2022 Guide For Setting Up Profitable Facebook Ad Campaigns
Facebook ads are here to stay.
The Facebook advertising platform can help your business reach 2.14 billion new people.
No wonder why 3 million businesses are already using the platform to advertise.
Advertising on Facebook also helps you advertise on Instagram and other partner sites.
This article is about setting up profitable Facebook ads for local businesses.
If you already have set up your campaign and you are looking to improve performance here is a great article to help:
Step 1: Planning & Strategy
Before you begin any setup of your Facebook campaign, first you should strategize what your campaign is going to be about.
Who are you going to target and what are you going to offer?
I have encountered many business owners who say to me “I want to target everyone”.
This is a very pleasant thought, but it should not be your marketing strategy.
Let me paint a picture for you.
You scroll on your phone on Facebook and see pictures of your friends and family.
You see an ad trying to sell you something so you quickly scroll past it.
Then you see more pictures of friends until finally, you notice something.
You see a new post that has your own name in it.
Yup, you heard me, your first and last name in the post.
The post mentions a very specific problem you have been facing in your personal life and gives a new solution for that problem.
“How do they know that!?”
You are encaptivated by how this ad feels like it is really speaking directly to you.
This is how you should think about your advertising campaigns.
Now of course you can’t get that specific on who you target where you will know their first and last names but you can focus on a very specific customer profile.
Creating An Avatar / Customer Profile / Buyer Persona
Each industry deals with dream clients and nightmare clients.
I’m sure if you have been in business for a while you know exactly what I mean.
No one wants to pay for ads that target nightmare clients, right?
Your avatar is an idea of who you want to target with your campaign.
So what are the common characteristics of your dream clients?
Wealthy? Parents? Older than 48?
Ask yourself the following questions about your buyer persona (Borrowed from Traffic & Funnels):
- The biggest result I can help a business or person achieve is?
- Describe your favorite customer you’ve ever had that you want more of…
- What’s the biggest problem your most ideal customer has?
- What frustrates your most ideal customer the most?
- How can they achieve success in four or five steps?
- What keeps your perfect customer awake at night (worrying, fearful, anxious)?
- How would your perfect customer be humiliated (an event or occurrence they are trying to avoid)?
- The cost of staying where they are right now is how high? How bad can things become if they don’t fix it?
- Their most urgent, pressing crisis they have to solve right away (the real pain they’re facing, the thing they need to be fixed immediately)?
- The top 3 things that frustrate your perfect customer on a daily basis? (is it doing things they don’t want to do? people? circumstances? chores?)
- What does your perfect customer want more than anything else?
- Explain what you would do if you were in their situation – high-level steps. (Share ‘what’ you would do, not ‘how’ to do it.):
It is important to write these characteristics down so you can visually see any common connections you may have missed.
Now you should have a clear idea of who you are going to be targeting and why.
Creating An Irresistible Offer
When you truly understand someone, you know what they want and you have negotiating power.
Think of when you would make deals with your siblings when you were in elementary school.
It is kind of the same thing.
The offer is what you are advertising. Your avatar is who you are advertising to.
You need to create a specific offer that your avatar cannot pass up.
Remember, on average, it takes 6-8 marketing interactions with a person before they become a lead.
Dig into a specific pain point of your avatar and explain how your business can move them from pain to pleasure.
“Not spending enough time with your family?”
“Does the work never stop?”
“Does everything seem to keep going wrong?”
“Here is how you can fix this”
Side note: The examples above are very basic and you should have a more in-depth offer. This should be easy if you have a deep understanding of your avatar.
Once you define the pain point and the solution for your avatar you have to sweeten the pot a bit.
Think of every opposition someone could have to your offer and write in the text your response to it.
“What if it doesn’t work?” – 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
“Maybe I will buy it later” – The Deal Ends In 7 Days
“What if I can’t figure out how to use it properly?” – Call Our 24/7 Support Number If You Have Any Questions
“Maybe I can find it cheaper somewhere else?” – We Price Match All Of Our Competitors
“How do I know I can trust this company?” – See Testimonials From Our Past Clients Below
Your goal for the ad copy and creative should be to fully convince your dream clients that they should hire you, purchase your products over your competitors, or at least try your business out.
