The Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Advertising

facebook advertising

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Facebook advertising. This Facebook advertising guide is perfect for beginners who are looking to bring in more revenue for their business. Maybe you’ve just opened your online store and are looking for ways to generate your first sales. If so, this Facebook ads guide is perfect for you.

Are you considering running Facebook ads? After all, Facebook advertising for beginners or even seasoned marketers is possibly the most effective way to promote your products to more than 1.5 billion people around the world. You’ll be able to target specific audiences in any niche with Facebook ads, so you’ll gain a lot of vital information from this Facebook advertising guide.

If you’re just a beginner it can seem a bit complicated, but don’t worry. In this Facebook advertising guide  you’ll learn everything from pixels and conversion tracking, to numerous campaign objectives and the mysterious Power Editor tool.

I’ll share the fundamentals of Facebook advertising for beginners. That way you can launch your first successful Facebook ads campaign without wasting your time or money.

Let’s get started!

Why Facebook Advertising?

There are more than 2.2 billion monthly active users on Facebook. Thus, some of your potential customers are definitely using it too. The only question is how to reach them effectively.

Facebook ads guideFacebook advertising offers ecommerce entrepreneurs with extensive targeting options. Notably, you can reach people not just by location (countries, states, cities and even zip codes), gender, and age, but also by interests, behaviors, life events, and many other descriptions.

In addition, you can promote pretty much any content suitable for your business using Facebook advertising tools: from text posts, photos and albums, to videos, events, offers and, of course, links to your website.

When you combine an enormous user base, incredible targeting options, and a variety of ad objectives, it becomes clear why Facebook advertising is truly a powerful tool for ecommerce entrepreneurs. We’ve broken down how Facebook advertising works below:

How Do Facebook Ads Work?

In this section of the Facebook advertising guide, you’ll learn how Facebook ads work.

Facebook’s goal is to find the most effective way to allocate the limited advertising space they have.

They achieve it by running thousands of mini auctions every second, with advertisers competing against each other for ad space. If you happen to win such an auction, you’ll be charged and your ad will be displayed to the audience you chose.

And how much does Facebook advertising cost?

Well, it depends.

Because of these auctions, your Facebook advertising costs will depend on many factors. Factors include: the country, the audience, the ad placement, and even how good your ads are.

For example, there’s much more competition in the US, so you’ll have to pay more to reach the same amount of people compared to a cheaper country, like Thailand. Even within the US, some audiences can be twice or even three times more expensive to reach – you’ll have to test it for your own business and evaluate the results. In fact, Facebook advertising involves a lot of testing. Try out what you think will work and adapt your campaigns to optimize them.

Now that you know how Facebook advertising works, let’s have a look at how to create an actual campaign.

To make the process easier, let’s break it down into three parts:

1. Facebook Advertising Guide: Before

In this section of the Facebook advertising guide, you’ll learn how to set up an account.

If you haven’t created any Facebook advertising campaigns yet, you’ll have to set up your ad account in Facebook Ads Manager first.

Account Settings:

Go to the Ads Manager and select your ad account. Then, click on “Account Settings” on the top menu bar.

Facebook Ads Manager

There, fill in your business name and address.

Facebook Advertising

If you want someone else to help you manage your Facebook advertising campaigns, scroll down to the Ad Account Roles section and click “Add a Person”.

Choose which level of admin rights you want to give them, enter their full name or email address, and click confirm:

Facebook Ads Manager

By doing this, you won’t need to share any of your personal login details with them – they’ll be able to manage your ad campaigns from their own personal profiles.

Billing:

Next, add a new payment method under the “Billing” tab in the Ads Manager:

Facebook Ads Manager

There, click “Add Payment Method”, choose how you’d like to pay (by card or Paypal) and enter your payment details:

Add Payment Method

Once you’re happy with the account settings and billing, let’s move to researching your audience.

Facebook Ads Guide: Audience Research

In this section of the Facebook advertising guide, you’ll learn about audience settings.

Finding the right audience is the most critical part of Facebook advertising.

If you choose an audience that’s not relevant enough to your ad, you’ll waste some of your vital budget on reaching the wrong people. To research your audience, there are 7 key questions you can keep in mind before determining who your audience is for your Facebook advertising strategy. The answers to these questions are not necessarily complex, but it can be a time consuming process to collect and verify the answers. Remember, the right audience plays a major part in deciding the success of your Facebook ads.

