Reassess How Your Facebook Campaigns Are Structured

By Kristina McLane | @Hanapin | Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing

How old are your Facebook campaigns? I have a Facebook account that has just recently turned three years old. Over its first three years, creative has been updated, ad testing concluded, and new ad types added, but the account structure has been left alone. However, a lot has changed in the last year in Facebook.


What Has Changed?


  • Ad Sets – Also considered the ad group-campaign hybrid, ad sets are subsets of a Facebook campaign where daily budgets are set.
  • Objectives – These are set at the campaign level and tell Facebook how to optimize your ads.
  • Relevancy Scores – This is Facebook’s version of a quality score. It takes negative and positive feedback to determine the ad’s likelihood of showing.


In addition, there are retargeting pixels on websites, new ad types, and dynamic retargeting. Facebook is making advances quickly and for me, it was time to update my account structure to keep up.


How Did I Structure My Account?


My three-year-old campaign didn’t have objectives and it wasn’t using the ad sets as anything more than containers for ads. When I decided to restructure my Facebook account, I asked myself the following questions:


  • How do I report and talk about Facebook performance?
  • Do I have different Facebook objectives that need to be segmented into their own campaign?
  • What setup will make it easy to see what is doing well (or bad) and optimize?


All these questions will lead to the end game – a structure that will save me time.


I decided to structure my campaigns by product and objective. Objectives are the obvious piece that needs to be segmented. The decision to segment by products mirrored how I talked about Facebook in my reports.


Let’s pretend that I own a business for feet accessories (socks, shoes, toe rings, etc.). My campaigns would be segmented in the following way:


  • Socks (Website Conversions)
  • Socks (Offer Claims)
  • Socks (Page Likes)
  • Toe Rings (Website Conversions)
  • Toe Rings (Offer Claims)
  • Toe Rings (Page Likes)


This structure allows me to judge performance and report on our different goals easily from the Facebook interface. I can see how socks are doing compared to toe rings, based on their objectives.


Campaign setup is pretty simple. All you have to do is group themes together how you want to see them and have the same objective. Ad sets is where it actually begins to get complicated. Ad sets is where the targeting and budgeting happens. For me, I believe there can never be too many ad sets. Campaigns should be streamlined – ad sets should be as granular as can be.


I segment by placement, targeting and ad type when I build out new campaigns.


Using the campaign from above, the below breakout demonstrates how I would setup the “Socks (Website Conversions)”:


  • Website Pixel, Mobile, Right Column
  • Website Pixel, Desktop, Multiple Images
  • Website Pixel, Desktop, Single Image
  • Competitors, Mobile, Right Column
  • Competitors, Desktop, Multiple Images
  • Competitors, Desktop, Single Image


To me, it makes sense to be highly segmented to easily shift budget between what is garnering the best performance.


Ad sets are the meat and potatoes of my Facebook account. Campaigns are just the piece that holds the ad sets together. Ads, while a necessary part of any advertising, are very simple at the ad level of campaign structure. Each ad has many different variables to test:


  • Headlines
  • Descriptions
  • Images
  • Landing Pages


Inside my ad sets, I generally put 2-3 ads with one differing variable. If I want to try out different images, each ad has a different image. If I want to try out more variables in my ad creative, I will separate by ad sets. Ad sets is where all the work should be done.


A Quick Note on Targeting to Determine Ad Set Size


I like to segment my ad sets by very specific targeting and placements. However, it is important to remember your budget. The size of your audience should reflect how much money you spend. The smaller the daily budget directly mirrors the size of your audiences and how broken out your ad sets can be. Custom Audiences are treated differently because they are considered prequalified traffic from already being familiar with your brand and website.


The tip here is don’t try to do too much. Make as many ad sets as make sense with your budget. Calculating backward from your average cost-per-conversion and conversion volume helps give insight to how large a daily budget should be set in an ad set.


If you have a very small budget, consider lumping together devices and trying less targeting options when restructuring.


Anything Else?


My position is don’t restructure as a quick fix for bad performance in Facebook. When Facebook account performance begins to fail, the best thing to do is spend some time in the report tab, use the breakdowns, and figure out why. Then, if a restructure (or more narrow targeting) might help, go for it! Changing a Facebook account structure should be a solution for better organization, superior budgeting, and easier reporting.