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

Sven Scheuerle Updated on 20.10.2020
14 Min.
Facebook Ads
Last updated on 20.10.2020

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 active user numbers of Facebook amount to almost two billion in 2020. This makes Facebook one of the most popular social media networks worldwide. 

As an entrepreneur, this factor naturally plays into your cards when it comes to placing Facebook Ads. Because on Facebook, numerous personal details are also provided, which help you as a company to target your advertising. 

In the following article, I would like to show you how you, as a beginner, can quickly and easily find your way around Facebook's ad manager and explain how you can 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 now, I would say that you also use Facebook privately to keep up to date with news or to communicate with your friends and acquaintances - right?

What we are not directly aware of is how much personal data we actually leave behind in our profiles. Among other things, what interests we have, where we work, what our current relationship status is, or even what others sites we like. 

However, it is precisely these details that make the placement of Facebook Ads so incredibly effective. In order to reach your chosen target group on Facebook, you can target your content in great detail using this and many other data. In the best case scenario, your Facebook Ads are only shown to those users who should actually see them.

Why are Facebook Ads worthwhile for your business?

As mentioned before, Facebook Ads are worthwhile, if only because you can target (filter) your target group extremely well. In addition, Facebook offers you the possibility to place ads for a daily budget of only 5 Euro. 

Especially as a beginner or someone who wants to advertise his products and services with a small advertising budget, Facebook offers a good opportunity here. Because really everyone, no matter if shop owner, coach, service provider, marketer etc. can use Facebook to place low cost advertisements. All you need is a so-called Facebook fan page. 

Facebook offers you these standard ad formats

Facebook offers you a variety of ad formats for the output of 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 pictures or videos)
  • Instant Experience Ads (full-screen display for mobile devices)
  • Collection Ads (Multiple Products as Instant Experience)

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

How to get started with your Facebook Ads

As mentioned before, you need a fan page to post Facebook Ads. In the best case you have already created this for yourself or your company. If you have not yet done so, you can do so via the following link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/creation/ 

Step 1: The Facebook Business Manager

I recommend you use the Facebook Business Manager from the beginning when you want to create Facebook Ads. Because here you have much more functions and possibilities to prepare and optimize your ads than if you activate them directly from your fan page. 

I therefore strongly advise you not to place your Facebook ads directly on your fan page!

Therefore click on the following link to create your company in the Business Manager: business.facebook.com

If you have created your company in the Business Manager and call it up, you will get to the following overview page, where you can access your company and the company settings. From this dashboard you can manage all your sites accounts and advertising accounts. Provided that you have linked them to the Business Manager. 

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

You can then create the link directly in the company settings, under "Accounts". 

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

This applies to sites both, as well as your advertising accounts. 

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

Step 2: Understand ad managers

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

If it does not appear under "Frequently used", you will have to click on "All tools" in the bar and you will be shown all the possible options you can choose from. 

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

By clicking on "Ad Manager", you will be taken directly to the Facebook Ad Manager, where you can run your ad campaigns.  

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

Within the ad manager you can choose between different tabs: 

  • Account overview
  • Campaigns
  • Advertising groups
  • Advertisements

Don't worry, the ad manager is simpler than it might look at first!   

Account overview 

Here you will only find an overview of the performance of your advertisements. This tab has basically nothing to do with the actual structure of the campaigns or advertisements. 

Campaigns

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

Advertising groups

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

Advertisements 

Under this tab you will find your actual advertisements, which you place for the respective ad group. 

The exemplary structure of the ad manager is therefore as follows: 

  • 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
  • Advertisements
    - Advertisements 1 
    - Advertisements 2
    - Advertisements 3

Step 3: Create campaign

In order to create an advertising campaign, you must be in the tab "Campaigns". Click on the button "+Create" here. 

