Facebook Ads: A Step-by-Step Guide to Advertising

Do you think it’s possible to show your ads to middle-aged men in downtown Manhattan interested in marathon running? The answer is ‘Yes’ courtesy of Facebook.

Facebook Ads

This social network has a mind-blowing targeting capacity that enables advertisers to tailor campaigns and approach literally any kind of audience globally. Facebook currently hosts more than 2.7 billion active users, thus granting you access to over a third of the global population.

The only problem is that Facebook Ads may feel overwhelming at first due to the sheer number of features. Our goal is to help you find a way to utilize Facebook ads, so keep reading to see seven ways to create and launch high-quality ads on this platform.

Determine Your Strategy

Before you even begin setting up the first Facebook advertising campaign, you must be clear about what you are really doing. You need to determine your strategy and answer the key 5W+H questions:

  • Who?
  • What?
  • Where?
  • When?
  • Why?
  • How?

If you answer all of these questions correctly, you will have a good idea of how to continue with your Facebook advertising campaign.

Choose Your Goals

As soon as you launch the Facebook Ads Manager, it is going to ask you about the goal of your ads. This helps the platform to increase the relevance of your campaign and make the most of it in a given time frame. There are three types of objectives followed by a handful of subcategories:

  • Awareness: Brand awareness and reach
  • Consideration: Traffic, engagement, app installs, video views, lead generation, and messages
  • Conversion: Conversions, catalog sales, and store visits

It covers pretty much every objective a business may have, but you need to make the right selection in order to maximize the effect of Facebook advertising. Let’s say that you have an idea for a new product that is unlike anything else available on the market. To make maximum impact in your industry and solidify your company’s position on the market, it’s important that you focus on boosting brand awareness and reach.

On the other hand, if you run an online store, your main goals when you advertise on Facebook should be to get as many conversions as possible. One of the best ways to attract customers online is to offer them discounts while showcasing your impressive product line.

Decide Who to Target

The third step in the process is audience targeting. Generally speaking, Facebook allows you to target three audience groups:

  • Core audiences: It lets you define the perfect customer based on demographic traits and personal interests.
  • Custom audiences: This option lets you approach users who already initiated some sort of communication with the brand. For instance, professional essay writers are likely to target students who already visited their website.
  • Lookalike audiences: Another option is to reach out to people who share the characteristics of your current customers.

Of course, you will discover a variety of additional targeting criteria that help you to make ads even more relevant and precise. It’s crucial to know when to run marketing campaigns for each of these three audience groups.

In case you have new additions to your product line, it’s best to create a strategy that will target custom audiences. Someone who has bought your products before will likely be interested in seeing your new products.

You should consider targeting lookalike audiences when you want to promote your most popular products or services. There’s a good chance a good portion of the people who share the characteristics of your current customers will become loyal to your brand. When you advertise on Facebook, it’s vital that you have separate marketing strategies for every audience group.

Set the Placement Type

Where do you want your ad to be shown? Facebook gives you several options here, but you need to make an accurate assessment and set the best placement type.

The most popular solution is to go for the news feed, but you can also place ads as instant articles, in-stream videos, suggested videos, or simply opt for the right column position. Another important thing about Facebook advertising is that you can pair it with Instagram and run the same campaign simultaneously.

Facebook Ads Manager will give you a placement suggestion, so you can use the default option. Once you gain enough experience and understand the behavior of the target audience, you can experiment with placements (and all other campaign features, for that matter).

Define the Budget

How much do you want to invest in your campaign? Apart from this question, you also need to think about the budget split and choose between lifetime or daily budgets.

Besides that, Facebook lets you pick the optimal campaign schedule. For instance, your ads can appear indefinitely, but we recommend determining the exact time frame. And that’s not all there is since you can take advantage of day parting to display ads on some days exclusively or at a precisely-defined period of the day.

You won’t need a lot of money to get started with advertising on Facebook. You can start small and see the reaction your ads are getting to figure out whether you should make a few tweaks to it or invest more in your campaign.

The great thing about Facebook ads is that they give you exposure to a targeted audience at an affordable price. That’s why Facebook marketing is so common with many small and medium-sized businesses around the world.

Think about the Ad Format

Campaign customization is not done yet as you need to think about the ideal ad format as well. Once again, Facebook Ads give you a handful of possibilities:

  • Single image ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads that appear as a set of images or videos
  • Canvas ads
  • Collections that appear as full-screen ads for mobile users

This option is totally up to you and your campaign objectives, but you better make sure to design professionally-looking content each time. In case you choose to use video ads to advertise on Facebook, know that you only have a second or two to grab users’ attention.

There are a ton of video ads that pop up on the news feed of the average Facebook user, which is why it’s important to create something that will be different than any other advertisement. If you manage to create a viral video that serves as an ad for your business, you’ll surely get a lot of new traffic and potential customers.

If you plan on using images to advertise on Facebook, make sure that you go with something authentic. It has become a bad practice to use stock images in Facebook ads. Stock images always stand out among Facebook posts because they look too perfect.

Instead, what you should focus on is creating images that is relevant to the products or services you offer. It’s also recommended that you add a bit of humor and show that you’re a fun brand, as this will encourage more interaction with consumers.

Don’t Forget a CTA

Finally, Facebook Ads Manager gives you a few more options to consider, with the most important being the call to action (CTA). A CTA button suggests users how to react upon seeing your post, so they can respond instantly instead of just forgetting about your ads. It’s a feature you have to use because it guarantees to drive user engagement and make your advertising campaign meaningful.

It’s great when a user stops for a second to see your ad, but it’s much better when they actually click on it and buy something. You can encourage more people to click on your ads if you offer them special discounts. In case you’re selling an online service, offer a free trial for the first thousand people that sign up to your newsletter.

In order to develop a good call to action strategy when you advertise on Facebook, you should keep the message in your ad short and simple. Let users know who you are, what your business does or sells, and what you are offering to your customers. If possible, try to also mention what makes you different from your competitors.

Another great method to encourage people to click on your ads is to create a sense of urgency. Make users feel like they’re missing out on something if they don’t buy your products. You can do this by creating an online sale that lasts only 24 hours.

The Bottom Line

Your business can reach almost every single customer through Facebook, but you do need to set up a focused advertising campaign. We showed you a step-by-step guide on how to launch high-quality ads on Facebook, so now you should be ready to give your first campaign a go.


Paul White is a full-time digital marketer and a part-time blogger at the assignment writing service. He is writing mainly about social media, online advertising, and email marketing campaigns. Paul is a passionate traveler and a long-distance runner.

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