Facebook Ad Campaign Structure: Best Practices in 2022
Getting your Facebook ad campaign structure right involves a lot of meticulous thinking and planning, as well as a kiss from Facebook’s algorithm gods.
But this can only happen if you know the right way to set up your campaign—specifically by understanding how many ad sets to use per campaign.
Yeah, it sounds like algebra, we know. But if you are looking for help with your campaign structure, you are in luck because we are going to share a structuring recipe for high-converting Facebook ad campaigns.
Continue reading to find out the best practices that will guarantee success.
What is a Facebook ad set?
A Facebook ad set is a collection of ads for which you can set a specific budget, placement, bid settings, and budget.
A single Facebook ad could be an image, video, carousel, or instant experience ad. But when you combine more than one of the same ad—say multiple image ad creatives—you get an ad set. Afterward, you need to choose a distinguishable name to help you keep track of each ad set that makes up the campaign.
But that’s not all; hang around because we’ll get into more details later.
What is a Facebook ad campaign?
A Facebook ad campaign is a collection of ad sets aimed at achieving a specific goal — the campaign objective.
Most times, marketers choose conversion as the objective of every campaign. But you can select a different one for your business, depending on your specific needs. You also need to choose your target audience as well as other campaign parameters.
Depending on your budget and business goals, you can set up more than one ad campaign and yield outstanding results—as long as your audiences don’t overlap. And this can only succeed if the campaign structure is close to perfection.
Is there a perfect Facebook ad campaign structure?
Of course, you can always get the perfect campaign structure, but the problem is that what works for one brand might not work for yours. So, we’ve decided to focus on the structure at the campaign, ad set, and specific ad creative sub-level.
With Meta as our guide, let’s discuss ad structuring at each level and sub-level.
The campaign level is the overarching determiner of what your campaign looks like, who it targets, and how much return on ad spend (ROAS) you will make—all this is based on your outlined objectives.
So, when creating a campaign, you have to select a target business goal—from awareness, traffic, engagement, leads, app promotion, and sales—that will tie into how you want people to engage with your brand.
For instance, your objective for a new eCommerce website might be to increase page visits or sign-ups. By making this the campaign's primary goal, Facebook Ads Manager will help you push it to the right audience.
In the above scenario, you also need to specify a destination that people will visit after clicking on your ad. It could be your homepage or a separate landing page.
Moreover, Facebook also allows multiple campaigns. To take advantage of this opportunity, create multiple campaigns with different objectives and underlying ad set parameters. And most importantly, don’t forget to specify a bid amount and bidding strategy for your campaign.
Ad sets sub-level
Now, we are at the ad set sub-level. What happens here?
It is pretty straightforward: with your campaign objective in place, you need to design your ad set for targeting. The general recommendation for maximum success is to segment your ad sets according to your audience.
Some audience types to target include:
- Core audiences — the user pool you are targeting (based on age, interests, and other demographic data).
- Lookalike audiences — automatically generated audiences based on their similarity with your core audience.
- Custom audiences — you set up this audience based on data obtained from your core audience.
Here is an example scenario:
Your campaign objective is to increase sales, but you don’t know which product to place in front of them. In this case, you can create multiple ad sets containing different products for different audiences.
Now that you understand audience targeting for your ad sets, how many ad sets per campaign on Facebook is okay? Well, you can nest as many ad sets as possible in the ad campaign, but you must realize that overlapping audiences will affect engagement. Use the Audience Overlap tool to determine if the similarity between new and existing audiences is too high.
Ad creative sub-level
Now we are down to the heart of the ad campaign—the ad creative. This is where you get to choose the photo, video, GIF, CTA, and text for your ad’s content.
As mentioned earlier, you can select different content formats for structuring your ad content. All you need is to find out which creative option best portrays your brand identity and message.
To eliminate all guesswork, use A/B testing to analyze different ad types as well as content variations to find out what works and what sucks. You can use Facebook’s split testing feature or opt for alternatives like the AdBraze ad automation tool.
And most importantly, make sure that the ad creative does not contain malicious content by Facebook’s standards. Otherwise, your ad’s engagement and conversion rates will plummet.
How to structure Facebook ads by campaign type
Structuring your ads at different levels is effective, but if you want added control, you can design your ads according to campaign type. Here are the four main categories to bear in mind.
