The absolute magic of Facebook advertising is the fact that almost everyone at some point in the day is likely to check their Facebook newsfeed, whether they are the CEO of a multinational corporation, a stay at home moms, or solopreneur.  Combine insane volume with sophisticated targeting options and you have a POWERFUL tool in the hands of savvy marketers.

Think of the potential of reaching exactly the type of audience who might be interested in your product or service, even if they are not actively looking for it!  By understanding your target audience and their needs, wants, desires and pain-points, you can sell them products or services that they don’t yet know they need.  Using Facebook ads effectively you can target people at every stage of the buying funnel with ads designed just for them.

In this guide,  we will explore practical tips for conceptualizing and creating magnetic Facebook ads.  The platform itself and tools change almost daily so the focus of this guide will be about the process and overarching strategy for creating Facebook advertising campaigns that truly WORK.

The Benefits of Advertising on Facebook

Say you sell an app that monitors teenager’s usage of Facebook, and your target audience is of course parents of teenagers.  These parents may not even know that monitoring apps exist.  Using Facebook, you can use interest targeting to identify this potential audience and tell them about your service.   But how can you identify these parents who might be interested?

How about creating an ad targeting women 30 – 60 who are interested in “prom” or “homecoming”?  This will give you an audience of over 1.1 million people in the USA of moms who have teenage children.

Or targeting adults between the ages of 30 and 60 who are interested in “Teenagers” and “Family and Relationships: Parenting”?  You can reach over 11 million people this way!

Think of Facebook ads as Evolved Display Advertising, where you can hyperfocus who sees the ads in a way that marketers of the past could only dream of.

Once you identify social segments all you need is a relevant, captivating ads to start promoting your product to an incredibly targeted group of potential customers.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

This capacity for identifying psychographically interested audiences is the beauty of Facebook advertising.  You can match the psychographics very specifically with the ad image, copy and text, thus improving the potential for conversions.

Your success with Facebook advertising is determined by a combination of factors, including how you track/measure effectiveness, the power of the creatives, and of course the audience that you choose for each ad.   Who you target, and where this audience may be in the sales funnel, will directly influence the results of that ad campaign.  So if you measure an ad meant for “branding” on direct sales, the results may be dismal…but if you measure that using branding KPI’s, this will paint a completely different picture.  Create appropriate goals and KPI’s so you can genuinely track the effectiveness of your campaign.

Determine your Goals and KPI’s

The overall process of creating Facebook ads is simple. Before you even begin creating the actual ad creative, however, it is crucial to take the time in advance to explicitly spell out to whom you’re going to market, how, and the methodology for measurement.

What do you want your ads to accomplish? How will you measure this?  Here are a few examples of types of goals and KPI’s that you can use:

  • Branding: This type of KPI is never about making an immediate sale but is about the attribution model, whereby every sale requires multiple impressions of an ad or brand interaction to finally arrive at a sale.  According to Social Media Maverick Marty Weintraub, “Today’s branding is tomorrow’s conversion. “
    Facebook Ad Campaigns
    Facebook Ad Campaigns
  • Direct Response: Calling users to act now and consummate a conversion action.  Direct response can mean any desired conversion result, including lead generation, event signups, free application download, and many other actions. Ads are more aggressive, focusing on price, quality, service, and limited time offers.  FB ads are not as strong as search for DR.
    Facebook Ad Campaigns
  • Likes: Use likes as a KPI, including cost-per-friend and cost-per-click FB ads and new fan count.  TIP: Target other brands’ friends through the “Interests”..
    Facebook Ad Campaigns
  • Customer Service KPI’s: Drive traffic to customer service channels.
    Facebook Ad Campaigns
  • Media Relations KPI’s: Send carefully crafted messages aimed at journalists.  For example, you can target people who work at the LA Times that are interested in parenting.
    Facebook Ad Campaigns
  • Research and Message Testing KPI’s:  Determine what messages garner more powerful responses when using massive audiences.   For example, you can test logos or campaign images based on which ones compel the most clicks.Facebook Ad Campaigns
    Facebook Ad Campaigns
  • Community Growth: Increase community engagement to promote Brand Ambassadors within your customers and visitors.
    Facebook Ad Campaigns

Once you determine your goals, you need to tie KPI’s to your goals.  Here are a few examples of powerful KPI’s:

  • Sell 1256 widgets in one month at an avg cost per action of $17.75
  • Get 65,000 video views, at an avg cost / view of .08, and drive 2.5% of views to a page on our company site to download a white paper
  • Serve 50 million ad impressions over 2 weeks, at an avg cost of .43, and 6% conversion on the landing page to product purchase
  • Make 22,000 new fans for our company page
  • Mine 345,000 email addresses from CA, USA, UK, AUS for females under the age of 27
  • Serve 200 million branding impressions

Remember that regardless of your goals and KPI’s, Facebook is more powerful as a “first touch” attribution model, as opposed to Google adwords who is a “last touch” model.

