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Structure and setup

This is the first part of the Facebook Ads Guide.
Make sure to spend time to understand this information, and we do strongly suggest to start experimenting with the Facebook Ads Manager, practising the knowledge acquired here.
Experiment with the lowest budget possible per day, just to get used to the Facebook Ads Manager interface, which initially can be a little intimidating.

Structure


  1. Campaign Structure
  1. Campaign Objectives
  1. Audiences
  1. Ad placements
  1. Ad formats
  1. Ad Copy
  1. Rules - Creative

1. Campaign Structure

The structure below applies to most of the advertising platforms on the market. There are minor differences in how they can be set up in some cases, but overall, this should cover everything.
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Campaign
Ad Set/s
Ad/s
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Each campaign can have multiple ad sets inside, and then each ad set can have multiple ads inside, but you can only have one campaign with one objective.
All the ad sets and ads inside this campaign will be optimized towards the objective you choose - in 99% of the cases - Conversions.
There are three types of
TipπŸ’‘
Be precise when organizing and grouping your campaigns, ad sets and ads, mainly because successful campaigns require a lot of A/B testing different settings, objectives, copy or creative.
The easiest way to know what you are testing is to mention it in the ad set name or the ad itself and keep track of it.
Example:
Let's assume you are selling hand-made leather wallets in the UK, and the goal is to sell more of them - Conversions or Purchases.
I would start with something like this:
[Prod.Colour][Area and Age Group] Conversions
Live:
[Brown][London 18-25] Conversions
In this example, on top, I am testing the brown version of my product to an audience based in London, aged between 18 and 25 years old.
Let's do one more:
[Prod.Colour] [Area and Age Group] Conversions
Live:
[Black] [London 18-25] Conversions
I want to test if the black version of my product sells better compared with the brown one.
So I will run ads with two different products to the same audience and see which product sells better. If the black version sells better, I might decide to pour more budget in ads with this product or even have a higher supply of this specific colour.
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You get the point here. A/B testing is the bread and butter of any growth marketer.
This is important, so let's do another example:
[Prod.Colour] [Area - Age Group - Gender] Conversions
Live:
[Black] [Bristol - 30-40 - Women] Conversions
For the example on top, I want to test the black version of the wallet to an audience based in Bristol only, aged between 30 and 40, exclusively women.
Maybe you wonder why we would advertise a man leather wallet to a woman audience?
Let's say Christmas is just around the corner, and many ladies out there are looking for presents for their loved ones. From my point of view, this is definitely worth a test.
As you can see, Growth Marketing is also creative, you can test a lot of ideas, and it can become quite fun.

2. Campaign Objective

Since we already discussed the structure, let's look at the campaign objectives.
Facebook (and Instagram) has six campaign objectives, as seen below:
  1. Awareness
  1. Traffic
  1. Engagement
  1. Leads
  1. App Promotion
  1. Sales (Conversions)
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We will focus mainly on the Conversions objective in this part of the guide, but we will cover Brand Awareness and how to do that in other guides in the Growth section.
To read more about Campaign Objectives, follow this link.
This objective aims to drive practical actions on your website or in-app.
As soon as we decide to go with Conversions, we have to pick a location for this event to happen; in this case, let's go with our website.
We tell Facebook that this is where we want our objective to happen, and now we are ready to move to the next step. The question here is how is Facebook (or any other platform) able to measure the conversions on an external website, right?
This is where the Facebook Pixel comes in.
Before we start running Ads, we have to install a Pixel on our website to track and measure the effectiveness of our campaigns.
But what is a Facebook Pixel?
The Pixel is a piece of code that you install on your website, and it collects data from visitors - with this data, you can track conversions, optimize ads, build audiences or retarget website visitors.
In simple words, the Facebook Pixel monitors the actions people take on your website, and as an advertiser, you make decisions based on these actions.
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Read more about the Facebook Pixel and how to install it on your website:
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TipπŸ’‘
Test the Facebook Pixel as soon as it's installed on your website to make sure it tracks everything correctly
Note
You have to install a Pixel for each platform you run ads on.

3. Audiences

Now that we have a Structure in place, we decided to go with Conversions as an objective, and we installed the Facebook Pixel on our website; it's time to move to the next step and talk about Audiences.
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On Facebook, we have two types of audiences:

