/ Tips & Tricks

A step-by-step guide to creating your very first Facebook ad campaign

It's great you have an online store. But that's not enough. To make sales, you need people who get to know about your business and visit your shop. You need traffic. And one way to generate traffic to your website is with Facebook advertising.

With its enormous user base and laser-focused targeting options, Facebook is one of the top advertising platforms. That's the reason why over 2.5 million people use Facebook advertising to reach their customers.

In this post, you'll find everything you need to know to jump on the bandwagon and create your very first Facebook campaign.

Now, let's start with the basics and set up your brand's social media presence.

Facebook Business Page vs. Ad Account vs. Business Manager

There are three types of accounts you can create for your business on Facebook - Business Page, Ad Account and Business Manager.

For people just starting to use Facebook for business, this may be a bit confusing. So, let's take a closer look at each:

Business Page

A Business Page (or fan page) is your company's public Facebook profile. You can use your Page to promote your brand and products by posting status updates, images, videos, creating events, etc.

While Business Pages may look similar to user's personal Facebook profile, they have some specific extra features that are relevant for business owners, such as:

  • Page insights, where you can see metrics like most popular posts, follower demographics, etc.
  • Page roles, which lets you give other people access to manage and edit your Page.
  • Ads and boost posts for promoting your Page and posts to reach broader audiences.

To create a Business Page for your brand or product, log into your Facebook profile, click on the drop-down menu on the top right corner and choose ''Create page''.
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Then, choose your type of your business. If you're selling digital products, such as music albums, podcasts, books (including ebooks), etc., you'll most probably find your category under ''Entertainment''.

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Once you click ''Get started'' and take care of the visual appearance, your Page is pretty much ready:

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If there are more people on the team, you can give them access to your Page. These people, depending on their assigned role, will be able to manage the Page - post updates as the Page, access Insights, respond to and delete comments, etc.

Ad Account

Facebook Ad Account is a platform for creating Facebook ads. If you have a Facebook profile, you automatically have your personal Ad Account. That is, you don't need to create a separate account for your Page; you can use your personal Ad account to promote your business.

You can access your Ad Account by clicking on the drop-down menu on the top right corner, then - ''Create Ads''.

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You'll be taken to your Ad Manager, which is where you can create and manage your ad campaigns.

A personal Ad Account is enough:

  • If you manage just one Business Page.
  • If you manage more than one Business Page and all your Pages share the same payment method.
  • If you're the only one who's creating ads for the particular Page(s).

Business Manager

Business Manager is a dashboard that allows you manage your Ad Accounts, Pages, and the people who work on them.

You should create a Business Manager account if:

  • You manage more than one Business Page, and ads for each Page requires a different payment method;
  • You manage ads for someone else (eg., if you work for an agency or if you're an employee of a company), and don't want to use your personal Ad Account for that;
  • You want other people to create ads for your business (eg., your teammate), and don't want to share your login information with them to access your personal Ad Account.

To create a Business Manager account, click here → ''Create Account'', and fill out the information about your business.

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When your Business Manager account is ready, you can:

  • Add, request access or create a new Business Page.
  • Add, request access or create a new Ad Account (this is where you can create a separate Ad Account for your business).
  • Add people to your Business Manager.

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Note that from now on, to access your Page or Ad Account you must first go to your Business Manager. There, you can choose if you want to manage your Page or use the Ad Account.

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So, to recap:

Business Page = your business' social media profile.
Ad Account = a platform for creating Facebook ads.
Business Manager = a dashboard to manage various ad accounts, Pages, and people who work for them.

Facebook pixel - what is it and how to install it

Now that you have a Business Page, an Ad Account, and, maybe, a Business Manager, there's another thing you must do before creating campaigns:

You must install the Facebook pixel onto your shop.

A Facebook pixel is a little code that you place on your store's website, and it tracks actions people take on your website. For example, you can track how many people bought something from your store, added products to the cart, visited specific landing pages, and more.

How to find your Facebook pixel and add it to your Sellfy store

To add the Facebook pixel to your Sellfy store, first, go to your Ad Account, click ☰, then find ''Pixels'' under the Measure and Report column.

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To get your Facebook Pixel, just click ''Create a Pixel'', name it and save it. Now, since your store is built on Sellfy, all you need is your Facebook Pixel's ID - you can find it in the top left corner:

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Copy the code and log into your Sellfy account, then go to Integrations → Apps.

Note that to install the Facebook tracking code, you'll need the Sellfy Pro account. If you have one, click on ''Facebook Pixel'', paste the code and save it.

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When that's done, make a test visit to your shop, then go back to Facebook and check if your pixel has detected the activity:

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If the pixel is working, congrats - we can go further and create audiences!

The 3 types of Facebook audiences

The art of successful Facebook campaigns is in the audiences you target. The better you know your customers, the more precisely you'll be able to define them; meaning - to give Facebook instructions about what kind of users you want to reach.

To access your audiences, go to your Facebook Ad Account → ☰ → Audiences. There are three types of audiences you can create:

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  • Custom Audiences
    You can show your ads to users that have already shown interest in your business, either by visiting your online shop, subscribing to your newsletter, or liking updates on your Business Page.

  • Lookalike Audiences
    You can reach new customers who are similar to your existing customers, website visitors or Page fans. After you've created a Custom Audience, you can ask Facebook to find more users with similar demographics, interests, and online activities. That is, to find lookalikes.

  • Saved Audiences
    Facebook lets you target users based on their behaviors and interests. For example, you can target users who've expressed their interest in podcasts by liking Business Pages that are related to podcasts. You can create such interest-based audiences, then save them and use in your future campaigns.

These three types of audiences make endless targeting options. However, if this is your first encounter with Facebook ads, here are some audiences to start with:

1: A Custom Audience of people who've visited your shop within a certain period of time - use ads to bring people back to your shop.

Create the audience:
Click ''Create a Custom Audience'' → choose ''Website traffic'' and select ''All website visitors'' from the drop-down menu.

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2: A Custom Audience of people who've spent the most time browsing your store - these visitors have shown higher interest in your products, so you can use ads to encourage them to come back and make a purchase.

Create the audience:
Click ''Create a Custom Audience'' → choose ''Website traffic'' and select ''Visitors by time spent'' from the drop-down menu.

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3: A lookalike audience based on your existing customers - use ads to reach new people that are similar to your customers.

Create this audience:
First, create a Custom audience from your customers' emails: click ''Create a Custom Audience'' → choose ''Customer file'' and upload your email list. Then, go to ''Create a Lookalike Audience'' and select the particular Custom audience as your Source.

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Creating your first Facebook campaign

Now that you know Facebook targeting options and have made your first audiences, it's time to put together your first campaign. Here's how to do it:

Step 1: Go to your Ads Manager and click ''Create''.

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Step 2: Choose your campaign objective

Your campaign objective is what you want people to do when they see your ads. So, if you want people to visit your store, your campaign objective is ''Traffic''. If you want people to buy your product, your campaign objective is ''Conversions''.

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The choice of your objective depends on the ''warmth'' of your audience. That is, how well your audience knows and recognizes your brand and products.

Let me explain:

Every buyer goes through a customer journey, which starts with discovering a product for the first time, then getting to know it, and finally making a purchase. The closer one gets to making the purchase, the ''warmer'' the customer is.

Put simply, to create an efficient campaign you must know where in the buying process your audience is.

Think about the audiences we created before:

  • The lookalike audience is cold - while similar to your existing customers, these people most likely have never heard of your brand or product. The first step is to reach these people and generate interest, so choose your campaign objective from the ''Awareness'' column.

  • The custom audiences are warm - these people already know you. The next step is to either increase their interest and provide them with more information (choose the campaign objective from the ''Consideration'' column) or encourage them to make a purchase (choose your campaign objective from the ''Conversions'' column.)

Step 3: Define audience, decide on ad placement and set your campaign budget

It all starts with your audience.

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Here you can either choose one (or more) of your pre-defined custom or lookalike audiences, create new interest-based audiences, or make your lookalike audiences more specific by:

  • Narrowing the reach to specific locations (cities, states, etc.)
  • Selecting age, gender, and language.
  • Adding or excluding people with certain demographics, interests, and behaviors.
  • Narrowing down to people who have a connection with your Business Page.

