When setting up a paid Facebook ad, there are a lot of boxes to be checked.
Are you targeting the right people? Did you choose the right bidding model for your ad? Are you running the right type of ad? If we’re being honest, it can get a little confusing.
To help simplify the process for you, we’re breaking down the step-by-step process of running an ad on Facebook. And to make it even better, we put together a checklist to help you keep all of your campaign details straight.
With this resource in hand, let’s dive in to help you build the right ad for the right audience on this expansive platform.
The trouble is, with both an investment of time and money on the line, there’s not much room for oversight. To capitalize on this platform’s audience and effectively create and run Facebook ads, you must first learn Facebook Ads Manager.
Facebook Ads Manager features, otherwise labeled Ads Center features, are divided into four parts:
Then, follow these steps:
Once set up, the Ads Manager becomes the control center for your Facebook ads.
Once you log into the Ads Manager, you’ll see a performance dashboard where all of your campaigns, ad sets, and ads will be listed including the results they’ve driven for your Facebook page. Unless you’ve already created an ad for your Facebook page, this dashboard will be empty.
To create a new campaign, ad set, or ad through the Facebook Ad Manager, tab over to the type of ad you want to create and click the green “Create” button to far left of these ad types, as shown below. You can see from this screenshot that we’re currently set to create a New Campaign.
Facebook’s Ads Manager, like many social media advertising networks, is designed with your campaign objective in mind. Before getting started, Ads Manager will prompt you to choose an objective for your campaign:
There are 11 different objectives to choose from. The list includes everything from general brand awareness, to getting installs of your app, to increasing traffic to your online store.
Once selected, Facebook will then display the ad option that makes the most sense in terms of achieving this objective.
To help you narrow your focus, Facebook’s targeting criteria are accompanied by an audience definition gauge. This tool — located to the right of the audience targeting fields — takes all of your selected properties into consideration in order to come up with a potential reach number.
If you’re wavering between choosing a specific audience over a broad one, consider your objective. If you’re looking to drive traffic, you’ll probably want to focus on the type of people you know will be interested in your offering. However, if you’re looking to build brand awareness or promote a widely appealing offer, feel free to focus on a more general audience.
Facebook’s built-in targeting is vast, including options such as:
Once you find a group that responds well to your ads, Facebook allows you to save these audiences to be used again later — so you may not need to dive into this step once you’ve been running Facebook ads for a while.
Facebook allows you to set either a daily budget or a lifetime budget. Here’s how they differ from each other:
Average Facebook Advertising Cost
Cost-per click (CPC)
Based on spending full budget for most value possible
Highest Volume: Reach as many prospects as possible.
Highest Value: Using the budget to maximize high-value sales over quantity.
Based on the value you want to achieve
Cost Per Result: Strive to keep costs amount to the cost per purchase to stay profitable, but not guaranteed to adhere fully.
Return On Ad Spend: Aim to keep ad spend average to a ROAS control, but not guaranteed to adhere fully.
Based on how much you can bid dynamically
Bid Cap: Setting a maximum bid across auctions; good for advertisers who understand predicted conversion rates.
Once your model and strategy are determined, you can further specify your budgeting and turn to the advanced options — this option is linked at the bottom of the screenshot shown above. This section allows you to specify a few things:
Choose whether or not your want your campaign to run immediately and continuously or if you want to customize the start and end dates. You can also set parameters so that your ads only run during specific hours and days of the week.
Choose whether or not you want to bid for your objective, clicks, or impressions. (This will alter how your ad is displayed and paid for.) By doing so, you’ll pay for your ad to be shown to people within your target audience that are more likely to complete your desired action, but Facebook will control what your maximum bid is.
If you don’t want Facebook to set optimal bids for you, you’ll want to opt for manual bidding. This option awards you full control over how much you’re willing to pay per action completed. However, Facebook will provide a suggested bid based on other advertisers’ behavior to give you a sense of what you should shoot for.
Delivery type falls under two categories: standard and accelerated. Standard delivery will show your ads throughout the day, while accelerated delivery helps you reach an audience quickly for time-sensitive ads (Note: this option requires manual bid pricing).
What do you want your ad to look like? It all depends on your original objective.
If you’re looking to increase the number of clicks to your website, Facebook’s Ad Manager will suggest the Clicks to Website ad options. Makes sense, right?
This ad option is broken down into two formats: Links and Carousels. Essentially, this means that you can either display a single image ad (Links) or a multi-image ad (Carousel) with three to five scrolling images at no additional cost.
A Links ad will be displayed like this:
Once you decide between the two, you’ll need to upload your creative assets. It’s important to note that for each type of ad, Facebook requires users to adhere to certain design criteria.
Remember that these are the ad options for the “Traffic” objective.
Once you select an ad type, the Ads Manager will prompt you to identify how you’d like to display your ad. The options they provide are as follows: Desktop News Feed, Mobile News Feed, and Desktop Right Column.
Here’s how each ad would appear:
Once your ads are running, you’ll want to keep an eye on how they’re doing. To see their results, you’ll want to look in two places: the Facebook Ad Manager and your marketing software.
You can receive custom reports via email as well. Here’s how to set it up:
Now that you know how to set up an ad, it’s time to create one of your own so that you can spread brand awareness on Facebook and generate traffic and leads from your ideal prospects on the platform.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.