How to create your first Facebook Ad - the right way

Do you remember your first time?

We had the mechanics (perhaps), the equipment we needed, we had done some research, we had asked a few people, maybe we had witnessed it a few times before we gave it ago or maybe we just dived in.

Can you remember how successful you were?

Mind out of the gutter! I am talking about riding a bike.

In any event the first time we do anything it’s not perfect, but we apply ourselves and we get better.

The same is true of advertising inside Facebook.

You see people doing it, you want to be involved but you want to do it well and look smooth doing it. It’s as rare to get your Facebook advertising right the first time as it is to get on that bike on Christmas day and just ride it successfully.

So to fast track what you need to do the first time, I have put this post together to help you create your very first Facebook ad.

And I don’t mean just boosting a post - I mean a for real Facebook ad.

There are loads of different types of Facebook ads, but for now let’s just keep this simple and focus on how to create a Facebook ad that drives traffic back to your website ( a favourite ad type of mine.)

1. Go to Facebook Ads Manager

If you have never created a proper ad before, this will be new. So just go to this address -

Your page should look like the below with Adverts Manager in the top left hand corner. The top bar maybe blue for you - but this doesn't matter, just as long as you can see the Adverts Manager heading.

2. Choosing your Ad Objective

If you are new to Facebook advertising (and you most likely are as you are reading this!) an objective is the purpose of your ad and they are split into 3 types.

Awareness - this is about building awareness of your brand, of your location and your audience to know about you.  When building up your audience, these are the kind of ads you tend to do first. Often people only ever do this kind of ad, which misses out on the more powerful ads in the other 2 areas.

Consideration - this ad type is about getting people to think more seriously about what you are offering. Once your brand is more established these are the kind of go to ads I prefer, especially sending traffic to my website, getting people to watch videos or generating leads for my business. When you choose an ad type like this, Facebook is more likely to serve it up to people most likely to be most interested.

Conversion - these ads are all about serving up ads to those people ready to buy. So if you are looking for people who are ready to sign up to your list, buy your product or service or visit your bricks and mortar business - these ads are the ones to use. They are for your warmest leads only. When you are starting out with Facebook advertising, is it best to avoid these ads until you understand your audience better so that you don’t waste your money trying to reach people cold.

3. Let’s create a traffic ad

I use these ads a lot to bring my blog posts or freebies to the attention of my existing audience or my potential audience. It puts my business in front of the people who I am trying to serve. So just click on TRAFFIC and name your campaign - ie Visits to Google Analytics E-course for example and click continue

4. Choose your Audience

Now you are in the next stage of the process - defining who is going to see your ad. By default, Facebook will pick up your country of origin and leave the demographics open - being everyone over the age of 18. You will notice you can now target your audience inside Messenger as well. Facebook is really wanting to lay it out for us small business owners to really reach our ideal clients. This is fantastic.


5. Define your audience further

Leaving your audience broad like this is not a great idea at all, because you end up not reaching your ideal customers and wasting alot of money talking to everyone and not talking to specific people who need to hear your message. So think about who you need to speak to and fine-tune your audience. You can save this audience group for later too.

Think about where they live, how old they are, who they might like online (ie other large business pages). The more targeted you get (without getting too small) the better as Facebook will serve up the people most likely to respond to your ad. How do they know? Because clicks don’t lie and Facebook tracks them!

Tweet: Click's don't lie - Facebook reveals so much about human behaviour -
Click’s don’t lie
— Leanne O'Sullivan

In my example I have created an audience that is targeting Australia and New Zealand Facebook users who

  • are in the age bracket 25-45,
  • are interested in business as well as being
  • interested in Google.

These are people who are in my opinion more likely to be interested in learning about my Google Analytics course. This is just one kind of audience I will test with. I normally test with a few audiences and ad content. For now, you should just focus on 1.

6. Set your Budget and Timeframe

How long did you want to run the campaign? Short campaigns are best - or longer campaigns that use different images dropped in at regular intervals so that people don’t get ad fatigue!

What did you want to spend - you control your daily spend or total spend here. Just like with Google Adwords, you just need to let Facebook know what your budget is. You don't need to spend the big bucks. If you focus your audience you might be surprised at what you can achieve. I tend to start with around $5 to $10 per day with new ads.


7.  Name your Advert Set

Don’t forget to name your advert set for future reference and press continue


8.  Set up your Ad

Now you are ready to create your copy.

I always recommend that you do this bit before you dive into Facebook. ie you have selected your image you wish to use, or you know the post you wish to advertise and you have a snappy headline, persuasive text and the right link.

So let’s assume you have that OK?

This post is about the mechanics of how you create an ad. I have another quick post coming on persuasive text next week.

You can see below the various types of images you can use for a new ad. If you are a venue or need to showcase a product from various angles, then a carousel works well. If you just have an image , choose the image but if you can I recommend a single video would be great. Slideshows are also handy to create little videos and Facebook makes this easy for you.

Facebook very handily let’s you know the size of the image you need.

NB. Avoid text on your image as much as possible. Whilst Facebook has relaxed the 80:20 rule for image vs text, images with no text or a minimum text reach more people.

9.  The Call to Action Part

Ad copy - this is where you link your ad to your Facebook page and Instagram account - yes you can now send ads to Instagram at the same time, targeting your kind of people. Too easy!

You need to drop in your headline text and your explainer text and don’t forget to choose the right call to action button and you are almost done.

10.  Final checks

One final thing - connect this ad to your PIXEL! You always want to make sure that everyone you do inside Facebook is connected to your PIXEL for future reference and potential retargeting. Click over here to find out how to set that up and choose Track all conversions from my PIXEL!!!!!

Now you are all set!

Click submit, wait for Facebook to approve your ad and you are away. Facebook will of course want to know how you are paying for this ad so you will need to pop in your credit card details or paypal account.

Make sure you check in on your ad each day to see how it is going. But for now sit back and remember fondly your first time...

The next round of my Facebook Advertising e-course will be kicking off very soon, if you would like to be on my VIP list - click here to check it out.

It is perfect for you if you want to move on from the first time and really start confidently driving traffic, grow your reach and boost sales for your online business, all whilst controlling your budget.