The most simple way of looking at it is like this. Dates define the start and end times for your campaign. Your Schedule determines which hours (and days) your campaign will play ads between the start and end dates.
Rule of thumb:
- Dates - e.g. "Start on 1st of Jan, end on 30th of Jan."
- Schedule - e.g. "Only play my ads between 8am and 3pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays."
So, with this in mind, there are some things to bear in mind when you’re setting up your campaign;
Firstly, your dates and schedule are used to calculate the total number of hours your campaign is live. We call this your campaign ‘active hours’. This metric is quite important - CAASie uses it internally to ensure your campaign is always on track.
Secondly, your campaign’s dates and schedule need to be compatible with each other. This is a surprisingly easy thing to get wrong especially when you’re running short-term campaigns that run for less than a week. Let’s say for example your campaign is set to run between the 21st and 23rd of August, 2022 (start/end dates). You couldn’t then combine that with a Schedule that only includes Thursday and Friday. Because the date range is Sunday through Tuesday, your campaign will never run.
Understand Active Hours
The total active hours in your campaign are what CAASie uses internally to ‘pace’ your budget. The total active hours is the sum of every hour that your campaign will be active for (attempting to play ads) between your start date and end date.
Say, for example, you defined your dates to start on the 1st of January and end on the 30th as above. You’d then have the choice to set the “schedule” of your campaign. Again - say you choose Tuesday and Thursday between 8 am and 3 pm.
Let’s assume your year of choice was 2022. Between the 1st and 30th of January, there were 4 Tuesdays, and 4 Thursdays. On both those days, the campaign is scheduled to play for 6 hours. Total active hours is then (4 + 4) x 6 = 48 hrs.
You’ll see your campaign’s total active hours in various places in your campaign’s dashboard. Under the Schedule tab, it’ll be shown in your right-hand ‘scheduling helper’ panel.
You’ll also find that hovering over the active hours will show you the remaining active hours when your campaign is running.
Setting Dates & Schedule
There are two main times you’d look to set your dates and schedule. First is when you’re setting up a new campaign, and the second is when you’re looking to edit an existing campaign. Both cases are similar, but there are some things to watch out for.
For New Campaigns
When you’re building your campaign, you’ll be asked to set your dates & schedule for the first time. This is fairly straightforward. See the gif below walking through the steps of setting your dates and schedule:
For Existing Campaigns
Existing campaigns can have their dates and schedules changed at any time, however it is important to understand a few things:
- Your dates and schedule are directly tied to your campaign’s total active hours.
- Changing your dates and/or schedule will cause a change to your active hours.
- Your active hours are used by CAASie to pace your campaign’s budget from campaign start to finish.
- Changing your active hours WILL impact your campaign pacing, and may stop it from delivering ads entirely if you’re not careful.
If you have a full understanding of the above points, then changing dates and schedules after a campaign has gone live is for you! We’ll go over the details on how to edit a campaign
If you’re not comfortable with the above issues, then you might want to check out cloning a campaign instead. This way, you start with a clean slate with no additional baggage to worry about.