Facebook Ads 101 Guide For Beginners: Step-By-Step in 2021

How to advertise on Facebook? A question that deserves to be asked, because although the platform denies it, making Facebook Ads is not so simple. This guide to Facebook advertising is perfect for young entrepreneurs who want to earn more income. Maybe you just opened a dropshippping online store and are looking for how to make your first sales? If so, you will find all the answers to your questions in this article.

In e-commerce, Facebook Ads are essential. Indeed, it is difficult to resist this social network offering a potential target of a billion and a half people around the world. With Facebook advertising, you will be able to target specific audiences based on your niche. We explain how.

If you think of Facebook Ads as a super complicated commando operation, relax, because you will understand everything. The Facebook ad manager, pixels, conversion tracking, campaign objectives to the mysterious Power editor tool, we explain everything to you in this article which is a perfect facebook course for beginners.

Let's go for your little Facebook Ads training.

How to advertise on Facebook?

Some of your customers are necessarily on the social network. The only interesting question is: how do you advertise on Facebook and reach them effectively?

Facebook Ads offers entrepreneurs very advanced targeting functions. You can obviously target people by geographic location (countries, regions, cities and postal codes), but also by gender, age, as well as by interests, behaviors, life events and according to many other criteria.

Plus, you'll be able to promote just about any type of content on Facebook: posts, photos and albums, videos, events, offers, and of course, links to your website.

If you combine a huge user base, amazing targeting options, and a variety of campaign goals, it's easy to understand why Facebook Ads really are a very powerful helper for e-commerce entrepreneurs. We explain in detail how to advertise Facebook:

How does Facebook advertising work?

Let's take a closer look at how Facebook Ads work. Facebook's goal is to maximize the advertising space available to it. They achieve this by posting thousands of mini auctions per second, in which advertisers compete for ad space. If you ever win the auction, you are billed and your ad will show to the target you selected.

What is the price of a Facebook ad?

It is variable, precisely because of this auction system. The Facebook ad price will change depending on many factors including the country, audience, placement, and even the quality of your ads.

For example, US is a country with high competition, so a Facebook Ads will cost more here than in India or Vietnam. Even in US, targeting certain audiences will cost you two or three times as much. You will need to test your business and evaluate the results. 

This is the first lesson to take away:

Facebook Ads require a lot of testing. Try out what seems interesting to you and adapt your campaigns according to the result. The Average CPC is around Rs 0.18 with an average click-through rate of 1.75% and an average conversion rate of 5.80%. Average CPC is around Rs 1.23 with an average click-through rate of 0.63% and an average conversion rate of 9.85% if you are on very competitive audiences or keywords. 

For your first campaigns, you can choose a CPC budget but then we advise you to choose a CPA strategy (cost per acquisition or conversion).

Now that you understand a little better how Facebook advertising works, let's take a closer look at how to run a Facebook campaign.

The guide to Facebook advertising: preparing a Facebook campaign

In this section of our Facebook course, I explain how to create an account and master the Facebook Ads Manager.

Open an account on the Facebook Ads Manager

If you have not yet created a Facebook advertising campaign, you will first need to open an advertising account in the Ads Manager (Facebook Business Manager)

Click on the 9 dot menu at the top right and create an advertising account. Then click on “Manage Ads” and select your account.

In the “Facebook Ads” menu, go to “Settings”.

Indicate your business name and address. If you have more than one affected employee, click on the “Add people” button on the right of the page. Choose the level of rights you want to grant these people, enter their name or email address, lick on next fill details. Click to confirm.

This option eliminates the need for you to share your personal logins since these people will be able to manage the campaigns from their own account.

How to pay for advertising on Facebook?

You must then add a payment method under the “Payment” tab as shown in image below. 

Click on “Add Payment Method” and enter the requested details.

There you have it, your Facebook ad manager is configured! Once these settings are made, let's move on to finding your audience.

Facebook's guide to audience research for your targeted advertising

In this section, we will address the issue of audience targeting for Facebook ads. Identifying the right audience is the most crucial part of Facebook Ads.