What Ad Types will Best Help you Achieve your KPI’s?

Having determined your goals, you’ll need to figure out what types of ads you want to run to achieve each goal.  Next we’ll review some of the most powerful ad types that the platform offers.

Page Likes

Case studies have shown that your audience will always convert better and at a far lower price than other audiences.  Consequently, one of the first objectives of a Facebook advertising campaign should be to grow the audience by using Page Like Ads.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Page Like Ads are great for branding KPI’s and community engagement KPI’s. Combining Page Like Ads to grow your audience, and then paying to reach your fans, results in great ROI as fans convert much better than non-fans.

Page Post Engagement

Marketers use page post engagement ads to improve their edgerank and to promote existing content assets.  You can use page post engagement to promote your latest blog posts, ebooks, or case studies. It’s an ad type that focuses on getting users to like, comment, and share your content.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

But don’t make the mistake of thinking these ads are unable to lead to conversions. If your ad links to a quality piece of content that moves visitors to a conversion-driving landing page,  page post engagement ads can be very lucrative.

The key is to begin with powerful, enticing content.   Use your own judgement as a gauge. Would you read this content? If the answer is no,  reevaluate your content piece because chances are not many people will find it interesting if you dont.

Page Post Engagement ads are great for branding KPI’s as well as community growth and engagement.

Clicks to Website / Website Conversions

Even though the CTR is much lower with these types of ads, they can be used, in combination with optimized landing pages, to send people to your offers, such as a free trial.  Using tracking pixels on your sales or lead generation page, you can determine exact ROI for these ads.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

In general the cost per acquisition and cost per click for these ads is much lower than Google Adwords, so these ads are worth exploring, especially with the right audiences.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Other Ad Types

Facebook offers other ad types based on different objectives, such as event sign ups, video views, and app installs.  In this tutorial we’ll cover the ad types mentioned above, but know that you can also use more specific ad types.

Understanding your Audiences

Before we proceed with the process of creating Facebook ads, we need to discuss the different audiences that you can target with Facebook:

Custom Audiences

Perhaps one of the most powerful features that few people understand is the ability to create and leverage custom audiences.  Facebook enables you to create custom audiences based on people who visit your website, phone numbers, or email addresses.  Perhaps you captured someone’s email address by offering a free ebook, but after reading your ebook, they promptly forgot all about you.  Or maybe you advertise on Google Adwords, got them to click through, but they weren’t quite ready to make the purchase.  Using Facebook remarketing you can continue to promote your product or service to those people when they log in to Facebook.

To create a custom audience, you need to install a tracking pixel on your website.  Alternatively, you can import emails or phone numbers from your marketing efforts to create an even more targeted custom audience.

Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike audiences are a way to use one of the custom audiences mentioned above to find people with similar profiles, which you can then specifically target.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Say you just added your remarketing pixel but traffic to your website is low.  You can create a lookalike audience to find people who fit the same profile as people who visited your site, but you don’t have to pay for them to get to you first before you can start showing them ads for your product or service.

This can be extremely useful when you are growing your audience and expanding your campaign.

Existing Fans

People who have already liked your page may only rarely see posts that you share in their newsfeed.  You can create ads targeted specifically at your fans, which have a much higher conversion rate.  They key to this audience is to keep them engaged.  They’ve already liked your page, so offer updated content to keep them coming back to your page and website.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Fans are almost always the least expensive audience.  In our tests, ads targeted at fans consistently cost at least 20% less than interest targeting or even remarketing.  Buying an audience is truly worth it in the long run.

Specific Interest Targeting

Let’s start by exploring the basic demographic targeting options:

  • Location: Facebook bases geotargeting on the location users claim when filling out their profiles.  You can choose up to 25 countries at a time, however, it’s always best to target smaller groups or single countries in one ad.  To target specific states and provinces within multiple countries, create multiple ads targeted to each of the countries, one at a time. You can also target users within 10, 25, or 50 mile radiuses of selected cities.
  • Basic Demographics:
    • Age
    • Gender
    • Languages
  • Advanced Demographics:
    • Relationship Status & Interest
    • Education Level
    • Major
    • School
    • Workplaces
    • Undergrad Years

These demographics can be fantastic “qualifiers” for your interest based targeting options

How to create Social Segments using Interest Targeting.  

Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty of using interests for creating social segments.  What people reveal about themselves directly or based on their usage of Facebook can be a gold-mine for creative marketers. Understanding how each interest can reveal new audiences is key to creating powerful interest-based audiences.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Occupations and Employment

Next to family, profession is one of the most powerful components of an individual’s identity.  Are there any occupations and places of employment that indicate a FB user may be interested in your KPI?   Places of employment can help you reach a specific interest group, for example, you can target computer technicians who work at Dell, HP, Gateway, ASUS, Apple, Compaq, Lenovo, Acer, Samsung, Sony or Toshiba and sell them software

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Groups and Affiliations

The key here is to start with what we know about physical life and the institutions that people define themselves as part of.   People cluster in groups around personal interests and affiliations.  For example, you can target people interested in “Boy Scouts” or who belong to a “Chamber of Commerce” or to a “Rotary Club” or Kiwanis.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Books & Publications

What does your target audience enjoy reading in the physical world? What about online?  Publications are focused on topical hubs and what people read can tell you a lot about them and their interests. For example, if you are marketing meditation classes, you might consider including people interested in “Tricycle” the Buddhist magazine, as an interest.

To discover topical magazines you can use search engines like Google and Bing.  Magazines about parenting, writers, travel, equestrian, gourmet food, snowmobiles, and pop music are just a few examples of the thousands of category-specific publications discoverable in the facebook ads targeting tool.  Goodreads is a great way to discover relevant books to use in your research.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Other Websites

Identify large popular websites and target their readers.  This can be a fantastic way to find people interested in your products/services.  For example, for a company selling Social Media monitoring, adding people interested in Social Media Examiner would clearly identify their audience.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Applications & Software

Identify consumers of specific apps or software as a way to research audiences. Make a list of popular apps in your niche, and then research those in the interests bucket.  From book applications to travel maps and mobile Twitter clients, look to web applications for targeting insights.  For example, people who use Photoshop or Illustrator are probably designers, people who use CAD are probably engineers, etc

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Leisure Activities

What people do in their spare time can also help you understand how to market to them.  For example, people who have “landscape” photography would be a great audience for people selling cameras.  Sports, camping, pool, ice-fishing…there are a myriad of leisure activities that can be used to identify segments!

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Be sure to get out of the literal and into the sideways when targeting.  For example, people who love watching “House of Cards” might be a good audience to sell political thriller books, etc.  This is when “lateral” thinking can give you a significant edge, and getting into the mind of your audience is fundamental.

Other Interests to Consider

Finally, here are a few others to consider when brainstorming psychographics:

  • Education and Degrees: Target users by colleges/universities and / or degrees.
    Facebook Ad Campaigns
  • Political Orientation and Organizations: Identify figureheads and political leaders that might identify the audience.
    Facebook Ad Campaigns
  • Family Roles: Moms, dads, grandparents – how you market to each is different.  For example, run an ad targeting aunts that says “Why not spoil them?”
    Facebook Ad Campaigns
  • Ideas, Ideals and Beliefs: People’s beliefs can tell you a lot about themselves.  Again using the example of meditation classes you can target people who are “vegans” and interested in “Inner peace”.  Other examples can include: stem cell research, equal rights, human rights, homelessness, autism, etc
    Facebook Ad Campaigns

Digging up Interests

Facebook doesn’t reveal all interests right away.  You need to use different methods of research to uncover “hidden” interests.  When you start typing in a word into the interests bucket new interests are revealed based on additional letters.  For example, when you start typing “Meditation” as an interest, Facebook doesn’t reveal “chopra meditation center” until you type in “Meditation c.”  If I type in “meditation a” “meditation b” etc, different interests appear.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

To find various “hidden” interests, type in different types of alpha patterns, such as vowels after consonants and vice versa. One approach is to start with keywords, then type in synonyms, then use letter patterns.  A few tools that can help you with the brainstorming process are, google keyword planner,, microsoft word’s thesaurus and

Now that we know how to uncover more interests, let’s discuss some of the different mashups to hyperfocus the audience and social segment.

Combining Targeting Options to Create Hyper-Focused Mashups

How you market to a teenager interested in “Twilight” may be substantially different to how you market to a Female that is between 35 – 50 who has the same interest.  Maturity, buying power, and other circumstances will greatly influence the effectiveness of ads.  Creating the right combinations of interests with demographic data can be the determining factor between a failed or successful campaign.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Age, Interest and Gender:  Someone who is 38-55 years old interested in Alzheimer’s is probably dealing with their parents’ illness and possible move to assisted living.  But the 20-21 year olds interested in Alzheimer are likely researching because they have grandparents with alzheimers and may not be the decision makers in the “assisted living” decision.

control Facebook Ad Campaigns Facebook Ad Campaigns

Targeting Media Influencers: Target journalists with your stories.  For example, you can target people who work at Gannet, USA Today, the New York Times, or Chicago Tribune that are interested in “buddhism”. Promote a page post with a juicy article you wrote that they’d be interested in sharing, particularly if it’s a human interest story.  Do this for a couple of weeks before reaching out to them and pitching a similar story.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Occupation Targeting:  Combining workplaces with interest is very powerful.  There are over 200k users who work at Wal-Mart, Target, or Best Buy. Of them, 15k are managers. Use this combination to offer them something specific – maybe a job at a competing company?

