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How to Advertise on Facebook: The Ultimate 2019 Guide to Facebook Ads

Everything you need to know about advertising on Facebook and setting up your own Facebook advertising campaign.

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By Ana Simova
content writer at Ranking Press

With over 2.3 billion monthly active users and over 1.5 billion users visiting this platform on a daily basis, Facebook is surely the most popular and most used social media platform in the world. This makes Facebook the best place for marketing almost any type of business.

That being said, its massive audience and constantly-changing algorithm make it hard for businesses to organically market their products and services and connect with their target audiences, and this is where Facebook ads come in.

Facebook advertising is one of the best ways in which you can advertise your business online, and that’s exactly why we created this 2019 guide to Facebook ads.

Why advertise on Facebook?

How to create a successful Facebook advertising campaign?

How much does it cost to advertise on Facebook?

We’ll answer these questions and tell you everything you need to know about Facebook ads, whether you’re a Facebook advertising newbie or not. We’ll also give you more advertising tips so you can create a great campaign to promote your business and reach your desired audience, so let’s begin.

Why Facebook Is a Great Platform for Advertising

If you’re not so sure about whether or not to advertise on Facebook, take a look at the following reasons and decide for yourself.

Everyone Is on Facebook

And you’re probably aware of this as well! Just think about it, how many of your friends and family members have Facebook profiles? If that doesn’t convince you, the statistics say it all. Over 2.3 billion people across all age groups, most of who are from 18 to 29 year old, use Facebook each month, and that’s almost one-third of the entire world population!

This means that no matter your type of audience, they are using Facebook and all you need to do is find them. So, how do you do that? Let’s see in the following paragraph.

Facebook Offers Target Advertising

This is probably one of the best reasons why you should be advertising your business on Facebook, since this platform allows you to place your ads in front of the exact audience(s) you’re after. Facebook’s targeting options include demographics, interests, users’ activity on Facebook, and more! So you can select users based on their age, location, marital status, education, job title, Facebook pages they liked or shared, specific apps they use, specific devices they use, their purchasing activity, and so on. But wait, there’s more!  

Facebook Can Clone Your Target Audience

Not only can you create your perfect target audience, but you can also ask Facebook to find you similar audiences based on the one you created using the targeting options we mentioned above. So, if the audience you created yourself has super-high conversion rates, Facebook can find new users with similar demographics, interests, and behaviors and present your ads in front of them so you can increase your revenue. This option is called “lookalike audiences” so keep this in mind.

Facebook Offers Retargeting

Another great option Facebook advertising offers is to advertise your business in front of those users who are already in some way familiar with your business. They might have clicked on your website a while ago, used your app, or gave you their email at some point. No matter the exact activity, these users have already heard about your business so they are more likely to be interested in it when presented with an ad.

Facebook Ads Are Affordable

It’s true, Facebook advertising is for everyone no matter your budget. How come? Well, you decide how much money you want to spend on your ads, so the more money you invest the more people you’ll reach, it’s as simple as that. So how much do Facebook ads cost? We’ll answer this question in more depth towards the end of this guide, so read on.

Facebook Ads Are Easy to Set Up

Setting up a Facebook advertising campaign is fairly simple, so you don’t have to be a social media expert to do it, and we’ll show you how it’s done later in this guide.

You Can Set Clear Goals

What do you want to achieve with Facebook ads? Do you want to get more likes on your page, sell a product, or maybe get people to install your mobile app? There are plenty of other ad campaign objectives you can choose from, so let’s see what they are.

Understanding the Facebook Ad Campaign Objectives

Before we show you how to set up your Facebook advertising campaign with Facebook Ads Manager, you need to be familiarized with all the ad campaign objectives this platform offers. This will be the first choice you’ll need to make, so let’s break them down.

There are three main categories with more options under each: awareness, consideration, and conversion.

Awareness Category

The awareness category is most suitable for top-of-funnel marketing and you can choose between brand awareness and reach ad campaign objectives.

Brand Awareness

This objective is great for increasing brand awareness. It puts your ad in front of those users who are most likely to be interested in your business and what you sell and those who are most likely to recall your brand.

