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How to Launch an Effective Facebook Ad Campaign in 5 steps

If you’re thinking about launching a Facebook Ad Campaign but are feeling overwhelmed by how complicated it is, then you’ve come to the right place.

We know it’s tricky trying to make sure that you track the right Facebook Pixel events, while also targeting the correct audience. On top of all that, you want to make sure your creatives are fully optimized for your specific goal!

In this blog, we will go through a step-by-step guide on how to create an effective Facebook Ad Campaign for your business. No complicated processes, no jargon, just everything you need to build a successful ad campaign tailored to your specific business.

Let’s jump right in and get started!

Marshall McLuhan
"Ads are the cave art of the 20th century."

Step One – Setup

The first thing to do is make sure you have all the necessary accounts set up and ready to go. You will need:

Step Two – Preparation

Before jumping into creating your ad campaign you should have all the pre-work complete. That means having your creatives (images, videos, carousels etc.) nailed down and ready to launch. Creatives are an essential aspect of your Facebook Ad’s success and you should spend the time getting them right.

From aligning your creatives with your brand image to preparing graphics in the right dimensions, it’s best to get this done beforehand. That way you’ll be ready to push out your brand exactly when the time is right.

This also means writing engaging and thought-provoking ad copy. Getting the basics such as spelling and grammar right is essential, but you must also make sure your text is effective and tailored to best engage with your target audience.

You only get one or two sentences to grab your customer’s attention, spend time getting it right! Make sure you stay within the character limits, especially keeping in mind mobile users, so the important text appears before the “See More” button.

Facebook lays out all the specs for images, videos, and copy, so make sure you’re staying up-to-date with all the formats and requirements.

Step Three – Ads Manager

Now it’s time to head over to Facebook Ads Manager and get familiar.

Facebook has gone through some changes recently, so it can be a bit tricky to get to the right place. The most direct way to access your Ads Manager is from the toolbar on the left of your home screen (you will need to expand the menu with the arrow). Or you to go directly through Business Manager and navigate to the Ads Manager by using the toolbar on the left.

Facebook Ads Manager

Ads Manager is a bit different from the Ad Center you see on the actual Business Page. We find it’s a lot easier to work from Ads Manager directly. This guide shows you the steps from Ads Manager, but you can also make ads or boost posts directly through your Business Page.

The “boost” option for posts is a simple, and no doubt easier way, to get your advertisement out in front of more people. However, with simplicity comes limitation. A lot of resources will be lost if you choose to use this shortcut. For a more controlled and specific campaign, I would be careful deciding whether to use this option or not.

While it may seem daunting at first glance, start clicking around and you’ll realize it’s quite intuitive. There are really only four main areas:

  • Account Overview
  • Campaigns
  • Ad Sets
  • Ads

Step Four – Campaign Creation

When you’re ready to create your Facebook Ad campaign click on the “+ Create” CTA on the left side of the screen. Don’t worry this won’t make your campaign go live, you’re free to play around with different aspects, leave and come back whenever you want.

Objective

Your campaign objective is the goal you want to set for your ad.

You should decide what success looks like for your specific campaign and choose the best option for you. If you want to drive more traffic to your website then you’ll want to use the “Traffic” option, whereas if you want to spread your brand’s awareness to more people you’ll want to choose “Reach.”

The objective you choose in this step will determine how success is measured and how you are charged (based on clicks or number of impressions).

Campaign Name

While this may seem like a fairly simple step, and it is, it’s useful to set up a naming system. When you start running more Facebook advertising campaigns as you scale, it’ll be helpful for organization and management. It will also allow you to efficiently report down the road when you are analyzing your campaign results.

 

Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO)

This is a really useful feature that is selected by default now. It allows Facebook to automatically distribute the total budget across the ads its algorithm recognizes are performing best. It’s a great tool to help with optimization, but even better when you’re using it with Optily.

Ad Scheduling

Ad scheduling is a more advanced option that for more basic users isn’t necessary, but we thought we’d give it a brief mention. By default, your ads will run all day until you’re out of your budget for the day. If you want to prevent this, say if you know your audience is active at specific times or days, then schedule your ads to only show when you want.

Create your Ad Sets

Ad Sets are groups within your campaign to help with organizing your individual ads. Think about a campaign like your 2019 summer holiday photo album (sorry, but that’s likely your most recent one!). You’ve got the “Summer 2019” folder on your desktop, but inside of that, you’ve got another folder of “Memorial Day BBQ” and pictures of you at the grill.

The “Summer 2019” folder is your campaign, the “Memorial Day BBQ” is your ad set, and the specific picture of you is the individual ad.

