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  • John Callanta

Don't Learn the Hard Way: Avoid the Top Mistake in Meta's Learning Phase



You just finished creating your campaign yet checking back 7 days later, the ads are still in the learning phase! How could this be? What could be wrong?


The learning phase on Facebook occurs when you create a new ad or make significant changes to an existing one. During this phase, Facebook's algorithm gathers data to understand how your audience responds to the ad and this learning period helps the algorithm optimize ad delivery for better performance.


If your ads are struggling to exit the learning phase, there could be several reasons for this:


Insufficient Data

The learning phase requires a minimum amount of data to be effective. If your ad set has limited interactions, it may take longer for Facebook to exit the learning phase. Meta's learning phase occurs within 7 Days.


If it's stuck in learning, find ways to gather more data points by increasing budget or expanding your audience. Meta must balance content and ads or else they lose users. The learning phase requires data to ensure ads will show to relevant users without being annoying.




Budget Constraints

Limited budget may affect the learning phase. If your daily or lifetime budget is too low, Facebook may not have enough opportunities to gather sufficient data for optimization. Prepare about 20% of your budget to go to the learning phase. If your total campaign budget can't cover this, why are you even advertising?


In seriousness, if your campaign budget is low, consider running fewer ad sets and ads. Every ad set will go through the learning phase so make sure you only create what your budget can handle.





Frequent Changes

Making frequent changes to your ad set can reset the learning phase. It's essential to give Meta's algorithm enough time to adapt and optimize before making significant modifications. Any change in budget, ads, targeting, or other parameters will force your ads to go back to the learning phase.


A huge money waster is editing your ads after they launch because Meta will restart the learning phase. If you absolutely need to edit an ad, make sure you make all the edits in one go. Otherwise, you just wasted days and budget from your overall goals.





Audience Size

If your target audience is too small, Facebook may struggle to find enough data to exit the learning phase. Consider expanding your audience or adjusting your targeting criteria. I get it. You created your ICP and are sure that's the only audience you want seeing your ads.


Unfortunately, that's not how Meta works. Meta needs users to test serving ads to for better delivery when ads graduate from the learning phase. That 100 group of people you absolutely want to serve ads to is too small. And even if it were possible, Meta will charge you insane CPM's. Give Meta a sizable audience and let it work.





And The #1 Mistake:





Conversions

In an ideal world, your ICP will see your ad, be excited about your offering and happily provide their contact information at first touch. That's not how it is though. Advertisers are quick to send traffic directly to the contact us page by only relying on a single graphic or 15 second video to convey their value proposition.


Don't ask for marriage when you can't even get a first date.


And because of this, Meta has nothing to work with. Meta doesn't know what a successful ad looks like if you're basing success off bottom funnel conversions. Instead of considering a conversion an email capture, move it up a few levels and consider a user just landing on the contact us page a win. Consider it a win someone watched 75% of your video and actually clicked to the site. Meta can't optimize for conversions that don't happen so it will never take your ads off the learning phase.


Understanding what social media ads are and where they fit in the conversion funnel is essential to avoid overspending and unnecessary testing. Meta is in business to serve ads woven into other user generated content. Meta tries to ensure your ads will benefit you and Meta but to do so, it must go through learning what is and isn't good for you, them, and the user.


Consider hiring an independent contractor as a contributor to your B2B organization and scale up your social ads.

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