While this sounds great for small to medium businesses and new startups, the brand awareness objective is not such a good idea unless you’re a big brand like Nike or Coca Cola. Why? Well, you won’t get much engagement, click-throughs, or purchases, and since you’re not a big brand that most of the Facebook users have heard of it’s not going to be that effective. If you want to increase brand awareness there are other objectives that’ll do the job much better, so read on.


If you have a local business and a very specific target audience, the reach objective might be right for you. Your ad will be seen by the highest number of people in your target audience, depending on your budget, of course. So, if your goal is to advertise your business or a particular product or service in a specific geographical area in front of a small and specific audience, the reach objective is right for you.

Consideration Category

Choose the consideration category if you want engagement or a specific action from the people who’ll see your ad, and you can choose one of the following objectives: traffic, engagement, app installs, video views, lead generation, or messages.


Want to drive traffic outside of Facebook? Do you want as many people as possible to click on your link? If the answer is yes, the traffic objective is what you should choose.

Facebook will present your ad in front of those users who are most likely to click on your link, based on their past behaviors on this platform. While you will get lots of clicks, if you want a specific action like registration or a purchase, there are better objectives for that. But if you’re a content creator and want people to read a blog post or you simply want to increase brand awareness, the traffic objective is perfect.


If you want to receive more engagement on your ad, this is the objective for you. You’ll get likes, comments, shares, event responses, page likes, and so on, depending on whether the ad is about a page, an event, or a post. This objective is great for posts that already had high engagement organically, and videos do pretty well as well.

Remember when we talked about retargeting and “lookalike audiences”? You can do that with this objective and reach similar audiences to users who have already shown great engagement on your page, posts, or events.

So, if your goal is to increase reach and brand awareness and gain social proof, the engagement objective is perfect for you.

App Installs

As the name suggests, you should choose this objective is your sole goal is to reach people who will most likely install your mobile app. The ad will direct users who click on it straight to the app store, so if you want to get as many app installs as possible according to your budget, this is the perfect objective to choose.

Video Views

Again, as the name suggests, this objective should be your choice if you want to reach those users who’ll most likely watch your video. While you will receive lots of views, that doesn’t necessarily mean that those users will engage with the video, so keep this in mind. The video views objective also gives you the option to retarget audiences, so your video will be shown to those who have similar demographics and interests to the users who are already interested in your video content.

Lead Generation

Is your goal to collect contact information from the users who’ll see your ad? If it is, by choosing the lead generations objective Facebook will show your ad to those who are most likely to accept your proposition.

The best thing is that they won’t even have to leave Facebook, everything will be shown in the ad and they can submit their contact details while still on the platform. Even better, since Facebook already has this information, the form will automatically be pre-populated with their name, email, and so on. All they have to do is click on your CTA (apply now, subscribe, sign up, etc.) and you will have collected their lead.


The messages objective has one specific goal – encourage users to start conversations with you on Facebook Messenger. You can either place your ad within the Messenger app or encourage the conversation after a user clicks on your ad. This is a great objective for businesses who sell items that are high in value, since this is when customers and potential customers might have some question regarding the product, the shipping, and so on.

Conversion Category

The last category is most suitable for bottom-of-funnel marketing, so if you want to convert prospects into customers this is the perfect category and you can choose between conversions, catalogue sales, or store visits.


By choosing the conversions objective, Facebook will put your ad in front of those users who are most likely to convert and see your product, buy your product, leave their contact information, or do another specific action. In order to use this objective, you must install Facebook Pixel on your site so that Facebook can keep track of every action that occurs. Beware that you need to generate 50 conversions at least every week in order for this objective to be effective. If you don’t, you might need a more suitable one, like traffic for example.

Catalogue Sales

If you have a product catalogue feed on your brand’s Facebook page and you want to convert prospects who have already seen your products into customers, choose the catalogue sales objective. It’s perfect for e-commerce businesses that have new products, and again, you’ll need to have Facebook Pixel installed on your website.

