How to get the most out of your Facebook ads

Facebook advertising is hot. It’s an effective way to connect with your audiences. Even with a variety of objectives, it gets the right message to the right people. And if you set your targeting right, you can even get great results with a limited budget. But how do you start? No worries, we’ll lead you through the Facebook Ads Manager, step-by-step.

1. Set your goal

The first step in the creation of a campaign is choosing a clear objective. Facebook presets eleven different marketing objectives:

  • Brand awareness
  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Engagement
  • App installs
  • Video views
  • Lead generation
  • Messages
  • Conversions
  • Catalog sales
  • Store traffic

Make sure you align your business goals with the right Facebook objective. Facebook already helps you in the right direction, by dividing the objectives in the different stages of the marketing funnel: Awareness – Consideration – Conversion. Depending on the objective you choose, you will be able to select different options in the settings further on, such as ad formats, bidding options, …

2. Name your campaign

No need to point out that the naming of your campaign is crucial to keep the overview. In this step, you can also add an A/B-test to your campaign. It’s always useful to experiment and see which ad type, placement, audience, … performs best for your business. By doing so, you can take these learnings into account when creating your next Facebook campaigns. You can can also choose to optimize your budget in this step. This can come in handy when using multiple ad sets.

3. Target your audience

First of all, you can select a custom audience. This audience contains contacts who have already interacted with your business. By adding the Facebook Pixel in your website code, you can start tracking your website traffic. Of course, you can also include people who interacted with your Facebook page or who have taken a specific action in your app. Your third option is to upload an existing database. Since you can retarget people who have already shown interest, this is a highly valued target group. If you want to create a custom audience, go to Assets > Audiences. You cannot create this audience during the set-up of a campaign. Our tip: open a new tab and create an audience there. When your audience is ready, you can add it to your campaign (in the tab that is still open or in your saved campaign).

Another powerful targeting option is the lookalike audience. The name says it all: you can create an audience that looks just like another target group. You can base this audience on an existing custom audience.

The custom audience and lookalike audience are rarely used together, since they both serve another purpose. A custom audience is used for remarketing purposes, while a lookalike audience is meant to reach new leads.

The last option is to target people based on different parameters. You can save this profile as a saved audience, if you like. If you run a lot of campaigns, it might get confusing if you save every targeted audience you create. And keep in mind that if you create a saved audience, and adjust it later, the modified version will overwrite the original one. Inevitably, your original info will be lost. Only create a saved audience if you’re sure you want to reuse this exact audience in a later campaign.

The targeting parameters can be divided into 4 categories:

  • Location-based targeting

    You can widen the targeting to an entire country, or set it as specific as an exact neighborhood. You can include people living in this location, people who were recently visiting this area or people travelling this region.

  • Demographic-based targeting

    The basic demographic parameters are age, gender and language. But you can go further than that, by using the detailed targeting option. There you can target people based on their job title, life events, education, etc…

  • Interest-based targeting

    This criterium— which you can also find in the detailed targeting option — is especially useful to define if a person is interested in your brand, product or service. There is a wide range of interest fields, such as competition, blogs, apps they use, pages they’ve liked, hobbies, food & drinks, … You can include or exclude people from certain interest criteria.

  • Behavior-based targeting

    Digital activities, such as the purchase behavior, presence at events, personal anniversaries, … are useful data sets gathered by Facebook that you can add to your targeting. It’s a very broad interest field that works great if you know how to use it. Just like the targeting above, you can either include, or exclude people.

When creating your audience, you can keep track of the size of your target group by the indicator at the right of your screen. You can also see an estimated number of reach and/or page likes, depending on the objective that you’ve chosen in the first step. Be aware, this is just an indication that, in reality, might turn out differently.

4. Choose your ad placements

In this step, you select where you want your ads to appear. You can choose from Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network and Messenger. If you select Automatic Placements, Facebook will automatically place the ads, where it thinks they will work best. If you want to place your ads manually, you have the following options:

  • Device type: mobile or desktop
  • Platform: Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network, Messenger
  • Placements: stories, feeds, messages, apps, …
  • Specific mobile devices and operating systems: iOS, Android, …

Facebook already has some suggestions and links specific objectives to specific platforms. They, for instance, suggest using Facebook and Instagram if your goal is to create brand awareness. But be aware, we always recommend some testing to see what works best for your business.

5. Set your budget and schedule your ads

Almost there! In this step, you decide how much money you want to spend. Facebook offers two options:

  • Daily budget

    Facebook will auto-optimize the budget and spend it according to the results you want to obtain. That way, you might spend a little more on a day with more opportunities, than on another day with less potential. This usually results in a wavy spending curve.

  • Lifetime budget

    Facebook will spend the total budget, divided equally over each day. We opt for a lifetime budget as standard. You have more control over the budget that way.

It’s important to know that you can’t change the budget settings, once a campaign is live. Once you’ve made a selection in the campaign setup, you have to stick with it or create a totally new campaign.

Once you’re ready with the budget setup, you can select Ad Delivery Optimization. This allows you to optimize your ads based on the objectives. Suppose your goal is reach, you can choose to optimize on reach or impressions. If you tell Facebook you’re most interested in driving traffic to your website, Facebook will optimize your ads for Link Clicks or Landing Page Views – provided that you have implemented the Facebook pixel in your website code. Landing Page Views goes one step further than Link Clicks. It does not only mean that people have clicked on the ad (Link Clicks), but also they’ve actually looked at your landing page.

Another optional feature is the Bid Control. Keep in mind that the Facebook advertising world is highly competitive. Your ad will be competing with hundreds of thousands of other ads, all wanting to reach their (and your!) target audience. This bidding tool works like an auction. The bid is the amount of money you’re willing to pay for a specific objective during a certain period of time. So, depending on your objective, you can pay for clicks or exposure.

6. Create your ad

First of all, you have to select your ad format. Depending on your objective and your placement, you can choose from a carousel, a slideshow (video), a single image or video, or a collection. Next, you enter your text and media components. There’s a preview button to check if your ads look the way you want them to. When you’re ready: confirm and wait for Facebook’s final approval.


Facebook advertising should be a fundamental component of your marketing strategy. Since a lot of people spend a great amount of time on Facebook, you can reach them right where they are. With all the targeting options, you’re sure your message gets viewed by exactly the right target audience. And with the budget options, your Facebook campaigns doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. It’s a win-win situation, so why hesitate to get started? With the above roadmap, you can’t go wrong.

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Posted on
Feb 12, 2020