Facebook Ads 101: A step-by-step guide

Blog, 02/02/18 Image

Are you spending money on Facebook ads in 2017?

Do you have a great ROI on your Facebook ads?

Are you making money off your Facebook ads?

If the answer to all the questions above is no, then you’re in luck.

In this post today, we’ll cover Facebook ads from head to toe; you’ll finish this article with enough knowledge to teach your employees (and clients) about FB advertising.

At the end of this post, we have a special offer for business owners like you to add $100,000 in revenue to your business in 90 days.

Want to know more? Read on.


Introduction to Facebook ads

Facebook has its own ad platform like Google AdWords. If you scroll through your Facebook feed nowadays, you’ll probably come across posts like these:

All of these sponsored posts are ads in disguise (although it’s common knowledge now).

Facebook’s greatest advantage is the ability to display your ads to massive amounts of people who are interested in what you are offering.

Here’s why.

The ads that were shown above in the picture are not random; I did a Google search for SEO tools a while before. Facebook was able to detect and with the help of retargeting, I was shown ads that were related to SEO tools.

Facebook’s ad targeting is extremely impressive (and creepy). I’m not the only one who is looking for SEO tools online, there could be millions of other people who are doing the same thing.

This means that your ads are going to generate a bigger ROI and profits for you IF and ONLY IF,

You do it the right way.

Why should I use Facebook ads? What’s so great about it?

Great question.

We get asked so many times about Facebook ads. People don’t really know what is so good about it.

They hear about success stories from other businesses but they don’t understand the true power of Facebook’s ad platform.

We’ll tell you why.

1) Massive audience size and potential reach

The Earth has roughly 7.5 billion people living on it as of 2017. Facebook, on the other hand has approximately 2 billion monthly users.

Do you see that?

More than 1/4th of the people in the world are using Facebook.

Even if only 0.001% of Facebook users are in your target audience, your ads will still be shown to at least 2,000,000 (million!)people.

Due to the massive audience reach that Facebook provides, advertisers are spending over $10 billion every year on Facebook ads.

If that’s not good enough to convince you, don’t worry.

2) People spend a lot of time on Facebook (and social media)

According to studies and research, your ads will be exposed to your target audience for at least an hour every day.

Why is this important?

One of the stages in a sales funnel is brand awareness; exposing your target audience to your products or services for at least 30 hours a month is going to skyrocket your brand awareness.

At the same time, repeated exposure of your ads is going to increase social proof and reciprocity. Simply put, people who see your ads constantly are going to relate the products or services that you are offering to your brand.

An example of this is the Thermos. The name of the product itself is a vacuum flask but thanks to the brand’s effective ads, Thermos is the universal name for all kinds of vacuum flasks.

You can do the same too for your brand!

3) Super-effective laser targeting

Wanna see how much information can you get from Facebook ads?

That’s right.

You have access to users’ hobbies, spending habits, lifestyle… even their income!

You literally have every single detail of your target audience.

This means that you can craft your ads to satisfy your audience’s wants and needs as well as having the ability to target a very specific group of people.

You can also utilise the information given to you in crafting offers and determining your prices; an advantage that no other ad platform in the world provides.

4) It is cheaper than Google ads

Advertisers usually pay $2-$3 per click.

Compare that to Google’s ad platform where you cost per clicks of more than $10 is common then you’ll find out that Facebook is much more cheaper in generating traffic and revenue.

Of course, there may be outliers where you’ll spend quite a bit on Facebook ads but that is very, very rare and happens only in the most competitive of industries as well as being a result of poorly targeted ads.

What’s the difference between Facebook and Google ads, then?

Let’s sum this up with a hypothetical situation.

This is how Google ads work:

Person A searches for the keyword “razor guard” on Google. Your ad is shown to person A. Person A clicks on it and makes a purchase.

In this case, your Google ad has satisfied or fulfilled an individual’s demand.

That’s fine but there’s one problem:

There are only 1,000 searches for “razor guard” monthly. You know that your product is going to make your target audience’s life better; they will love it.

But, how are you going to reach out to your target audience if there are only 1,000 people searching for your product every month?

