Facebook Ads 101: How To Run a Successful Campaign.

Businesses looking to target a specific audience on social media turn to Facebook for paid ad campaigns. While new platforms like TikTok or Snapchat pop up and trend, Facebook is still the most used social media network worldwide, with 2.9 billion active users. The average American adult user spends 33 minutes per day on Facebook, making the platform a great spot to reach broad consumer audiences.

Whether you’re looking to run Facebook ads for your business or a client, this checklist will help you get started:

Table of Contents:

What are Facebook ads?

1. Create a Facebook Business Manager account and establish an ad account manager

2. Open the Facebook Ads manager

3. Set the goal for your campaign

4. Give your campaign a name

5. Choose your ad categories

6. Set your campaign budget

7. Set up audience targeting

8. Set up your placements

9. Set up your Facebook Ads

10. Measure and improve

Before you get started: What are Facebook ads?

Many businesses use Facebook marketing to promote their brand and drive sales using organic content and paid campaigns. Facebook Ads send your targeted messages to the audiences you choose. You can pay to promote an existing post, but these boosted ads appear only on the Facebook or Instagram main feeds. Facebook ads are more customizable and have objectives and enhanced targeting. You choose the ad’s text and images and create your specific audience.

These paid social media campaigns can be

  • Images: photos that adhere to Facebook ad guidelines
  • Video: videos that are 15 seconds or less
  • Carousel: images or video sliders (up to 10 images or videos)
  • Instant Experience: ads (cover image with three products) that go full-screen when tapped
  • Collection: products that open full-screen when tapped

Facebook ad placement:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Messenger
  • Meta Audience Network (mobile apps that choose to monetize through Meta)

Meta owns Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus. You can run ads on Instagram through your Facebook Business Manager. If you want to run Youtube ads or ads on another platform, they’re not part of Meta, so you’ll need to go through each platform individually.

1. Create a Facebook Business Manager account and establish an ad account manager

Before running ads on Facebook, you need to have a Facebook account for your business. A Facebook business account is different from a personal account.

First, create a page for your business and choose “Business or Brand” as your category.

Create a page Ndiwano

Then start filling out your business page information.

Page name Ndiwano

After you’ve established a business page, sign in and create a business account in Business Manager.

Business manager account Ndiwano

Running ads on Facebook requires an ad account connected to a form of payment. Only one business manager can own an ad account, but they can give others access. Creating an ad account or giving access requires admin privileges.

Tip: As an admin, you can add collaborators to your business account and choose what level of access they have: admin, editor, moderator, advertiser, analyst, or community manager.

2. Open the Facebook Ads Manager

Once you have a business account, you can start working on your Facebook campaign. Ads Manager is your campaign dashboard where you can create a new ad, edit existing ads, and monitor analytics.

On the desktop, you can find Facebook campaigns under Ads Manager, located at the top left column under “Friends” and “Marketplace.” You can also get to Ads Manager by clicking on your business page under “Your Shortcuts” and then “Ads Manager” in the left column. On mobile, click the three navigation lines at the top right corner and then “Ads Manager.”

Tip: The Facebook Ads Manager app lets you easily monitor and tweak your campaigns from your phone, wherever you are.

3. Set the goal for your campaign

Choose campaign objective Ndiwano

Facebook campaign objective options:

Awareness. Show your ad to as many people as possible to start generating buzz.

  • Brand awareness
  • Reach
  • Video views
  • Store traffic

Traffic. Send traffic to the destination you choose. It could be your Facebook page, Facebook or Instagram shop, website, or app.

  • Traffic

Engagement. Show your ads to people who are more likely to take the targeted action, whether it’s to follow your page or watch your video.  

  • Engagement
  • Video views
  • Messages
  • Conversions

Leads. Gain new leads through a lead generation form, phone calls, or direct messages.

  • Lead generation
  • Messages
  • Conversions

App Promotion. Encourage app installs or users to take an action within the app e.g. try a new feature or paid upgrade.

  • App installs

Sales. Target your ad to those most likely to make a purchase.

  • Conversions
  • Catalog sales

4. Give your campaign a name

The campaign name is to help you organize; it will not appear on the ad. Having separate campaign names makes monitoring and comparing results easier.

Campaign name Ndiwano

5. Choose your ad categories

If your ad falls into a special category, you must let Facebook know, so the ad can follow Facebook’s advertising policies. Ads in these categories may need additional disclaimers or have country-based restrictions.

Ad categories Ndiwano

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6. Set your campaign budget

While you can’t run Facebook ads for free, you can choose exactly how much you want to spend. You can have different costs and strategies for each ad and adjust as needed. Monitor each ad’s content marketing metrics to compare performance.

Set campaign budget Ndiwano

Tip: Advantage Campaign Budget (formerly campaign budget optimization) manages your budget across all of your ads to get the best results overall.

Advantage campaign budget Ndiwano

Step 1: Set up bid strategy

Spend-based bidding: Spend your full budget and focus on getting the best value or result possible

  • Highest volume. If you don’t have a specific cost-per-action (CPA) goal you’re trying to hit, you can use this bid strategy to maximize results based on your budget.
  • Highest value. If you want to focus on getting conversions (specifically the highest value), this bid strategy maximizes the highest possible purchase value.

