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Creating Facebook Ads — a step-by-step guide

This is the part 1 of a 3-part step-by-step guide on how to create your very first on Facebook Ad campaign.

Vector from freepik

Facebook Business: To start off, you will need to visit Facebook Business. Obviously, if you don’t have a Facebook Account, you will need to create one before moving onto the next step.

Create a Page: If you are promoting your business and you don’t have a Facebook Page, you will want to create one for your business. So go head and click on that “Create a Page” button before proceeding. Don’t worry, we’ll wait here for you.

Facebook Business — The beginning of your digital marketing journey

After you’ve created an account and a Page, you are now finally ready to create your very first Facebook Ad. Click on the “Create an Advert” button to get started

Campaign Objective

Setting your Campaign Objective

Campaign Objective is the goal of your Facebook Ad. Everything else will be built around the objective you set here.

  • Choose an Objective that aligns with your primary marketing goal in mind
  • Do note that the following settings will be lost if you decide to change your campaign objective midway.

There are 10 objectives in 3 categories (Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion) for you to choose from. Each objective corresponds to a marketing goal.

An example of Brand Awareness ad
  1. Brand Awareness — Create awareness for your brand by reaching out to people who are likely to be interested
  2. Reach — Show your advert to as many people as possible regardless of interest
An example of Engagement and Traffic ad
  1. Traffic — Send more people to a destination within Facebook (e.g. a Post) or to a offsite link outside Facebook (e.g. your website)
  2. Engagement — Get more Likes, RSVPs to your Events, Offer claims, and overall engagement on your Page
  3. App Installs — Literally getting more people to install your Facebook App (consider Google over Facebook)
  4. Video Views — Get more video views
  5. Lead Generation — Generate more potential sales leads from people interested in your brand
An example of a Product Catalogue Sales ad
  1. Conversions — Drive people perform actions that translate into a business value (e.g. get more sign ups for a promotion)
  2. Product Catalogue Sales — Facebook automatically creates product catalogue from the products you already uploaded to your Facebook Page to appeal to your target audience
  3. Store Visits — Advertise to interested people in the vicinity to visit your brick-and-mortar store

The most suitable object will be the one that best aligns with your marketing goal. If you haven’t already done so, spend some time thinking about what aspect of your business do you want to market? A young business might be interested in spreading brand awareness, while an established online shop might want to promote its latest shipment of products.

For Horlu, my aim was to get as many people interested in creating a website for the business to know Horlu as possible. I was torn in between Brand Awareness and Reach but ultimately chose Reach as it allowed me more flexibility to adjust my budget later.

Advert Account

Setting up an Advert Account

After you’ve chosen your Objective, named your campaign, and clicked on the “Set up advert account” button, you will be brought to Advert Account.

Advert Account settings allow you to schedule your advert on any time zone of your choice. You can also choose your preferred billing currency. The default settings are set to the United States.

  • Set your advert to country where the bulk of target audience resides so you can schedule your ads to be served accordingly

Warning: Once your ad goes live, you cannot change it anymore. I learnt this the hard way as I accidentally skipped this page. As a result, my ads were billed in USD and were scheduled on UTC time when I was on GMT+8. I worked around it by converting the time zones, but it was a lot of unnecessary, tedious work.

Advert Set — Audience

Deciding on the Audience for your Advert Set

Audience allows you to create your target audience by selecting fields such as where are the from, their age group, gender and also, the language they speak.

  • The best way to fill this section is to have a strong idea of your target audience so as to prevent the ad from showing to people who are out of your target range.

You have the option of fine tuning your audience profile with fields such as Interest and Behavior. Do pay attention to the right column after you type your keywords as the word shown might not fall in a related category. E.g. (Business Owner — Interest, Business Owner — Demography).

You also have the option to exclude people that you do not want to show the ad by clicking “Exclude people”.

Lastly, you can narrow the audience profile by clicking “Narrow audience”. Narrowing the audience allows you to be very specific in your search.

Here is my targeting as an example.

Detailed Targeting — people who match at least ONE of the following

  • Wattpad

Narrow audience — and MUST ALSO match at least ONE of the following

  • Cats
  • Reading
  • Fantasy books
  • Adventure fiction

The last option you have is Connections. This is where you can targeting existing followers by either focusing or excluding them. For example, you are creating an ad to attract new audiences, you will set “Exclude people who liked your Page”.

Once you are done, you can save this audience so you do not need to create them again next time.

  • You can set multiple “Narrow audience” to really focus your target to a T, but that will greatly reduce the reach. Do not mistaken narrow for bad. I will explain this in the next chapter.

Advert Set — Placement

Ad Placement location

This is where you decide where your ad is going to show. You can set which device it shows on, choose the ad location on Facebook and if the add shows on Instagram.

  • You can make this part even more specific such as on what type of mobile this ad shows, in Advanced Options.

I usually leave it automatic or at least remove Facebook Ads that show on the right column.

Advert Set — Budget & Schedule

Budget & schedule, the most important section

This is the last option for Advert Set. You will be asked to set your budget and choose either Daily or Lifetime budget then, set the ad to run continuously or at a specific start and end date.

The difference between Daily budget and Lifetime budget is how Facebook will use your money. With Daily budget, Facebook will never exceed the amount you placed while with Lifetime budget, Facebook will decide how to spend your pre-set budget.

Next is When you are charged. This setting is locked for some advert types but typically can only be changed after you have spent at least $10 on your ad account.

  • Use the $10 to test

Bid amount is next. I usually set this to automatic because to do Manual Bids, you will require some pre-existing data to gauge how much you think interactions are worth.

One of my ad stats
  • I have a completed an ad before this blog post, the outcome was about 16000 impressions that cost me around $2 within 2 days. If I am to use Manual Bid, I would set $0.13 for my Cost per result.

Advert scheduling and Delivery type are the last two settings. Advert scheduling allows you to choose the time your ad airs but you can only access this option if you choose Lifetime budget you can also choose if the time you set is your time zone or your audience’s time zone. Delivery type can only be accessed if you selected manual bid but allows you to choose how fast your ad is presented if your ad is time sensitive.

  • Now for the special option that Reach has. Frequency Cap. This allows you to set how often you want the same person to see your ad in how many days and by doing so, can prevent over exposure to the same person.

Warning: Facebook Ads has some bugs and one of them is, if you left your ad half done and plan to come back to finish it, there is a chance that it may be deleted and you will have to redo.

This marks the end for the first half of creating a Facebook Ad. I hope my experience is able to help you up till here! I will share more in the next post!

This is the first part of a 3-part series on our experience with Facebook Ads. In our next post, we will touch more about Audience size and what affects it.

Horlu is having a special, invite-only pre-launch special! Register your interest here to learn more! Please follow the “Horlu Business” tag on Medium or #HorluBusiness on Twitter to for more tips!