimization setting.