Goal-based bidding: Set your cost based on a specific action

  • Cost-per-result goal. If you’ve calculated how much an action is worth to you, such as a link click or purchase, you can use that to create an average cost per action for Facebook to target.
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS). If you have set a goal for return on ad spend for each bid, you can define a target for Facebook to try to achieve.

Manual bidding: Control how much you’re willing to spend on a bid

  • Bid cap. If you know how much you want Facebook to spend on a bid auction, you can set a maximum bid.
Optimization and delivery Ndiwano

Many advertisers are looking to target audiences on Facebook. Ad auctions determine whose audience sees an ad based on a few factors. One component is how much the advertiser is willing to spend on the bid. Facebook also measures ad relevance based on the ad’s value and the likelihood of engagement or conversion.

Step 2: Determine campaign budget

Daily budget. How much do you want to spend each day?

Lifetime budget. How much do you want to spend during the entire campaign?

Campaign budget Ndiwano

7. Set up audience targeting

Who do you want to see your ads? You get to choose how broad or narrow your audience is during targeting. If you’re unsure who your audience is, you can use the Facebook Audience Insights tool to learn more about your followers and customers.

Audience Targeting Ndiwano

Core audiences: Define your own audience based on criteria

Location. Define the location of your customers and who you want to see your ads. This could be narrowly targeted to a zip code or broader to specific states and countries.

Demographics. Choose your audience based on their demographics, such as

  • Education
  • Financial
  • Life events
  • Parents
  • Relationships
  • Work

Behavior. Target your customers based on their online behaviors and what they’re interested in from within these categories

  • Business and industry
  • Entertainment
  • Family and relationships
  • Fitness and wellness
  • Food and drink
  • Hobbies and activities

Connection. Decide whether or not to include people already connected to your event or Facebook page. These could be people who like your page or have engaged with your content before.

Custom audiences: Reengage with already interested audiences

Contact lists. Upload information from your email lists, CRM, and in-store data collection and use that to target customers.

Site visitors. Use website information collected from your Facebook Pixel to target people who have already visited your site.

App users. Drive in-app action with data collected from the Facebook SDK (software development kit).

Lookalike audience: Create an audience based on your best customers

Lookalike audience. Reach new people who may be interested in your ad because they share similarities to your best customers’ characteristics. You can create a lookalike audience using your page followers or the Facebook Pixel website data.

Tip: Check “Detailed Audience Expansion” if you want Facebook to show your ads to people outside of your specific targeted audience.

Choosing the right audience to target on Facebook Ads is an important step in making sure your ads are effective and maximizing your budget. You can get help from a Facebook Ad Campaign expert to help optimize your ad.

8. Set up your placements

Meta offers many different places to show your ads. Advantage+ placements (recommended by Facebook) let the platform choose where to show your ads. If you select Manual placements, you can decide where Facebook shows your ads based on what you know about your audience or what has worked in the past. For instance, if your audience is more active on Facebook than on Instagram, you may choose only Facebook placements.

FB Ad Placements Ndiwano

9. Set up your Facebook Ads

Choose your ad format–single image or video, carousel, or collection

Ad Setup Ndiwano

Set up your ad copy

Primary Text. Choose up to five different primary text variations (125 characters max)

Headline. Grab your audience’s attention in 40 characters with up to five different headline variations.

Description. Create a 30-character description of what your ad is about.

CTA. Choose a call to action from the drop-down menu.

Choose your destination, which can be a link or an Instant Experience

Destination Ndiwano

Set up optional advanced tracking and choose your Facebook Pixel

Tracking Ndiwano

10. Measure and improve

When you go to Ads Manager and click on your account, you can see an overview of all of your ads and their results. Depending on your budget and targeting options, you may need to wait a day or two to gather enough data to run reports and see accurate performance metrics.

Select your date range

Check the dates selected if you don’t see the ads you’re looking for. You can change the date range to see ads from a specific time.

Run custom reports

You can analyze specific metrics by creating a report. Save your custom report so you can rerun it at a later time.

Choose your metrics

Choose the metrics you want to see under “Customize pivot table.” Some metrics may be more relevant to you than others.

Customize report Ndiwano

Breakdown of ad metrics

You have many different metrics to choose from, which can initially seem a little overwhelming. You may not need to see all these metrics for every daily report. Select the metrics that align with your goals and type of campaign.

Ad metrics

Optimize Ads

As you gather data, you can use it to optimize your Facebook ads. Run multiple ads at once as a test, then choose the best performing ad to allocate a bigger budget. See which keywords have the lowest costs and highest results. Test different ad creatives to see what has the highest engagement.

Tip: Pay attention to any alerts, recommendations, or tasks on your dashboard to keep your ads running and optimized. If there’s an issue with an ad, Facebook may pause the ad until you fix it.

Run Facebook ads with expert help

Focus on the results and let an independent social media expert on Ndiwano.com handle the details. These experts know exactly what it takes to create an engaging ad on Facebook to maximize your advertising budget and get the results you want. Get help with setting up the campaign, overseeing performance, and optimizing the ad. You can also browse Social Media Advertising in Project Catalog™ to find Facebook Ad projects within your budget.

Are you an expert that loves running Facebook ads? Create a project in Project Catalog and help businesses with their Facebook advertising or browse available social media marketing jobs. Do more of what you enjoy most and work with clients you’re passionate about.

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