In this guide we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about advertise on Facebook—from planning your first Facebook ad to advanced strategies.

Facebook advertising is an important way to connect with your audience on the world’s largest social network.

The ever-changing Facebook algorithm can make it a challenge to connect organically with fans. But Facebook’s micro-targeting features allow you to reach your exact target audience. That means Facebook ads can get your message in front of the people who are most likely to want your products or services.

That’s great for your budget, conversion rates, and return on investment. You only pay to reach the most valuable potential customers.

It’s important to understand the different Facebook ad types and targeting options before you dive in if you want to get the best results. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know, from planning your first ad to developing advanced campaign strategies.

TOP 5 Reasons to Advertise on Facebook

Reason #1. Facebook Advertising is Highly Effective

No one would have guessed in 2004 that Facebook would become what it is today. With more than 2.2 billion monthly active and close to 1.5 billion daily active users, Facebook is a major part of people’s lives. This is a trend that is not going to change any time soon as we continue to ride the waves of the information era.

Facebook is considered one of the top advertising channels online, and digital ad spend accounts for a whopping 51% of total advertising spend in the US. If you are not sure whether Facebook ads will work for you, just let the data speak for itself:

Facebook has seen a steady increase of advertising revenue year over year in the last decade because Facebook ads work.  In a survey by Kleiner Perkins, it was found that 78% of American consumers say they’ve discovered products on Facebook.

Facebook ads can work for you, too, if you take the time to master the complex art that is creating highly effective Facebook ads.

As of June 2018, 55.1% of the world’s population has internet access, so the potential for growth on Facebook is great now and into the future as more people gain internet access and join Facebook. Facebook and the internet as a whole will continue to be the best way for you to connect with consumers and generate sales using ads.

Reason #2. Simple Set-Up Process and Fast Results

Setting up a Facebook campaign takes little time and can yield excellent results for your business. It is an undeniable truth that digital advertising produces a great ROI and it can happen very quickly with the right campaign and product. That is why you see Facebook ads for small local businesses as well as large corporations.

Anyone can log on to Facebook and create a business manager account, set a payment method and publish a campaign in a matter of minutes. You can even experiment with your campaign to find the lowest possible cost per lead through ad creation tools such as AdEspresso.

The following chart shows variations in CPC (cost per click) throughout the year on different placements using data from 2017. The Instagram placement had a CPC of $1.15 in Q4 2017 while desktop newsfeed placement in the same quarter had a CPC of only about $.50.

We can see that you can start driving traffic to your website starting at .10 cents a click. You don’t need an extraordinarily large budget to get started, and compared to running ads on other digital channels such as Google getting started with Facebook ads is quite simple.

You can boost a single post to reach users directly from your Facebook page, or you can create a more complex campaign that targets custom audiences and produces even greater results with the business manager.

After this guide, you’ll be confident on how to use business manager to create a winning Facebook campaign.

Reason #3. You Can Reach Your Ideal Audience

We’ve already touched on just how many people use Facebook every day, so is it any surprise that it is a great way to reach your ideal audience? Facebook provides tons of detailed ways to reach specific people based on their behavior on your website, their known likes, engagement with your Facebook page, and other various elements of their demographic such as age, gender, and location. You can create extremely granular audiences that produce a high ROI using Facebook ads.

In a 2017 study, it was found that 57% of consumers say that social media influences their shopping. Out of that 57%, 44% said that Facebook of all social media platforms was most influential.

With the targeting options available to you as an advertiser and the influence Facebook has on consumer behavior, Facebook is the perfect channel for reaching your ideal audience.

Reason # 4. Facebook Ad Campaigns Are Highly Customizable

You can construct the perfect ad experience using Facebook ads. Contrary to another big name in the digital ad space, Google, your Facebook ad experience can be designed to attract your perfect audience. That is because Facebook has a wide range of ad formats to choose from.

