How to Get Started with Facebook Ads in 5 Steps

Want to get started with Facebook Ads as a new way to market your business? Have you reached a ceiling in your business, are ready to scale or need a hands off way to generate leads? Facebook Advertising can be a very lucrative endeavor. If you aren’t familiar with the platform though, it can also be very overwhelming. Logging into Ads Manager for the first time can make you feel like you’ve been transported to another universe. The confusion and overwhelm is valid. However, like anything else in entrepreneurship, you have to give it a shot in order to find out if it works. You have to do things you’ve never done before in order to grow. And if you are able to successfully utilize the potential of Facebook Ads, you can experience some wild, automated growth for your business.

If you are considering getting started with Facebook Ads but don’t know where to begin, here are my 5 steps for kicking off your first campaign.

How to Get Started with Facebook Ads

STEP 1: Install Your Pixel before Getting Started with Facebook Ads

Okay, don’t tune out yet! The Facebook Pixel is your secret weapon for converting browsers into buyers. It is the first step to running successful Facebook Ad campaigns. Even if you aren’t ready to run ads, you’ll want to install the Pixel on your website ASAP. This will give you a leg up if you do decide to run ads down the road.

So, what is the Pixel? It’s not as complicated as you might think! It’s really just a piece of code that records how people interact with your website from your ads. To create your Pixel, follow these steps. Go to Events Manager within Facebook Business Manager. From there, click the button that says, “Connect Data Sources,” and select Web. Then select Facebook Pixel and click connect. Add your Pixel Name, which can just be Your Business Name’s Pixel,” and click continue. How you add your Pixel to your website will depend on where your website is built. However, it is super easy to install on most platforms. You can use the partner integration option and follow the easy setup instructions if your website platform has partnered with Facebook.

Having your Pixel set up will allow Facebook to capture valuable information about who visits your website and what they do when they are there. Later on, you can use this information when setting up your Facebook Ad campaigns to reach people who have taken certain actions on your site – more on this in step 3!

STEP 2: Build Out Your Campaign

To build a Facebook Ad you must start at the top level, which is the campaign. When you set up your campaign you will have to make a couple decisions on objective and budget. Choose your objective based on your overall goal. Is it engagement (ie: likes, comments), traffic, conversions or something else? There are lots of options to choose from. Start with what you ultimately want to achieve. Use that to guide your objective choice.

Next is your budget. This is, of course, how much you want to spend. Facebook Advertising works like an auction. You are bidding against other companies to get your ad in front of people. You’ll also have to decide how you want your budget to be spent. You have two options here – Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO) or allocating at the ad set level. If you turn on CBO, Facebook will spend the budget across ad sets according to what it believes will yield the best results. On the other hand, if you do not choose CBO, you will set a budget at the ad set level. In this case, you can split your budget evenly across all of your ad sets so you can run an equal test. For example, if your budget was $100/day and you have 5 ad sets, you would set each ad set to spend $20/day.

STEP 3: Determine Your Ad Set

It’s true in other areas of your business and it’s true here – knowing your audience is key. If you are building cold audiences, you’ll want to let Facebook know the type of people to show your ads to. This includes providing Facebook with demographic, geographic and psychographic inputs. You can add all of this information at the ad set level. Keep in mind, you may want to test some of these elements in different ad sets, so you can compare the results.

Aside from building cold audiences, you also have the ability to create warm audiences using data Facebook has collected about who has visited your website (remember the Pixel!) and engaged with your brand on social media (Facebook and Instagram). This is hugely valuable and generally where you will get some quick results. Because these people already have some familiarity with your brand, they may be more likely to purchase, opt-in or take whatever other action you are optimizing for. Using this data, you can also create lookalike audiences – that is, audiences of people that Facebook deems to be similar to your starting audience.

With recent changes Facebook is making in response to Apple’s iOS 14 policy updates, the sizes of your custom audiences may decrease in the future due to restricted and aggregated data. As Facebook is always making changes to their platform, it is important to stay informed of these changes or work with a professional that can keep track of them for you.

As you can see there are lots of options when it comes to building your ad sets, which is what makes Facebook such a powerful advertising platform. This level of customization allows you to spend your advertising dollars more efficiently and with confidence.

STEP 4: Set Up Your Ad

When you go to set up your ad, there are several different formats to choose from including static image, video and carousel. It’s important to test different imagery and formats to see which your audience responds best to. Similarly, you also want to test different types of copy. Testing is a key component to Facebook Ads. The more you can test, the more you can optimize to achieve the greatest results at the lowest cost.

When you set up your ad, you will also have to decide where you are going to link it to. This may be your website or a dedicated landing page, depending on your objectives. If you are trying to generate leads or build an email list, having a dedicated landing page that limits distractions for the viewer is a great option. This way, they are only focusing on what you want them to focus on, rather than looking around at the other pages on your site and getting lost. You want to make it easy for someone to take your desired action. To make things even easier for you, you can embed your HoneyBook contact form on your landing page, so leads are automatically collected in your HoneyBook account. This way, the leads you generate from ads integrate seamlessly into your current business practices, without adding any extra steps.

STEP 5: Monitor Your Results after Getting Started with Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are not something you can set and forget. You want to regularly evaluate the performance and make tweaks where necessary. The goal is to maximize return and minimize cost per result. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) tells you how much bang you are getting for your buck and is calculated as Purchase Conversion Value (or Revenue) / Ad Spend. Cost per result tells you how efficiently you are spending. There are many more metrics available in Ads Manager for you to use. You can start to evaluate campaign performance by comparing your various ad sets to see which audiences performed best and comparing your ads to determine winning formats, creative and copy. When you find your winning combinations of ad sets and ads, you can then scale by allocating more budget to these top performers.

There you have it! How to get started with Facebook Ads in 5 simple steps. Facebook Advertising can be a powerful tool for scaling your business in an automated way. While there are tons of intricacies to Facebook Advertising, these 5 steps will give you a good start when it comes to setting up your first campaign. With a little bit of effort, I know you can succeed with Facebook Ads for your business.

If you don’t want to do it yourself, hire a Facebook Ads manager to take over the process for you. That way you know your campaigns are being worked on with the proper attention, and it’s one less thing you have to worry about.


Maxine Belus

Hey! I'm Maxine and I help purpose-driven female entrepreneurs scale their businesses with strategic Facebook and Instagram advertising. I have a strong passion for empowering and supporting women business owners by using my strengths, so they can have more opportunity to use theirs. I am from New York, but currently live in Miami with my husband and pup. Other than run ads, I love yoga, the beach, baking and just spending time with my family.