How to Run Paid Ads on Facebook

Category: paid advertising

September 23, 2020 | 0 COMMENTS

Facebook advertising has a long list of benefits for brands. By creating paid Facebook ads, you can target the specific audience you’re trying to reach, remarket to leads who have shown interest in your business, drive your audience to desired web pages, and more — and all of these benefits ultimately lead to your brand awareness and revenue increasing.

When it comes to how to advertise on Facebook, you might feel overwhelmed by the process of creating paid campaigns. But we’ll let you in on a little secret — it’s really not that hard!

Follow a few simple, but all-important steps, you can run a successful Facebook ad campaign that helps your business grow. Keep reading to learn how!

How to Plan Your Facebook Campaign

Before you create your Facebook paid ads, sit down to think about your goals and objectives for the overall campaign.

1. Choose an Objective

The first thing you need to do while planning your Facebook ad campaign is to choose the right ad objective. There are three primary objectives you may have:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Conversions

Each of these objectives has a different goal — getting people to notice your business, learn more about your business, and buy or use your product or service. Your objective will shape everything else about your ad, so figure it out first.

2. Define Your Audience

The audience for your paid Facebook ads will probably be the same as your overall target audience — the people who would be most interested in your brand. You can set Facebook targeting options based on the following parameters:

  • Demographics
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Internet behavior
  • Engagement
  • Partner connections
  • Website Behaviors
  • Your CRM
Table with Facebook Ad formats

These are all ways that you can narrow down the group of people who see your ad. It’s smart to be specific about your audience. That way, there will be a greater chance that they’re interested in what you have to offer.

3. Decide on Ad Type

The next step in the process of creating paid Facebook ads is to choose what type of ad you’re going to create. There are several different types of ads. One type isn’t necessarily better than another, but each one can serve a slightly different purpose. Here’s a quick rundown of the main types of Facebook ads so you can figure out which one is best for you.

Types of Facebook Ads

Image Ads

Image ads are simple, straightforward, and easy to create. They include an image and a CTA. You can’t go wrong with these — image ads are always helpful for any business.

Video Ads

Video ads allow you to post a video clip rather than just an image. If your primary goal of a Facebook ad campaign is brand awareness, video ads might be a good choice for you.

Pro tip: Be sure to make your video ads vertical and mobile friendly.

Carousel Ads

Carousel ads allow you to share multiple different images in the same ad. You can link to a different webpage on each image. Then the images will cycle through as viewers watch. Carousel ads are a great method to use when you’re promoting multiple products or trying to tell a compelling story.

Messenger Ads

Messenger ads are a more direct way of targeting Facebook users. These ads are sent via Facebook private message. They can make the customer relationship feel more personal.

Stories Ads

Facebook Story ads show up in Facebook and Instagram Stories. Stories are becoming more popular on these platforms, and these vertical ads allow users to enjoy photos and videos that have a more natural feel.

Instant Experiences

There are several other types of paid Facebook ads, too — including dynamic product ads, lead form ads, Instant Experience ads and more. Do your research to figure out which type of Facebook ad is best for your campaign.

4. Determine Your Budget

The final step before creating your Facebook paid ad is to decide on your budget for the campaign. It’s true that Facebook ads can get expensive.

Every ad campaign is different, however, so it’s important to figure out the details of yours. Consider your goals for the campaign, your projected impressions or clicks, and your conversion metrics. Then, think about how Facebook paid ads can contribute to your ROI.

Learn Facebook Ads in 7 Steps

How to Create Facebook Ads

Once you’ve set your goals, it’s time to learn how to run paid Facebook ads.

1. Use the Facebook Pixel

The Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that you can install on your website. Once it’s installed, Facebook will be able to track user behavior on your site. You can monitor how your ads are performing by tracking the actions that users take on your site. The Facebook Pixel makes it easy to set and reach specific goals for paid ad campaigns.

2. Utilize Instagram and Facebook’s Audience Network

Another smart move with paid Facebook ads is to use Instagram and Facebook’s Audience Network feature. By doing this, you’re broadening your reach. There’s no point in limiting your audience to just Facebook users! Instead, choose “Automatic Placements” to reach more users.

This selection finds your target audience on their preferred device and platform. It’s also automatic, taking the work out of your hands. Audience Network can help you reach people at the time and place where they’re most likely to convert and make a purchase.

3. Test Different Variants

It’s essential to test different variations of your ads and figure out which one is best. You don’t want to let an ad that’s not working run for weeks with no edits.

However, you also don’t want to make a snap decision, pulling an ad that hasn’t been live for enough time to see if it works. Where’s the balance?

Make sure to check on your paid Facebook ads weekly, if not daily, to analyze how each one is performing. If needed, you can pause the ads that are being outperformed.

You can also use Facebook split-testing to create ad sets with just one variable. For instance, each variant may have a different image, but all of the other ad components are the same.

But don’t make the mistake of just split testing creative. You should also consider testing different audiences as well until you find the perfect match between what you’re promoting and to whom.

Be patient and take the time to test different ad variants. By consistently monitoring ad performance, you can ensure you’re using your budget as efficiently and smartly as possible.

