[Step by Step Guide] Watch Over My Shoulder As I Set Up a Facebook Ad Campaign (It's Easy)

Everyone I know except for my father is on Facebook.

Even my 80-year-old grandparents have accounts and use them regularly.

And while Facebook's undergone a lot of refinements and changes over the years.

Arguably one of the coolest things they've come up with (for niche marketers, anyway), is the ability to advertise to very specific target audiences.

We display lots of personal information proudly.

Like the jobs we have, where we live, where we travel to, our birthdays, and we even "like" pages related to things we're interested in.

And for every single piece of information someone puts into their profile.

That's one more piece of information we as niche marketers can use to single them out and categorize them for advertising purposes.

In platforms like Google's AdWords, for example, we can only choose to show up based on keywords used to search.

But we can't filter out people based on age or the fact that they work in food services.

But on Facebook, if you want to target only 20-year-olds that work in food service, you can do exactly that... greatly increasing the efficiency of your ads.

Fortunately, Facebook makes ad setup very easy and the process itself is pretty self-explanatory.

But to help you know exactly what you're getting into before you try it.

I'll show you step-by-step what it was like for me to set up a Facebook ad campaign, so you can easily plan one for yourself.

 

 

What You'll Learn

  • Where and how to access Facebook's ad platform quickly and easily.
  • How to narrow down your audience to your target audience only.
  • How to set your budget so you don't spend a fortune on clicks.
  • How to make your ads look good without hiring extra design work.

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 traffic hacks click here or the image below)

 

Why Niche Marketers Should Set Up a Facebook Ad Campaign

As a niche marketer, all you want to do is get your website in front of people interested in the things you're writing about and eelling.

And with Facebook, it's easier to reach new potential readers, fans, and buyers than any other PPC (pay per click) advertising platform.

Because, like I mentioned above, we shamelessly share everything about ourselves on Facebook... what we like, don't like, the brands we support, our age, and where we're located.

With this information available, it's a million times easier (based on my own super-scientific research) to get the right people to your site than it is using a more generic platform like AdWords that doesn't give you access to so much personal data to filter your ad displays based on.

Plus, Facebook lets you do pixeled retargeting.

Which means if you know people have already visited your site, you can show them ads to get them one step closer to making a purchase from your site. (Pretty sweet, huh?)

 

1. Access the Ad Creation Platform

Click on “Create Ads” from the drop-down menu on the top right of your screen.

 

Facebook ad campaign

 

Then select what you want to accomplish with your ads. For most niche marketers, you'll want to send people to your website.

 

choose objective

 

Then it'll ask you for the specific URL you want to send people to.

I decided I would send this ad to a popular blog post, since it would be more engaging & actionable than my home page, so I entered that URL.

 

entered site

 

At this point, you'll be able to create and add a retargeting pixel to your site.

Which means that if someone clicks on your ad and goes to your website, you'll be able to show them a second set of ads only to them.

It's quite handy, but you can skip it for the moment and just click on "Create Ad Account."

 

2. Set Up the Ad Basics

After you click through to create your ad account, Facebook will make sure they're squared away with your basics like country, currency, and time zone.

These fields will populate automatically, but make sure they’re right.

For some reason, my currency popped up as Indian Rupee instead of US Dollar, so I changed it.

 

account info

 

Then click on “Set Audience & Budget” to get to the fun part: demographics.

 

3. Adjust Demographics

The default demographics are pretty much everyone, which is why you’ve got to step in and really think about who you’re targeting and way.

 

default demographics

 

I didn’t mess with location or gender—since I’d actually want to target all of the United States and both men and women.

I played with the ages to better target people out of college and in the working world—which represents my ideal clients.

I also added English for a language, since that’s the language my site is in.

 

basic details

 

You can still see in the right-hand meter that Facebook’s telling me that my audience is still fairly broad, which I don’t want.

I want to be selective so my budget is more effective.

So I click on “Create a Custom Audience” at the top of the page.

 

custom audience

 

4. Customize Your Audience (Optional)

To create a custom audience, I’ve got three choices:

Advertise from people already on my email list (Facebook lets you import your mailing list directly from Mail Chimp)

Select people who’ve visited my website (this is where that pixel would come in handy)

Or people who’ve done something specific within my app.

Since I don’t have an app and my goal is to grow my audience rather than simply market to my existing one, I’ll choose Website traffic.

 

choices

 

And here is where I have to create that Facebook Pixel that I passed over earlier.