If you choose an irrelevant audience for your ad, you will simply be wasting your precious budget on the wrong people. To properly define your audience in relation to your Facebook strategy, you will need to ask yourself the 7 questions below. The answers to these questions don't have to be complex, but collecting and verifying the answers can take a little time.

1. Who are the authority figures, leaders or big brands in your niche ?

This step is quite simple since you only need to use the search engines to investigate the key players in your industry. Collect as many personalities as possible.

2. What books or magazines are your customers reading?

You can also answer this question by doing some research on Google. See which magazines are popular with your target audience. Also search on Amazon, in the books section. You can directly target the authors.

3. What events are they going to?

This is a very important part of your research because, in principle, people interested in a subject or a sector go to conferences or dedicated events.

4. What websites do they visit?

To understand the type of sites your audience frequents, you can start by identifying the blogs and forums that they visit. Thus, you will have better visibility on the subjects that interest your target, their problems and their questions (to which your product proposes to answer).

5. Where do they live?

This question is important if you want to sell a product that works particularly well in a specific geographic area, or if you have a physical store.

6. What tools do they use?

What kinds of tools does your audience need? For example, e-commerce platforms use analytical tools, content tools, marketing, etc. It can be any tool that makes life easier for your users or related to an activity or product that interests them.

7. What makes this group unique?

This question may require deeper thought. Think about the specificity or characteristic of your audience. The size of your audience will be automatically defined by the characteristics you assign to it: mainly demographic and interest criteria.

When it comes to locating my targets to launch a Facebook ad campaign, I like to be very specific. For example, in India, I would choose an audience between 50,000 and 100,000 people.

I recommend that you do not use general interests like nature, sports or cooking, but rather choose very specific ones, like relevant brands, authors, books, magazines, websites or even Facebook pages. If you want your Facebook ads to be successful, you need to really know what your customers are passionate about.

To identify them, you will use Audience Insights.

Go to this interface and select the basic criteria for your audience.

Then click on “Like a Page” in the top menu and scroll until you see a list of other pages relevant to the audience you selected.

In the example above, we can see that people interested in running are also interested in “Spartan race”, “Nike + Run Club”, “Runners World” etc.

Instead of using the term running, which is very broad, we will rather target interests such as Runner World, Runner Nike etc. Thus, you are sure to hit a much more relevant target.

Now that we have a list of potential interests and decided which products we are going to promote, we are going to be able to create targeted advertising. But which advertising format to choose?

The different types of Facebook post format

Choose a Facebook publication dimension

There are several types of Facebook ad format. You can choose your format according to the uses of your audience (are they more on mobile or on desktop? More videos or images?) But also according to the product you want to highlight. You can also multiple formats and see which one gets the most clicks. Are you looking for a facebook ad example? We give you several below!

Facebook ad format with image

It is the most used type of Facebook ad because it is the one that requires the least work. You just need a nice image of your product! Also consider having an engaging text and call to action to be able to generate clicks. But the performance of this ad will be less important than with a video.

Facebook video ads

They are currently very popular because video is the most engaging format on Facebook. But you still have to master the use of video! To make video ads, you need a dynamic video, of good quality, very short (less than 10 seconds), and subtitled for the many people who watch videos without sound.

You don't need to be a video editor or an image professional to make a good video. There are plenty of video editing software out there that will make you sound like a pro!

As an example of a Facebook ad, here is an ad from upGrad and Netflix, a big consumer of video ads!

The Facebook carousel or the Facebook collections

This advertising format is not the most used, but it has the merit of existing and being able to offer beautiful effects if you do not have the possibility of making a beautiful video. The Facebook carousel can allow you to see your products from different angles or bring a more dynamic format to an image

Here are some examples of Facebook carousel advertising that come from the Buffer.

Unveil the product as you go through the Facebook carousel:

Or several ways of using the platform / product:

As for the collections format, it is only useful if you have several products to feature in the Facebook ad. We do not recommend this format because it is better to have a different advertisement for each product.

Messenger ads

Ads in the Facebook Messenger chat tool are increasingly used by brands primarily to initiate a discussion or to bring a user back to the company 's Facebook pageThis tool can also allow for dynamic conversations that may be of interest to your audience, especially if you are selling services. If you're only selling one product, it's hard to build a whole conversation around it, which is why we recommend image or video advertising instead.

