If you’ve spent any time on my site before, you may have noticed my free “6 Steps to Facebook Ads” series (located in the side bar on desktop as well as within the resources page in the main menu). These steps are detailed and provide the necessary tools, knowledge and skills for how to create an ad for Facebook.
Although I recommend you visit these posts individually to get a better understanding for setting up a profitable ad campaign, I understand that we are all busy and may not have the time. So let this post serve as a beginner-friendly shortcut to Facebook ad success.
Before getting started, it can be useful to review Facebook’s compliance policy to make sure your ads aren’t disapproved.
If you ever have any questions, issues or concerns, please leave a comment below or feel free to reach out anytime via the contact page.
Before we jump in, I should mention that if this is your first time running ads on Facebook, you’ll need to create a Facebook Business Manager account. Don’t worry, it’s totally free and painless. Follow this link to set that up now!
Alright, let’s get started with the 6 steps to Facebook ad success!
*This post contains affiliate links, which I may receive compensation from. This is at no cost to you and lets me keep the lights on. Read more here…
Step 1 – Your Customers
It goes without saying, but all success starts with understanding exactly who your customers are. If you don’t have this dialed in, then all other efforts will be fruitless.
If you’re an established business or you have existing customer data, then this process can be sped up.
If you have data (i.e., an email list or Facebook pixel data) of at least 1,000 people, then you can input this data and Facebook will create a custom audience targeting these exact people OR create a lookalike audience of similar people who are also likely to buy your product or service.
If you’re starting from scratch, then I recommend you think critically about exactly who your customers are. Answer the following questions and write your answers down for reference:
- What are their demographics and age?
- What are their interests, hobbies, passions and talents?
- Who do they follow? What publications do they read?
- What companies (related to your product, service or offer) do they like/prefer?
If you need help to come up with interests and profile data for your prospects, use the following tools and resources:
- Free: Facebook’s Audience Insights (inside your business manager)
- Free: The “Suggestions” box when creating a “Saved Audience” in the Audiences section (inside your Business Manager)
- Free + Free Trial: Build surveys to get feedback (and build more successful, engaging and interactive ads!)
- Free Trial: The audience explore feature from the Connectio software platform.
- Among other automation and campaign performance tools, this innovative software takes the guesswork out of your audience research and identifies exactly who your target market is.
OK, so this has been brief, but I hope you’re able to start viewing your customers more strategically. As general rules of thumb, remember their pain points and what problems you’re solving for them. Think about what they like to do and where they spend their free time.
For more information on finding your customers and building audiences, check out this post!
Once you have a sold grasp on who your customers are exactly, you’ll want to think about an offer for your ad – a very specific offer.
Step 2 – Your Offer
Your offer, campaign messaging and audience selection all need to be aligned and hyper-specific. You may have come across buzzwords and phrases like niche, direct marketing and providing a personalized ad experience.
Well, there’s good reason for this – it’s because this method works. In fact, if you’re not being hyper-specific and focused with your ads, your targeting and your offer, then you’ll be appealing to no one.
Just remember this tenet when writing copy, offers and finding your target market: If you try to appeal to everybody, you will appeal to nobody.
So, what makes a good offer? A good offer, at the bare minimum, needs to be:
- Include specific results, case studies and timelines
- Relevant to your target audience
- What specific problem is your offer solving for your audience
- Focus on giving value and providing a quick, actionable solution for your target audience
Beyond this brainstorming technique, you can also look to your competitors and other ad examples as inspiration (of course, never copy someone exactly).
Also, it’s a good strategy to visit online community boards or browse shopping marketplaces (such as Amazon) who offer a product/service similar to yours. Go through the comments or reviews section and see what people are frequently complaining about.
Then craft your offer around solving a specific problem learned from those customers.
For more information on creating an offer that sells, check out this post!
Once you have your offer honed in, now you can start drafting your ad text, headlines and images/videos.
Step 3 – Your Copy & Creatives
This is an extremely important step and I’ll have to echo what I said above: be specific and be relevant. When you’re writing your copy, make sure your messaging is specific and address the specific subset of customers you’re targeting and their specific problem with your specific solution (i.e., your offer).
Pretty specific, right?
When you’re thinking about what to write, talking about the following two things is not only best practice and industry standard, but it’s a simple formula for making sure you’re on point:
- Talk about and address the current problem or pain your customer is facing
- Talk about how nice their life will be after they take your offer (i.e., how your offer solves their problems and pain)
It’s important to remember the customer transformation. This is a valid marketing tenet to remember: Customers only buy products and services because of the transformation they believe will occur because of that purchase.
So as long as you talk about that transformation, you’ll already be on your way to a successful campaign.
When it comes to choosing your creatives (i.e., your images and/or videos), of course you’ll want to select something relevant to your offer and, if possible, something that is eye-catching also.
It’s important to note here that Facebook doesn’t like images with too much text, so try to keep the ratio below 20% if your copy includes text.
If you have too much text, don’t worry, Facebook will let you know!
Second, the Facebook Ads Manager lets you choose between 3 options for your creatives.
- A single image or video
- A carousel (multiple images/videos for scrolling)
- Collection (a group of creatives that open into a full screen format)
Choosing the best option is totally up to you and depends on your preference, objective and specific offer(s) or product(s).
If you choose a single image, you can turn that image into a video inside your Ads Manager. You do this by selecting the button “Turn into Video” next to your uploaded image (you’ll have to upload an image first).