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

In the next step select the target of your campaign. 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

Recital

  • Traffic: Send people to a destination (e.g. website, app, messenger)
  • Interactions: Achieve more contribution interactions (e.g. "Like")
  • App installations: Encourage to install your app
  • Video views: Get your audience to watch your video
  • Lead generation: Win more leads (e.g. e-mail addresses of people)
  • News: Get more news about 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 in the store

In our example, we decide on a quite frequently used campaign goal, namely the generation of traffic. With this we want 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

As soon as we select "Traffic" as the campaign target here, we can assign a campaign name and define a daily budget or runtime budget for our campaign. You also have the possibility to create an A/B test for this campaign.

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

Once you have entered a campaign name and your daily or running budget, click on the button "Set up advertising account". By default, the campaign will be optimized or output to a bidding strategy for the "lowest cost". 

Tip

Before you start your advertising campaign, create a so-called custom audience (menu → Target groups → Create target groups → Custom Audience). This allows you to target the people who have already visited your website (retargeting).

Step 4: Set up an advertising account

If you have not yet posted Facebook Ads, you will need to set up your advertising account in the next step. To do this, you will need to enter your country, currency and time zone. This is usually already entered correctly. 

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

After checking, click on the "Next" button.

Step 5: Set display group

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

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

We select "Website" for Traffic. Simply because this is most likely to apply to you as a beginner. The points "dynamic ad design" and "offer" are not included in this guide for the time being. However, this does not prevent you from placing profitable ads. 

Under the item "Target group", you can define a new target group or use a saved target group. For the target group analysis I always recommend Target Group Insights to use. I will explain how to proceed in more detail in a separate section. If you have defined and saved your target group with Target Group Insights, you can select it by clicking on "Use saved target group".

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

Once you have added your target group, you will also see in the top right-hand corner under Target group size how specific or large your target group is. You will also see the estimated daily results for your campaign goal. 

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

As a beginner, I recommend that you leave the "Placements" setting at "Automatic Placement". This allows you to let Facebook choose the placements. Your ads will be displayed on platforms such as 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 placement" option at any time to determine where your ads should be displayed. 

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

In the item "Optimization and output control" you can 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 are trying to achieve by selecting an item, or who or how Facebook plays the ads, is described under each item. You can also choose whether the ad group starts immediately or is 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 ad group and choose what you want to pay for. For the start and with a small advertising budget, you should always select "Impression" (playing the ad), because you can't go wrong with it. 

Step 6: Design your ads

In this step you can now design your ad. Here you can define an ad name, choose which Facebooksite 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

Under the item Format you define how your advertisement should be designed. 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 you've already created on your Facebook Fan Page. 

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

In the "Media" section, you can add media such as pictures or videos to your ad, and create slideshows or videos. We decide here to add a picture. 

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

In the following window you now have the possibility to upload your own photos or use pictures you have already posted on your fan page. Under the menu "Standard photos" you will also find numerous Shutterstock images that you can use for your ad. 

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

Once you have selected a picture, click on the "Next" button. The picture will then be displayed in your advertisement. 

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

In the left column you enter your texts for the advertisement. In the right column you see a live preview of your ad. You can also use the middle bar to view the ad in different formats and check how it will be displayed on different platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Instant Articles, etc.

Under the item "Tracking" you have the possibility to use the conversion tracking. In any case, you should set up the Facebook pixel here by default, if you have not done this before. You can set this up in the general settings or at the latest now, before you confirm your first 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 the "Next" button. In the following window click on "Set up the pixel now". 

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

Now you can choose from three different options. We choose the option "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 WordPress -Plugin in your header area.

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

Since GDPR caution is required and the visitor must agree to the use of the pixel, you should use the pixel in conjunction with a GDPR -Plugin use. More about this in the section "GDPR and Facebook Ads".

If you have set up the Facebook pixel properly, click the "Confirm" button in the lower right corner. Now all you need to do to get your ad up and running is select a payment method that will allow Facebook to charge your ad budget. 

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

Target Groups Insights

In the Target Groups 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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