Tips & Tricks for Naming Facebook Campaigns

When building out campaigns in Facebook Ads, it is important to have some sort of logical taxonomy behind the names you assign each entity (campaigns, ad sets, and ads). A good naming system is the first step to creating an organized account, and can help immensely with analyzing, managing, and reporting on your Facebook ads. There are any number of ways to do this effectively, but if you’re having trouble formatting your campaigns for ease-of-use, here is a quick guide for a system that has worked well for me these days.

Note: although there are now three levels to Facebook Ads, we will be working on the assumption that only one ad will be assigned to an ad Set – this allows us to run ad tests outside of Facebook’s ad rotation algorithm. In this system, the names of ad sets and their ads are the same.

At the top level, I like to group my campaigns by the three main distinguishing attributes of Facebook ads – device, placement, and targeting – since each of these will cause the ads within the campaign to behave very differently. For example, separating out right column and newsfeed ads into separate campaigns keeps the millions of impressions for right column ads from skewing the performance data of your newsfeed ads, with relatively less inventory, when viewed at the campaign level.

Here is an example of what a recent test for one of my clients looked like, using a Website Custom Audience to retarget their website visitors:

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As you can see, I like to stick to a format of [DEVICE] [PLACEMENT] [TARGETING] Campaign Name. This helps me to know generally how these big-picture segments behave, and also works as something of a filter, since sorting your campaigns by name now sorts them by device, then placement, then targeting, in alphabetical order.

After the top three attributes, the last thing to label in your ad name is the creative itself. Here is an example of my ad sets within these two campaigns, each running a creative test of American flag and beach images (remember that each ad set has one ad within, with the same name):

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Now, when I pull an Ad Set report in Ads Manager, all of the information I need is available to me without having to click into the ads. Also, by inserting the | symbol between the campaign name and the creative, I can see which ads are being tested against one another at a glance.

When analyzing the performance of your ads in Excel, it’s normally helpful to be able to parse the attributes of your campaigns, and create pivot tables to see data rolled up in any dimension. Here is a great trick to use in conjunction with the above naming system, when exporting your campaigns or ad sets into Excel, that will make analyzing the data more dynamic, and ultimately more useful.

The formula =IF(ISNUMBER(SEARCH(“term“,Cell#)),”display term if found“,”display if not found“) will search the cell in the campaign name column, and display words according to whether or not the searched term is found (red text should be replaced appropriately). You can string the equation along indefinitely to allow for all possible terms – and I like to end the formula with “error” so I can see if I’ve missed anything if the word error shows up in the column. Here’s an example of how this can be used to make your table more robust, and provide you with more options to pivot on (I duplicated some ad sets and changed their names to show more data):

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The last four columns I created on my own, using the aforementioned formula to search the Ad Set column and insert text dynamically. Obviously, with only a few rows this isn’t totally necessary, but when your tables get up into the thousands or tens of thousands of rows, it’s not hard to see how useful this can become. Now let’s take a quick look at what we can do with these columns when we pull this data into a pivot table:

1. How do our ads perform across our different targeting groups, devices, and placements?

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2. Which ad image performs best on the newsfeed and the right-hand column, only on the desktop?

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Clearly this can get more interesting with more data and more targeting types – and certainly spend numbers would put everything into perspective – but hopefully this gives you an idea of the power of the IF(ISNUMBER(SEARCH formula when dealing with large amounts of rows that have standardized names. This is especially helpful if you pull numbers into one large Excel file to do analysis each week – these end up becoming massive and potentially unwieldy spreadsheets!

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