Here’s why that happens.

When you enter the market with your product, your target audience may not know the products or services that you are offering because the demand is just not there.

How are you going to generate demand?

Facebook is the answer.

You know that your target audience are 20-30 year old males who are interested in grooming and fashion.

So, you set your ads up on Facebook, target your audience, and you find out that your ads are going to be shown to a whopping 3,000,000 people worldwide; people who’s interests are related to your product.

Instead of having 10,000 people searching for your product every month, it is now exposed to over 3 million people every day – a 300x increase.

This is what is meant by demand generation. You can create a demand for an unknown product or service through Facebook.

You are targeting people based on their actual interests, lifestyles, and habits, not keywords.

How do I get started with Facebook ads?

Before you get on with the ads, you should know these things first.

  • Your target audience
  • Your offer
  • Your ad spend budget
  • Your goals

While Facebook’s ad platform is great, it is not a magical tool. You have to know the basics to get the best results.

If you don’t know what your target audience is, do some research. Don’t know what to offer? Read up more on core offers and irresistible offers.

Let’s get started with creating your first Facebook ad.

Setting up your campaign

On your Facebook page, head over to the top right arrow and click on Create Ads or you can head over to this link: https://www.facebook.com/ads/manager

Next, you’ll come across a page like this.


Brand awareness: Use this objective if you would like your target audience to be aware of your products or services. This objective reaches people who are likely to be interested in your brand and pay attention to your ads.

Local awareness: The same as brand awareness but more towards the local scene. Use this objective if you are running local events or activities and you want people to know about it.

Reach: This objective is designed to show your ads to the maximum number of people as possible among your target audience. Use this objective if you want to advertise your products to as many as people as possible.


Traffic: Use this objective if you want to send traffic or visits to your website. You can also direct visitors to your desktop app or mobile app with this objective.

Engagement: This objective helps in achieving engagement with your brand. It could be through page and post likes, comments, claiming offers, or RSVP-ing events; the engagement objective is mean to drive user activity.

App installs: Pretty straightforward. This objective is meant to send visitors to your app in Google Play (or the Apple Store).


Video views: Instead of the standard text and image ads, you can also promote a video for your brand. Some examples of good video ads are behind-the-scenes videos, tutorial videos, and testimonials.

Lead generation: This objective is designed to gather leads for your business. You can collect e-mails, names, and other information through this objective just like a usual lead form.


Conversions: This objective is designed for visitors to take action on your website or app. For instance, you can set up a conversions campaign to get more downloads on your free e-book landing page.

Product catalog sales: This objective will advertise your catalog on Facebook in an effort to drive sales on the spot. The photo below is an example of this objective.

Store visits: This objective is designed to bring visitors to your physical store. Restaurants, barbershops, and brick & mortar stores are some of the examples of businesses that would work well with this objective.

Now that you know what each objective is, it’s time to set-up your ads.

You can test the objectives in your campaigns but for today’s post, we will go with the Traffic objective to drive visitors to our website.

So, go ahead and click on Traffic and you’ll come across this screen.

We recommend turning on Create Split Test as we’ll be testing 2-3 different ad copies for our campaign.

How do split tests work and why?

Facebook’s split tests allow you to split your target audience based on the ads that will be shown.

If you have 3 different ads, each of them will be shown to unique groups of your audience.

For instance, if your target audience consists of Person A, Person B, and Person C, each of them will see different ads of yours.

Use a campaign name that will allow you to identify the objective of your campaign. If you are going for visits to your website, name the campaign something like “Traffic for (website name)”.

You’ll come across this screen. Click on Website and Messenger.

Then, click on Audience in the Variable column.

You can play around with the other two options but based on our experience, split testing with different audiences delivers the best results.

Then, click on Create New Audience and define your target audience.

Since we have split tests on, try to go with different target audiences to find out which part of your target audience is the most effective in showing your ads.

You can also click on Test Another Ad Set to add more target audience.

Then, you’ll come across this pop-up box. Everything in here is self-explanatory.

As we’ve mentioned earlier, having an understanding of your target audience is going to help a lot. Put in the details and try to be as specific as possible.


