Facebook Ads can be extremely powerful if used correctly. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about creating and sending out your first Facebook Ad.
Why you should use Facebook Ads
If you have a website, a blog, a business, or even a band, then I thoroughly recommend that you run ads on Facebook.
- Budgets can be set for as low as €1 per day!
- You could have a potential reach in the thousands.
- The demographic targeting, with fields such as interests, professions, location, etc. means you can target the right people.
- The Cost Per Click (CPC) can work out cheaper than that on any other platform
- … and so many more benefits.
Please note: Before you run Facebook Ads, I advise you to do some research into:
- Your Audience – send out some surveys to find out exactly who they are.
- Their Geographic locations – this will help you pick the correct locations, which we’ll go into in more detail later.
- Their habits
This will help you make sure your ad’s performance is optimised.
Accessing the Ads Manager
The Ads Manager is pretty much where all the magic happens with these ads.
Here you can create your ads, edit, view the metrics, and more.
To access Ads Manager, click on the downward pointing arrow.
From the menu, select Manage Ads.
From here, select your Ad Accounts.
Here you can view any current/previous Campaigns, Ad Sets, and Ads.
I’ll explain all of these in detail as this post goes on.
Creating Your Facebook Ad
Now we are going to go about creating your Facebook Ad Campaign. Don’t feel too panicked by the complicated-seeming interface — it’s actually relatively easy as we go through them.
But first off, start by clicking on the Create button.
Choosing Your Objective
This is arguably the most important aspect of any amount of Facebook Ads that you run.
- It will determine who your campaign is displayed to.
- It can help you find the right audience for what you want.
As we can see, we have several objective types to choose from.
Both Brand Awareness and Reach are for making people aware of what you want to advertise. Choose either of these if you want to get yourself out there.
This is what I feel are the most important objectives that we have.
- Traffic refers to site traffic to your website/landing page. Facebook will send this ad to people it feels would be most likely to click on an advert.
- Engagement would refer to your own Facebook page/group. If you want to increase page likes, event responses, and claims on offers that you’d run, then this is the objective for you.
- App Installs is what it says on the tin. If you have any app across multiple stores (Amazon, Google, and Apple are supported), then use this one to encourage people to download it.
- Video views is another one that does exactly what it says. If you have a video that you want to see, then choosing this objective type will send it to people most likely to view it.
- Lead Generation will generate a Lead Form that would be used for the collection of data from people that could be interested in your brand. This is a handy one because it pre-fills with a lot of information that Facebook might have. Use this one for if you’re trying to do something like building up a mailing list.
- Messages will send your ad in the form of a Facebook message to potential customers. This is the objective type to choose if you want to have a more personal connection/communication with potential clients.
Conversions are the last item that we come to. In this instance, it is important that you decide what a conversion is for you and your website.
Ultimately this is whatever goal that you want – whether they are purchases through your store, someone creating an account, and so on.
- Conversions is the objective that you pick if you know you are pushing for a sale or an account creation.
- Catalog sales is the one you pick if you want people to purchase from your catalog that you create on Facebook.
- Store visits is if you have a brick-and-mortar store and want to encourage people to go to it.
Why Choosing the Right Objective is Important
Earlier in this post, I mentioned that picking the right objective was the most important part of any Facebook Ad Campaign. Facebook will send your ad to people it deems most likely to complete your chosen objective.
- Let’s say you run an ad for video view, but you’re hoping for people to click on to your site. Someone that might watch a video might not necessarily click on the ad afterwards.
- The vice versa is true — so if you run an ad for Traffic and you also want someone to watch the whole video. A person that would potentially click a link, might not watch a whole video.
- The same is also accurate for conversions – a person that clicks on to a link might not be willing to purchase.
Once you’ve decided what you want your objective, the next task is to decide who you want to show it to. This falls under the Ad Sets. There is a tonne of choices here, so I’ll go into each one and explain what’s happening.
I have selected my objective as “Traffic” for the purpose of this guide.
The first section that you come to is Traffic & Offer.
Traffic will determine where you want a potential customer to be sent to. Your options are:
- Website if you are sending people to a specific location on your site
- App if you want to bring people to your mobile or desktop app
- Messenger if you want people to communicate with you via Facebook Messenger
Offer is if you want to advertise a discount to your Facebook audience. This will also send a reminder to anyone that has interacted with said offer.
Next, we come up to the nitty-gritty of who you want your Audience to be.
The choices available to you are selecting a New Audience or to Use a Saved Audience.
Each time you create an audience, you’re given the opportunity to Save This Audience. This is extremely useful when you don’t want to keep populating the same fields and is when you’d select Use a Saved Audience.
As I don’t have any saved, I’ll go about creating a New Audience.
This is where you can start getting very specific with who you want to target.
- Custom Audience is if you have predefined an audience through the Audience Manager. This can be generated from a few different types
- If you have a database of email addresses that you’ve gained through consent (this is especially important if your users are European Citizens), then you can upload this list here and choose this as your audience.