In order for Facebook to know whether a person has visited my website or not, they need me to put a tracking pixel on my website so they can identify the same person on Facebook and show them my ads.

If you’re unfamiliar with the terms and conditions for pixeling and retargeting in general, make sure you read them.

The gist though, is that you’ll need to make sure there’s a disclaimer somewhere on your site that you use pixeling for retargeting purposes.

Basically, all that happens here is Facebook gives you a piece of code and tells you where to paste it into your website's backend. Easy as pie.

 

5. Add More Precise Demographics

Pretending like I didn't do step #4, we'll jump into the demographics again so you can learn how to target your ideal audience, even if you don't have an audience yet.

Since it’s so broad, I’m going to do some work with the demographics of the people I’m targeting.

You can narrow your demographics down by anything people have information on Facebook: interests, hobbies, job roles, religion, travel, and so on.

You can even choose to target people who have friends who’ve gotten engaged in the last 30 days, if that gives you any idea of how specific you can get.

Since my website is about helping businesses improve, though, I’m going to select some job-based qualifiers to include.

 

browse

 

I went through and added all the details under detailed targeting that describe my target audience for my blog.

But as you can see, my reach is still pretty broad…. a potential 60 million people.

 

detailed targeting

 

I need to narrow that down, so I worked on picking put traits in the Exclude section that didn’t match my target audience.

 

exclude

 

But as you can see, I’m still working with 38 million potential people here, which is really way too much.

So when I click on the “Narrow Audience” link underneath all the demographic options, I’m allowed to say that the people I advertise to must match at least one of the qualifiers in detailed targeting

AND one of the qualifiers in my Narrow list.

As soon as I add “Marketing Director” to that list, my potential reach plummets from 38 million to 13,000—which means I’m pretty much only marketing to Marketing Directors.

Which I think might be a good experiment for my first ad to run.

 

marketing director

 

6. Take Advantage of Your Page Connections

Here's another way to narrow your reach to people who are much more likely to convert.

If you already have a Facebook page, try the “Connections” option to narrow down your audience even more.

 

connections

 

I don’t have a page for my business, but I’ve noticed that when companies behind pages my friends like advertise to me, they tell me so-and-so likes this page, which is very effective social proof.

 

zimbio

In this add, Zimbio tells me that four of my friends already like my page—one being a cousin. Do you see how this would prompt me to be more likely to check out this page than if that wasn't there?

 

So make sure to play around with the connections settings if you have a page linked to your niche site, but if not, now it's time to set your budget and your schedule.

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 traffic hacks click here or the image below)

 

7. Set Your Budget & Ad Schedule

You can run ads for as little as $5 per day.

That's incredibly inexpensive, especially considering the ROI potential is so much higher than other ad networks, due to their targeting abilities.

So if you only have $40 to spend for example, make sure you set the dates for eight days only.

Or if you've got a little more wiggle room, you can up the daily budget or run the ad for a little longer.

Below I’ve set the budget to $40/day and the timeline for one week.

 

budget & time

 

Facebook estimates that I’ll reach 56-150 on their platform per day with this budget, which is up to about 1,000 new people on my site, so it really isn’t that bad.

Especially since I'm targeting people I know would be interested in what I write about.

 

8. Choose What Your Ad Will Look Like

Once that’s set, I click on “Choose Ad Creative" in the bottom right corner to upload the image my ad will look like.

 

ad creative

 

You’ll get an editor screen where you can choose how many images you want to display (one or multiple)

Which Facebook page you want to connect your ad to (you need to have one, even if it's one you don't actively use for your site's marketing)

Whether you want to use an Instagram account, and which display options you want to include.

 

ad creative 2

 

Once you’re done with all that, you can go back and review the specifics of your advertising order and place it.

That’s when Facebook will collect your payment—not before.

And unless you feel the need to go back in and change some things, you’re good to go!

 

Pro tips: Choosing Images

As a disclaimer, the images shown in my ads above aren't ones that I'd actually use.

They're just screenshots from the blog post I chose to direct traffic to.

So unless I wanted people to be totally confused about whether or not I was talking about copywriting or travel hacking, I wouldn't actually use that image to run an ad with.

As a rule of thumb, use images with little text.

Facebook only allows 20% of your ad to be covered in text anyway, plus you get the ad "text" area in the editor to talk about your value proposition and why people should click through.

The image should be large, with a clear resolution, and colorful.

