Facebook Ads Manager Guide (How-To Set Up Your Facebook Ad Campaigns)

Facebook Ads Manager Guide (How-To Set Up Your Facebook Ad Campaigns)

In this third chapter of our Facebook Ads Beginner’s Guide, we’ll walk through the entire process of setting up your first ad campaign in Facebook Ads Manager.

Among other things, you’ll find out:

Ready to start creating your first ad campaign? Let’s start from the very beginning…

What is Facebook Ads Manager?

What is Facebook Ads Manager?

The Ads manager is where you go to create and manage your campaigns, of course! In full, you can use the ads manager to:

  • Set up Facebook ad campaigns
  • Create new ad sets and ads
  • Manage Facebook ad bids
  • Target many different audiences
  • Optimize your ad campaigns
  • Keep track of your campaigns’ performance
  • A/B test your Facebook ad campaigns.


How to use and navigate the Ads Manager

There are three ways to access your Facebook Ads Manager account:

  1. Use this link that will take you to your Ads Manager account (You better bookmark the link for quick access!)
  2. Click on the drop-down arrow in the upper-right corner of any Facebook page (that you have Admin access to) and select “Business Manager” in the drop-down menu.
  3. Use Facebook’s Ads Manager mobile app to access and manage your ad campaigns anytime and anywhere.


If you’ve never used the ads manager before, it can be quite a lot to take in at first. The bulk of your screen will consist of four tabs:

  • Account Overview
  • Campaigns
  • AdSets
  • Ads


Let’s have a look at this map to get an idea of how to navigate the Ads Manager:

Once you start clicking around, you will find that there are all kinds of data and tools available for you to use.

All of your advanced reports, pixels, saved or custom audiences and other tools are available in the top left corner of the screen where it says “Ads Manager”. Hover there and then hover over “All Tools” in the bottom of the window to view all of your creation, planning, measurement, and asset tools you should be using as well as your settings for the ad account.

You should have a pretty basic understanding of navigating the ads manager now, so let’s jump into the fun part- our first campaign!

How to Set Up a Facebook Ad Campaign

In order to create a campaign, you should of course be on the “campaigns” tab. From there, click on the green “+Create” CTA to create a new campaign from scratch!

Create a campaign in Ads Manager

Create a campaign in Ads Manager

Facebook does a good job to guide you through creation. Once You’ve selected to create a campaign, you’ll see this:

A bit daunting for the first time, isn’t it? Fear not, we’re doing this one together and it will be a breeze.

Step 1: Select Your Campaign Objective

Now, on Facebook you can choose from a handful of campaign objectives that match your advertising goals. For example, if you are looking to drive traffic to a physical location you would use “Local Awareness”. If you’re driving traffic to a website, you want to use “Conversions”.

Here’s the complete list of Facebook campaign objectives available:

  • Brand awareness
  • Local awareness
  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Engagement
  • App installs
  • Video views
  • Lead generation
  • Conversions
  • Product catalog sales
  • Store traffic
  • Messages


How to choose your campaign objective?

Choosing your objective is important, as Facebook uses this to determine other elements of your campaign such as available ad formats, bidding options and the way it optimizes the campaign.

You should always select the objective that best reflects your desired outcome for the campaign. If you are promoting a website,  you will most likely be running a conversions campaign. That’s the campaign type we will create today.

If your campaign’s end goal is to for example submit information to you via a lead form,  then you should select the lead generation objective instead.

So, we’re creating our conversions campaign.

Step 2: Give Your Ad Campaign a Name

After we have decided our campaign type, let’s give our campaign a name. This may seem like a fairly simple step, but it is actually very important to adopt useful naming conventions for your campaigns when you start with Facebook advertising so you can easily organize your campaigns as you scale and run more of them. It also sets you up for hyper-efficient reporting later on when it comes time to analyze your results.

For example, you should always include the date range the campaign will be running in your campaign name. Depending on whether you are advertising for your own business or for clients, you can add more elements in your campaign name:

  • Client name/ website
  • Target Audience/ Location
  • Custom Audiences
  • Creative Type ( Video? Carousel?)
  • Facebook Page, etc


Hopefully this gives you some good ideas to keep your campaigns organized and simplify reporting later on with custom campaign names. After you select your objective, you can also choose to create a split test on the campaign or optimize your budget.

Creating a split test, or an A/B test allows you to run experiments and collect data that shows you the best performing creative, placement, audience and delivery optimization strategies

Lets move on and set up our audience!

Step 3: Set Up the Audience Targeting

Facebook offers a lot of powerful ways to target audiences, and we’ll talk more at length about creating these different audience types in Chapter 6.  The next step is where you will create your adsets, or audiences.

If we think back to the last chapter, you should recall your main ads manager screen has a campaigns tab, adsets tab and an ads tab.

The ads and adsets are contained within your campaign, with the ads containing a specific combination of creative and an adset containing a specific audience and budget.We’ll discuss this in greater detail in Chapter 7 when we review budgets, but for now let’s focus on building our audience.

