The first thing I check when auditing a facebook account is the account structure. The structure is the most important part of the account because it allows companies to analyze performance and prioritize testing. If you open up facebook ads manager and have no idea which ads are working well, I can guarantee that you cannot run your account effectively. To win on facebook you need to know specifically what works, and then you need to test variables against what works in hopes that something works better.
There are a few questions that I answer immediately when 'kicking the tires' of an account structure:
Surprisingly, most companies fail these first two questions. For example, companies may name ads in a way that only the facebook manager understands: 'Ad with guy and girl sitting on bench'. This same ad may have a different name in another ad set 'Guy and girl on bench original text'. When looking at these two ads in ads manager, it is impossible to know they're the same without clicking into each ad. This makes basic analyses time consuming. A great structure lets you see how different ads perform relative to each other; you should also see how individual variables (an image) performs when the other variables are the same.
I implement or recommend the same structure to everyone: a key-based naming convention. This means that you will have a log of different variables and use a formula to come up with the name of an ad. The best place to keep this log is airtable. Note: If you do not have an airtable account, I strongly recommend signing up now. I will use airtable in my example.
The easiest place to start for the naming convention is at the ad level. There are many different parts of an ad: image, headline, primary text, call-to-action, description, link, etc... Using a key will allow one to quickly compare which variables are different between two ads. For example, ad 1 performs better than ad 2. Does ad 1 have a different image than ad 2, or does ad 1 have a different image and different headline. Pinpointing different variables between two ads can lead to understanding which variables drive performance.
To implement the key for your facebook advertising, start by outlining the variables that you'd like to track:
You must decide the variables to track before you create your key because adding variables later on will change the naming convention. If you are unsure which variabes to include, start with either Image, Headline, Primary Text or Image, Headline, Primary Text, Landing Page.
Once you've finalized which variables to track, it's time to open airtable. I use airtable because 1) you can store images in a table very easily and 2) you can create formulas that combine images and text from different tables. The overview of this is simple: create a table (airtable tab) for each of your keys and then use a formula to join everything together. The first column will be your key and the second will be the attachment of the image. To make this incredibly easy, you can copy the airtable base here. If you are following along in the base, make sure you're on the 'Image Keys' tab. When you click on that tab, you should see the same thing that as below. Below is the example of the table I use to track images:
Let's quickly go over each column in this table:
Now we have an organized way to label our images. Every time we're going to launch a new image on facebook, we add it to our airtable and then use that image key in the ad name. We also need to give keys to the Primary Text and the Headline. The idea here works the same as images: every time you want to test a new headline or text, enter it into the table and give it its own unique key. You can see the view below. I've also included a bit more information in each airtable cell.
We started with 3 important aspects of an ad to track: Image, Headline, Text. Using the two tables above, we're able to give each element of an ad its own key, making it easy to compare two ads. For example if I001-T001-H002 performs much better than I001-T002-H002, we can assume that T001 is better than T002. This may feel complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it, the analysis is straightforward. Let's review each column that you'll see in the 'Creative Keys' table:
Note that this table is grouped and sorted. The grouping is done by headline and text. The sorting is done so that the highest numbers show up on top. When you look at this table, the most recently headline will be the first row.
Often times we write copy in combinations. For example, if you're writing an ad about low caffeine, both the headline and text will mention low caffeine. It's important to group the headline and text together as a package, so you can learn which combinations of copy work best together. The Ad Copy tab makes it simply to choose text options. Airtable will combine these into the text key. For example, if you are pairing H001 and T001 together, airtable will create the key H001-T001. You do not enter any new images or copy into this tab. Instead, this is meant to organize your existing copy.
Now that we have the variables we want to track, we can combine them all to come up with our ad key. Let's talk about the 'Ads' tab
Similar to the Ad Copy tab, we won't change any of the variables of our ad. Instead, we use the 'Ad Copy' and 'Image' columns to select our ad. The first column on this tab 'Ad Key' pulls the information from our ads and compiles it into a structured key. You can see in the example, I have two ads: I001-H001-T001 and I002-H001-T001. I will use these keys any time I launch an ad with this combination of image, text and headline. You'll also note that there's a dash at the end of the formula followed by 'TEST1'. This is because the 'LANDING CAT' column is set to test 1. If you'd like to track landing pages, then you can change the 'LANDING CAT' options to match your needs.
If you follow the steps above, every add you launch on Facebook will be the same length. Each element of the ad will line-up to the same element of another ad. When exporting data, you can quickly analyze what makes an ad work. Have suggestions or thoughts? Feel free to email me.