  1. Who are the authority figures, thought leaders, or big brands in your niche?

    This step is quite straightforward, as you have to simply use Google to do some research about the key players in the industry, You can do this by entering the type of industry you are interested in, into the search bar and going through the results one by one. You should try to find as many names and players in the industry that you can target. For books or magazines, you could also use Amazon to do your research.
  2. What books/magazines/newspapers does your ideal customer read?

    Similar to the previous answer, you can carry out your research for this question by using Google search. You can see what magazines are popular among your target audience, which you can also research on Amazon, by searching in the book section. Normally you won’t be able to target the names of the books, but you can try targeting the authors of those books.

  3. What event do they attend?

    This can be a very essential part of your research, because normally people who are very interested in a particular topic or industry are the ones that are attending conferences or events. So it’s a great opportunity for you to find out what sort of competitions or events your target group is interested in, or is attending.
  4. What websites do they frequent?

    To understand what sort of websites your audience is interested in, you can narrow down your search by looking at the blogs or forums that they are visiting. This way you’ll get better insight into what your audience is talking about or their concerns and issues.
  5. Where do they live?

    This question can be important depending on if you are interested in selling a product that does well only in a specific geographical area.
  6. What tools do they use?

    To explain this question properly you can look into what types of tools are used by your audience. For instance ecommerce platforms are using analytics tools, content tools, marketing tools, etc. For other examples, it could be all the tools that simplify or are attached to the activity or product that your audience is concerned with.
  7. What’s completely unique about this group?

    This question might require deeper thinking. Reflect on what is a specific trait or feature of your audience that is unique and stands out.

So when it comes to targeting with Facebook advertising, I like to get super specific. For example, aiming for an audience in the US that’s from 50,000 to 100,000 people. If it’s a smaller country, the potential audience could also be even smaller.

You should avoid using generic interests, like nature, sports, or food and choose very specific ones instead: relevant brands, authors, books, magazines, websites or even other Facebook pages. If you’re looking to get ahead of the game with your Facebook advertising you should research into what interests your customers have.

To identify them, use the Audience Insights tool.

 Audience Insights

Go to Audience Insights and enter the “seed audience” you want to analyze in the sidebar:

seed audience

Then, click “Page Likes” on the top menu bar and scroll down to see a list of other pages, relevant to the audience you selected.

facebook advertising guide

In the example above, we can see that people who are interested in “running” also follow specific pages like “Spartan Race”, “Nike+ Run Club”, “Runner’s World”, and many others.

So instead of using “running” as an interest to promote your running shoes, a great Facebook advertising tip is to choose interests like Runner’s World, Nike Running, or RunHaven for your targeting to reach more relevant people.

After you’ve created a list of potential interests and decided on which product to promote, let’s create that Facebook advertising campaign.

Facebook Ads Tutorial: Launching Your First Campaign

You can also check out our Facebook Ads Tutorial on YouTube:

2. Facebook Ads Guide: During

How to Create a Facebook Advertising Campaign:

In this section of the Facebook advertising guide, you’ll learn how to create your Facebook ads campaign.

There are three main ways to launch a Facebook ad campaign:

  1. Boost post on Facebook Pages,
  2. Self-serve Ads Create tool,
  3. Power Editor tool.

Boost Post is the quickest and easiest way to promote your content, but it’s also the least effective one – So, for your Facebook advertising strategy I suggest you to stay away from it.

Power Editor, on the other hand, is a bit too complicated, especially for beginners who are just starting to learn how to advertise on Facebook. Although it gives you all the campaign features that you’d ever want, it’s not as intuitive to use.

So in this Facebook ads guide, we will create ads in the Ads Manager with the Ads Create tool. It gives you most of the campaign settings but is easier to use.

Choosing Your Campaign Objective:

First, go to the Ads Create page by clicking on this link or clicking on the small arrow in the top right corner of your Facebook profile and choosing “Create an Ad”.

You will immediately see a list of the main campaign objectives that you can choose from:

facebook advertising for beginners

There are 15 campaign objectives (although some are only accessible through Power Editor), and you should always go with the one that’s the most relevant to your end goal. This may just seem like a one click decision, but it is of high importance to your Facebook advertising strategy. One of the reasons why is because you can’t change your objective later on. So, keep in mind that the objective should describe the main purpose of your ad.

The reason why – Facebook does a lot of optimization automatically. Depending on which campaign objective you choose, Facebook will try to generate the least expensive results for you.

