How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

Sven Scheuerle Last updated 07.01.2021
14 Min.
Facebook Ads
Last updated 07.01.2021

You want to promote your product or service with Facebook Ads, but don't know how to get started? No problem, in this article Sven Scheuerle will show you how to run your first campaign and reach your target audience with Facebook Ads.

The number of active Facebook users in 2020 amounts to almost two billion. This makes Facebook one of the most popular social media networks worldwide. 

As an entrepreneur, this factor naturally plays into your hands when it comes to placing Facebook Ads. Plenty of personal details are also shared on Facebook, helping you as a company to better target your advertising. 

In the following article, I'll explain how, as a beginner, can quickly and easily find your way around Facebook's ad manager and show you how to start a Facebook campaign. 

Facebook Ads: the basics

You're probably reading this article because you're interested in running Facebook Ads. If I had to guess, I'd say you also use Facebook privately to keep up to date with news or to communicate with your friends and acquaintances - right?

What we don't realize is just how much personal data we actually leave behind in our profiles. This includes, among other things, what our interests are, where we work, our current relationship status is and what other sites we like. 

Yet it's precisely these details that make Facebook Ads so incredibly effective. In order to reach your chosen target group on Facebook, you can target your content in great detail using all of this available data. In the best case scenario, your Facebook Ads will only shown to those users who should actually see them.

Why are Facebook Ads worthwhile for your business?

As mentioned above, Facebook Ads are worthwhile simply for the fact you can target (filter) your target group extremely well. In addition, Facebook allows you to place ads from a starting daily budget of only five euros. 

Facebook offers a good opportunity here for beginners or anyone wanting to advertise their products and services with a small advertising budget. Because everyone can use Facebook to place low cost advertisements, it doesn't matter if you're a shop owner, coach, service provider or marketer. All you need is a Facebook Page. 

Facebook offers these standard ad formats

Facebook offers you a variety of ad formats for displaying your ads. The most important of these include the following options: 

  • Image ads (product images, brand)
  • Video ads (moving videos)
  • Slideshow ads (images/videos with text and sound)
  • Carousel ads (presentation of up to 10 images or videos)
  • Instant Experience ads (full-screen display for mobile devices)
  • Collection ads (multiple products as an Instant Experience)

Depending on which campaign target you choose at the beginning of your advertising campaign, different ad formats are available. 

The most important KPIs

Are you already running Facebook campaigns and want to know how to evaluate and optimize them? Check out my article on the 9 most important Facebook Ad KPIs .

How to get started with your Facebook Ads

As mentioned before, you need a Page to post Facebook Ads. Ideally, you'll already have this set up for yourself or your company. If not, you can create a Page using the following link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/creation/ 

Step 1: Facebook Business Manager

I recommend using Facebook Business Manager when you create Facebook Ads. You'll have many more functions and possibilities to prepare and optimize your ads than if you activate them directly from your Page. 

I strongly advise against placing Facebook ads directly from your Page!

Follow this link to create your company in the Business Manager: business.facebook.com

Once you've created your company in the Business Manager, you'll see the following overview page when you open it. This is where you can access your company and the company settings. You can manage all your Pages and advertising accounts from this dashboard. Provided you've linked them to the Business Manager. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

This linking is done directly in the company settings under "Accounts". 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

This applies to both Pages and advertising accounts. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

Step 2: Understand Ads Manager

From your company's dashboard or directly from the company settings, you can access the "Ads manager" via the menu bars on the top left. 

If it doesn't appear under "Frequently used", just click on "All tools" in the bar and you'll be shown all possible options you can choose from. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

Click on "Ads Manager" to be taken directly to the area where you can run your ad campaigns.  

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

These are the different tabs you'll find within the Ads Manager: 

  • Account overview
  • Campaigns
  • Advertising groups
  • Advertisements

Don't worry, the Ads Manager is much simpler than it first appears at first sight!   

Account overview 

Here you'll only find an overview of how your Ads are performing. This tab has basically nothing to do with the actual structure of the campaigns or advertisements. 

Campaigns

You can create a separate ad for each ad campaign to run on Facebook Ads. For example, if you want to advertise a new "dog food", create a new campaign. 

Advertising groups

Here you can store different ad groups for your campaign, for example. This makes sense if you want to advertise to multiple target groups or test different placements. 

Advertisements 

You'll find the actual advertisements you place for the respective ad group under this tab. 

This is an example of how they could be structured in the Ads Manager: 

  • Campaign (e.g. new dog food)
  • Advertising groups
    - Target group 1 / Display format 1
    - Target group 2 / Display format 1
    - Target group 3 / Display format 1
  • Advertisements
    - Advertisements 1 
    - Advertisements 2
    - Advertisements 3

Step 3: Create campaign

To create an advertising campaign, go to the "Campaigns" tab. Then click on the button "+Create". 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

Choose the objective of your campaign in the next step. You can choose between three superordinate categories: awareness, consideration and conversion.

