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How to create a Facebook ad using Ads Manager

How to create a Facebook ad using Ads Manager

Here’s an easy-to-follow step by step guide (with screenshots!) to help you create your ad using Facebook Ads Manager


Topics covered in this post:

  1. Getting started 
  2. The campaign level
  3. The Ad Set level
  4. The Ad level

-Getting started-

Step 1: Access Facebook Ads Manager

From the role-down menu under the small Arrow at the top right on Facebook, click the option “Manage Ads”, this will lead you into the Ads Manager.

*Clicking “Ads Manager” in the left column will also lead you there

ads manager guide

Step 2: Add Payment method to your account

Click the “Billing” tab  on the top left to add a credit card

Ad credit card to the account

Step 3: Create an ad

Click the green “Create Ad” button on the top right

Click Create Ad


-The campaign level-

Step 4: Choosing the campaign objective

Your are now in the first step of the ad creation process – the campaign level. On this screen you can either choose to create a new ad set and ad to a pre-existing campaign or create a new campaign. Click “Use Existing Campaign” in the top right to do just that. We will focus on creating a new campaign. The fist thing you need to do is choose a campaign objective – what is your goal with this campaign? To get more likes for your page? more visitors to your site? or my favorite – acquire new users to your product/service (= increase conversions on your website).

*In order to choose the website conversions objective, you first need to define what a “conversions” means to your business (Is it a sign up? A purchase?) and implement the Facebook pixel on the site (You will soon be able to click here to learn more about Facebook pixel implementation).

choose campaign and objective

Step 5: What is a “conversion” and where does it happen

Choose the website to which your ad will lead and the conversion event you defined (sign up, purchase, etc.)

choose a conversion event

Step 6: Name your campaign

Give a descriptive name to your campaign (don’t worry, you can change it later) and click the blue “Set Audience & Budget” button to continue.

*My suggestion – think of the campaign as a folder grouping together a few sub-folders that have the same common denominator (same target country / product type that you want to promote / objective) and have the campaign name describe that common element.

choose campaign name and continue


-The Ad Set level-

 Step 7: Define the target audience

If you want to create an effective ad, one that accomplishes the goal you set for it (getting new sign ups to your site / likes to your page / views to your new blog posts / downloads of your eBook, etc.), you need to make sure the messaging of the ad and the landing page the ad leads to (when the campaign objective isn’t a Facebook-native action like page likes or engagement for instance) match the people who will see the ad.

  1. Where does your target audience live – you can’t get very granular with geography, but if the message is not location specific, you might not need to. Just make sure you aren’t targeting Germany with an ad in English for example
  2. Does your ad work for all ages and both genders? (if this is your first ad, I’d target all, and once you accumulate some data on who responds better to your ad – men or woman, and what ages, I’d use that info to decide how to optimize messaging in the future)
  3. Utilize Facebook’s vast knowledge of its users by browsing Facebook’s suggested “Interests”, “Behaviors” and “More Categories” to find those the best describe your target audience
  4. In this section you can choose whether to target your ads only at people who have already liked your page or their friends. In addition, you can use this section to exclude people who already liked your page from the ad targeting (I do this often since my messaging to new users differs from that for existing)
  5. Once you’ve defined your audience by making the targeting choices in the above categories, you can save these settings for future use

*You may notice that there is a link at the top of the page to “Create Custom Audience”. This is by far the best and most effective targeting option available when your objective is conversions. How does it work? You can add a list of emails of existing customers of yours or take the people captures by the Facbook pixel and either target them with a message that;ll get them to re-engage with your site (= retargeting) or create lookalike audiences (= have Facebook target your ads at people similar to your existing user-base). I will soon add a separate how to completely dedicated to this option so stay tuned.

choose a specific audience for your ad

 Step 8: Choose budget and optimization settings

Budget: You can choose a daily or a lifetime budget, I suggest daily. You can also choose whether your ads runs continuously until you manually stop it (my preferred option) or you can set a start and end date. Why do I prefer a daily budget and no end date? Because I don’t know head of time how well the ad would do – it might do great, in which case I’d never want to stop it and would like to have the option to spend more on days I have extra budget to spare. On the other hand, it might do badly, in which case I’d want to pause it right away (not wait until the end date or until it max’s its lifetime budget).

Optimization: If your campaign objective is conversions, optimizing your ad for conversions is the best choice. You pay for 1000 impressions, but Facebook shows your ads to those most likely to convert out of your chosen target audience based on the personal attributes of those it knows (through its pixel tracking) had converted in the past. You can also optimize towards clicks or reach, but conversions is by far the most effective choice here.

Ad set name: Choose a name that describes what’s unique about this ad set – the audience targeting would be a good choice.

When you’re done, click the blue “Choose Ad Creative” button to continue.

choose spend, ad name and move on


-The Ad level-

 Step 9: What ad type to you want to use?

  1. You can create a new post (that will not be published on your page, it will only exist in ads – a dark post) or use an existing one – choose a post that has already been published on your page or a previously create dark post
  2. If creating a new post, you can choose between having your ad be a post with one image or one video or create a carousel ad which is basically an ad with up to 5 posts (each with it’s own image and link) shown in it (I found that single image link posts are much more effective for conversions while single video while multiple image ads are great for engagement and branding
  3. By clicking on the grayed area you can upload your image(s) / video or choose from existing ones available in your gallery (images and videos you’ve used in previous posts)

ad look and feel

 Step 10: Time to get creative

This is the final stage of the Facebook ad creation process in Ads Manager. The actual creative in your ad. Even though this is part comes last, you should already know what you want to write from the beginning. Your creative needs to correspond both with the objective you set for the campaign and with the audience you chose for the ad set.

  1. Connect your ad to your page (it will appear in the top left of the ad and people could click it to go see your page. In addition, if someone sees your ad and has not liked your page, a small “Like this page” button will appear on the top right of the ad)
  2. Give your ad a headline (a headline is the largest text in a link post and it appears right below the image). The ‘Text’ box is the free text you have above the image. You have additional advanced option like “Link Description” (appears below the headline). I suggest testing every one of the text options available so you see where the optimal location is for every piece of the marketing message your ad conveys.
  3. Call to action button, if you need one (I prefer it), appears below the image on the right.
  4. In Step 5 we chose the URL to which the ad would send users who click on it, in this section you can add tracking to that URL. Most people add UTMs to identify the campaign, content, channel and source that brought a user because UTMs are automatically tracked by Google Analytics. I will soon upload an in-depth look at link building so stay tuned.
  5. Where do you want your ad to appear? My preferred options are desktop and mobile news feed. They are the best converters. BUT I never target them in the same ad or ad set. In this example I chose desktop news feed. If I want to use the same ad for mobile as well, I’d open a new ad set under this campaign, in this new ad set I’ll put a new ad and choose this existing post I just created. Why separate mobile and desktop? mobile and desktop prices differ. Another thing – I usually don’t use the same ad for desktop and mobile because while I tend to lead desktop users to my site, I prefer to lead mobile users to an app with an “Install Now” call to action. Why separate them to different ad sets and not just put them in different ads within the same ad sets? Because all ads under the same ad set compete for the same budget defined in the ad set level. Once Facebook sees an indication that one ad is doing better than the other (in terms of CTR usually), the other ad stops getting reach and I don’t want that.
  6. When you’re done, click “Review order” or “Place Order” and soon enough your ad will start running.

choose ad content and placement

That’s it! This is how to create a Facebook ad campaign using Ads Manager! If you have any questions or comments please Contact me here

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