Facebook Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) Mastery

Facebook Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) Mastery

When it comes to Facebook ads, it’s really important to always test the new features. We’re not talking about changing your entire strategy if it’s working well but keeping a small budget for experimentation can go a long way in giving you great opportunities. One of those arguably new features is Dynamic Creative (DCO).

Dynamic Creative is part of Facebook’s Power 5 and allows advertisers to upload images, headlines, descriptions, CTA’s and link descriptions while letting Facebook optimize in real-time all those elements. The goal here is to let Facebook do the real-time optimization of the creative that is yielding the best results for your Facebook ads.

Facebook DCO are simply awesome. At K6, we’ve been using them since they came out and have been generating tremendous results for our clients. It allowed us to spend more time on creating the Facebook ads rather than having to create 20 different ad creatives to test.

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What is Dynamic Creative Optimization?

Dynamic Creative Optimization lets advertisers find their best performing creative combination by dynamically delivering a combination of creative to the audience targeted. It takes a combination of up to 10 choices of images or videos, 5 titles and 5 descriptions in consideration.

If you need some Facebook ads ideas, I highly recommend our article “34 Facebook Ads Examples You’ll Want To Steal in 2020“.

Leadpages Facebook ad examples
Leadpages Facebook Ad Examples

Facebook DCO then takes all those different A/B tests and will try every single combination and optimize based on where each combination seems to perform best. In other words, a certain audience segment might prefer a certain picture and another one another picture and Facebook will optimize in real-time to give you better results.

It’s an amazing tool for advertisers who don’t know which of their new ad creative will perform best and want to test very efficiently. It’s even better for new ad accounts where one knows nothing about what works in terms of Facebook ads based on their goals.

Here are a few situations where Facebook Dynamic Creative Optimization can be very handy ?:

  • You have more than 2 new ad visuals (video & image) to test
  • When you want to test multiple Facebook ad descriptions
  • New ad account with no data & multiple ad creatives to test
  • Launch ads quickly: we’ve been able to launch ads 3 times faster at K6.

How to leverage Facebook DCO?

Here are a few tips to ensure that your Facebook Dynamic Creative Optimization performs as well as possible. These are things we’ve learned from our Facebook ads experience at K6, we hope you’ll enjoy:

  • Quality tests: although it’s possible to add tons of images, videos, descriptions, title, link description and call-to-actions, it’s important to prioritize your tests. If you just fill in the blanks to have as many options as possible without focusing on quality then you’ll spend money on tests you knew would fail before and that’s not a good strategy.
  • Short headlines & descriptions: try to be as concise and clear as possible. Your goal is to use maximum 1-2 sentences to describe what you are offering to your target marketing in the clearest possible way. It’s hard but once you found it, it works amazingly.
  • Facebook ad visuals: make sure that you are testing significantly different Facebook ad images and videos in order to give you a better idea of what works. If you need Facebook video ad examples, I highly recommend our article “24 Facebook Video Ad Examples To Freshen Up Your Results“.
  • Audience targeting is ? : selecting the right audience for your Facebook ad creative is really important to make sure your Facebook DCO performs well. Make sure you are leveraging custom audiences and lookalikes. If you want to dive deeper into the subject, I recommend our article “Facebook Ads Custom Audience: Everything You Need To Know in 2020“.
  • Split test your CTA’s: we often pick a call-to-action on Facebook and never test another one. We take for instance Shop Now and keep it forever. You can also test Get Offer for example and so on.

Why use DCO?

Facebook Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) can truly help you generate better results with your Facebook ads. Knowing how to truly leverage them is a new skill to gain because there are some ways you can mess them up.

Just to summarize again quickly how Facebook DCO works: you just import a combination of images, videos, titles, descriptions, CTA’s and link descriptions and let Facebook find which combination works best. You still have to select an audience and you can only run one ad set per ad when running DCO.

Now, let’s dive into how you can set up Facebook Dynamic Creative Optimization inside your Facebook ads account.

How to set up Facebook ads Dynamic Creative Optimization

In order to leverage Facebook’s Dynamic Creative Optimization, you will need to either create a new campaign or use an existing campaign to create a new ad set. If you don’t know the difference between Facebook campaigns and ad sets, I highly recommend our article “The Difference Between Facebook Ads Campaigns, Ad-Sets & Ads“.

Just for your information, you can’t create a Facebook ad out of an already running Facebook ad set. You must create a new one. Furthermore, you can’t have multiple ads running inside the same Facebook ad set.

Let’s begin an example with the idea that you are creating a new campaign to run your Facebook Dynamic Creative Optimization.

Facebook Ads Campaign
Facebook Ads Campaign

The first thing is to tell Facebook if you are running a Facebook ad around the following subjects considered Special Ad Category:

  • Credit
  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Social issues
  • Election
  • Politics


You’ll also have to choose the Facebook ad objective you want to move forward with, here’s the entire list:

  1. Brand awareness: allowing you to reach more people that are likely to pay attention to your company.
  2. Reach: showing your ad to the most amount of people possible.
  3. Traffic: send people to destination such as your website, app or even on Messenger.
  4. App installs: sending people to the app store where they can download your app.
  5. Engagement: receive likes, comments, shares, event responses and offer claims on your Facebook ad.
  6. Video views: get as many video views as possible.
  7. Lead generation: generate as many leads from the Facebook lead form as possible.
  8. Messages: receive messages from people clicking on your Facebook ad.
  9. Conversions: generate more results from people visiting your website, app or Messenger such as collecting their information or making a sale.
  10. Catalogue sales: show products in the Facebook product catalogue to your Facebook ads target market.
  11. Store visits: getting people to visit your store physically.

