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Getting Started with Facebook Ads: Advice for Beginners

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“I get a 100% email open rate,’ said nobody ever. All the more reason to place Facebook ads targeting your own email list.” – Mari Smith, Social Media Speaker, Consultant, and Facebook Marketing Expert

With more the 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook is one of the most effective advertising channels on the web. Which is exactly why the social network raked in $9.16 billion in ad revenue in the second quarter of 2017.

Every day, businesses turn to Facebook to boost their awareness, downloads, sales, and other vital metrics.

For beginners, however, the company’s advertising platform can seem a bit complicated and daunting.

It’s time to demystify Facebook advertising for novice users and discuss the fundamentals of creating a campaign.

If you’re ready to learn how to use Facebook advertising to reach new audiences, here are 6 steps for creating an ad campaign on Facebook.

1. Establish Your Goals

Before you dive into ad creation mode, you must first consider why you are creating the ads to begin with.

By establishing the goal(s) of the adverts, you have a definitive intention in mind; after all, if you don’t know what your target is, you’re sure to miss it.

Moreover, when we get to the next step of the process, you will need to select a marketing objective; it’s best to know this ahead of time.

Some appropriate examples of advertising goals might be:

  • Generate sales
  • Increase website traffic
  • Acquire new leads
  • Boost event attendees

Once you establish why you’re advertising, you can move on to the next step.

2. Access Facebook Ads Manager and Choose an Objective

All Facebook ad campaigns will be conducted and overseen through the site’s Ad Manager tool. This can be accessed simply by clicking “Create Ads” in your account dropdown menu.

Once you’ve accessed the Ad Manager, you can manage your progress on the left side of the screen.

To get your first campaign started, we’ll need to select a marketing objective.

Here you will find a variety of potential options, broken down into 3 categories:


Awareness goals are designed to reach individuals who are likely to be interested in your product, service, or brand. These objectives include:

  • Boost your posts
  • Promote your page
  • Reach people near your business
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Increase your reach


These are used to compel users to find out more about your brand and what it offers. Consideration objectives include:

  • Traffic
  • Engagement
  • App installs
  • Video views
  • Lead generation
  • Messages

Additionally, the Facebook Ad Manger gives more info about each of these categories.


This category contains goals aimed at driving sales or converting users in another way. Objectives include:

  • Increase conversions on your website
  • Increase engagement in your app
  • Get people to claim your offer
  • Promote a product or catalogue
  • Get people to visit your shops

After selecting your objective, name the campaign and move on to the next step.

3. Determine the Audience

Selecting the right audience characteristics is vital to the success of your campaign. These folks can be customized using the following features:

  • Location – This is a user’s location, down to a mile radius.
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Languages
  • Interests – This includes an individual’s interests, activities, hobbies, and so forth.
  • Behaviors – This includes device usage, buying habits, and similar information.
  • Connections – This determines who the ad will be shown to, based on their Facebook page, app, and event connections, or lack thereof.

Additionally, you can elect to exclude folks based on the same information found in the “Interests” section. These work the same as negative keywords in AdWords.

For the best results, try to get as specific as possible with your audience selections.

4. Choose Your Ad’s Placement

Here is where you will select where your advert shows up for your audience. Facebook suggests Automatic Placements which, “. . . will automatically be shown to your audience in the places they’re likely to perform best. For this objective, placements may include Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network and Messenger.”

Choosing this option allows Facebook to optimize the placement of your ads for the best results, at the lowest cost. This is the best choice for new advertisers.

If you’re feeling brave, you can choose from a slew of positions within Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network, and Messenger. If you go this route, it’s wise to reference this ad placement for marketing objectives guide.

5. Set a Budget and Schedule

Next up is to set your campaign budget. It’s important to remember that the number you input is the maximum amount you seek to spend. You can, however, toggle between daily and lifetime maximums.

Next, choose if you’d like your ad to begin running today, or on a set time and date, for a finite amount of time.

With this squared away, you can get down to the fun stuff.

6. Create Your Ad

When creating a new ad, the first thing you need to do is select its format. The options include:

  • Carousel – Features two or more scrollable images or videos.
  • Single image – You can create up to 6 variations for no extra charge.
  • Single video – Contains a single video.
  • Slideshow – Create a looping video with up to 10 images.

The availability of different formats may change depending on the objective you selected for your campaign.

Now, either upload your own image or browse Facebook’s library of free stock images to use for your ad. Facebook will provide the recommended sizes and ratios for images and videos to the right of the image/video uploader.

Finally, add your advert’s copy. Work hard on crafting compelling copy that directly speaks to your identified demographic.

If you have trouble with any of these components, there is a multitude of Facebook ad design guides to maximize conversions out there.

Finally, click “Confirm” to put in your payment information and purchase your ad set.

Now that you understand how to set up a Facebook ad campaign, dive in to some of today’s optimization best practices to refine your knowledge and maximize your advertising potency.

What type of ad will be your first on Facebook? What other Facebook ad questions do you have?

About the author


Tina Courtney

Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach.  Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. Visit My Google+ Profile