The ultimate cheat to create your first Facebook ad campaign

The ultimate cheat to create your first Facebook ad campaign

Using Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook launched in 2004, but there are still many business owners and marketers who are not sure how to use it when it comes to advertising.

In this article, I’m going to cover the basics of Facebook’s Ads Manager so that you can walk away knowing how to use it, what the key sections are within Ads Manager, the targeting and ad options available so you can create your first Facebook ad campaign.

By the end of this article you should have a clearer understanding of Facebook advertising, how to set them up, the various types and feel confident to set one up for your business.

Facebook Ads Manager

You need to set up an Adverts Manager account to start running Facebook ads. If you haven’t set one up, you can see how to do that here.

Once inside Adverts Manager, it will look something like this:


Screenshot of Facebook Advertising Campaigns


When logging in here for the first time, you will not see any activity like the image above. Yet, once we’ve set up your ‘Campaign’, this is where you will see the overview.

It’s important to mention at this point how Facebook ads are set up.

Each Facebook Campaign has three levels. They are:

  • Campaign
  • Advert set
  • Ad

Keep this in mind as we move on as each level has it’s own role to play, which I’ll detail for you below.

Get started with your campaign by selecting the ‘Create Advert’ button in the right area of the screen.


Screenshot of Facebook Advertising Button



Now in the campaign creation page, you’ll need to set the ‘Objective’ of your campaign followed by the name. Facebook campaigns can selected from one of three objectives, each with their own underpinning aim.

The types of objectives are:


Screenshot of Facebook Advertising Objectives

Note: you can only choose one objective per campaign. So if your broader marketing campaign includes more, you’ll need to create extra campaigns.


You’ll then need to give your campaign a name, and answer a few extra options depending on the objective you’ve chosen. In this instance, we’re going to keep it simple and not worry about these.

Now the campaign is set up, it’s onto the advert set.




The advert set within Facebook’s Advert Manager is where you let Facebook know who you want to target. You also set the location of people you want to target, the schedule of when to target them, and how you want to bid.

The first step in this is to create your Facebook Advert Set name.


Moving onto our targeting section.

Facebook has advanced their advertising platform over the years, and continue to add new functions, tools, and placements almost every month.

Let’s start at the start though.



In the audience section, you’re going to need to think about who it is you want to target if you haven’t already and start defining them.


Custom Audiences

Custom audiences are predetermined Facebook audiences based on your own data, and allow you to engage with an audience you define. If you haven’t set a Custom Audience up yet, you can do that here.

They can be built by using any of the following data sources:


Screenshot of Facebook Custom Audiences

If you have already set up a Custom Audience, you could use the ‘Lookalike Audience’ option to find similar Facebook users.


Select the location/s you want to target, or us the Bulk Upload option for a large list. They can be granular if you’re a local small business, or more broad if you’re a national or even international business.

PRO TIP: When choosing your location, make sure you target people who live in that location, are traveling, or that have been there recently based on goals.


Age, Gender and Language

Pretty self explanatory here, so I’m not going to go into much detail. Think about who your target customer is and match their profile with this targeting.


Detailed Targeting

This is the stage where you want to be specific but not too specific. This is by far one of Facebook’s best advertising capabilities.

So what is it you ask? This section allows you to define the interests, behaviours, and more demographics that Facebook should look for when targeting users. They are able to do this based on:

  • What people share on their timelines
  • Apps they use
  • Ads they click
  • Pages they engage with
  • Activities they engage with in and off of Facebook, related to things like device usage, purchase behaviours or intents, and travel preferences
  • The mobile device they use and the speed of their network connection


Screenshot of Facebook Ad Targeting


Once you start filling this section out, you can also choose to ‘exclude’ or ‘narrow’ the audience further. For example, if you added in people who like ‘Social Media Marketing’ and also added in people who were ‘Business Owners’, you would end up targeting both those audiences.

However, if you chose ‘Social Media Marketing’ then clicked the ‘Narrow audience’ button and added in ‘Business Owners’, you would be targeting people interested in social media marketing and who were business owners.



