How does Facebook advertise itself

Facebook advertising made easy: a step-by-step guide

Facebook is probably the most neglected advertising platform.

How often have you heard something like this:

"Facebook has died since everyone's parents signed up."

"Instagram has a ten times higher engagement rate!"

"Destroy emails on Facebook"

Yeah yeah, we got it. Facebook is lame.

But how is it then that their Sales grow so fast?

(Taken from an infographic on Hubspot)

With 1.4 billion active users per month, they not only have the most users, but they also earn enough money with their advertising system.

I suspect there are tons of hypocrites out there.

If for every ten dollars spent on advertising, one of it is used for advertising on Facebook, how is it that everyone but a few people eschews the platform?

Can you understand my thinking?

I believe that every company tries ads on Facebook, fails, and then pulls over the platform.

People just can't handle ads on Facebook properly.

Today I will help you with it.

I'll show you a few examples of people who have had success with ads on Facebook and then let's create your first campaign together.

Even if you are a complete beginner, after reading this guide, you will have a good understanding of how ads work on Facebook.

Can't you imagine that? - Believe me, I'm serious!

Let me start at the beginning.


"I beg your pardon, you can actually advertise on Facebook?"

If that was your first reaction to the headline of this article, then you are a little late. But don't worry, I'll bring you up to date.

Since Facebook receives a lot of information from its users, you often know exactly what they like because they voluntarily enter the data in their profile (things like age, location and interests).

Therefore, Facebook can show the user targeted advertisements of productsthat he would probably buy, from sites he would probably like, or from events he would probably like to attend.

For example, I recently joined a Facebook group through Udemy, the internet course platform.

Logically, Facebook responds to my choice and starts showing ads inviting me to take a course (they thought I would like to learn how to make video games).

You might say, "Wait a minute, Neil, are you sure this isn't just a Udemy post? Maybe you followed their side? How do you know that it is an advertisement? "

Good question!

There are some characteristics that every ad on Facebook has and that is what makes them distinctive. So I know for sure that it's an advertisement.

Here are the characteristics:

You will see the label “Sponsored” under the name of the page that is being displayed to you.

There is also a distinctive “Like Page” button in the upper right corner that cannot be seen in normal posts.

And finally, all ads on Facebook have a call-to-action button (also called a CTA) in the lower right corner that can contain one of the following prompts:

  • Learn more
  • Log In
  • Download
  • Contact us
  • Buy now
  • Book now
  • See more
  • Apply now

Facebook has a predetermined number of CTA buttons.

So remember, you can Recognize ads on Facebook by the following three things:

  1. A “Sponsored” label under the name of the page
  2. The request in the upper right corner to follow the page
  3. A call-to-action button in the lower right corner

You may be wondering why Facebook makes ads more aggressive and obvious, not like YouTube.

(Is there anyone who likes ads on YouTube?)

YouTube forces you to view an ad for every third or fourth video you watch. In the beginning you can skip them, but at some point you have to watch the whole 30 seconds.

For longer videos (> 1hr), they'll even show you commercials during the video (just like the TV commercials).

The result: all of the HATE ads on YouTube.


Do you know someone who won't block them or walk away from the computer and only come back when it's over?

We hate ads on YouTube because they interfere with our user experience.

We want to watch one video at a time for as long as we want until we stop.

YouTube is forcibly changing that experience by interrupting videos with ads.

We don't like to be bothered. In fact, we encounter enough interruptions each day that drain our precious willpower and test our self-control.

Facebook is smarter than YouTube.

They want their ads as seamlessly as possible integrate into the natural flow of the user experience.

Expiration is actually a good term for it. Think about how you navigate Facebook.

You always scroll down your news feed, either with a mouse or with your finger. And since Facebook just places an advertisement in your news feed, you won't be interrupted. You can take a look at them or just keep scrolling.

Your user experience will not be changed at all.

Annotation: There are also advertisements in the sidebar, similar to banners, but they only cover what would otherwise be a white space and therefore do not constitute an interruption.

