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How to Run Facebook Ads

How to Run Facebook Ads

Last Updated:  
March 18, 2024

There are 3 major players in digital advertising: Google, Facebook, and TikTok. Facebook’s major differentiator is their ability to determine and reach a target audience. This ability makes Facebook Ads the go-to platform for advertisers looking to reach new prospective buyers.

When it comes to running Facebook Ads, you have a few choices. You can work with a Facebook advertising agency, a freelancer, or run your Facebook Ads in-house. This article teaches you how to run Facebook ads and more importantly, how to scale up your campaigns.

Choosing Your Facebook Ads Campaign Goals

Your first step is to identify your campaign goal. What do you want to achieve through your advertising?

Are you looking to generate leads, purchases, or brand awareness? Ecommerce companies mainly focus on generating purchases. Service-based businesses are more interested in generating leads.

Once you determine your primary goal, select a Campaign Goal in line with your objective. Do not use Traffic as a goal. The sessions generated from Traffic campaigns are always poor quality. If you are just looking to drive users to the site, you’re better off using Conversions as an objective with Page Views as the Conversion Goal.

A photo of a notebook with a pencil resting on top of the page. Drawn at the top with pencil is the Facebook logo, with the words "Where to start?" underlined underneath that logo.

Creating You First Facebook Ads Set

Next, begin creating your ad sets. An ad set is a group of ads that share the same target audience, budget, and schedule. You can create ad sets in a couple different ways.

  1. Uploading a Lookalike Audience

Lookalike audiences are a powerful way to target new potential buyers with similar interests to your existing customer base. Facebook finds people with similar interests and demographics and serves your ads to them.

To create a lookalike audience, go to the "Audience" tab in your Ads Manager and click on the "Create Audience" drop-down menu. From there, select "Lookalike Audience." This is where you can upload a list of emails or customers and choose which region you want to target. Facebook then creates a lookalike audience for you based on the users’ information that you provided.

  1. Selecting Interest Groups

If you’re unsure which interest groups to target, Facebook provides a wealth of data to help you make informed decisions. Under the "Audience" tab in your Ads Manager, there’s a section called "Interests". Here, you can browse a list of all the different interest groups that associate with your target audience.

To test, you can browse these interests and add as many as you’d like to your ad sets. This is a great way to get a sense of who your target customer is and what they're interested in. Start by testing. Remember, you don't have to target all of the interests Facebook suggests. Instead, you can choose just a few to start with and add more.

  1. Retargeting Website Visitors, Social Media Engagers, and Past Customers

You can retarget users who have already interacted with your business by targeting past website visitors, people who have engaged with your brand on social media, and past customers.

To target website visitors, you need to install the Facebook pixel on your website. The Facebook pixel is a piece of code that tracks visitors as they move from your website to Facebook. Once you install the pixel, begin creating ad sets that target people who have visited specific pages on your site. For example, if you're selling a product, you can target people who have visited the product page but didn't purchase.

To retarget social media engagements, you can create ad sets that target people who have interacted with your brand on social media. A social media engagement audience includes those who have liked your page, engaged with posts, or clicked on an ad.

Finally, to target past customers, you'll need to upload a list of customers to your Ads Manager. Facebook will then match those customers with people on Facebook and serve your ads to them.

Building targeted ad sets is a great way to ensure your ads are in front of the people who are most likely to convert and generate new business.

  1. No Targeting At All

The targeting that drives the best performance on Facebook Ads is always changing. So, it makes sense to test and retest different audiences over time. Currently, advertising to the broadest audience possible is actually working best for many businesses. By not restricting Facebook’s targeting, you’re allowing their algorithm to find the best users to serve your ads to regardless of your perceived understanding of your customers’ demographics and interests.

Creating Ads

Once you've built your ad sets, it's time to make your ads. Make sure to test different images, videos, and versions of your ad text, headline, and description. Dynamic carousel ads and video ads tend to work best currently. Pro tip -  videos must engage your audience in the first 3 seconds in order to be effective.

A photo of a SpaceX rocket taking off.

Time to Launch Your Campaigns

The next step is to launch your campaigns. Facebook Ads is a great platform to reach new customers, grow your business, and drive conversions. By targeting your audience, creating engaging content, and A/B testing your campaigns, you can generate leads and increase sales at scale.

Managing Your Facebook Ads and A/B Testing

Start by broadly testing ads and audiences. Test different offers in your ad content and ad copy to determine which ones perform best. If you find that your ads are not converting, review earlier metrics in the user journey to determine where ads can be improved or which audiences are performing better. Review metrics like cost per Thruplay, cost per click, and clickthrough rate.

Facebook Ads reporting gives you directional guidance on what is working, but their reporting is notoriously flawed. Once you start driving conversions, make sure to utilize a tracking tool like Triple Whale's Triple Pixel.

Scaling Your Campaigns

Once you find a winning combination of ad and audience, you can begin scaling up your ad spend. Ad spend and ROAS have an inverse relationship. As you spend more, your return on ad spend will diminish. It’s important to understand what ROAS is profitable for your business so that you know when to increase and when to pull back budget.
Facebook Ads are volatile and your performance can be impacted by competition, ad fatigue, and algorithm changes. Even if you find a winning ad/audience combination, you’ll want to continue to test new ads and audiences with a portion of your budget to find new winners.

Once your ability to scale starts to plateau, you may want to consider other platforms like TikTok Ads or Snapchat ads.

Next Steps

Grab a call with one of our strategists today and see how Triple Whale can help improve your Facebook Ads.

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