Facebook Advertising Basics

A lot of people reach out to ask me questions about social media marketing, particularly on Facebook, so I wanted to take some time and provide a basic overview of the platform. This article will cover a very basic overview of Business Manager, Ads Manager and several other tools within Facebook.

I’ll use my personal Business Manager to walk you through several key tools I use daily.

  1. Business Manager (BM)

This is basically your home base. If you’re a business you’ll probably only have one Ad Account and one Page listed here. We’ll quickly walk through BM.

On the top right, you’ll notice the BM Settings button. Click into your settings — this is where you will primarily manage access levels and other things, such as product catalogs, projects, etc.

This view shows you the people who have access to my BM, as well as the pages, ad accounts and product catalogs that I am assigned within BM. You will mostly use BM if you have need to provide an agency or several employees with access to your pages and ad accounts. You honestly won’t spent a lot of time within BM settings, but it’s good to familiarize yourself with the platform because setting up access can be difficult and time consuming (I’ll create a follow up guide on how to provide access to agencies, partners and employees)


2. Ads Manager

Now we’re going to move into a quick overview of Ads Manager, which you will probably use the most. Ads Manager is Facebook’s reporting tool. We’ll use 6th & 6th’s Ad Account, an online clothing store, so you can look at the structure.

You can see all of your Facebook and Instagram advertising activity within Ads Manager — this includes the delivery status, results, amount spent and much more. Facebook’s default ‘Performance’ report can be useful if you’re looking for very high level metrics like results (cost per action) or amount spent, but you should get in the habit of using a custom report because it will be much more useful in the future, especially when looking at response rates.

The main components of Ads Manager are the view levels — Campaign Level, Ad Set Level and Ad Level. We’ll get more into what each of these are as we move into power editor, but to navigate to each view, you’ll click on the ‘All Campaigns’ default view button on the left side to see the dropdown menu.

You likely won’t navigate to ‘Account History’ often, but this is useful when something goes wrong or you can’t remember what changes you or another employee have recently made. You can also go into each level by simply clicking on the campaign or selecting several at a time and clicking ‘View’, as seen below.


3. Power Editor (PE)

Time to dive into my favorite tool, Power Editor (PE)! PE is where you will build out all of your ads — it might look complicated and scary, but I promise it’s amazing!

PE has changed A LOT in just the past 3 years, but this is hopefully what your view looks like (unless Facebook unrolls ANOTHER update). You’ll notice tabs at the top for each level — Campaign, Ad Sets, Ads. We’ll do a quick walk through so you have a basic understanding of PE.

First and foremost, you need to understand what each level means. I’m very particular about how I set up my structure in PE, you’ll notice as we continue, but do whatever works best for you. The Campaign is where you set your budget and objective. If you have specific budgets set for different initiatives, the Campaign level is where that becomes important. For example, if you have a $50,000 budget for Father’s Day advertising and a $100,000 budget for Mother’s Day advertising, you should separate these into two campaigns within PE to easily maintain and keep track of your budgets. This is how I would structure my Campaigns:

  • Year — Activation/Initiatives — Objective
  • 2017 Mother’s Day [Obj. Link Clicks]
  • 2017 Father’s Day [Obj. Engagements]

Make sure you set a campaign spend limit, this will guarantee you don’t go over budget, and then save to draft.

The Ad Set is where you will build your target audience and set the budget that will spent against this audience. A lot of people prefer to set their budgets specific to each ad, which can easily be done, just make sure you only use one Ad within that Ad Set.

The Ad is where you will build your ad — or creative as I like to call it. You can choose from videos, slideshows, carousels, images and more. You can customize the text, add a call-to-action button or a website link.

We won’t walk through how to build out an entire Campaign, Ad Set and Ad from top to bottom, but they key things to remember are the structure:

  • Campaign Level = where you set the overall campaign budget and choose the objective
  • Ad Level = where you build out your audiences and assign budgets to those audiences
  • Ad Level = where you build the ads that will be served to your audiences

I hope this quick, high-level overview is helpful to some of you! I’ll work on following up with additional guides that go into much more detail. Please, feel free to leave comments below and let me know if this is helpful or if there’s something you’d like to see.