The ultimate guide to Facebook Advertising

In our last blog, we looked at how to boost a post on Facebook. This time we are delving deeper and looking at how to create an advertising campaign.

While boosting a post is still a form of advertising, Facebook ads offer more customised solutions, which will help you reach the right audience and achieve your business goals.

There are a few key steps you need to take to get your ads up and running, which we will take you through right here.

  1. Log into Ads manager

The first think you need to do is log in to Ads Manager. This is an all-in-one tool for creating, managing and tracking your ads on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger or Audience Network.

The Ads Manager page features a dashboard with four columns:
  • Account overview: this contains all information about your adverts, such as the reach, current spend and number of views.
  • Campaigns: this houses all your assets for each of your campaigns.
  • Ad sets: if you are targeting different audiences, you need an individual ad set for each.
  • Ads: your ads live within your ad sets. Each ad set can hold a variety of ads that vary in colour, copy, images, etc.

To create a new campaign, click the Campaign tab and then click the green ‘Create’ button.

  1. Create a new campaign

A box will pop up, where you have to fill in the following information:

  • Campaign name
  • Campaign objective: each new campaign needs to have an objective. There are 13 to choose from, including brand awareness, reach, traffic, lead generation, conversions and page likes. By choosing one of these objectives, you’re giving Facebook a better idea of what you’d like to do, so they can present you with the most suitable ad options
  • Create A/B test: this enables you to compare the performance of your ad sets, to understand which strategies give you the best results
  • Campaign budget optimisation: this option is useful if you’re using multiple ad sets, but leave it turned off for now.
  1. Create new ad set

The next page is all about setting up your ad set, which defines your audience, budget, schedule, bidding and placement (ie where the advert goes).

Here you need to:

Create your audience

When choosing a target audience for your ad set, you can either create a new audience, use a saved audience that you previously created, or add a custom audience – these are people who have already interacted with your business.

We are going to look at how to create a new audience. When you make your selections, keep an eye on the size indicator as this gives you an idea of your ad’s potential reach. Here’s what you have to fill in:

  • Locations (eg country, city, county or postcode)
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Detailed targeting: effective targeting is key to maximising ROI – so make sure you use this section wisely, and that you really understand your audience. The more specific, the better. For instance, you could choose to target people who are interested in both eventing and showjumping, but exclude people who are interested in dressage.
  • Connections: you can include or exclude people from your audience, based on connections they have to your page, app or events. This will narrow your audience to people with that specific connection, who also meet the other targeting categories above.
Choose your Facebook ad placements

This helps you show your ads to the right people in the right places. If you’re new to Facebook advertising, the simplest choice is to use automatic placements. When you select this option, Facebook will automatically place your ads on the platforms where they are likely to perform best – this depends on the objective you choose when you create your campaign.

Set your budget and schedule

Now comes the money bit. You can choose a daily or lifetime budget, and then schedule when you want your ad to start and finish.

There are advanced budget options, where you can be very specific about how you want to spend your money.

  1. Create your ad

Now you’ve got all the stats and dull bit out of the way, you can get creative with your advert.

The format of your ad varies according to your campaign objective. If you want to increase the number of clicks to your website, Facebook’s Ad Manager will suggest the ‘clicks to website’ ad options. Or if your objective is to increase brand awareness, you will be given two options: carousel or a single image/video.

Once you decide on the format, you need to upload your images and add in the text. Each type of ad requires certain design criteria, in terms of image ratio and resolution, and the number of words you can use.

  1. Add an Instant experience

Instant Experience are like website landing pages, but they keep the user on Facebook. They open after someone interacts with your ad on a mobile device, and are comprised of images, videos, gifs, text and products.

Advertisers often avoid Instant Experience, because they take more time to set up and can look complicated. However, they can be a good way to introduce your brand or product to potential new customers.

  1. Preview your ad

Once you’ve created your advert you can use the preview tool at the bottom of the page. When you’re happy with it, click the green ‘Confirm’ button to submit your order. You will then get an email from Facebook when your ad has been approved – most ads are reviewed within 24 hours.

  1. Monitor your ad’s performance

Once your ads are up and running, you can keep an eye on how they are performing, using Facebook’s Ad Manager.

  1. Click Campaigns, Ad sets or Ads.
  2. Tick the box next to the one you want to view
  3. Click the chart icon in the side panel on the right

Performance: this shows the number of people who have clicked on your ad, the number you reached and the overall cost. You can customise the results, by clicking on ‘custom’ and then selecting what you want to see eg frequency, impressions and cost per result.

Demographics: this chart shows how your ad performs across different ages and genders. You can scroll over each section of the chart to see individual results for each age group.

Placement: this graph displays your ad’s performance across different placements, such as Facebook or Instagram. You can also click the drop-down menu on the right to see the difference in performance on mobile and desktop.

It’s easy to be intimidated by the list of ‘to dos’ when setting up an advert, however we hope that by following this guide you’ll soon be on your way to reaching a new audience and taking your business to the next level.

Stuck for ideas for your marketing? Get in touch to find out how we can help you make an impact with your audience and achieve real results.


Image credit: Pixabay on Pexels