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Education and Interests: If you are promoting an expensive phone system, a great mashup would be to target people who have a “telecommunications” major and are interested in “technology”.  This audience would be likely to respond to different pitches for this type of product.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

To summarize, it’s suggested to start with literal targeting and ads, then segment further. Prove the general message with more generic targeting and pictures in the ads, then segment the winning ads to deeper targeting.

How to Create Compelling Ads

We’ve talked about targeting, campaigns, bidding strategies etc… all of this in preparation to promoting your product or service.  Now  we need to explore how to create powerful, click-enticing ads.  Your ad image and creative is of course a critical part of your campaign. ]

Headlines: Your headlines have to be AMAZING to grab attention.  Headlines are bound up with associated images and are a crucial part of imparting information.  Understand what needs to be communicated before attempting to package it with a marketing message.  A few things to consider when choosing your headlines:

  • Speak directly to the demographic
  • Ask a question to capture interest
  • Use questions that are really answers: Why Pilates rules
  • Tout the Benefits
  • Include Negative Consequences

Ad Images:  Enhance the image to speak to the social segment and lend context to the headline or vice versa.  Decide if you want to use pictures that reflect your segment, or the end result if they use your product/service.  When creating your ad images, increase the images’ color temperature and saturation to just below where things look unnatural, and boost the contrast to make soft edges become harder.

Make sure you’re zoomed in to the focus point of the images, so you can  stand back 5ft and discern what the image is about and the message it conveys. The image should be at least 560×292, but you can check image dimensions/image ratio requirements in this guideline.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Facebook also only allows “20%” of text within your ad image. This is an arbitrary 20%, but you can improve your chances of approval by checking with Facebook’s Grid Tool.

Remember that you are trying to interrupt Facebook users’ scrolling and draw attention to your ad. Your approach must be direct, provocative, and understandable with a single glance. Try not to use blue, white, and grey colors as those seem to blend in with the Facebook’s color theme.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Body Copy: The mantra of body copy is to use a combination of user benefit, an offer, and a call to action.

  • Why is the product or service a better choice than the competition?
  • Why do users in your targeted demographic segments care?
  • What problems does the product solve?
  • What are 3 things that would close the sale immediately?
  • Why do customers love your product?

Keep the body copy as short as you can, short ads have higher CTR.  100 character ads are very effective. Having a call to action within the first 90 characters is also known to improve results.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Text Restrictions

The word count for your ad is based on the placement.  Newsfeed ads have a greater character limit, as opposed to right-bar ads.  Keep this in mind when building your ads. For more specific information on the text restrictions, visit this page.

Brand Clarity

How much about your site do you reveal to FB in an ad? Do you show logo, company name, or just keywords?  Given the inexpensive cost and massive capacity to serve impressions, consider including a branding component to all ads.

Putting it all Together

Plan out what content you want on the ad image, relative to the content that goes on the headline, description, and post text.

For ads with Page Post Engagement, Clicks to Website, or Website Conversions as their objective, these are the elements to fill out your ad.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

As for Page Like Ads, this is what you need to prepare:

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Finally, here’s an image to use as a guideline when creating your ads:

Facebook Ad Campaigns

This image shows you where each element goes, and how all of the elements work together to create a powerful ad that simply WORKS.

Creating Your Facebook Ad Campaigns: Self-Serve Ad Tool

Now that you know who you’re marketing to, you can begin creating the ads themselves.

For the beginning or mainstream marketer, the self-serve Ad tool is the tool you will most likely use (as opposed to the Power Editor which gives much greater control, described later). This type of Ad is created by going to Settings > Create Ad, where you will be first prompted to choose “what kind of results do you want for your ads.” The process would be as follows:

  1. 1. Select the Ad Type:  Facebook is continuously changing the types of ads offered, their placement, and where they are displayed.  At the moment, the current options are chosen based on objective, which include Page Post Engagement, Page Likes, Clicks to Website, and Website Conversions.  What you choose will already have been determined based on your goals, kpi’s, and target audience.
    Facebook Ad Campaigns
  1. 2. Designate the Landing Page

The landing page is the destination users are routed to by clicking on an ad.  The landing page is the conversion mechanism for the traffic driven from FB ads.  Whether it’s on your site or a Facebook post, the landing page needs to welcome the user, reinforce their decision to click, and funnel towards conversion.

