When it comes to how many creatives a campaign needs to be effective, there are a variety of factors that impact the answer. And while there is a straightforward best practice from Facebook, you need to consider the type of campaign, budget, cost per conversion, and the variety of ad types you have available. Too little creative can lead to poor response and faster creative wear out. Too much creative can create optimization problems.
The nature of your campaign can guide how many ad units you need. If a smaller objective such as reach is your goal, then you can test more ad units because you can reach a lot of people with a small media spend. If donor acquisition is your goal, then fewer ads can be helpful. And if you are selling cars, you will want even fewer units because you will have fewer conversions, and if those are spread across too many ads it will be hard to get enough data for optimizing.
Budget will determine how much data you can afford to get in order to make decisions. The more budget you have, the more ads that data can be spread across and still be statistically helpful. If your budget is small, then you will want fewer ads so your data is not spread too thin.
Cost Per Conversion
The higher the cost per conversion, the fewer ads you should have to still get statistically helpful data. If it costs $10 per conversion, you can afford to spread those conversions across more ads than if the cost is $100 per conversion.
The type of ads matters as well. Image ads are less expensive to show than lightweight video ads or rich video ads. So, you can run more image ads with the same budget and potentially get more data. However, lightweight video and rich video ads may perform better and justify the higher cost, but you will need to spend more to get this data. So, you will want fewer video ads.
So, what is the conclusion? Facebook recommends a limit of five ad units per ad set and diversifying those ad units so you have a mix of rich video, lightweight video, and images. For those with limited rich video resources, I recommend six ad units, three images and three lightweight video ads. However, the type of campaign, budget, cost per conversion, and ad units available can give you reason to do a little more or a little less. When in doubt, test.
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