Knowing who you are targeting, with oddly specific messaging and answers to every initial opposition should be a great place to start with your creative.
Setting Campaign Goals
Next, it is time to clarify your goals for your campaign.
However, when I speak about “goals” I am not speaking of vague goals like “I want to grow my business”.
I mean setting temporal (time) and quantitative (numerical) benchmarks that will come into play with your Facebook ad campaign.
Here’s a couple example goals:
- 15 conversions (leads) per month / Average conversion value of $100 each / Ad spend $1200 per month
- $1000 in new business per week directly from the Facebook advertising campaign
- 200 new followers per month split between business Facebook Page and Instagram account
- Achieve a ROAS (Return On Ad Spend) of at least 1:1 within 1-2 months
How much are you willing to spend on advertising on the Facebook Platform?
Facebook allows budgets as low as $2.50 per day.
However, I would advise against this.
Each industry is different in how competitive it is but a general rule of thumb is to spend at least $20 per day on ads.
If you refine your targeting enough, ad prices could become cheaper.
For instance, if you are a local pizza shop and only service a 15 miles radius, you could effectively advertise for $15-$25 per day.
If you are an eCommerce business, advertising may be a lot harder to do with less than $100 per day in ad-spend.
Putting Things In Perspective
You also have to understand if you are selling an expensive item or service you may need to spend more money to build more trust.
If you are selling $3 keychains you can probably sell 5-10 per day with a daily budget of $20.
If you are trying to sell a $1000 online course you may need a minimum budget of $5000 per day.
Also, remember that it takes about 6-8 interactions with a company before a new prospect buys your product.
So advertising should be looked at as an investment.
A campaign may not start converting (making sales) consistently until after 2 months of running.
If you are just starting to advertise and spread your message, you may not get the conversions you are looking for right away.
Side note: If you sell an inexpensive product, keep in mind the Customer Lifetime Value.
Customer Lifetime Value is how often a customer returns and purchases again.
Maybe $100 of ad spend made you a $20 sale, but what if that customer came back each month and at the end of the year you made $120 total.
Your goals cannot be set by a blogger on the internet but an easy way to figure out what you are trying to achieve is to follow this simple formula.
(How much do you want) x (When do you want it).
How much money, leads, followers, sign-ups, etc.
When do you want it by (a week, a month, this quarter, this year, etc.)
Be realistic with these numbers, if you want $10,000 per month you may need to spend at least $5,000 per month in ad spend.
It all depends on your product and industry.
Now you should have your avatar, offer, and goals set to start your Facebook campaign.
Step 2: Setting Up Your Campaign
Facebook Pixels & Retargeting
Before I start any campaign I make sure I begin with the end in mind.
The beginning step of a campaign is the most complicated one.
If you are unfamiliar, there are advanced I.P. tracking pixels that help you stay in front of people who have shown interest in your ads in the past.
For example, I’m sure we can all remember a time where we look at a product online, and the next thing you know you see it everywhere being advertised back to you.
This is called retargeting or remarketing.
For Facebook, it is called a Facebook Pixel
I highly recommend that before you spend money on the Facebook Platform you properly set up your Facebook Pixel to get information on your leads and to use for retargeting campaigns in the future.
Side note: Retargeting campaigns are the lowest cost advertisements that yield the highest conversion rates because the audience you are targeting already knows your business.
Update for 2022:
Apple released their IOS 14 update last year and this has dramatically reduced the effectiveness of Facebook advertising and tracking.
Currently, there is not an exact workaround for this but here is what Facebook recommends.
Creating The Campaign
To access your Facebook Ad account or if you need to create one, click on your personal Facebook profile’s sidebar and find “Ad Manager”.
