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How to create Facebook Ads Step by Step

Phone screen with the facebook logo open.

Before you read this article on how to create Facebook ads, you need to have a Facebook business page set up (so you can run ads), so if you’ve not yet done this then go ahead and make your business page. Then you can follow along with the steps below.

1. AIM

You need to log into your Facebook Ads manager, Campaign tab and then and ‘create’ in order to get started with your new facebook ads campaign.

First up, we’ve got to select what the goal of your ad campaign is. Facebook gives you a selection of 11 different goals that you can choose from. 

Make sure you select the most appropriate goal for your actual campaign aim here. This section will influence what types of ads you can run and your performance.

facebook screen grab of the 11 different campaign goals available


Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to go and name your campaign. This is just for your own reference really. You’ll also be able to decide whether you want to run any a/b tests or turn on campaign optimisation.

A/B testing is simply running 2 variations of the same ad simultaneously to test which one performs better. It can be useful if you have multiple creatives etc. that you want to test out, otherwise you can just leave both options off.


If you’ve already run Facebook ads before then you’ll already have a Facebook ads account, but if not then this is where you’ll be asked to enter some information and create your account. One thing to bear in mind is that once you’ve created your account, details like location etc. cannot be changed. If you wish to edit any of your details you’ll need to make a new ad account, which is not a problem but just something to bear in mind. 


Next, you will be able to choose your targeting options. This is extremely important, perhaps the most important part of the entire ad process on Facebook. 

Facebook’s targeting options are really second to none in many ways. Everyone’s on Facebook and with the right targeting in place, you really can get your ads in front of exactly who you want.

Scroll down and start filling in your target audience. On the right you’ll see a sort-of speedometer which shows your potential reach and you’ll also see some estimates for your engagement levels you can expect from your campaign. 

targeting speedometer which shows how large an audience is

It’s worth noting that these will be more accurate if you’ve run campaigns before, so if you’re just starting out I would take anything here with a pinch of salt, as Facebook is essentially making calculated guesses. After you’ve run a couple of campaigns Facebook has data from your previous ad performance which it uses in it’s calculations, so it is more accurate.

A couple of tips are: Use connections and detailed targeting.

Connections is essentially where you can decide to show your ad, or hide your ad, from people that already have connected with your page. This can be a great tool. For example, if you want to increase sales from new customers then you could exclude everyone who likes your page. 

Detailed targeting is pretty self-explanatory – It allows you to get really detailed with your targeting. Experiment with what you use here and really try to hone in on your target audience as much as possible. 


Scroll down and you’ll be able to select your ad placements. Now if you’re new to Facebook ads then automatic placements are probably for you. However, if you want to customise things a bit more yourself then feel free.

edit placements screen grab on selecting your facebook ad type

You can choose which platforms you want your ad shown on (including Instagram!), you can choose whether you want to specify by device type, you can decide where you want your ad shown and finally you can even select the phone operating software that you want to show your ad on (apple, android).


Now you are going to have to set your budget and scheduling times. You have the choice between lifetime budget and daily budget. Make your selection and then decide on when you want your campaign to run. One thing to note is that running your campaign on a daily budget can be a good option, but you will not be able to schedule your ad to run at x time of day etc. unless you have a lifetime budget. 

Anyone new to digital marketing should probably ignore the bid control section.

Finally, you can go ahead and create your ad

Select which ad type you want to use (that we listed before). Bear in mind that not all options will show, as the ad type you can use depends on what campaign aim you have selected. Once you’re ready to go, submit your ad!

How do you know Facebook is the channel that you should be using?

One of the most common mistakes people make with their marketing is using the wrong marketing channel. Every channel is completely different, with different user demographics, targeting options, ad types and so on. 

“Should I run my ads on Facebook? Google? Pinterest?… I’m not sure”

In the same way that a builder needs the right tool for the job, your choice of marketing channel will dramatically influence the success of your campaign. 

We’ve built a quick and easy way to test which marketing channel suits your specific business and marketing needs, click here to find out more.

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