Despite recent news of Facebook’s catastrophic decline in new users and share price drop, it is still the most widely used social media platform with over 1.9 BILLION users per day. Not only that, but Facebook, now owned and known collectively as Meta, owns Instagram and an entire ecosphere of apps on which you can advertise your business.

Nine times out of ten, when it’s time to turn on the marketing game for your growing business, there is usually no better platform to use these days than Facebook.

First of all, who is not on Facebook? And with over 1.9 billion users checking out their feeds each day, promoting your brand using its expanded advertising network, Facebook ads is often times a no-brainer.

Think about this, more than 93 percent of social media marketers turn to Facebook Ads for their digital marketing promotions, especially with the ever-evolving algorithms that impact the organic reach of most brands.

Facebook Market Share for Advertisement

But a startup company reading this article may be daunted by the process since there are many options available in the service. The great news is this platform has been tried and tested; you’re not the first to use it and you get to skip the usual pitfalls.

In other words, half the work has practically been done for you. You don’t have to be a marketing wizard to understand it. If at all, you need to get the hang of it.

Mind you, your business has more to gain than to lose from using this paid advertising service for as long as you know how to use it right.

To even help you in this exciting task, I have listed ten dos and ten don’ts to ensure your first Facebook Ads campaign is a smashing success.

The Dos for starting your first Facebook Campaign

1. Lay down your Facebook campaign goals

As an early-stage startup dabbling in digital marketing, you must figure out your goals in using a paid advertising service such as Facebook Ads. Do you want to start building up your email subscribers? Any specific number you’re targeting? How about sales targets?

Facebook Ads platform lists various marketing objectives like brand awareness, traffic, lead generation, and others you can choose from to optimize the ads you will be placing. After all, your marketing success is based on the goals you have set.

Facemarketing objectives

2. Determine your budget

While you may have these goals and targets, considering your budget is a critical part of your planning. We want to get fantastic results without spending a lot of money and wiping out profitability. In any case, you can adjust your Budget & Schedule settings on Facebook Ads by providing the amount, schedule, ad delivery optimization, bidding methods, etc.

facebook campaign budget optimisation

Hence, this facility can help you control your marketing expenses. If you want to revise the default budget settings by changing when you get charged on cost per click (aka CPC) or impression (aka CPM, or cost per mile which is per 1000 views) or maximize your budget amount by stretching it over a period, you can do so manually.

Our go-to budget management method is Campaign Budget Optimisation (aka CBO) – this is where you set the total budget for a campaign and create multiple ad sets inside that campaign, with a variety of audience variations and interest groups, then have 10 or more ad types inside the campaign – Facebook will then automatically allocate budget to whichever ad set and ad creative gets the best results (based on your campaign objectives).

Outside of Facebook, you’d need to take a look at your gross margins on sales, and figure out how much you can sustainably sacrifice in return for growing your customer base. Factoring in immediate conversion and lifetime value (LTV) of your customers is a good way to project a true return on ad spend figure (aka ROAS).

To calculate Lifetime Value = (Customer Value x Average Customer Lifespan) – you need to calculate the average purchase value and then multiply that number by the average number of purchases to determine customer value. Then, once you calculate the average customer lifespan, you can multiply that by customer value to determine customer lifetime value. (ref)

Customer Lifetime Value Chart Visual

Statistically speaking, start ups often invest 25-30% of revenue into marketing activities, and operate at break even or even at a slight loss, so as to gain traction in an already saturated market.

3. Promote to your market

The beauty of using Facebook Ads is it allows you to target your audience. As such, you will need information about the age group, gender, location, user interests, job industry or function, mobile OS, and other elements of your prospects. It will help you optimize your ads, resulting in increased leads and conversions. To figure out metrics such as audience size and activity, use Facebook Audience Insights Tool.

facebook audience insights tool

Another essential tool for audience building and re-marketing is the Facebook Pixel, and we always recommend you have this installed right at the beginning of any website build.

Once the Pixel is setup it will constantly learn who is using your website and checking out or completing your contact form (you set your goals when configuring the Pixel), and it will slowly build up a picture of your ideal customer.

