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July 29, 2020

Everything you need to get started with Facebook Ads

By SpiderGroup

As this is a fairly heft post, here's a quick table of contents.

1. Cost

2. Targeting

3. Types of campaign

4. How to use the pixel

5. What conversions should you track

As well as being the world’s largest social networking platform, Facebook also dominates online advertising space.  The social media giant has paved the way to connect, engage, and convert your audience into customers.

Facebook advertising has now proven itself to be a major player when it comes to growing your business online. They continually develop the way you can effectively engage with your audience, generate leads, create loyal customers, and increase revenue.

As opposed to other advertising options, Facebook is known for being user friendly, having a transparent ROI and flexible budget, all while boasting more than a billion daily active users.

Even without their paid advertising tools, marketers can break through the market with their organic reach, although you may need a jumpstart with their pay-to-play approach.

As they advance through modern tech, their algorithm gets smarter overtime, allowing more businesses to flourish through more effective campaigns.


There’s a number of factors that influence the cost of advertising on Facebook. But from a business’ ROI perspective, put simply, you’ll never spend more than you have to spend. Say you set an amount of £5 a day, Facebook Ads will never exceed that amount in a single day of advertising. So, you haven’t got to worry about blowing your year’s budget in a week.

Although there’s no straight and fast rule to determine the actual cost of advertising on Facebook, there are several benchmarks which can serve as reference points for every business’ consideration.

  1. Bid: This represents how interested you are in showing your ad, the higher your bid, the more likely it is to show up. You have the option to choose between automatic or manual bidding. With automatic, you allow Facebook to decide the bid for you, which may spend your entire ad budget to get the best result. Manual bidding speaks for itself as you only choose a maximum budget for a given ad. Keep in mind that the amount of your bid will affect your ad’s exposure.
  2. Action rates: This determines how likely your audience are to act on your ad. Facebook’s algorithm allows it to optimise your ad and show it to people who are more likely to act it. Facebook reminds marketers that clickbait and engagement bait does not improve performance, no matter how tempting it may sound. Instead, they advise marketers to bid high enough to get a few results they want in a day.
  3. Ad quality and relevance: Facebook determines this factor based on how your ad is performing. They consider both negative (such as “hide ad”) and positive (video views, sign up) feedback of your ad. To guide you on how relevant your ad is use Facebook’s Ad Relevance Diagnostics metric for each of your campaigns. If your ad is relevant, it’s more likely to get more exposure as oppose to those with low ranking scores. Additionally, you’ll have to spend less for more reach.
  4. Placement: The cost of advertising on Facebook likewise depends on where you’ll place your ad. It may be placed on Facebook’s desktop right column, news feed, mobile news feed, audience network, or even on Messenger.
  5. Audience Targeting: Your target audience influences the cost of running your ads. Depending on the number of competitors targeting the same set of audience, it becomes more expensive to reach them, especially if your audience is more specific. This can vary based on gender, age, location, behaviours, and demographics.
  6. Optimisation: Once you’ve created your ad, you can optimise it for delivery, which can influence who can see your ads. This directly affects the cost of your ad as it must be optimised for the results you want, otherwise it may not have a positive impact to your targeted audience.


Organic reach on Facebook has dramatically reduced. Instead, they opt to showcase more personal content and less public content from businesses, media, and brands. Today, Facebook’s algorithm highlights the importance of paid ads if you want to reach your target audience.

But ad spend doesn’t always equate to online success. Though it pays to have a bigger ad spend, you’ll still struggle if you can’t reach your ideal customers.

Here’s where targeting drives desired results.

Targeting the right audience together with the right message is the key to your business’ online success. The ultimate measure of your ad value is when your conversion rate is at its peak while your cost per acquisition is at its lowest. This can ultimately be achieved through effective Facebook targeting.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Use Audience Insight: Facebook’s Audience Insight offers valuable information that allows you to understand your prospective customers. Data gained here can also be used to acquire new followers and prospects. A great strategy to get started with Audience Insight is to gather information about your competitor. Once you’ve got that, you can use it to acquire your competitor’s existing followers.
  2. Find your “unicorn” content: Put simply, it’s your content that goes viral and drives traffic to your other content. In terms of retargeting, you can repurpose this unicorn content as a Facebook Ad. This type of content already resonates with a specific audience in mind, but you still need to incorporate paid ad strategies to make sure it achieves your desired results.
  3. Use Custom Audiences: Another powerful strategy for Facebook advertising is remarketing. This connects you with potential customers who have engaged with your products or have shown interest. Remarketing is used to show your ads to people who have viewed your website, looked at your products, or have skimmed through your sales pages. Additionally, you can exclude customers who have purchased recently, if your products are one-time purchases without any upsell or cross sell.
  4. Use Lookalike Audience: Facebook’s Lookalike Audience targets those people who possess the same characteristics, traits, and behaviour of your already existing customer base. For example, if your current customer base is 20+ year old males living in London who like artisan chocolate bars, you can set up a Lookalike audience of 20+ year old females living in the same area with the same interests. If you’re at odds with the data, don’t worry, Facebook automatically generates those lookalike audience’s and optimises it for your ads’ best result.
  5. Use layered targeting: Layered targeting narrows your targeting further down. This enables you to be ultra-specific when targeting your ideal audience. Under demographics, interests, and behaviour, you can get more granular with your targeting. Below each of those categories, you can further specify the sub-categories, which also provides a narrower audience. This strategy works best if you prefer to target a more precise audience rather than promote your business in general.

Types of campaign

As a business owner, it can be overwhelming when you come across Facebook advertising and the features that go along with it. In fact, they offer more than 1,300 targeting options, 15 objectives, and up to 6 main ad formats.

To keep things simple, Facebook ads fall into three main categories: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion.

Main goals are focused on 4 categories: Brand Awareness, Generate Leads, Customer Service, and Drive Traffic.

While it can be daunting not knowing where and how to start, there are several types of campaigns that have proven to be effective regardless of your business structure.

Traffic and Leads

One of the most common purposes of advertising on Facebook is to drive traffic to your website or page. This traffic then generates leads which you can ultimately convert into customers.

  1. Boosted page posts: Amplifying your Facebook posts is a great way to generate traffic and engagement.
  2. Link click ads: This type of traffic ad is used to generate traffic back into your website, blog posts, or your landing pages. In addition to generating traffic, it also provides an unintended benefit of increasing likes for your Facebook page.
  3. Video ads: Much like your link click ads, this type of campaign focuses on generating traffic. But instead of using still images, you can use videos, which can offer more content and visuals that entice your audience.

Likes and Engagement

Depending on your business goals, the type of Facebook ad you utilise will aim to help you achieve your current objectives to meet those goals. Using campaigns that increases your page likes and engagement rates is a great way to connect with the community you’ve built.

  1. Page Like Ads: To increase your page likes, this type of campaign is usually the go-to type of campaign. They are available for display across all placement and they include visible call to action for your audience to immediately like your page. Keep in mind that when you’re attracting likes for your page, it’s not about quantity but the quality—you want to get the most likes from people who may be qualified into leads and eventually customers.
  2. Photo ads: While they are similar to your Page Like Ads, they effectively promote likes and engagement with your page. An eye-catching photo can be flooded with likes and comments, plus it can serve as a great way to showcase your product!
  3. Video ads: Videos drive engagement rates almost 10x more than photo ads. This builds a strong connection between your business and your audience. Simple videos can be used to entertain your audience while keeping their attention fixed to your product. Additionally, you can re-target a subset of your audience based on how much of your video they have watched.

Sales Ads

An ecommerce store or any business that offers their products and services through an online system works best with Sales Ads. Here, you can offer, promote, and even invite your audience to check out a range of products in a single ad.

  1. Dynamic Product Ads: Facebook’s Dynamic Ads are the most prominent type of ad campaign which drive the best revenue. They are automatically generated by targeting users based on their past actions or inactions on your website with perfectly timed ads. You simply need to upload a product catalogue and let your Facebook Pixel (as will be explained below) do the work.
  2. Facebook Lead Ads: Another way to generate leads for nurturing is through Facebook Lead Ads. This type of ad campaign generates leads by allowing users to download lead magnets or sign up to your newsletters without leaving the platform.

