How do I create a Facebook ad

Guide: How to Create Ads on Facebook

Ads on Facebook are a very efficient way for companies to advertise products and services. The biggest advantage lies in the precise delimitation of the target group, so that wastage is low. The ad will be shown to the very people who are most likely to respond to it. The creation of the ads is relatively straightforward, so that even companies without a marketing department or agency can use this marketing channel for themselves.

In previous posts you have already learned how companies can use Facebook. You also know the basics of successful Facebook marketing: How are campaigns structured and which key figures can be used to measure success?

In this post, you will now learn how to create a successful advertising campaign on Facebook.

The prerequisites for successful advertisements on Facebook

In order to be able to create an advertisement on Facebook, three requirements must be met:

1. Company page on Facebook

There must be a company page on Facebook. If you don't already have one, you can create one in just a few minutes.

2. Set up an advertising account

The advertising account is used to create and manage your ads as well as for billing by Facebook. You should use Facebook's Business Manager for your company. Here you can centrally manage the company website and the advertising account for one or more companies.

3. Access to the company website and advertising account

In order to be able to place advertisements, you need to have access to the Facebook page and the advertising account of your company with your Facebook account. If you haven't already, ask an administrator to assign you the role of advertiser, moderator, or editor.

Planning the ads

To get the best result with ads on Facebook, there is an ideal way: testing! Test what works for your product and your target audience. Work with different ideas regarding the structure of the ads (text, images, etc.) and the selection of the target group. You will quickly see which variants are successful and which are not.

Our tip: If you would like to take a closer look at the mechanisms for test series on Facebook, read the blog posts from (for example this article about the Add-Grid) or listen to the Perpetual Traffic Podcast.

Before you start designing your ads, you should answer the following questions:

What is your destination?

First determine what your basic goal is (e.g .: "I want people to download my free e-book") and only then think about which of the Facebook goals you can use to achieve this.

Who do you want to reach?

Define your target group as precisely as possible and use buyer personas for this. It is an advantage if you can find several target groups that can be very precisely defined and that you can test against one another. For example, it would be possible to vary the age groups, occupational groups or interests.

How do you want to design your ads?

Depending on what you want to promote - a blog post to attract new visitors to your site, a landing page where an e-book can be downloaded, or products in your shop - there are different ad formats. Think about which ones you want to use and which texts and images you want to use.

For example, if you want to create an advertisement with an image and text, you need three text elements: the text (which appears above the image), a title (directly below the image) and a description. Please note that - depending on the length of the title - the description is not displayed in the mobile view.

In our experience, it is best to take your time preparing all the text elements you need and then just insert them. Control and approval processes can also be carried out more easily.

3 steps to a successful Facebook ad

Now let's go through step by step how to create a Facebook ad.

Note: The view of the user interface in Facebook is constantly changing. Individual features are also constantly being added or replaced. So don't be confused if some screenshots look different than your ad manager in Facebook.

First, log into the Facebook ad manager.

Step 1: create a campaign

At the campaign level, you set your goal. Click on the "Create campaign" button to create a new advertising campaign.

Set the goal

Now select the target for your campaign. If you move the mouse over the various destinations, you can find out details with the small "i". In our example we take the goal “Traffic” in order to attract new visitors to our website.

For many campaigns, it makes sense to select the “Conversions” goal. Such a conversion can be, for example, the request for an e-book on a landing page or the purchase of a product in the shop. Facebook then optimizes the display of the ads so that as many people as possible convert. If you want to learn how to optimize Facebook ads for conversions, you can request our detailed guide here.

Once your goal is defined, give your campaign a meaningful name. It is advisable, for example, to mention the goal in the name: "Visitor blog post XY" or "Conversions landing page ABC".

Step 2: Create an ad group

At the ad group level, you determine your target audience, budget and duration. If you want to test different target groups, first create an ad group with different ad variants, which you only have to copy later and adjust where you want. Make sure that you do not use multiple ad groups with the same target group in a campaign!

Now select which target group you want to address. Here you have the option of using existing, saved target groups for later campaigns.

For your new target group, you can either use Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences or define your target group based on demographic data and interests.
With the latter variant, first enter the locations where your target group is located. This can be one or more countries, federal states and cities.

Then define the age, gender and language of your target group.

Narrow down according to demographics, interests and behavior

In the next step you can narrow down your target group even further. Browse through the different categories and select, for example, certain professional groups or interests.

There are the following main categories:

  • Demographic information
    • training
    • Finances
    • generation
    • Home
    • Life events
    • parents
    • Politics (USA)
    • relationship
    • job
  • Interests
    • Industry sectors
    • Shopping and fashion
    • to eat and drink
    • Family and relationships
    • Fitness and wellness
    • Hobbies and activities
    • Sports and outdoors
    • technology
    • entertainment
  • behavior
    • Car world
    • Digital activities
    • Expats - people who do not live in their home country
    • Finances
    • anniversary
    • Consumer classification
    • Mobile device users
    • to travel
    • All about living
    • Seasonal and events
    • Home ownership
  • Other categories

Each of these categories has further restriction options, so that, for example, people currently traveling can be addressed in the “Behavior” category via the “Travel” group.
Note: In some cases, categories are limited to certain countries or it seems as if the subgroups are not yet fully developed. However, we can assume that the categories will continue to develop and thus enable an ever more precise target group definition.

The right target group size

In order for your ads to perform well on Facebook, the right size of the target audience is important. Unfortunately, there is no general statement of how big “big enough” or “too big” is. Facebook gives a hint by pointing the pointer of the target group definition in the direction of “specific” or “large”. Ideally, the pointer should point in the middle of the green field.

You also have the option of excluding people from your target group if certain characteristics apply.


Under Placements you choose where your advertisements should appear. We recommend deselecting all options except the Facebook feeds.

Budget and schedule

Now determine the period in which your ads should be displayed and what budget is available for it. Select “Duration budget” so that Facebook can distribute the budget evenly over the entire period.
Facebook should automatically suggest the other settings as the picture shows. In our example, it is important that you set the account debit to "link click". You will only be billed for actual clicks on your page.

Now all you have to do is give your ad group a meaningful name to create your first ad!

Step 3: design advertisements

Since you have already thought about the right format for your ads in advance, all you have to do is select the appropriate option. Let's say you want to create an ad with an image, this ad is structured as follows:

First upload the correct image or choose a suitable one from the free standard images. Make sure the picture follows Facebook's guidelines. Verify that you are viewing the correct Facebook Page that you want the ad to appear under.

Under “Landing Page”, enter the URL of the page to which your ad should link. The link that can actually be seen in the ad can be selected as you like further down in the "Displayed link" field.
Now enter your title, text and description. You also have the option of choosing between different button texts or no button at all.

If you like the advertisement, click on "Check order". You will then get an overview of all ad details. You can now save the ad as a draft or upload it directly. You will then end up in the campaign overview.

Create test series for best results

Now you should create the prepared ad variants. To do this, select the ad you just created in the “Ads” tab in the Power Editor and then click “Duplicate”. Make several copies of your ad and change the text there, for example. We recommend testing three or four different texts with three or four different images so that 12 or 16 slightly different ads compete in the same ad group.

You can also make copies of your ad group using the same principle.

When you have finished all elements, click on the green button "Check changes" in the upper right corner. Then the ads are uploaded and verified by Facebook. After a while, you will receive a message from Facebook whether the ads have been approved.

From then on your campaign will run and you can wait for the first results!

You can find out how to measure the success of your campaign and optimize the ROI in the next article in our series "Using Facebook professionally".

Photo source cover picture: © IB Photography / Shutterstock 2017