What if you don’t have enough details about your target audience?

Don’t worry; let us tell you a trick.

In the Detailed Targeting column, click on the box and you’ll see suggestions about your target audience.

You can type in your niche or industry in the box and Facebook will suggest your target audience.

You can also type in interests such as “entrepreneurship”, “male grooming”, and things like that.

For starters, we don’t recommend messing around too much with the default options. We’ll cover the rest in a more detailed guide soon but we’ll leave it for now.

Now, it’s time to set your budget.

We recommend starting off with $10 per day for 30 days, so go ahead and put in $300 as your budget.

Of course, the budget is variable and you can put in an amount that you are comfortable with.

After that, you will come across a page to select how your ads are displayed.

You can choose any one that you like but we recommend choosing the Single Image option.


Because that option allows you to create up to 6 different ads with no additional charges.

6 ads are more than enough to determine which one works best.

Now it’s time to choose your images. You can either upload it from your own library or choose from a range of free stock photos.

Now, take a very close look at the image size and final detail on the right.

Facebook does not like images with a lot of text in it. If your image is 20% text, your ads will be penalised by Facebook.

Use this page to check if your image is OK with Facebook’s standards.

Once you are done with that, it’s time to move on to the ad copy.

Insert your landing page’s URL into the Website URL box.

This is where most ads succeed – and fail.

The key here is to write a short but powerful headline and description.

You have to include a powerful hook to attract visitors. One of the easiest ways to do that is by including your lead magnet and a benefit in the title.

If your lead magnet is a checklist, then write something like “200% more traffic in 4 weeks – Download the FREE checklist now!”.

You don’t have to stick to that template which is why split testing is so important.

You have 6 different ads to test; make the best out of it.

In general, the headline should be attractive and value-driven while the description should be short yet effective in conveying your offer.

If you can’t come up with a great headline and description, just keep it simple, short, and clear.

We’ll include examples of great Facebook ads later on.

Don’t forget to scroll through how your ads look like on desktop, mobile and other ad placements.

You don’t want the keywords in your headlines and descriptions to be cut off.


You’ve set up your first Facebook ad but you’re not done yet.

Identifying key metrics – How to measure your ad’s results

You have to understand Facebook’s latest ad structure.

In layman terms:

Campaign (first tier): This tier is your goal or objective. If the goal of your ads is to increase sales or to get more leads, then it belongs in the campaign group.

Ad set (second tier): Think of ad sets as categories or sub-topics. For instance, you can have a set of ads that target Sydney while another set of ads target Melbourne.

Ad (third tier): This tier comprises of each and every ad in your campaign.

Understanding the ad structure is going to help you be more organised and efficient in measuring your key metrics.

Now, to have a look at your ad’s metrics, head over to the Ads Manager page.

You will come across all of the campaigns that you have on your Facebook account.

Click on any of your campaigns and you will be redirected to the ad sets of that particular campaign.

Then, click on any of your ad sets and you will be redirected to each and every ad for that particular ad set.

This is where Facebook’s ad structure comes into play and having a good understanding of it is going to help you out.

For each and every tier of the structure, you will have key metrics to help you measure your performance.

Results: This will show you the final results of your campaign. If your campaign was to generate leads, the results would be the total leads generated. If it was to get more clicks on your ad, it would be the total link clicks.

Reach: The number of people who have seen your campaign.

Cost per result: The amount that you pay per action. This means that if you are generating leads, it would be the cost per lead or cost per click if you are driving clicks to your ad.

Amount spent: The total amount of money that you’ve spent so far on the campaigns.

In the ad sets group, you will see an additional metric.

Budget: The daily or lifetime (the total duration of your ad) budget of your ad spend.

In the ads group, you will see another important metric.

Relevance score: A scale of 1-10 that measures how well your ads perform in the market. A higher relevance score would contribute to lower costs just like Google’s quality score.

Ideally, you’d want to have a cost per link click of $2-$3 while your cost per lead or cost per acquisition should be less than 20%of your product or service’s price.

That means that if you are trying to sell a $50 product, your cost per acquisition should be less than $10.

If it’s anything more than that, scrap the ad and make a better one.

