As a critical component of a well-structured ad account, naming conventions should reveal the most important details of an ad at a glance. And with Motion, strong naming conventions unlock a world of creative analysis.
In spite of this, there is no agreed-upon standard for what a naming convention should look like - resulting in a mess of unstandardized accounts, unintelligible abbreviations, and frustrating hours spent finding that one ad.
We spoke to a handful of media buyers who have been through their first rodeo, and learned how the best ad experts are creating their naming conventions. In this article, we’ll show you these learnings- and share a template that you can use to start leveraging a robust approach yourself.
Why Naming Matters
Naming convention is about more than just an organized ad account - a solid naming convention allows you to manage and iterate upon a scaling ad operation.
Robust naming conventions are designed with two goals in mind:
- Creating a Manageable Ad Environment: As your team grows, collaboration within and across different ad accounts becomes critical to cross-functional productivity. Naming conventions can allow team members to quickly digest what is happening in an ad account.
- Conducting Creative Analysis: By denoting the most important details about an ad and tests you are conducting, naming conventions allow you to easily sort and compare ads against one another.
Formatting Your Names
With all this in mind, we can now break apart the pillars of a good naming convention. Your naming convention is built by a series of identifiers, broken apart by a separator (_, -, //, etc).
When building your naming convention, you’ll want to include two distinct types of identifiers: Standard Identifiers and Testing Identifiers.
What You Must Include in Your Naming
Your standard identifier is an identifier you’ll want to include consistently across all your ad, ad set, or campaign names. These identifiers offer critical details of your ads and how they are setup.
At each campaign level (campaign, ad set, and ad), you will use a different series of standard identifiers to describe the most important details of your ads.
At the Campaign Level, your naming convention will describe the higher-level goals and strategies of your campaign, through the following structure:
Funnel Position: Where part of the buying cycle are you targeting?
Objective: What is the desired outcome of your ad?
Budget Type: How is your campaign allocating spend?
Bid Strategy: How is your campaign spending?
Ad Set-Level Identifiers
At the Ad Set Level, your naming convention will describe the higher-level details of your audience:
Date: When did you launch the ad set?
Audience Type: How is the audience built?
Audience Seed: Where is the audience coming from?
Placement Type: Where is the ad set reaching audiences?
At the Ad Level, you are describing the fundamentals of your ad and creative:
Creative Name: What is the theme of your creative?
Ad Type: What format is your creative?
Offer: What type of offer is your creative promoting?
CTA: What is the Call-to-Action?
Destination: Where is the ad redirecting to?
Testing Additional Ad Details
Testing identifiers are optional identifiers that you will include in your naming convention if you are trying to test a hypothesis. Since you are only running a test for a limited period of time, and your test may not apply to all ads in your ad manager, testing identifiers do not need to be included consistently across the board.
Instead, these identifiers are typically appended at the end of an ad naming convention and run on a limited number of ads for a set period of time.
For example, let’s say you want to test two products, a gray flannel against a tie dye t-shirt, against each other. On your ad name, you might append a Testing Identifier at the end of your ad name on relevant ads, as seen below:
By choosing to use testing identifiers whenever you have a hypothesis that you'd like to solve, your ad naming conventions can be leveraged for deep creative analysis.
Creative Analysis & Naming Convention
Properly structured ad naming conventions unlocks a world of possibility when it comes to answering questions like:
- What creatives perform best at my top-of-funnel?
- Should I invest in videos or static images?
- What audience should I tailor my next ad to?
- What offer will resonate best with my audience?
Why? Simply because, with all the most relevant information of an ad revealed on the ad name, it is easy to test hypotheses and find conclusions through pivot tables or through creative analysis tools such as Motion.
Let's walk through a few examples of how your new naming conventions can be leveraged to build a more robust creative strategy.
Finding Top Performing Creatives
Your first step to creative analysis is having a good grasp on what creatives are performing strongest.
Doing this without strong naming conventions can get messy. You'll see your bottom-of-funnel ads mixed with your top-of-funnel ads. You'll see picture ads mixed with video ads. When everything is clustered together, there are few to no clear signals that can be passed on to creative teams for iteration.
Naming convention solves this - leveraging your identifiers at the creative, ad set, and ad level allows you to narrow the scope of your search and sort your top performing creatives across relevant categories.
For example, one Motion user wanted to discover what their top performing video ads were. They filtered all ads with "Video" in the ad name and "TOFU" in the campaign name. Their results can be seen below:
Having conducted this analysis, the media buyer can now make two quick decisions:
- They know what video ads are performing best to pass along to the creative team for further iteration
- They can allocate more money into the video ads that have the strongest ROAS results
Testing Ads Against Each Other
Your naming conventions will also allow you to test ads against one another and find what works - and what doesn't - for your audience.
This can be done through running a comparative analysis that pits two or more ad variables against one another.
For example, one Motion user used a testing identifier to track all their ads that leveraged lifestyle imagery and all their ads that leveraged studio imagery. They then ran a report to evaluate the performance of all ads in each set over time. Their results are seen below:
It's immediately clear that lifestyle images have significantly outperformed studio images. The media buyer who ran this test now has strong evidence to support investing more of the creative budget into a broader set of lifestyle images to run in future campaigns.
A test like this can be replicated for a number of variables to get immediate value from your naming conventions, including:
- Finding what offers resonate best with your audience
- Seeing what creative type works best at various funnel stages
- Determining the best headline copy
- Evaluating landing page performance
Naming Convention Template
We've built a naming convention generator that you can use to build and manage naming conventions for your entire ad account.
How to Use the Template
First off, you'll want to follow the link attached below to grab your copy of the generator.
We recommend that you duplicate the file, and use one of these templates per ad account to create and manage your glossary of frequently used terms. This generator includes a few things to help you get a running start:
- Dynamic Dropdowns: Dynamic dropdowns automatically pull values from the glossary, so you can ensure consistency in naming fields used.
- Glossary: We've prefilled a glossary with key terms that are commonly used in most naming conventions. We've also added custom fields so you can test your own variables (such as headlines) across your ads.
- Google Sheet, for collaboration: We built this template on a Google Sheet so you can share it with your team and get collaborators onboard to using the same naming conventions across the board.
Special thanks to Tanner Duncan, Susan Wenograd, and Brad Ploch, who's expertise helped guide the direction of this article.