You can also type in the search bar on Facebook to find the Ad Manager
Once inside the Ad Manager dashboard click the green “Create” button in the top left corner
Now you should see the “Choose a Campaign Objective” window. (Shown below)
Most of the time the typical campaign is a “Traffic” campaign under the “Consideration”.
I mentioned earlier in this article about the funnel process of Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion, here it is reflected in the Facebook Ad Dashboard.
If you are a new business and just starting your first ad campaign I would highly recommend starting with the often-overlooked “Brand awareness” objective.
The Brand awareness objective may not get sales right away but it is warming up a new audience to your brand which will make conversions easier down the line.
Also Brand awareness objective usually costs the least for CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions).
However, for this guide, we are going to continue with the “Traffic” objective
Once you select your objective Facebook will ask you to name your campaign.
I made it a little easier for you to visualize.
The Campaign is the big folder that holds your ads and audiences.
The Ad Set is your Audience.
The Ad is your creative design and copywriting or “Offer”
When everything is properly named click “Continue”.
Congratulations you have set up your campaign and now it’s time for the fun part.
Properly Setting Up Your Campaign
Special Ad Categories
Special Ad Categories are for specific industries that have more regulations than others.
If your business is offering Credit or Loans, Employment opportunities, Housing, or promoting politics you will have to check this box or else your Ad will not be approved.
Once this box is checked you will have limited tools for your ad but they will be compliant with rules and regulations.
If you can avoid checking this box I would recommend doing so to have access to all the tools Facebook has to offer.
This box can be passed up unless you want to change your Campaign Objective.
This box is to test two campaigns side by side to see which one performs better. This is really great to use if you have a decent budget to test both (minimum of $10 daily for each campaign).
Remember in science class when you had to hold everything constant except your manipulated variable?
When A/B testing you want to test only one thing at a time. (Objective, audience, or ad)
Campaign Budget Optimization
I usually leave this box unchecked also.
If you have multiple Ad Sets and Ads you can check this box and Facebook Machine Learning will determine which Ad Sets and Ads will get the most of your budget (usually the best-performing ones).
I leave this box unchecked so I can manually have control of the budget of the campaigns.
But it is a useful tool if you are running several Ad Sets at once.
Properly Setting Up Your Ad Set
Remember your “Ad Set” is just your audience.
We came up with your avatar earlier in this article and now it’s time to target them specifically.
Here you can choose where you want to send traffic from the ad.
When someone clicks on your ad, where do you want them to go to?
Most of the time you should choose your website and if you want to get the best results you should set up a landing page for each campaign you run with a specific Call To Action (CTA).
Your options are: Website, App, Messenger, WhatsApp
The App option is good if you are looking for downloads of your mobile app.
The Messenger option is great for starting conversations with potential clients who need a more personal touch.
WhatsApp (communication/texting app) is one I have never used personally but it is good to grow a WhatsApp community to speak to your followers and promote more deals later on.
This box can be checked to have Facebook’s Machine Learning decide which Ad Creative and Ad Copy will be shown.
This is based on the best performing combinations.
I usually leave this unchecked so I can do this manually myself but I have seen great results using this option also.
The Offer box is different from the offer you created earlier in this article.
This is a great option for restaurants or retail stores that want people to download a discount code (which gives you a list of who downloaded the code).
The lead can then get reminders to use the discount or coupon before it expires.
When they come in to redeem their offer, you can track how many sales you made directly from the ad.
For this example campaign, I am going to leave this box unchecked.
Budget & Schedule
Now we get to set our budget.
Remember digital advertising is based on a bidding system.
To simplify what that means, whoever is paying the most will get the click.
This is why different industries are more competitive than others.
It is important to set a budget you are comfortable with but the higher the better for results.
Also when beginning a campaign I usually start with 25% of the budget to start testing everything before I go all in.
I also recommend switching “Daily Budget” to “Lifetime Budget” so you can set hours and days your ad runs.
I have run ads for companies that only received conversions on the weekends between the hours of 3pm and 11pm.
We started running the ads for those times and days and our $500 lifetime budget really yielded great results because we pushed a lot of ads in peak conversion hours.