  1. Interests Based Audiences
  1. Lookalike Audiences

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  1. Interests Based Audiences πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈ
The easiest way to understand this is by example, so let's see below.
Let's assume we are running a brand that sells skin care products for women, and we are looking to run paid ads for our products. We have the campaign ready, the Facebook Pixel installed, and now we are at the Ad Set Level to look into Audiences.
If everything is done right by this point, we should see a screen similar to the one below:
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notion image
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Location
The USA - the UK - London - it all depends on your business. An e-commerce company might sell and ship nationwide; services are generally more location-based dependent, and so on.
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Age
If you are starting and don't have a lot of data around your customers, we recommend leaving this setting broad, as seen in the photo. The Facebook algorithm is quite good at determining your best customers, and it's only getting better and better.
After running your first campaigns, you will be able to segment your audience by age and other criteria, so you can better understand who converts and where your budget needs to go.
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Gender
Unless you sell specific products (aftershave, for example), this setting stays on default.
As with age as well, later on, you will be able to segment the audience to understand better where your budget is going and who is converting better.
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Languages
Leave this default unless you are from a non-English speaking country and running ads in that specific country.
If you are based in English speaking countries, go with the default.
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Now we get to the exciting part. Assuming we are running paid advertisements for our skincare brand, let's plug in our first interests in the box below.
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notion image
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It's a brainstorming process, so we have to think and possibly research our audience's interests. For this example, I would plug in the following interests:
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  • skincare
  • natural skincare
  • skincare specialist
  • organic skincare
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These are just four, but the list goes on. One thing to keep in mind here is that you don't need to come up with all the brainstorming process necessarily. As soon as you plug in some primary keywords inside the box on top, Facebook will help you out with suggestions as well.
This is an essential part of setting up your campaign, so make sure to dedicate proper time researching interests and making sure they are relevant to your brand.
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TipπŸ’‘
Make sure not to go too broad when selecting interests. The interests you put in need to be relevant to your brand and the Facebook algorithm to understand your potential customers.
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  1. Lookalike Audiences πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈ
First of all, what is a Lookalike Audience?
A Lookalike Audience is an audience similar to your existing customers. It is a powerful targeting tool that can help you reach your goals as an advertiser.
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But how do I get a lookalike audience?
Lookalike Audiences are formed based on source audiences, and you can create a source audience based on data from:
  • customer file list (read more here)
  • website visitors (read more here)
  • app activity (you need Facebook SDK installed)
  • engagement
And more sources. Facebook also has a pretty comprehensive guide on creating Lookalike Audiences in their Audience Manager tool, so make sure to have a look here and learn more.

4. Ad Placements

Moving on to the next step of setting up your first campaign, we talk about ad placements.
To keep things simple, at least in the beginning, until you get a better understanding of the whole Ads Manager and how everything works (which can be a bit intimidating initially), we recommend starting with Manual Placements and going for two primary placements:

Feeds
Stories

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We also recommend starting your initial campaign both on Facebook and Instagram. Later on, these can be even split if you want to measure how ads perform on each platform and adapt your strategy accordingly.

5. Ad formats

At this point, we already passed the ad set level settings, and now we are at the ad level, getting closer and closer to publishing our first campaign.
Facebook gives us three options for this setting:
  • Single Image or Video β†’ one single image or one video or a slideshow with multiple images
  • Carousel β†’ two or more scrollable images or videos
  • Collection β†’ a group of items (we'll stay away from this one for now)
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The most popular ad formats are the single image or video and the carousel option.
Below, we will discuss Image and Video Specifications.

Facebook Feed

Single Image Specs
  • Recommended Facebook ad image size β†’ The best size for a Facebook ad is at least 1080 x 1080 pixels. Still, it's best to use the highest resolution that meets the ratio requirements since there is no maximum resolution.
  • Recommended Facebook ad aspect ratio β†’ 1.91:1 to 1:1. In general, ratios from 1.91:1 to 4:5 are supported.
  • Minimum Facebook ad dimensions β†’ 600 x 600 pixels.
  • Recommended file types β†’ JPG or PNG.
  • Maximum file size β†’ 30 MB.
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Video Specs
  • Recommended Facebook ad aspect ratio β†’ 4:5. Ratios from 16:9 to 9:16 are supported but may be masked to 4:5. The video will be shown with a 1:1 aspect ratio on the desktop.
  • Minimum Facebook ad dimensions β†’ 120 x 120 pixels.
  • Recommended Facebook video ad format β†’ MP4, MOV, or GIF.
  • Maximum file size β†’ 4GB
  • Facebook video ad size β†’ The best size for a Facebook ad is atΒ least 1080 x 1080 pixels, but it's best to use the highest resolution that meets the ratio requirements since there is no maximum resolution.
  • Video Settings β†’ H.264 compression, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan, and stereo AAC audio compression at 128kbps+.
  • Video duration β†’ Between 1 second and 241 minutes.
TipπŸ’‘
Use captions in your video ads (stories or feeds) since most people watch them without sounds.

