social media researchDo you use Facebook ads to boost your business?

Are you confused by the latest changes?

Recent changes made to Facebook’s ad campaign structure can affect how you set up and test your ads.

In this article you’ll discover how to set up a Facebook ad campaign in the new structure.

facebook ad campaign changes

Find out how recent changes to Facebook ad campaigns affect your marketing.

Campaign Structure Changes

The biggest change is that budget, schedule, bidding, targeting and placement of your ads are all configured at the ad set level. Only the images, copy, call-to-action button and Facebook page are configured at the ad level.

So if you are split testing your ads and changing a variety of things, you may need to set up multiple ad sets, as well as multiple campaigns.

facebook ad setting changes

Facebook changes the ad set settings.

Here are some examples of when you need a new campaign, new ad set or just a new ad for the different things you might split test.

Split testing that requires a new campaign:

  • Different website landing pages
  • Different types of ads (i.e., promoted post vs. website conversion)

Split testing that requires a new ad set:

  • Different bidding models
  • Different targeting
split test image shutterstock 228385906

Split tests, or A/B tests, are affected by the changes. Image: Shutterstock.

Split testing that only requires new ads:

  • Different image
  • Different copy
  • Different call-to-action buttons
  • Using a different Facebook page for website clicks or website conversion ads

Most of the other changes are more cosmetic in the layout. Facebook has simplified the setup so it’s more aligned with the new structure. They have broken the setup into three steps:

Step 1: Create your campaign
Step 2: Create your ad set
Step 3: Create your ad

Notice that you can name your campaign and ad set at the end of the step. Give them a meaningful name to easily see which ads are doing well in the Reports area.

To set up an ad in the new Facebook ad structure, follow these steps after you go to

#1: Choose the Objective

This will be the objective of the campaign. Notice the language has changed a bit on the selections here.

Notably, the Page Post Engagement selection has been changed to Boost Your Posts. This may be confusing for people who are more used to the promoted posts vs. boosted posts language.

facebook ad objectives

Choosing your objective sets the objective at the campaign level.

The benefit of setting up the Boost Your Post ad here within the Ads Manager is that you can configure the ad to boost the post to only your fans, rather than boosting to People who Like your Page and their Friends when you use the Boost Post option directly on your Facebook page.

#2: Enter Objective Details

After choosing an objective, you make other selections related to your objective such as entering a website address, selecting a conversion pixel or selecting which event to promote.

facebook website conversion options

Add the details to your objective.

In this example, I chose to promote conversions on my website and had to select the corresponding active website conversion pixel.

#3: Name the Campaign

Once you click Continue after entering the objective details, you can name your campaign. Facebook gives it a name by default based on the objectives, but you can change the name to something meaningful to you.

name a facebook campaign

Name your campaign.

#4: Design the Ad Set

Next, you set up the targeting, bidding and budget for your ad set. While the order of the setup has changed to be more in line with the flow of the new structure, the targeting has not changed.

Remember that the ads below the ad set will all share the same bidding model and budget.

Facebook does optimize the ads below the ad sets so the better-performing ads get more of the budget. Be aware that one of your ads may be shown less often. You can manually control the ads below the ad set by turning them on and off as you require.

choosing target and pricing

The targeting and pricing are set up at the ad set level.

#5: Design the Ad

The last step is to design your ad.

If you’re only going to change the ad image for split testing, you can add multiple images here and multiple ads will be created with the different images. Then Facebook will split test them and optimize the campaign to show the best-performing ad more often.

design facebook ad

Design your ad.

If you are changing the text or the call-to-action button for split testing, you can easily create a similar ad after the first one has been created.

create similar ads

Click Create Similar Ad to use the same information from the ad you created and then edit what you need to change.

And if you need to adjust the bidding model or targeting for an ad set, you can click Change Ad Set after you’ve created the similar ad.

change the ad set

Change the ad set after creating a similar ad to adjust the bidding or targeting in the new ad.

You can still edit the ad after it has been created. Click Edit next to the Creative area or if you need to adjust anything in the ad set, click the wheel and then edit.

edit the ad set

Click the wheel to see the ad set information and you can edit it from there.

Additional Tips and Pointers

Every ad account is limited to 1,000 campaigns, 1,000 ad sets and 5,000 ads. If you hit the limit, you can delete campaigns, ad sets and ads. Each ad set is limited to no more than 50 non-deleted ads.

Make sure you know when Facebook is optimizing your ads for you and when you need to watch your ad optimization.

