What You Need to Know About Facebook’s New Ad Structure
By Brandon Olson April 11, 2014
Facebook is shaking things up yet again – this time on the advertising front with its new structure to advertising campaigns. They’re making it easier to organize, optimize and measure your ads.
Easier is good, but anytime you’re going to spend money advertising your business, you want to have a clear picture of how your ads work. Nowhere is this more true than it is online.
So let’s take a look at how Facebook ads work.
The previous campaign structure consisted of two levels: Campaigns and Ads. The new structure now consists of three: Campaigns, Ad Sets and Ads.
Think of the new structure as a big filing cabinet. The filing cabinet is your campaign. The folders inside the filing cabinet are your ad sets. And the papers inside the folders are your ads. Make sense?
Campaigns are designed to help you optimize and measure your results for each objective across multiple ad sets and ads.
Each campaign can have multiple Ad Sets. Each ad set has its own budget and schedule, and can represent various audience segments, such as Facebook fans and email subscribers. This will help you control the amount you spend on each audience, decide when they will see your ads, and measure their response.
Within each ad set, you can have multiple Ads, each of which can feature different images, links, videos or text. You’ll still control the creative, targeting and bidding at the ad level. With the help of Facebook’s ad delivery system, your ads sets will be optimized to deliver the best-performing ads.
Why This Matters To You
There are a couple of big wins with the new Facebook ad campaign structure, specifically in the areas of optimization and reporting.
More Desired Optimization
With the old structure, Facebook optimized ads within a campaign. So if your campaign included different audience segments and one ad was performing better than another, Facebook would direct more of your budget to that ad, neglecting your other audience segments. If you didn’t want Facebook to optimize your ads in this way, you would have had to create separate campaigns for each audience segment.
The new structure allows you to create one campaign and several ad sets to represent each of your audience segments, each with its own budget. Then Facebook will optimize ads based on ad sets.
Additionally, reporting is a lot better. Creating reports using the old structure was difficult because you could only filter your reports based on keywords or phrases in campaign names. The new structure allows you to filter by campaign name, ad set name, or ad name. You can also customize your columns to include more or less information.
How To Use The New Campaign Structure
We know these changes may be a little confusing. So let’s walk through how to set up an ad campaign using this new structure.
Step #1: Pick Your Campaign Objective
First, you need to determine your campaign objective. Do you want to build drive traffic to your website, grow your Facebook fan base, or something else? There are a variety of objectives from which to choose. For this example, our objective will be to drive traffic to our website.
Step #2: Design Your Ad
You have up to three types of ads from which to choose: News Feed, Mobile News Feed, and Right Column. By default, Facebook will enable all eligible ad types for the campaign objective you choose. (Note: Some campaigns are limited to certain ad types.)
In this example, you can pick up to six images to accompany an ad, essentially creating up to six separate ads, all with the same messaging. This is a great way to split test images to see which is the most effective. Be sure to use images that are 600 x 315 pixels to make full use of the screen real estate. (Facebook’s giving it to you, so use it.)
Next, you’ll customize the messaging of your ad, including the headline, description and post text. Be sure to click “Show Advanced Options” to customize the description below your headline. Each has character limitations, so try to maximize the text Facebook allows. You can also pick from a collection of call-to-action buttons.
You’ll notice on the right that you can preview your ad in the News Feed, Mobile News Feed and Right Column ad. You can also remove any of the three options you don’t wish to use.
Step #3: Pick A Target Audience
With your ad designed, it’s now time to pick the audience you want to target. There are any number of options here, including location, age, gender, interests, behaviors, pages they like, and more. In this example, we are targeting AWeber’s Facebook fans ages 21-55 in the United States.
Step #4: Name Your Campaign And Ad Set / Set A Budget And Schedule
Once you’ve selected your target audience, it’s now time to name the campaign and ad set your ad will be part of. Notice that Facebook automatically creates a name for your campaign and ad set based on the objective you choose and the targets you set. However, you can customize these names so their easier for you to track.
To customize the name of your campaign, click “Change Campaign” and enter a new name. It’s a good idea to make sure your campaign name reflects your objective. In our example, we used “aweber.com – Website Clicks.”
To customize the name of the Ad Set your ad is part of, simply type the name in the “Ad Set Name” field.
Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t allow you to change your ad name during the creation process, but you can change it afterwards in the Ads Manager. This is helpful when you need a quick text reference of the content of each ad. I’ll show you how to do this later in this blog post.
If you create additional ads, you’ll be able to pick which existing campaign or ad set you want to add them to, or you can assign them to an entirely new ad set or campaign.
Also be sure to set your budget – per day or lifetime – and set a schedule or duration for your ads.
How To Customize Names In Ads Manager
To change the name of your campaigns, ad sets or ads after you’ve created them, you can do this within your Ads Manager.
Simply click the pencil icon next to the name and enter the new name of your campaign, ad set or ad.
Be sure your campaign name reflects the objective to give you a clear idea of the goal of each campaign. Also, be sure the name of your ad set reflects the audience you’re targeting.
How To Pause Your Campaigns
You can easily pause your advertising at all three levels: campaigns, ad sets or ads. Simply click the “Status” button to the left of the corresponding campaign, ad set or ad name.
How Do You Use Facebook Ads?
Facebook Ads can seem intimidating, but once you understand how they work, you’ll find that they’re pretty easy to work with. I hope this guide helps!
Are you advertising on Facebook? Any tips or tricks you’ve learned about putting your campaigns together?
Share them below in the comments.
morgan4/15/2014 12:56 pm
Thanks so much for the overview Brandon. I’m about to embark on my first FB ad campaign so this post is super helpful and timely. I’ve read other material on FB ad campaigns, but I found this post easy to comprehend and now feel like I have a solid framework of understanding as I start my campaign.
Brandon Olson4/15/2014 1:03 pm
My pleasure, Morgan. Best of luck on your first Facebook ad campaign!
Marc4/15/2014 7:48 pm
Great breakdown on how the new FB ads can be organized. I didn’t realize that FB will let you split test different ads like that. Running an ad that’s set to start tomorrow to drive traffic to a webinar optin page. I think I’ll try adding the several images I was debating on using. If I want to run another ad with different text I would need to create a different ad in the set? Or if I wanted to split test a free report against a free webinar I would create 2 ad sets under one campaign?
Brandon Olson4/15/2014 8:47 pm
Hi Marc. Sounds like you’re asking a three-part question.
First, to split test different images with the same copy, you can easily create up to six ads at once during the ad creation step.
Second, to split test different text, you would simply create separate ads under the same ad set. Ad sets have a unique budget and schedule, and typically represent a particular audience segment. If you’re targeting the same audience with your various ads, they would all go under the same ad set.
Third, to split test a free report against a free webinar, I imagine they would have separate URLs you’re driving traffic to. So I would recommend setting the ads up as separate campaigns. That would allow you to compare campaigns and even do more granular testing with different copy and images (as explained in points one and two above).
I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions.