4 Steps To Setting Up Your First Facebook Ad Campaign
July 17, 2015 • 5 min read
Updated on October 22, 2019
Organic reach on Facebook has seen a steady drop in the last year, and the company itself admitted on their website that with periodic algorithm changes, the reach of organic posts will ultimately see a natural drop. Previously, brands were trying to be seen by as many people as possible, and in a very real sense, were visible enough to have a post go ‘viral’ organically.
Basically, before the many (many!) algorithm changes, brand posts were seen by fans, who would engage with the content, and in-turn increase the reach of the post – in a cascade of engagement that heralded an era of spectacular, and free, marketing for brands across the world.
But the players got to play, play, play – and the brands had to pay, pay, pay.
When brands started overloading the newsfeeds of the users with content, thus providing a worse experience to Facebook’s product, the social network decided that brands would have to pay money to advertise their content. And how did the brands benefit? Apart from better targeting, advertising on Facebook also aligns campaign objectives with marketing ‘goals’. Instead of hoping to raise brand awareness by pictures of puppies, having to put money into Facebook requires a fully thought out campaign strategy – forcing the marketing department to take social media seriously and drive measurable ROI.
So you’ve made the decision to start with Facebook Ads, now what? If this is your first, or fiftieth, social media campaign, you may benefit from taking a look at our Ultimate Guide to Social Media Campaigns which lays out all the steps of a successful campaign on social media – from pre-production all the way to the final audit report.
Step 1: Choose an objective
After setting up your account, you will be asked to choose the objective of your intended campaign. Choosing your ‘objective’ helps you identify the most appropriate format of your ads, the important conversion events, and ensures that the campaign is in line with your business objectives.
From making sure your content is seen by your target audience (Boost posts), to sending clicks on your ad to a website, an event registration, or other landing page, to boosting app installs and engagement. Facebook has classified the various ad opportunities into neat, easily identifiable categories, and if you’re having trouble deciding which one is for you, their Help Centre should be able to guide you, or you can call for support – see how helpful they are when they are taking your money compared to when you have a problem with your regular account!
Step 2: Target
The key advantage of choosing to put money behind a Facebook post is the ability to reach, and target your key audience. Location targeting on Facebook lets an advertiser target people who live in a particular location, people who were recently in the location and even people simply traveling in the location. For this purpose, a location can be as wide as a country, or as narrow as a county or an address.
Other targeting options include by age, gender, language, other digital footprints like interests and behavior. Plus, you can target existing Fans, or people connected to them. Targeting options on Facebook are constantly evolving so it’s good practice to keep an eye on any updates to the feature.
When you’re ready to level up, explore the Custom Audiences option offered, which lets you target an audience that has already been exposed to your brand – either through your website or app, or an existing list of clients. This is essentially a retargeting campaign and can benefit B2B companies or B2C’s with more expensive products which require a little more persuasion from the awareness to purchase stage of a buyer’s journey. With existing clients, this can build brand loyalty or be used to inform them of company updates or new products.
Check out Larry Kim’s post on 5 ridiculously powerful Facebook Ad targeting strategies to sharpen your targeting strategies.
Step 3: Budget
Depending on the social media budget for your larger marketing campaign, you can choose to define a Daily Budget or a Total Spend, based on which Facebook will display your content. You can also choose to be charged only on key conversions that you specify – whether it is engagement, impressions, clicks or reach. By choosing one of the options, you will get charged only for those actions that align with the purpose of the campaign, and it will help Facebook auto-optimize your campaign – showing the content that causes the more key conversions, more often.
Additionally, based on the campaign budget and campaign term, choose your bidding, scheduling (fixing certain days, and times) and delivery type (choosing accelerated or standard, staggered delivery of ads).
Step 4: Creative
Each campaign type will require a different kind of creative – whether it is text, image or video based. With ROI in mind, don’t forget to create unique UTM codes to make your reporting easier, and to bring clarity to your attribution sources. With the help of a developer, you can also insert a FB tracking pixel into the landing page/s that your ads are aimed towards, making it easier for Facebook to attribute conversions, and auto optimize your campaign.
With the preview option at the end of setting up process, make sure that the format of your ad looks good across mobile, laptop and tablet screens – that the language is clearly legible and the image seems like a good fit. It may seem trivial, but small details like this can make an ad more visually appealing to your target audience.
Check out Amanda Sibley’s post on 11 examples of Facebook Ads that actually work (and why) for more inspiration on how to what kind of creatives to use for your ads.
Step 5: Report, Analyze, Learn.
As soon as the campaign goes live, the next phase of your digital marketing journey begins – Reporting. With a very tangible dollar spend attributed to social media, the C-suite executives are now looking for equally tangible results. Facebook insights and ad manager can give you some analytics, but using a third party to get a deeper level of understanding of your campaign’s performance is also great. The added advantage of a third party tool is that you can also analyze organic efforts, compare performance with competitors, and even download performance reports in one-click.
Facebook Ads may not be rocket science, but a new user can easily get lost simply by the number of choices offered and decisions to make. At Unmetric, we love testing micro-campaigns to test out various theories that we’ve read about or that we’ve come up with ourselves, and we encourage you to try out multiple forms of your campaign – A/B test various creative copies, multiple targeting options, even campaign objectives to find the best fit for your campaign, and brand.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of your own Facebook Ads, wouldn’t it be amazing to find out which of your competitor’s posts were paid for, and how this influenced their content and campaign strategy? We think so, and we know just the guys to help you out. Sign up for a free trial today –