Store Visits

This ad objective is a great option if you have a local business (or businesses) and want to show your ad to those users who are geographically near your store(s). It’s very similar to the reach objective and doesn’t guarantee sales or other specific actions, but rather increases brand awareness. Just make sure that your business address is correct and included on your Facebook page.

Understanding Facebook Ad Formats

While Facebook objectives were your goals for your advertising campaign, Facebook ad formats are how the ads will appear creatively on someone’s feed. You can choose between video ads, photo ads, slideshow ads, carousel ads, collection ads, instant experiences, stories ads, messenger ads, lead ads, or dynamic ads, or link ads, so let’s shortly go over each.

Video Ads

Videos with great thumbnail images are great attention-grabbers, perfect for driving awareness and sales.

Photo Ads

Single-image ads are the easiest to create, therefore the most common Facebook ad format. Besides a great image, the photo ad requires a link and a call-to-action.

Slideshow Ads

If you want to use multiple images and are looking for a video ad alternative, the slideshow ads can be great for that. You can add music, text overlays, and other interesting options Facebook offers, so make sure to use captivating and high-quality images that’ll grab the user’s attention.

Carousel Ads

Facebook carousel ads consist of images or videos that users can swipe through. You can upload from a couple to up to 10 images or videos with a call-to-action on each slide. These ads are perfect for ecommerce businesses, especially for advertising multiple products.

Collection Ads

Even though these types of ads are only a couple of years old, they’ve become one of the most popular ad types on Facebook. A collection ad consists of a cover image or a video, followed by more images that are mostly used to showcase multiple products. It looks great on mobile and after clicking the user is taken to a full-screen version where they can immediately buy the given product.

Instant Experiences

The most important thing to know about the instant experiences ads is that they show only on Facebook mobile. These vertical ads load very quickly, hence the name, and immediately grab users’ attention since they occupy the whole screen.

Stories Ads

Facebook stories ads are full-screen, vertical ads that users see while looking at their Facebook stories. They disappear after 24 hours but Facebook found that this format inspires shopping – up to 50% of users are looking for the advertised product on the site where it can be purchased after seeing the ad.

Messenger Ads

Have you ever seen an ad in your Facebook inbox? If you have, you already know what messenger ads look like. The ad itself can be an image carousel, a video, or dynamic ad that we’ll get to later, so if you want to start a direct conversation with your potential customers, the messenger ads are for you.

Lead Ads

If you want the users who see your add to fill in a form like sign up for an offer so you can get a lead, the lead ads are your best ad choice. The form pops up immediately after a user clicks on the ad with the contact information prefilled, so make sure it’s not too long if you want to gather as many leads as possible.

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ads are perfect for ecommerce business and those that have catalogues with products on their Facebook pages. So, if a user already looked at an item that you sell, this ad will target and show them the exact item and other similar ones he or she might be interested in.

Link Ads

If you want to drive traffic to your website, the link ads are your best choice. No matter where on the ad users click on, they will immediately be redirected to your website – even if they click by mistake.

How Much Does it Cost to Advertise on Facebook?

Facebook Ads are great for almost every type of business, big or small – even for promoting start-ups, personal blogs, and websites. Because of its billion daily users, Facebook makes it possible for marketers to target different segments of those users, in many different ways.

Before starting to use Facebook ads, there is one question that people frequently ask: How much does it cost to advertise on Facebook?

While you might expect a simple and straightforward answer, in reality, there is no short answer. Well, let me correct myself – there can be a short answer, but it won’t be precise.

The average CPC (Cost per Click) on a Facebook ad is around $0.27.

That’s the short and simple answer, but as I said, it’s not precise. If you want to know how much it will cost you to advertise on Facebook, you need to know a couple of things first,like the type of ad you want to run, the industry of your business, the people you want to target, their geographical region, etc.

Daily and Lifetime Budget

The good thing about Facebook ads is that everyone can run an ad given that the lowest daily budget you need to spend is only $1. If you have your marketing budget on the side and need to decide how you’re going to spend it on Facebook ads, the first thing is to ask yourself whether you’re going to set a daily budget or not.