Your landing page works hand in hand with the demographic targeting and an ads’ creative.  User’s predilections can be leveraged even further with the right socially sensitive landing page.  Landing pages for Facebook ads can easily be crafted to resonate to a much deeper and personal level.  For example, if you’re selling iPads, create one ad targeted at males and one ad targeted at females, then customize the landing pages accordingly.

Experienced advertisers understand how important the quality of the landing page is to conversion.
Facebook Ad Campaigns

  1. 3. Optimize your ads: Your headline and body copy can make or break your ad, so make sure you use old-school marketing concepts to create fabulous copy that draws the click. Make sure the image is attractive and clearly visible.  Submit one ad for each social segment during research, so you can know if the ads will pass editorial scrutiny (before committing more time and energy to the research).  You can’t save ads unless you submit them for editorial approval. Remember that the ad title, image, and body need to be related in order to pass editorial review.
    Facebook Ad Campaigns
  1. 4. Select the Campaign the ad belongs to: Each campaign should reflect a marketing initiative, and will contain ad sets and ads.  After each ad is approved, you can build more ads with common targeting within campaigns for testing.
    Facebook Ad Campaigns
  1. 5. Set your Budget & Bid.  Start with a bid of .01.  You can’t pause ads until after approval.
  1. 6. Duplicate Ads: After the first ad in each campaign is approved, you’ll go back to each of the campaigns, duplicate ads, and modify them to create additional ad variations to test.  To summarize, you need to define segments, create an ad for each segment, pause the ad, then create a new campaign for every new segment with an ad.  There should be a paused campaign with an ad for each segment.
    Facebook Ad Campaigns
  1. 7. Track your Campaigns: Match your KPI’s to the results to determine the effectiveness of each campaign. Use tagging and other tracking tools to improve the granularity of your tracking.
    Facebook Ad Campaigns

Campaigns, Pricing and Scheduling

When you start advertising on Facebook, having separate campaigns is important so you can designate a budget for each.   Budget allocation happens at the ad set level.  So you’ll want to have unique campaigns with your overarching objective, each holding ad sets matching an objective, each with their own budget.

Make sure you name campaigns with an easily identifiable naming convention, as this will help you in the reporting phase.  For example, you can use: Website – Audience – Objective – Specific Ad Identifier

Budgets — Daily vs. Lifetime

You can choose daily or lifetime budget.  Daily distributes the ad spend throughout the day, lifetime spreads it for the duration of the campaign.  If you check “run my campaign continuously starting today” ads will run at full throttle until the budget is expended.  You won’t need to specify an end date as the campaign will end when it runs out of money. If you choose a daily budget, remember to turn the campaign off when you’re ready for it to stop or it’ll keep running.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Facebook Ad Campaigns


Bids: CPC vs CPM

When choosing the bid type, you’ll be asked to choose between bidding for Engagement, Clicks or Impressions.  Your KPI’s will determine the best type of bidding option to choose.

Facebook ads uses an auction model, meaning that advertisers bid against other advertisers vying for the same real estate.  You can pay by CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per thousand impressions).  There is also a quality score for each ad comprising several signals FB monitors, including CTR, users who click the little X saying they don’t like the ad, and other factors.  The ad’s position is likely determined as follows: bid + quality score = ad position.

FB gives you suggested bids.  Experience has shown that bidding to the highest suggested level gets premium placement, as evidenced by CTR.  The ads are low-cost enough that there is no reason to cut costs on initial launch.  In fact, a poor CTR seems to affect your quality score, which will impact the cost in the future for that ad. To test, go to your own FB profile and add in the interests you’re marketing to. This will give you an idea where your ad will appear. Change the bid and watch the effect. If other interests are affecting your bids, remove other interests, adjust the bids, and watch how it reacts.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Another classic method is to start high and gradually back the bids down, all the while noting the traffic changes.  Don’t do this in the other direction.  Buy your way into the auction by paying more up front and the campaign will be less costly in the long run.

CPM advertising is usually more effective for advertisers who want to raise awareness of their brand, while CPC advertising is more effective for advertisers who are hoping for a certain response from users, such as sales or registrations.


Your ads visibility is directly correlated to your budget and bid pricing.  You simply select how much you’re willing to pay for each click or every thousand impressions and the algorithm will determine the placement of your ad. Like Adwords, FB uses a Quality Score equation in their ad ranking algorithm.

Tagging and Conversion Tracking

Tag every ad with the campaign, headline, and ad variable.  Keep track of these in a spreadsheet.  For improved conversion tracking, use headline from the inbound URL and display it as text  on the page.  Also, have every image change based on either “headline” or “ad id”. Set up these pages with no index no follow tags in robots.txt  The 3 main variables to track are: campaign, headline, and ad-id (unique identifier for every ad).