Showing advertisements without being recognized by an untrained eye is one of Facebook’s secrets of the high growth rate of their sales.

In short, when you advertise on Facebook You pay to place advertisements or product offers in the newsfeed of a special target group.

Before we dive into some case studies and design your first ad, let's get a foundation in place.


There are five types of ads on Facebook:

  • In the news feed on a computer
  • In the news feed on mobile devices
  • In the right sidebar on computers
  • Target group network on mobile devices
  • On Instagram

Instagram was only recently added and by the end of September 2015, advertising was made available to everyone.

Placing ads in the news feed or the right sidebar is obvious, but what does a target group ad look like?

These advertisements are placed on a normal website, in programs or even in games.

(Image by Techcrunch)

In this way, Facebook has taken the advertising options that are limited to its own platform and expanded them to its entire media network.

Promotional activities on Instagram were introduced last year for big brands, but now anyone can advertise on Instagram.

Ads on Instagram are built into the natural flow based on the same principles as the ads on Facebook: they don't interfere with the user experience.

Ben and Jerrys did an excellent job:

(Picture by Postano)

Thanks to some creative campaigns, their Instagram account now has almost 600,000 followers.

There are two ways to manage ads on Facebook and these are often confusing for users.

First there is that Ads Manager, the normal dashboard that you can access as soon as you open your account.

(The screenshots were kindly provided by a friend I recently helped get it started)

This is the first option for beginners and you should also use it at the beginning.

Then there is that Power Editor for advanced.

It's just another way to manage your ads and gives you additional options to customize your ads.

For example, advertisements on Instagram can only be created with the Power Editor.

The first time you sign up for ads on Facebook, they'll prompt you to do your first campaign to create.

A campaign is the most abstract and at the same time the most comprehensive stage of your advertising enterprise. The only thing stipulated here is yours Target. For example, this could be getting more likes, increasing traffic to a website, converting prospects to buyers, or downloading programs.

For example, if you want to promote your new game, Plants vs Zombies, and get more downloads in the first week to make it more popular, you can set that goal here.

(I'm warning you don't download this, it's addicting)

The next level areAd sets. Here you can decide which types of advertisements you want to use and which target group you want to address.

For example, you could create a set of ads for Instagram for this game, and a second set for the news feed on the computer.

Then it goes to the Advertisement. In this stage you design your advertisement and decide which elements, e.g. text, images and CTA buttons, you want to use.

You can have multiple ads in each set so you can test which ones work best.

If this reminds you of Google Adwords, it's because it has exactly the same structure.

Now we've covered all of the basics you need to know so that you don't feel like an idiot when someone talks about ads on Facebook.

But before I turn you into an expert (well, compared to 90% of the rest of the world) let's see if that actually works.

Three case studies from successful advertisers on Facebook

Fortunately, not all companies screw up their ads on Facebook, so I can show you a few successful campaigns.

First one that completely blew me away a few days ago.

Check out this ad:

(Image source: Leadpages)

Wait a minute ... an advertisement for a giveaway?

Is she trying to throw money out the window? She's already giving something away and now she's paying to advertise it?


And I suspect she doesn't regret the issue.

This campaign helped Marina De Giovanni in 17,000 emails in six weeks to collect.

In two months, she created an email list that would take others years to complete!

To do that, she was giving away giveaways worth $ 300 a month. Sometimes it was jewelry and sometimes a box with cool makeup, etc.

Then she created a landing page that was published as a tab on her Facebook page so that people could sign up for their email address and enter the competition in exchange.

Then she used ads on Facebook to drive more traffic to her login page.

Easy? Yes.

Light? No.

Efficient? But hello!

Yes, she has spent money, but now she makes money with her blog and her email list, for example through private make-up training for $ 225 (which, by the way, is completely booked).

The question is: would you spend 1,000 euros to earn 10,000 euros?

Of course you would!

Other success factors of the campaign were:

  • She produced a video to greet people and explain how to participate.
  • The traffic stayed on Facebook, which meant that more people signed up (because users trust Facebook).
  • Constantly testing and changing the advertisements to determine the best variant.

