Facebook Ads Introduction
Social Media Marketing

Facebook Ads Step-by-Step Introduction

Facebook has an enormous reach of as many as 1+ billion daily active users, which makes it a very attractive target for marketers. Their ad platform is relatively simple to use, however it’s difficult to use well.

Most people tend to lose money on their Facebook ads. Don’t let that dissuade you from using them. Facebook ads can be remarkably profitable if they are used correctly. However, most people don’t know how to best utilize them.

The documentation on Facebook’s page is long, elaborate and complex. It takes hours just to make it through all of the instructional material, and it often leaves people even more confused than they were before they started reading it. There are a lot of different options, so it can be difficult to know which type of ad might work best for you. If you choose the wrong type, it could mean a lot of money wasted.

In this guide, you’re going to learn about some of the different types of Facebook Ads, where on the site they appear, and how to get the most out of each one. Click To Tweet

So let’s delve right into it so you can get started with your first ad as quickly as possible.

Understanding Facebook Ads

Facebook has a number of different ad placements and ad types. There isn’t a single type or placement that is best for every situation, so you may have to do some testing to find the right one for your needs.

Additionally, not all ad types are available in all placements. For example, you currently cannot place an ad for a Facebook app or an off-site website in the Mobile News Feed.

Here is a table that shows some of the different types of ads and their potential placements:

Facebook ads table

Facebook has a section in their Desktop Help section that defines Facebook ads and tells a little about them. Here’s what the page says:

What are Facebook Ads?

We strive to show ads that are relevant and interesting to you and your friends.

Here are the facts about Facebook Ads:

  • Ads can appear in News Feed, on the right column, and on the Facebook log out Page.
  • Ad content is sometimes paired with news about social actions that your friends have taken, like liking a page.
  • Your friends might see news about the social actions you have taken in Facebook Ads. This news will only be shown to your confirmed friends and will adhere to applicable privacy settings you’ve set for your account. If a photo is used, it’s your profile photo and not a photo from your photo albums.
  • Facebook doesn’t sell your info to advertisers.
  • Facebook actively enforces policies that help protect your experience with third-party apps and ad networks.

Getting Started

The first thing you need to do is locate the Create Ad link on the top of Facebook, after you’ve logged in. This is located in the menu right next to the “Home” button.

Facebook ads create

On the next page, Facebook will ask you “What’s your advertising objective?”

facebook ads objective

If you mouse over each of these categories, it will tell you a little bit about that particular ad type so you can choose the right one for your purposes.

Facebook has a great instructional page that teaches you the basics of setting up a Facebook Ad. Here are the step-by-step directions they outline:

Choose your advertising objective:

Go to www.facebook.com/ads/create to choose your advertising objective and start creating your ad.

What is an advertising objective?

Your advertising objective is what you want people to do when they see your ads. For example, to like your Page. When you choose an advertising objective, we’ll help you create ads that help you achieve that advertising objective. You can track how your ads are helping you achieve your advertising objective in ads manager.

Here are some popular objectives you can choose from:

  • Traffic: Get people to visit your website.
  • App Installs: Get people to install your mobile or desktop app.
  • Engagement: Promote your Page posts
  • Lead Generation: Drive more sales leads, such as email addresses, from people interested in your brand or business.
  • Messages: Get more people to have conversations with you
  • Conversions: Promote specific conversions for your website. You’ll need a conversion pixel for your website before you can create this ad.

Create your ad:

Choose images for your ad and write the text for it. You’ll be able to see a preview of your ad on the right side.

Select Images for your Ad:

Use up to 6 images to create more ads in your campaign at no extra cost. The more images you select, the more you can use to figure out what is performing best and deliver that one to achieve your objective.

Image recommendations for ads that appear in News Feed:

  • The recommended image size is 600×225 pixels
  • The image you use for your ad may not include more than 20% text in the image if you want it to appear in the News Feed.

Learn more about choosing images for your ad.

Edit Text and Links:

Edit the text and links for your ad. You’ll be able to see a preview of your ad on the right side.

The text limit for your headline and text will depend on what your advertising objective is. The character limit when you edit your text will ensure that the people you’re trying to reach will be able to see your entire message. You can learn more about the specific text limits for each ad product in the Ads Product Guide.