Let me explain with an example:
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Instead of targeting the entire lookalike audience, we're asking Facebook to show our ads to:

  • only women in our lookalike audience who are between 25 and 50 years old;
  • who live in California and speak Spanish;
  • who're interested in Podcasts;
  • and are friends of people who like our Business Page.

Instead of initial 1.8M people that were on our Lookalike audience, we're now targeting just 9000 people. However, these people more precisely meet our perfect customer profile and are already ''connected'' to our Page (they know someone who likes it.)

Next, choose your ad placement.
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If you leave the Automatic Placement on, Facebook will automatically show your ads in the places and on devices where they're likely to perform best. This option is generally okay. However, sometimes you may want to edit placements. For example, if you sell iOS-relevant products, you may want to show your ads on iOS devices only.

Lastly, set your campaign budget.
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No one can tell you exactly how big your campaign budget should be - it depends on how much you can afford and are willing to spend. However, there are two things that can affect the cost of your ads:

  • Your audience. The more popular your audience is, and the more other businesses are trying to reach the same people on Facebook, the bigger budget you'll need.
  • Your marketing objective. The further down the buying process users are, the more it'll cost you to reach and convert them.

Step 4: Create your ads

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The final step is to create your ads - upload images or a video, write the copy and add links. Here are some tips how to make your ads stand out and convert better:

Create original, high-quality visuals

Visuals are the most important part of your ad - they're the first thing people notice, and in most cases, the only thing they will remember. Therefore, high-quality visual elements, either images or videos, are a must.

Facebook users have an attention span of just 2.5 seconds - that's the amount of time people spend on a piece of content in their feed. That said, your visuals should be not only great quality but also attention-grabbing and memorable.

To stand out:

  • Use videos. Moving pictures are eye-catching and make scrollers slow down to pay attention.
  • Be authentic. Some advertisers try to save time on visuals by using stock photos people have already seen many times. As a result, they must fight banner blindness and the problem when people don't remember their brand because they have no specific visual associations with it.
  • Be bold. As long as it goes in line with your brand identity, use bright and eye-catching colors in your images.

Write convincing ad copy

If visuals are for catching a scroller's eye, then ad copy is for convincing the user to click. Here are some copywriting tricks that will help you get more store visits:

  • Use social proof. People trust other people more than they trust brands - use that in your ads. Highlight the (impressive) amount of products you've sold, reveal how many customers already trust you (read: have bought something from you), or use customer product reviews and testimonials in your ads.
  • Talk to the specific audience. Keep in mind your targeting and customize your copy for the particular audience. For example, if you target foodies with interest ''podcast'', use these keywords in your ad copy.
  • Give people a reason to click. People are more motivated to act fast if there's a risk of missing out. Think about the time you bought something right away because it was on limited-time sale! Use this principle of scarcity in your copy to urge people to click and act now.

Now, let's put everything together:

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Track results, optimize, repeat

Publish your campaign and give it some time. In the beginning of the campaign, Facebook will show your ads to different types of people. The goal is to learn who is most likely to perform the desired action (which depends on your marketing objective). This is called the ''learning phase''.

The length of the learning phase depends on the size of your audience - the larger it is, the shorter time Facebook needs to find users who would find your ad relevant. So, launch your campaign and give it some time before you start making any changes in it.

When the learning phase is over, take a look at your results and optimize. Optimizing generally means turning off ads and audiences that are underperforming. For example, if you see that people don't click on your ads from mobile, change your ad placement and turn mobile devices off. Or, if you see that women in your audience have much lower cost per conversion, show the ads to women only. You got the point.

Make the changes and repeat - give your ads some time again before you optimize further.

Now, back to you! Go ahead and create your very first Facebook campaign, and let us know how you're doing in the comments below!

Krista Krumina

Krista Krumina

By day, Krista is a co-founder, writer, and advertiser at Truesix. By night, she runs her own online store and plans trips to places far, far away.

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