If your ad campaign objective is to create awareness for your brand’s product or services, you can focus on engagement optimization parameters.
Here is a sample scenario: you want to increase traffic for your new online store.
When setting the campaign objectives in the Ads Manager dashboard, choose “Brand Awareness” on the “Awareness” tab. Under the “Consideration” tab, select “Traffic” or “Engagement”. And on the “Conversion” tab, select the “Store traffic” option.
Prospecting involves looking for new audiences for the product in your ad. A prospecting campaign broadens your audience to “cold” potential customers.
The ad copy should contain enough information at the ad creative sub-level to get a new user interested in your brand. You also need a call to action to direct your audience on what you want them to do. Similarly, you can create two ad sets: one for a broad audience and the other for a lookalike audience.
For prospecting ads, the campaign level parameters and objectives should stay the same as for brand awareness. Nevertheless, you can select “Reach” instead of “Brand Awareness” as the awareness goal. And under the “Consideration” tab, you can select “Lead generation” instead of “Traffic”.
Marketing and Remarketing
You can also design your ad for marketing by choosing “Conversions” or “Catalog Sales” as the conversion objective at the campaign level. You should also choose an ad creative that shows a unique selling point for new users to buy, install, or subscribe to the product.
For remarketing purposes, reach out to people already familiar with your brand. They often fall under these categories:
- Viewers of your content who are yet to make a purchase
- People who visited your landing page
- Buyers who abandoned items in their cart
For instance, you can remarket a shoe to people who have viewed your ad without purchasing anything by using a different ad creative that directs them to “Buy Now” in the CTA.
Remember that your aim is to convert these lukewarm audiences into paying customers. So, the ad should feature product-oriented visuals accompanied by a sales-oriented CTA.
For this to work, you need to create two ad sets: one for those who have yet to hear about the brand and another for those who have visited the landing page.
Best practices for structuring your ads
We have discussed different ways of structuring your Facebook ad campaigns to boost your ROAS. Now we’ll extend our generosity by sharing some tried-and-tested tips for designing your Facebook ads.
Keep the campaigns to a minimum
Facebook allows you to create multiple campaigns for the same product, but abusing this privilege will only decrease your conversions.
How is this possible, you ask? For starters, your audiences will overlap, affecting your engagement and relevance score. And as a result, you will end up wasting money on multiple ad campaigns with limited or no results.
Instead of spamming Facebook with ad campaigns, focus on one or two properly optimized ones. You can focus on locales for brand awareness, prospecting, and retargeting.
Also, you can test various conversion events—depending on your business needs—to find out which one works for your business.
Leave the bulk of the optimization to the algorithm
Marketers often try to “game” the algorithm in order to boost their campaigns. We get it; the result is all that matters. But sometimes, these optimization hacks will end up killing your ads.
Facebook’s optimization algorithms are too complex, but they are designed to give your ads the best chance to convert. Once you set your campaign objective for your ad creative, leave the rest for the algorithm to perform its magic.
Don’t create new campaigns and ad sets every time
Facebook takes time to analyze your ad before optimizing it. The algorithm first checks your engagement data before determining your ad relevance score. From this data, it will optimize your ad to increase your ROAS.
But if you continue creating new campaigns every time, you will only end up extending the time needed to optimize your ad.
To help Facebook learn more about your ad, leave successful ad campaigns to run for a long time. Draw inferences from the data and make changes without ending the campaign. And soon enough, your ad will start hitting the target conversion and engagement benchmarks.
Improve your ad creative
This is a no-brainer: your ad creative has to meet quality standards and attract your target audience's interest. Remember that you are competing with other businesses for users with a short attention span.
Follow these tips to make your ad stand out:
- Keep the ad copy nice and short. Get to the gist of the ad immediately.
- Use relevant CTAs to spur users into action.
- Use high-resolution images and videos.
- Prioritize custom images over stock photos.
- Harness color psychology to evoke emotion
- Optimize the ad design for all devices.
And above all, use automation to track ad performance metrics in order to figure out the best approach for your Facebook campaigns.
Your brand’s Facebook ad campaigns should follow a defined structure if you want to boost ad returns. Beyond the campaign level, you need to drill down to ad sets and even specific ad creatives to design an ad campaign that will reach the right eyeballs and increase conversions. Use campaign and ad set parameters that align with your business goals and entrust Facebook’s algorithm with the rest.