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For marketers, Facebook offers a staggering degree of power for reaching a variety of goals. Increase exposure for your business, generate leads, make sales, or build brand loyalty: all are within reach with Facebook advertising.

If you’re gun-shy about setting up your first campaign, don’t worry because this guide is for you. It’s condensed: just the essentials to get you started right away. Let’s begin.

Essential Guide to Facebook Advertising

Before you begin creating your first ad, you should first be aware that there’s more than one way to approach your ad campaign. Therefore, Step #1 is to choose your method.


Choose Your Method

You may use the quick buttons for simple ads at first. They're pretty self-explanatory so we're going to skip talking about them and move directly on to Ads Manager. Ads Manager is where it's at when it comes to harnessing the power of Facebook ads quickly and efficiently (and Power Editor? Leave that for later).

Set Your Goal

Before you create any ad campaign, you should have a goal in mind. What would you like to do... increase "Likes" for your business page? Drive traffic to your website? Get people to watch a video? Choose from these and many more.

Learn the Lingo

In the world of Facebook advertising, certain terms are used in very specific ways to describe different elements of the ad creation process. There are three parts to the ad creation process:

1. Campaigns. Described above, this is where you define your goals.

2. Ad Sets. Every Facebook Campaign may have one or more Ad Sets. These allow you to segment your target audience, set your budget, choose the dates you’d like to run your ads and where you’d like the ad to be shown (Facebook Column, Newsfeed, Messenger, Instagram, Audience Network.)

3. Ad. Choose your style of ad. (Carousel, single image, video, etc.) Write copy, import pictures or video, add a Call-to-action (CTA) button and a URL destination link (if desired).


Create Your Ad

Once you're in Ads Manager, click on "Create Ad". Then, you get to make some choices. A pop-up will appear, telling you to "Choose the Objective for Your Campaign". The Campaign objective should reflect what goal you set in Step #2.

If you're stuck, here are the campaign objectives we choose most often with our clients:

1. Conversions (must add a tracking pixel to your site for this)
2. Engagement
3. Video Views
4. Brand Awareness


Choose the Target Audience

Every business should have an “ideal customer”, meaning you’d have specific characteristics and demographic information to describe the perfect person that would be a customer of your business. If your business does not have an “ideal customer” in mind, now is the time to brainstorm what that perfect person looks like. You will use that information to determine your target audience for your Facebook ad.

Your target audience size is going to depend on who and where you are marketing. To start off, we recommend to keep your audience as broad as possible.

You will start by choosing a location, this can be a city, state or country. Second, you will choose your simple demographic information (age range and gender). You can stop there if you want.

If you want to make your audience more specific, add interests (food, cars, restaurants, parks, shoes, etc.) there are an endless amount of interests available within the Facebook platform. You can also exclude specific interests if you want to make your audience even more specific.

This is where the power of the Facebook advertising platform really shines. The access to data on its users gives you tremendous power as a marketer.


Choose Placement

Facebook has many different places you can choose to display your ad. We recommend starting off by using the automatic placement for your ads to maximize your opportunity and reach within your audience. Once you get into understanding what works best for your business you may be able to alter the areas they are displayed.

Set a Budget

This step in the process is where you have to decide as a business owner, how much money are you willing to spend on a lead or potential new customer.

You can choose either a lifetime budget or a daily budget. We recommend creating a daily budget amount over a scheduled time period. We choose to use a daily budget versus a lifetime budget because this allows Facebook to have a set amount of money to spend over the course of the day. With a lifetime budget Facebook is able to spend as much as they see fit within a day, as long as it doesn’t exceed that lifetime budget. All meaning that you may end up using all of our allotted budget within a few days instead over the course of a few weeks or months. (That can be a good thing if you are doing a shorter campaign.)

Here are some more tips on setting ad parameters:

  • Skip manual bidding for now. Stick with automatic bidding.
  • Go for the option of getting charged when people click on your ad, not when they merely view the ad.
  • Schedule your ads to run immediately.


Last, but MOST IMPORTANT - Visuals & Copy

Here's where you actually put together your ad. Graphics are key here, so follow these rules:

  • Choose relevant, engaging, positive, high-quality images/video.
  • Use Facebook's Ads Guide to get the right sizes and learn about placement.
  • Use Facebook's Text Overlay Tool to check the balance of text to image in your ad.
  • Choosing the right layout is up to you and what you are advertising. With our clients we like to use either a carousel ad (if we have multiple things to feature), single image (if we have incredible graphics), or most of all video (video is the way of the future and the Facebook algorithm loves video- organic and paid.)


The final steps are very intuitive: review your ad, then place your order. Once you’ve completed those actions, it’s time to sit back and see how your first ad does. Good luck, and remember this is a learning experience. Every ad you create will be an improvement on the last. Your next step will be to analyze your ad’s data. Don’t worry, we will go over that next! Now, ‘go get-um’!

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