Between its widespread usage, versatility, targeting, and low costs, it’s not surprising that 66% of U.S. small businesses use Facebook ads. In this post, I’m going to walk you through a full tutorial on how to advertise on Facebook, complete with screenshots, tips, FAQs, and visuals.
If you’re reading this post, chances are you’ve already made up your mind as to whether you should advertise on Facebook. But in case you’re still on the fence, here are some reasons:
And if that’s not enough, here are some numbers for ya:
When you run Google Ads, you set up a Google Ads account and then off you go, but with Facebook, there are several different properties involved. If you’re new to Facebook advertising, you’re highly susceptible to falling into a black hole of confusion surrounding which accounts you need.
Here’s the breakdown (and don’t worry, I’m going to walk you through setting up all of these):
Quick halftime break. Here, have some orange slices 🍊 and water 💧
Free guide >> 7 Fundamental Facebook Advertising Tips every advertiser should know.
Alright, now that we have the visual map to an actual Facebook ad, grab your charger and buckle up because it’s time for us to hit the road. Here are the steps that we’ll be covering:
As mentioned above, Business Manager and Business Suite are now merged into one. When you create a Business Manager Account, you will be brought into the Meta Business Suite interface. You can access the old Business Manager interface (by clicking Help > Switch to Business Suite) but your best bet is to get familiar with Business Suite since this is here to stay.
To create an account, go to business.facebook.com and click “Create account” on the upper right.
You’ll be asked to add your business name, your name, and then your business email. Upon confirming your email, your account will be set up.
Head down to the bottom left and click on Settings.
From there, click the second gear you see, or you might see a prompt to go to Business Settings. Both take you to the same place. Business settings is basically the legacy Business Manager.
You need a Facebook Page in order to advertise. On the left window, select Pages and then click Add. Here you can either add an existing Page, create a new Page, or request access to a Page (such as if you’re running ads for another business).
While you can supply the bare minimum just to get your page created, it’s best to build it out fully before you start advertising since users can navigate to your Page from your ad. Use our guide to creating a Facebook Business Page to set your page up in full and optimize it for marketing purposes.
Okay now navigate back to Ad accounts in that left-hand pane. You’ll see an option on the right to create a new ad account.
Provide your Ad account name, time zone, and currency then click Next. Facebook will then ask you whether the ad account is going to be used to manage ads for the business account through which you’ve created this ad account or for another business or client.
Next you’ll be asked to add people and permissions. Select your name and give yourself full control over everything.
You don’t have to do this step now, but you’re going to have to do it eventually, so may as well get it over with! The pixel is a little snippet of code that will tell you what your ad viewers do once they land on your website. Insights from the pixel help you to further optimize your ads as well as create Facebook retargeting audiences which tend to perform well.
Note! With iOS privacy updates and the eventual end of third-party cookies, we highly recommend you set up the Facebook Conversions API as well, as this is the best way to get the most complete picture of your data possible.
To set up the pixel, go to Data Sources, select Pixels, and on the right, click Add.
Facebook will ask you whether you want to install it manually or using a partner integration.
The partner integration methods are designed to make the process easier without using code, so I’d encourage you to go that route first. Current partners include:
If the partner integration method doesn’t work or you don’t use any of those platforms, this video tutorial on setting up the Facebook pixel manually from Ivan Manna is super helpful.
As part of the pixel setup process, you’ll have to verify your domain and configure your web events (Aggregated Event Measurement). Paid Media Pros offers an easy tutorial video for configuring your web events.
For more help with these steps above, check out this post on why your Facebook ads aren’t converting and how you can troubleshoot.
Now click the hamburger menu at the top left (All tools) and select Ads Manager.
On the left, select “Create.”
Facebook offers three categories of campaign objectives: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion.
In terms of which objective to choose, it will depend on what your offer is and who you’re targeting. Ultimately, you want to have a full-funnel Facebook ad strategy where you create different campaigns for each stage of your funnel, but for help choosing which objective is best for this particular campaign, this chart may help:
Note that if you choose a conversions campaign, you definitely need to have your pixel set up and web events configured.
Once you select your objective, you’ll see something like this:
Now we’re in the ad set stage. There are more features and settings here too, but here’s what matters.
The options here will vary depending on your campaign objective, but here is a quick guide on how to choose:
Here is where you choose a daily budget or lifetime budget. You can learn about daily vs lifetime budgets here, but in general
Choose daily budgets when:
Choose lifetime budgets when:
If you go with a daily budget, it’s best to start with something like $5-$10 a day. If you set it too low, your ad may not compete as well, meaning it will show less and not collect enough data for Facebook to further optimize for the best results. More on that in this list of Facebook advertising mistakes.
You also have the option here to set up your ad scheduling which is fairly easy on Facebook. You can tell Facebook to only run your ads when it makes sense for your business (such as only during your operating hours) or audience (such as only running your breakfast cafe ads in the morning).
