This post is all about building out an ad campaign and getting everything setup and ready prior to launch. This is a step by step guide for how to create a Facebook ad campaign for your business, product or service.

By now, you’ve read through the previous steps on preparing your ad campaign, including finding and building out your audience, crafting your offer and creating some enticing headlines and ad copy.

If you haven’t had a chance to review these 6 Steps to Facebook Ads, you can access them at any time via the right sidebar menu (on desktop) or if you scroll down to the bottom of the page (on mobile).

But first things first, I want to double check with you at this point that you already have a Facebook business page setup. If you do not, you can quickly create one by heading over to your Facebook profile and selecting the option to create a page.

When we run ads, each campaign will be need to be linked directly to either a business page or a personal account. So it would obviously be best to advertise your product/service directly from a business page, not a personal profile account.

So, if you haven’t created a FB page for your business, please be sure that’s set up for your campaign before launching it!

OK, so let’s jump in!

Create A Facebook Ad Campaign – Basic Setup

Below are the initial steps to completing your ad campaign setup. Please note however that Facebook frequently updates their platform, so some details and navigation may look slightly different depending on when you’re reading this post.

However, I will of course keep this information updated on any major changes. But please let me know in the comments if you have any questions or run into any problems at all!

  1. Inside of your FB business manager, navigate to the “Ads Manager” section

  2. Click on the “Create” button

  3. Choose an appropriate name and leave the “Buying Type” as is
  4. For the “Campaign Objective”, select “Conversions” from the drop-down menu
    – The campaign objective is what you “tell” the Facebook algorithm to optimize for
    – Of course you can explore other options, but we will use conversions here (which is why we built custom conversion in an earlier post)

  5. Finish the set up by following the steps below

    1. Select the special ad category box if you’re offer or product/service falls under the specified category (such as employment and/or credit offers)
    2. “Split Test” and “Campaign Budget Optimization” will be covered is subsequent posts on this site, but for now you can leave them unchecked
    3. Scroll down a bit and name the new ad set and ad (you can change these at any time)
      1. I organize my campaigns by naming the ad set something related to the interest-based audience you’ll be testing
      2. I then name the ad something related to the creative I’ll be using first, such as “picture ad” or “video test”
    4. Click “Save to Draft”

Now your campaign has been drafted and you can edit it anytime. The screen that you’ve landed on is the main campaign level of your campaign, where you can change the name of your campaign and some of the other broad details.

Editing and Campaign Navigation

If you look at the top as well as the left side menu, you’ll see the 3 campaign levels which you can navigate to for editing:

  • The main campaign level
  • The ad set level
  • The ad level

You’ll use the ad set level to edit and set up things like your audience targeting, daily budget and ad placements.

You’ll use the ad level to edit your creatives, copy and headlines, landing page destination URLs and from which Facebook business page you’ll be advertising from.

You’ll also notice whenever you enter a campaign, ad set or ad, a popup will appear asking you to publish the items. Simply select “Close” and continue working.

By de-selecting the campaign, ad set or ad from the left menu, you’ll be taken back to your main Ads Manager screen where you will see all active or inactive campaigns.

To edit your campaign, select the desired campaign and hover over the pencil icon to edit it.

You can explore some of the other drop down menus and options by clicking around and exploring

You’ll notice that there are many other buttons/options/toggles to choose from inside the Facebook Business Manager and campaign settings.

However, many of them can be quickly understood by exploring (for example, by checking the box next to the campaign, ad set or ad, and choosing “delete” from will delete that ad, ad set or campaign).

As for the other options, you can ignore these for the most part since they are not necessary for our purposes in this series.

If you have questions or would like more information on something, please leave a comment below and let me know – I’d be more than happy to provide more information where requested!

Conversions, Budget, Audience & Ad Placements

In these next steps, we’ll be choosing our conversion event, setting our budget, selecting our audience and deciding the ad placements.

Conversions

As a reminder, we need to go through this step because we chose “Conversions” as our campaign objective.

Also, you should already have a custom conversion created from the previous step covering the Facebook pixel installation and custom conversions. If you do not have your custom conversion created, then please visit this post to build your conversion event now.

Do note that if you choose another campaign objective (such as reach or traffic), then you will not need to do this step and there will be no indication to complete a custom conversion.

We are doing here for the sake of this training as well as the fact that it’s one of my top recommended objectives for running effective Facebook ads.

This is simply because completing conversions (i.e., finding customers most likely to click on our ad and perform a desired action) is often a main goal for most campaigns and marketing efforts.

So let’s choose our custom conversion.