If you’re promoting an online store with Facebook advertising, you’ll want to choose either the ‘Send People To Your Website’ or ‘Increase Conversions objective‘, because that’s what Facebook will optimize for – website clicks or website conversions. To use the latter you need to set up some additional tracking on your Shopify store, which we’ll cover next time.

This time, choose ‘Send People to Your Website’, enter the URL of the product you want to promote, and click “Set Audience & Budget”.

Facebook ads

The next step in our Facebook ads guide is vital. For your Facebook advertising efforts to be effective you’ll need to specify the audience, the budget, and the schedule.

Select Your Audience:

Again, finding the right audience is absolutely critical for a successful campaign.

So you need to choose the location, age, gender, and language of your audience:

Facebook audience

Again, finding the right audience is absolutely critical for a successful Facebook ads campaign.

Your audience size will depend on the country that your audience is based in. So, according to the size and population of the targeted country, your audience size will vary. For instance, the size of the audience in USA will be much larger than that in The Netherlands, due to the difference in the market size. In a standard situation, when targeting US market without any specific interests or with lookalike audiences, the perfect size of an audience is around 500,000 people. It’s good to target small audiences when you’re using interest based targeting with very specific interests and you’re sure that nobody except your desirable audience can be reached there. When targeting small audiences, try using Post Engagement campaign objective, it allows to reach all the people in that audience. Additionally, it is best to avoid combing audiences from different countries. I suggest to use only one country per ad set, but if your target audience is too small to do that, try grouping similar countries. For example, US should always go alone, because their market differs from other countries. Buying ads in US is more expensive than in any other country. Also Scandinavian or Baltic countries could be grouped, because markets are basically the same, prices for advertising as well. Moreover, consumer behaviour is similar in Scandinavian countries. The same would apply to Baltic countries.

A handy Facebook advertising tip is to avoid making any demographic or age based assumptions when starting your first advertising campaign. The biggest age groups in Facebook are 18-24 year olds and 25-34 year olds, but maybe you’ll uncover a goldmine in the older generation. That’s why try targeting all age groups and after a few days or some time you can make data driven decisions.

Then, plug one or a few interests you’ve already discovered into the Detailed Targeting section:

Detailed Targeting section

You can even use a combination of interests by using the Narrow Audience feature – e.g. targeting people who are interested in all of the above AND the Runkeeper app:

Detailed Targeting section

By doing that, you’ll make sure you’re reaching the most relevant audience, so the response to your ads will be higher too.

‘Better response’ will lead to cheaper clicks and more chances to get a sale. It’s one of the most beneficial aspects of Facebook advertising.

Set Your Budget & Schedule:

Once you’ve found an optimal audience, choose from a daily or lifetime budget, and enter how much you’d like to spend.

Those who are completely new to Facebook advertising might find this step a bit tricky. The reason why is because with Facebook advertising costs, nothing is set in stone. Different market conditions may require you to set your budget differently. So, in this step of our beginner’s guide to Facebook advertising, we’ll try to clear out the confusions you might have in mind.

daily or lifetime budget

Don’t be afraid to set your daily budget bigger on the first day, because when you are just starting a campaign Facebook won’t be able to spend the whole budget on the first day. And, if your Facebook ad is successful you won’t have to lift the budget. In the case that you are not satisfied, you can always alter it in the future, but it will give you a much better understanding of how you perform. Lifting the budget is a sensitive action, and needs to be dealt with carefully. As a general rule, if you decide to lift your budget, lift it maximum 30-40% and don’t make any changes in the next 2-3 days.

Then, choose whether to run it continuously or between a specific date. If you are new to Facebook ads, and you are not yet familiarized with what the best schedule is for your campaign, you could leave it as the default setting Facebook offers. This way, Facebook will run your ad continuously. If you decide to set a start and end date for your schedule, and you see that it is not working well for your Facebook ads, you can always go back and change the schedule.

In the Advanced Budget Settings, you can also choose your bidding and optimization preferences.

It deserves a separate article just for this one topic, but I’d generally suggest to begin with the default options: optimizing for link clicks to your website or website conversions and using automatic bids.

Once you’re happy with the Settings, click “Choose Ad Creative” to create the actual ads.

Design Your Ads:

This is one of the most important aspects of our Facebook advertising guide. There are two ways to create an ad: a new ad from scratch or choose an existing post that you’ve already published on your page.

