The Difference Between Facebook Ads Campaigns, Ad-Sets & Ads

Facebook ads structure
Knowing the difference between a Facebook ad campaign, ad-set and ad is probably the most important thing to get results with Facebook advertising.

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If you are running any type of Facebook ad, it’s essential to know the difference between a Facebook ad campaign, ad-set and ad. They are three different levels that can be assembled in tree shape to organize your Facebook advertising practices inside the Facebook ads manager.

If you want to learn more in-depth about the Facebook ads manager, I recommend our article “How to Leverage the Facebook Ads Manager: A Guide for Starters“.

In this article we’ll explain what each of these levels represents inside your Facebook ads manager where you manage your campaign. Overall, you have your Facebook campaign that can have multiple Facebook ad sets which can have multiple Facebook ads. It somewhat looks like this:

Facebook ads manager levels
Difference between campaign, ad set and ad

Once you log inside the Facebook ads manager, you should see the campaign, ad set and ad as tabs. Here’s how it looks like:

Facebook ad levels
Facebook Ad Levels

What is Facebook ad Campaign?

Facebook Ads Campaign
Facebook Ads Campaign

When it comes to Facebook ads campaign, it’s where you’ll have to do a couple of things. The first once is to tell Facebook if you are running a Facebook ad around the following subjects considered Special Ad Category:

  • Credit
  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Social issues
  • Election
  • Politics

You’ll also have to choose the Facebook ad objective you want to move forward with:

  1. Brand awareness: allowing you to reach more people that are likely to pay attention to your company.
  2. Reach: showing your ad to the most amount of people possible.
  3. Traffic: send people to destination such as your website, app or even on Messenger.
  4. App installs: sending people to the app store where they can download your app.
  5. Engagement: receive likes, comments, shares, event responses and offer claims on your Facebook ad.
  6. Video views: get as many video views as possible.
  7. Lead generation: generate as many leads from the Facebook lead form as possible.
  8. Messages: receive messages from people clicking on your Facebook ad.
  9. Conversions: generate more results from people visiting your website, app or Messenger such as collecting their information or making a sale.
  10. Catalogue sales: show products in the Facebook product catalogue to your Facebook ads target market.
  11. Store visits: getting people to visit your store physically.

Finally, you’ll also need to choose if you want to turn on A/B testing and Facebook CBO.

Facebook Campaign Options
Facebook Campaign Options

A/B Test means you can split test your ad creative, placement, audience and delivery optimization strategies. If you want to learn more, take a look at this article.

Facebook CBO allows you to choose a budget at the campaign level rather than the ad set level. If you want to learn more, I recommend our article “Facebook campaign budget optimization (CBO) will not be mandatory“.

What is a Facebook Ad-set?

This section is where you choose your ad delivery, budget & schedule, audience & placements. The options inside the ad set are much bigger than the ones available inside the Facebook ad campaign. Let’s dive quickly into each different section to better understand which choices you have.

Facebook ad set
Facebook ad set delivery

Here, you can choose how you want Facebook to choose to whom they show your ads. Generally, you can choose amongst your “conversions” (if it was the objective of your Facebook ad campaign), impressions, reach or even app installs (if it was the objective you selected).

You can then choose a conversion window which is for attribution purposes. If you want people to convert within a day or within 7 days. Generally, for small conversion events such as “content views” or “app installs”, we chose 1 day but for “purchases” we select 7 days because we know it can take more time for people to buy something.

The “when you get charged” is for what you want Facebook to charge you. You can generally chose between impressions, reach, link clicks or conversions. The section you see about “cost control” would enable you to manage how much you are bidding for your Facebook ads.

For budget and schedule, you can choose between a daily budget or a lifetime budget that has a deadline. You can also set a minimum budget to be spend daily and a maximum one.

For the audience, the options are almost infinite. You can select your audience based on demographics, behaviours, location and even connections with your Facebook page or Facebook event (if you created one). If you want to learn more in-depth about location targeting, I recommend our article “Facebook Advanced Location Targeting“.

Automatic Placements Facebook ads
Facebook ads placements

Finally, you can choose the placement of your Facebook ad. Those are the Facebook news feed, Instagram stories, and so on. Since Facebook’s Power 5, we recommend using Automatic Placements if you can but you can also choose the placements you want to appear on.

What is a Facebook Ad?

The Facebook ad section allows you to choose your Facebook ad creative. It’s also where you would set up your Dynamic Creative ads if you’ve read our article on Facebook Power 5.

You’ll first have to select the identity advertising which would be your Facebook page and Instagram page which you should have linked to your Facebook ads account by now under settings. Then, you’ll have to select the format in question where you can choose between a carousel and a single image or video.

Facebook ads format
Facebook Ads Format

You also have an option to set up a Facebook instant experience on which we wrote an amazing article called “Facebook Instant Experience: In-Depth Guide For 2020“.

Next is where you’ll add your media. Your media should be your images and videos. After having uploaded your media, it’s time to insert your text & links. It’s the section most Facebook advertisers like to call Facebook ad copy. Here’s a quick list of what you’ll have to fill in:

  • Primary text
  • Headline
  • Call-to-action

Finally, you’ll have languages and tracking options. Languages allow you to run Facebook ads in multiple languages and edit what people see depending on the language you are using. The tracking option is related to your Facebook pixel which you should have set up.

If you have a WordPress website and need help setting up your Facebook pixel, I recommend our article “How To Add A Facebook Pixel To WordPress Smoothly“.

Need help with your Facebook ads?

If you need any help with your Facebook ads in the form on consulting or an agency running them to give you the best results, we’d love to chat!

Just fill the form when hitting the get proposal button you’ll see everywhere on our website. Excited to hear from you!

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