Instagram Feed

Single Image Specs
  • Recommended resolution β†’ at least 1080 x 1080 pixels, but it's best to use the highest resolution that meets the ratio requirements since there is no maximum resolution.
  • Recommended image ratio β†’ 1:1. Image ratios from 16:9 to 9:16 are supported, but your image may be masked to 1:1.
  • Minimum width β†’ 500 pixels.
  • Maximum file size β†’ 30MB
  • Aspect ratio β†’ From 400 x 500 to 191 x 100.
  • Recommended file types β†’ JPG or PNG.
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Video Specs
  • Recommended video sizes β†’ at least 1080 x 1080 pixels, but it's best to use the highest resolution that meets the ratio requirements since there is no maximum resolution.
  • Recommended aspect ratio β†’ 4:5 (1.91:1 to 4:5 are supported)
  • Minimum width β†’ 500 pixels.
  • Recommended video ad format β†’ MP4, MOV, or GIF.
  • Maximum file size β†’ 30 MB.
  • Video length β†’ 1 second to 2 minutes.
TipπŸ’‘
Use captions in your video ads (stories or feeds) since most people watch them without sounds.
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Facebook and Instagram Stories

Story ads are available on Facebook and Instagram. They may contain images, videos, or a combination of both formats.
Video Story ads may last up to 2 minutes per video. For example, image story ads will present every image for 5 seconds.
Single Image Specs
  • Facebook - Instagram story size β†’ 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Recommended Facebook ad aspect ratio β†’ 9:16
  • Minimum width β†’ 500 pixels
  • Recommended file types β†’ JPG or PNG
  • Aspect ratio tolerance β†’ 1%
  • Maximum file size β†’Β 30 MB
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Video Specs
  • Facebook story size β†’ 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Video Settings:Β H.264 compression, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan, and stereo AAC audio compression at 128kbps+
  • Recommended Facebook ad aspect ratio: 9:16
  • Recommended Facebook video ad format: MP4, MOV, or GIF
  • Maximum file size: 4 GB
  • Minimum width: 500 pixels
  • Video duration: 1 second to 2 minutes.Β NoteΒ that playable video ads, available only in Facebook Stories, are limited to 16 seconds.
  • Captions and sound: Optional, but recommended

6. Ad Copy

In the ad world, copy means "text".
But you see, it's not just text, it has intention, and the intention here is to reach a specific outcome like selling a product or clicking on a button.
Used right, both copy and creative can "make or break" your ROI in advertising.
When running Facebook Ads in Feed, the copy will be on top of the image, whereas we opt for Instagram, the copy will be placed underneath the image.

To create copy that converts, we recommend you to try any of these four tactics below:

  1. Articulate the problem β†’ solution β†’ benefit
This simple tactic identifies a problem in your niche, then explains how your product solves this particular problem and the benefit of having this solved.
Example: Writing on your blog will involve some grammar mistakes. Write text mistake-free with our AI-powered tool and be as concise as possible for your readers.
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  1. Highlight your product differentiation
Another simple tactic is to say how you are different from what's already there. For example, how is your product solving a problem better than other products on the market?
Example:
Social Cat is the only product that finds, engages and matches your brand with relevant creators daily.
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  1. Ask a pressing question
Another simple tactic - ask your audience an intriguing question. However, try to avoid general, unexciting queries or questions that can be answered with β€œyes” or β€œno”.
Try to pick curiosity as much as possible.
Example: Did you know that Social Cat can find and engage 20 relevant creators in less than 24 hours?
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  1. Match value props to an audience
The last tactic involves people seeing themselves in your ad copy, which technically should lead to a better CTR.
This tactic involves creating copy for a subset of your audience. A subset can be defined by demographics like gender, job, location, etc. or certain behaviours (plays video games) or anything else.
Example: Cost β†’ Social Cat - the only product that finds, engages and matches your business with creators working on gifted collaborations. Fast β†’ Social Cat is designed for busy small business owners - it finds, engages and delivers influencers to your Inbox. So save time and focus on your business priorities.

7. Rules - Creative

The last part in setting up Facebook and Instagram Ads is to talk about the creative.
In general, we stick close to three rules, as seen below:
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  1. Show the product in action
If your product is a hand cream, literally show it in action - palms before and after using your product, a short video or how-to, etc. You get the point.
If your product is an alternative for the old and mighty Microsoft Excel, show the user how your product is better.
At the same time - try to keep it as simple as possible and straight to the point.
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  1. Say what the product is
Lay a few words on your creative, preferably at the top of the creative.
Keep it simple - β€œorganic hand-cream” or β€œhand-made leather wallet.”
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  1. Avoid stock & generic imagery
Avoid using stock, generic or confusing imagery in your ads. Instead, keeping in mind the amount of advertisement we are subjected to daily, you need to nail down your creative to draw attention.
Good news, though - practice makes it better. So the best advice I can give here is to start playing around with Canva. It's easy to use, and with a little bit of practice, you will be able to create and edit imagery for your ads.
  1. Try to get a human connection if possible.
Psychologically, we are attracted to something where we can see ourselves in -
If you source the images from influencers - ask for some photos where a person (the influencer) smells the scented candle or sits by it in the living rook, etc. - people seeing this will be more attracted to this creative
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