In this phase of your campaign setup, you have two options:

  • Create a new Facebook target audience
  • Use a Saved Audience

Custom or lookalike audiences are another extremely powerful targeting option for you. In a nutshell since this is a topic for another chapter: with custom audiences, you can create audiences based on your website traffic with something called the Facebook Pixel.  The pixel allows you to build audiences in addition to track events (“conversions” that occur on your website, so this is something you will want to install immediately if you haven’t done so already. You need to create these custom audiences from the assets -> audiences section of your ads manager. They cannot be created during campaign creation.

Now lets fast forward to our audience. This section looks like this:

As you build your audience, Facebook will display your estimated daily reach and tell you if your audience is too big, too small or if it’s just right using the meter. You can target “likes” or interests on Facebook, behaviors or demographics, and create very specific audiences to target in your campaign.

Setting up the right Facebook target audience is of unparalleled importance for the final results of your advertising, and we’ll discuss more about how to create custom or lookalike audiences later on.

Right now, let’s keep on walking through the rest of the Facebook campaign setup.

Step 4: Set Up Your Ad Placement

By default, Facebook will have “automatic placements” selected which can include Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network, but generally will use the placements optimized to give you best results. You can also choose to edit your placements if you have some data on what placement works best for you.

The full list of placements are:


  • Feed

  • Instant Articles

  • In-stream videos

  • Right column

  • Marketplace

  • Stories


While Facebook does a pretty good job auto-optimizing your ad placements, our Facebook ad cost data shows that the cost-per-results can differ deeply, depending on the placement you’re using. This is why split testing many elements of your campaign is extremely important to do. You need to know where your customers are, and meet them there.

How to select your Facebook ad placements?

If you’re setting up your first campaign, we recommend that you use the Automatic Placements.

However, if you’re trying to get people convert on your website and it’s difficult to navigate on mobile, de-select the Mobile Newsfeed, Instagram and Audience Network placements.

Here are the ad placements recommended by Facebook for every campaign objective:

  • Brand awareness: Facebook and Instagram
  • Engagement: Facebook and Instagram
  • Video views: Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network
  • App installs: Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network
  • Traffic (for website clicks and app engagement): Facebook and Audience Network
  • Product catalog sales: Facebook and Audience Network
  • Conversions: Facebook and Audience Network


Step 5: Set Up Your Campaign Budget and Bidding

Your Facebook ad budget and bidding options are such important topics, that we’ve devoted the entire Chapter 7 to it.

Step 6: Set Up Your Facebook Ads

The actual ads are what users on Facebook will see, and you want them to look good. This is the final step of your campaign creation process, you can select your preferred Facebook ad type and insert your ad images and copy.

There are two options here: you can either select an existing Facebook Page post or create new ads:

Now each of these steps of campaign creative are extremely important and since this guide is intended to be an exhausting manual for anyone just getting started with Facebook ads, we’re dividing each section into its own chapter. Before we get to Chapter 4: The Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Ad Types, lets go over how campaign creation works with AdEspresso.

Setting Up Facebook Ad Campaigns With AdEspresso

Many people find Facebook ads manager too complex, clunky, and confusing to use. That’s where AdEspresso comes into play. AdEspresso is a web based tool that allows you to create complex campaigns and split testing without all of the extra fluff and inconvenience of using Facebook ad manager.

There are several benefits of using AdEspresso:
  • It will take less time to set up ad campaigns with multiple creatives and copies
  • You can access Ads Manager features without things getting complicated
  • You can see advanced campaign reports and optimize your ad campaigns
  • Automatically generate .PDF reports of your data for easy analysis
  • Sync leads to your CRM
  • Create Google Ad Campaigns within the same dashboard as Facebook ad campaigns
  • And many more

Let’s get started! You’ll click on “new campaign”  at the top left of your screen. The campaign setup in AdEspresso is similar to the one in Ads Manager – you’ll be walked through all the campaign creation step by step in a clear and logical order.

The first step is naming the campaign and deciding the type of campaign you wish to create.

In AdEspresso, you can make a Google ad campaign or a Facebook campaign. We’re creating a Facebook campaign.

You can create your Facebook campaign from a draft,  previously published campaign, or start from scratch.

Campaign Creation in AdEspresso has more options to create your campaign lightning fast!

We’re going to stick with an external website campaign, this is the Facebook equivalent to a conversions campaign.  Let’s go ahead and jump to step two, where we will set up our campaigns creative elements.

Setting up your campaign creatives all in one page. To create a split test on any element, just click on “+”!

One of the best things about AdEspresso is that it lets you add multiple ad elements to see which one works best.

All you have to do is click the “+” sign to add additional variations. Later, AdEspresso will automatically create all the different ad combinations.

The more split tests you run, the more budget you will need for the campaign but the split tests will give you valuable information you can use to lower campaign costs later on.

Interested in learning more about campaign management in AdEspresso? Then you can’t miss this guide: How to Create Your First AdEspresso Campaign.


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