Creating Your Facebook Ad Campaigns: Power Editor

For any advanced or experienced Facebook marketer, using the Power Editor is a MUST. The theoretical process remains the same, but the Power Editor gives you much more control in how you create and manage your campaigns.

Here is a step-by-step guide to creating your campaigns in the Power Editor:


Each campaign should reflect the objective of the ad you are creating.

Go to Power Editor and click the Campaign tab.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Click on the icon in the top left corner of the page underneath the campaign tab.

You will be given the same objective choices as in the self-serve ad tool. Edit the name of your campaign to reflect that objective.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

In the left column, you campaign will now appear under “Not Uploaded.” Unlike the self-serve ad tool, you can create, save, modify and even revert changes you have made to campaigns within the Power Editor. In order to submit them for editorial approval, you have to click “Upload Changes”, which will then submit your campaign(s) for editorial approval.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

In the Power Editor, you will not set you budget or start/end date under campaigns, but under Ad Sets:

Ad Sets

Ad sets should be created based on target audience.

With your Campaign highlighted under the “Not Uploaded” section, click on the Ad Sets tab. here will you create your ad set (if you wish you can change the name to reflect the set). You will set your budget as well as the start and end dates.

Facebook Ad Campaigns


Now that you’ve created your Campaign and Ad Set, you are ready to create your individual ads.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

These ads are variations of your objective and target audience, based on ad placement, ad copy, images, etc.

First you will set your Creative. You can set your landing page, choose a post or upload a new post. With a new post, you can choose whether it will be published to the page or published as a “dark” ad, which will not appear on your page, allowing you to post multiple variations of the same ad without clogging up your newsfeed. A good starting point is THREE variations within one ad set.

Click the same icon under the Ads tab to create a new ad. You’ll be prompted with this:

Facebook Ad Campaigns

One issue with unpublished posts is that you might get engagement on that post… but if it’s not on your page, how do you check it? You can do this through the Notifications in your Admin Panel, though the Power Editor (Manage Pages > View Post, though these only show most recent posts), as well as your Ads Manager (Ads Manager > Ads > Preview, though this only works for text, photo, and video updates. Previewing a link post will take you to the link you are promoting).

Once the ad is created you will be able to create the post, target audience, and pricing.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Click on the sign next to Page Post to create your new ad creative.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Here you can pick the post type, add the URL that people will be directed to when they click. Post Text, Link Headline, Display Link, Description, and Picture.

In the Power Editor you can also create posts and ads with a Call-to-Action button. To create a Call-to-Action button, your ad objective must be “Clicks to Website”, and the ad itself must be a new unpublished Post. When you create your post, you’ll automatically be given the option to include a button (the default will be “No Button”). Note that adding the button will reduce you character limit by 20 characters or so.

Next you will set your Audience, using the interests and guidelines above. With the Power Editor, however, you have the chance to set Custom Audiences and Save Target Groups from existing ads. You can manage Audiences in it’s own space under Ad Tools.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Once you have input the details of your audience in the Audience tab, it’s time to put your pricing info under the Optimization & Pricing tab.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Generally, having Optimized CPM will ensure your ad gets seen, but if you like to have more control over the bidding you can manually set up your bids.

Just like with most tools, the best way to learn it is to use it. Create a few practice ads and explore all the options available. Just make sure to not click Upload Changes as that will make them go live.

Once you create campaigns and ad sets, creating new ads is as easy as duplicating existing ads and adjusting the name and creative.  Remember that naming convention is KEY.  As your account grows and you increase the number of ads, keeping track of your ads can become problematic especially if they’re not well organized.  Prioritize your campaign, ad set, and ad structure to streamline your advertising process!

Tracking the Results of your Facebook Ads

Facebook offers a reporting tool that allows you to generate reports based on a variety of metrics. This reporting system is very flexible and has many different options for metrics. Which is great, but it also could lead to confusion as to what’s important to track.

By clicking on Facebook Ad Campaigns, you can easily generate a report with the columns you need based on your objective.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

You can also click on Reports on the side taskbar to access the reporting tool:

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Here you’ll be shown detailed information about you ads and filter them. To edit what information you want to include/exclude in your report. Click on Facebook Ad CampaignsHere:

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Under the Data Aggregation tab, we can organize the data in the report by specifying Ad, Account, Campaign etc. You’ll want to include campaign, ad set, ad and ad objective so it’s easy to understand the goal of the ad.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

So if we select Account, Campaign, Ad Set, and Ad. Our report will look like this:

Facebook Ad Campaigns

If we click on Facebook Ad Campaignsagain, then click on the Data Breakdowns, we see this.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Here we can distinguish the data from an ad to compare it’s data via Placement (Mobile vs Desktop, Newsfeed Ad vs. Right Column Ad), Age, Gender etc. You can only choose one of these per report.

