More than 77% of internet users are active on at least one Meta platform. That’s a seriously impressive number of consumers who could potentially see your ads if you opt for Meta Ads campaigns.
Do it right, and you boost brand awareness and create a whole new legion of loyal customers. Do it wrong, and you risk misrepresenting your business on some of the most-visited platforms on the web.
But here’s the thing – if you’re a complete Meta ads beginner, it can be overwhelming to know where to start and how best to structure your ad campaigns for success.
Luckily, we’ve put together a couple of structural best practices and tips that we’ve seen work consistently to help guide you on your Meta ads journey. Let’s dive in!
What are the different levels within Meta Ads campaigns?
To start, let’s explore the different levels of Meta ads campaigns and which variables there are at each level.
Campaign level is where you set your campaign objective eg. Sales, Leads, control budgets (we recommend campaign budget optimisation) and set your bid strategy. Within your campaign, you’ll have one or more ad sets.
Meta’s algorithms will take your campaign objective on board and use it to decide who to show your ads to. If your objective is an increase in traffic, for example, Meta will show your ads to users who it thinks are more likely to click links.
At the ad set level, you’ll define schedule, audiences and placement. You can also define which ‘goal’ you want Meta to optimise to, for example, you can select ‘conversions’ as a campaign goal and then choose ‘purchase’.
If you want to target different audiences eg. one lookalike and one broad audience, these would be different ad sets.
You can create a lookalike audience by uploading a list of your business’s customers to Meta and asking it to create a lookalike audience of similar people. This is one of Meta’s most helpful features, and it’s great for using targeting to ensure a higher conversion rate.
Within the ad set level, you’ll then have one or more ads.
This is where you’ll add your creatives, tracking and the URL that you want the end user to go to. You’ll also select which ad you want to create, whether those are image ads, video ads, carousel ads, etc.
How We Structure Campaigns and Ad Sets
With this in mind, how do we structure the Meta ad accounts that we manage?
Well, the truth is, we like to keep it as simple as possible.
Our general recommendation is that most accounts can be broken into 2-3 campaigns, where we would include the following:
This is for your new prospects and those that most likely haven’t heard of your brand before. These prospects are at the initial stages of your marketing funnel, so your main goal will be boosting brand awareness and introducing your story.
In terms of audiences, Meta has a range of audiences that you can choose from, including lookalikes, interest and broad targeting.
This is where you re-engage with users who have already interacted with your site, ads etc. Common remarketing audiences include the following:
- Web Visitors
- Add To Carts
- Post Engagers
However, as with the prospecting campaigns, we often layer multiple remarketing audiences and in doing so, create a large audience.
This is because despite not having the same granularity if you have smaller audiences to work with, you’ll see your frequency increase fairly quickly. Meta’s audience meter can also give you a hint of whether your audience is too broad, too specific, or just right. It’s basically the Goldilocks of campaign structures.
Creative Testing Campaign
If you have the available budget, we would also recommend implementing a creative testing campaign. This is where you’ll roll in new creative variants for testing. If you’re looking for a framework for this testing, then check out our other blog here.
After all, as important as campaign structure is, if you don’t have the right creatives, you won’t even the level of success you wanted.
Creative testing campaigns allow you to take a data-driven approach to campaigns that can increase their success rate substantially.
Simplify Your Accounts
One of the first things we look to do when taking over a new account is to consolidate and simplify, as we have consistently seen better results when we combine audiences and campaigns.
This is also something that Meta has recommended as part of its ‘Meta Performance 5’, which was released last Autumn as a strategic guide to help media buyers.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t ever create new campaigns. For example, if you’re running time-specific events or offers, but where possible we’ve seen that consolidation is more effective.
The reason that account simplification is effective is that you’re giving the Meta algorithm a larger audience to work with and in doing so, helping to drive more conversions with a larger budget through one ad set or campaign, so you’re more likely to exit learning sooner and see the results you want. Happy days!
Whilst we appreciate this amount of consolidation may not be suitable for each business, when you’re managing an account, think about how much overlap you may have between campaigns and whether you can combine any ad sets.
If you’re not sure to start, click on the ‘Account Overview’ tab in Ads Manager. There you can also see additional recommendations from Meta regarding campaign optimisation (which often include combining ad sets like the example above).
It’s definitely worth reviewing performance ahead of implementing recommendations, but it’s a good starting point.
Creating larger audience pools to work with allows the delivery system to find the users most likely to complete an action.
This helps Meta to find high-converting users who you may not have come across otherwise. This could be stacked interests, stacked lookalikes or broad targeting, the key here is to ensure that you don’t over-segment your audience.
Optimise To Your Required Event
Our final recommendation is to optimise your campaigns to your required action, provided you have enough budget and the action is happening frequently enough.
If your goal is purchases, optimise campaigns to purchase. If you want users to view a landing page, optimise to landing page views. We sometimes see accounts where the goal of a prospecting campaign is link clicks, despite ultimately having a purchase goal.
We find that Meta is very good at optimising campaigns to the action required, so if you optimise to link clicks, Meta will show your campaigns to people who are likely to click, but not necessarily convert with lower-funnel goals.
If you have the pixel installed, you can see this in action through Meta’s reporting dashboard where you can create a custom column in reporting to check the drop-off between link click and landing page view:
This will give you an indication of the drop off before users even get to view your pages and we generally see that this is higher for campaigns optimising to link clicks.
Going one step further, Meta has now released its Advantage+ Shopping campaigns, which combine many of these features. If you want to understand more about this campaign type, have a read through our other blog.
- Most advertisers can stick with a fairly simple account structure of 2-3 campaigns.
- It’s a good idea to simplify existing accounts and combine campaigns/ad sets where appropriate.
- Test broad audiences to drive more volume and lean into Meta’s delivery system.
The key takeaway? Less is more!
While it can be tempting to overcomplicate your campaign structure because it feels like more complexity must be better, it’s simple not true.
Keep your account structure simple and your audience pools as large as possible, to help Meta due its job of identifying the best users for your ads. You’ll soon see results.
Want to learn more about how we can help you optimise and scale your Meta ads campaigns? That’s why we’re here. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team for more information. We’re super friendly, promise!