In this step, you select exactly who you want to reach with your Facebook ad, which you can define based on:
You can check out our full guide to Facebook ad targeting, but here’s a quick crash course:
Though it has taken a bit of a hit due to privacy changes, Facebook’s targeting is still among the most powerful out there since users provide such detailed information about themselves on this platform—their age, marital status, job, interests, and more. There are three types of audiences you can target in Facebook ads.
Now you’ll choose your placements. Placements refer to where your Facebook ad will appear on the Facebook network. Between mobile and desktop, Instagram and Facebook, there are a number of placements to choose from.
You’ll have two options here: automatic or manual. You may be tempted to manually choose which placements you want, but if you’re just starting out, it’s best to leave it on automatic and let your ad show on every possible placement to start. Then, after a week or two, you can look at which placements are performing best, switch to manual, and optimize your placements from there.
Now the fun part—creating your ad! The possibilities here are endless, but if you need a little inspiration, check out these Facebook ad examples.
The creative refers to the visual part of your ad, and this should be the focal point of the ad. Facebook supports three ad formats: single image and video ads, carousel ads, and collection ads, and you have three creation options: use an existing post, a Creative hub mockup, or upload your own design.
The choice is entirely yours, and there are all kinds of free tools to design Facebook ads.
Next it’s time for your ad copy, which consists of:
According to a study by AdEspresso, The perfect Facebook ad headline length is five words. In terms of sentiment, split test both positive and negative emotions in your headlines. By using the same targeting, but switching up the ad copy, you’ll be able to see which emotional appeal resonates best with your audience.
For more help with Facebook ad copy, we have a few resources to help you:
Once you enter your ad copy, enter your website URL and choose the call to action that makes the most sense for your offer. You can always A/B test this later!
Last but definitely not least, make sure your website event tracking is set up (if you skipped it from earlier). You’ll have the option to set up app and offline events if applicable, as well as set a unique URL parameter so you can identify visitors to your website from this ad.
That green button on the bottom right of your screen never looked so beautiful. Once you hit publish, an algorithm (and sometimes a person) will review for any Facebook Ad disapprovals, so your ad can take 24 hours (sometimes more) to get approved. Once it’s up and running, your ad will go through a learning period during which Facebook will gather the performance data it needs to optimize who it delivers the ad to and when.
To recap, here is how to run Facebook ads:
Let’s close out with some answers to frequently asked questions so you can truly compete in Facebook ads.
👋 Want help running Facebook ads? Check out our digital marketing solutions!
The Facebook ad auction works differently from the Google Ads auction. The key factors involved in determining who wins the Facebook Ads auction include:
These qualities ultimately determine your Facebook cost per click, which goes a long way in determining Facebook metrics that are tied more closely to revenue, like cost per action and cost per lead.
In order to make your ads as relevant as possible, make sure your audience is meticulously crafted, your Facebook ad creative and messaging resonates with said audience, and you’re rotating new ads in and out of your campaign periodically.
Depending on industry, campaign objective, and other factors, the average Facebook cost per click can range anywhere from a quarter to $5. For a deeper dive, refer to our post on Facebook ad costs.
Facebook remarketing (or retargeting) allows you to advertise to users who have already engaged with your business—such as on your website, app, Facebook Page, other Facebook ads, or even offline. You can upload lists of leads or customers to target or the pixel and Conversions API can also help identify these users. You can even layer audiences by combining retargeting with detailed targeting.
However, as pixel data is less reliable due to privacy, retargeting users based on their engagement with your business on Facebook itself is the way to go.
For effective Facebook advertising, your Facebook Ads account structure should resemble a typical marketing funnel, with upper funnel campaigns devoted to prospecting, mid-funnel campaigns devoted to Facebook lookalike audiences and other audiences with mid-tier granularity, and lower-funnel campaigns devoted to highly refined Facebook remarketing audiences.
If you have the volume, you can also add broader Facebook lookalike audiences to your upper-funnel ad sets. And don’t forget to adjust your campaign objective based on the goal of each campaign. Your upper funnel campaigns should be geared toward driving awareness, getting clicks, and swelling your remarketing audiences, while your mid-and-lower-funnel audiences should be geared toward conversions (purchases, form fills, etc.). Head here for more Facebook ad optimization tips.
Running into the snafu in which your Facebook ads aren’t working is one of the most common Facebook ad fails for advertisers. And, as such, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It happens to everybody. Some reasons your Facebook ads might not be working:
If your Facebook ads aren’t working for one of these reasons, don’t panic. Use the tips and resources in this article you will be back up and running in no time.
Kristen is the Senior Managing Editor at WordStream, where she helps businesses to make sense of their online marketing and advertising. She specializes in SEO and copywriting and finds life to be exponentially more delightful on a bicycle.
See other posts by Kristen McCormick
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