Facebook Pixel Goals

Audiences generated by your Pixel can be expanded on via a “Look Alike Audience” –  you could create a custom audience of website visitors, then expand that out as a look alike audience, where Facebook targets people with similar interests and online habits to the people who already buy from you.

facebook custom audience types

Taking the time to get your audience right can save you weeks or months in wasting budget on testing, and will reduce your cost per acquisition for new business.

4. Pick the right ad type

Facebook Ad Types

There are indeed many types of Facebook Ads you can consider. But we have a few recommendations for first-time Facebook Ads marketers. You have the classic image ads which are a great means of showcasing your brand to prospective customers. They’re generally easier to create and best paired with a short but catchy headline.

Video ads show products in action like a demo video. Video poll ads are also another way of improving brand awareness. You might also want to use carousel ads where you can highlight product benefits or promote multiple products.

For a full list of ad types, click here.

5. Use a strong Call to Action

call to action button

Placing a call-to-action (CTA) button helps drive sales for conversion adverts, plain and simple. It could be in your ad copy itself or within your video ad based on your chosen ad type. The important thing is, it’s there, and it should be clickable. Common examples of this feature include Shop Now, Watch Video, Click For More, to name a few.

6. Create great Facebook Ads that encourage emotional reactions

Despite all the elements you need to keep in mind when advertising on Facebook, you’ve got to have a good creative that’s clear and concise and speaks directly to your customers’ wants and desires. Otherwise, your Facebook Ads become pointless if you just churned out one in a rush – using free stock photos is out of the question too!

Video, if done correctly, tends to get the best engagement over all – and it doesn’t need to be high production value either! As the business owner, you can shoot a simple phone camera face to face chat that really gets across your passion for your product or service. We’ve seen this style of DIY video skyrocket on social in the past. As the saying goes, people buy from people, is true for many businesses.

Marketing Emotion

To create an emotional reaction is more simple than it sounds, you just have to show potential customers how you’ll solve their problem using clear and concise images and videos. Example, let’s say that you’re a chiropractor, you’d need to present someone with chronic back pain an example of how much suffering it causes (solidarity, belonging, empathy), and then you’d present your solution with your product or service.

7. Control the ad frequency

You know how an ad becomes annoying to viewers, this is know as ad fatigue. As such, users don’t care about your products any more because they’ve seen them multiple times. The best way to avoid this effect is to keep the frequency of your Facebook Ads under control and make sure you refresh the creative after a while.

Frquency ads facebook

You can check this campaign metric in Facebook Ads Manager and as a rule of thumb aim to stay below 3 points. But it doesn’t mean that high frequency is bad as it is, especially when your sales are increasing. Ultimately, always check your results to determine if you need to reduce the frequency.


8. Place your ad strategically

In this stage, you have to revisit your goals and ad objectives. You will then find that certain ad placements correspond to an objective. For instance, if you want to increase your page likes, you only place the ad in the Facebook feed. But if you want to improve traffic and conversions, you can use any or all of the ad placements available across Facebook platforms: Messenger, Instagram, and Sponsored Messages. And if you don’t want to dive too deep, you can rely on Facebook’s algorithm by setting your Facebook Ads to Automatic Placements.

placements facebook ads

9. Monitor, monitor, monitor

Once your initial Facebook Ad campaign has begun, track its performance. See if any changes to your stats and metrics impact your goals. You can view all the details in your Facebook Ads Manager.

Facebook will give you a score for relevance which can be used along side conversion rates report in Facebook and your business directly. I have seen examples of off-line business leads increasing, in this instance you’d need to run like for like comparison on previous year’s marketing spend and conversion rate, and get an idea of total spend of marketing offset against all leads generated and see if that cost per acquisition value is profitable and works for your business.


10. Perform A/B testing

We recommend you conduct a split test in your Facebook Ad if you can. You get to know what is interesting and relevant for your target market as indicated by your Relevance Score. This metric shows the bidding winners and the ads presented to the audience. When your relevance score is high, you will have a lower CPC. Facebook has a split test box facilitating this task for you.

Now that we have shared what needs to be done to help you succeed in your first Facebook Ads post, you should also avoid these ten rookie mistakes.