These marketing goals are behind the individual options:

Awareness

  • Brand awareness: increase the awareness of your brand
  • Reach: reach as many people as possible with the advertisement

Consideration

  • Traffic: send people to a destination (e.g. website, app, messenger)
  • Interactions: drive more interaction with the content (e.g. "Like")
  • App installations: encourage users to install your app
  • Video views: get your audience to watch your video
  • Lead generation: win more leads (e.g. email addresses of people)
  • News: get more news via the Messenger

Conversion

  • Conversions: increase profitable activities (e.g. website)
  • Catalog sales: automatic display of articles from the shop
  • Store traffic: increase in the number of visitors to the store

In our example, we decided to use the common campaign objective of generating more traffic. In other words, we wanted to get Facebook users to visit our website, landing page or blog via the ad. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

After selecting "traffic" as the campaign objective here, you can assign a name and set a daily or total budget for your campaign. You can also create an A/B test for this campaign too.

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

After you've entered the campaign name and your daily or lifetime budget, click on the button "Set up advertising account". By default, the campaign will be optimized for the "lowest cost" bid strategy. 

Tip

Create a custom audience before you start your advertising campaign: Menu → Target groups → Create target groups → Custom Audience. This allows you to target people who've already visited your website and is called retargeting.

Step 4: Set up an advertising account

If you're running Facebook Ads for the first time, you'll need to set up your advertising account in the next step. You'll need to enter your country, currency and time zone whereby this information is usually already set correctly for you. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

Check whether the fields are set correctly and select "Next"

Step 5: Set audience

In the audience section, create a name for your audience and select where you want to generate traffic. You can also define your target group and placement and define where you want to optimize the ad delivery (e.g. link clicks, landing page views, impressions, individuals reached daily).

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

In our example, we selected "Website" under traffic. Simply because this is most likely to apply to you as a beginner. The points "dynamic ad design" and "offer" aren't covered by this guide. But don't worry, it doesn't mean you won't create profitable ads. 

Under the item "Audience", you can define a new target group or use a saved target group. I always recommend using Target Group Insights for target group analysis. I'll explain how to proceed in more detail in a separate section. Once you've defined and saved your target group with Audience Insights, you can select it by clicking on "Use saved audience".

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

After you audience has been added, you'll also see in the top right-hand corner under "Audience size" how specific or large it is. More, you'll see the estimated daily results for your campaign objective. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

As a beginner, I recommend leaving the "Placements" setting on "Automatic Placements". Facebook will then choose where your ads are placed. Your ads will be displayed on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network and Messenger. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

Of course, you can also use the "Manual Placements" option at any time and decide yourself where your ads should be displayed. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

Under the item "Optimization for Ad delivery" you determine what you want to optimize the ads for. The following options are available to you here: 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

What you're trying to achieve or to whom or how Facebook shows the ads, is described under each item. You can also choose whether a chosen audience starts immediately or is only active for a specific time period. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

You can also select a spending limit for the audience and choose what you want to pay for. When you're starting out and if your advertising budget is small, you can't go wrong with "Impression" (number of times your ads are on screen). 

Step 6: Design your ads

In this step you get to design your ad. This is where you name your ad, choose which Facebook Page or Instagram account the ad will be created for, the format you want to use and add text and links. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

You decide how your Ads should be designed in the "Format" area. You have the choice between carousel, single pictures, video or collection. For our example we choose the classic variant "single image or video". 

You can also choose whether you want to create a new ad or use the ad from an existing post on your Facebook Page. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

In the "Media" section, you can add pictures or videos to your ad and create slideshows or videos. We chose to add an image here in our example. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

In the following window you can upload your own photos or use pictures you've already posted on your Page. Under the menu "Standard photos" you'll also find plenty of Shutterstock images to use for your ad. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

Select an imagine and click on the "Next" button. The picture will then be displayed in your ad. 

In the section "Text and Links" you can now add appropriate text and a link for your ad.

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

Enter your texts for the advertisement in the left-hand column. In the right-hand column you'll see a live preview of your ad. The middle section allows you to view the ad in different formats and check how it'll be displayed on different platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Instant Articles, etc.

Under "Tracking" you have the option to use conversion tracking. If you've not already donee so, you should definitely set Facebook Pixel as default here. This can be done in general settings or at the latest here before you confirm your ad. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

To do this, click on the "Set up" button. In the following window you can enter a name and a website where you have integrated the pixel. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

Then click on "Next". In the following window click on "Create pixel now". 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

You now have three different options to choose from. We selected "Add pixel code manually to the website". 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

You can now place the following base code for example via a WordPress plugin in your header area.

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners
Note

You need to exercise caution here regarding GDPR. Your visitors must consent to the use of the pixel so a GDPR plugin should be active in conjunction. More about this below under "GDPR and Facebook Ads".

Once you've set up the Facebook pixel properly, click "Confirm" in the lower right corner. Your ad is nearly up and running. You just need to select a payment method so Facebook can make charges from your advertising budget. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

Audience Insights

In the Audience Insights you have the possibility to select your target group, or to put them together and save them afterwards. To create a new target group for your advertising campaign, select a target group here at the beginning. In our case this is usually "Everyone on Facebook".

