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As you know by now, budgets in AdWords are typically set at the campaign level. Unfortunately, an organization's marketing budget is typically set up for the whole channel. And with this level of control is certainly helpful once you've got things humming along, as you spin up with more and more campaigns and try to stay within your broader budget constraints, it can be pretty time consuming to try to balance everything out by going in and changing settings in all those campaigns one at a time. Using the shared budgets feature of AdWords can help by letting multiple campaigns share from a defined, broader budget constraint.
This means that if your boss or your client tells you that you've got $5,000 to invest in testing out re-marketing this month, you can create one shared budget, and then let all your different re-marketing campaigns share those dollars so that you can see what's performing well and what isn't. Or maybe youre a huge multinational, and you have your account organized by geography, with different sets of similar campaigns that target different countries. Your corporate budgets may be defined at the country level, and you can create unique shared budgets for each, allocating it across the associated campaigns.
In this case, the convenience of being able to manage a huge account spend this way might be more important than the benefits of the campaign by campaign granular budgeting. While this concept of shared budgets can certainly be helpful in many situations like these, it's also important to know the disadvantage of giving up the campaign level of control. As your campaigns mature, you'll have a very good idea of which ones perform better than others, and you might find yourself in a position where you don't want your budget to be shared equally across your campaigns. Instead, you might want to spend all that you can on your most profitable campaigns, and spend what you've got left over on the campaigns that don't perform quite as well.
A good best practice is to use this feature when you're either spinning up new campaign groups against defined budgets and you're not quite sure how they're going to perform yet, or when the benefits of easy management outweigh the benefits of granular control. Let's take an example. Say that we're opening up registration to our Cardinal Path training events in five new cities, and I've got $500 a day to spend on marketing all of them. I'm not exactly sure what demand will look like in each of these cities, so rather than splitting up my budget equally and setting each campaign to spend $100 per day, I'm going to create a shared $500 budget and see what happens.
First, head over to the Shared Library and click on Budgets. From here, we'll add a new budget, give it a name and enter in my total of $500 to spread across these campaigns. Next, we'll choose the specific campaigns that are going to draw from that $500 a day. And note that if you want, you can change the ad delivery setting here from an even spread throughout the day, to spending the budget as quickly as you can. Once you're done, click Save. Now, when you launch these five campaigns, if one city is performing really well, it won't be limited by the $100 per day budget that it would have had if I didn't use a shared budget.
Once I let this run for a bit and get some data, I may choose to go back and manage these budgets individually at the campaign level, but you can see how starting out this way can help. Hopefully now, you're thinking about some of you AdWords initiatives that could benefit from shared budgets. And hopefully, this feature can save you some time and give you some added flexibility.
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