For example, the two ads below are in the same ad set, but they were created before the migration so they have different target audiences. You can see that the ad with a worse cost per like was taking more of the budget for the day. In an instance like this, you need to manually turn off the ad that’s performing worse.

facebook optimizing ads

Watch your cost per conversion and turn off ads that are performing worse.

In the new ad sets, Facebook is supposed to optimize so that the ad with the better conversion gets more of the budget, but I suggest watching those stats to see if you agree. I created a Campaign with two different images in the Ad sets and one ad did not show at all while the other ad got the entire budget.

ad optimization data

Watch the optimization between your ads.

Wrapping Up

The new setup flow for campaigns, ad sets and ads does seem to be easier to understand. As marketers, we need to embrace the change, while finding ways to keep our costs low, such as split testing and optimizing our budget to fit our goals.

If you have current ads, you can run them as they’ve been set up, but all ads will be migrated to the new structure sometime after January 2015. Any new ads you set up will use the new structure.

You can read more about the new campaign structure on the Facebook for Business site.

What do you think? Have you tried the new Facebook ads campaign setup? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

A/B symbol photo from Shutterstock.
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  • Owen Hemsath

    Do you think it would be awesome if facebook offered a “split test” function that allowed for ala carte edits?

  • That would be quick and easy for sure!

  • Nolan Collins

    I’d definitely recommend vigilance with the ad optimisation. Also, using Power Editor for more exact targeting is more important than ever.

  • Great article Andrea! Thank you for sharing such valuable information.

  • Thanks for the heads up about the changes to Facebook ads. I’m meeting with someone next week to go over “Boosting” posts. I’ll bookmark this post to use a reference for Facebook ads.

  • This is great. Our client’s have us manage their Facebook and Adwords campaigns. This will be a huge increase in our business. Great write up!

  • For split testing, I still like AdEspresso best. 🙂

  • Mary Jane Kinkade

    Awesome post. Very informative. I will definitely pass this one along! Thanks.

  • Very helpful, thank you!

  • Owen Hemsath

    Awesome. I’ll need to check that out

  • Glad you enjoyed it Madalyn!

  • Definitely look into running your “boosted posts” through the Ads Manager to target more precisely (including targeting your Fans only rather than Fans and Friends of Fans)

  • Definitely look into running your “boosted posts” through the Ads Manager to target more precisely (including targeting your Fans only rather than Fans and Friends of Fans)

  • You are welcome, Paul!

  • You are welcome, Paul!

  • Thanks Mary Jane!

  • Thanks Mary Jane!

  • Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Glad you enjoyed it!

  • I like Power Editor for certain things for sure but you can do a lot with the Ads Manager these days – they keep adding features there which is nice.

  • I like Power Editor for certain things for sure but you can do a lot with the Ads Manager these days – they keep adding features there which is nice.

  • Facebook needs to, and is, spending more time on making sure that their ad offering is more robust. The reasons are obvious, more marketers are now spending time with ads, so giving them a fantastic experience in the ads manager is critical. The one thing that they’re fighting with a lot I presume is “how” complex they should make it.

    As intermediate and advanced marketers, most of us want more advanced features and need to “do more” with Facebook ads. But since a lot of people in the last few months are very “new” to Facebook ads (only now realizing that organic reach is bloop and therefore they should now move to ads, or they’ve JUST convinced their clients to spend money) – they’re new to Facebook ads and therefore don’t want to be overwhelmed with complexity.

    Gradually rolling out changes and features is a good thing, even though it’s a little frustrating. Good re-cap Andrea!

  • Thanks Andrea

    I really find all your point worthwhile .Being a fresher in marketing I find your blog as a motivational guide for me.

    Waiting for your next post.!!!!!!

  • Good observation here! All the more reason small biz owners should use a digital consultant. (right now) If Facebook is smart (instead of just greedy) they’ll roll-out low-cost “paid” services to help the DIY small biz owners with advertising.

  • Ashif khan

    Thanxs Andrea..!!!
    Really nice piece of information, helps me a lot while implementing Facebook ads and it’s great to see, now we can use “Split test” on Facebook ads also that really helps in understanding consumer better and more organised ways.

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  • शेलेन्द्र

    Detailed article. Need to go through each and every process before joining the band wagon.

  • Catherine Heeg

    Great read. I, too, like Power Editor better. Yet it’s good to see the advancements made with Ads Manager.

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  • Sayed Mohsen

    Great artical 🙂