You can restrict the amount of money spent on Facebook ads on a daily basis so that Facebook spends only the amount you’ve selected for one day – and not a dollar more. However, if you like to give Facebook some freedom to decide about the optimal time to spend your marketing budget, you can set a lifetime budget for your ad campaign. That way, your money set for Facebook advertising can be spent in one hour, one day, or even a longer period of time – which also depends on your campaign start/end date.

Facebook Bids

When it comes to bidding, Facebook has made it very simple. You can either let Facebook automatically set the bid, with the promise you’ll get most engagement for the best price, or bid manually. If you decide to bid manually, you’ll need to choose the amount of money you are willing to spend per single action – click, view, or install.

The bid you place will be spent for every individual action your targeted audience makes. Depending on the amount you enter, Facebook can also use that number to bid for an ad auction.

Lowest Cost and Target Cost

There are two strategies to choose from when setting the bidding options. You can either choose the ‘lowest cost’ or ‘target cost’ option. The difference between the two is that the first one will get you the most impressions for your budget, while the second a stable average cost.

With the ‘lowest cost’ option selected, you are telling Facebook to bid for the lowest cost possible. You can also set a bid cap, which means that Facebook won’t spend more than your set amount for a single action.

For example, if you select lower cost and your bid cap is $2.5 for CPM (cost per 1000 impressions), Facebook will use that money in the most efficient way with the guarantee that it won’t cost you more then $2.5 for 1000 impressions.

Optimizing Ads for Delivery

There are a few different ways in which you can optimize your ad for delivery that can be found in the ad settings on Facebook. You can pick one from the following five options in the ‘optimization for ad delivery’ section.

Cost per Click or CPC means that you will be charged for every click on your ad. This is the most used ad delivery optimization, great for call-to-action ads.

Impressions or Cost per Mille (CPM) is frequently used when brands want to improve and enhance their brand awareness. This option charges you for every 1000 impressions that the ad receives.

Cost per View or CPV is used for video ads. When your video ad is viewed by a Facebook user from your target audience, you will be charged respectively.

Cost per Action or CPA charges you when a user performs a specific action, like installing an app from your ad, filling out a survey, or signing up for emails on your website.

Cost per Like or CPL is specifically used for increasing Facebook page likes. It’s like a combination of the CPC and CPA, but a cheaper model that can be used only to generate more likes on your personal or business Facebook page.

Factors that Influence Facebook Ads Cost

Now that we know how Facebook ads work and what all that terminology means, we can look at the factors that are affecting the ad costs. After reading the next few paragraphs, you will have a higher understanding of those factors and consequently, you should be able to reduce your cost.


This is the main factor you should be aware of when running an ad on Facebook. Contrary to other advertising platforms like AdWords, Facebook doesn’t target certain keywords, but groups of people. Depending on the industry of your company, you would surely want to target the people that would be most interested in your products or services. That target market can differentiate in many segments and this is what drives the cost of the ad up.

Factors like interests, age, gender, location, and language all affect the price of your advertisement. What’s more, the bigger the interest in a particular industry, the costlier the ad will be.

The appeal industry has one of the cheapest prices for CPC, around $0.5, similarly to the retail industry which is $0.7. However, industries like customer service, home improvement, and finance and insurance cost more than $3 per click. This is also because Facebook users are more likely to click on an ad from a clothing brand as opposed to an ad from an insurance company, which additionally drives the price up.

Ad Placement

There are many different ad placement options, so the cost also depends on the one you choose. Some placements are more visible so they cost more. The cheaper placements are not that noticeable so they may not give you as many results as when placing ads in the Facebook/Instagram feed, for example.

The ad placements on the Facebook platform include the feed section, the right column, and the stories, but Facebook also has the option to show ads as sponsored messages in your inbox and Facebook videos.

Ad Objective/Goal

To have a successful marketing campaign, it’s very important to correctly choose the objective of the advertisement you plan to run. Selecting the right ad objective is crucial for lowering lowering your costs and achieving your marketing goals.

Time of Year

Depending on the time of year, the cost of ads can vary considerably. This fluctuation in the price for a certain action (like CPC) is because in some periods of the year the competition is much higher.

