On March 4th, Facebook launched a new campaign structure for their advertising platform. The new structure will increase the number of levels within the campaign structure from two to three. This update has immediate implications for social media marketers, as well as long-term implications for Facebook as an advertising platform.
Until this update, Facebook’s advertising platform’s campaign structure only contained two levels. These levels included a campaigns level and an ad level. Facebook’s new campaigns structure (pictured above) contains three levels, incorporating an “ad set” level between the campaign and ad levels. This new level is clearly inspired by Google’s ad group level, which is also located between their campaign and ad levels.
This new campaign structure will have immediate benefits to advertisers on Facebook. Specifically, since budgets can be adjusted at the ad set level, advertisers can now be far more granular with spend. For example, if I am a clothing retailer, before I may have had a campaign for hats or a specific hat that was budgeted based on performance. With an added layer of optimization, I can now adjust spend based on segmented hat consumers. For example, for my silly hats campaign I may find that the young adult female ad set is the best performing segment and should receive more budget. Conversely, let’s say my middle-aged male ad set is performing poorly. I may conclude that the money for this segment could better be spent elsewhere and that generally bids should be lowered. This granularity will help advertisers get more out of their investment and ultimately lead them to reinvest more, enriching both themselves and Facebook.
While Facebook’s structure change will have immediate benefits to advertisers trying to manage large campaigns, perhaps even more significant are the long term implications of this move by Facebook. As I mentioned in my February blog post, Facebook vs Google: The Epic Battle of Mutually Assured Success, Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerburg has publically declared that he wants to compete with Google directly in search. Facebook ads are quite young relatively speaking, whereas Google’s advertising platform has had more time to evolve into the mature platform it is today. By showing that they are willing to learn from Google’s experience (ad sets seem like an obvious copy of ad groups) and add capabilities to their platform, Facebook is showing their determination to grow and improve. As Facebook’s advertising capabilities grow and evolve they will allow marketers to improve ROI on an already successful platform. The increased ROI will likely warrant more spend from marketers and advertising agencies, helping Facebook to grow more than it already has. Google has had a head start, but Facebook is attempting to close the gap by imitating some of Google’s success without some of their growing pains.
Facebook’s new ad sets will immediately benefit marketers both large and small that are looking to add granularity to their campaigns. While I am happy for this advancement, I am even more excited to see how far Facebook’s advertising platform will go over the next few years.