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The Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Ads

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Advertising is not just about getting your ad in front of as many people as possible. Instead, successful advertising is all about getting your business and the message in front of consumers who are ready to buy your product or services.

Even with some of the recent concerns about changes to tracking in iOS 14, Facebook ads remain a point of focus for many different types of businesses. (We’ll discuss some of these changes and concerns toward the end of this article.)

Why Facebook?

It makes sense to go where you have maximum potential customers and you want to see great results with your digital marketing strategy. Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms, with over 2.7 billion active users.

On top of that, it has some of the most diverse demographics. While the platform still attracts a lot of teens and young adults, Facebook is the choice platform for older adults (65+).

Facebook ads allow you to advertise based on age, location, personal interests, income, education level, and so on. This ensures that your ad gets shown to the most relevant audience.

Unlike “regular” ads like Google ads, display ads on websites, and other more general brand awareness campaigns, Facebook ads (and social media ads in general) are a unique place for conversations.

Social media ads not only function as typical display ads, but they also offer a place for interested buyers to ask questions about your company and product. You’ll often see loyal customers pop into the conversation as well to recommend their favourite products.

How to Set Up Facebook Ads

Before setting up the Facebook ads account, you need to create a business page on Facebook representing your organization or company.

As soon as you create a Facebook page, Facebook will automatically create an Ads manager account. Then, you just need to confirm your ad account information and set up your payment method.

1. Set a Goal for Your Ad

Before you create your ad, start with a goal. Having a broad goal in mind will help you choose objectives that align with your current business needs:

Awareness - is great for building brand and product recognition.

Whether you’re building awareness about your business and the value it delivers or introducing new services to your community, or just trying to remind your audience you’re there for them, awareness is good for “top of the funnel” interactions and establishing a connection with your audience.

Consideration - objectives get people thinking about your brand.

They’re aware you exist, but now it’s time to capture their interest and encourage them to seek more information. These objectives focus more on engagement, lead generation, and starting conversations with potential customers.

Conversions - focus more on getting your audience to take action.

Common objectives that align with this goal include driving in-store visits, getting people to register on your site, or generating more sales on your ecommerce site.

2. Choose Your Objective

When you log in to your Facebook Ads Manager, go to “Ads” on the left menu and click on “Create Ad” in the top right. Then, you can choose from a list of objectives based on what you want to achieve.

If you’re not sure yet, you can choose “Get Started with Automated Ads” which guides you through the process and chooses an objective based on your needs.

You sacrifice a bit of control with this option, but this can be a good option if you don’t have an existing audience to work with and aren’t comfortable with optimizing budget and reach.

If you’re comfortable with your current audience (or know how to build one from the ground up using existing data), go with one of the objectives based on your current needs. Objectives can change based on your page type

By using Facebook ads, you not only want to gain leads for your business but to also build a real relationship with your customers. So, you choose marketing objectives based on the goals that you want to accomplish from your ad. These marketing objectives include:

  • Brand Awareness - The Facebook ad aims to increase your brand awareness to a new segment of users.

  • Reach - With reach, you want to reach as many people from your target audience as possible.

  • Traffic - Using this objective, your ad aims to increase targeted traffic to a certain link. This could be your website home page, a specific blog post, a product landing page, or an app. Many people drive traffic to guest posts they’ve created on other sites - it doesn’t have to be a site that you own.

  • Engagement - To increase engagement of users with the ad which includes post engagements such as likes, comments, and shares, but can also include actions like sending you a message or claiming an offer.

  • App installs - These ads aim to increase application installs when the user interacts with your ad.

  • Video views - Your Facebook ad aims to increase views for videos that you want to advertise. Facebook will help get your video in front of the audience that’s most likely to be interested in your content.

  • Lead generation - Create interest for your product or service among users through Facebook Ads to generate new prospects. You can collect leads for appointments, start a waiting list for new products, or build your email list.

  • Get Messages - This ad encourages your audience to reach out to you using Facebook messenger.

  • Conversions - This ad aims to get users to take an action by interacting with your ad. This can include installing an app, subscription, or purchase.

  • Catalog sales - Show your products to potential buyers by connecting your Facebook ad with your product catalog.

  • Store traffic - This ad focuses on local traffic and driving users to your physical store within the immediate area.

3. Name Your Campaign

After choosing your marketing objective, the next step is to give your campaign a name. After giving your campaign a name, Facebook provides you with two options: budget optimization and split test.

If you choose budget optimization, you set your daily budget at the campaign level rather than the ad set level which used to be earlier. Facebook provides you with budget optimization because it can help you further optimize your campaign budget by using artificial intelligence.

Facebook also provides you with an option to go for A/B testing to test your traffic, creatives, placements to name a few to find the best setting where you get the most conversions.

Lastly, give the adset name and the ad name.

4. Fill Out Campaign Details

The next step is to fill out the campaign details which includes setting up the campaign spending limit. Then, choose where you want to drive traffic and select an event or pixel to track conversions.

Next, select whether you want dynamic creative on or off. Dynamic creative helps you generate optimized creative combinations for your targeted traffic as you provide images and headlines to it.

