If you’ve logged into your Facebook Advertising account lately, you’ve noticed that something is different. It isn’t just the sleek, new dashboard that catches your eye, but the introduction of Facebook Ad Sets. On March 4, Facebook launched a new feature that changed the structure of advertising campaigns. The announcement included the introduction of something called ‘ad sets’. These new ad sets were introduced in an effort by Facebook to make it “easier for advertisers of every size to organize, optimize, and measure their ads”.
So, what’s changed?
For your existing campaigns, all ads remain the same. These ads were placed into one ad set that exists within your original campaign. It does not require any action taken and campaign activity will resume as normal with the same budget, status, and schedule settings. Moving forward with new campaigns, it is important to take this new feature into account.
This new structure allows for multiple ads sets, each with the ability to have a unique budget or schedule. Evaluate your campaign goals and KPIs to determine how this structure can be utilized to facilitate a seamless campaign layout. Ads function the same as before with the flexibility to control targeting, creative, and placement at the ad level.
The new interface appears in the main Facebook advertising dashboard, as well as Power Editor. There’s even some sweet new toggle buttons to activate / pause your campaigns, ad sets, or ads. Upon logging in, you can quickly view performance at the campaign, ad, AND ad set level.
It took some getting used to, but after 30 days we are getting used to the new structure and our initial experience has been extremely positive. The update has helped clean up and organize the main dashboard, which previously appeared cluttered. The days where ad name titles consist of objectives, creative, copy, and landing page are starting to come to an end. The new structure enables easier ad testing and facilitates a structure that defines clear objectives. This makes campaign set-up and testing much more manageable, while also creating a clean slate for reporting.
We’ve also picked up a few tricks this past month with the introduction of ad sets and would like to share a few tips:
1. Limit the Number of Ads Within An Ad Set
Through my experience with Facebook Advertising, it has been common for one ad within the campaign to receive the majority of impressions. So far, my observation is that this trend has continued through the transition to ad sets. Unlike in Google AdWords, the rotation settings for ads in Facebook is beyond our control. Facebook automatically selects to show the ad within your ad set that has performed the best for you. This preference often results in one particular ad receiving significantly more impressions than others within the ad set.
In order to ensure accurate testing and optimal ad distribution, keep the number of ads within your ad set to a minimum. Between 3 – 5 ads is a good number to aim for so that the ad set is more balanced. This will allow the frequency and reach of your Facebook ads to be dispersed more evenly. If you start to notice a large discrepancy in volume across the ads within your asset, focus on isolating one variable or one test, in order to provide accurate testing. Once that experiment concludes, re-active the ad in the queue to start up a new test.
2. Structure Campaigns By Objective
What is the objective of your campaign? There are currently several different objectives available for Facebook ads including: Page Post Engagement, Likes, Website Conversions, Clicks to Website, Event Responses, App Engagement, App Installs, and Offer Claims. With this new structure, it is important to organize your campaigns by objective. Not only will this make it easier for reporting purposes, but it will also establish a strong base, providing an anchor for ad sets and ad copy.
3. Name Your Ad Set by Audience
Ad sets have their own unique budget and provide the ability to test multiple variables, all with the same objective in mind. There are several different approaches that one can take when naming their ad set, depending on the objective of the campaign. For instance, you can name them based on:
- Geo Target
- Landing Page
A good base to start with when naming your ad set is to include all of the fixed variables. Upon creation, the ad set name defaults to ‘Location-Gender-Age’. The ad set name can be changed after it populates with this information and can be extended to include any other consistent variables.
4. Avoid Duplication
All ad testing for the same audience needs to be restricted to one ad set. As mentioned above, ad sets should be structured by audience, so ad testing needs to be confined to that ad set. If you have two ads that are in different ad sets, but targeting the same audience, they will compete against each other.
Although Facebook does make efforts to ensure that your ads don’t compete against each other, it is important to avoid that situation in order to prevent an increase in CPC or CPM. Otherwise, ads can be cannibalized by a competitor within the same account. This will skew test results as well, since the same ad will demonstrate different results in each of the ad sets that it is in. Costs will be driven up as well due to the increased competition.
5. Create a Structure That Facilitates A / B Testing
Once your first ad set has been created within a campaign, you can then create another ad set to test against the first. For example:
Let’s say you have a very specific audience you need to target based on your objective. Your objective is Website Conversions. Your fixed variables are:
- Geo: California
- Gender: Females
- Age: 18 – 34
- Interests: Surfing
When your target audience on Facebook clicks on an ad, they are being directed to a landing page outside of Facebook. With the ultimate goal being a website conversion, a strong initial element to test would be the landing page. Ad names should reflect the elements being tested, which would normally include one of three major variables: ad copy, image, and landing page. So, an ideal structure would look like this:
By structuring your ads sets within the campaign as listed above, you have set yourself for a good A / B test for the landing page. This will ensure that your target audience is exposed to both versions of the ad and will allow you to quickly and easily track results until you determine a clear winner. The landing page variable can be easily replaced by other elements you are testing, depending on the goals and KPIs for your Facebook advertising campaign. Multiple tests can be easily ran and tracked at once through this structure.