Also, decide whether you want to use a single image or video in your ads, or go with multiple images (also known as carrousel or multi-product ads):

multiple images

If you wanted to promote a few products from the same category in one ad, go with the multiple images format. If you have just one specific offer, choose single image format.

Next, choose what will be the media for your ads: images, slideshow, or a video. I would suggest to begin with using images for your ads:

images for your ads

You can select up to 6 images when creating a new Facebook advertising campaign, which will create up to 6 ad variations in your campaign.

By creating a few ads, you can quickly see which image is working the best. You can choose this one and pause the other ads to save your ad budget.

The recommended image size is 1200 x 628 pixels and I suggest to save them in .png format.

Facebook recommended image size

Image Background Color

When people are scrolling through their Facebook newsfeed, it’s usually hard to get their attention. That’s why, for your Facebook ads try using vivid banner backgrounds that stand out in the newsfeed. Usually, a human face has the biggest impact on attracting your customers’ attention, but keep in mind that it could harm you as much as it can help. For example, if the face in your ad is looking straight into the camera, it might fully grab the attention of a potential buyer. That may seem like a good thing at first, but this way the customer might be distracted from the product you are promoting so you might end up paying for an impression that gives you nothing in return. Try to find images where the model is looking sideways or gesturing toward the product or toward the area where the product information is listed. If you’re not using any faces in your banner, make it all about your product. Either way, it should be the main theme of your image.

After images, move on to the text part of your Facebook ad.

Here, choose the Facebook page you will be running the ads from – you can also choose to remove it, but that will stop you from running the ads in the mobile news feed or desktop news feed, which you don’t want.

You can connect your Instagram account too, if you wanted to show your ads on Instagram.

Then, enter the headline and text that will be used for your ad and choose an optional call-to-action button. Text will appear above the image and the headline immediately below it.

For the headline you have a character limit of 25 symbols, and for a post text, you have 90 characters.

headline

Headline:

Your headline should be short, and it should reveal the main characteristics about your product. If your primary selling point is the price, use it in your headline to emphasize how reasonably priced it is. Don’t use more than one selling point here because the headline will be too long and you will confuse your potential customers with too much information, which could come off as pushy.

Main text:

First of all, make sure you add value propositions. In this text, you will also want to emphasize the value your product brings to your potential customers. The second thing to include is a clear call-to-action. This is why you don’t always have to put any call-to-action on the ad image itself. The call-to-action should very clearly declare what you’re seeking with your campaign. If you want people to buy from you, use “Shop Now”, “Buy Now”,“Get One Now” etc, to grab their attention. Third, add a link to your preferred landing page. You should give your users as many opportunities to click through and visit your store as possible.

Call-to-action buttons:

Call-to-action buttons tend to get mixed reviews. On one hand, it is good to have a clearly visible call-to-action button in proximity to the ad image where you want people to click. On the other, it puts even more elements onto your ad image, which distracts people from what’s really important – your product. If you decide to use a CTA button on your banner, use the RGB color wheel to decide which color your button should be. This method is simple. Look at the main color of your banner, find it on the RGB color wheel, and then look at the color opposite of it. This is the color your CTA should be. There are a few reasons as to why you shouldn’t add a lot of text to your image. The first one is Facebook’s 20% text rule. This means that no more than 20% of your image should be covered with text (logo excluded). Facebook doesn’t disapprove ads, even if they have more than 20% text on it, but it will lower the ad’s delivery. Another reason is additional elements on the image would distract attention from the product itself. Moreover, you shouldn’t use text over your image because Facebook leaves you a lot of space above and below the ad image for you to write about your product, it’s pricing, and where you could get it.

Below Call To Action, click “Show Advanced Options” and enter a News Feed Link Description that will appear below your headline.

Show Advanced Options

Check the ad preview to make sure it looks exactly how you want:

Show Advanced Options

Finally, remove any ad placements that you don’t want to use.

When you’re using Facebook advertising it’s best to use just one placement whenever possible: if you choose multiple ad placements, Facebook will again try to optimize your campaign and will usually push most of your budget to mobile devices.

If that’s what you want, great. But if you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, this could lead to getting a ton of mobile traffic with very few checkouts. This will mean that you’re wasting some of your valuable funds on Facebook advertising, which is something you’ll need to avoid.

I also recommend to not use the Audience Network placement – they include third party apps and websites that are outside of Facebook and usually don’t generate the results you want. What’s worse, you can’t control the context of those websites, so your ad might be showing up to the right audience but on a very strange piece of content.