Ideally, you should run comprehensive reports comparing your data by different data breakdowns at least once a month.  Data breakdowns can tell you about the average age of your audience, their gender, country, and placement.

Now when it comes to the reporting metrics. The data is separated into 5 categories:

Delivery & Spend:  This section includes all the information that details how many people can, and are seeing your ads, and how much your ads are costing you.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

The metrics include:

– Impressions, How many times your ad appears on someone’s page.

– Reach: This is the number of unique who received an impression of your ad. Reach might be less than impressions since one person can see multiple impressions.

– Frequency: The number of times your ad was served to each person.

– Social Reach: The number of people your ad was served to with social information. For example, if 3 people see an ad 2 times each that says a friend likes your Page, it counts as 3 social reaches

– Social Impressions: The number of times your ad was served, with social information. For example, if 3 people are served an ad 2 times each and it includes information about a friend liking your Page, it counts as 6 social impressions.

– Cost Per 1,000 Impressions (CPM): The average cost for 1,000 impressions on your ad.

 Cost Per 1,000 People Reached: The average cost for 1,000 people reached.

– Spend: The total amount you’ve spent on your ad so far.

Clicks: This section includes all the information on how many people have clicked your ads and how frequently people are clicking them. The metrics include:

Facebook Ad Campaigns

– Clicks: Clicks are the total number of clicks on your ad. Depending on what you’re promoting, this can include Page likes, event responses or app installs.

 Unique Clicks: The total number of unique people who have clicked on your ad. For example, if 3 people click on the same ad 5 times, it will count as 3 unique people who clicked.

– Social Clicks: Number of clicks your ad receives when it’s shown with social information (ex: Jane Doe likes this).

– Click-Through Rate (CTR): Click-through rate (CTR) is the number of clicks you received divided by the number of impressions.

– Unique Click-Through Rate (uCTR): The number of people who clicked on your ad divided by the number of people you reached. For example, if you received 20 unique clicks and your ad was served to 1,000 unique people, your unique click-through rate would be 2%.

– Cost Per Click (CPC): Cost Per Click is the average cost per click for ads, calculated as the amount spent divided by the number of clicks received.

– Cost Per Unique Click: The average cost per person who clicked on your ads, calculated as the amount spent divided by the number of unique clicks received.

Actions: This section includes all the information on how people interacted with your Ads. The metrics include:

Facebook Ad Campaigns

– Actions: The number of actions taken on your ad, Page, app or event after your ad was served to someone, even if they didn’t click on it.

– People Taking Action: People Take Action is the number of unique people who took an action such as liking your Page or installing your app as a result of your ad. For example, if the same person likes and comments on a post, they will be counted as 1 unique person.

– Page Likes: How many people “liked” your Page.

– Post Likes: How many people liked your Post.

 Post Comments: How many people commented on your Ad Post.

– Post Shares: The number of people who shared your Ad Post.

– Website Clicks: The number of clicks on links appearing on your ad that direct to your site off Facebook

– Website Conversion: The number of times a conversion happened on your website as a result of your ad.

– Checkouts (Conversion): The number of times a checkout happened on your website as a result of your ad.

– Registrations (Conversion): The number of registrations to your website happened as a result of your ad.

– Leads (Conversion): The number of new leads acquired as a result of your ad.

– Key Web Page Views (Conversion):  The number of times a key page on your website was viewed as a result of your ad.

– Adds to Cart (Conversion): The number of times an item was added to a shopping cart as a result of your ad.

– Other Website Conversions: The number of other conversions that occurred on your website as a result of your ad.

Revenue: This section details all the revenue that your website is getting as a result of your ads. The metrics are:

Facebook Ad Campaigns

– Total Conversion Value: The total revenue returned from conversions from Facebook credit spends and conversions on your website or mobile app.

– Gift Sale Conversion Values: The total value returned from the gift sale conversions as a result of your ad.

– Website Conversion Value: The total value of returned from conversions on your website as a result from your ad.

– Registrations Conversion Value: The total value returned for registrations on your website as a result from your ad.

– Lead Conversion Value: The total value returned from acquiring new leads on your website as a result from your ad.

– Other Website Conversion Value: The total value returned from other conversions on your website as a result of your ad.

Cost Per Action: This section breaks down how much you’re spending for every type of action people are taking on your ads.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

 Cost Per All Actions: The average you’ve spent on all actions. For example, if you spent $20 on an ad and you got 10 page likes, each one would cost $2.

– Cost Per Page Like: The average cost for each page like as a result of your ad.

– Cost Per Page Engagement: The average cost per action related to the Page and Page’s post as a result of your ad.

