I have been getting a lot of requests from business owners on how exactly they can setup sponsored ads on Facebook. So in response, I wrote this in-depth guide showing you how to do just that.

Table of Contents:

Setup Business Manager

To start setting up ads on Facebook, it’s best to first set up the Business Manager first, you can do this here. The business manager serves as a general hub for all your business activities on Facebook, it’s very helpful especially when you have more than one employee handling social media activities for your brand. In the Business Manager, you need to give Facebook all the necessary information it needs about your business.

Information like:
1. Business Page: If you don’t have a business page, you would need to set that up first before we continue, if you need help setting up your Facebook page you can get information here.
2. Ad Account: You add the exact ad account you would be using to run the campaigns. If you don’t know how to get your account ID, you can find out here.
3. Add People: This feature is essential if there is more than one person running your social media activities or if you are working with a digital agency but still want to be in the loop at all times.

Once you are done setting up your account it should look like this:

If you are done setting up your business manager, you can move on to the next step.

Facebook Ad Structure

In other to successfully run sponsored ads properly on Facebook, you need to understand how Facebook structures adverts.

1. Campaigns:

A campaign means answers the question of: “What exactly are you trying to achieve with the Facebook ads”. Take, for example, it’s December and I run a clothing line, I know during that during Christmas I always have an upsurge in sales, so I decided to run a campaign named: December Promotion. Then in January we launch a new line of kids’ dresses and we want a lot of people to know about it, we would create another campaign for this purpose.

As you can see we run different campaigns based on the overarching goal we are trying to achieve in that period of time.

2. Ad Set:

This is a collection of ads with different placements, or budgets or a different target audience, all working to achieve the same goal (the campaign).

3. Ad:

This is the creative feature, and this is the element that actually gets shown to your audience.

Facebook Pricing Structure

How exactly does Facebook use your money to run the ads?
The pricing structure is mainly based on the goal of your campaign. It’s not a fixed system i.e. if my goal is “Reach”, I’ll be charged based on how many people see my ad, or if my goal is “Web Traffic”, I will be charged based on how many people click the link to my website.

A major determinant on how much you are charged is based on how relevant your advert is to your target audience, which Facebook calls Quality Score. Because Facebook is focused on delivering quality content to its audience if people are not engaging (liking or clicking) with your ad Facebook will increase your CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions), CPC (Cost per Click) or CPL (Cost per Lead). In other words, you’ll have to pay more.

This is why it is essential you understand how your audience thinks first before running your ads. When you really understand them, you’ll be able to create ads that resonate with them leading them to take action. If you need help doing there’s you can check out this free tool by Hubspot that’ll help you visualize your business’ buyer persona.

Setting Up Your Ad

Note that to experience the full functionality of Facebook ads, only use Desktops/PCs to set up the ad. The capabilities on smartphones aren’t as extensive.

You can start creating ads directly from your business page by boosting content, but in my experience, it is always best to create your ads through your business manager. Go to your business manager, then select the bar at the left-hand corner of your screen to show options. Afterward, select the Ad Manager option.

Once you click on the “Create Ad” option, Facebook redirects you the ad creator page.

When the ad manager is fully set up, you are given options on which are given campaign options. For the purpose of this guide, I will be setting up a fictive ad for an Event Planning business, looking to land more wedding clients located in the city of Lagos.

The Campaign Objectives

1. Awareness: The focus of this objective is to get as many people as possible seeing your advert. It’s best used when you are releasing a new product or service and you want as many people as possible to know about.

2. Consideration: Here the goals are all focused around getting a certain engagement from your target audience:

a. Traffic: Get people from Facebook to your website.
b. Engagement: Get people to like or comment on your advert.
c. App Installs: Get people to download your application.
d. Video Views: Get the most people as possible to see your advert.
e. Lead Generation: Get potential leads to give you, their details.

3. Conversions: These objectives are focused around getting customers to perform a certain action outside Facebook, like getting people to order your product from your online store. Using the tracking pixel, Facebook assigns to you, Facebook is able to track events you consider conversions occurring on your website.

I selected the Traffic objective, for my Wedding Leads. I named the campaign “Traffic” because it’s a demo campaign but preferably name your campaign something that ties into your goal and is easy to remember.

After naming your campaign objective, we will start creating our Ad Set, where we will be selecting our Target Audience, Placements, Budgeting, and Scheduling.

After filling the name of your Ad Set, we select our traffic target, where exactly do you want your audience to go immediately they click the ad.

Selecting a target audience for your ad: the target audience is your answer to Facebook’s question of “Who should we show your advert to?”
This targeting feature is what really brings Facebook Ads to life and it’s their differentiating factor from other advertising platforms.

The Custom Audience feature is used in two scenarios:
1. When you want to target people that have already come in contact with your business, be it through your website, app or your Facebook page.
2. When you already have customers details and you want to create a Lookalike audience. With a lookalike audience, Facebook will target your ad to people that have the same similarities with your previous customers. This feature can produce amazing results if used properly.

If you want to learn how to set up Facebook lookalike audiences here is a guide from Adespresso that’ll teach you how to do it.

Still, under the audience targeting section, we can select people only in a certain location.

In my case, the business is looking for clients in Lagos, I’ll just search for the locations I need and Facebook gives me options to pick from:

You can also target people based on their age, gender or whatever language they speak.

The next targeting feature is Detailed Targeting, here I get to pick my target audience based on their lifestyles, what they like and generally their way of life.

