Vertical scaling in META ADS | Guide

Published at May 8, 2024

Vertical scaling in META ADS | Guide

Vertical scaling in Facebook/Meta ads refers to the strategy of increasing the budget on existing successful ad campaigns or ad sets, in order to reach a larger portion of the target audience and generate more impressions, clicks, and conversions.

The key points about vertical scaling of Facebook/Meta ads are:

  • Vertical scaling involves gradually increasing the budget dedicated to existing ad sets that are already performing well.

  • The goal is to maximize the impact of already successful ad sets and boost campaign performance by reaching new segments of users within the top-performing audiences.

  • When vertically scaling, it’s recommended to increase the budget incrementally, such as by 10-20% at a time, rather than making large, sudden budget increases.

  • This gradual approach allows the ad sets and campaigns to adjust to the new budgets and new users within the targeted segments, without disrupting performance.

  • Vertical scaling is considered the simpler form of scaling compared to horizontal scaling, as it just involves increasing the budget on existing campaigns.

  • Metrics like cost per acquisition (CPA) or return on ad spend (ROAS) are used to determine when and how much to increase the budget through vertical scaling.

Benefits

Some key benefits of vertical scaling in Facebook/Meta ads include:

  1. Maximizing the impact of successful ad sets:

    • Vertical scaling allows you to increase the budget on existing ad sets that are already performing well, in order to reach a larger portion of the target audience.
    • This helps maximize the impact and performance of your top-performing campaigns.
  2. Simplicity and ease of implementation:

    • Vertical scaling is considered the simpler form of scaling, as it just involves increasing the budget on existing ad sets.
    • This makes it a more straightforward approach compared to the audience testing required for horizontal scaling.
  3. Suitability for larger budgets and audiences:

    • Vertical scaling tends to work best for advertisers with larger budgets, ideally spending at least $1,000-$3,000 per day.
    • It can still be effective for smaller budgets, but may be more suitable once you’ve identified your top-performing campaigns.
  4. Potential for faster scaling results:

    • By increasing the budget on existing successful campaigns, vertical scaling can potentially drive faster scaling results compared to the audience testing process of horizontal scaling.
  5. Reduced management overhead:

    • Vertical scaling involves managing fewer ad sets compared to the multiple duplicated ad sets required for horizontal scaling.
    • This can make vertical scaling less resource-intensive to implement and monitor.

Drawbacks

Some of the key drawbacks of vertical scaling in Facebook/Meta ads include:

  1. Potential for performance disruptions:

    • Increasing the budget on existing ad sets too quickly can disrupt the ad performance, as the Facebook algorithm needs time to adjust to the budget changes.
    • This can lead to fluctuations in metrics like cost per acquisition, return on ad spend, and conversion rates.
  2. Rising costs:

    • As you increase the budget and reach a larger audience through vertical scaling, the average cost per click, cost per view, or cost per acquisition may rise.
    • Maintaining profitability and a healthy return on investment can become more challenging as costs increase.
  3. Suitability limitations for smaller budgets:

    • Vertical scaling tends to work best for advertisers with larger budgets, ideally spending at least $1,000-$3,000 per day.
    • For smaller budgets, vertical scaling may be less effective compared to the audience testing approach of horizontal scaling.
  4. Increased management overhead:

    • Vertically scaling a single successful campaign or ad set requires less management compared to the multiple ad sets involved in horizontal scaling.
    • However, the need to closely monitor performance and make incremental budget adjustments can still add to the management overhead.
  5. Potential for reaching audience saturation:

    • As you continue to vertically scale a successful campaign, you may eventually reach a point where the target audience becomes saturated, limiting further growth potential.
    • At this stage, horizontal scaling to new audiences may become necessary.

Challenges

Some common challenges when implementing vertical scaling in Facebook/Meta ads include:

  1. Budget adjustments: Increasing the budget too quickly can disrupt performance as the Facebook algorithm needs time to adjust to the changes.

  2. Cost implications: Higher budgets and broader reach can lead to increased costs, affecting metrics like cost per click, cost per view, or cost per acquisition.

  3. Maintaining ROI: Ensuring a healthy return on investment (ROI) as you scale up can be challenging, especially if clear objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) are not defined.

  4. Understanding the algorithm: Lack of understanding of how the Facebook algorithm reacts to changes in campaign budgets, targeting, and creatives can hinder maintaining a healthy ROI.

  5. Performance fluctuations: As budgets increase, metrics like cost per acquisition may rise, reach may decrease, and conversion rates may fluctuate, impacting overall campaign performance.

Best practices

The best practices for scaling ads vertically on Facebook/Meta are the following:

  1. Increase budgets gradually:

    • Don’t increase budgets too quickly, such as doubling or tripling overnight. Instead, increase budgets incrementally, by 10-20% at a time (usually every 7 days).
    • This gradual approach allows the Facebook algorithm time to adjust to the budget changes without disrupting performance.
  2. Monitor performance closely:

    • Expect some drop-off in performance metrics like cost per acquisition when increasing budgets, as the algorithm needs time to readjust.
    • Closely monitor key metrics and KPIs to ensure profitability is maintained as you scale.
  3. Leverage existing successful campaigns:

    • Focus on vertically scaling your top-performing ad sets and campaigns that have already proven successful.
    • This maximizes the impact of your existing high-performing assets.
  4. Accommodate increased costs:

    • Understand that as you scale budgets, the average cost per click, cost per view, or cost per acquisition may rise slightly.
    • Ensure you have the profit margins to accommodate these increased costs while maintaining a healthy ROI.
  5. Allow time for algorithm adjustments:

    • Give the Facebook algorithm time to readjust and optimize delivery of your ads after making budget increases.
    • Performance may fluctuate initially, so patience is key during the scaling process.
  6. Continuously test and optimize:

    • Even as you scale vertically, continue testing new audiences, creatives, and strategies to identify additional opportunities for growth.
    • Avoid relying on a single “winning” campaign, as performance can change over time.

In brief, vertical scaling in Facebook/Meta ads involves gradually increasing the budget of successful ad campaigns and ad sets to expand reach and improve performance. Challenges include managing budget adjustments, cost implications, maintaining ROI, understanding algorithms, and handling performance fluctuations.

Drawbacks of vertical scaling include performance disruptions, increased costs, limitations for smaller budgets, heightened management overhead, and potential audience saturation. However, its benefits include maximizing successful campaigns, simplicity, suitability for larger budgets, potential for faster scaling, and reduced management overhead.

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