Facebook Ads 101: Setting Up Your Campaigns Pt. 1

This post will be a big one of a multi part post but perfect for those who are new(er) to running Facebook & Instagram ads. Setting up Ad Campaigns can be pretty daunting if you’ve never ran one before, and although I’ve been doing these for almost 6 years, I’m still learning things every day. BUT - we can walk through it together and get you up and running in no time. Did you do your homework from the last post? The questions I asked are below:

  • What are your marketing objectives?

  • What goal are you trying to reach with these ads?

  • Who are your competitors?

  • What stage of the ‘funnel’ is your ideal consumer in? Are they researching, ready to buy, or not even thinking about your product/service?

The way you answer the questions are very important to the way your ad campaign will be set up. To keep it simple, we’ll follow the actual chronological process (provided that everything is set up and ready to go in your Ad Account.) *Disclaimer*: There are countless ways to set up a Facebook Ad and the process below is just as an example.

  1. Choose Your Objective

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Did you ever read those books “Choose Your Own Adventure” as a kid? They let you pick the plot points of the story? Similar structure here. The campaign you choose varies heavily on your marketing objective (Homework question #1) let’s break the most popular objectives down:

  • Awareness Objective - (Brand awareness, reach, local awareness) - These objectives help get the word out about your business without necessarily pushing for a particular action.

    • Brand Awareness & Reach are similar in the aspect that they deliver your ads to the maximum number of people as possible within your audience. These are great for businesses that just want people to know about them without worrying about geographic limits.

    • Local Awareness - This also delivers your ad to your maximum audience but restricts it to your local location. This is ideal for small businesses who want local awareness… such as a coffee shop. Notice how it’s missing from my objectives? I run ads for over 82 different locations so that objective won’t work for me.

  • Consideration Objective - (Traffic, Engagement App Installs, Lead Gen, Messages) - These objectives help push more specific actions on your ads such as clicks, comments, installs, or video views.

    • Traffic - This objective is optimized for helping people click through to your website or load a particular page off Facebook. Perfect for loading a blog post, or a specific web page.

    • Engagement -Goals for people to interact with your ad in various capacities. Personally, I think this objective is useless unless you’re running a contest or giveaway as an ad. It could also be helpful if you’re hosting an event, as event RSVP’s on Facebook count as ‘engagement’.

    • App Installs - An objective for app downloads and installs… obviously!

    • Video Views - Also self explanatory, but if you have a video for your ad, your objective should definitely get people to watch it. This is a no-brainer for wedding videographers.

    • Lead Generation - Are you collecting emails for your newsletter? Is that your primary goal for this campaign? Then this objective would be great!

  • Conversion Objective - (Conversions, Catalog Sales, Store Visits) - These objectives push users to making specific and highly tracked actions either on your ad or on your website. These objectives require a Facebook Pixel and the know-how to set up your goal conversion.

    • Conversions - This objective can be tricky. If you’re not careful, it’s a money pit. If you’re creating a highly targeted ad to consumers that are in the correct part of the ‘funnel’ it’s a gold mine. Conversions are ideal for asking people to take certain actions on your website, like submitting a contact information form.

    • Catalog Sales - Have you noticed Amazon or other shops blowing up your newsfeed with an assortment of products they think you’d like? Yeah, they’re using this objective.. ugh.

    • Store Visits - The Store Visits objective is controversial because not every business has the tools to make this one work. It’s still rolling out but this objective is ideal for bringing people into your local storefront.

I told you this post would be a long one. So how do you know what objective is the best? Take a look at Homework Question #1 - What is your marketing objective? Is it more bookings? More website visits? More emails collected?

Since I’m assuming a lot of photographers are reading this, I’d swing towards the Reach or Traffic objectives. Reach would be great for general awareness around ‘engagement season’ where brides mayyyy or may not be in the booking mindset. It’ll keep your name on the top of their minds! When booking season DOES begin, switch to the traffic objective to get them viewing your portfolio and wedding collections!

This is also where you’ll select whether or not you want to run A/B testing. That’s also another post. Onward!