Want to Create More Successful Facebook Ads? Get the FREE 7-Step Guide to Mastering Facebook Ads

How to Monitor Your Campaign

When your Facebook ad campaign is ready to go, your job isn’t done. Now you’ll need to monitor the campaign and keep track of how it’s performing. Keep reading to learn more about the metrics and analytics you’ll want to track.

1. Important Metrics

It might seem overwhelming if you’re trying to decide which Facebook metrics to track. There are a lot of options! Here are a handful of the most important metrics for you to focus on:

  • Click-through rate: This metric is the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions. The higher your CTR, the better — a high CTR means that most of the people who saw your ad clicked on it.
  • Leads or Purchases: This is the number of people who signed up on your landing page or made a purchase after they clicked through an adCost per Lead or Cost per purchase. This metric reveals how much each sign-up or purchase has cost you. It’s calculated by figuring out the total amount you’ve spent on your ads, and dividing that by your number of leads or purchases.
  • ROAS: Return on ad spend is how much money you’re making for every dollar you spend. If you’re in the business of eCommerce, this is imperative to understand your profit
  • Frequency: Frequency is how many times users are seeing your ad. If performance begins to suffer, ad fatigue is often the number one reason which can be determined with high frequency

Rinse and Repeat

Once you’ve successfully run your first Facebook ad campaign, you’ll have a better feel for how the process works. Each campaign will teach you more and more about the process of creating paid Facebook ads — you’ll learn by trial and error, figuring things out as you go.

When your first Facebook ad campaign is finished, create another one and do it all over again. Each one of your ad campaigns will be better than the last.

Learn Facebook Ads in 7 Steps

Facebook Ad Spec and Examples

Your paid Facebook ads need to be created according to Facebook’s specifications. 


The recommended image size for Facebook paid ads is 1200 x 628 and 800×800. Your image ratio should be 9:16 to 16:9 if there isn’t a link, and 1.9:1 to 1:1 if there is. Image file types can be either .jpg or .png.

Your image needs to contain less than 20% text to make sure it’s visible to everybody. Text should be 125 characters, while your headline should be 25 characters max and your link description 30.

For a client selling technology to help regulate emotions and stress, we utilized the above 800×800 image with the benefit of the program as the highlighted text but not overpowering the image. The remaining benefits, description of the program and CTA were portrayed in the headline and descriptions of the ad.


You have a few file formats to choose from with Facebook video ads: .MP4 and .MOV are recommended. Your file can be as large as 4GB and as long as 240 minutes.

The recommended aspect ratio is between 9:16 to 16:9 and the minimum dimensions of your video are 600 x 315 or 600 x 600. Finally, Facebook recommends that you upload the highest-resolution video available.

Using video ads in your paid media campaign on Facebook is a great way to educate a colder audience on your product. By utilizing video you are able to share a longer, more detailed video to engage an audience who may not be familiar with your product.


Images used in carousel ads need to be a minimum of 600 x 600, with 1080 x 1080 setting the standard for recommended image size. Each carousel ad can have a minimum of two cards and maximum of 10. The recommended image ratio is 1:1, with the images uploaded as .jpg or .png files. Your text can be 125 characters; the headline can be 40; and the link description can be up to 20.

Carousel ads give you an opportunity to share multiple images, benefits, and call to actions in a bright, colorful and engaging way. While static ads provide engaging imagery as well, carousel ads have the option to provide multiple images highlighting multiple benefits.


For Messenger ads, the recommended image size is 1200 x 628 pixels, and the minimum width is 254 x 133 pixels. Images can be .jpg or .png. And the recommended aspect ratio is between 9:16 to 16:9.

Utilizing Messenger story ads is a more organic and authentic way to engage with your target audience. Research has shown that audiences engage with 65% of their stories. 


Image ads on Facebook Stories should be about 1080 x 1920. The image ratio is recommended to be 1.91 to 9.16, with the images containing no more than 20% text. The image file type can be .jpg or .png.

If you want to create a video ad for Facebook Stories, the recommended aspect ratio is between 1.91 to 9:16. You’ll need to leave 250 pixels at both the top and the bottom free from text and logos. For the video format, .MP4 or .MOV are recommended. The max video file size is 4GB; the max video length is 15 seconds, and your video thumbnail image should be no more than 20% text.

Every advertiser should utilize Facebook story ads as they are immersive, invoke immediate action with a swipe up or get offer message, and provide fast, easy to digest information to your target audience. Stories are also necessary to include in your Facebook buy as users say they find stories to be more authentic, organic, and engaging. 

Are You Making These Common Facebook Ads Mistakes? Get the FREE 7-Step Guide to Mastering Facebook Ads

Need More Help with Your Facebook Ads?

If you’re ready to start creating paid Facebook ads but want a little help getting started, that’s what we’re here for!

Drop us a line and we’ll help you get started creating ads. You can also download a checklist version of this blog to keep a step-by-step guide to paid Facebook ads on hand. 

Learn Facebook Ads in 7 Steps