What is Facebook Reach and Frequency Campaign

By | 4 April, 2015

Facebook Reach and Frequency campaigns are an effective campaign type on the platform to buy a guaranteed frequency within your target audience. The product managers at Facebook had rolled out this campaign type in Beta, back in November 2014 and was made available to all advertisers by January 2015. R & F is an interesting campaign type that allows advertisers to pre-define the frequency and reach of their campaign, based on this Facebook also gives the advertiser a predicted cost of the campaign.

What is a Facebook Reach and Frequency Campaign?

An ideal explanation of the Facebook Reach and Frequency campaign is that it allows advertisers to reserve an ad campaign within a specified period of time, based on the audience they want to target and the frequency desired. This campaign uses the Facebook’s automated CPM bidding model, and this is necessary because

The primary relevance of the Reach and Frequency campaigns is for advertisers wanting to achieve a solid brand visibility. Why I say so is because the regular auction campaigns that an advertiser usually runs on the News feed receives a frequency of 1 to 1.5 and rarely does the frequency of the ad being shown to a user hit 2 (unless it is run for a very long duration). However, by buying the Reach and Frequency campaign, the advertiser ensures that the campaign is reaching a minimum target audience and that this audience is shown the ad “X” number of times at least. Usually, repeated frequency is relevant towards branding campaigns and not so much in case of performance campaigns, where optimization of spend is the key.

In summary, some key features of this campaign type are:

  • The primary feature is that you can specify a minimum frequency with which you want to show the ad to an user
  • The ad can be displayed as a link post on the Facebook news feed (mobile and/or desktop) and right hand column as well
  • Using Reach and Frequency campaigns you can promote your brand, product range, app install, page post engagement and video views.
  • You will receive 99% accurate reach and budget estimate from Facebook, based on your specified date, predefined frequency and target audience
  • Receive an estimate of the percentage of users you will be reaching out of your total target audience prior to launching the campaign
  • Receive an estimate on the price you will pay and the average frequency of the campaign once you launch it

 How to create a Facebook Reach and Frequency campaign?

Now let’s look at how to create a Facebook Reach and Frequency campaign. For this, you will need to use the Facebook Power Editor panel as there is no option to create an R & F ad using the native Facebook ad manager.

Step 1: Log into Power editor and download the campaigns of your account. Next, click on the Campaigns tab and create your campaign. While naming your campaign, select your campaign objective as Reach and Frequency.

Also shown in screenshot below. Please click on the image for a larger view.

Reach and Frequency Campaigns

Step 2: Once you select the buying type as Reach and Frequency, click on Create. Next you will redirected to the screen wherein you have to choose the placement of your ad ,that is, whether you would like to show your ad on the mobile or desktop news feed or on the right column of Facebook. You can choose to run all the placements together or two of them at once, however, it is suggested to use only one placement for a single campaign, so you can accurate measure impact and performance of different placements. In my experience, the Desktop news feed has had the best impact in terms of performance. Refer screenshot below on how to select placements for R & F campaigns.

Reach and Frequency Campaign

Step 3: Once you select the placement, the next step is to choose your audience. Here you have all the options that you usually find in the ad manager. Choose custom audience, website custom audiences or interest targeting to reach the audience of your interest. In the screenshot below, I have targeted all women Facebook users in India between the age of 25 to 35 who are interested in Shopping & Fashion. Click Next.

reach and frequency campaign

Step 4: Here is the important part. After you’ve chose your placement of the ad on Facebook and the target audience, next specify what duration you want to run the campaign and the frequency with which each user should the ad. In the example shown below, I have opted for a frequency of 5 for the duration of 15-days. Upon, specifying this, Facebook has provided me with the information that it can reach 35% of my target audience at an average frequency of 2.29. Do note that the estimated frequency by Facebook will always be lesser than your target frequency, by targeting 5, we received an average frequency of 2.29. If we target a frequency of 10, then Facebook will typically come up with an estimated average frequency of 5. However, sometimes advertisers may not be able to achieve their ideal frequency because of the campaign duration. A longer duration of a campaign will give Facebook a higher probability to repeat the frequency of the ad to a particular user.

Also, on referring screenshot below, you can see that Facebook has given me a budget estimate of Rs.288 CPM (US $5) for reaching a million users. This cost can decrease greatly if you book your R & F campaign in advance. The cost of R & F campaign is also affected by the ad placement, duration, target audience and target frequency.

Reach and Frequency Campaigns

Step 5: Once you are satisfied with the reach, frequency and the estimated budget of the campaign, click Next to reserve the slot. You will arrive at a screen as shown below, click Reserve to book your campaign and upload. You’re done creating your first Reach and Frequency campaign.

Reach and Frequency Campaigns


Some points that you need to keep in mind regarding the Reach and Frequency campaign is that once a campaign starts, it can’t be paused and restarted. However, Facebook allows you to delete the campaign if you need to stop your active campaign because of unforeseen circumstances. You’ll be charged for any impressions delivered.

The key to measuring the impact of any media is knowing who the messaging reaches and how many times your audience see’s the message. Offline advertising mediums like TV and print are planned and bought on reach and frequency and with the R & F tool, Facebook is offering the ability to buy reach and frequency via digital channels.

If you are stuck creating the R & F campaign or have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask below. Also, I highly recommend signing up for the email newsletter to receive new articles straight to your inbox.

3 thoughts on “What is Facebook Reach and Frequency Campaign

  1. Nick

    Hi Vivek!

    I’m researching doing something like this for my business. I was sure that reach and frequency ads allow advertisers to sequence adverts as well. For example, make sure my audience sees ad 1 at least twice, then show them ad 2 twice then advert 3 twice. This allows for creating awareness first and driving the customer down the conversion funnel. Do you know where one does this?

    I’d appreciate your insight!

    1. Vivek Post author

      Hey Nick, thanks for writing in. Facebook also offers the option for ad sequencing. You will find the option for this while you are creating you Reach and Frequency ads. You can add up to 3 ads in a sequence. You will have to upload 3 creatives and corresponding URL. Hope this helps.
      Link with some additional info (not about how to create a sequencing but results of the same): https://www.facebook.com/business/news/value-of-storytelling-on-facebook

  2. julia

    Hi Vivek!
    When trying to set such a campaign in my account do not have such option as Reach and Frequency ads could you advise some alternative?
    Thank you in advance, Julia


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