2. Create Your Ad Set

Now you’re ready to start setting up the campaign. Depending on what objective you chose, your screen may or may not look like the images I’ve used. For demonstration purposes, I’ve used the “Reach” objective. This section includes the following:

  • Create an Ad Set Name

  • Select the Facebook Page you’d like these ads to be shown from.

  • Define your Audience - For the sake of brevity, I won’t go into to much detail on Audiences because that’s another blog post for another day. And trust me, it’ll be worth it.

  • Select Your Placements - Unless your ad is specifically designed for Instagram or Instagram Stories, I like to let Facebook pick the placements of the ads. This allows their algorithm to do the work for you. However, I like to run platform specific ads from time to time to test which one is performing better, so this is where I would select Instagram Feed & Stories only or something of the sorts.

  • Create your Budget & Schedule - Do you want to do a daily budget or lifetime budget? I prefer using a lifetime budget personally. This allows me to see how much of my money gets spent at what time of day and day of the week so that I can better optimize my ad for those times. I personally don’t believe that running ads under $100 budget is beneficial. There’s too much ad traffic to fight in a bidding war and anything under $100 just won’t cut through much of the clutter. Now if it’s $100 for a 2 day ad, go for it! But anything over 4 days, I would add a few more dollars behind it.

    See, Facebook doesn’t just spend your money. It makes you bid on impressions, clicks, and reach. Everyone and their brother is trying to run Facebook ads right now, so unfortunately you have some tough competition. However, the way you set up your budget and schedule along with the right audience and creative can help cut through the clutter and work alongside the algorithm.

    You’ll also want to set a Frequency. This is the number of times someone can potentially see your ad within a certain time frame. Soemone who REALLY knows how to use their Frequency number is the home decor store Small Woods. I get their ads EVERY DAY and it eventually lead to a few purchases. However, some brands are really obnoxious about it and it’s made me hide their ads and unlike their pages. Frequency is a fickle thing, but it’s best to run experiments to see what your audience will tolerate.

    Your Bid Strategy is also important but most of the times, your objective will dictate this too. As per my Reach example, my big strategy is already set to Lowest Cost. I’ve read countless articles on whether or not to set up a Bid Cap and I’ve run several ads with and without and decided best to leave the bid cap off. Why? Because sometimes your objective will cost a little more than other times (high traffic times of the year like Black Friday are a great example of how it can sky-rocket) and if limit Facebook’s bid strategy, there’s potential for my ad to not even run at ALL. It’s key to check on your ads every day, so by leaving this off, if the bid amount gets to high, then you can pause or adjust your ad manually.

    Don’t overlook the ad schedule! I’ve also done research on whether or not you should leave your ads to run all the time or adjust them manually. It makes sense that you wouldn’t want your ads to run during the hours of 1am-4am, that’s wasted money right? Well Facebook knows that too. Most of the articles I’ve read have stated to leave the algorithm to do it’s job and to let your ads run all the time. In my own experience, I’ve seen very little spending, if any at all, during these off-peak hours anyway.

    It’s important to remember that how LONG you run your ad can effect the success too. In my experience, ads that have ran longer than 10 days tend to get fatigued easy if you don’t switch out the copy and creative every so often.

Facebook & Instagram Audiences are one of the coolest metrics of running ads on social media. They are so versatile and the options and abilities you have with types of audiences are limitless. I’ll cover more at a later date.

Facebook & Instagram Audiences are one of the coolest metrics of running ads on social media. They are so versatile and the options and abilities you have with types of audiences are limitless. I’ll cover more at a later date.

Facebook & Instagram Ad Placements

Facebook & Instagram Ad Placements

3. Creating The Ad

This is where I’ll leave off for this post, this was already a beefy post and I’m worried some of you may have left us by now. As always, please leave any questions in the comments and I’ll be happy to answer in the next post.

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Want custom help and advice?

Let’s talk! I’ll walk you through all of the basics, set up your Business Manager and go over things like:

  • Designing an effective ad

  • Tips to keep your ad running smoothly (yes, you have to check on it every day)

  • Run through all the crazy acronyms (CPM, CPC, PTA, and more)

  • The best ad format for your objective.

    and way, way more.

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