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5 Things to Consider When Planning Your Facebook Ad Campaign Structure


reaching audiences on Facebook

So you’re getting ready to set up Facebook ads. There are so many things to worry about, from the creatives to the audience parameters. If you’re new to this, it’s normal to get anxious over that – every item you get wrong could represent wasted ad spend, after all!


Luckily for you, we’re here to help out with your Facebook ad campaign structure. Today, we’ll show you five crucial points to consider when setting up your campaigns, which should set you on the path to success.



Facebook ads

1. Remember the main categories for ad campaigns


Most ad campaigns can be sorted into one of three main categories: Prospecting, Retargeting, and Retention. Differentiating the three is fairly simple, as they differ in terms of the audiences they target. 



  • Prospecting ad campaigns are ones that focus on new potential customers. That means users of the platform with whom you’ve never had a prior interaction, hence the category’s name. You’re looking for entirely new prospects!

  • Retargeting ad campaigns are ones where you’re focused on people with whom you’ve already had at least one touch point or form of engagement, but who aren’t your customers yet. 

  • Retention ad campaigns are ones meant for your actual customers, i.e. people who have already purchased something from you.


How do these categories work out in practice? Well, here are examples for each one: 


categorising ad campaigns

This means there will be differences among the three in a lot of areas, from messaging to objectives. Getting someone to buy from a brand they’ve only just learned about is different from getting something to buy from a brand they’ve already purchased from, for instance!


So, bear these categories in mind whenever planning your Facebook ad campaign structure. It can help you better organise what you’re doing and how you plan to achieve your goals.



2. Consider doing both always-on and tactical campaigns simultaneously


“Always-on” and “tactical” are two more possible categories for ad campaigns. Instead of being differentiated by target focus, though, they’re differentiated chiefly by purpose. 


  • Always-on campaigns are also known as evergreen ones. This means they are perpetually running – or are always on for as long as you have the budget for them – and are usually composed of your best-performing ads and ads with hero messages.

  • Tactical campaigns are ones that run for a limited time, whether because they’re seasonal, are for transient promos, or contain new ad elements (like messaging) you’re still testing (to see if those elements deserve a spot in your always-on ads).


So, why do you need both? Because you need to regularly test and create new assets to refine and update your ads without throwing all your advertising in jeopardy.


Having the always-on campaigns running and isolated from testing means you’re never putting them at risk when you try new things. They can continue bringing in conversions while you experiment in your tactical campaigns to find “more things that work”. 


Having clear separations between the two can also help you better allocate your ad budget. You can split them it up like this, for instance, with just these two categories: 

campaign budget allocation

Or you can break it down further by adding the main ad catergories we explained earlier:


campaign budget allocation

This doesn’t mean you should leave your always-on campaigns static, mind you. They still need monitoring, as ads sometimes dip for various reasons. 


When an ad stops performing, turn it off and reallocate your budget to boost the ones that are performing. Try to limit the number of ads in the always-on category to what you can properly manage and monitor, e.g. 10 ads per set. This ensures the most effective use of your dollars.



calculating ad budget

3. Ensure your budget (and patience!) is sufficient for the Learning Stage


Facebook ads go through a learning stage where the platform does trial and error on how, when, and where it serves up your ads to find what gets the most conversions. In other words, it does a little testing to optimise your ads’ performance. 


This phase can be a source of anxiety for advertisers because it may look like you’re getting few results for your money. However, that’s actually temporary: as the platform gets better at serving up your ads thanks to what it learns, you’ll often get better and stabler results later.


Two things are important here: 


  • Your patience, because if you change things in your ad sets before that learning phase is over, you’re essentially restarting the clock on Facebook’s learning. Leave it be!

  • Your budget, because if you want your campaign to actually finish and exit the learning stage, you’ll need enough to allocate enough for Facebook to get the data it needs. A rough goal should be about 30 conversions per week during the learning stage, so you should just multiply your CPA by 30 to get a weekly budget.



facebook logo

4. Make sure your pixel has all it needs to get data


Facebook’s pixel is a bit of code that you can add to your website’s backend in order to get data on your audiences. It’s particularly useful in terms of retargeting ad optimisation, as it tracks what actions people are taking due to your ads or on your website. 


But to make sure your pixel gets correct data, you have to set it up properly. Fortunately, that’s not an overly complicated task. 


Start by following Facebook’s best practices on its setup here. These cover things like code accuracy and spelling, although you can go further by verifying your domain and checking that your conversion API is active.



target audience

5. Test ads with different audiences


Testing different audiences on your ad campaigns is an excellent way of looking for more prospective customers beyond the ones you already know as your main target audience. The trick here is to use multiple ad sets within each campaign and set different audiences for them to see what gets you the results. 


You can start with a Broad audience, where you use generalised demographics and specifications on who falls into the group. 


From there, however, you can branch out and test other audiences. Start with the same basic parameters for your Broad audience, for example, and start layering audience parameters to give yourself new audiences. 


For instance, you might start with the Broad parameters, and then add a specific demographic based on age or life events. 


Or you might start with the Broad parameters, then specify particular interest groups as an added qualification for being in the audience. 


You can even go with Lookalike audiences, although their efficacy has gone down significantly since the changes to iOS privacy policies. Even so, you can still find similar audiences this way, with bigger percentages (e.g. about 5% for a list of 5,000) better. 


Testing on multiple audiences like this helps you figure out if you’re leaving a good potential audience ignored, which would be equivalent to missing out on conversions. You can change the parameters for your audiences as you learn more about them and trends in your industry.



Get help with your Facebook ad campaigns today


Keeping all of the above tips in mind can do a lot to help you set up Facebook ad campaigns properly – and the best part is that they can be applied to most other paid social channels too! That’s why learning these tricks is a good way to get a head start in social media advertising.


Of course, you can always reach out to experts like us as well if you want even more guidance. At ROMI, we’ve run (and continue to run!) many successful ad campaigns for our clients. We can structure and run ones for you too.


All it takes is for us to understand what you do and what your business may need to take things to the next level. Contact us for a chat about your digital marketing needs today!

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