Instagram stories ads… and Facebook

Because yes, Instagram belongs to Facebook, you must configure your Instagram ads on the Facebook ads manager.

Instagram Stories ads are very trendy now but they tend to flood the platform, so only use it as targeted advertising or retargeting, i.e. to bring back people who have come to your site ( identified by the Facebook Pixel).

To have a successful Instagram story ad, it must be very short, visual and dynamic. Also consider the landing page of your advertisement so that the sale is fast. You can also use the “buy” button on Instagram. You can also do Facebook Stories ads, although they are used a lot less. 

What dimension for your Facebook post?

Facebook post size is also important for your ads. It depends on the ad format you choose, but here are the most popular:

  • Facebook video ad: 1280 x 720 (px) in landscape format, 600 x 600 (px) in square format
  • Instagram stories ad: 1080 x 1920 (px)

Facebook Ads tutorial: the steps to launch a first advertising campaign

Activate your Facebook Pixel

Before launching your advertisement, it is absolutely necessary that you activate your Facebook Pixel on your site. For this you will need to copy and paste a piece of code on all the pages of your site that you will find in Facebook. You just need to follow the steps in your Facebook ad manager.

You can also use this tool to configure retargeting advertisements (to target people who have already visited your site without making a purchase) or to test similar audiences (lookalike audiences).

We will show you here how to create this famous Facebook campaign.

Three options await you:

  1. Post promotion on your Facebook pages
  2. The ad creation tool
  3. The Power Editor tool

Post boosting is the fastest and easiest way to promote your content, but it's also the least effective. For a good Facebook strategy, I advise you not to limit yourself to it.

Conversely, Power Editor is a bit too much of a hassle for beginners who are just learning how to run a Facebook ad campaign. While it lets you explore every advertising feature imaginable, it's not very intuitive.

That's why we'll focus here on the ad creation tool. It offers most of the advertising options, but it's easier to use.

Choose your campaign goals

First, go to the campaign manager and click on “Create”. You will immediately see a list of campaign goals.

You are offered 15 campaign goals (although some of them are only accessible through Power Editor), and you should always choose only the one that makes the most sense in relation to your end goal. It sounds like just one click, but that click is of the utmost importance to your Facebook advertising strategy.

This is important because you will not be able to change it anymore. So keep in mind that your lens should describe the main purpose of your ad.

If you want to promote an online store with Facebook ads, you will choose either the “Traffic” objective or the “Conversions” objective. To take advantage of the second point, you will need to set up your Shopify store , which we will discuss below.

For this time, choose “Traffic” and click “Continue”. On the next page, enter the url of the product you want to promote and scroll down to the “Audience” section.

The following steps of this Facebook Ads tutorial are essential. For your campaign to be effective, you must specify an audience, budget, and schedule.

Select your audience

Again, targeted advertising is vital to the success of your Facebook ad.

You will need to choose the location, age, gender and language of your audience:

The criteria listed in this section determine the size of your audience. And this depends above all on the country in which it is located. For example, the audience volume in the United States is much higher than that of the Netherlands. In general, for the French market and without targeted interest, it is good to target around 100,000 people. 

The size of your audience based on your criteria is displayed at the top right of the page. We understand that it is a question of staying in the green zone. It is better to target small audiences when using specific areas of interest.

On the other hand, it is not advisable to combine audiences from several countries. It is better to focus on one country per campaign. If your audience is too small for that, try grouping similar countries together. For example, in the Scandinavian countries, the prices of advertising campaigns and consumer behavior are very similar.

A basic piece of advice for newbies to Facebook ads: Don't make demographic guesses in your first campaign. The largest groups on Facebook are 18-24 year olds and 25-34 year olds, but you could be missing out on a gold mine by avoiding the older age groups. Start by targeting all groups and in a few days you can make data-driven decisions.

Then add one or two interests that you discovered in the detailed list of interests.

You can even use a combination of interests by checking the “Advanced Targeting Extension”, which involves targeting people who are interested in all of the interests listed above AND a particular site.

Define a budget and a schedule

You are then asked if you prefer to place your Facebook Ads manually or to use automatic placement. For a first campaign, obviously choose the automatic option.