I’d suggest always reviewing this section as it will select placements Facebook thinks you should advertise. These may not be suitable to your goals.

What is a placement? A placement is the location your advertising will be shown. It could be in the newsfeed, on Instagram, or even in Facebook Messenger.


Screenshot of Facebook Ad Placements


You’ll also be given ‘Advanced Options’ which allow you to target specific mobiles, devices and operating systems. As well, ‘Excluding Categories and ‘Advert set block lists’ options. Both of which will allow you to control where your Facebook ads shouldn’t show on placements including the Audience Network, In-Stream Video and Instant Articles.


Budget & Scheduling

Here’s where you’ll be able to set your budget; choosing from either a daily budget or a lifetime budget. They work very similar to each other, the main difference being how it is spent over the campaign period.

A daily budget will spend up to your budget per day, whereas the lifetime will split it across the campaign. However, it could spend more on certain days depending on whether it thinks it can deliver more results. I’d recommend going the later to see what works for you, you may even find certain days are better than others.

You’ll also want to set your campaign timeline here, just under the budget. Choose a start and end date to ensure you don’t overspend budget without realising–trust me it can happen.


Screenshot of Facebook Advertising Budget and Schedule


Now time to choose how you want to optimise the ad delivery. This option is asking what you want to achieve most. Is it website clicks, impressions, or daily views?

You’ll also need to choose your bid amount. For beginners, I always recommend using the automatic option as this lets Facebook decide.

Determining when you are charged is asking, when do you want to be charged? And depending on your objective, you may see different options.

With all the above, choose the options that most meet your objectives. I.e. if you are after website clicks, opt for optimising towards website clicks and selecting impressions. Choosing impressions because you want as many people in your target audience to see it. This also means more chances to drive clicks.

Don’t use advert scheduling and delivery if this is your first rodeo. These options can restrict when you spend your ad money or even blow it out in the first length of the campaign. It could also mean that you miss advertising to ideal customers.

Finally, once all the above has been selected, you’ll be able to see how many people your ads will reach in the right hand side panel.




The most creative part now, and my favourite, the ads. Depending on what you’ve selected as your objective, things may look a little different in here.

For the purpose of this activity, let’s say you selected ‘Traffic’ as your objective.

You’ll now need to either choose either an existing post from your Facebook business page or you’ll need to create a new one.

If creatinging a new one, you’ll have various options to choose from, including:


Screenshot of Facebook Ad Formats


Each have their own benefits and design requirements. The important thing for you to think of with your business is, what is the best way to communicate your message?

Is there a lot of content and information to consume? Well then it’s best to choose a video or canvas ad format. If it’s simple and there’s a few choices, go carousel. Or if it is straight forward with a single clear message, try an image.

There’s no right or wrong answer here. Facebook marketing has become a popular tool because it is easy to turn on and off, optimise, tweak, and find the right fit. Don’t be afraid to try.

Lower down the screen, you’ll need to add in your text for the advert including a headline and call-to-action. You’ll also be able to see an example of what your advert will look like.


Screenshot of Facebook advertising example






Now that you’ve created the perfect ad, it’s time to set it live. So click review at the bottom of the page and make sure that everything is set how you want it. Now hit that green confirm button and let it go.

Now that’s your Facebook marketing is live you’ll want to know how to track it and see what’s working.



Monitoring and Reporting

To review yours ads, go back to your Facebook Advertising Manager home screen. If there is no data on your campaign, make sure you’ve selected the right date period. Once you found the campaign, click into it to see the stats.


Screenshot of Facebook Ad Reporting


Depending on your campaign’s objective, you’ll no doubt want to view different information that may not be on screen.

To customise the view, select ‘Columns’ and then ‘Customise Columns’ to choose from a list of available metrics, or select one of the views most relevant to you.

Generally, the main things you want to pay attention to on this page are:

  • Results
  • Reach
  • Cost per resul
  • Amount spent
  • Frequency

You can also see a graph representation by selecting graph looking icon on the right. This will show you a record of all activity during the campaign period. But you are going to need to wait until it’s been running for a little before anything appears.

That’s it. Now you’re up and running, let me know how you went in the comments below.



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