What Car Dealerships Need To Know About Facebook’s Campaign Budg

What Car Dealerships Need To Know About Facebook’s Campaign Budget Optimisation


Facebook’s Campaign Budget Optimisation (CBO if you want to sound fancy) isn’t anything new. Infact, it’s been around for over a year now.

So what’s the big deal all of a sudden?

Well, Facebook have recently said that from September 2019 it will be default for all new and existing campaigns and you won’t be able to switch back. It’s here to stay.

In this article we’ll cover what you need to know about the feature and how to keep your budgets in check.

What is Campaign Budget Optimisation?

Here’s what Facebook have to say about the “new” feature:

“Campaign budget optimisation is a way of optimising the distribution of a campaign budget across your campaign’s ad sets. This means that Facebook automatically and continuously finds the best available opportunities for results across your ad sets and distributes your campaign budget in real time to get those results.”

Facebook’s ad structure hasn’t changed and it’s still:

  • Campaign
    • Adset(s)
      • Ad(s)

But now, instead of setting a specific budget on each individual adset, you set it at the campaign level and let Facebook decide which adset to spend it on.

Here’s a visual from Facebook showing how the old adset budgets and new CBO works with a 30 ad spend:

In theory, this is a good thing for most, if not all, advertisers.

You’ll be letting Facebook’s algorithms and machine learning take over your ad spend optimisation and let’s face it, it’s WAY smarter than you areright?

Not quite.

What can go wrong for your automotive Facebook ad campaigns?

Now, I can’t argue with the logic of the feature, but in practice I’ve seen it go a little crazy. It does need some babysitting.

The main issue is uneven spending across adsets

Why is this a bad thing? Well, it might decide shift 50% of your spend to an adset that has a high cost per lead (CPL) in order to spend the daily budget without giving the 3 other adsets you’ve lovingly crafted, a proper chance of running.

This is purely down to Facebook trying to spend 100% of your budget on a given day, whether it’s good for your ROI or not. The Facebook machine doesn’t care.

It ruins your testing (with default settings)

Let’s say you’re following best practice and have created three or four audience segments for your new car finance offer lead generation campaign. You’ve got your custom audiences, website lookalikes and interest targeting all setup, each with their own ad creative.

You publish the campaign and after a few hours, Facebook identifies that your website lookalikes are doing well, so it allocates 75% of the spend to that adset.

However, your other audiences didn’t even get a chance to be shown to enough people for you to know if they are working or not.

So by now you might be thinking, “why the hell would I use CBO!?”.

It’s not all bad though and you can easily fix these issues with a few simple settings.

How to master Campaign Budget Optimisation for your car dealership

I’ll walk through a few settings for a car dealership lead generation campaign.

The first thing you need to understand is your campaign bid strategy.

facebook advertising lead generation for car dealers

You’ll see that there are three options:

  • Lowest Cost Sounds good, but it might not deliver leads at a profitable CPL for your car dealership
  • Bid Cap (8Cats recommended option) It’s the same as lowest cost but you set a maximum cost per lead
  • Target Cost In our testing, this is good, but will tend to give you a higher cost per lead than the previous options

Choosing the bid cap option lets you set a maximum CPL (cost per lead) on each adset later, which is essential for keeping your costs under control and your Facebook campaigns delivering a positive ROI.

In our testing, we’ve found that setting this to be two-three times your target CPL to start with works best. This will give Facebook’s algorithm some wiggle room (that’s a technical term) to find the best audiences to deliver the lowest cost leads.

Once the campaign has honed in on the right target audience and is delivering leads at an acceptable CPL, you can reduce the bid cap to a level that gives you a good ROI.

If you want to delve into more detail on bid strategies, then check out this article from Facebook.

Setting a minimum and maximum adset budget

This is controlled at the adset level and lets you specify a min and max spend per adset.

We use this on campaigns to make sure that all of our test audiences gather enough results for us to make a valid decision on.

What is enough data? Well, our rule of thumb is at least 5 per day, for at least a week before we make any major decisions on pausing or increasing spend on an adset.

With that setup you can be sure Facebook will give each of your adsets a fair run at delivering leads.


Campaign Budget Optimisation will become mandatory for all your car dealership Facebook advertising from September, so you need to start experimenting and getting used to managing your campaigns with it.

However, make sure you implement our two tips above to make sure you continue to get consistent and profitable results from your campaigns.

If you really want to geek out on why it’s a good thing, then check out this article from Facebook on how it all works.

Need more help?

As always, just send us an email or a message and we’d be happy to chat to you about your existing campaigns or run them for you. Use the chat window on the right or get in touch.

Or come over and join us in our free Facebook Group.

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