Ads Manager is the command center for Facebook Ads. You can use the tool to view, change, and analyse all components of your Facebook advertising.
There are other cool features in the tool that let you customize your ad strategy–but I won’t overwhelm you with that upfront. It’s more important right now to understand precisely where Facebook Ads Manager sits in the big picture of your Facebook ad game.
This image will help you in the Facebook Ads Hierarchy:
People often want to jump straight to creating ads (the little orange guys on the bottom), which is a mistake. Facebook Ads Manager acts as an umbrella for your ad account. The organisation you observe above makes it possible for you to create impactful ads that have a measurable purpose beyond the image and line of text people will see on their feed.
Now, enough of what Facebook Ads Manager is; let’s move on to how you get there and how you get going.
First things first, here’s a direct link to Facebook Ads Manager.
You can also access the tool directly with the Facebook Ads Manager app. To be honest, we still prefer using the desktop version.
Finally, you can access Facebook Ads Manager directly from the Facebook home feed. On the left panel, click ‘See More’ and scroll down. Select ‘Ads’ to navigate to Facebook Ads Manager.
That’s it! Reference these directions for future ad campaigns. Keep reading for a full walkthrough of the Facebook Ads Manager account set up.
Getting started with advertising on Facebook is easy. We’ll periodically remind you about our ads hierarchy chart, so you always know on what level we’re working.
Facebook Business Manager sits at the top of the Facebook Ads hierarchy.
If you’re new to using Facebook ads, you’ll first need to set up a business account. The Business account allows you to manage multiple ad accounts, add members of your team to those accounts, and get business-related reporting for relevant Facebook pages and accounts.
The first thing to do is go to business.facebook.com and click the blue ‘Create Account’ button.
From there, log into your personal Facebook account. A word of caution: you may be tempted to create a new Facebook account to separate business from personal. However, this usually ends with frozen advertising work or banned accounts (Facebook despises duplicates). You’ll be grateful you used your personal account.
And that’s it! Keep up the momentum and get going through the next step: set up advertising access for your business.
Congrats! You jumped the hurdle of setting up a business account. We’ll associate your Facebook business profile with potential partners, your businesses page, and your ad account in this step. Doing so will allow Facebook to keep track of the important bits of information you’ll want while running ads later.
To start, click the triple bar at the top of the Business Manager page and select ‘Business Settings.’
If you’re not working with an agency, don’t worry about this step. If this does describe you, add partners to your business page by selecting the ‘Users’ dropdown menu and clicking ‘Partners.’
You have two options:
Tip: While you’re in the ‘Users’ menu, click ‘People.’ Check that you have admin access and add team members.
Unlike ‘Partners,’ everyone needs to do this step. And by pages, we mean the official Facebook page of your business:
On the ‘Business Settings’ panel, click the ‘Accounts’ dropdown, and choose ‘Pages.’
Hit the ‘Add’ drop-down and click ‘Add a Page.’ Then type in your page’s name to associate it with your account. If you don’t have a business page, you can set one up here, too, by selecting ‘Create a New Page’ and clicking the relevant business category.
Adding an account is pretty straightforward. Just go to ‘Accounts’ in ‘Business Settings’ and choose ‘Ad accounts.’
In the ‘Add’ dropdown, you can:
Once you add your ad account, the next thing you need to do is scroll to the bottom of the panel in business settings and go to ‘Business Info.’
Click the ‘Edit’ button for ‘My Business’ and select your primary page — aka the business page you just set up in step 2.
While you’re here, you can add other information like your website, address, etc.
And that’s it! Your account is all set up. All that’s left is to add a Facebook Pixel, which will help Facebook do all the magic audience tracking we love when we run our ads.
So what is a Facebook pixel? A pixel is just a snippet of code you put on your website. A Facebook pixel will help you track user behavior to:
You’ll want to put one on each of your main website and landing pages (Business Manager will let you create up to 100 pixels.)
Here’s how to create your pixel:
You have three options to set up the pixel:
Certain software like WordPress and Google Tag Manager integrate with your website to manage pixels and website tracking.