Facebook pixels and conversion tracking

Eventually, you’re going to have to track conversions that happen outside of Facebook.

Thankfully, Facebook has something called pixels that allows you to do just that.

Think of pixels as little spies who help you keep track of your conversions; leads, purchases, and sign-ups are just some of the things that Facebook pixels can track.

Here’s how to set up Facebook pixels.

Click on Ads Manager -> Assets -> Pixels

Then click on Set Up Pixel. If you don’t see Set Up Pixel, look for Create a Pixel.

You should come across this page. If you don’t, no worries; you are still on the right track.

If you are using on of these tools or platforms, click on Use an Integration or Tag Manager.

  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • Magento
  • BigCommerce
  • Google Tag Manager
  • Segment

You’ll come across this pop-up box. Just click on your option and Facebook will give you a step-by-step guide on integrating Facebook pixels.

If the above platforms are not used by you, click on the 2nd option (Copy and Paste the Code).

You will have to manually copy and paste your pixel into the <head></head> tag or header of your website’s template.

Thankfully, Facebook has a guide for every website platform over at this page. Check it out to have a look at how to implement the code in your website.

(This part is technical and might take some time to understand. Get someone knowledgeable to help you if you are struggling with it)

Next, you are able to track conversions on your page with event codes.

There will be 3 options: basic, recommended, and advanced.

If this is your first time, we recommend sticking to basic and recommended first.

Next, you will come across a list of events.

Search: A conversion is tracked when someone searches for something on your website.

View Content: A conversion is tracked when someone visits a content page on your website e.g product description pages, information pages etc.

Add to Cart: A conversion is tracked when someone adds an item to your shopping cart.

Add to Wishlist: A conversion is tracked when someone adds an item to their wishlist.

Initiate Checkout: A conversion is tracked when someone lands on your checkout page or clicks on the checkout button.

Add Payment Info: A conversion is tracked when someone adds payment information to your website.

Purchase: A conversion is tracked when someone lands on your order confirmation page or clicks on the purchase button.

Lead: A conversion is tracked when someone signs up or acts on your lead form.

Complete Registration: A conversion is tracked when someone completes a registration on your website (create an account etc.)

Custom Event: Can be modified if none of the events are related to your conversion goal.

Next, you’re going to have to edit the event code to fit your conversions.

Let’s take the Purchase event code as an example.

Copy the code and edit the lines in blue.

Change the number in the value: line to your conversion’s value.

In this case, my conversion is worth $247.35 so that’s my input without the currency symbol.

In the currency: line, change “USD” to “your currency” if the USD is not your default currency.

Use this resource to identify your currency’s three letter code.

Once you’ve got that done, copy the event code into the relevant pages.

For purchases, the easiest way to track conversions is by pasting the event code in your order confirmation or thank you page.

The event code should be pasted in between the <script></script> tags of your order confirmation page just below the <head></head> tag.

Once that is done, save your progress and head over to this page to download Facebook’s Pixel Helper.

This extension will help you to determine if your pixels are working or not.

Once your pixels are implemented properly, you’ll be able to track even more metrics such as your return on advertising spending (ROAS) and others.

How to write ad copies that generate incredible ROI

Even the most accurate of targeting on Facebook is useless if you can’t write ad copies that sell.

Here’s the truth about Facebook.

People go on Facebook to keep up with their friends and read up on the latest news and updates.

If you’re going in with a hard-sell mindset like you do in traditional sales in your Facebook ads, you are going to get yourself in trouble.

With that being said, there are two key elements of a great ad copy: persuasive copywriting and attractive imagery.

You can have three kinds of styles for your ad copy; the short copy, the long copy and the video ad.

The short copy

You should go with a short copy if your product or service’s niche is well-known to your target audience.

Great ads have these 3 things:

  • Your target audience’s problem
  • Your solution
  • The value or benefit that you can provide to your target audience

Of course, you don’t have to follow the template exactly like it is.

The best ads are the ones that are creative.

Anyway, let’s have a look at some of the most effective short copy ads that we’ve seen on Facebook.


