A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started With Facebook Ads

Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Ads

Whether you are getting started with affiliate marketing, or you want to promote your own product. Or maybe you have just signed up a local client and you want to market their products/services online. Facebook ads are becoming one of the staple parts of digital marketing.

In other words, if you are not leveraging the power of Facebook ads, then you are leaving almost 70% of the money on the table.

But the question you might be asking – how do I best spend this hard earned money in a way that gives me positive returns?

Well, in this post you will find out everything you need to know to set up your Facebook Ads campaigns in a way that you get positive returns.

But that is not a promise. Every ad campaign requires constant optimization and there are always some campaigns that will never make the cut.

So you will have to learn from your experiences and optimize your campaigns accordingly. That will be the best way to succeed on this platform.

But worry not, we will be covering all the basics that you will need to get things off the ground.

How to Set Up Your Very First Facebook Ads Campaign

Step 1: Decide on the final goal/result of your Facebook Ads

This is crucial.

You do not want to start making advertising campaigns without having a crystal clear goal that you want to achieve.

Once you set some goals for your ads, you will also be able to measure the success of your campaigns. This is where you will know where to optimize your campaigns.

For instance, if you want to increase the number of people who subscribe to your newsletter, you can set a goal of 1000 subscribers in the first month.

This goal will help you decide how much you are willing to spend on a daily/monthly basis. And most importantly, it will help you choose the correct objective for your Facebook Ads campaign. We will be covering that in upcoming steps, but here are just a couple goals that you can choose from:

  • Increase traffic to my website
  • Increase attendance at my event
  • Generate new leads
  • Increase the reach of your content on Facebook
  • Boost engagement for your Facebook Page

Step 2: Open Facebook Ads Manager

Everything that is related to Facebook Ads can be managed through the Facebook Ads Manager tool. You can access this tool via facebook.com/ads or by clicking “Manage Ads” in the drop-down menu on your Facebook account.

Facebook Ads Manager

Once you are in the Ads manager, some of the navigation options are pretty easy to understand. But for now, you want to get started with the green button that is on the top-right corner of the page.

Step 3: Choose your Objective

When you click on that green button, you will go to a page where you will have to choose an objective for your campaign. This is where that goal thing we mentioned above comes into play.

Here you will see that there are 15 options that you can choose from.

Choose your Objective

It might seem confusing at first, but it is very simple. Most of your campaigns will fall into one of the 3 top-level categories:


Campaigns that increase public interest in your product or service.

This can include campaigns like:

  • Promote your page
  • Boost your posts
  • Reach people near your business
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Increase your reach

Pro Tip: Campaigns under the Awareness category will likely give you the most bang for your buck. According to Moz, just $1 per day can grow your audience up to 4,000 people. Which is quite impressive.

But you should take that with a grain of salt because results might be different for your niche. It all depends on your targeting and how good your ad copy is.


Under this category, you want people to start taking more notice of your business and start looking for more information about it.

For that, these are the campaigns that you can run:

  • Get installs of your app
  • Raise attendance at your event
  • Get video views
  • Collects leads for your business
  • Send people to a destination on or off Facebook


This is the most exciting category of them all.

In this category, you would want people not only to be interested in your business but also to purchase your product or service.

Below are the campaigns that you can run for that:

  • Increase engagement in your app
  • Get people to claim your offer
  • Increase conversions on your website
  • Promote a product or catalog
  • Get people to visit your shop

Those are the options that you can choose from.

Once you choose one of them, you will then be asked to name your campaign.

Name it something related to your goal. That way you will be able to distinguish the campaign from others.

Step 4: Defining your audience and deciding your budget

This is the step that will either make or break your campaign. If you select the wrong audience, you fail.

If you select the wrong budget before testing your campaigns, you will lose your entire marketing budget in a day.

So choose those things according to how I mention here and you will be alright.

Not all campaigns will succeed, but you will also not lose your entire marketing budget.

So the next question is: How do you determine your audience?

There are a ton of demographics that you can divide your audience into, depending on what you are offering. Here’s some of them:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location (this includes country, state, city, zip code, address, or even defining a certain mile radius)
  • Languages
  • Interests (this is where you choose the pages, related topics, etc. this is how Facebook targets ads specific to that person)
  • Connections (you can choose whether or not you want to show the ad to everyone. Everyone connected with Nabil or even those not connected with Nabil)
  • Behaviors (this includes different types of behaviors like whether or not the person is interested in purchasing things online. And how much do they use their devices, etc.)

Here’s an example ad targeting to makes things easier to understand.

Do remember that the more targeted your campaign is, the better results you will get. And that is what Facebook recommends as well.

Example Ad Targeting

Let’s say that I’m running an Awareness campaign and I just want people to know about my services.

Here’s the targeting that I chose:

  • Location: United States
  • Interests: Social media
  • Excluded: People who already like Buffer (did this just as an example to show you that you can exclude people as well)
  • Age: 18-65+
  • Language: English (US)

This targeting gave me an estimated reach of at up to 3,200 people out of 14 million. What that means is that at any given time of the day, there will be at least 3,200 people online and will be available to see your ad.


Setting Your Budget

Now that you have targeted your audience, it’s time to set your budget.

Right off the bat, I would like to let you know that when you set your budget in Facebook, what it tells, is that is the maximum amount of money you are willing to spend on that ad.