You may have already noticed that you can earn one euro a month for every subscriber to your email list.

Even if you're half as good, an email list like Marina's can make good money.

Okay, well, this works for bloggers, but does it work for start-up companies too?

I'll show you that it works.

Check out this ad:

(Image source: WP Curve)

Design Pickle offers unlimited graphic designs for free, something that usually makes people skeptical.

This ad, "Ok, a free design can't hurt" gave Design Pickle onerecurring monthly sales ofnearly $ 6,000.

The campaign targeted high-quality leads who were then referred to this survey.

What? So many questions? Uh!

Doesn't that damage the conversion rate?

Yes. But they did it on purpose.They wanted to weed out dust collectors so they only got leads that were most likely to convert.

A free graphic design in just one day is a lot of work and every customer was contacted within 24 hours of delivery to make sure they were satisfied. So the last thing they needed was thousands of people who didn't buy anything afterwards.

Their campaign instead generated roughly 500 leads, 30 of which were subscribing to their service for $ 200 a month.

They also estimate their Customer Lifetime Value (CLV, the average expected money that a new customer spends) at around $ 1,100, which translates into the great ROI of 633% for their campaign.

Okay, okay, so it works for bloggers and beginners alike. But what about the big brands?

How about Pedigree? Are the bells ringing? Is that the one with the dog food?

(Image source: SIUC English)

Pedigree used advertisements on Facebook to draw attention to dogs in the shelter, thus keeping her followers on Facebook from 55,000 to over a million rise while over $ 600,000 in donations have been raised.

The list of brands that are successful with ads on Facebook is growing.

Adidas, AT&T, Pepsi, Baskin Robbins, American Express ...

Facebook now has a complete database of successful case studies.

So, now we have given enough. How about we get to work?

It's time to create your first ad campaign on Facebook.

Step 1: Create a fan page

If you don't have a fansite yet, be sure to create one. Ads on Facebook can only be assigned to a company, never to an individual.

Go to Create Page (engl. create page) and choose an option.

(Facebook is one of the best places for personal branding)

For example, if you wanted to create a personal branding page like my Facebook Page, you could use "Artist, Band, or Public Figure" (engl. "Artist, Band or Public Figure") choose.

Then you have to choose a category ...

... and choose a name.

Next you have to enter some information about your site, website and the site name.

Then it's time to choose a profile picture. Please smile!

Skip the option to bookmark the site (or do it if you're in the mood).

Then you can describe your ideal target group so that Facebook knows roughly who the page should be suggested to.

Select a country, or even a state and a specific city, as well as the correct age and gender of the target group.

When it comes to interests, you choose what they have in common with you or other brands. This can also be other influencers in your industry, product or company.

As soon as you save your entries, you land on your page. Congratulations!

But before you start creating ads, there are at least two other things you should do. Choose a cover photo and create a call-to-action (CTA).

You can choose a cover picture by pressing the button in the top left corner.

Your cover photo should be simple and motivating and ideally, if your company is linked to your name, show the logo.

Don't think too much about it.

You can use this cover photo maker to create one in just two minutes.

If you want to do a good job (and you should, because the cover photo takes up 25% of the entire page!), Check out Hubspots Dos and Don’ts for cover photos first.

The second step is the call to action (CTA).

Facebook provides you with a number of preselected options, which depend on your goal and are similar to the possibilities of the ad sets.

In my case, “Sign Up” makes the most sense because I want people to subscribe to my email list on the website and that's where they'll go when they click.

You can even preview it for mobile devices.

That's it! You're done and you can get started with your first ads on Facebook!


Step 2: Create your first campaign

To get started, go to your fan page in the top right corner, click on "Promote" and then on "Go to Ads Manager."

Then the dashboard that I showed you earlier appears and there you click on "Create Campaign".

Then you can enter your objective. As with Google Ads, we want to keep it as simple as possible to get started.

