How To Set Up A Winning Facebook Ads Strategy

Every business should be using Facebook Ads to build better brand awareness, lead generation, and engagement. It’s an essential part of the marketing puzzle.

Here is your easy to use guide to getting started.

“1.6 billion people worldwide are connected to a small business on Facebook” Facebook Ads


Your customers are now moving in a non-linear customer journey, using visual first as the major influencing factor. You need to think holistically about your marketing strategy, and social media should be front and centre. The easiest way to drive that strategy is great organic newsfeed content combined with Facebook Ads. There is a myriad of formats and goals and by the end of this guide, you will have a much better understanding of how to move from Facebook Ads zero to hero.


What makes a Successful Ad?

We’ve become accustomed to visual storytelling over the past decade. Content is easier to create and with each generation of social platform, it becomes easier, faster and better. You can learn more about creating a great brand story here by taking into account these simple ideas:

  • Storytelling is king.
  • Use the visual first rule in all posts/ads.
  • Be versatile and create variety across ad types and content by mixing and matching your assets.
  • Think holistically. One ad does not make a brand. You need to think laterally across media formats, platforms, message and creative.


What do you get for Facebook Ads?

  • You get the ability to reach the numbers and types of customers you want. They have the largest active audience in the world, and you have access to it all.
  • You can drive specific numbers and results from your campaigns. This allows you more flexibility for cost per acquisition and returns on ad spend.


How much do Facebook Ads cost?

  • You can choose to budget an overall amount per day (for as little as $5) or over the lifetime of your campaign. Your budgeting becomes easy when you know exactly what you're spending!
  • Choose the cost of per result for even more accurate CPA.
  • Facebook will only spend what you have determined in your budgeted amount - there will be no surprise billings at the end of the month. 
  • You can choose to set your budget by Account, Campaign and Ad set within a campaign; daily or lifetime (total) budget for greater flexibility. 
  • You can change the budget at any time. 


What are bidding strategies?

There are many different bidding strategies for Facebook Ads once you become a little more accomplished. You may choose to run these across different campaigns and goals/conversion types. 

  • Lowest Cost
  • Bid Cap
  • Cost Cap
  • Target Cost
  • ROAS
  • Highest Value.


As this is a beginner's guide, we will leave those for the time being and focus on the basics to get you started.


When do I pay for Facebook Ads?

You make payment when you purchase ads (in advance). This way you have absolute control over how much you are spending.

Getting your Facebook Ads set up


Where do I access Facebook Ads?

You can access Facebook Ads in 2 ways:

  • Facebook Ad Centre - This is found in your Page Manager area. This is an easier route if you want to start with the very basics, but you are limited to an automated bidding auction strategy. This will be perfectly fine for your first few ads, but you may need other options as you gain more confidence and knowledge in Facebook Ads.
  • Facebook Ads Manager - This is highly recommended. You will have more access to features and bidding strategies. 

We recommend setting up a Business Manager Account to manage your Pages and Ads Account right from the start as this will give you more options in the long run.


Here are some important things you’ll need to know before you start building your Facebook Ads:

The 6 types of Facebook Ad formats


1. Photo 

  • Show off a product or service with a single photo on Facebook and Instagram, Audience Network and Messenger.
  • Use through Ads Manager or Boost

Specs: Type: Jpg or png, Ratio 1:1, resolution: 1080x max 30MB min 600p

2. Video 

  • Facebook and Instagram, Audience Network and Messenger.
  • Use through Ads Manager or Boost.

Specs: MP4, MOV, GIF, Ratio 4:5, H.264 Compression, Sound 128 kbps, Resolution 1080x1080p, recommend video captions + Sound, 1-241 minutes, 4 GB max

3. Carousel 

  • Show up to 10 images, same as single photo specs.
  • Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network and Messenger.
  • Use video or photo specs.
  • Feature products and service details, benefits, process, story, multiple benefits, large canvas.

4. Slideshow 

  • Show 2 or more images or videos, headlines, links -single ads.
  • Create videos from stock photos, using motion to "show" versus "telling" in a lightweight mobile-friendly format.

5. Collection Ads 

  • Feature your products and service in an immersive experience.
  • Facebook News Feed, Instagram Feed and Instagram Stories.
  • Includes cover image + 4 product image opening to an Instant experience, full-screen landing page created using Storefront or Customer acquisition templates. 

6. Playables 

  • Create an interactive immersive video ad for Facebook or Audience Network in a Try-before-you-buy App preview.
  • Includes lead in video, game demo, and call-to-action.

Read more in our Ultimate Digital Marketing Resource Guide

Facebook Ads marketing objectives 

Choose your Ad goals like sales on your website, downloads of your app or increased brand awareness.

