A Comprehensive Facebook Campaign Structure Gap Analysis

January 4, 2018

Facebook is constantly introducing new features to help advertisers scale activity. Testing new stuff is exciting, and can often distract us from our main tasks. That said, a best practice is to allocate 70% of your budget to core campaigns and 30% to testing new features.

What steps should you take to ensure your core campaigns perform efficiently, and that your campaign structure’s up to date? Don’t be afraid to shake things up and re-structure your campaigns to identify more opportunities and improve results.

Before You Jump In

Before you re-structure anything, it’s crucial to analyze your current core activity—in other words, a gap analysis. This happens in three stages:

  • Assess your current campaign structure and note observations.
  • Identify opportunities and action items.
  • Design and implement the campaign restructure.

Current Campaign Structure and Observations

Depending on the size of your account, you can either analyze all of your campaigns or concentrate on the top performers. In either case, follow the steps below to complete an initial assessment of your campaign structure. The campaign elements we’re using are just an example—tailor the specifics for your business.

  1. Mirror the campaign structure to an Excel table. This will give you a full view of your setup. Include:

  • Campaign name
  • Ad set – Audience Inclusion
  • Ad set – Audience Exclusion
  • Ad set – Age
  • Ad set – Gender
  • Ad set – Placement
  • Any other ad set splits, e.g., country, language, connections, etc.
  • Number of ads inside the ad set
  • Budget per ad set

facebook gap analysis

  1. Analyze the amount of ad sets and the audience splits. You can use Facebook’s overlap feature to identify highly overlapping audiences.
  2. Analyze Exclusions to make sure you’re using smart exclusions, and at the same time not excluding too granularly for ad sets to have limited size (and thus bad delivery). Read more about this in our article on lookalike audiences.
  3. Check that your age and gender splits are consistent and broad. Facebook algorithms are more efficient with broader demographic targeting.
  4. Make sure you’re using consistent placements and making the most of Facebook algorithms.
  5. Ensure you’re not running too many ads, and that the number of creatives is consistent.
  6. Make sure you have enough budget allocated to the ad. This is important. There should be enough budget to deliver at least one main KPI per day.

In our example there are a couple of observations:

Our Main KPI is Purchase and goal CPA is €35.

  • Yellow: The campaign has 25 ad sets with lookalike audiences that have a high overlap percentage. This means the splits are too granular and are less efficient.
  • Tan: In most cases, you should use smart exclusions. However, since we’re targeting highly overlapped audiences, these exclusions aren’t sufficient to reduce overlap and excluding more audiences will result in very small audience sizes.
  • Blue: Some ad sets have reduced age ranges for no particular reason. Also, since our product is suitable for both genders, there’s no reason to split them.
  • Light green: Placement optimization is common and can be rolled out to all ad sets. Read more about placement optimization best practices.
  • Gray: Currently, there are too many ads within each ad set and it looks like the number isn’t consistent. Facebook will push the best performing ad, so not all ads in the set will have a chance to perform. It’s better to reduce the amount of ads to two to four to avoid wasting budget.
  • Dark green: Since we’re running a lot of ads, our budgets are very limited—some ad sets have enough budget enough for one conversion. This is fine, but our budget should be higher to scale activity.

Opportunities and Action Plan

As you’re noting observations, you’ll likely identify a few opportunities to improve your account structure. Let’s put our knowledge into action.

  1. Reduce the number of limitations by reducing the amount of targeted segments. Run main lookalike audiences with smart exclusions. Once the initial segments are exhausted, we’ll add other thresholds. This will allow for audience and campaign rotation.
  2. Expand reach by targeting broad consistent demographics and avoid splits. Same for placements, as this will allow Facebook’s algorithm to optimize your ads more efficiently.
  3. Reducing the number of ads will prevent user fatigue, and once these ads are exhausted, add other elements to keep things fresh. You’ll spend your budget more efficiently here, too, and you’ll be able to identify the best performing creative you can use as a template for the future campaigns.

Proposed Campaign Restructuring

The final and easiest step is based on our action points. Here, we create our new campaign structure.

facebook gap analysis

Management and optimization should be easy, whether manual or automated. Allow more budget for your ads to deliver and push the best performing ones.

When your campaign starts to experience fatigue, pause underperforming ads and let your top performers continue delivering results. Create a campaign with new segments to ensure you have the right volume.

Your own campaign structure and goals may differ from our example. Look at your strategy from a full-funnel perspective, and implement the most efficient campaign structure for your particular needs. If you’re a Marin customer and need help, contact your account representative. They’ll be able to assist with a full gap analysis and provide the best recommendations for your campaign restructure.

Jana Christoviciute

Marin Software
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