Facebook Ads Learning Phase – What is it? Why is it important?

In this article, I am going to shed some light about the “learning phase” in Facebook Ads Manager, why it’s important and what you can expect from this phase.

What is the Learning Phase?

According to Facebook, “the learning phase is the period when the delivery system still has a lot to learn about an ad set. During the learning phase, the delivery system is exploring the best way to deliver your ad set – actively trying different audiences, placements, and more – so performance has not yet stabilized.”

Source: Facebook.com

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Essentially, Facebook/Meta is starting to gather important data as to which ad sets perform well (as measured by engagement, click through, cost per lead, etc.). As a Facebook Ads specialist, I actually really love this phase. This is the phase where we can use a lot of different creative (static images, dynamic images, videos, various calls to action, etc.) to gain valuable insight on which ads yield the best results. One of the elements that used to surprise me, is that I could never accurately predict which ads would perform the best. I used to think the best ads would be the ones with the biggest offers and the most fancy creative. Boy was a wrong! Sometimes simplicity works (think before and after images of a deck or patio project). Sometimes the fancy videos do work. My point is, that the learning phases is one of the most important elements of a successful Facebook and/or Instagram ads campaign, because it is crunching data in real time to ensure that Ads Manager understands which ads perform the best. So we mere mortals don’t have to try to guess which ones will perform.

How To Get The Most Out of Learning Phase

Now that you understand what the learning phase is, let’s talk about the most important element to emerge from this phase with great ads. Patience. Yes, simply put, you must have patience. Your ad spend will be a bit higher during this phase. That is normal. I tell my ad clients, this phase is sort of like dating. Ads Manager is getting to know your ads and your ads are getting to know your target customer. This can really only occur through repeated interaction and investing the “time” and “money” to get real insight. So in this phase, you are picking up the dinner bill on date night. Once you’ve been dating a while, and are in the honeymoon phase, you can opt for cheap Chinese takeout…but you really cannot do that in the beginning, right?

How to Leverage The Learning Phase For Success

  • Expect to spend more ad budget in exchange for valuable insight on ad performance
  • Test various creative: static images, various calls to action, various headlines, videos, etc.
  • Exert patience and let Ads Manager do it’s thing
  • Set a reasonable ad budget to ensure valuable insight (no $3 per day will not work in most niches)

How Long Will The Learning Phase Take?

There is no dedicated start and finish time regarding this phase. It is based on a multitude of factors, including: how much ad budget you set, how large the audience is, targeting parameters, the type of campaign objective you set up, etc. The learning phase will take longer if you have a small ad budget, very small audience (yes there is such a thing as over-targeting), etc. Be sure to pay attention to the guide on the right hand side when it says whether or not your audience size is too broad or too small. You want to find the goldilocks size here – right in the middle, to get through learning phase. According to Facebook, “ad sets exit the learning phase as soon as their performance stabilizes. Typically, performance stabilizes after an ad set receives around 50 optimization events within a 7-day period.”

source – https://www.facebook.com/business/m/one-sheeters/guide-to-the-learning-phase

What Happens After Learning Phase?

Magic! After learning phase, your ad sets move into a phase where your cost per result should decrease and your objective (increased click through, sales, leads, etc.) should increase. Essentially, you have mad it through the dating phase and now can enjoy the fruits of your labor. That doesn’t mean you can set it and forget it. However, you do get to coast off of the insights gained during the learning phase.

Thank you for visiting the website and I hope this article was helpful. If you are looking for a step-by-step mini course that walks you though the creation of Facebook and Instagram Ads, sign up for my mini course. It includes over an hour of content with examples on how to build ad campaigns, how to set a budget, how to leverage Canva for creative, how to write compelling copy using AI and more.

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