If you don't have any suitable images on the page you're sending people to (or if you just want to use something different), one of the easiest ways to bypass that and still have a stellar image in your ad is to use Facebook's Shutterstock integration.

To get to the free image library, first click on "Images" for the type of media you'd like to display with your ads.

 

images

 

Then click on "Browse Library."

 

browse library

 

Click on "Stock Images" in the popup's menu bar, and insert a keyword related to your on-page content.

 

choose image

 

As you can see, there's loads of cool, quality, enticing images to choose from.

But if all else fails and you don't know what image to choose, Search Engine Land suggests images with happy women convert well.

 

Breaking Through the Facebook Ad Jargon

Admittedly, the language used within the Facebook Ads Manager setup can be a little jargony if you're not used to ad and marketing speak in your day-to-day work.

Even Stuart found it a little confusing at first.

 

"What I found really confusing when I first started FB Ads was understanding the difference between campaigns, creatives, ad sets, adverts," he said. "It seemed like so many layers to me... and so many different things and I couldn't understand what was what or how to name them."

 

So here's a little go-to dictionary to help you with that:

  • Campaigns: An ad or set of ads aimed at one specific purpose (objective). You can have one or multiple campaigns, depending on how comfortable you feel running experiments within the platform.
  • Objective: The purpose of a campaign. It can be to get likes on your Facebook page, more traffic to your website, more people to download your app, or a number of other things.
  • Custom Audience: Beyond Facebook's demographic targeting, this is how you can target people that would be interested in what you have to offer and exclude people you don't want to waste your ad budget on. Basically, any piece of information someone publishes on Facebook about themselves.
  • Connection Type: If you have page fans, you can choose to only advertise to people who are fans of your page, or choose to advertise to everyone that doesn't like your page. You can also choose to reach people who have friends who like your page. The same goes for app users and event attendees.
  • Creatives: The ad creative is simply what your ad will look like: the image (or slideshow, or video), and the call to action text.
  • Ad Sets: Initially, I thought this meant "collection of ads." But instead, it stands for the "set" of people you choose to advertise to. Basically, how you set up your custom audience, connection types, and demographics for your ads.

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 traffic hacks click here or the image below)

 

Try This Process for Yourself

I'm so intrigued by the possibilities and affordability of Facebook Ads that I'm 99.99% sure I'll be trying them much more before the year's finished.

I'm excited to see what the results are, but in the meantime, I'd like to hear from you:

Have you ever tried Facebook Ads? What was your experience like?

If you haven't tried them, is there anything holding you back?

Psst... if you'd like more advice on increasing your site's traffic, Stuart put together a really cool guide called 101 Traffic Hacks. You should check it out.

 

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Chelsea Baldwin
Chelsea has a background in journalism and IT, and besides writing for NicheHacks, she's the founder of Copy Power, a business and a website that helps business owners figure out how to get remembered online via copywriting.

She excels in the topic of SEO but can write on a wide range of topics of which you can discover by clicking on her name.

Comments (10)

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  1. Dear Chelsea, Another amazing post with Facebook Ad Campaign tips! I will definitely start following. By the way, I want to know more about How to choose a perfect image in details. Can you assist me on this topic? Keep the great writing skill up. Thanks again Buddy!

  2. Debnath says:

    This is a very helpful guide. I am planning to give a try to Facebook ads and this is the one article I am looking for. Could you please share how is the return of this ad? I have heard many negative reviews about FB ads. Thanks for this share.

  3. Really lovely post,so much value...Am new and planing to run my first fb ad... Wish me luck

  4. Mohammed Elkhiyati says:

    Great Article.
    You need to set up Ads based on different placements (Desktop, Mobile,Instagram...) and tag them with unique identifier....
    You need as well segment your Audience by age based on your niche...

  5. David Throop says:

    Chelsea,
    Thanks for the detailed step-by-step tutorial on Facebook ads! I've toyed around with some of these techniques before to middling success, but never tried to be so granular as you explain here.

    I, like many, would really like to thank you for the glossary of what Facebook means by its "Ad Jargon"

    Thanks again, I look forward to playing around with these a little more and with the information you have offered here, I feel 5-10x more confident!

  6. Hello,

    Thanks for sharing your own proven techniques. I was thinking to set one facebook ad campaign and i guess now it would be pretty easy for me.

    Thanks once again,
    Piyush

  7. srp says:

    Will facebook ads work for asian traffic

  8. Rohit says:

    Very helpful guide