mack grenfell

Creating Your First Facebook Ads

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Campaign ready? Check. Ad set ready? Check.

You're now ready to create your first ads, the images and text that users will actually click on to be taken to your site.

Ad types within Facebook

Before we dive into creating ads, let's take a quick look at the ad types available within Facebook.

Single image or video

By far the most common ad type, this lets you show either a single image or video alongside accompanying text. This is what you'll see 90% of the time when you're scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram news feed, and it looks like this:

Single images or videos are your bread and butter of Facebook Ads. They're easy to create, easy to customise, and work well across all verticals.

Carousels

Carousels are a group of single images or videos which appear in sequence, and which you can swipe through. They're less common to see in your news feed, and look like this:

Carousels typically work best when either:

Collections

Lastly, collections. These are similar to carousels in that they show multiple images or videos at once. As the name implies, they're often used to show off collections of products, as in this Nike example below:

These are fairly uncommon to see outside of retail, and often work best for larger brands who have well defined, thematically grouped collections. We'd advise against these if you're starting off.

Creating your first ad

You're now ready to create your first ad. Hit 'Continue' if you're at the bottom of the ad set creation screen, which is where we got up to in the last guide.

You should now see the ad creation screen. Name your ad something memorable at the top. Below the name field, you should see a couple of options straightaway:

Create Ad vs Use Existing Post

This option lets you decide whether you'd like to create a custom post just for advertising, or if you want to use an existing organic post from your Facebook page as your ad. If you're just getting started on Facebook Ads, we'd recommend going with the former; creating a specific ad gives you many more options for customisation,

Identity

If you read my article on creating a Facebook Business Manager, you'll remember that I recommended adding your Facebook pages and Instagram accounts to your business manager so that you could advertise through them. The identity options are where you choose which pages you want to advertise through. These will appear on your ads, and link back to your social pages.

Formats

This is where you get to choose which of the formats mentioned earlier you'd like to use.

I'd recommend going with a single image or video to get started, either of the others would make much more sense for your particular brand (and you have the assets for it!).

Media

Once you've chosen your ad format, you can scroll down to the media section. This is where you can choose the actual files (often referred to as assets) that will appear in your ads.

First, select whether you're planning to use images or videos by selecting the appropriate button at the top of the page. Then click on the upload button and upload as many images or videos as you have ready. If you upload more than one, they'll get made into separate ads. It's always good to test multiple ads, so do upload multiple if you have the assets for it.

One thing to shoutout here is that Facebook has a rule against assets which contain more than 20% text. This is because they don't want the Facebook and Instagram news feeds to become spammy, or too text-heavy. To ensure that your assets are below 20% text, you can upload them to Facebook's image overlay tool.

Customising your ad

Now that you've got the basics of your ad nailed down, it's time to focus on the details. When you scroll down to the last section of the ad creation page, you'll find the following headings.

Primary Text

This is the best place to put your ad text; your USPs; your selling points. The reason for people to click on your ad should go here. This will sit above your ad on the Facebook news feed, below your ad on the Instagram news feed, and will appear as a snippet in most other placements.

Facebook recommend keeping this below 125 characters, but you can go longer if you're happy with some of the text being cut off.

Website URL

This is the link you want to send people to, whether it's your homepage or a specific page on your site. If you are planning on using any URL parameters for tracking, this is often the easiest place to put them.

Headline

This will appear next to your call-to-action on Facebook news feed placements. It's fairly short, capping out at 40 characters, but is in larger font so will capture your viewers' attention. Your headline should either be your product/brand name (Nike Air Max) or a detailed call to action (Embrace the past, present & future of Nike).

Call-to-action

Below your headline you select your call-to-action. Unfortunately this has to come out of a predefined list, though you should see at least one option in that list which is relevant to your brand. If you're stuck choosing between a few, I typically see the most action-focused ones working best. For example, choose Apply Now over Learn More.

Display link

Unhappy with how your URL looks in the ad preview? You can change its appearance by customising the display link, so long as it references the same website.

Note that adding a display link is optional, and doesn't have any effect on which page users are taken to if they click your ad; it has cosmetic purposes only.

News feed link description

The last piece of copy to add is your news feed link description. This is a fairly small, faint bit of text which sits below your headline on the Facebook news feed. It's not vital, so don't spend too much time worrying about it, but try to think of one that nicely complements your headline.

Conversion tracking

One last thing; check that your pixel is enabled at the bottom of your ad settings, under Conversion Tracking. If it's not enabled, you won't be able to see what users are doing on your site after they've clicked your ad.

Summary

There are plenty of different parts to a Facebook ad, and it can be difficult to remember which does what at first. The image below should serve as a nice reminder of what each of the above ad settings refers to:

parts of facebook ad

Now that you've completed all the fields for your ad, you're ready to hit confirm.

You'll be transported out of the ad creation screen, and into the Ads Manager dashboard, where you can see your newly created campaign & ads.