What are Facebook ads?
Well if you don’t know that you’ve come to the wrong page, and should instead be looking here at this post, “The 3 Minute Beginners Guide to Facebook Ads”.
If you DO know what a Facebook ad is and what they look like, but don’t know how to make one then you ARE in the RIGHT spot.
As you may already know, Facebook ads are the core of your marketing campaign on Facebook.
They’re super versatile and can be used to achieve pretty much every single metric that matters for a business.
That's things like getting more people to visit your website or shop, to promoting offers you’re running or events you’re hosting and much more.
Now, that’s all well and good, but completely useless if you don’t know how to make a Facebook ad in the first place.
Which is why you need to read the following steps!
To start, go to this link: https://www.facebook.com/ads/create
Or, you can click the little down arrow to the right of your menu bar like so:
Now, onto the good stuff…
“Boring”, I hear some people say.
Tough, because goals are the bomb and without clear defined goals for your Facebook ad campaign, you’re throwing money into the drain faster than you can say, “I’m not sure why this isn’t working”.
The first step when you go to create an ad is to set your Ad Objectives (goal).
They range from the following:
When you go to set up your first Facebook ad, this will be shown to you straight away, so you can’t really skip this step, which is great because it acts as a reminder as to what you’re actually looking to achieve.
The descriptions of each objective type were taken from the Facebook website.
Whatever you do, do NOT go into this step without actually thinking about the end result you’re after.
I use a simple little tip to remind me about my end goal.
I call it the Focus Question.
It’s really easy to ask yourself this before you do basically anything.
“What do I want to achieve from this, specifically?”
Be super specific with this, so for example if you’re goal was initially to ‘get more likes to my page!’ I’d tell you to go away and use the Focus Question because that’s way too vague.
Hopefully you’d then come back and go, ‘I want to get 500 likes within the month’.
I’d say okay let’s get a plan around this goal, but go back again and use the Focus Question a couple more times.
You’d then come back (probably annoyed) and say ‘I want to get 500 likes within the month so I can drive that traffic to my blog, because I know that for every 100 subscribers I get, I make $3000.’
Bravo. You’ve successfully used my Focus Question technique to get a clearly defined goal for your Facebook Ads.
Next step is to…
Choose your audience
This step is to figure out what type of people you want your Facebook ad to reach.
Filter the audience down by location, age, gender, interests and more.
If you’ve got your landing page pixelled, then you can target custom audiences.
This is super powerful, but too advanced and in-depth to go through in this post.
If you haven't already, read this post about the very first step of any advertisement, which is your list. It will help you a LOT with this section.
Setting your budget and schedule
You don’t want your Facebook ad to be defined as ‘Broad’ on the meter to the right-hand side of this screen (in most cases).
You might think this is a good thing, but it really isn’t. You’ll be spending too much money showing your ads to people that aren’t really interested in your business!
Instead really try to focus on the kind of person who would be interested in what you have to offer. A good way to quickly do this is to go through past clients and see what’s common between them all.
Once you have a highly targeted audience that mirrors your current clients or something you think your customers would look like, if you’re starting fresh, it’s time for the next step…
You’ll need to name your ad too at this point.
Don’t make it hard for yourself, just name it something really simple so you’ll remember what the ad is about. You’re the only person that sees these anyway, so just make sure it makes sense to you.
A problem I see when I go through client’s ad accounts when I’m consulting are these ads with crazy names with a very complex structure about them.
It's great if you’re running dozens and dozens of Facebook campaigns.
But it’s just too much work if you're starting out and only have 1 – 6 Facebook ads, which you can see all at a glance on your Ad Manager page.
Now, choosing your budget and schedule is entirely up to you and your goals.
Your ads need at least $1 per day and that isn’t going to get you too far in the scheme of things.
I recommend at least $5 per day at the bare minimum but feel $10 per day is an acceptable low-point for testing.
