April 22, 2016

Understanding Facebook Ads (3)

Setting Up An Advertising Account

If you already have a Facebook account for personal or business purposes, you're automatically set up to start serving ads. However before you can get started, you'll need to associate a credit card or alternative payment method to your account. To do this, we'll start by going to the Facebook Ads Manager. And you can find this page by visiting Alternatively, you can use the drop-down arrow in the upper right hand corner to bring up a menu, where you can select Advertising on Facebook.

Now if you've created an ad before, this link will be titled Manage Ads. From this page, we'll scroll to the bottom and choose login to manage existing ads. Click the Billing tab in the left-hand column. And then choose Payment Methods. At this point you might be prompted to enter your password and if so go ahead and do that, and then you'll be brought to the page. Select the green button labeled Add Payment Method. And a new window will open.

From here you can include a credit or debit card. A PayPal account or a Facebook ad coupon. So to add a credit card, make sure the radio button is selected and then choose Continue. On this new page you'll fill out the information as requested, and Facebook will want the credit card number without any spaces. When you're ready, click Submit to continue. Once your payment method is set up, you can continue adding more payment methods. And once it's configured, you'll want to set some limits as a backup in case you make an error setting up your ad budget. To do that, go back to the Billing tab.

On this page, select Manage up here next to the Account Spend. And then choose the option Set Limit. You can use this field to set an absolute spend cap for your account. When your account reaches this limit, all spend will stop and all ads will be paused within 15 minutes. This limit, as well as any attributable spend towards this limit, can be reset at any time. You want to note that your ads will not be paced on this limit, meaning it's not going to serve ads slower or faster depending on the amount that you've set. And this limit isn't a daily limit. It's an entire account limit, so use this if you know you will never exceed a certain amount in your campaign spend.

It's not a required setting, but it's a great safeguard. To close this window, you can choose Set Spend Limit or Cancel. And now that you've got your account configured, you're ready to build your first ad.

Understanding ad structure

Before you begin creating your first advertisement, let's talk about how Facebook will organize these ads. Facebook organizes advertisements into three levels, campaigns, ad sets, and then the ads themselves. And this structure makes it easier for you to organize, optimize, and measure the performance of your ads. At the very top, we have the campaign. This is essentially our objective. For example, we may have a campaign to drive clicks to a website or a campaign to increase likes to a Facebook page. And within a campaign, we have the ad set.

A campaign can feature multiple ad sets, and each ad set can have its own budget and scheduling criteria. You might use an ad set to target different audiences. For example, you could create an ad set to target people who live locally. Within the ad set, you can have multiple advertisements. All of the advertisements will inherit the targeting from the ad set and the objective from the campaign. You can have multiple ads in an ad set, and you'll use an ad to control things like the image, the link or even the message you're sharing. Let's walk through a scenario to provide some additional context.

Let's say that I want to promote a Photography Template that I created for a fictitious studio, named-'More to adore', a portrait photography company. I might have a few different objectives. The first is to drive traffic to my website to sell this template directly. The second is to increase brand awareness, so that when someone sees the DM Advertising logo, they will associate with Online Business Websites, they'll be more likely to purchase it. And the third is to promote a special voucher for a discount at a local marketing event. I would first create a campaign for each objective. Then I'd create an ad set for each audience. For instance, if we look at the campaign to drive traffic to the website, I might create an ad set for current customers, say from an email list.

And then another, for people who are in the web design community. I'll then create the actual advertisements in each ad set, and they'll be custom to the audience. I might try a few images to see which ads work the best. Maybe use a logo in one ad and a screen shot of the opening page of the website in another. I could run both of those ads side-by-side and see which one performs better. For the most part, Facebook will be guiding you through creating the campaign, so you won't really be manually setting up this structure until you start exploring more advanced ad creation techniques.

Using the Ads Create tool to define your advertising objective

To launch this tool, I selected Create Ads from the drop down in the upper right. You can also get here by visiting This is a good page to bookmark as you'll be using it each time you create a new advertisement. It's on this page that we see a list of our objectives. As you hover over each option, you'll get a small tooltip explaining the definition of that objective. I'll give you a simplified explanation of each. So we'll start with Page Post Engagement.

You'll use this to promote your page posts. Either an existing page post, or a new page post. Use the Page Likes objective to grow the number of likes on your Facebook page. These ads will allow someone to immediately like or visit your Facebook page. With the Clicks to Website option, you'll be driving people off of Facebook and onto your website. For Website Conversions, you'll promote a specific conversion on your website. And to use this, you'll need to using a conversion pixel.

Let's move along now to App Installs. If you have or are promoting a mobile application, use this to encourage installations of this application. Now the App Engagement sounds a little misleading, you'll use this to get people to download or use your desktop application. Event Responses is used to increase the attendance via your Facebook event. And Offer Claims will be used to create offers for people to redeem. Now when you click on an option, the page will change to include another dialog box. And it's here that you'll start answering the questions and defining your creative.

And with that, we've completed the first step in the process. In the following blogs, I'll move through each step of the Ad Create tool.

Next time, I'll be Creating a Facebook Ad.

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About Andrew Scott

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