Facebook Campaigns, Ad Sets and Ads

Apr 14, 2017

Facebook has structured advertising campaigns into three levels: campaigns, ad sets and ads. This structure has been designed to help advertisers measure results, test and optimize your audiences, and then create and run the best performing ads possible.

The Hierarchy of Facebook Ads

Facebook ads start at the campaign level by choosing a marketing objective. Each campaign then contains ad sets where you define your target audience, ad schedule, bidding and payment structure and placements. Finally, an ad set can contain a single or many different ads.

The Facebook Advertising Campaign

Facebook campaigns are relatively simple – when I say that, I mean there really is only one question you need to answer – what is your marketing objective. Marketing objectives are critically important and choosing the right objective can determine the success of your advertising spend. For a complete guide to choosing the right marketing objective, see our blog or video on that subject. Once you determine which marketing objective is right for your campaign, you just need to name it to proceed. There is only exception to this. For the Engagement objective, you must determine what type of engagement you would like to optimize for. Those options are: post engagement, page likes, event responses, or offer claims. You can also, optionally, set a campaign spending limit to help you control your advertising.

The Facebook Advertising Ad Set

Once you have determined your marketing objective and created the corresponding campaign, it’s time to move on to the ad set. Creating the ad set is where much of the magic happens within the Facebook Ads platform. The criteria that must be set here, changes depending on the marketing objective. But overall, Facebook ad sets are where your target audiences are defined. In addition, you will also define your budget, schedule, bidding and placement.

Targeting – The Facebook Advertising Platform has one of the most robust and powerful targeting capabilities ever made available to advertisers. You should use different ad sets for each different audience that you are targeting. By doing this, you minimize the chance that your ads will compete against each other – a very common mistake that occurs in ad campaigns.

Budgeting – Setting your budget is very important. We work under the estimate that you can deliver roughly 1,000 ad impressions for every $10 spent ($10 CPM). While the CPM (cost per thousand) varies greatly, the $10 number is a good estimate. Facebook allows you to set either a Lifetime or Daily Ad Limit. Be very careful when setting your budget. It is very easy to switch between these two options so be cautious.

Scheduling – Facebook also allows you to set up your advertising on a specific schedule. You can schedule days or times for the ads to run. For example if you run a sandwich shop that is only open for lunch on weekdays in a busy urban area, you can run ads to people in a certain area prior to the lunch hours.

Bidding – Facebook allows you to pay for your advertising in one of two different ways, by impression or click. You can use the traditional CPM, or cost per thousand model, or a more current CPC, or cost per click model. Sometimes is makes more sense to use one method over another.

Placements – The final options for ad sets is placement. Where do you want Facebook to place your ads? Or do you want Facebook to make that decision for you? Options include: Desktop feeds or right columns, Mobile feeds, Instagram or the Audience Network. Some FB Ads experts have recently been talking about getting better results from letting Facebook choose, but I have always preferred choosing the placements manually – sometimes in different ad sets.

One of the best parts of Facebook Ad Set is the ability to analyze the results of your advertising by the target audience. You should have several different audiences running simultaneously. After your ad has run for a period time, you can invest more money in audiences that are producing more and pull back on audiences that are not converting with the results you have anticipated.

The Final Tier: Facebook Ads

The lowest tier within the Facebook advertising structure is the ads themselves. You can have up to 50 ads in each ad set. Be creative with your ads. Try different types like single image ads, carousels, videos, etc. Then revisit your ads and see which performs the best. Keep those running and pull back on those that don’t resonate as well with your audience.

Analyze and Revise

A common theme that you may have seen in this blog is that Facebook has created this system to give you the greatest opportunity to revise and streamline your ads. They want you to have the best advertising experience you can so that you spend more and more money with them. Use these features to create the best results for your ads. Constantly monitor your ads to see what works best and what can do better. Your ads will get better and results stronger every time you make an improvement.

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