  1. Navigate to the ad set level of your campaign
  2. Under ‘Conversion Event Location’, make sure “website” is selected and click on the blank space to bring up your options:
    1. Choose the appropriate conversion event that you created and named from the last post (for example, a conversion for people who click on your link and go to your landing page)
      1. Your Conversion event should be listed and active in the drop-down menu that appears
      2. But if it’s not, you can try troubleshooting by creating the conversion event again or by visiting the web page you want to use as the custom conversion event and reloading the page to make sure the pixel is firing

Budget

After choosing your custom conversion event, you’ll want to continue scrolling down the budget until you see the budget setting area. From here, follow the steps below:

  1.  Set the daily budget at $5-10
    1. Although you can go higher, I recommend $5 -10 for testing new ads and audiences so you don’t blow through a budget testing an audience/creative that you’re unsure will be successful. Remember, test cheaper, scale and spend more on the winning ad sets only.
    2. Test each ad for AT LEAST 3 days
      1. This is the time it takes Facebook’s algorithm to optimize and test your ad sets to see if they’re effective (one day IS NOT enough time to know if your audience will be profitable)
      2. We will cover this topic a little more below when we talk about duplicating your ads/ad sets
      3. You can ignore the start date and end date options. Just leave your ad as an ongoing campaign, which you can pause at any time manually

Choosing Your Audience & Ad Placements

After setting the budget, the next sections will ask you to select an audience and choose your ad placements.

If you read my other post (Step 1 of this series) on finding your customer and creating your audience(s), then you should have an existing saved audience already created. If not, you can also create an audience inside the campaign under “Create New Audience”.

For this post, let’s move forward with using a saved audience.

  1. Under the Audience section, select your desired audience (that you created before) from the “Use a Saved Audience” drop down
  2. Under ‘Placements’, you can either leave this as recommended or choose “Edit Placements” and leave only FB columns and FB feed clicked. I edit placements for the following reasons:
    1. Doing this allows us to control for exactly where our ads are profitable from
    2. Different platforms have different types of consumers and require a different approach for targeting different subsets of people based off of social media use
    3. Facebook is still the largest platform and has over 2 billion monthly users – so don’t worry if you worry about leaving out Instagram in the beginning, you’ll still be reaching enough of the right people
    4. If you want to include other platforms, such as Instagram, be aware that the ads inside Instagram (or LinkedIn, or Twitter, etc.) may require different designs, calls to action, engagements and creatives to be effective
  3. For ‘Optimization & Delivery’, if you select “Show More Options”, you can change the conversion window. This is an advanced strategy, but I usually select “1 day click or view” for the “Conversion Widow”
    1. I do this because I want the campaign to optimize towards people that will complete the conversion (i.e., take the desired action of visiting the landing page and claiming the offer) in 1 day, or the same day as the ad
    2. Then I’ll simply re-target people who didn’t take action within the 1 day conversion window with a totally separate re-targeting campaign (focusing on people that engaged with the content but didn’t convert)

Next Steps – Building The Ad

Awesome! Now for the fun part – making our ad and building something a little more tangible and visual. Let’s get started by following the steps below.

  1. First, click on the ad option in the left column of the screen
  2. Choose your ‘Identity’ – choose the Facebook page (and Instagram account if you’re advertising here) you’ll be promoting from (i.e., your business’ Facebook page)

  3. Now create your ad by selecting the creative option you’d like under “Format” (single image or video ad, carousel, or collection). Then choose image or video from the “Add Media” drop down menu.

    1. Don’t worry too much about which option is best
      1. We’ll be duplicating this exact ad and going through how to only change the creative (for testing which ads perform better or more profitably)
      2. You can also turn a single image into a video by selecting the button “Turn Into Video” (remember, videos tend to perform better)
      3. If you’re wondering what dynamic formats are (above the ad format options), these are ads especially useful for E-Commerce stores. They link directly with your store’s website and run ads to people who visit specific products with images of those products. This requires that you first set up a store “Catalog” inside your Business Manager.
        1. If you have questions about this, please ask below in the comments, but this topic will be covered in future posts!
  4. Using the notes you made from the previous lessons, fill out your primary text (i.e., your ad copy), ‘Headline’ and ‘News Feed Link Description’ (News Feed Link Description doesn’t show up in mobile)
  5. You can navigate to check what the ad will look like across the different placements (such as mobile versus desktop) by clicking through the < > buttons in the ad display window

  6. Double check your FB pixel is there and linked appropriately (at the bottom of the page under “Tracking”)
  7. Finished! You can exit anytime, all changes are automatically saved

One Step Closer

Congrats! We’ve set up our campaigns and now we’re only one step away from launching our ads! This is great, but there are still a few more topics to cover.

The next post will discuss duplicating our ads (so we can save a lot of time and test different creatives and audiences) and optimizing and scaling them for success.

So to learn how to create more ad variations easily and with the click of a button for testing different creatives & audiences, click the green button below for the next post!

Again, if you have any questions or came across any issues while setting up your campaigns and ads, please leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

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