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Step-by-Step Guide To Creating Facebook Ad

Welcome back to our blog series on How to Use Facebook Ads Manager. In our first blog in this series we took a look at the various Campaign types you can choose from and a brief description of each. Now, in this second blog in this series, we will go through a simple step-by-step process for how to create your first Facebook Ad using Ads Manager.


Please note: this is a very basic setup using “Traffic” campaigns. Options & creatives will vary depending on which type of campaign you are using, although the basics will remain throughout.




STEP 1: Create a New Campaign

First things’ first, you want to create your campaign. So, go into your ads manager account, and click the big green CREATE button on the top-left of your screen. You will then see this box pop up in the middle of the screen giving you the various options of Campaign Objectives to choose from.


For the purpose of this example, we’ll select “TRAFFIC”.


From here, it’s best to name each of the campaign levels straight away. This can always be changed and updated later at any point, but it’ll help you keep things organised to do this straight away.


Name the Campaign level based on the overall goal – in this case “website traffic” – or something to that effect. It may be worthwhile putting a time and date on this name also to ease in reporting later on.



The ad sets are where you will decide on the location, target audience, and budget. Name this appropriately based on those metrics. For example, if you’re targeting women aged 35+ in Dublin, an Ad Set name along the lines of “Dub / Women / 35+” will again help with managing the ad sets and reporting on them later. Multiple ad sets can be created later in the process.


Finally, the ad is the actual creative & content which potential customers will see in their timelines. Again, multiple ads can be created later in the process, but it’s always best to start simple with this initial ad. For the sake of setting up the campaign, SMK Marketing recommends making this first ad a single-image version, and then adding alternates like Carousels & Videos later. Name this ad “single image 1” or something to that effect.



STEP 2: Setup Your First Ad Set

On to the next step in the Ad Creation process, it’s time to set up your first Ad Set. As mentioned, this will be the level where you decide on the budget, locations, targeting and audience for your ads.


Start by choosing your budget. You have the option of Daily Budget or Lifetime Budget. The differences are important here and how much money your ad spends will vary depending on your choice. There are several schools of thought on which is better and which will suit depending on company & industry, but here are the basic differences:

Daily Budget: allows you to input an amount for Facebook to spend in a 24 hour period. This amount will not always be exact but should average out over the life of the campaign. For example, if you set a €5 budget, some days it may overspend to €6 or €7, and other days it will underspend to €3 or €4. Daily budgets are recommendable for long-term campaigns, as the daily results & successes of the campaign are easier to control with a set daily budget.

Lifetime budget: allows you to put a hard cap budget limit on your campaign. This option is best recommended if you have a strictly set budget you cannot exceed, and/or if you have a pre-planned end-date for your ad campaign (Christmas sales, for example, will only ever last for a few weeks in December). Facebook will never spend 1 cent more than your budget limit, however, the daily spends & results may vary wildly. If, for example, you set a €100 lifetime budget on a 14 day campaign, Facebook will do it’s best to spend up to that hard cap. Some days it may spend no money at all, whereas others it may spend €50 in a single day – it varies wildly and can be difficult to accurately control. Also, while you will never exceed your budget, there’s no guarantee of actually spending the whole amount either, meaning you may not get the full results you expected over the campaign’s life.


Next up in the Ad set level is to choose the target audience for this arm of the campaign. You have a wide selections of options including age, gender, location, interests, behaviours, demographics, which device they use, etc.



As you decide on your target, on the right side of your screen you will see Facebook’s ranking of your audience definition and estimated daily results. Audience Definition is important as, while it is just an estimate, it can give a good indication of how well your campaign is likely to perform. Too narrow an audience, and the ads might not deliver at all and results may not come, too broad and facebook will struggle to show your ads to specifically targeted & relevant people.

Estimated daily results are, as the name suggests, an estimate – although “guesstimate” may be a better description as there is no real evidence to suggest these are anywhere near accurate numbers. Again though, as a basic indicator it can be useful. If, for example, this graph tells you you will get 0 results, it’s worth following it’s suggestions to broaden the scope of your audience/budget/locations, etc in order to get the most out of your ad.



Finally, select the Placements – where your ad will be shown to your target audience. In a later blog post, we will go into more details as to the meanings & benefits of the various placement options. As a rule of thumb, though, especially if you are new to Ads Manager and creating ads on Facebook, we recommend sticking with “Automatic Placements” and letting Facebook figure out for you where best to show your ads.



Ad Sets are the primary level wherein you will create A/B tests for your campaign. You can duplicate or create new ad sets and then change small details of the budgets or targeting to test out which is likely to get you the best results. You may, for example, want to set one ad set targeted at men, and one at women, to see which gender is likely to generate more sales. You may also want to test a younger audience vs an older audience to see who will buy more. All of this is achievable by creating multiple ads sets.



STEP 3: Creating the Ad


Finally, we get down to the 3rd and final level of Campaign creation, the ad itself – the


creative & wording which your audience will actually see and interact with. This is by far the most vital part of the ad creation process, as how your ad is perceived and received by those who see it can make all the difference in how successful your campaign will be. If people respond negatively, they will not interact or purchase from you. In a future blog we will look more into the best practices for ad creative, so be sure to check back later.


The first thing to do is to select the pages you want the ad to run on, both on Facebook & Instagram (and yes, we highly recommend using both regardless of your business or industry – you don’t even need an Instagram account to run ads there, though having one is highly recommendable).


Next, create your ad. Select your desired creative type – single image, video carousel, or collection – and upload the relevant content. Input your Primary Text, which is the wording that will be seen above the creative, and has no real character limit (although shorter is better). Headlines are crucial also as these are what are shown on all platforms & placements whereas primary text and descriptions are not always shown. Simple, eye catching, enticing words are best here – like “Contact Us For More Information”.

Descriptions go below headlines and are optional and almost never seen on most platforms – though they’re always worth having regardless. Limit them to just a few words though.




Throughout your ad creation, on the right hand side of the screen you can see the ad preview. From here you can see the various placements for your ad and how it will look on each.


Last step is to choose the call to action and insert a website link for people to visit (do this for any ad where it is prompted, even if website traffic isn’t the goal). If you have a Facebook Tracking Pixel installed on your website, you will select it at this point also.


When you’re happy with everything, click publish.





And there we have it, you’ve just created your first Facebook Campaign using Ads Manager. We hope this guide has been useful. We understand there’s seemingly a lot involved, but the basic building blocks are quite simple and all campaign objectives follow the same structure for creation.



If you have any other queries on creating Facebook ads, or would like to outsource the creation and management of your campaigns, contact SMK Marketing today.

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