A Step by Step Guide to Creating a Facebook Ad

By on 05/19/2017

black bear design blog facebook ad

Hello! Black Bear Social Media Strategist here! One of the things I’m asked almost monthly is how I create a Facebook Ads for our clients. Every month, every week even, it seems like our clients are rolling out the next great idea, the next best landing page for their new service or product, or a landmark anniversary in the company. These and so much more are all reasons one should invest in running a beautiful, engaging Facebook ad!

Facebook ads not only drive traffic to your website or profile, but they extend your reach to your target audience that your organic posts might not otherwise get to.

But before we go any farther, it’s important to understand the difference between paid reach and organic reach.

Paid reach is the reach your brand gets when you pay for advertising, like Facebook ads or Google Adwords.

Organic reach is simply the natural likes your page is receiving without spending a dollar to get them. Perhaps you posted a nice holiday graphic and your audience gave you a lot of likes. You didn’t pay for that engagement, it just happened organically.

While organic reach is great, we want to focus on paid reach today. Facebook’s algorithm is set so that most users’ news feeds will generate as much as 15k posts in a day, Facebook limits that to 1,500. Which leaves most users to only see 300! It’s common practice for sites to do this so that businesses are required to take advantage of their paid features and Facebook is no exception. And who can blame them, it’s all about the bottom line!

So, because the Facebook Ad feature is so useful and so advantageous for our clients, I wanted to walk you through how we go about creating these Facebook ads!

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Step 1: The Anatomy of the Facebook Ad

This is what your finished Facebook ad will look like when it goes live. You’ll notice at the top left your company name is displayed with a call to action in the top right. A stunning image to catch your audience’s attention is key. Below the image lies an intriguing headline and a quick blurb that will draw your audience into your site, registration page, or order form. Bottom right: we have one final call to action that will drive people to your outside landing page.

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Step 1: Choose Your Objective

So now that we know what we need for the outside of the ad, let’s start at the beginning and figure out what we need to accomplish. This is where you’ll choose the objective of your ad. Let’s say you’re a realtor that wants to drive traffic to your open house landing page on your site. You’d do well to choose the “traffic” objective, which is specially designed to drive traffic back to your site.

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Step 2: The Meat of Your Demographic

Once you choose your objective, you’ll be brought to a new screen that allows you to fully customize your demographic.

Facebook gives you the option of selecting the age, location, buying frequency, and even the likeliness of your audience to move in the next few months. By selecting your precise demographic, you can be sure your ad is targeted to the highest potential leads.

The trick on this page is to dial down your arrow to the middle of the green section on the meter. The more fine-tuned your audience size is, the more accurate your reach to the perfect people will be. Avoid going too specific, though, or you might pigeon-hole yourself to an audience that’s calculated, but uninterested. Cast a wide, but positioned, net and you’ll see a great return.

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Step 2.1: Define Your Ad Set

Here’s a breakdown of everything you’ll find on this page to optimize your reach, expenditure, and audience.

  • Traffic: This option lets you insert the URL to the landing page you want to drive traffic to.
  • Offer: An optional feature, the offer section allows you to give your spectators an incentivizing offer to click your link.
  • Audience: This is where you can choose an extremely specific subset of people who will see your ad. Go into the ‘Detailed Targeting’ portion of the drop-down menus and choose exactly who you want to see your advertisement. But keep in mind the audience meter I mentioned earlier, you don’t want to limit yourself too much!
  • Placements: choose where your ad is displayed. Since Facebook owns Instagram, you have a choice to feature your ad on Instagram for no additional cost. You can also set it so Facebook can determine automatically if your ad would do well on IG and publish it for you.
  • Budget and Schedule: just as it sounds, this is where you choose how much you’ll spend on average each day and when you’ll run your ad. The great thing about Facebook Ads is you can run them for $20 a day and start seeing some results!

facebook ad black bear design blog

Step 3: The Ad Itself

We’re almost there! Let’s break down the third and final step before submitting your ad for approval.

  • Pages: choose which page you want your ad to be featured on, and which account to bill. This is useful if you’re managing multiple Facebook accounts like I do every day!
  • Format: choose how you want your ad to look. You can choose a video, a single image, or a carousel of images that feature various products and purchase options.
  • Fullscreen Experience: this is a newly introduced feature that allows you to take your ad to a full screen experience! You can read all about this new feature here.
  • Media: add pictures from your collection or use Facebook’s stock images. Trust me, they have some really great options here for you.
  • Links: this is where you’ll insert all of the information that will be displayed to the public from your ad. This is the piece of the puzzle we started with at the very beginning, in step one. And because I love bringing things full circle, I’m happy to announce this is the final step before hitting submit!

Step 4: Final Submission

The easiest step of them all. Hit submit and let Facebook’s experts do the rest. They’ll review your ad to ensure it meets all proper criteria and then they’ll set it to go live. If they find you have a component missing or not within their guidelines, they’ll shoot the ad back to you for edits. You can then try resubmitting after your edits are made.

Creating a Facebook ad is a simple process when you have all your components ready to go. But it takes tracking, excellent content, and knowing your audience to create the most cost-effective, popular ad. That’s where agencies like Black Bear Design come in. We can help you design, create, track, and monitor your ads and change them as we notice successful patterns. Please get in contact with us today for a consultation about your social media strategy and how Facebook ads can benefit your business!


4 responses to “A Step by Step Guide to Creating a Facebook Ad”

  1. Jackson says:

    What is more important, a large reach or a highly specified demographic?

    • Joel Black says:

      Hi Jackson, thanks for your comment. A large reach to the wrong audience isn’t going to lead to worthwhile leads. For instance, I’ve heard of an industrial facility who ran a contest for a free iPad. They received over 5,000 likes in the process! However, that’s 5,000 people who have zero interest in their business, and are therefore diluting the reach the company’s posts could’ve gotten to. It’s better to have a specified demographic than an oversaturated pool of uninterested listeners.

  2. Joel says:

    I really love how you can get so granular on your target in Facebook. There is a little confusion on creating and managing ads in Facebook versus other PPC platforms like Adwords (which is very simple). So thank you for the outline on creating these.

  3. Matt says:

    I use Facebook ads all the time and regularly see a huge increase in followers after doing so. This is all great advice that I’ve seen work for me; thanks!

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