Now you have to indicate if you want a daily or global budget and how much you want to spend. Those of you who land completely on Facebook might find this question a bit tricky. Indeed, when it comes to Facebook advertising costs, nothing is set in stone. Different market conditions may cause you to budget for different things. Let's try to clarify the situation:


Don't be afraid to set a higher budget on day one because when you are starting out, Facebook won't be able to spend your budget in one day. And if your campaign is successful, you won't need to increase your budget.

In case you are not satisfied, you can always change this later, but it will give you a much better view of your level of performance. Increasing the budget is a delicate action that must be done with weight. In general, if you decide to increase your budget, do so by 30 to 40% maximum and do not make any changes for 2 or 3 days.

In the next section, decide if you want to activate your campaign on a continuous basis or on specific dates. If you are not familiar with Facebook advertising and are unsure of the best schedule for your campaign, set these settings to default. Facebook will publish your campaign on an ongoing basis. If instead you decide to enter a start date and an end date and you see that your ad is not working, you can always change these settings later and change the schedule.

In the advanced options, you can also configure your bids and the optimization of your preferences. This point would merit an article on its own, but I generally suggest starting with the option “Click on a link.”

Create a Facebook ad to generate clicks

This is the most important aspect of this guide to Facebook advertising. There are two ways to create Facebook ads:

  • A complete creation
  • An existing post

Also decide if you prefer an ad as an image or as a video, or multiple images (that is, a carousel or a multi-product ad ).

If you want to advertise several products in the same category, choose the carousel. If you have only one product, choose the image only.

Then select the content of your Facebook ad: images, slideshows or videos. I advise you to start with pictures.

You will be able to choose up to 6 images when you create a new Facebook campaign, which will generate 6 different versions of your ad.

By creating multiple ads in the Facebook Ads Manager, you will quickly see which image works best. You can then pause the others and optimize the range of the favorite photo.

The recommended dimensions of an image for a Facebook campaign are 1200 x 628 pixels, in .png format.

The background image of your Facebook ad

When people scroll through their Facebook feed, it is very difficult to capture their attention. That is why it is recommended to use bright colors to make your Facebook ads stand out. Usually, a human face has the greatest impact on customers' attention, but keep in mind that the effect can be double-edged. For example, if the face of your ad looks directly at the lens, it is likely to attract a lot of attention. 

But if that attention is focused on that face instead of the product, it becomes counterproductive. You will then pay for an impression that did not bring you anything.

Try to find models not looking directly at the camera or pointing to product information. You will find many free options in the black image. If you don't use faces in your ad, bet everything on the product. Either way, this should be the main subject of your image.

After the image, let's move on to the text of your Facebook ad.

Choose here the page on which you will launch this advertisement. You can also connect your Instagram account to it if you want your Facebook Ads to appear there too.

Enter the title and text chosen for your advertisement, as well as a possible call to action. The text will appear just above the image and the title below.

For the title, you will have a limit of 25 characters and for the text, 90 characters.

The title of your Facebook ad

Your title should be short and reveal the main characteristics of your product. If your first selling point is price, use your headline to emphasize the attractiveness of that price. Limit yourself to one selling point here, otherwise your headline will be too long and confusing.

Main text

Above all, be sure to offer added value. In this text, you will also want to emphasize the value that your product brings to your customers. The second important point is to insert an effective call to action. The call to action must state very clearly the objective of your campaign.

If you want people to buy your products, use terms like “Buy Now” to get their attention. Finally, add a link to your dedicated landing page. You should give as many opportunities as possible to click and visit your online store.

The call to action buttons

The calls to action collect mixed opinions. On the one hand, it's good to have action buttons visible and close to the image where you want people to click.

On the other hand, putting more elements on an image alters its power of attraction towards your product. If you decide to use a call to action on your banner, use an RGB wheel to decide the color of your button. This method is simple: look at the main color of your banner, find it on the wheel, and look at the opposite colors. These are the colors you need for your CTA.

Don't use too much text on your image. The number one reason for this is Facebook's 20% rule. It indicates that the text of an advertisement must be limited to a maximum of 20% of the image surface (logo included). If you exceed this recommendation, Facebook will not censor the ad, but it will perform worse. In addition, Facebook gives you enough space around your banner to write text.