Finally, if you don’t have existing images, videos and/or branded content to use for your ads, then check out these free resources below:
- Pixabay (1 million+ images and videos available for free commercial use)
- Canva (create logos and edit images easily)
- Wave.video (highly recommended; a powerful tool for creating high-quality video ads; no technical experience required)
OK, that should get you going with most everything you need to get started with making enticing copy and choosing quality creatives.
If you’d like more information on this topic, then check out this post!
The next step is crucial for long-term success. Installing your Facebook pixel ensures that you can collect data and run super effective re-targeting ads in the future.
Step 4 – Pixel Installation
Installing your pixel is pretty simple actually. First you’ll want to head over to your Events Manager (inside the menu drop down of your Facebook Business Manager).
From there, you should see a button for “Set Up Pixel” (if you already have a pixel made, click on the pixel and then find the “set up” button on that following page).
Next you’ll want to choose to either integrate (if you have a web hosting platform that integrates with Facebook, such as Shopify) or manually install your pixel.
To manually install the pixel code, you want to simply copy the code given to you and paste it into your head tracking area on your website’s back office settings.
Since there are too many hosting platforms to provide individual tutorials for each one’s pixel set-up, I recommend you head over to Google-Sensei and do a quick search for the solution (for example, “how to install pixel on WordPress”).
It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete.
To double check that your pixel is installed correctly, you can search for and download the “Facebook Pixel Helper” Chrome extension.
This allows you to see which websites have a Facebook pixel installed for tracking visitors (marketers use this tool as a way to filter through potential businesses they want to reach out to for ad services).
If you’d like a full tutorial on setting up your pixel, check out this article!
Step 5 – Building Your Campaign
OK, if you’ve done everything above, then you should have your target audience dialed in, your specific offer determined, your text copy drafted and your pixel installed, ready for tracking and re-targeting ads (as you start to gather more data and move forward with Facebook ads).
Building your actual campaign just means bringing all these elements together and putting the information into your Ads Manager.
Your Ads Manager is where you’ll build all new campaigns. After navigating to this page in your Facebook Business Manager, you’ll see a button to create a new campaign. Select this to get started and name your new campaign.
Each campaign will have 3 levels:
- The campaign level
- Where you name the campaign and set the objective
- The ad set level
- Where you edit your audience, ad placements and budget; starting with a budget of around $5/day is good
- The ad level
- Where you edit your copy, creatives and Facebook pages that you advertise from
If you’re new to Facebook ads, then this may seem a bit rushed. But I wanted to keep this quick guide brief since there are just too many points to talk about individually in this article alone.
I suggest you head over to this post if you’d like the full tutorial on building out your campaign and choosing your objectives.
Otherwise, let’s move on and talk about the final things you’ll need to do when running a successful Facebook ad campaign!
Step 6 – Duplication, Launching & Optimization
After you finish building out your initial campaign, you’ll probably want to create multiple ad sets and ad variations for testing purposes.
I talk about this a lot in my other posts and it’s extremely important to note that any successful campaign requires that you test multiple images, audiences and copy.
This testing process never stops and is the only way to guarantee a successful campaign.
Luckily, there is a shortcut way to quickly add new variables for testing to your campaigns. It’s using the duplication feature inside your Ads Manager.
If you hover over your campaign, ad set or ad (when outside of the editing mode), then you’ll see an option to “duplicate” that specific item.
This means everything that you created in the step above will be copied and transferred into a new ad set or ad. Then all you need to do is change out the thing that you want to test for (such as the image, copy or audience).
- If you want to test a new audience, then copy the ad set
- If you want to test different image(s), video(s) or copy, then duplicate the ad itself
After you finish duplicating the ad sets/ads that you want, then all that’s left is to launch your campaign. You can do this by selecting the “Publish” button.
Take note that the process for approval can take up to 24 hours (or even more in some cases!). This is especially true for new accounts that are launching their first campaigns.
As such, it’s a good idea to double check that your ad is Facebook compliant so you don’t run into any issues and have your ads disapproved.
This is just a tedious and time-consuming thing to have to fix when trying to launch a new campaign!
As for optimization, you’ll want to run your ads for at least 3 days to gather data.
From here, you’ll want to increase the budgets on the best performing ones and pause/stop the under-performing ads and ad sets.
Determining which ads are performing better will require you to monitor metrics such as CTRs (click through rates), link clicks, ROI, ROAS and ad spend against website adds to cart and purchases.
You can find these metrics inside your ads manager by selecting the button for “customizing” your columns.
Or, if you’re like me and prefer automated reporting (saving you up to 30 hours of time analyzing and manually reviewing data), then I recommend using a tool like SuperMetrics (for Google Sheets is a great package). This tool provides you with all the data necessary for informed decision-making on ad optimizations and scaling.
But briefly, you can optimize your ads by doubling your ad budget (on the winning ads/ad sets) every few days until you reach about $50. Then continue to raise the budget by around 15-20% each time after that.
As your budget increases to higher amounts, your ads will continue to perform better and be naturally optimized by the Facebook algorithm.
If you’d like more information on duplicating, launching and optimizing, then head over to this post!
OK, so this article did run a bit longer than anticipated, but I hope it has provided a useful bird’s eye view of the Facebook ad process.
Again, if you refer to my 6 Steps to Facebook Ads series (in the side bar menu on desktop or in the resources pages on the main menu), you will find more detailed information.
Let me know your questions and Facebook ad experiences in the comments below!