There are 2 ways you can set your budget: Daily or Lifetime.

  • Daily: This is the budget that you are willing to spend on a daily basis.
  • Lifetime: This will be the budget that you would be willing to spend for the entire duration of your ad.


Step 5: Creating your ad

Now, this is where things get interesting and fun. Now is the time to get your creative juices flowing and let that inner Steve Jobs out.

This is where you choose the images/video, headline, body text and the position of where you want your ad to be displayed on Facebook.

For the text, you get 90 characters to say anything. That will show above the image or video.

There are two ways you can go about creating an ad.

You can either use an existing post, or you can create a new one from scratch.

I’ll cover both methods.

Using an existing post

When you’re using an existing post, this is a very specific type of campaign.

Here you want to increase the awareness of that particular post. That is the reason why you are boosting that post.

So you can create your ad using the post that has already been shared on your Facebook page.

To do this, click on Use Existing Post option from the Facebook Ads Manager.

Once you’re there, you can choose the Page from which you would like to pick a post (this only applies if you have multiple pages). And then you can choose which post you would like to boost.


Creating a new ad from scratch

When you’re creating a new ad, you have to be careful which format you choose. Because every format serves a different purpose. They all look slightly different. And they obviously depend on the kind of results you are looking for.

As of now, Facebook currently offers 5 different formats for adverts.

Here they are:

  • Single image: Create up to 6 variations of the same ad using 1 image
  • Single video: Create 1 ad with 1 video
  • Carousel: Create an ad with 2 or more scrollable videos or images
  • Slideshow: Create an ad with up to 10 images or a looping video
  • Canvas: Combine images and videos to tell an engaging story

different types of ad formats in facebook

I do have to inform you that the availability of these formats will depend on the objective you set for your ad in Step 3.

There is nothing to be confused about these ad formats though.

If you only have 1 image, select the single image format and move on. Right now you just want to test different copy and images and see what works for you.

And if you have multiple images, you again select the single image format and upload all of the images. And then test and see which one performs better than the other.

Once you have selected the ad format, you will need to add content to your ad.

This is the where the magic happens.

You see, in order for people to wait and see your ad, you want to have an enticing image that will make them want to click and know more about it.

Now whether that’s a popping red color or a subtle blue color with a lot of white in the image, it all depends on what works for you.

sample image

You do not need to wonder the recommended image and video specs, they are usually mentioned next to the area on the screen where you upload your content.

Step 6: Choosing the placement of your ad

This is the step where you choose where you want your ad to be placed, aka, the location of where they will appear.

You have the option of choosing whether you want your ad to appear on Facebook’s mobile News Feed, desktop News Feed, and the right column and on Instagram as well.

Facebook recommends that you go with the default setting of the placements based on the objective that you chose. This enables Facebook to further optimize your ad placement for the best results with the cheapest cost.

But, if for some reason you wish to choose your placements, these are some of the placements that Facebook recommends going with.

Again, these placements are based on the chosen objective:

  • Increasing brand awareness: Facebook and Instagram
  • Boosting your posts: Facebook and Instagram
  • Get video views: Facebook and Instagram
  • Get installs of your app: Facebook and Instagram
  • Increase engagement in your app: Facebook
  • Promote a product catalog: Facebook
  • Increase conversions on your website: Facebook
  • Send people to your website: Facebook

There’s an in-depth guide on ad placements that Facebook has created. You can check that out if you are unsure about your decision.

Step 7: Place your order

So we have added the images/videos, added the copy of the ad and we think that it is the best ad of all time. This is when we submit our ad by clicking on the Place Order button at the bottom right-hand corner.

Once you do that, Facebook will receive your ad and review it to make sure that it abides by their guidelines. If it does, then it will go live and you will receive a confirmation email about it.

And that is it, my friend!

You have successfully created your first ad on Facebook.

But now comes the important part about what you can achieve through Facebook ads on a shoestring budget.

What Can You Get With $5 Per Day Budget on Facebook

After running 3 different campaigns with a budget of just $5 per day and a different objective, here’s what I found out.

So for $5 per day, here’s what you will get:

  • Page Likes – $0.57 per like
  • Clicks to your website – $4.01 per click
  • Boosted posts – $6.35 per additional 1,000 people reached

Looking closely at the numbers, here’s what you end up getting:

  • Page likes – 9 likes per day
  • Clicks to your website – 1 per day
  • Boosted posts – 787 new people reached per day

How will this compare to your experience on Facebook Ads?

I don’t know it yet.

But I would be happy to share the specifics with you.

While my tests might seem underwhelming, you should know that I did not put a lot of time to truly optimize the campaigns that I ran.

Had I ran it for 2-3 weeks and optimized them, the results would’ve been drastically different.

So do take it with a grain of salt.

And not just that, you should also remember that every test is different. Because not all of us are promoting the same things online. So it is possible that your campaigns might actually turn out to be more successful than mine.


At the end of the day, it all depends on how patient you are and whether you are learning from your failed campaigns or not.

Everything matters when it comes to advertising.

The way you say/write things, the color shades of your images, etc. Every little detail matters.

And that is the reason why you want to test a couple different ads at a time and then finalize on the one that gives you the best results.

It might be possible that you would have to change the image/video of your campaign. But then you can test the new ones as well.

Keep testing until you find a winner. And once you do that, gradually start increasing your daily budget by $5 and see how much money you can make from just 1 ad.