- When you’ve uploaded your audience, I absolutely recommend that you create a Lookalike Audience right away. This is one that Facebook deems are similar to the people you’ve uploaded, using different metrics like similar pages liked, similar activity, etc.
- If anyone has engaged with any of your Instagram activity.
- If anyone has watched all or a part of one of your videos.
- If anyone has visited your site or a specific page in a given time (max. is 180-days). This is tracked using the Facebook Pixel.
- … & numerous other options.
Location comes next. This is pretty much as it sounds, giving you the opportunity to target people based on their geographic location. You can get really deep into this, by choosing their country, state, city, town, or even physical address in some instances!
Age, Gender, and Languages are pretty self-explanatory, so I don’t think I need to go into this too much.
Now we can start applying a much deeper level of targeting through the use of Detailed Targeting.
Through this section, you can select a wide arrange of features such as –
- Page Likes
- … & more.
I advise you to start populating this yourself and see what you can come up with.
As mentioned earlier in this section, you have the opportunity to Save This Audience, just so you don’t have to populate this section again each time.
Now that we’ve picked who we want our audience sent to, we finally come to where we want our advertisement to be displayed.
By default, Facebook picks Automatic Placement, which will send it to each one that they have. However, I really don’t believe this is the right option to go for.
- Let’s say you’ve done your research and you’ve found most of your audience is on Instagram, but not Facebook. Surely it would be wasting money and effort to select Facebook as a Placement?
- If you choose Messenger as a Placement, you need to be willing to devote the time and effort that it takes to communicate with anyone that replies to your ad. Depending on how successful your ad is, you could end up replying to dozens or hundreds of people. If you don’t have the manpower for this, then it could become overbearing.
With this in mind, we’re going to instead choose to Edit Placements.
In the above photo, you’ll see the various placements that Facebook supports. These are:
- Audience Network (This works similarly to Google’s Display Network)
Budget & Schedule
Budget & Schedule is self-explanatory. This is where you select how much you want to spend and how long you want it to run.
Under Budget you have the option to select between Daily Budget and Lifetime Budget. By default, Facebook sets this to €20 per day or €350 as a lifetime budget.
If you don’t want to spend this much, then the minimum spend is as low as €1 per day.
Schedule is how long you want the ad to run for. Here you have the choice between having it run on a continuous basis or within a specific start-date and end-date.
Now that we’ve determined who we want the ad to be sent to, where we want it to be seen, and how much we want it to cost we finally come to the process of creating the Ad itself.
This is the creative part of your Facebook campaign.
Identity is how you want your Facebook Ad to be represented. I strongly recommend that you create both Facebook and Instagram profiles for any ads that you run.
Format is how you want your ad to be displayed –
- Carousel is if you have a selection of videos and images that you want to be scrolled through manually. This format is the most useful if you’re advertising your store so that you can show different products in each one. Another use for this is to tell a story.
- Single Image is as it sounds and you can choose this one if you want to have a specific image instead of a scrollable slider.
- Single video allows you to have a video advertisement.
- Slideshow is a looping video with up to 10 images.
- Collection would be used if you do not have a landing page to send people to. This will create a full-screen experience optimised for mobile users.
I’m going to select Single Image as my format.
Now we can select the images that we want to pick & where we want to send them.
As you can see, Facebook specifies recommended image specs. This will change depending on the Placement you select:
- If you’ve chosen Facebook as a placement, make sure your images are 1200 x 628 px.
- However, if you’ve select Instagram, then this is going to be 1080 x 1080 px.
- If you’ve selected Facebook and Instagram as Placements, then I recommend that you use separate images for both, because a 1200 x 628 px image will not scale properly on Instagram.
Facebook gives you the option to select through a large library of free Stock Photos or to Browse Your Library, which would be images you’ve uploaded directly to Ads Manager or any you might have used on your Facebook Page.
It also has a rule that an image can’t have text that covers more than 20% of the whole area. To check your image, visit their Text Overlay tool. If your Facebook ad has a high amount of text covering a lot of the image, then it may not run.
Finally, we come to the Links section, which is where you want people to be sent to.
On the left-hand side is where you’ll input all the information. On the right-hand side is where you’ll see a preview of your ad as you create it.
This section will change depending on what Format you picked. If you went with Carousel, you’ll be given the opportunity to add multiple images to different cards and have different URLs and text for these.
All of this is pretty self-explanatory, but –
- Website URL is the link to your site.
- Text is the copy that you want to display above your image.
- Headline is the text that you want to show directly under your image.
And there we have it. You’ve now finished the Ultimate Beginners Guide to Facebook Ads.
There is a lot more to explain, such as Facebook Pixels, managing Audiences, and more, but these can be explained in other posts.
Have I left something out? Do you want to know more? Heck, even if you want some advice. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to help!