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Facebook Budget Options and How To Use Them

| 6 minutes to read

Facebook budgets use different algorithms to reach your chosen audience, each with various features as well as pros and cons. There’s no right and wrong when it comes to selecting your budget option, but one might be more beneficial than the others, so we recommend testing all options to find the winning budget.

Daily Budget

Daily budget is perhaps the method you’re most likely to use. Daily budget gives you the most coverage across the length of period your ad set is running for and it’s the best method for ongoing campaigns. However, one of the downsides is that Facebook will spend the full daily budget no matter what the performance is like on that certain day. For example, if you run a daily budget over the Christmas period, less users spend time on Facebook on the 25th of December, but Facebook will continue to spend the full daily budget on that day meaning you might not be getting the most out of your money. To reach the daily spend even on days with low performance, Facebook will aim to show your ad to as many people as it needs to. It’s a great way to build up the impression metric but make sure that you’re not running daily budget on days that you absolutely know there’s not much online interaction or is likely to have weaker performance.

The other disadvantage that comes with daily budget is that you can’t schedule at what time you want your ads to be shown. Lifetime budget allows you to schedule on certain days of the week and certain times of the day making it easier to control. So keep this in mind if you have specific ads that needs someone on the business end to respond.

The advantages of daily budget include better control of budget and daily pacing meaning you can increase spend on days you feel will perform better rather than allowing Facebook to decide for you. This also means you have better control if your budgets change from a monthly or annual basis. Keep in mind as you begin to increase budget, you must scale slowly with a maximum of 20% at a time. If you decide to increase spend quickly and drastically, you could hurt the algorithm and could cause your performance to decline. Overall, daily budget provides the best coverage, control and pacing, and is an ideal method for ongoing campaigns.

Lifetime Budget

Lifetime budgets work a little differently to daily budgets. This is catered to businesses that have a set budget for a limited period. If you have a limited short-term campaign such as a discount or an offer, then lifetime budget is a great option. Lifetime allows you to select the start and end date and it will spend your budget within the time frame but there are a few differences that you should keep in mind.

Lifetime budgets should only be used if you are certain that your budget won’t need to be increased or decreased. Lifetime’s daily spend tends to fluctuate throughout the period you have it set to. As with daily budgets, Facebook will spend your daily budget each day, lifetime will decide what days to spend more and what days to reserve spending. This might cause issues if you have certain ads that need to run on certain days so make sure you’re aware of the differences and set the right budget for the campaign. However, what lifetime budget allows you to do, is set a schedule of when you want your ads to be shown, so for example, if you would like your ad to be shown on a particular day e.g. the last day of a sale or on a specific holiday, you can schedule a particular time and day in the week to make sure Facebook spends some of your budget and show your ad during the scheduled slot.

If you find that the campaign isn’t performing well, you have limited ability to reduce the spend, giving you limited optimisation control. Though it is still possible, doing so will impact how Facebook manages your ad performance and budget. If changes need to be made, make sure to increase both your budget and end date to avoid drastic changes to the lifetime’s daily spending. Essentially, if you need more control, it’s best to stick to daily budget.

On the other hand, when performance is going your way, Facebook will spend a bit more than the usual daily spend in order to achieve better results. Don’t be put off if you see your campaign spending more during certain days or a certain time in the month as Facebook will spend less on days where performance is lower using the saved budget from underperforming days. Technically speaking, ads running on lifetime budget should perform better as Facebook is saving your budget for best performing days; however, that isn’t always the case, so we recommend testing to see what works for you.

Campaign Budget Optimisation

Facebook’s Campaign Optimisation Budget has been a talking point for all Facebook marketers. There are some that love it and some that hate it because of its controllability.  CBO allows you to place a budget at the campaign level rather than the ad set level which was standard practice before CBO rolled around. Using a campaign budget, Facebook will place your budget into the areas where it’s performing well using machine learning. What this means is that instead of spreading your budget equally between multiple ad sets, Facebook will find areas where each ad set can perform without spending your budget at once. Technically speaking, this will earn you more conversions; however, it’s not as clear cut as this.

One of the biggest draw backs of CBO is that audience size will take control of budget. For example, if you have a small remarketing audience and a large prospecting audience in two separate ad sets in the same campaign, it’s more than likely that the prospecting audience will use up most of the budget leaving the remarketing ad set behind with very little ad spend. To counteract this, you should split your remarketing and prospecting ad sets into different campaigns. However, you must make sure that in each campaign, your audiences have similar sizes otherwise Facebook will prioritise the larger audience no matter what results and performance you have received previously. On the plus side, you can tell Facebook how much you would like each ad set to spend, giving you a small amount of control over total spending, though we recommend allowing Facebook’s machine learning to provide the best possible outcome, so stick to similar sized audiences and splitting out remarketing and prospecting into individual campaigns for best performance.


All three budget methods have their advantages and disadvantages, all bringing something different to the Facebook platform. Though some give more control than others, there are some that might bring better performance even with its limitations. Finding the right one for you is only a couple of tests away from becoming your winning method, so make sure you identify this early on and reap the rewards before you throw money away. For more information, make sure to read through our blog to become more knowledgeable with your marketing.

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Joaquin Lopez

Paid Media Manager

Quags is our talented Paid Media Manager with a wealth of experience across display, search and social. With a particular talent for Facebook advertising, paid social ads and creatives, he’s worked with a variety of B2B and B2C brands including Trulawn, Snazaroo and Worx. On a personal note, Quags is a sci-fi movie buff, gamer, lover of dystopian fiction and self-taught bassist with a penchant for ramen noodles.

Joaquin Lopez Read more about Joaquin Lopez

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