20 May 2014

Facebook Ad Sets: Additions To Facebook Ads Structure

Facebook Ad Sets

Facebook Ad Sets

Prior to the recent changes, the Facebook Ads structure offered users a simple two level structure, Campaign and Ads. The Campaign option was used to set up the start and end dates for an Ad Campaign, in addition to the daily and overall budget of the campaign. The Ads option provided users with the ability to select placement, targeting and bidding.

However with the recent changes, users now have access to a third option in the Facebook advertising structure, Facebook Ad Sets. Collected beneath is a description of each of the options, an outline of how the addition of Facebook Ad Sets could impact current advertising and how to make use of the new Facebook Ads structure in the future.


The official Facebook description of a campaign is as follows, “you’ll choose an advertising objective for each campaign you create and that campaign will consist of one or more Ad Sets. This will help you optimize and measure your results for each advertising objective.” Essentially, a campaign should be considered for objectives ranging from Clicks To Website and Website Conversions to Page Likes and Page Post Engagement.

A user who selects to utilise Ads and Ad Sets as part of a “Clicks To Website” campaign is aiming ultimately to increase the amount of traffic to a specific web page, such as their business homepage. The Campaigns feature provides exceptional overview management abilities, enabling users to effectively stop or start all Ads or Facebook Ad Sets within a specific Campaign.

Facebook Ad Sets

Facebook provides an official definition for Facebook Ad Sets which reads as follows, “An Ad Set will have one or more Ads and you’ll continue to define the budget and schedule for each Ad Set. You can create an Ad Set for each of your audience segments by making the Ads within the Ad Set target the same audience. This will help you control the amount you spend on each audience, decide when each audience will see your ads, and see metrics specific to each audience.” Under the changes Facebook Ad Sets perform a similar function to that which Campaigns performed prior to the changes.

Within Facebook Ad Sets users are able to change and control the start and end dates of Ads as well as the daily and lifetime budget allocation for all of the Ads contained within each Ad Set. Facebook strongly recommends that users break down their Ad Sets according to targeted demographic. Campaigns, as previously mentioned, are organised along the lines of end objective. Ad reports can be viewed for specific Ad Sets in addition to the start or stop date of individual Ad Sets within a particular Campaign.


The following official definition for Ads is provided by Facebook, “Ads will now live within Ad Sets. You’ll continue to define your creative, target your audience, and select your bidding at the Ad Level. Multiple Ads should be created in each Ad Set so our system can optimize for variations in images, links, video, text or placements.”

Under the changes there have been minimal changes to the Ads, users can continue to monitor and control the creative, bidding and targeting on the Ad Level. What is interesting about the definition is that Facebook is pushing users and marketers to merge all Ads which have the same audience or target demographic within one Ad Set.

Ad Reports are extremely successful at determining the performance of an Ad based on placement. However, sometimes a user or marketer may choose to create separate Ads for Newsfeed and side bar because of the associated text and image limitations, Ad Reports is not as good at measuring this performance. Ads can be started and stopped here as with the other features, however the performance of each Ad can be observed at this level by making use of the Ad Reports tool.

How the changes impact current advertisements

Current and existing campaigns will be unaffected by the changes, in that they will continue to deliver in the same way and there should be no impact on their performance. The only noticeable change will be that users and marketers will find a default Ad Set has been created within their old campaigns. The default Ad Set will store all of the Ads.

The description Facebook provides for the changes is simple:

Before the changes:

Campaign: Spring M18-24
Ad: Car Creative
Ad: Truck Creative

After the changes:

Campaign: Spring M18-24
Ad Set: Ad Set 1
Ad: Car Creative
Ad: Truck Creative

How to make use of the new Facebook Ads structure in the future

To improve the organisation of Facebook advertising

Previously many users and marketers would create a separate campaign for each of the individual audiences that they were targeting. To demonstrate, a campaigner may have had three separate campaigns, one targeting fans, one targeting email subscribers and another targeting website custom audiences. Within each campaign a user or marketer may have had one or multiple separate Ads.

Marketers selected this process as they did not want Facebook to optimise their Ads around specific audiences. This was often because these marketers wanted to establish a set budget for each audience, after which Facebook could then optimise the Ad within the specific Campaign. Under the changes this process will be much cleaner and easier to implement. Marketers will be able to set up one Campaign for a selected post which will be promoted through the Ad Sets for a specific audience.

To improve ad reporting

Users and marketers who make use of Facebook Ads but do not utilise the Ad Reports tool are missing out. Prior to the changes, the creation of Ad Reports could be complicated. This complication was due to the fact that previously it was important to ensure that key words or phrases were included within the campaign’s name for the purposes of filtering.

Thankfully, under the changes this is no longer the case. Users and marketers are able to simply filter using the campaign’s name and will gain all of the relevant associated information from Facebook Ad Sets and Ads.