You can create a compelling video ad that millennial dog owners can’t resist watching, or an immersive canvas ad for senior citizen dog owners that explain every detail and benefit of your dog food product, for example.  We will explore in depth the different Facebook ad types in Chapter 4 of this guide, but let’s have a look at how many campaign objective options there are: 

That’s 11 different Facebook ad objectives you can choose from based on your different goals. You can customize your ad design, copy, landing pages and virtually every element of the campaign including technical aspects such as:

  • Target audience
  • Bidding
  • Delivery optimization

These options make Facebook the most customizable advertising network, allowing you to create very specific ad experiences.

Reason # 5. Facebook Is Adding New Features Every Month

Facebook is constantly adding more features and improving user experience for both advertisers and normal Facebook users. This is a large part of why Facebook has sustained growth for so long, it’s always providing more value.

In 2018, we saw many changes on the platform that impact advertisers from new carousel ads for Instagram stories to categories for dynamic ads. With all  of these Facebook updates, we can expect that Facebook continues to make their ad network more powerful and easier to use.

The faster you learn to advertise on Facebook, the sooner you’ll unlock the full potential of social media advertising. The best way to start learning about Facebook ads as a beginner is to just set up your Facebook Business Manager account and get in there and create your campaign!

That is exactly what we’re going to do in this guide.

Types of Facebook Ads

Image Ads

These simple ads are a great way to get started with Facebook advertising. You can create one with just a few clicks by boosting an existing post with an image from your Facebook Page.

Image ads may be simple, but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring. For example, you might think socks are a pretty ho-hum product, but Happy Socks puts them in surprising contexts to create fun Facebook photo ads.

Video Ads

Video ads can run in News Feed and Stories, or they can appear as in-stream ads in longer Facebook videos. Video ads can show your team or your product in action, like this quick demo video ad from We Are Knitters.

Your video ads don’t need to use filmed video footage. You can also create GIF-like graphics or other animations to capture attention or explain your offer, like in this ad from the New York Times.

Also notice the targeting on this ad: It specifically mentions an offer for Europe (where I live). In my feed, I can also see which of my friends already like the NYT Facebook Page. This makes the copy extra-compelling.

Video Poll Ads

This mobile-only Facebook ad format incorporates an interactive component with video polls. It’s a brand-new type of Facebook paid advertising, but Facebook’s early data shows that these ads can increase brand awareness more effectively than regular video ads.

Carousel Ads

A carousel ad uses up to 10 images or videos to showcase your product or service. You can use this format to highlight different benefits of one product, a number of different products, or even use all the photos together to create one large panorama image, like this:

Slideshow Ads

Slideshow ads offer an easy way to create short video ads from a collection of still photos, text, or existing video clips. If you don’t have your own images, you can choose stock photos directly from Ads Manager.

Slideshow ads have eye-catching motion, just like videos, but use five times less bandwidth, so they load well even for people on slow internet connections. They’re an easy, low-impact way to draw attention.

Collection Ads

These Facebook paid ads, which are offered only for mobile devices, allow you to showcase five products that customers can click to buy.

Collection ads pair with Instant Experiences (more on those below) to allow people to buy your products without ever leaving Facebook. This makes online shopping easy when people are on-the-go and may not have a great internet connection.

Instant Experience Ads

Instant Experience ads used to be called Canvas. They’re a full-screen ad format that loads 15 times faster than a mobile website outside of Facebook, like this example from American Express.

You can also link to additional Instant Experiences so people have access to even more instant mobile content.

Lead Ads

Lead ads are only available for mobile devices because they’re specifically designed to make it easy for people to give you their contact information without a lot of typing. They’re great for collecting newsletter subscriptions, signing someone up for a trial of your product, or otherwise allowing people to ask for more information from you.

Tokio Marine, an insurance company, used lead ads to generate 11,000 leads in just 17 days. In addition to an easy-to-complete lead form, the ads used a Messenger bot to further qualify potential new clients. The campaign reduced the cost of lead collection by 60 percent.

Because these ads are such a great way to feed your sales funnel, we’ve got a whole guide to using Facebook lead ads that breaks down all the details you need to know to make the most of this important type of Facebook ad campaign.

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ads allow you to promote targeted products to the customers most likely to be interested in them.

