Facebook + Instagram Ads Guide

How to Create an Ad on Facebook’s Platforms

The Basics

Ads Manager is a unified creation tool used to implement your ad on Facebook’s social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, or Audience Network.

If you know what your doing, you might choose “Quick Creation”, however this guide will follow the “Guided Creation” workflow.

Before creating an ad, think about what your business objectives are. Your ad should be created with the intent to entice your audience to make a specific decision when they see your ad, such as clicking on it and going to your website.

There are three main categories for the objectives you may have: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversions.


Awareness is how to generate interest in your brand. By running ads, you are alerting individuals that your brand exists, and raising overall consumer awareness.


Consideration is how you get people thinking about your product or service. The goal is to attract potential customers to your brand and get them interested in your product. The goal is to move individuals from general awareness of the product to wanting to find out more information about the product. This can be accomplished a number of different ways, such as encouraging people to visit your website where they can find the information they are looking for.


Conversions are objectives that get people to buy or use your product or service. This is the conversion from lead to client, as individuals transform from potential buyers into actual customers.

You may find that you will run ads in different categories as the objectives for growth in your company change. Obviously, awareness ads can lead to conversions and conversion ads can lead to awareness, but the ads are slightly different formats based on what exactly you are looking to do. This way you can optimize your ad campaign.


Create an Ad

There are different types of ad formats to choose from depending on your objective. There formats will impact where your ad is placed on Facebook and its platforms, so it is important to select the right one for your business.


All ads on Facebook’s platforms need a visual whether it’s a video or an image. Image ads use a relevant image to market your product or service. They can be used in the Brand Awareness, Engagement, Reach, and Store Traffic advertising objectives. There are different ways to use an image ad – they can be a single image or multiple images using a carousel, collection, slideshow, or Instant Experience.

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Video ads is your type of format if you want to reach more people, engage your audience, promote video views, or drive conversions. You can create video ads from your business page and then use Ads Manager or Business Manager to start promoting. High-quality video ads are typically much harder to produce than image ads, since professional videos cost significantly more than professional photos. As such, this is definitely something to keep in mind as you consider how to run your ad campaign most effectively.

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This format can be used in any one of the different marketing objectives and can combine multiple images or videos. Slideshows are a great way to tell a story without your business having to deal with the difficulties and costs of producing a high-quality video.

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Using up to 10 images or videos, you can create a single ad that has separate link for each visual. This format is recommended for brand awareness, conversions, reach, store traffic, and traffic.

Source: ShopTab
Source: ShopTab

This format has the versatility to combine video, slideshow, and images. This format works well on ads that objectively seek to have people interact with the ad and browse for more products or find more information about specific products. It conveniently displays your products in a fullscreen, fast-loading window without leaving the Facebook App. This format is recommended for traffic, conversion, store traffic, or catalog sales objectives.‍

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This is a mobile only experience that works on both iOS and Android. Instant Experience showcases your products, highlights your brand, and/or encourages purchases. If your objective is brand awareness, engagement, conversion, traffic, or video views, this is the format for you.

Here is a chart to help you choose your ad placement by objective:‍

Below are the ad formats to choose by Objective:

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Tip 1: Rather than showing the product itself, show people benefitting from the product. This will engage your audience to see how the product or service will benefit them.

Tip 2: Tell a story behind your product. Try to make people inspired by your business and its goals. Is your product innovative? Stress its uniqueness. You want to make your product seem one-of-a-kind.

Tip 3: Be concise and get to the point. Too much text is distracting and cluttered images have less impact. Most people will only glance at your ad for a second or two, so your ad has to be able to draw them in quickly.

Tip 4: Image size and quality do matter. Make sure you are using high-quality, professional looking photos.

Tip 5: Use Creative Hub to see your final product before it is published to get a flawless ad.

Tip 6: Choose a targeted audience for each ad. You can separate the people you have reached before or who have bought your product in the past from those that are unfamiliar with your product. This will help create greater awareness.

When targeting those who are unfamiliar with your brand:

  • Showcase quality and compelling images that are understandable without reading text.
  • Add a CTA (call-to-action) button such as “Learn More” to get people to begin learning about your product.