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

Now you get into the menu where you can set numerous parameters for your target group. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

I would like to explain the whole thing to you by way of an example using the subject of "dog food". Please see this really only as an example, because the approach as well as the target group determination can always be very different. 

For the advertisements we want to limit ourselves to Germany and address Facebook users who are interested in dog food or dogs in general. For this purpose I have provided the following information in Target Group Insights. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

I have chosen "Germany" as the location, limited the age to 18-64, selected gender "All" and deposited "Dogs" and "Dog food" at interests. In addition, I selected "German" as language to further limit the target group.

In the middle you see blue and grey bars (demographic data). These bars show you, for example, the percentage of men and women in each age group - on Facebook in general (grey) and in your selected target group (blue).

At the bottom of the page you can see further information, such as the relationship status, school education and the industry in which your selected target group is active. 

If you change the parameters in the left menu, the statistics in the bar charts change accordingly. 

Under the "Likes" tab you will also get information about the interests of your target group. In our case this looks like this. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

As you can see here, the top three only include topics related to animals or dogs. Also in the following rankings we find heresites , which are about dogs or animals in general. You can use this as a very good orientation at the beginning. So we are not completely wrong with the target group selection. 

You can also see above under (New target group) how large your currently selected target group is. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

This can be crucial in determining how much advertising budget you need to spend to be profitable. The better you have chosen your target group, the better your ROI (Return on Investment). Of course, you can limit your target group even further. Especially here it is test, test, test!

If we now want to use this target group for a later advertising campaign, click on "Save" in the top bar to save the target group. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

In the following window you can give your target group a name and save it. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

The Facebook Pixel

You can also find the Facebook pixel through the Facebook Business Manager. As mentioned above, you can set this up at the end of the campaign creation or directly via the menu bar, which you can find above in the Business Manager. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

Click on the menu icon on the top left and then click on "All Tools" to display all options. Under "Measurement and Reports" → "Events Manager" you will find the Facebook pixel. 

To set up the pixel, or to be able to call it up, click on "Pixel" here. 

In the following overview you will find the Facebook pixel. You will also see an overview of the activities, i.e. whether and how often the pixel was triggered on your website. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

Here you will also find the Pixel-ID. You need this if you want to use the pixel using a GDPR -Plugins you would like to integrate into your website. If you need the pixel code to manually embed it in the website header, you can access it by clicking on the pixel name → Set up, if you have not yet set up the pixel. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

Custom conversions

What you should know in connection with the Facebook pixel are the so-called custom conversions. With the help of the Custom Conversions you can track the so-called events. 

Example: 

You would like to know how many users have purchased a product or entered their e-mail address via your website. Then you can create a custom conversion for this. 

To do this, click on "Custom Conversions" under Event Manager. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

Go to "Create Custom Conversion" in the following overview. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

This opens the "Create a Custom Conversion" window. Here you can now enter the website event, such as a purchase or lead. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

In addition, you define the rule that makes the event active. In case of a purchase this would be the URL of the "thank you page" for example. Under URL you can define this with the parameters "contains", "does not contain" or "is equal to". Of course you can also define several rules of this kind. 

At the end you can give the custom conversion a name as well as a value which triggers the "buy". When you have entered everything, click on the button "Create" and your custom conversion / event for your Facebook ads is active. 

GDPR and Facebook Ads

With the introduction of Facebook Ads, the switching of Facebook Ads GDPR has not necessarily become easier. Because it clearly GDPR states that the user must, in simple terms, agree before the Facebook pixel can become active. Even though this is still ignored on many websites, I would like to explain to you today how you can be absolutely sure. 

In fact, the easiest way is to use an appropriate GDPR -Plugin in which you can store the Facebook pixel via pixel ID. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

As soon as the user then visits your website, a cookie box should appear which indicates that the pixel has been included and only activates it after the user has given his or her consent. 

How to Start Your First Facebook Ads Campaign – Tutorial For Beginners

I personally almost exclusively use the Plugin "Borlabs Cookie"about which I have also already reported here in detail. The user must also have the possibility to revoke the consent at any time. You can also do this with Borlabs Cookie and within your privacy policy. 

Other very useful GDPR plugins for WordPress, which offer similar functions as Borlabs Cookie, we have listed in this article on BLOGGiraffe

Final thoughts

Facebook Ads offers you, as a beginner, the perfect opportunity to place low cost ads on Social Media. Especially the procedure for the target group research you may see here only as an example, because the procedure can – and should be – different for everyone. Of course, you can do the targeting in much more detail than I have done here. 

In addition, it should be said that you can burn a lot of money with Facebook Ads. Therefore, I recommend you to read a book or work through a video course in advance. With a deeper knowledge of Facebook Ads – also regarding the analysis of results – you can tailor your ads even better to your target group and react to successes and failures with appropriate measures.

Any other questions?

Do you have questions about using Facebook Ads or want to share your experience? We appreciate your comment! Do you want to be informed about new articles about online marketing? Then follow us on Twitteror Facebook , or subscribe to our newsletter.

Sven Scheuerle - Independent freelancer and passionate affiliate marketer - has been working in online marketing for many years. He is also a blogger and regularly posts on his blog BLOGGiraffe.de about self-employment in online business.

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