For instance, if someone has visited a product page or placed a product in their shopping cart on your website, but then abandoned the purchase, dynamic ads for that precise product will appear in their Facebook feed.

This reminds the potential customer to complete the purchase, and can be a very effective Facebook marketing strategy.

The French store Smallable used dynamic ads to retarget potential customers with carousel, collection, image, and Stories formats. Smallable showed Facebook users ads for products they had already expressed interest in, resulting in a 124 times return on ad spend.

Messenger Ads

Facebook Messenger ads give you access to the 1.3 billion people who use Messenger every month. When creating your ad, simply choose Messenger as the desired placement. You also need to select Facebook feed.

You can also run “click-to-Messenger” ads in the Facebook feed. These ads feature a call-to-action button that opens a Messenger conversation with your Facebook Page, so people can have a one-on-one conversation with one of your salespeople or customer service reps.

Stories Ads

Scientific American found that 72% of millenials won’t rotate their phones to watch widescreen videos. Stories ads are a full-screen vertical video format that allow you to maximize screen real estate without expecting viewers to turn the screen.

These ads have proven highly effective. A Facebook-commissioned Ipsos survey showed that more than half of people said they were making more online purchases because of Stories ads.

Stories Augmented Reality Ads

Augmented reality ads use features like filters and animation to allow people to interact with your brand. This ad format is new to Facebook, but 63% of U.S. Internet users say they have already tried an AR brand experience. Facebook AR Stories ads go into open beta this fall.

Playable Ads

This is another new ad format that incorporates interactivity. You create a game experience that encourages people to interact with your creative content.

How to Set Up Your Facebook Advertising Account

If you’re unsure how to get started with Facebook advertising, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

Up next, you’ll find step-by-step instructions for setting up your Facebook advertising account, including the guidelines for working with Facebook Business Manager and Facebook Ads Manager.

What is Facebook Business Manager?

Business Manager is a tool designed for managing your Facebook Pages and ad accounts.

By using Business Manager, you can:

  • Manage access to your Facebook Pages and ad accounts – see what individuals have access to your Pages and ad accounts and remove or change their permissions.
  • Work with agencies – you can also share your Business Manager account with agencies so that they can help you manage your ad campaigns.

You can have multiple ad accounts and users all combined under your Business Manager account.

Here’s a quick overview of the two roles available in Facebook Business Manager: Admin and Employee:

There’s a different set of roles for Facebook ad accounts that you can also manage and edit in the Business Manager.

In order to create a campaign, your business manager must manage at least one Facebook page.

To add a Facebook page to your business manager:

  • Go to Business Manager Settings
  • On the left, click on Accounts -> Pages
  • In the Pages column, click on the “Add Page” CTA
  • Select one of the 3 options: “Claim a Page”, “Request Access to a Page” or “Create a New Page”
  • If you choose to request access or claim a Page, enter the Facebook page name or URL

To add an advertising account to your Business Manager:

  • Go to Business Manager Settings
  • On the left, click on Accounts -> Ad Accounts
  • In the Ad Account column, click on the blue “Add Account” CTA
  • Choose one of the 3 options: “Claim Ad Account”, “Request Access to an Ad Account” or “Create a New Ad Account”
  • If you choose to request access or claim an ad account, enter the ad account ID 

Before you can start advertising, you’ll need to give Facebook additional account information and enter your credit card data as a payment method for your ads.

Setting Up Your Ad Account Info

You can’t publish your first campaign without setting up your payment method. This pays for the running of your ads. Once you set up your ad account, you won’t have to do this again until you need to change the payment method or create a new ad account.

Let’s navigate to our ad account settings and set this up!

Go to your Business Manager and from there, click on  “Ad Accounts” located under “Accounts”. Fill in all the blanks by entering your company’s name, address, and other relevant information.

If you’re a business in the EU, you’ll also be prompted to insert your VAT number. Facebook will allow you to choose your billing currency and your timezone. Be extremely careful with this information as you won’t be able to change it once you’ve created your ad account account.

Once you enter your company information, you will need to enter your billing details.

Setting Up Your Billing & Payment Information