How to use the pixel

What is it?

The Facebook Pixel is the code that’s placed in your website which monitors your visitors’ activities, optimises your ads, retargets those who have visited your website and builds targeted audiences. Put simply, the Facebook Pixel is what makes your ads effective.

Once your website visitors have been exposed to your ads, their behaviour can be tracked if they return to your website or to Facebook. This allows you to create highly relevant ads for your target audience.

Why you should use it

With the Facebook pixel, you can gather data that helps you create better Facebook ads. Additionally, it offers more opportunities to target your audience with relevance and accuracy.

Ads run effectively with the help of your pixel. By tracking vital information, this allows you to track website activities, reach new and existing customers, and improve your return on advertising.

How to set up a Facebook pixel

The greatest feature of the Facebook pixel is the simplicity of setting it up. In fact, you won’t need any coding or web development skills to do it.

To set up your Facebook pixel, simply follow these steps:

  • Go to Ads Manager.
  • Go to Pixel section
  • Click “Create a Pixel”.
  • Enter the name for your pixel.
  • Click “Install Pixel now”.
  • Copy the base code of the pixel and paste it between tags on your web pages; alternatively, you can paste it in your website template to install it in your entire website.
  • To track different actions, add ‘events’ to specific pages and they will track those actions and leverage them for advertising.

Tips for using the Facebook pixel

  1. Remember to use the pixel in every web page available on your website. This maximises the gathering of data of your visitors’ actions on your website.
  2. Track relevant events. This is useful when you track your customer’s journey and ultimately have their journey mapped out.
  3. For ecommerce, the Facebook pixel shouldn’t be ignored, especially in creating product catalogues and running dynamic advertisements.
  4. Always optimise for mobile. This allows you to track conversions across different devices.

What conversions should you track

To have successful Facebook ads, you need to set up your conversion tracking. This is a crucial factor to running optimised and effective ads. Aside from tracking your ROI, it also promotes an increase in revenue from your Facebook ads.

Why use conversion tracking

Conversion tracking means you can measure the return on your investments. Whether they’re from registrations, sales, form completions, or other actions, tracking them is crucial for running your campaigns.

Additionally, it helps you keep tabs on the performance of your A/B tests to develop the most effective campaigns. When it comes to your ads, you need to make sure that they’re data driven, so you can measure the results of each campaign.

Lastly, conversion tracking helps Facebook align their algorithm for your campaigns. This allows your ads to have better results. Facebook learns more about the people you are targeting, which helps them show your ads to a more relevant audience.

There are two types of Facebook conversions: custom conversions and standard events.

Custom conversions

Custom conversions are the simplest method to start your conversion tracking. This method of tracking doesn’t require additional changes to your Facebook pixel once it’s installed. You simply need to specify the URL of your ‘post-conversion’ page, enter the values, and you’ll be able to gather the data.

The ‘post-conversion page’ is the page people visit after they convert. This can be your thank you page or your order confirmation page. For each custom conversion, you can specify a conversion value to track and monitor the data. Once the conversion is recorded, Facebook then assigns the value to your custom event.

Facebook makes it easier for you to track your campaigns ROI by allowing you to assign values to your conversion events. With your conversion values set up, you’re able to see the budget you’ve spent, the number of conversions, and the values of those conversions.

Facebook Standard Events

The other method for conversion tracking is through Facebook Standard events. While the first method is as simple as setting conversion values, this method is much more complicated—but offers more robust results.

The ‘standard event’ is the optional event that’s added into your base pixel code.

These standard events may only be placed on specific pages and not every single page with your basic code. Pages that are tracked with the standard events are those where you can track specific user behaviour rather than general conversion metrics.

Together with your base Facebook pixel code, you’ll have slightly modified versions of those pixels if you include the standard event code. The main purpose behind these standard events is to provide more dynamic data to Facebook.

Since you are modifying the Facebook data to only deliver specific data on select pages, you can add data to the code based on visitors’ expected action.

If you want more information on social media for b2b have a read of our quick guide.


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