This is the part where your buyer persona or avatar really comes into play.
Facebook adds and changes these options quite often and it is fun to see what targeting options I can choose for my ad.
Remember, we only want to target a specific audience who our Ad and Offer is specifically made for.
It is easy to get lost in the estimated impressions with larger audiences but I would keep my eye on the prize.
If you are a local store and do not offer any online products, you should only target your city or zip code within reason.
For the rest of the targeting fields, use the avatar you created earlier in this article.
Here are some common options I select for Detailed Targeting:
Household income 10%
Bachelor’s Degree or Higher
Parent With Pre-Teens
Parents With Teenagers
I would also highly recommend using the “Exclude” button.
I usually exclude any competitors when advertising.
If I am advertising a law firm, I exclude anyone who’s job title is a lawyer or anything related.
This helps show your ads to the right people and not waste money on preaching to the choir.
Here is where you select where you want your ads to show.
Most novice marketers will select “Automatic Placements” because it is recommended.
I like to create ads for specific platforms to make them more personalized.
I usually select “Manual Placements” so I can turn off any platform that I do not want to advertise on and use more of my budget in the areas I want.
If you are starting a campaign in hopes to get sales I would recommend “Manual Placements” and turning off “Messenger” and “Audience Network”.
Optimization & Delivery
This is a very important box for your Ad Set.
For traffic campaigns, I always use “Landing Page View”.
You will find a lot of people will click your link by accident or will not wait for the page to load and cancel the browser script.
When you are optimizing by Landing Page View you will only be charged when someone clicks your ad and makes it to the landing page.
Properly Setting Up Your Advertisements
We have finally made it to the last part of the campaign creation process.
Before you even reach this phase you should have already come up with your offer and created your ads.
Working with an outside marketer or agency can help create the ad and text properly to encourage your avatar to take action.
This is the part of the campaign I test the most.
Copywriting is everything when it comes to conversions.
You have to make sure you are speaking to a specific painpoint and have a solution within the avatar’s budget with no consequences if the product does not deliver what it promised.
Make sure you have your Facebook page and the Instagram page linked to the same account to be able to advertise on both platforms.
Only click the Branded Content box if you are advertising someone else’s product.
This box is very simple.
I will give you a very quick rundown of these options.
Videos will always perform better for conversions.
If you have the budget to have a video created for your campaign you absolutely should.
I have seen conversion rates 10x just from switching a picture to a video.
If you are selling multiple products.
For instance, if you are selling shoes and want to display several designs, you should use a Carousel ad where your products will be rotated based on highest-performing cards.
If you are selling services I would highly recommend the “Collection” option.
I ran a very successful campaign using the “Collection” option for a local photographer.
Also, a newer option that I have not explored as much as I want to is the “Fullscreen Mobile Experience”.
Remember most of the time your ad is going to be seen on a mobile device so tailoring your messaging for mobile will yield higher conversions.
Instant experiences are great for interaction and engagement.
In short, these will give you more time to pitch your offer to your audience.
Try one out and let me know how it worked for you!
This box is where the magic happens.
You are just uploading the images or videos you previously created, targeted to your avatar.
I really hope if you get one thing from this article is that you should have all this prepared before you get to this point in the setup process.
Upload the images or videos you have prepared for this campaign.
Make sure you upload the proper dimensions.
There are 3 dimensions for each image you upload:
Never upload only a single image. You should have 3 variations in size for each ad creative you upload.
This will allow Facebook to show your ads properly and have them fit perfectly where they are shown.
Finally, once everything is uploaded it is time to showcase your offer and stand out.
Your Headlines should be between 6-8 words and your Primary Text should be long enough to show your audience you know what you are talking about.
I actually find longer copy in the Primary Text converts a lot better.
Start with the avatar’s pain point, ask rhetorical questions, and tell a story that moves the avatar away from pain and into pleasure.
At the end of the Primary Text remember to include a specific Call To Action.
