How to Optimize Your Facebook Ad Campaign Structure

In the dynamic world of Facebook advertising, staying updated with the latest strategies is crucial for achieving optimal results. Recently, there’s been a shift in the recommended structure for Facebook ad campaigns, aimed at improving efficiency and performance. Here, we explore the updated best practices for structuring your Facebook ad campaigns, based on recent insights and tests.

Why Consolidating Ad Sets is Crucial

The Shift from Multiple Ad Sets

Meta (Facebook’s parent company) has raised concerns about audience fragmentation for a while now, suggesting advertisers consolidate their ad sets into fewer or even a single ad set. This advice, once commonly ignored, is now becoming more relevant due to changes in targeting dynamics.

Meta’s Concerns About Audience Fragmentation

Audience fragmentation occurs when an advertiser divides their target audience into too many small segments. This division can lead to each segment receiving insufficient data for effective optimization. Meta’s recent recommendation to consolidate ad sets aims to tackle this issue by pooling data into larger segments, enhancing the machine learning capabilities to optimize and deliver ads more effectively.

Advantages of a Single Ad Set

Data Consolidation and Faster Learning

By consolidating ad sets, advertisers can pool their budget into one set, accelerating the learning process for Facebook’s machine learning algorithms. For instance, instead of splitting a $100 daily budget across four ad sets ($25 each), consolidating into one ad set provides a full $100 for quicker and more efficient learning. This results in faster exit from the learning phase and better overall performance.

Data consolidation helps Facebook’s algorithms to gather a significant amount of data quickly, which improves the system’s ability to identify and target the most responsive audience segments. This process enhances the ad’s performance and leads to more effective use of the advertising budget.

Avoiding Audience and Auction Overlap

Separate ad sets often lead to significant audience overlap, especially with broad targeting methods. This overlap can dilute the effectiveness of your campaigns. Moreover, multiple ad sets from the same advertiser can end up competing against each other in the auction process, raising costs (CPMs) and reducing the efficiency of ad delivery.

Audience Overlap: When different ad sets target similar or overlapping audiences, the ads end up competing for the same users. This redundancy wastes budget and can skew performance metrics.

Auction Overlap: This occurs when multiple ad sets from the same advertiser bid against each other in the ad auction. This internal competition can lead to higher costs and lower overall ad performance. By consolidating ad sets, advertisers can minimize these overlaps, ensuring a more streamlined and cost-effective campaign.

When Multiple Ad Sets Still Make Sense

Strategic Campaigns

While consolidating ad sets is generally beneficial, there are scenarios where multiple ad sets are necessary:

The Omnipresent Content Strategy: This strategy involves displaying various ads repeatedly over time to build a strong relationship with the audience. Such campaigns might need 8-12 ad sets to deliver different types of content, like testimonials, educational material, and call-to-action messages. This approach helps in nurturing leads by providing value and building trust over a period.

Advertising Different Product Ranges and Offers: Separate ad sets can be useful for advertising different product ranges or testing new ad creatives. This prevents new ads from being overshadowed by existing successful ones in the same campaign. For example, if you have distinct product categories, keeping them in separate ad sets can help tailor the messaging and optimize performance for each specific audience segment.

Optimizing the Number of Ads per Ad Set

Meta’s New Recommendations

Meta now recommends using six or fewer creatives per ad set. This guideline aims to streamline ad testing and optimize performance. However, this number should be adjusted based on budget:

High Budget: For substantial daily budgets, using up to six ads can provide enough data to optimize effectively. A higher budget allows for sufficient data collection across multiple ads, facilitating better optimization and performance.

Low Budget: For smaller budgets, fewer ads (1-3) are advisable to ensure adequate data collection for each ad. Consolidating budget into fewer ads helps gather actionable data more quickly, leading to faster and more precise optimization.

Guidelines for Dynamic Creative and Advantage Plus Shopping

These recommendations differ slightly for dynamic creative and Advantage Plus shopping campaigns:

Dynamic Creative: Allows up to 10 creative variations per ad set, optimizing different combinations of text, images, and headlines automatically. Dynamic Creative ads are designed to test multiple variations efficiently, making it easier to identify the best-performing combinations without manually creating multiple ad sets.

Advantage Plus Shopping: May involve more combinations due to a broader product range, which is acceptable despite the general recommendation of fewer ads. This campaign type is tailored for e-commerce businesses with extensive product catalogs, where showcasing a variety of products can drive better engagement and conversions.

Practical Tips for Ad Optimization

Using Multiple Text Variants

Instead of creating separate ads for each text variation, use the multiple text optimization feature within a single ad. This method allows Meta to test different text combinations more efficiently. By inputting several text options for headlines, descriptions, and calls to action, Facebook can dynamically test and determine the most effective variations.

Testing Significant Variations

For testing completely different ad creatives or offers, creating separate ads is still recommended. This approach ensures that each significant variation gets the necessary exposure and data for effective optimization. For instance, if you are testing a completely new product or a radically different creative approach, it is better to separate these into distinct ads to accurately measure their performance.


Adopting these updated strategies can significantly enhance the performance of your Facebook ad campaigns. By consolidating ad sets and optimizing the number of ads per set, you can leverage Meta’s advanced targeting and learning algorithms more effectively, ultimately achieving better results with your advertising efforts.

If you’re looking for professional assistance in setting up the right structure and growing your business, reach out to us at Hop Online for a free strategy call.

Terez Tocheva

Head of Paid Media

I help my clients achieve better business results by improving the way they think, act and communicate online.