Benefits of using a partner to manage your pixels include:
The second method of installing your pixel on your site is to send it to a developer.
Choose ‘Email Instructions to a Developer’ in the install pixel menu. Enter your developer’s email and copy the codes from any events (website actions) you want them to include using the ‘Get Event Code for Conversions’ button. Make sure the pixel you created is ‘Active’ before you hit ‘Send.’
Go to Ads Manager > Events Manager > Pixels and click on ‘Set Up.’ Select ‘Install Code Manually’ and follow the prompts included in the popup.
Each step is too detailed to explain here, but I will note that there are about nine steps in total, and it does involve some digging around in your website’s code.
Now that you’re all done setting up Facebook Ads Manager, how do we use it? Again, this is where we’ll manage our ad accounts, campaigns, ad sets, and ads. We navigate most of this from the two primary tabs in Facebook Ads Manager.
To get there from Business Manager, click the ‘Business Manager’ icon in the top left corner and select ‘Ads Manager.’
The account overview tab is self-explanatory – it will show you an overview of what’s going on in your ad account.
The overview tab communicates the big picture of your ad account’s performance, using data from the campaigns, ad sets, and ads in that account. Remember, this is where Ad Accounts fit in our Facebook Ads Hierarchy:
If you have more than one Facebook ad account, always make sure you’re working in the correct one. You can go back and forth between the accounts by clicking the dropdown button at the top of the page:
The Campaign, Ad Sets, and Ads tabs complete the other section of Facebook Ads Manager. The tabs here act a little like nesting dolls. For example, the Campaign tab will show you collective data from all campaigns, the Ad Sets tab will show you all the Ad Sets within those campaigns, and the Ads Tab will show you every Ad in every Ad Set in every Campaign.
If you want to be a little more granular, click the checkmarks provided next to a particular campaign, and the Ad Set tab will show you just the Ad Sets for that campaign, and so on.
Now that you’re familiar with the Ads Manager tabs, here’s a breakdown of everything from setting up a new campaign all the way to placing an order for your first ad. Don’t forget. Before Facebook lets you create new ads, you need to enter payment details for your account.
To create a campaign, navigate to the campaign tab.
You can make your first campaign by clicking + Create ad in the center of the page or the green + Create button underneath the campaigns tab.
Selecting either of these options will bring up this page:
This is where we’re going to set your marketing objective for the campaign. Marketing objectives help specify your goals for campaigns and ads. Specifically, what are you trying to accomplish with your ad campaign? Also, notice that Facebook’s campaign objectives align with the primary marketing funnel stages.
So which business goal aligns with the objective types?
That’s it! Select your objective and name the campaign.
Tip: Commit to a naming convention for your campaigns ahead of time, so your campaigns stay consistent and organised.
Congrats! You’ve successfully created a campaign. Now we’ll be working on the ad set level
To create a new ad set under the same campaign:
We’ll set an ad set budget first. You may have noticed another budget option while you set up your campaign. Please note the option of setting budgets at the campaign and ad set level.
Whether you set your budget at either level is your choice; just note that you cannot set different budgets for the ad sets within that campaign if you already set a campaign budget.
Daily vs. Lifetime media spend
You have the option of setting either a Daily Budget or a Lifetime Budget.
With a Daily Budget, Facebook will, on average, spend up to the amount you specify each day the ad is running. This amount may be over or under the exact amount day by day, depending on the ad opportunity.
In contrast, Lifetime Budget is the total amount that Facebook can spend over the ad’s entire run period.
I prefer to use the daily budget for new ads in the learning phase. Your choice depends on your objectives; just remember that you can’t edit this after you create your ad set.
How much should you spend?
For new campaigns, we recommend you set a small budget to start. Why? Because Facebook will take a minute to learn about your audience. In other words, you don’t want to waste money on ads or audiences that aren’t optimized yet. My point is, start small, wait a few days for some results, and adjust your budget accordingly.