So choose "Send people to your website."

Now enter the link of your website. If you're promoting a product, that would be the sales page. If you are promoting an event, use the registration page.

In my case, I am sending the traffic straight to my website as there is an option for people to subscribe to my email list.

Annotation: That's only an example. I advise against spending money to get email addresses especially if you haven't found a way to make money from them yet. Remember, profit is the only thing that matters!

That's it. Creating a campaign is that easy because it is only the first part of a complete structure.

On to the next step!


Step 3: Create your ad set

Next you reach the area for creating the ad sets, in which you first have to define a target group.

The smaller your target group, the better.

In the beginning, focus on 10,000 or fewer people. You can always expand that later. Knowing the demographic information of your target audience is the key to success.

Choose the cities of the countries you want to target (only one country would be best) and limit the age range to about ten years.

For example, if I want young start-ups on my email list, I limit the age range to 24 to 32 years, pick only men from Seattle, and then narrow down further.

If I find a statistic that says that most start-ups are single, then I can also use that to determine my target group.

After selecting a few interests and behavior patterns, my target audience immediately shrinks to less than 1,000 people. That's not enough, but you can quickly increase it by adding more locations.

I've added a few bigger cities, especially those with a lot of tech startups like San Francisco, New York, and Austin.

Lo and behold, my target group jumps to 6,700 people. Perfect.

Next, you need to set a budget.

You should start small, do you remember? It's just an experiment.

So choose $ 3.33 as your daily expense and let your advertising campaign run for a month.

That way, you won't be spending more than $ 100.

Select "Link Clicks to Website" under "Optimize for", because you don't want ads, you want pay for real clicks.

Otherwise, Facebook will try to show your ad to as many people in your target audience as possible instead of motivating them to click (maybe by showing the same ad multiple times).

Set the bid at 75 cents under "Pricing". It should be within the recommendation of Facebook, but rather in the lower range.

In "Ad Scheduling" you should set it to "Run ads all the time“Because your campaign has an exact start and end date. You could change this setting by selecting "ongoing" and manually turning off the ad on the last day.

For “Delivery Type” you should also choose “Standard”.

OK. now let's get down to business!


Step 4: Design your first advertisement

Now you can determine the design and content of your advertisement.

If you put several pictures in an advertisement, a collage is created that looks like this:

(Image source: Hubspot)

The images run through your ad like a slide show and offer you more space to advertise. You can also use videos.

Do we want that?

No, way too complicated!

Once again: simplicity is the key!

Stick to an image and then choose "Select Images."

You can decide whether you want to upload your own images or browse free stock images. Always use your own pictures.

Note the right sidebar, however, as Facebook has some guidelines on the types of images you can use.

The most important rule is the 20% text rule. Facebook doesn't allow more than 20% text in your picture.

But it's hard to say how much 20% is.

Fortunately, there is a free tool that can help you figure that out.

Play around a bit until it fits. Or, if you want to save yourself all that trouble, you can just as well a nice portrait of you to use.

It's worth a try, especially if you look trustworthy in your pictures. This is even more important if you want to build your personal brand.

Once you've cropped the image and formatted it correctly, you'll see a simple preview of your ad.

Now you have to write the text for your ad and choose a CTA button. Your fan page on Facebook will automatically be linked to it (unless you have more than one).

Heading: It is easy. Offer your potential customers something for free. That could be a giveaway, like with Marina, or an e-book, or, like in my case, a free webinar that I'm offering right now. Make sure your headline gets readers' attention and interest.

Text: Try to integrate two things. A call-to-action and the social proof. Claire Pell has some great advice on what makes great copywriting.

Newsfeed link description (under "Show Advanced Options"): Determine a clear call to action that will benefit your readers.

CTA button: Choose "Learn More". It's been proven that this works best.

(Study done by Adroll)

Here are the headline and text I picked for my ad (it only took two minutes).

Heading: A free webinar today.

Text: Three steps that used me to build a four million company.