It gives you enough reach per day to give you a general picture of how the ad is performing without making you wait a month for enough impressions.
I recommend when you’re starting out to test things for at least a fortnight rather than run ads non-stop.
It gives you a chance to review, tweak and improve, then repeat the process.
Anything less and you don’t get a good enough dataset to make informed decisions; longer time-frames are fine, but business is fast paced, so I like to work on a pivot-type model when it comes to my ads.
If something is working, do more of it, if something isn’t, test until you find out what's wrong, fix it, and then repeat.
Until you’ve done several Facebook ads for a length of time, you won’t know what a bad ad is.
So, this will help cut your teeth while not breaking the bank if you do screw up at the start.
Now that you have the budget and scheduling set, it’s time for the next step…
Designing your Facebook ad
Focus most of your time on the image and headline.
These are the biggest bang for buck areas in most ads, and Facebook ads are no different.
Short and snappy are much, much, much, much, much better than long-winded and wordy.
Again, use the Focus Questions to guide what information you need to add to make this ad effective.
Remember, to make an ad effective, it needs to lead towards achieving your goal you set earlier.
You can add up to 6 images in this section here, and Facebook will show the different versions to your audience so you can see which one performs better.
This is called split-testing, and I’ll cover that in much more detail in another post.
Note though that Facebook doesn’t show all your different ad versions equally so this can be quite misleading over which ad is ‘better’.
So it’s best to create complete new ad sets with different versions of the same ad so you can really tell which ad performs best (don’t have your ad variations running at the same time though otherwise they’ll compete with each other).
Now, test out using a call to action that’s appropriate for your ad.
Most people use ‘Learn More’ because it applies to most things.
You may get a better response if you have related call to actions such as ‘Shop Now’ for a product listing or an ad for an ecommerce store.
Once it’s created you’ll get a preview of what your audience sees in the various different spots that Facebook display ads are shown: News Feed, mobile or right-column placement.
Bonus: Extra information
If you’ve set your goal as something like:
then you will have slightly different preview screens and some even have extra steps to complete.
Don’t be afraid though, because I’ll run you through them now.
I will start by saying though, some of this stuff may sound a bit too far in the deep end for some...
... but there will be posts covering the more advanced tactics in the future so make sure to subscribe to get email updates once a week, which you can do down the bottom of this post!
‘Increase conversions on your website’
You’ll need a bit of code to install onto your website.
If that’s made you recoil in horror, suck it up and push through, because this is such an important and powerful feature in Facebook ads and it’s called a ‘pixel’, or ‘conversion pixel’.
Basically when someone goes to your website and triggers the conversion pixel, you’ll be able to see what has taken place in a conversion pixel report under ‘Conversion Tracking’ in your Ads Manager.
This means you’re able to put a dollar figure on your ROI from every campaign you do!
‘Get installs of your app’ & ‘Increase engagement in your app’
This is more so for the reporting side of things.
‘To measure your app installs and engagement, you or your developer will need to integrate your app with the Facebook SDK. When your app is installed or someone lands on the app page you specified, the SDK code will let Facebook know that an install (or other action) has happened.
All installs and engagement information is added to your ad reporting, which brings all your data together in one place.’
Doing this is important, because once you’ve registered your app and SDK requirements are set up, you can do the equivalent of pixel your app users and create a Custom Audience to retarget to.
Now that’s clever!
A final word
This should have you firing on all cylinders now, and you’ll be able to repeat this process over and over to create new Facebook ads for your business needs.
What kind of ad do you think you’ll run, or what kind of ad are you running at the moment?
Please leave me a comment below and give this post a share if you enjoyed!
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Creating marketing campaigns for clients around the world for almost a decade. No B.S. and to the point - I'll tell you how it is. I'm a direct-response copywriter at heart, but most would recognise me as a full-stack print and digital marketing expert too. I help create marketing campaigns across any medium - I'm a firm believer in solving a problem using the best tool... not just the newest. Click here if you'd like to work together.