That’s the reason why before and during Black Friday the ad costs are extremely high, while the week before Christmas only slightly higher. There are other days when you should expect a higher cost of ads, like on New Year’s Day, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving Day, etc.

Ad Quality

The quality of your advertisement can also contribute in driving the price up or down. High-quality ads tend to get better results since there are bigger chances for people to engage with them which is why they’re more likely to cost less.

On the other hand, if you use images with low quality or have too many elements with a bad combination of colors and font, your ad can look unappealing. This will increase its price given that it’ll be harder for people to interact with it, so have this in mind.

How to Set Up a Facebook Advertising Campaign

First things first, you need to have a Facebook business page, not a profile. Since you’re here, looking at how to create an actual ad, we’ll suppose you do have one and continue with the next step.

You can choose either the Facebook Ad Manager or Facebook Business Manager to create your first ad. Given that the former is easier to use, especially if this is your first Facebook advertising campaign, we’ll use that one.

Choose Your Objective

Once you’re in Ads Manager, after clicking on the “Create” button the first thing you’ll need to do is choose your Facebook ad campaign objective. We already described each objective in detail, so choose the one which aligns with your business goals. So, if you want to advertise on Facebook to drive traffic to your website, then your best choice would be the traffic objective in consideration category, if you want to collect contact information from as many users as possible, the lead generation objective should be your choice, and so on.

Name Your Campaign

What will you name your campaign? Add the name here or use the default one. This is something that only you are able to see, so name it however you want.

Create an Ad Set

A Facebook advertising campaign can consist of one or more ad sets you can create at once. If you’re a beginner, we recommend that you focus on only one ad set so you can learn the process before creating multiple ads later. Name your ad or use the default name.

Choose Your Target Audience

Now we come to the part where you create your own custom audience. You’ll be able to choose your audience’s specific location, age, gender, and languages. You can (and should) go further and add keywords to the “Detailed targeting” box that align with your target audience’s interests, behaviors, or demographics so that the people who are most likely to be interested in your business see your ad.

Then give a name to your audience and save it. You can use the same audience for other ads or create a lookalike audience if it proves successful.

Choose Ad Placements

Did you know that besides on Facebook and Facebook Messenger, you can place your ad on Instagram and apps and websites in the Audience Network?

That being said, if most of your audience is on Facebook you should choose this platform. Your ad can be placed in the desktop News Feed, mobile News Feed, right-side column, instant articles, in-stream videos, Marketplace home page, or Stories.

You can select the placements where you think your ad will perform the best, or choose the placements that are automatically selected by Facebook.

Set Your Budget and Ad Schedule

When it comes to the budget you wish to set, we recommend that you start with a smaller amount and see how your ad performs. If you’re satisfied with the results you can set a higher budget, but if you’re not, you might need to change your objective, type of ad, or audience, so don’t invest too much in the very beginning.

When it comes to the schedule, you can either choose for your ad to run from that day onwards up until you go back to Ads Manager and stop it, or select a start and an end date.

Select Your Page

Now you’ll select your Facebook business page, so make sure it’s the right one if you have more than one.

Select an Ad Format

Remember the 11 different ad formats we mentioned above? Now is the time to choose the right one for your ad. Beware that not all objectives support all 11 Facebook ad formats, so choose one of the ones your specific objective supports.

Choose Your Media

Depending on the ad format you select, choose the image(s), video, or both for your ad.

Add Text to Your Ad

All you have to do now is add a compelling headline with a conversational tone that doesn’t sound too salesy, maybe something clever that’ll grab your target audience’s attention. Depending on the ad format, you can add a call-to-action button or other features, so spend a bit of time here to refine your ad and make it look and sound just like you want it.

Final Step

Once you’re satisfied with your ad, all you need to do is click the “Confirm” button and choose how you’ll pay for the ad. Once your ad and payment are approved, your ad will go live.

Final Words

We hope we helped you to understand how advertising on Facebook works so you can create a successful advertising campaign and promote your brand on this platform.

If you want to know more about Facebook marketing, check out our Facebook Marketing Guide where you’ll find more about Facebook and its users, learn more about how to create great posts, when and how often to post on this platform, how to use Facebook’s analytics tools, and more!

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