CPC vs. CPM
While we’re thinking about budgets, keep in mind two important Facebook metrics: cost per click (CPC) and cost per mille (CPM).
Cost per click is Facebook’s default setting; you’ll only pay for clicks on your ad. In contrast, you pay for every thousand impressions with CPM.
This step is where we’ll choose our audience — the type of Facebook users you are trying to reach with your ads.
You can filter your desired audience in different ways. Here are a few:
Tip: Narrow your options down to one interest per ad set. Why? Because if you target more than one interest, there is no way to attribute performance to a specific variable. Select one and only one, so you can point to exactly why an ad does well.
Now that you’ve chosen the audience, where exactly will the ads appear on the platform? We call the location ads run on Facebook placements.
You have the option to choose Automatic Placements or Manual Placements. Both Facebook and I recommend selecting Automatic Placements – it’s less of a headache and allows Facebook to work its magic and optimise your campaign for you.
Placement options will change depending on the objective you selected for your campaign and the platform you’re running it on. For example, Instagram placements will have a different look and feel than those on the Facebook home feed.
And you’re done! Hit ‘Next,’ and you can start creating your ads.
We’ve finally made it to the last tier: Ads.
Under ‘Ad Setup,’ select the dropdown for ‘Create Ad.’ Just below, you’ll see a few options for your ad format with placement previews for your selection.
You’ll see more or less formatting options depending on the objective you selected when you set up your campaign.
There are several ad format options to choose from:
For future reference, we included this table. It outlines the ad formats supported by each Facebook objective.
This section is where you’ll add everything from your images to your ad’s call to action (CTA). Simply start with the ‘Add Media’ dropdown and work your way down until you’re staring at that ‘Publish’ button. I’ll break down each category here:
Don’t forget to look at the preview panel on the right side of the page. Check to see what the ad will look like and edit until you’re satisfied.
Even though the process is pretty easy in Ads Manager, we should still be very thoughtful about the media and copywriting we include in the ads. Like the rest of our social media strategy, we want to make each post as engaging as possible. Besides the tips we had above, check out these best practices for your ad images and ad copy.
Creating your first ad is a significant milestone! Make sure you select the ‘Facebook Pixel’ checkbox and hit the ‘Place Order’ button before leaving the page. Facebook will take a minute to approve your ad before it goes live, so be patient.
The thing to remember with Facebook Ads is that most of the time, the system will do a pretty good job of optimising your ads on its own. Wait a few days for results before you start testing things out on your campaign.
Now that you have ads running, it’s essential to keep track of how your campaign progresses. After all, you want to know how your ads drive impact for your business.
So, where can you access Facebook Ad campaign analytics?
Luckily, everything you need to monitor campaign results is in Facebook Ads Manager. We mentioned this earlier in our overview of Facebook Ads Manager Tabs. As a review:
Additionally, here are the steps to see ad performance:
Step 1: Go to Ads Manager
Step 2: Select the level you want to analyze (Campaigns, Ad Sets, or Ads)
Step 3: Click the ‘View Charts’ button on the right panel to visually see your performance.
Step 4: Review data on the Performance, Demographics, Placement, or Delivery of the campaign, ad set, or ad you select.
After you run ads for a while, you’ll quickly see what metrics are most important to your business. You can customize to see any performance metric column. For example, if I’m trying to increase traffic to my website for a particular campaign, I might want click-through-rate (CTR) front and center.
Simply click the Campaigns tab, the Columns dropdown, and choose Customize Columns. Pick which columns you want to see, and check the Save as a preset checkbox to use this view again later. Don’t forget to click Apply.
For more information on creating a measurement strategy for your business, Facebook offers a free Measurement Foundations course.
On a final note, don’t forget why you analyse performance in the first place: to improve performance going forward. The constant process of testing, analysing, and optimising will help you scale your Facebook ads and ultimately result in growth for your business.
Hopefully, now you have a much better understanding of the power of Facebook Ads Manager, combining your organic and paid social strategies.
You really can’t overrate the power of creating, managing, and tracking paid and organic content in a single place. Good luck!