Once all your settings have been defined, click on “Exam” to verify the result, then on “Confirm”.

Congratulations, you have just created your first Facebook ad.

How do I edit an ad on Facebook?

It is possible to modify a Facebook advertisement. To do this, click on the advertisement in question. You will see an “Edit” link on the right of the screen. Click and then make your changes before saving at the bottom of the screen.

Please note: the new advertisement will immediately replace the old one and you will not be able to go back. In addition, the tracking information of the two advertisements will be indistinguishable.

How to analyze the results of your Facebook advertising?

In this section of our Facebook advertising guide, we'll see how to optimize your Facebook ads by analyzing the results.

It's a proven fact: some countries, age groups, types of interests, placements and advertisements will be more successful than others. The rule of thumb in optimizing your campaigns is that you shouldn't draw conclusions the day after your ad is published. Let the algorithm learn details about your audience. It's common to make changes three or four days after launching a campaign. This also applies to the adjustment of budgets and the end of the campaign. Do not rush.

You will be able to follow all the reports possible and imaginable in the section “Advertising reports”. Get in the habit of checking them regularly.

For example, you can observe the performance by checking the “Results” column. The general rule is that the campaign achieves a 1% click-through rate, on desktop or mobile feed.

If you get a high click-through rate, then your offering, audience, and design are performing well. If you see that you are not reaching the 1%, you need to do additional testing. To get the most out of your Facebook ads, you can test other products or other audiences. This will help you grow your e-commerce store in the long run anyway .

Also see the ratio of clicks and cost per click for different ads and audiences. This will allow you to better plan your future campaigns.

Finally, control your campaigns with different filters. Filters allow you to analyze your results by segments. Filter for example by country, age, gender and placement and maybe identify hidden opportunities.

Age: find the age group that converts the best and shift your budget in that direction. If your audience is large enough and multiple age groups are doing well, you could redo different campaigns to see which one works best. This is a good idea, especially if the 18-24 and 35-44 groups are both performing well.

Gender: If you see that one group works better than the other, then exclude the weaker one in your next campaigns.

Countries / Regions : This process takes longer compared to others. It is better not to do any optimization by country at the beginning. If you target more than one country with the same advertisement, you run the risk of one country pulling the results down. Separate your ads by country to verify this assumption.

Placement : If you're starting out with desktop and mobile newsfeed, you need to know if your customers are buying more from one or the other. Look at your stats and eliminate the placement that works the least.

If you regularly analyze this valuable data, your Facebook ads should perform better and better.

Tips for Facebook advertising

If you find that your top performing ads are suddenly performing poorer results, stop them and relaunch them. You should normally find a good ROI.

Test your new banners with your audience to get feedback. Facebook's algorithm likes posts with lots of likes, comments, and shares.

Start with a budget that is slightly larger than what you want to spend. At first, Facebook won't spend your entire budget, but you won't need to adjust it if your ad is working. Adjusting the budget is a sensitive subject. Most of the time, the algorithm messes up your ad performance if you change the budget significantly or too often.

Before you deactivate your Facebook ad, try changing the image you are using. Often the problem is an advertisement that is not captivating enough. Make changes and wait a few days before closing this ad.

Conclusion of this beginner's guide to Facebook advertising

Congratulations! You have completed this Facebook course and now you know how to advertise Facebook. You are now ready to create your first advertising campaigns.

You know how to find audiences, adjust your campaign settings and design your ads.

You should also be comfortable in analyzing the performance of your campaigns, by studying the different statistics. For example, click-through rate, cost per click, and segments, which will allow you to make better decisions for your ads.

Now is the time to take the steps in this Facebook Ads training and create your first Facebook advertising campaign.

Good luck and remember: the test is the secret. The rules of Facebook change regularly, but this guide will continue to evolve too.

Did you make your first Facebook ad? What results have you obtained? Do you have any questions ? Tell me know in the comments.

Categories SEO
by Ankit Yadav
My name is Ankit I'm a Digital Marketer & SEO Specialist. My Specialities include Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, and Social Media Marketing. I'm sharing everything I know to help you build a profitable online business.

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