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Schedule your campaign: Facebook’s new marketing feature

Until now, if you used Facebook paid ads to market your business or brand, you’ve been able to specify start and end times for a campaign. But that’s been about it.

With the site’s new feature, you can now schedule campaigns to run for certain times of the day, targeted to your specific needs. And if you’ve got a few campaigns on the run, you can schedule them to hit the site at different times, for different periods of time depending on what your aim is.

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Before, the only way to stop your ad running throughout the day was to manually pause the campaign. The new ad scheduling feature puts an end to that and allows your ads to run at whatever times you choose. You can combine run times with budgets and audiences and track how your ads perform at different times of the day.

How does ad scheduling work?

At the moment, ad scheduling can only be accessed through Power Editor, and not the ad creation tool most people use to develop Facebook ads. Power Editor is accessed through the left column of your ad manager, as below.

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To start scheduling ads, you’ll need to go into the Ad Sets area, accessible from the Power Editor dashboard.

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Because you can’t use the ad scheduling feature for daily budgets, the first thing you’ll need to do is change the budget to ‘lifetime’. Facebook will then take you through a tour, after which ad scheduling will be activated and you can get started. You’ll now be able to switch to the ‘run ads on a schedule’ option.

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From here you can choose the times to schedule your ad to run. You can choose for it to run for entire days or parts of days. Once you’ve done this, you can create your ads as normal.

What are the benefits of ad scheduling?

While this is a really handy option for many marketers, it isn’t always the right choice. It’s great if your business benefits from targeting consumers at particular points of the day. For example, a coffee retailer may want to place an ad targeting customers early in the day, as opposed to in the evening.

It is also ideal if you’re looking to promote a specific event, such as a movie preview or a lunchtime special at a restaurant. These things might warrant an ad only starting a couple of hours before the event, as opposed to running for 24 hours solidly.

Another reason ad scheduling could work for you is if you’re trying to target people only during business hours, for example.

How will I know if I’m scheduling ads at effective times?

The ad scheduling feature allows for detailed analysis of your campaigns. A good way to test your creative and scheduling is to run the same ad sets at different times of the day and see which sets perform the best.

Something to remember …

Timezones are an important consideration if you’re using the ad scheduling feature. When you’re scheduling your ad sets, remember that the ads are displayed in relation to your audience’s time zone, not your local timezone. So, if you’re scheduling an ad for 7-9pm in New Zealand, your Brisbane audience will see it three hours earlier, from 4-6pm.

Are you using this feature with your campaigns? Let us know how you find it. We’d love to hear your comments.