5. Choose Your Targeted Audience

Now you need to create a new audience as per your marketing goals. By now, you should have a  good understanding of the buyer persona to help you choose an audience for the campaign. Fill out the information about your audiences such as location, age, gender, and language.

Under detail targeting, you can include demographics, interests, or behaviour. On the other hand, connections help you target or exclude users who have a connection with your Facebook page, app, or any event.

Choose from either option as per your marketing goals. Most importantly, you need to understand that effective targeting is the key to maximum return on investment.

6. Choose Placements for Your Facebook Ads

Facebook allows you to place your ad through automatic and manual placements. Under automatic placements, the Facebook delivery system will automatically adjust your ad set’s budget across multiple placements to determine the best placement spot for your ad.

However, under manual placement, you need to manually choose the places to show your ad. When you choose manual placement, Facebook provides with you a variety of options which includes device selection, platforms, placements in feeds, stories, in-streams, search, messages, in-article, apps, and sites.

Facebook also provides you an option to advertise on Instagram through the Facebook ad. This is done in the form of a story or feed to name a few examples. In this manner, you will be able to reach a wider audience.

You should carefully configure the settings under manual placement for your Facebook Ad campaign.

7. Set the Budget for Your Facebook Ads Campaign

The next step is to decide the marketing budget for your Facebook Ad campaign. Facebook allows you to choose either a daily or lifetime budget and then you can set the start and end dates.

You also have the option for bid control in which you place the maximum bid in each auction and will cap the amounts per action.

One of the best ways to help optimize your budget is to run your Facebook ads on a schedule to make sure they mostly run when your audience is online. If you have a lifetime budget for your ad, then you may schedule your ad campaign.

8. Create and Run Your Ad

After setting up the budget for your campaign, the last step is to create your ad. The preview for the ad will be based on the campaign objective that you selected at the beginning of setting up the campaign.

You can use the preview tool to check whether your ad placement looks good across various devices. Choose an attention-grabbing heading and image for your ad campaign with proper description.

Lastly, click the confirmation button to submit your order for the ad campaign.

Now, you just need to wait for the approval of your Facebook ad campaign. If there are any issues, you’ll get a notification with a description of the problem, with more information on how to appeal.

How to Manage Facebook Ad Campaigns

You need to frequently manage your Facebook ad campaigns for better results and higher revenue. Having a fully optimized campaign can drive you higher conversions and sales and increase traffic to your website or an app.

You should always experiment with your targeted traffic to find crucial insights. These insights are based on the behavior and purchasing patterns of your customers. Always start your Facebook ad campaign with a narrow audience and gradually broaden it.

Make sure to use Facebook pixel since it will help you track conversions or remarket to people who viewed your product. You’ll also want to experiment with different content formats, like attention-grabbing videos and photos so you can learn what works best for your audience.

You can track and optimize the performance of your ad campaign by looking at the statistics in the Facebook ads manager dashboard. This will help you determine which ad campaign is working the best and put money in that particular campaign.

In this manner, you will be able to identify the primary successful campaign for your business that will bring more revenue and conversions.

iOS 14: Privacy Changes and What They Mean for Advertisers

As marketers, we’ve long had discussions about potential threats to targeted advertising and how best to navigate those changes.

But rather than seeing these changes as a threat, we can view them as more of an opportunity. These are the kinds of changes that keep advertisers on their toes while staying true to their audience.

iOS 14 brings a somewhat controversial change that drastically differs from Facebook’s “opt-out” approach. Rather than requiring users to go into their settings to disable tracking and clear their information, users with iPhones will now be required to opt-in for tracking.

Preventing tracking on iOS devices may certainly have a short-term, negative impact on ads and how effectively they can reach your target audience.

Without a way to effectively track this data, smaller businesses that rely on micro-targeting will have to find more creative ways to reach their target audience. What we’ll likely see is a shift in how we target, based on tracking specific technology and groups of users, rather than highly specific segments.

At the moment, no one really has enough information to know what this will do to the future of ad targeting. What we do know is that this reinforces how important it is to diversify how you reach your audience.

Having a healthy blend of organic and paid traffic across multiple channels (including social media, search, email lists, and other communication methods) is an absolute must.

Diversifying your marketing efforts is the best way to offset major changes while you figure out how to navigate the new landscape.


To conclude, Facebook ads are one of the major driving forces for businesses and organizations. Using Facebook ads, you can reach a wider audience and create awareness about your products or services.

And most importantly, you are not only able to advertise but build a strong relationship with your customers. Moreover, you can customize the campaign as per your marketing goals and budget which makes Facebook ads flexible.

So, if you are a business that is trying to establish a solid online presence in a shorter period of time and to also reach a wider audience, Facebook ads are a great way to grow your audience.

Before You Go

As a featured writer, I would be extremely grateful if you would share my article with your connections or social media network.

Category: Marketing

About the author

Lauren Connally (Featured Writer)

Lauren Connally (Featured Writer)

Lauren is a copywriter, blogger, and social media manager based in the Texas Hill Country. She works with bloggers and small businesses to help build their online presence.

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