Ready, set, run: breaking down the structure of Facebook advertising

By: Noelle Cutler, Social Media Specialist, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

What two steps come before you run? Get ready and get set. The same steps need to happen before running a Facebook ad. You have to get ready with a campaign plan and get the ad set up. Then, you can start running the ad!
Facebook advertising might seem simple because you can decide to run an ad on Facebook and actually start running it the very same day. But it really does require more planning than that. You have to make strategic decisions about marketing objectives, targeted audiences, budget and ad design. In Facebook Ad Manager, the ad structure is broken down to help you think strategically about each of those areas, from campaign to ad set to ad. Here’s the breakdown on each one:


  1. Campaign. This is the highest level of your advertising plan. All you have to do at this level is name your campaign and choose your Objective. If you’ve never set up a Facebook ad before, I suggest using the Brand Awareness objective if you’re simply trying to spread your message or brand. If you’re trying to get people to go to your website, use the Traffic objective. There are eight other objectives, but those two are the broadest/easiest to set up.
  2. Ad Set. The next step is to set up your ad set. Here you’ll determine the Audience, Placements and Budget & Schedule of your ads. You can have more than one ad set in a campaign. For example, if your campaign objective is to get people to visit the store page of your website (the Traffic objective), one ad set could target an audience ages 25 to 30 and the budget could be $50. Another ad set could target people who are 18 to 24-years-old and the budget could be $30. Those different ad set details can be programmed any way you want, but the campaign objective is the same: get people to your website.
  3. Ads. Finally, you actually set up your ads. The Format is the first thing you have to decide; more or less the format is just a choice between one image, multiple images or video. The final thing to set up is the Page & Text, which is basically the ad itself; it’s the image and the text of your specific ad. It could also include the URL if your objective is to get people to go to a website. Again, you can have more than one ad in an ad set. Going back to the example of targeting 24 to 30-year-olds, you might want to use different texts and images. Same marketing objective, audience, placements, budget & schedule, but different actual ads.


There’s a lot more detail to each step, but hopefully, this helps explain the way Facebook structures their advertising. These are the things you need to decide before jumping in and running a Facebook ad. So get ready, get set and then run your Facebook ad!