– Cost Per Post Engagement: The average cost per action related to your page’s post as a result of your ad.

The metrics may seem overwhelming at first, but each ad campaign is different and can be geared for a variety of goals which is why Facebook has included so many tracking metrics to ensure that your ads are performing as well as they can be.

Creating Tracking Templates

If you are starting your first campaign it may be confusing to know which metrics are important to track. What is important to track varied depending on what the objective of your ads are,

For Page Likes it’s important to track:

  • Delivery & Spend: Reach
  • Delivery & Spend: Frequency
  • Delivery & Spend: Impressions
  • Delivery & Spend: Cost Per 1,000 Impressions (CPM)
  • Delivery & Spend: Cost Per 1,000 People Reached
  • Delivery & Spend: Amount Spent
  • Clicks: Clicks
  • Clicks: Unique Clicks
  • Clicks: Click-Through Rate (CTR)
  • Clicks: Unique Click-Through Rate (uCTR)
  • Clicks: Cost Per Click (CPC)
  • Actions: Actions
  • Actions: People Taking Action
  • Actions: Page Likes

The above are important for a marketer to keep track of, but when you are issuing a report to a client. It will be hard for them find out what’s important. In that case you should report:

  • Delivery & Spend: Frequency
  • Delivery & Spend: Amount Spent
  • Actions: Page Likes
  • Cost Per Action: Cost Per Page Like

For Post Engagement its important to track:

  • Delivery & Spend: Frequency
  • Delivery & Spends: Amount Spent
  • Actions: Post Engagement
  • Actions: Post Likes
  • Actions: Post Comments
  • Actions: Post Shares
  • Cost Per Action: Cost Per Post Engagement

Make sure to filter by Page Name and Post Engagement.

For Website Clicks its important to track:

  • Delivery & Spend: Frequency
  • Delivery & Spend: Amount Spent
  • Actions: Website Clicks
  • Cost Per Action: Cost Per Website Click

Make sure to filter by Page Name and Website Click.

For Conversions its important to track:

  • Delivery & Spend: Frequency
  • Delivery & Spend: Amount Spent
  • Actions: Website Clicks
  • Actions: Website Conversions
  • Cost Per Action: Cost Per Website Conversion

Make sure to filter by Page Name and Website Conversion.

If you need to create a general overview of an entire campaign or account as a whole, a good selection of metrics to have are:

  • Delivery & Spend: Frequency
  • Delivery & Spend: Amount Spent
  • Actions: Page Likes
  • Actions: Post Engagement
  • Actions: Post Likes
  • Actions: Post Comments
  • Actions: Post Shares
  • Actions: Website Clicks
  • Actions: Website Conversions

After you have selected your columns and clicked Facebook Ad Campaigns

You’ll see your report.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

You can adjust the date range here.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

You can also hit Facebook Ad Campaigns to save your report, which can be accessed later under

located here:

Facebook Ad Campaigns

A good way to save your report and make it better to show clients is to export your report by clicking on Facebook Ad Campaigns here:

Facebook Ad Campaigns

You can export to an .xls or .csv file.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

The summary row refers to the top row of your report which totals all the data from all the ads and their placements here:

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Your exported data will look like this:

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Here you can round the numbers, label them, and do whatever you need to do to make the data legible and understandable. Here’s a sample of one of Gryffin’s Facebook reports.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Here we separated the active ads based on the Ad Goal. We compare the data from each week-by-week. You can also narrow down the information, like we did here:

Facebook Ad Campaigns

This sheet is devoted completely to our spend. It has the active ads we had running during the date range and how much we spent. This is very useful when one aspect of your campaign is extremely important to keep track of.

The nuances of what you need to report on for you Facebook campaign will vary depending on the objectives, but the method of reporting will still the same even if your informative metrics change.

Here is a sample worksheet with some examples of our reporting scheme.

How Often Should I Schedule My Reports?

It’s important to not over-schedule your reports and look for data daily as your Facebook ads need to time to gather data. A good time frame is one to two months. You can schedule your reports by clicking on Facebook Ad Campaigns.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Here you can schedule your report and email it to yourself and your clients. Make sure that if you are scheduling you are scheduling report by moth, that under the date range you choose: Facebook Ad Campaigns as opposed to This Month.


It’s important to understand that the first objective of any Facebook advertising campaign should be to test and explore. When you first start you never know how an ad and interest group will perform.

Once you run a few tests, you’ll start getting a better sense for what works for each target audience and can subsequently fine tune the campaign over time until you arrive at the ideal combination of factors. Trial and error is the best method in discovering what your audience will respond to the most.  Be ready to learn and play as you embark on this amazing journey towards successful, ROI-driven strategies.

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