Finally, you’ll also need to choose if you want to turn on A/B testing and Facebook CBO.

Facebook Campaign Options
Facebook Campaign Options

Next steps…

A/B Test means you can split test your ad creative, placement, audience and delivery optimization strategies. If you want to learn more, take a look at this article.

Facebook CBO allows you to choose a budget at the campaign level rather than the ad set level. If you want to learn more, I recommend our article “Facebook campaign budget optimization (CBO) will not be mandatory“.

After having added a name for your campaign, it’s time to click on the next button to edit your Facebook ad set. It’s where you’ll first select the DCO option. For this part, you’ll have to select a couple of things which we’ll cover rapidly.

The most important part of this tutorial is to turn on this little Dynamic Creative toggle. It will allow you to create a DCO Facebook ad after. It should be just above your budget & schedule section if you didn’t use Facebook CBO.

Dynamic Creative
Dynamic Creative Toggle

You can set up your Facebook budget & schedule if you haven’t set it up inside your Facebook CBO option. You’ll have an option for a daily budget or a lifetime budget with a deadline. Both are good! You can also set a minimum and maximum spend per day.

Next, you’ll have to select your Facebook ads audience. There are tons of options when it comes to choosing your audience, but we recommend taking a look at the demographics & behaviours options. You can also leverage custom audiences and lookalikes.

If you want to dive deeper into the subject of Facebook custom audiences, I recommend our article “Facebook Ads Custom Audience: Everything You Need To Know In 2020“.

Last Steps

The final step is to choose your placements. At K6, after Facebook Power 5, we really love the Automatic Placements feature. It’s quite awesome the better results we’ve been able to get by leveraging this feature.

Automatic Placements Facebook ads
Automatic Placements Facebook

You can also select manual placements if you really want to appear only in certain Facebook places. If you are wondering why Facebook ads work better on Automatic Placements, it’s for two reasons. Reason one, Facebook will place your ads in the right place at the right time to give you the best results at the cheapest cost. Reason two, I recommend you reach our article “The Breakdown Effect” or Why You Can’t Scale Your Facebook Ads“.

How to make sure your Facebook DCO works

Launching your Facebook DCO ad is easy. You just have to find all the assets you need, upload them to Facebook and Facebook does the rest. They find the best combination of description, link description, CTA and media to yield the best possible results.

You can add up to five options for your description, link description & CTA. You can also add up to 5 media, images or videos to your Facebook DCO assets. If you need some extra inspiration for your Facebook ads, I recommend the 3 following articles:

  • 34 Facebook Ad Examples You’ll Want To Steal In 2020
  • 24 Facebook Video Ad Examples To Freshen Up Your Results
  • 27 Facebook Ad Design Hacks (2020)

Hot tip ?️: make sure you preview all your ad creative by clicking on the preview button to see how every variation fits. You might have accidentally added an image that doesn’t fit all the ad copy you added. This step is crucial in order to run your Dynamic Creative with success.

You can’t know exactly which Facebook ad creative combination worked best because Facebook is constantly showing different combinations to different people. They don’t find “the best” combination but rather optimize the delivery to show the best creative to the right person at the right time.

One thing you can though that is quite interesting is to click on “preview ad” on Facebook or Instagram, and Facebook will show you your top 5 ad creative combinations with their engagements!

Does Dynamic Creative Optimization give results?

Facebook DCO doesn’t only depend on you using DCO, there are a lot of factors that go into creating a successful campaign. From your website’s conversion rate to the right targeting, it’s essential to make sure your Facebook ads are correctly set up.

At K6, we’ve tested Facebook Dynamic Creative Optimization ads against normal creative ads. The first thing to keep in mind is that for eCommerce, you might want to create one ad set per product because you don’t want to have a product linking to a random one.

As you might have realized, I would normally not have two ad sets targeting the same audiences but with DCO that often comes into play. Here’s what we realized after our test:

  • Long term Facebook’s DCO performed way better than our individual creative Facebook ad sets in terms of conversions
  • The frequency was much higher on our Facebook DCO than other ad sets (DCO allows for more frequency because creative varies)

Overall, we can say that Facebook DCO performs better than normal creative. This is from numerous tests we’ve made with clients at K6. We’ve also seen initial results being less good with DCO but slowly creeping up to become better than our other ads would have been once scaling.

One thing to keep in mind is that Facebook Dynamic Creative Optimization only works with certain Facebook ads objectives. The objectives with which Facebook DCO works are traffic, video views, reach, brand awareness, conversions and app install.

About Facebook’s Power 5

Did you know about Facebook’s Power 5? At K6, it allowed us to scale multiple Facebook ads accounts to budget levels we would have never thought possible. From Dynamic Creative Optimization to Automatic Placements, Facebook’s Power 5 is where it’s at.

If you want to learn more about Facebook Power 5, I highly recommend our article “How To Improve Your Ad Performance Using Facebook Power 5“.

If you need help with your Facebook ads, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’ve been working on many verticals and we’d love to get your brand better results than before. Just submit after clicking get proposal and we’ll get back to you to see if you are a good fit!

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