  • Build brand awareness - build or boost your brand's online presence.
  • Promote your App - drive downloads and engagement with your app.
  • Grown online sales - convert shoppers into buyers and increase your online sales.
  • Increase local sales - connect your online business to a physical location. 
  • Generate leads - make it easier for people to show interest in your business.
  • Retarget existing customers - retarget customers who have already interacted with your business online.


Facebook audience types 

Go narrow or go wide and choose your specific Facebook Ads audience.

  • Core audiences - Define them by demographics, location, interests, behaviour and connections.
  • Custom audiences - Re-engage with visitors using contact list, app users and previous site visitors.
  • Lookalike audiences -  Find new audiences similar to your existing customers.


Facebook Ads placement

This is where you choose where you want your Facebook Ads to be seen.


  • Best results across placements
  • Goes for best average across all placements

Manual Placements 

  • Audience Network Stand Alone
  • This uses exacting budget and bid strategies on the Audience Network

We recommend going with automatic placements to begin with, as they generally give the best overall results.


Placement types

1. Ads Feeds:

  • Facebook News Feed (mobile or desktop)
  • Instagram Feed (only in the app)
  • Facebook Marketplace homepage
  • Facebook Video Feeds (between organic videos)
  • Facebook Right Column (desktop only) 
  • Instagram Explore
  • Messenger inbox

2. Stories

  • Facebook stories
  • Instagram stories
  • Messenger stories

3. Instream

  • For approved partner live streams

4. Search Results

  • Facebook and marketplace searches

5. Messages

  • For customers with existing relationships with you in Messenger

6. In article

  • Facebook Mobile

7. Apps

  • Audience Network Banner, Native or Interstitial (on apps on Audience Network)
  • Audience Network Rewarded Video (for in App reward)



You have the opportunity to schedule when you want your ads to show when your customers are on Facebook. Take the time to review your insights so you know when to run them for more effectiveness. Create your ads in advance and turn them on and off at your discretion.


How to build your first Facebook Ad:


There are 3 levels or Facebook Ads: 

  1. Campaign Level - Where you set campaign objectives.
  2. Ad Set Level -Where you define your audience, placement, budget and schedule.
  3. Ad Level - Where you design ads, choose formats, uploads, text, links etc.


Steps to setting up your Facebook Ads

For this set of instructions, we will be proceeding through your Ads Account which you need to have already set up.

  1. Log in to your Facebook Business Manager/Ads Account.
  2. Create a new Campaign or Use Existing Campaign. 
  3. Choose the Campaign Objective.
  4. Name your campaign.
  5. Create an Ad Set Name.
  6. Create Ad Name.
  7. Choose Campaign Details or Edit (Buying Type, Objective, Campaign Spending Limits).
  8. Choose A/B test (if you want to test variants to creative).
  9. Edit Campaign Budget Optimisation (daily, lifetime).
  10. Choose (Campaign type will determine options) Campaign Bid Strategy.
  11. Edit Ad Scheduling.
  12. Edit Ad Set Name.
  13. Choose your business page.
  14. Choose Dynamic Creative (combination optimisation).
  15. Budget and Schedule start & end date, and ad set spending limits.
  16. Choose your audience - Search existing, Create New (custom or lookalike), or Saved Audience(choose target audience). Edit Location, Age, Gender, Detailed Targeting, languages, connections.
  17. Placements Choose Automatic or Manual and edit brand safety controls.
  18. Optimisation and Delivery - Edit Optimisation (reach or impressions) and cost control, frequency cap and when you get charged.
  19. Choose your Facebook page & Instagram account.
  20. Choose Ad Setup Format (options will be dictated by placement).
  21. Choose Ad Creative media (Select or create: images, videos, slideshow).
  22. Select Optimise for each person.
  23. Create primary text + added options (for best results in variations).
  24. Create Description + added variations.
  25. Enter website URL (use parameter for campaign tracking), and choose display link (vanity URL).
  26. Choose Call-To-Action + additional options.
  27. REVIEW your ads at the top before publishing.
  28. Hit Publish.

From here you can choose to A/B test your copy and duplicate, set up multiple ad groups and or campaigns, turn them on or off, and adjust campaigns at any point. It can take up to 24 hours to have your ads approved so don't sound the alarm if your ads aren't running immediately. 

Don't forget to make sure you're receiving regular reporting and measuring.

Take advantage of the free Facebook Blueprint Training tutorials to upskill your Facebook Digital Marketing knowledge. If you need help getting started, then we’d love to hear from you.


Facebook is just one way to build your brand, get more sales, and generate traffic and leads. If you're ready to put a rocket booster under your business, we’ll give you a complimentary half-hour strategy session with a Facebook specialist to bring it all together.

Book your digital marketing strategy session today!