When targeting those who have purchased before:

  • Choose vibrant, quality images that show the value of your store’s products or services.
  • Add a CTA button such as “Shop Now” to get people back to your site. Give them an easy way to engage with your brand once again.
  • Offer deals and specials. Remember, keeping past customers is actually more important than acquiring new ones, since you want to build a strong, loyal customer base for your business, especially if your business is very brand-oriented (i.e. a clothing designer).

Measure Your Results

Measuring your results is important to determine if your ad is performing the tasks it was designed for. Remember to set goals prior to making an ad. This will allow you to compare your goals with overall ad performance. Your goals should be reasonable though.

Below are metrics to measure your results:


Impressions is the number of times your ad was on screen for your target audience even if it’s the same person. Non-human traffic like bots are detected, so they are not counted toward your impressions count.


Reach is the number of people who viewed your ad at least once. It is an estimated number, but can help you measure how many people were exposed to your ad during your campaign. Reach can be affected by your bid, budget, and targeted audience.


Frequency is the number of times each person saw your ad. This metric is important as awareness and memory recall is created by showing your audience the ad multiple times. However, it’s also important to know if the same people are seeing your ad too often – then you know it's time to change your ad creatively or by targeting a new audience.

Frequency is calculated by impressions divided by reach.


Actions are an activity that happens in response to your ad such as someone watching your video or clicking on your ad. It also includes outbound clicks, post engagement, and more.


A Relevance score is a rating from 1 to 10 that estimates how well your target audience is responding to the ad and is shown only after receiving 500 impressions. Like ad reach, it is estimated. The higher the score, the better your ad is reaching your targeted audience.

Relevance scores include:

  • How well your ad is performing
  • Positive feedback like clicks, video views, and app installs
  • Negative feedback like a user clicking that they don’t want to see the ad.

When running an ad, you need to know how much you want to spend on showing people your ad. There are two types of budgets:

  • Daily budget: the average amount of money your willing to spend on your ad every day
  • Lifetime budget: the amount of money you will spend over the entire run-time of your ad

You can optimize your budget by using the optimization tools, such as entering bid caps and cost targets.


Budgets are also required to meet the following minimum:

  • If an ad is charged for impressions, its daily budget must be at least $1 a day
  • If an ad gets charged for clicks, likes, video views or post engagement, its daily budget must be at least $5 a day
  • If an ad get charged for low frequency events like offer claims or app installs, its budget must be at least $40 a day

You can stop running an ad any time by pausing it in Ads Manager, but you will still be charged for any fees accrued prior to the ad being paused.


It’s important to respond to the comments people post on your ads as this can increase people’s perception that you are an active business. Not only can answer questions about your product or service, but you can address customers’ concerns and issues.

Some Facts About Instagram

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To run an instagram ad, you do not need an Instagram account - you can do so with your Facebook account through Ads Manager. Your business profile page or personal account does not need to be linked to your ad.

If you have multiple Instagram accounts, adding an Instagram account to your Business Manager is the best way to go about it. Use Business Manager on an account and run your ads.

You can also connect your Facebook Page to your Instagram account or create a new account from your Page’s settings. This is the preferred option for small businesses.‍

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For Instagram objectives you have brand awareness, reach, traffic, engagement, app installs, video views, lead generation, messages, conversion, catalog sales, and store traffic.

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After choosing your objective, fill in the details for your ad set. You can edit your ads’ placement by select Instagram. You can also select automatic placements if you want your ad to run across the different Facebook platforms, which include Instagram.

Depending on the age you target, the following graph can give you a rough idea. The average cost per click of an ad based on $300 million of ad spend is about $0.70.

Time of year is the most important factor relative to cost. Cost per click changes throughout the year due to holidays. This is something you will want to keep in mind. Obviously, the time preceding December 25, Christmas, is a very popular time to run ads as businesses are looking to capitalize on the holiday gift market.

Facebook says that it isn’t necessary to create different content for Facebook or Instagram. Content that does well on Facebook generally does well on Instagram. However, that said, you should still monitor your ads to see what is working and what is not. Running different ads for each platform could make a difference depending on your business and product.


Millions of people use Facebook’s various platforms each and every day. As such, it is one of the most effective ways for businesses to reach potential customers and raise brand awareness. Next to Google, Facebook has by far the largest ads market share. This is important to consider. If you are looking to begin running ads campaigns for your business, make sure to consider Facebook. By designing a creative ad, while keeping your budget and target audience in mind, you can start a successful marketing strategy for your business! The possibilities are endless!

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