Newsfeed Link Description: Gain an insight into how I manage my company so that you too can quickly make your company successful.

This is what the ad preview looks like:

Click on “Place Order” when you're done (don't worry, nothing happens yet).

Your ad is now ready for approval. You will receive a message from Facebook as soon as it has been approved.

You will then return to your dashboard. While you wait for your ad to be approved, there are a few small things you should do.

First switch off your ad set again.

Then go to "Edit Ad Set" (the button will appear next to the name of your Ad Set).

A tab will appear on the right-hand side that, by the way, shows how many people your campaign is likely to reach each day.

(This gives you a good idea of ​​what to expect)

Scroll down to the very bottom and uncheck all except "Desktop News Feed."

The reason we only want one ad on a channel is because we have ours Otherwise you will not be able to analyze the results.

If you run your ad on mobile devices, on computers, and in the right sidebar at the same time, you'll get combined data for all three, making it impossible to find out which ad is working and which is not.

If you only have one ad on one channel, there is not much you can analyze - the success of an advertisement can only be determined by comparing it to another.

And for that you need a split test.


Step 5: Create two more ads for an A / B test

Go to your campaign and click on the name of your ad set.

This will take you to your ad set, in which your first advertisement is stored.

Mark the box of your ad and click on "Create Similar Ad."

A new ad screen will appear.

Facebook already indicates that we should adjust something. But don't change too much ...

I have to improve Facebook. You should really only change one thing.

The only way to find out what works is is changing a single element, from advertisement to advertisement.


Imagine you can change the text and image for a second ad. Then you change the two again and create a third advertisement.

How do you know what worked better for B than A and what worked better for C than B?

Was it the new picture? The updated headline? Maybe the call to action?

The only way to be absolutely sure where your results are coming from is to change just one thing.

Since pictures generate 53% more likes, double comments and increase the click-through rate by 84%, we are starting to change pictures.

Most likely, they are the biggest success factor of your ad. Always focus on the big wins first.

Scroll down and upload a new picture.

What else can I use besides my own beautiful face?

Following Facebook's image best practices, happy people have better click-through rates.

Since I'm talking about making money in my webinar, maybe Money + happy people = profit?

How can we find out? By trying it out!

Since I'm only targeting men with my ad, I use the image of a woman because we all know that it gets more clicks.

I just use this image from Flickr.

The new advertisement looks like this:

And while we're at it, we'll create a third advertisement. Three ads are a good number to test.

We keep the next one simple, with just one motivating call to action with a simple design.

With, you can do it in seconds. Canva even has templates for advertisements on Facebook that are ready to use.

With these templates I conjured this up in less than two minutes:

Not bad, right?

Ok, now let's get started. Click on "Place Order."

And now ... you wait.


Step 6: Wait 24 hours

When the new ads have passed the test, you switch your ad set back on and let it run for a day to get the first results.

Try Candy Crush - I'm just kidding, working on something else!


Step 7: Discard the ads that don't work

As soon as you have information and know which ad works best, switch off the others. Use only the best performing ad until it stops working.

This could take a week, but it is usually closer to that four to five days.

Then you have to change the image and the text, because all relevant people have already seen your ad.

That also depends on the size of your target group.

If your ad is showing 500 people a day, most of the 3,000 people in your target audience will have seen the ad in five days.


Step 8 [optional]: Increase your budget

Before you put more money into your ad, make sure you do too Generate sales!

If your ads are generating direct sales, that's perfect. If you collect emails or program downloads, make sure that your calculations are correct and that people really pay you, otherwise this step could eat a hole in your wallet in no time at all.

However, if you are convinced that your ads are generating a positive ROI, you can slowly increase your budget and create more ads.



As you can see, ads on Facebook are no other world.

This guide will show you everything you need to get started in under an hour.

You have learned about the different applications and possibilities with which you can use advertisements on Facebook.

You know the terms and now you know how to create your first campaign.

How do you want to use this knowledge?

What do you want to promote?

Tell me about the headline of your first ad and what you want to achieve with your first campaign.