A Beginner's Guide to Facebook Ads Structure

Tackling The Beast

I don my caution tape sash, steel my resolve, and bust out the ol’ whiteboard. Preparation is the only way to tame this unruly creature, and I’m not going to let it get the better of me!

Hyperbole aside, Ads Manager can be difficult to manage without the right preparation and management of your ads. I’m going to go over the top-level basics of the structure of ads in Ads Manager, and how you can use that knowledge to manage your campaigns and speak the same language as the people who manage the finer details of your ads setup.

It’s Not a Pyramid Scheme, I swear

Ads Manager is structured in three levels of detail. Campaigns are the top level of your ads. In your campaign settings, you’ll choose your primary result metric and some broad-stroke budget options.

Ads manager structure

One of the key points to keep in mind is that the primary result metric you choose for your campaign will change the options that are available to you in the lower levels of the ad structure.

Ad Sets are the middle level of the Ads Manager structure. In your ad sets, you have extensive options that affect the delivery of your ads, including budget, geographical delivery, interest and demographic targeting, delivery schedule, and ad placements.

As a quick example, let’s say we have two ad sets. The first ad set targets everyone who lives within the state you live in over the age of 25, and is delivered continuously for the month of May. The second ad set targets everyone in the capital city of your state who has an interest in cats, and is only delivered during the last week of May.

Ads are the actual content that gets delivered by each ad set. They’re the posts you see in a Facebook feed with the ‘sponsored’ label beneath the name of the page the ad was created under.

You can create ads via Ads Manager, or simply choose to convert existing posts from your page into ads. If you create your ads in Ads Manager, you’ll have access to many more options, such as catalogue sales and collection style ads.

Many of the content options only available via Ads Manager can be quite time-intensive to set up. You should consider whether it’s worth your time to set up complicated ads, or if you’d see a better return on investment by spending less time creating ads and increasing their budgets instead.

How To Put This To Use

This article is merely a cursory glance at the complexity of Facebook Ads Manager, but what we’ve covered here should help you to understand how Facebook ads are structured.

You can use this information to paint a broad idea with enough context for your content creators to work with, and can pass your business goals through the mental obstacle course of Ads Manager to create a strategy for efficient business outcomes via social media advertising.