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What does Facebook’s new campaign structure mean for advertisers?

Published: February 20, 2014

Author: Molly McCarty

As many of you may know, Facebook will be rolling out a new campaign structure on March 4. This is not a voluntary opt-in; all current Facebook ads will be fitted in to this new model, but it does not appear that there will be an interruption to service.
Here is a quick breakdown of the changes:
Present Structure: Ads are built within campaigns.
New Structure: Ads are built within ad sets, which are within campaigns.
What we are going to see is a new layer to the campaigns: ad sets. Here’s how this shakes out:
Budgets, which are currently set in campaigns, will now be set in ad sets. Facebook recommends that users utilize campaigns for the purpose of specifying an ads objective. For example, if you are hoping to get website conversions from your Facebook ads, that will be your objective for the first campaign. If you have other ads that focus on getting page likes, then you will have another campaign with the objective of page likes.
Ad sets, which will be located within the campaigns, will act the way campaigns presently act – they can turn ad sets on/off, you can set budgets for individual ad sets, and you can pull reports based on ad sets (which you should also be able to do for campaigns). Facebook recommends that we use ad sets to differentiate targeting. For example, if you have a campaign that focuses on page likes and within that campaign you have 2 different ad sets, each ad set should target a different demographic. Finally, the ad will be used to test creative. This will allow you to easily see which creative works best for which ad set.
Now that we know how Facebook recommends we use this new structure, we know there will be a ton of variations of how it actually gets used. The greatest advantage to this new structure, in my opinion, is more precise A/B testing.
I am excited to test campaigns out by target. So I will have if I am running an ad to parents, I might test one campaign that targets females, ages 25-45, who like different parenting products. Then, I will have another campaign that targets females, ages 25-45, who are in the partner category: parents (0-6 months). Finally, it is always good to see how Custom Audiences perform, so we will have a campaign that targets females, 25-45, in a lookalike similar reach audience.
Within each of these campaigns, I will have ad sets that have different creative. Within each ad set, I will have only one ad with the creative that will be specified in my ad set naming convention.
Currently, if you run a campaign with multiple ads (all which have different creatives), Facebook’s algorithm will determine very early on which ad is most successful and push that one out substantially more than the others. Just because one ad is getting more clicks than another, however, does not mean it is converting at a higher rate. By breaking creative out by ad sets, we can easily control which ads are running without having to build a ton of campaigns.

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