Dollar Shave Club hit gold with their ad. Here’s why it worked:

  • The ad brought up their target audience’s pain point by telling them to stop getting ripped off by expensive razorblades. The next sentence in which they claim that their razors are among the best in the world solves that problem by offering users a significantly cheaper and better option.
  • The ad also minimises their target audience’s risk; there is no monthly commitment needed as well as no membership fees. Being upfront about your terms and fee structure is one of the best ways to reduce your customer’s doubts – Dollar Shave Club did this well.
  • The image shows the minor difference between their razors and their competitor’s razors. DSC did a great job at showing customers that their products are just as good as their competitors while being 3x cheaper.
  • To top it off, the ad has a call-to-action for people who are interested.

Digital Marketer did a great job of displaying social proof and authority in their ads. Here’s what you can learn from them.

  • Digital Marketer provides value to their target audience by explicitly stating that the information contained in the blog post is exactly how they run their business. When a brand as well-known as Digital Marketer exposes their business model, visitors will naturally be interested in knowing what makes them so successful and sustainable.
  • The ad managed to grab their target audience’s attention by mentioning two giant brands in the ad. Starbucks and McDonald’s built up an empire with this business model; that is a powerful hook that utilises social proof to attract people to click on the ad.
  • The blurring out of the image is a simple yet effective way to generate more clicks. If Digital Marketer showed everything in the image, their target audience might not even bother to click it since they’ve already got the information that they need from the image.

Another great ad from Digital Marketer. Why is it so effective?

  • People want to achieve things quickly. By emphasising the 60 seconds timeline, the ad generated more clicks because who doesn’t want to achieve something in a minute? Remember this, your lead magnet should be quick and simple; you don’t want to bore your visitors at the initial stage of the funnel.
  • Just like how people want things to be fast, they also want it to be simple. By saying that there are only 5 blanks to be filled, Digital Marketer has successfully presented their lead magnet as a very, very simple task.

DoorDash goes for the one sentence route. It works because:

  • DoorDash knows that there is no reason for them to include fluff and unnecessary words in their ad copy. They know that their target audience wants their food to be delivered to them efficiently, simple as that. By including the words quick, easy, and favorite, DoorDash was able to solve all 3 of their target audience’s pain points in a single sentence.
  • The image does well to attract attention. By including photos of food, DoorDash was able to convey it’s business model easily.
  • Just like Dollar Shave Club, DoorDash minimised its customer’s risks and doubts by offering a first delivery of $1 with no minimum order. That is a fantastic deal even if you are not a fan of food deliveries.

The long copy


The infamous Tai Lopez ads on Facebook are more of a laughing stock these days but you can’t deny the fact that he does have some copywriting skills up his sleeve (or someone who can write it for him)

  • Notice that the ad is positioning the reader as a hero. One of the best ways to turn cold traffic into leads is by making them the star of the show, not your product. Tai Lopez has managed to turn his product from a generic marketing guru book into a tool to help his visitors turn their life around. This can all be done by positioning your target audience as heroes and enabling them to do so by using your product or service.
  • Tai Lopez plays the us against the world card here; he sparks fear and anxiety in his readers if they don’t take action with the line “You either join the masses down there”. Remember, no one wants to be just one of the masses – take opportunity of that fear and you will be on your way to writing great ad copies.

Lastly, here is an ad that we did for our RBT gyms. We generated over six figures in revenue with ad copies like these; here’s why.

  • We grabbed our target audience’s attention by literally calling them out. We knew that beating around the bush is going to get us nowhere, so go for the direct call-out if you know your ads are targeted well.
  • Instead of the standard limited time offer, we went for a subtle yet effective scarcity angle. By saying that only 15 men will be selected for the program, we managed to persuade our target audience to act on the offer – they definitely do not want to miss out on this opportunity.
  • We also stated the benefits of our offer clearly in the copy. Our research was top-notch hence we were able to come up with benefits that resonated with our audience’s pain points.


Now that you’ve got everything that you need to know about Facebook advertising, it’s time for you to further boost that knowledge by reading up on how to craft excellent ad copies.

Just like we promised at the start, we’re offering business owners like you an amazing opportunity…

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