“Sign up on our site now”
“Buy now to get 35% off”
“Learn more on our blog”
Now, this is a box that is often overlooked by newer advertisers.
This is related to the Facebook Tracking Pixel we set up in the first step of the Campaign Set Up Process.
You want to select the proper pixel to make sure you are recording data from your advertisements.
Later on you can use this data to stay in front of that audience who already showed interest in your business.
Retargeting campaigns yield the highest conversions for the lowest cost.
I will write an article in the future on how to set up a retargeting campaign.
Now you are ready to click Publish
Once you click publish Facebook will put your campaign under review status to make sure everything is compliant with Facebook Advertising Policies.
This usually takes anywhere from 2 hours to 24 hours to be reviewed and set to active.
Step 3: Making sure your campaign is profitable
Setting up a campaign does not ensure it will be profitable.
Earlier in this article, I encouraged you to set numerical and temporal goals for this campaign.
“10 conversions in 30 days”
“200 followers each month”
Once the campaign is active, it is your responsibility to check up on the campaign and start “cutting the fat”.
What I mean by that is to pause the bad performing ads or audiences and reallocate the budget to the better performing audiences.
See which copywriting is performing best, which Ad Creative is performing best, and match them together.
With that, test out different audiences to see which one is responding to the message the best.
Over time with consistent optimization, you should move your campaign closer to your goals.
How To Optimize Your Facebook Ad Campaign
Optimizing your Facebook Ad Campaign is not the easiest thing in the world.
There are tools that make it easier though, and a lot of them live on the Facebook platform itself.
To simplify the ad process: You have your Campaign Objective, Audience, Ad, Landing Page, then your Offer.
These are the 4 basic components of your campaign.
For brand new advertising clients who have no Pixel data, I will generally launch 2 campaigns to start.
First I will launch a traffic objective campaign and then a conversion objective campaign.
This is so the landing page can start collecting data and hopefully get a few conversions.
It is important to test different objectives and see which ones work the best for your campaign goal.
If you have been running a conversion campaign but are not getting conversions, maybe you should switch to a traffic objective optimized for Landing Page Views.
Next, you can test your audiences against each other.
Usually, you will want to test an interest-based prospecting audience (from Facebook interest targeting).
Also a retargeted audience and a lookalike audience based on that retargeted audience.
Observe which audience is performing best and start cutting the campaigns that are not performing as well.
Optimizing ads is always fascinating for me.
Sometimes, just changing the background color from solid to a gradient can improve conversion rates.
It is important to try different variations of copywriting, stock photos, colors, call to actions.
See which ad has the highest CTR or conversion rate.
Then make variations of the winning ad.
As the campaign progresses, you should have evolved your first ad into a high-performing ad.
Trial and error work wonders with Facebook Ads, and you should continuously improve the performance of your Facebook campaign.
Also, the key thing to note, you can’t change your ads every day, or honestly, even every week.
You have to give your ads enough time to optimize and bring in statistically significant results.
Try to wait every 2 weeks before making changes to your campaign.
You need at least 1-2 weeks to see which audience or ad is performing best to then optimize.
If your ad performance is not good and you are directing clicks to your Contact Page, this is most likely why.
Having specifically made landing pages for your campaigns that share the same imagery and messaging as your ad is proven to yield higher conversions.
I truly love working with Unbounce, an easy-to-use platform to create and optimize your landing pages.
You can create several variations of the same landing page to see which one is converting the best.
Similarly, with your ads, your landing pages should gradually improve month over month.
Then every year you should see a good increase in Facebook ROAS (Return on Ad Spend).
The End Of The Article
If you made it this far to the end of the article I applaud you.
In other words, you did something half your competition is not willing to.
Also, I know firsthand that running a business is time-consuming and stressful.
If you want a professional agency to run your ads for you, I could not recommend Big Sea enough.
I currently am a part of the Big Sea team and the experience and knowledge base shared amongst the team is like no other agency.
If you want to make the most out of your budget and get the highest returns (and also work with me!), please fill out the form on the Big Sea website.