Choose your audience:

After creating your ad, you’ll be able to identify the best audience to target.

Choose your campaign, budget and schedule:

Name your campaign, select your budget, and set the schedule for your campaign.

Set your bid and price:

Select your budget and set the schedule for your campaign. Unless you’ve chosen Advanced Options in the goals section, you’ll pay for impressions (CPM). These impressions will be optimized so your ad shows to the people most likely to help you reach your goal. For example, if you want more people to install your app, your ad will be shown to the people who are most likely to install your app.

After you name your campaign and select your budget and schedule, place your order or review your ad so you can start reaching your audience.

Text in Ads

As you create your ad, you need to keep text limits in mind. Most ads have specific limits for the number of characters you can have in your ad. If you go over that, your text will be truncated, meaning the last words will be cut off and your add will end with “…”

Titles can generally have up to 25 characters, and text blocks can have 90 characters. With so few characters allowed, you need to be sure absolutely every word in your ad is vital to the message you want to convey.

Choosing an Audience

Choosing your audience is one of the most critical elements of ad creation. If you don’t target properly, you’ll be wasting money daily.

From the Facebook User Guide to the Ads Create Tool:

How to Choose Your Audience

Audience Size: There’s an audience size estimation to the right indicating the total number of people in your target audience. This is the total number of people your ad will have the opportunity to reach if your bid and budget are high enough.

Location, Age and Gender: Choose the basic demographics of the audience you want to reach.

Precise Interests: Choose specific interests that are important to your audience. These are determined by what people are connected to on Facebook, such as Pages and apps.

Broad Categories: Select broader groups of people, based on their Activities (ex: Cooking), Family Status (ex: Parents) or Music genres (ex: Alternative). These are determined by what people are connected to on Facebook, such as Pages and apps.

Connections: Select your audience based on whether or not they’re connected to any of your Pages, apps or events. Anyone who has a friend connected to what you’re advertising will see their friend included in your ad. This can increase the likelihood that they’ll find your ad relevant enough to click or engage with it.

Keep in mind that selecting multiple options for Connections will limit your audience to people who only fall under each parameter. For example, if you wish to target your Fans and Friends of Fans, you will need to do so using two separate ads, one for Fans and one for Friends of Fans. Selecting both parameters for one ad will target only users who are Fans and have friends who are Fans.

Campaign Selection

You can either create a new campaign or add to an existing campaign. If this is your first ad, you’ll need to create a new campaign. Otherwise, you could just add the new ad to an existing campaign, however you’ll want to keep campaigns separate for different pages, products, websites, etc. so you can easily find specific ads later.

When you name your campaign, make sure it’s something you can easily remember. The campaign name will not be visible to anyone but you.

Campaign Scheduling

You can choose one of two options for scheduling:

  • Run my campaign continuously starting today – This will run your ad constantly after it’s approved.
  • Set a start date and end date – This will let you choose a specific time frame for your ad. This is a good option if you want to run a limited time promotion.

Campaign Budget

How much you spend depends on your daily budget. You can choose a per day budget if you want your campaign to run continuously. If you want a campaign with a start and end date, you’ll choose a lifetime budget.

If you choose a daily budget, your ad will run each day until the budget is depleted for that day. If you choose a lifetime budget, the system will pace your campaign to account for that particular budget.

Final Words

Facebook Ads definitely have a lot of different options to choose from. As expensive as they can be, optimizing them for ultimate performance is vital. Hopefully, you now have a more complex grasp on what it takes to choose the right ad type and create an ad that will perform well.

Remember these critical elements:

  1. Choose your target audience carefully. This is one of the most critical elements to any Facebook Ads campaign.
  2. Choose the right ad type for your purpose. This is called the “advertising objective”.
  3. You only get a set number of characters for your ad, so be sure to pack the most vital information into it.
  4. Experiment with various photos or videos to find one that really resonates with your core audience.

Not every Facebook campaign will be profitable. Even experts occasionally have flops. So never, put all of your eggs into one advertising basket. Instead, be sure to make Facebook a portion of your ad campaigns and not your sole promotional method.

If you use the tips in this guide, you’ll be on your way to ensuring most of your campaigns are profitable and successful.

If you want to go deeper into this topic comment below or connect with me on Facebook.

To Your Success,

Bob Swetz

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