Episode 14: ABO vs. CBO for Facebook Ads? Which Should I Use?

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If you’re running ads on Facebook, odds are you are either doing it through ABO (Ad Set Budget Optimization) or CBO (Campaign Budget Optimization. While one has been the “OG” way to distribute ad spend to campaigns, one is newer and can be more effective for its own reasons.


Stick around while we talk both ABO and CBO, when we use them, and why!



Ad Set Budget Optimization (ABO)

Ad Set Budget Optimization was the original optimization option on Facebook up until 2 years ago and can be defined simply as setting up and controlling your Facebook campaign budget on the Ad Set level.

Within the Ad Set, Facebook has control over how much spend goes into each creative. But it isn’t able to choose how much money goes to each Ad Set.

Ex: Set campaign budget to $600 with 3 Ad Sets  and you allot $200 to each Ad Set

Now, why is this good or bad? Let’s cover some quick pros and cons of ABO:


  • ABO allows you to fully control your budget. This works especially well in A/B testing so you can allot equivalent amounts to each Ad Set or audience.

  • ABO is good for lower spending accounts. If you’re spending $500 or less on your accounts, you should probably stick to ABO.


  • ABO does not scale as well as CBO. It is possible to scale with ABO, but not as much as CBO, which was built to scale.

  • ABO tends to saturate audiences. With ABO you are forcing your budget into one audience, so naturally, you tend to experience more audience saturation.


ABO vs. CBO Visual from Adespresso


Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO)

Campaign Budget Optimization was added to the mix in the past few years and has given optimization a new look and feel. It is defined by Facebook as “ a way of optimizing the distribution of a campaign budget across your campaign’s ad sets.”

Basically, Facebook automatically finds the best available opportunities across the Ad Sets in your account and distributes your budget to them. You can even set a minimum and maximum spend limit per Ad Set.

Ex: Set campaign budget to $1,000 with 3 Ad Sets  and Facebook distributes to each Ad Set how it sees fit

Like ABO, CBO also has its pros and cons:


  • CBO is super scalable! With bigger audiences and the ability to duplicate Ad Sets with only well-performing, it is possible to really grow and scale.

  • CBO protects against audience saturation. CBO doesn’t need to force spend into audiences so it is more likely to distribute the spend well.


  • CBO can be very costly. We have found that with $500 (or less) budgets, CBO doesn’t really perform as well. $200+ daily budgets tend to really bring out the power of it.


When to use ABO & When to use CBO

Rubato actually uses both ABO and CBO, for different reasons, and we will tell you why!

For most of our clients, we have a structure that has a testing campaign and an evergreen campaign on each level of traffic (cold traffic, warm traffic, etc.).

Click to photo watch the video on our YouTube!

With testing campaigns, we typically don’t have very high budgets and we actually do want to force spend into a certain audience to see what comes out of it. That’s why with testing campaigns, we lean toward ABO.

Then for evergreen campaigns, we are almost always on CBO. These evergreen campaigns are typically always performing well so we want to scale.




Which do you typically use? We’d love to hear about it and why!


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