Budget & Schedule

Your ad campaign budget greatly depends on you and your business. Naturally, a bigger budget will get your ads out in front of more people, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you will see higher returns. It is much more important to get your ad out in front of the RIGHT people!

I won’t dwell on this point as your budget is your budget. Facebook will automatically select a budget based on the information you have already provided, however, you can change that easily. Facebook Ad campaigns are extremely flexible and can be adjusted to meet your individual needs.

You might have a limited-time offer that you’re promoting, so here is where you set the end date for your ad set. If you don’t know when you want to end it, then just leave it blank and you can always toggle it on and off manually from the Ads Manager overview.

You can also set minimum and maximum spends here for the ad set, but generally, it’s best to just let Facebook’s algorithm do its own thing.

Target Audience

Defining your target audience is an essential step towards the success of any business. A target audience is a group of people that you have identified as being likely customers of your business. It is a share of all the consumers out there that your company decides to direct your marketing actions towards to drive awareness of your products or services. Decide on your target audiences by thinking about:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Education
  • Goals
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Interests

You can save audiences and reuse them for later campaigns. You can make custom audiences based on demographic or interest data or make lookalike audiences from your own customer lists. Lookalike audiences can be really powerful as you’re selecting an audience of people who have similar profiles as your existing customers.

It can be a good idea to go in and build out some audiences ahead of time to speed up ad creation. Facebook’s Audience Tool is a really powerful tool because Facebook has so much data to work with. Honestly, it’s interesting to just go and poke around for fun sometimes!

Ad Placement

Unless you decide to change this setting Facebook will automatically place your ad in the areas of their platform that they determine to be optimal. There’s no need to change this if you are unsure where you want your ad placed. Facebook is quite smart at doing this. However, if you do want to go in-depth and select specific regions you will be giving the following options:

Facebook

  • Feed
  • Instant Articles
  • In-stream videos
  • Right column
  • Marketplace
  • Story

Messenger

  • Inbox
  • Sponsored messages

Instagram

  • Feed
  • Story

Each placement will show your ad slightly differently and this is where having your copy and creatives in various formats pays off. If you don’t supply all the necessary sizes, Facebook won’t be able to serve you ad in all the locations listed above.

Optimization and Delivery

You can set optimizations specific to the ad set here and also select how you’re charged, whether each time someone sees your ad or just when they click. The cost-per-click option will not be available for all campaign objectives or optimization options.

 

 

Create the Ads

You have all your copy and creatives ready to go from the prep step, so this should be a breeze. Start off by naming your ad. It’s really helpful to have a spreadsheet of ads, especially if you’re doing any A/B testing (testing small variations in copy or visuals to see which performs better). So name your ad something unique so you’re not wondering “Which ad was that again..,?” when doing your reporting down the road.

Next, you’ll want to make sure it’s your company’s Facebook and Instagram pages that are linked, so your ads display correctly.

Then, you pop in all your creatives and copy into the boxes, choose an appropriate Call to Action button, and select where you want your ad to take people. It’s generally a good idea to create unique landing pages based on what you’re advertising, so people don’t have to search your catalog for your individual products.

And finally, you want to make sure you’re using UTM tagging in your ads. You can use Facebook’s built-in URL parameters tools or build your own. If you’re not sure what we’re talking about here, we’ve put together a quick guide to everything UTM Tagging you should definitely be familiar with before launching your campaigns.

 

Step Five – Campaign Launch

In this final step, you will get to see what your ads are going to look like. This is the exact ad that your target audience will see so it gives you a final chance to check and make sure everything looks perfect. You can also share a link to the previews, so your team can review them before they go live.

Once you’re ready to go, press the big green button and publish your ads. They still need to undergo review before they are live, which can take some time depending on when you launch.

Summary

And that’s it! You’ve just launched a Facebook campaign!

If at any point you want to pause a campaign, ad set, or individual ad, you can easily toggle them on and off in the overview on Ads Manager.

Once you’ve mastered basic Facebook ads, you might also be interested in How To Automate Facebook Ads Campaign To Scale Your Business.

And while Facebook’s Campaign Budget Optimization tool is really powerful on its own to automate budget allocation, it simply cannot compare to the result Optily can produce. One of our eCommerce clients, Smartbox, was able to increase the number of new customers 12x over just 6 weeks, significantly outperforming CBO on its own.

Optily is the smart way to optimize and improve your ad spend. Our intelligent and innovative technology connects all your online ad accounts and, with just a single click, helps you make the most of your advertising budget. No more wasting time or money!

This means you don’t only master Facebook advertising… You master all of digital advertising!!

Sign up now for a free 14 day trial!