Beginner’s Guide Chapter 1: Getting Started with Facebook Ads

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 12.39.42 PM

Despite the complex knowledge needed to run campaigns successfully, the process of actually creating the Ad is a relatively painless one. It’s the researching, monitoring, and split testing that turns the process into a complicated one, but for now we’re just going to stick to the process and what it actually looks like.

First you need to create a Facebook Page for your business. If you haven’t yet, or if you want some extra tips to increase engagement, likes, and potential conversions, you can see our guide to creating the ultimate Facebook Page here.

Why Choose Facebook Ads?

Simply put, because it works. At least it works when it’s done right, which is the point of this guide and our FB Ads Formula.

Facebook Ads is perhaps the most popular advertising platform on social media (definitely currently outranking Twitter Ads, for example). While this is largely due to Facebook’s overall popularity with users (hello, there, 1.4 billion+ Facebook users), it’s also due to Facebook’s incredible ad system. Perhaps most importantly, Facebook makes it more possible than ever to show your ads to the people most likely to engage with and respond to them. That’s why the system is so popular.

Facebook literally has over a billion users. Sure, not all of them will be perfect for your business or product, but a surprisingly large number of them just may be.

beginner's guide to Facebook Ads
With some basic criteria, the reach for our ads is up to 176,000,000 users.

Facebook Ads gives you the platform to reach all of these users and potential new clients, a platform that enables you to connect with new users and increase conversions while simultaneously building rapport and your brand through your Facebook Page.

Facebook is a good choice. We obviously recommend it. You just have to know how to run successful campaigns to get the most out of your money.

Before You Get Started…

You need to do your research. A lot of this research will revolve around Facebook Ads and the audiences you can target through them. A lot of decisions you’ll make are based on your audience.

The first step is understanding all of your options when using Facebook Ads. What are the steps you need to take, what will you be asked, and how can you make your Ads as effective and profitable as possible? The good news is that this guide (especially combined with our upcoming Advanced Guide, and– most importantly– our FB Ads Formula) will give you everything you need to get started answering those questions.

FB Ads Formula
Our FB Ads Formula has helped businesses and entrepreneurs go so far as to quadruple their ROIs.

Understanding your target audience is so important. Not only will knowing this help you actually target them using Facebook’s targeting system, but it will help you craft the perfect ads crafted just for them.

An ad targeting a middle aged, middle-class businessman will likely look very different than an ad targeting a teenage girl. The image, copy, and descriptions will all likely be starkly different.

Understanding your audience and what types of messages and images work well with them will be key to creating a successful ad. Without that, even this guide won’t help you much.

Facebook’s Create-an-Ad Tool

Facebook’s create-an-ad tool, accessible through the Ads manager and separate from Power Editor, is extremely accessible and user-friendly. While the research and decision making is up to you, Facebook makes sure to prompt you to choose everything you need to decide on, all in one place and on an easy-to-use interface.

The first thing Facebook will prompt you to do is to choose an objective. Then, after adding in your account and billing information if you haven’t already, you go to the targeting section.

Getting Started with Facebook Ads
The first step when creating your ad: choosing your objective, which is covered in Chapter 2.

Next comes the actual ad creation. You choose your image, your links, and your text that you think will be most effective.

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 8.13.58 PM

You then move to how much you want to spend, and, under the advanced options, a bidding strategy. Finally, you’ll choose your ad placement and you can examine the previews.

In the advanced settings next to the ad placement, you can choose the headline for your ad as well as, if applicable, what page your ad takes users to when clicked. For example, on our Promote Page ad, we could choose to send users to photos, the timeline, or our apps.

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 5.43.57 PM

After you’ve put your ad together, you can place your order.

After you place your order, your ad gets sent off for review. You can review its status in your ads manager while it is being examined by the Facebook team.

The Approval Process

After you create an ad, it gets sent for approval from the Facebook team. And when we say Facebook team, we actually mean that.

It isn’t an algorithm or program that sorts through all of the ads and approves or rejects them—it’s an actual team of employees whose sole jobs are to review Facebook Ads. They know the ins and outs of every single rule and guideline, so trying to pull a fast one won’t work.

Some users argue that this means that ad approval is subjective, and that if it gets rejected, you don’t really have to re-do anything and you can submit it again for another attempt at approval.

While technically there may be the potential for human error, the reality is that the chances of subjectivity of Facebook’s very clear guidelines, and human errors regarding them, are slim.

Really, if you keep resubmitting the same unaltered ad over and over again without fail, you’ll probably get the same answer and just waste everyone’s time, including your own. More than that, you run the risk of getting your account suspended or shut down.

If your ad is rejected, you’ll get a notification and often an explanation of why it wasn’t approved. If you have any questions about the reasoning, you can contact the Facebook Ads team to find out how your ad didn’t comply with their guidelines. To read more about keeping your ad from getting rejected, you can read our blog post here.

Once your ad comes back approved, you’re ready to start running it and kick off your campaign.

The amount of time it takes for an ad to get approved or rejected varies on several factors, the biggest one being how busy they are. Certain times and days they’ll end up slammed with Facebook Ads all needing approval, and if that’s the case, you’ll be waiting a little while. Normally the ads come back quickly regardless—most accounts say within 24 hours or less, with some taking up to a few days.


Now that you know how the basic process works, it’s time to get started actually creating your ad. To do that, you’ll start by choosing your objective, as discussed in the next chapter. To go to Chapter 2, click here.