If you want to deep dive into this, Agency Analytics has a great article on the key metrics you should track for ensuring profitable Facebook advertising.

The Don’ts for starting your first Facebook Campaign

1. Clicking Boost Post

This shortcut is often times unacceptable – but with caveats. Despite what Facebook says about it, you should avoid doing it if you want full control of who sees and engages your add to get the most return on investment. Instead, use Facebook Ads Manager, which allows you to set the conditions that will provide you with more value in the end.

The caveat for this is Instagram, I have noticed a decline in engagement for organic social channels, and boosting your post to your existing followers, or similar followers, is often required to grow your account reach and get better engagement. This is often referred to as a vanity metric, however social proof is a purchase consideration and shouldn’t be ignored.

2. Not knowing the cost structure

Sometimes you get so excited with your Facebook Ads post you fail to realize what it costs you to keep it going. It’s important to note that you are being charged by impressions and not by clicks. Simply put, if your ads appear in a feed, for example, it will cost you.

Even if the viewer didn’t notice your ad, you’d still pay for it. It is why you have to create an engaging creative to make it a worthwhile exercise.

3. Too broad (or too narrow) audience size

We know that not all products cater to everyone. Hence, if you have too broad of a market, say, 2 million users, it doesn’t mean all of them will get to see your ad. Instead, a segmentation occurs, lots of it.

As a result, it will even cost you more while not getting the results you desire. Just the same, if your market is too small, Facebook may find it difficult to deliver your ad to your targeted clients.

Again, caveats come with this recommendation – for example, you can run a reach video campaign to a very broad audience, then you’d create a narrow custom audience to target anyone who watched, say, 75% of your video with a conversion campaign. This is the basics of funnel marketing, and the retargeting phase can be stacked with clever use of exclusion audiences.

4. Copying ads

It’s plagiarism – and it will not work. Facebook can detect such, and you will be punished through increased costs in CPM. While you can check out other ad copies, use them as inspiration to produce an even better creative for your brand.

5. Too wordy advertisements

As they say, make it short but sweet. Your blurbs must be simple yet intriguing for users to click on your ad. The text in your images must be straightforward, even if Facebook has updated its policy by removing the 20 percent text limit on Ad images.

For beginners, it’s best to keep your messaging concise as it is more impactful, which allows the visuals to do more of the talking.

In some cases, story form ads can be very effective, but you must employ an excellent copywriter that knows how to convert a reader into a customer.

6. Forgetting to test your landing page

No matter if you become so jaded with Facebook Ads, don’t forget to check if your landing page actually works. You can use a Preview on Device function after you’ve finished your ad; hence, you can click on all of your included links before going live with them.

If you have a website that’s slow to load, has poor user interface and hasn’t been setup to convert (a process known as conversion rate optimisation or CRO), no matter how well optimised your ads are the traffic you generate is never going to convert. In the past we’ve actually had to turn down ad client work based off of the performance of their website.

7. Disabling your ads after an initial run

You’re probably getting all sorts of anxiety after posting your Facebook ad. And besides, who wants to lose money? You should note that the CPR or cost per result is high for the first several hours. This effect may scare you and prompt you to turn your ad off.

During this stage, Facebook has yet to determine which segments to cater to for your product. Once it has enough data, your ad performance will improve after that.

8. Using the same ad copy

Another cause of ad fatigue is when you use the same creatives for your Facebook ads. You should refresh your ad copies from time to time without changing them drastically. Sometimes, you can make a few tweaks to an existing one while retaining the captions, background, and layout to look fresh again.

9. Too long URLs

Speaking of being too wordy, the URL is one of the most common examples that can be too long. You don’t want it occupying more than half your entire text space. In this regard, free third-party services like become your go-to. You can also modify the final URL and how it’s displayed in the whilst you’re creating your advert in Facebook.

10. Forgetting about pain points

Marketers can become so focused on how a product is a solution that they fail to listen to customer pain points. Instead of just singing praises for your product, make your ad customer-focused instead. You’ll likely see better conversions afterward.

Want to learn even more tricks of the trade? Seal your success by getting in touch with Exist today and booking a digital strategy consultation.

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