The options are:

  • Demographic
    a. Education
    b. Home
    c. Life Events
    d. Parents
    e. Relationship
    f. Work
  • Interests
    Based on the pages they told Facebook they like.
  • Behaviour
    a. Anniversary
    b. Consumer Classification
    c. Digital Activities (target people based on what they do with Facebook, whether or not they’ve made payments on the platform. Target people based on operating system, browser used)
    d. Expats (Who used to live in their home country but now live abroad)
    e. Mobile Device users (based on what kind of phone they use Facebook on, what kind of phone they own, whether they connected to Facebook using 2g,3g,4g or Wi-Fi)
    f. Travel (targeting people that travel a lot)
  • More Categories (Option of Nail Care)

In this option, I chose to target people that just got engaged.

After selecting your target audience, you can decide to either Narrow Audience or Exclude People.
1. Narrow Audience: Here you select more targeting options that the audience most have before Facebook shows them the ad. So if I added iPhone users to the narrow audience, this means that my advert would only be shown to people that are newly engaged AND own an iPhone.
2. Exclude People: With this option, you tell Facebook that they should not show this advert to this particular set of people. Again if I decided to add iPhone users to this option, my advert would not be shown to any iPhone users.

Potential Ad Reach

During the process of creating your target audience, you have to pay attention to the bar on your right-hand side.

If the bar is in the red zone, Facebook is trying to tell you that your targeting is too specific and you need to expand your targeting options.
If the bar is in the yellow zone, Facebook is trying to tell you that your targeting is too broad and you need to be more specific.
Your goal should be to always get it in the green zone, where it’s just perfect.

When you are done with creating your target audience, you can save it, so the next time you want to create an ad set, you don’t have to start all over.

After you have saved your targeting options, we move on to ad placements. Ad Placements define where exactly your advert should show up in the Facebook Network.

This is crucial if you only want your advert should show up in on some particular platforms e.g. Instagram or Facebook Messenger.
If you want Facebook to determine where your ad shows up, you select the “Automatic Placements” option.
But if for instance, you only want to reach people on Instagram, you would select the “Edit Placements” option, and unselect other platforms and only select Instagram.

Budget and Schedule

Here you tell Facebook your budget, how much you have to spend and how long you want to spend it. The larger your budget is the more people you will be able to reach. You enter your budget and then select how many days you want to use that amount of cash.

In my case, I had a budget of $1000 and I decided to spread it across 7 days, each day with a budget of about $142. Next, after creating your ad set, you move on to the next step which is designing the ad creative itself.

Creating the Ad Unit

This is the creative section of the ad creation process where you upload your ad design to the platform. The ad creative is what Facebook users actually see.

This the final step in the ad creation process. First, pick a name for the ad unit.

Next link your Facebook Page and Instagram Page (depending on if you chose to show your advert on the platform), to the advert, so that people seeing the advert can also check out your profiles.

Next, you pick which ad format you want your advert to be displayed in.

Ad Unit Formats

  • Carousel: This gives you the ability to post 2 or more images/videos. You can insert different links for each image you select.
  • Single Image: Create an ad with 1 image. The image you pick has to be very eye-catching, to grab the attention of your audience.
  • Single Video: Create an ad with one video.
  • Slideshow: This option would automatically merge all your selected ad images into one short video.
  • Collection: Gives you the ability to showcase a wide range of products or services all at once with the ad unit.

When you pick your desired ad format, you move on to setting up the ad itself.

In the headline section, write an attention-grabbing title that summarizes your offer to the customer. In my case, I would write something like “Let’s make your wedding one for the ages”.  The description is optional but you should write one if your headline wouldn’t be enough to tell the user what you’re offering. The destination URL is the page you want to direct users to when they click on your ad.

As you fill each criterion in you are given the option of previewing the ad as you create it.

Bonus: Hacks for Creating High-Performance Ads

  • People don’t like being sold to, so make sure your ad design doesn’t actually look like an advert or poster. Your goal is to make the ad syncs seamlessly into the viewer’s timeline.
  • What will really make your ad fly is if you can make the ad strike an emotional chord with the viewers. Let the ad make viewers feel some sort of emotion be it anger, laughter, whatever.
  • If you are creating a video ad, make sure the video has a lot of motion in its initial seconds to ensure that it grabs the attention of the viewer.
  • Make sure you are clear on what you are offering the viewer if they click on the ad. Be very clear on what they will be getting.
  • During the process of targeting your preferred audience, ensure not to make it too specific because Facebook will have to charge a higher CPC (Cost per Click) for the ad set.
  • For businesses that require a lot more trust-equity to land a client e.g. Event Planning, Real Estate, Insurance, Automobile sales, e.t.c. It is always best to direct your ad to a sign-up form, where you can collect lead details. The using their details you begin to develop a relationship with them. Because it is very unlikely anybody would pay for a home or a car, after just one visit to a website they didn’t know before. It requires a deeper level of trust.

Paying for the Ad

You would be required to first make payments for the ad you want to be delivered. To do this you would need to credit your Facebook Ad Platform before your ads start delivering.

After you are done creating your ads, you have to wait between a period of 5-12 hrs before your ad unit is approved. And if your ad creative abides with Facebook ad requirements, which usually does unless:
1. You are planning on promoting Porn, Gambling or Illegal services.
2. Or the image of your ad unit is flooded with text or is made up of about 20% text.


So that’s it when it comes to creating adverts on Facebook. I know it might seem a little complex at first, but trust me you’ll get the hang of it when you start making your very own ads.
And if you still need my help with running ads on Facebook, you can contact me here.