 Audience Network placement

And once you’re happy with all of the above, click “Review Order”, double check your campaign settings, and click “Place Order”.

Congratulations – you’ve just created your first Facebook advertising campaign!

Facebook Ads Tutorial: How to Create a High Converting Banner

You can also check out our video tutorial for creating a banner which will help your Facebook ads convert here:

3. Facebook Advertising Guide: After

In this section of the Facebook advertising guide, you’ll master how to get better insight into your ad effectiveness by analyzing reports.

It’s a fact that you’ll have some countries, age groups, gender, interests, placements, and ads performing better than the others. The most important thing about optimization is that the you shouldn’t start to optimise campaigns one day after running them. Let the algorithm learn about your audience. Usually, it’s optimal to start making some changes to campaigns in 3 or 4 days after starting them. This applies also on budget adjustments and ending the campaign – wait 3 to 4 days before making a final conclusive decision.

What’s truly amazing is that you can find all that information in the Facebook Ad Reports, so make it a habit to come back every few days and evaluate your campaigns.

guide to facebook advertising

For example, you can check the Performance & Clicks report to see how the ad is doing overall.

Performance & Clicks

As a rule of thumb, aim to achieve at least 1% click-through rate on Desktop News Feed or Mobile News Feed.

If you’re getting a very high click-through rate, then your offer, audience and ad design, work well. If you see that you’re not getting, at minimum, 1% click-through rate, you will want to continuing testing. To make the most out of your Facebook advertising campaigns you can test other products, or other audiences. It’ll help your ecommerce store grow in the long run.

Also, see how many clicks you’re receiving and what is the cost per click for different ads and audiences. This will help you plan your future Facebook advertising campaigns.

Finally, check your Facebook ad campaigns by different breakdowns:

ad campaigns

With Breakdown, you can very quickly analyze your results by various segments. For example, different countries, age, gender and placement, and identify any hidden gems that work well.

Age: Look for the best converting age group, and push the entire budget there. If your audience is big enough, and several age groups are performing well, you could split them into several ad sets in order to get a clear test. This is a good idea especially when both the 18-24 and 35-44 age groups are performing. Because you can’t simply exclude the age group in between them, in this situation you have to split the campaign.

Gender: If you see that either men or women are converting more on your products, exclude the other gender and focus on only one.

Country/Region: This process is more time consuming in comparison to the others. It’s best not to optimize based on regions at the beginning. If you’re targeting several different countries in the same ad set it makes sense to optimize if any particular country is dragging the performance of the ad set down.

Ad Placement: If you’re starting with Desktop and Mobile Newsfeed, you need to know if your customers are visiting your store and buying products more on Mobile or on Desktop. Take a look at placement breakdown metrics and exclude placement that isn’t converting while burning most of your budget.

Find those hidden opportunities, edit your ad campaign, and focus on those components that are bringing the best results.

Facebook Ads Tutorial: Optimizing Your Facebook Ads

If you’re looking for more info, you can also check out our video guide to optimizing your Facebook ads below:

Facebook Advertising Tips

  • When you see that your best performing ad sets are no longer performing as well, clone them and restart. This way usually you’ll get great ROI again
  • Warm up your new banners to get social proof on them. Facebook algorithm still likes posts with lots of reactions, comments and shares
  • Start with a slightly larger budget than you want to spend. At first Facebook won’t spend all your daily budget, but you won’t have to adjust it if the ad set will work. Adjusting the budget is a very sensitive topic. Quite often the algorithm messes up the performance of your ad set if you adjust your budget too much or too frequently
  • Before turning your ad set off, try changing the image of the ad you’re using. Many times it’s just a banner blindness of your audience that causes low ROI. Change the image, wait for a few days and then make a decision about it.

Facebook Ads Guide Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve finished this Facebook Ads guide. Now you know all about Facebook advertising for beginners. You’re ready to create your first Facebook advertising campaign to promote your ecommerce products.

Also, You can research audiences, choose your campaign settings, and design your ads.

You should also be comfortable with analyzing your campaign performance by reviewing different performance metrics. For example, click-through rates, cost per click, and breakdowns, which will lead to much better advertising decisions .

Now, it’s time you follow these steps above and create your first successful Facebook ad campaign.

Good luck!

Want to learn more?

Is there anything else you’d like to know more about and wish was included in this Facebook Ads guide? Let us know in the comments below!

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