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How to structure your entire Facebook ad campaign (From prospecting to retargeting)

Having a defined structure and strategy is essential to a successful Facebook ad campaign.

I run an ads agency and one of the biggest mistakes I see with Facebook ads is a complete lack of structure. Many business owners and advertisers treat Facebook ads like darts, throwing hail mary’s at the board and hoping for a favourable outcome. This is especially apparent when it comes to scaling, I think this is what people struggle with most.

In this post I will give a complete overview of how to structure your Facebook ads, from TOF prospecting to BOF retargeting.

Quick disclaimer, this is just a general overview of strategy and structure. Every ad account should be approached differently and it’s important to tailor your strategy to your brand.

This is what it should look like from a birds-eye view:

TOF – 1 Testing Campaign & 1 Scaling Campaign

MOF- Retargeting Campaign for Soft Interest (Landing page view, video views etc)

BOF – Retargeting Campaign for Heavy Interest (ATC, IC etc)

BOF Post Purchase (Optional) – This is brand dependent and isn’t applicable for all. This is post-purchase retargeting.

TOF – Testing and Scaling

This stage of the funnel should ideally be split into two campaigns, it may require more with bigger accounts.

This entire stage of the funnel only involves cold audiences, a majority of your budget should be allocated to TOF.

  • Testing

The first campaign is the testing campaign. It’s important to test EVERYTHING. This campaign should be ABO and every ad set should be allocated an equal daily spend. Test audiences and creatives for 1 week, kill ad sets that aren’t performing, winning ad sets and creatives will be moved to the scaling campaign.

It’s also possible to scale ad sets vertically in the testing campaign. However, be careful to not get overzealous as you risk sending the ad set back into learning. To scale vertically, slowly increase the ad set budget by 10%-20% every couple of days.

  • Scaling

All your winning ad sets from the testing campaign must be duplicated into the scaling campaign. Sometimes ad sets will perform vastly different when duplicated so this is why we also scale vertically in the testing campaign. Sometimes it may just be a matter of duplicating the ad set twice before it performs. This is a result of Facebook's learning phase always being different.

Now, this campaign should ideally be CBO as your goal is to maximise results. You should still be introducing new ad sets from your testing campaign, some people even introduce new ad sets directly to the scaling campaign. At this stage of the funnel, keep an eye on frequency as you don’t want to risk audience fatigue. It’s important to keep introducing new creatives to combat audience fatigue.

The TOF campaign should include both cold interest audiences and cold LLA audiences. As I said, test everything. It’s also important to start with logical audiences. Once you start getting traction you can begin introducing some more obscure interests.

Your copy at this stage should also be problem/solution focused, you are selling your product at this stage.

MOF – Retargeting Soft Interest

This stage of the funnel will only be effective if your cold campaigns were optimised for purchases, otherwise, you will be wasting money retargeting low-quality audiences.

The targeting for this stage is simple. It’s important that you exclude audiences that you will be targeting later down the funnel, such as ATCs, ICs, and Purchases.

The copy is really important at this stage of the funnel. You have already somewhat sold them on the product, hence why they clicked. I’ve found that trust-building copy and creatives are effective. Customer reviews/testimonials can be leveraged to build trust with your audience and convince them that your product delivers on what it promises, or at least, has a real customer base. People like to follow the herd, convince them that the herd buys your product.

Some advertisers skip this stage of the funnel completely, or combine it with the bottom of funnel retargeting. This is ok, but I like structure and separating the campaigns is much more orderly. It also allows you to ensure copy and creative is consistent with the funnel stage.

BOF – Retargeting Heavy Interest

This is the campaign that should provide you with the best results in terms of ROAS and CPA. However, as the audience will be much smaller, the daily ad spend will be relatively low.

It’s important that you exclude the MOF audiences, as well as purchasers.

Creative and copy should involve a strong CTA. This audience has already been involved in the purchase process and thus, have shown strong interest in your product. We often use discount codes at this stage as a CTA.

You can also get creative with your copy. Remember, this audience already knows your brand and product.

BOF Post Purchase – Optional

This is only applicable for brands with multiple products for sale. Only a very small budget should be allocated to this campaign.

Again, this audience is already very familiar with your brand so use this to your advantage.

As mentioned in the beginning, this is just a basic structure and there are many variations. It’s important that you take your own situation into account when setting up your Facebook ads.

I hope this post has been helpful, it’s not as granular as my previous posts but I think it’s important that people understand how to structure an entire Facebook ad strategy.

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