Facebook Advertising 101: The Complete Beginner Guide

Sep 6, 2023
Sep 6, 2023
32 mins
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Facebook advertising

New to Facebook advertising? Check out this complete guide to Facebook ads and learn how to create compelling (and revenue-generating) campaigns today.

We've all scrolled through our Facebook feeds, skimming through vacation photos, memes, and the latest viral videos.

Yet, among all that personal content, there's something else that consistently catches our eye: Facebook ads.

Facebook advertising is a powerful tool that allows businesses, big and small, to display their promotions, products, or services to a targeted audience within the vast Meta ecosystem.

And if you think about the platform's expansive reach, with billions of monthly active users, it's evident why it's a game changer for businesses around the globe.

Entering the world of Facebook advertising might seem daunting at first. But armed with the right knowledge and strategies, it's an avenue that offers unparalleled potential for brand growth and recognition.

If you're looking to make an impact in today's digital age, it's high time to delve into this Facebook ads 101 guide.

Introduction to Facebook advertising

Facebook ads are paid messages from businesses that are positioned between normal (or organic) content that lives on your newsfeed.

To do this, advertisers create campaigns with specific goals (which we call objectives) and ads within those campaigns to help them reach those objectives.

For example, a business may create a Facebook ad campaign to increase website visits. They would then design various ads with images, videos, or other content targeted at a specific audience to direct as many users as possible to their website.

The magic behind Facebook ads lies in their targeting capabilities. When setting up an ad, advertisers can choose to show their message based on a myriad of factors:

  • Demographics: Age, gender, job title, and more.
  • Location: Ads can be shown to users in specific cities, states, or countries.
  • Interests: Based on what users share on their timelines, apps they use, ads they click, etc.
  • Behaviors: Activities users do on or off Facebook, sourced from Facebook's partner data.
  • Lookalike audiences: Facebook can target users who are similar to your known customers based on their activities and interests.
  • Custom audiences: These are lists of known contacts (found by email address, phone number, or the Facebook Pixel). Facebook then targets ads to the users associated with these contacts.

Once an ad is set up, Facebook's algorithm determines the best target users based on the advertiser's criteria and the potential relevance of the ad to each individual user. Ads are then placed in a user's Facebook News Feed, Instagram Feed, Reels, or even in Stories, seamlessly integrating with the user's browsing experience.

If all goes well, the audience clicks on the ad, makes a purchase on the website, and turns into a loyal customer.

Et voila! That's how Facebook ads work in a nutshell.

Are Facebook ads still worth it?

Facebook continues to be a dominant force, even in 2023.

While there are other platforms and tools available for businesses to reach their target audiences (like Google Ads, TikTok, LinkedIn, etc.), Facebook ads offer a blend of sophistication, scale, and specificity that few can rival.

Here are a few reasons why Facebook ads are still worth the investment:

  1. Unparalleled user base: Even as new social platforms emerge, Facebook maintains its status as the largest social media platform in the world, with around 3 million daily active users this year.
  2. Advanced targeting capabilities: Over the years, Facebook's ad targeting has only grown more refined. With the integration of Instagram and the data derived across the Meta suite of products, advertisers can target based on specific demographics, interests, behaviors, and more.
  3. Format diversity: Facebook has consistently shown its ability to adapt to changing user behavior and preferences. From immersive video ads to shoppable posts, there are ad formats available that can cater to various marketing goals and audience preferences.
  4. eCommerce solutions: The lines between social media and e-commerce have blurred considerably. With features like Facebook Shops and seamless integration with various e-commerce platforms, businesses can not only advertise but also facilitate direct sales on the platform.
  5. Robust analytics: Facebook Ads Manager provides detailed insights into ad performance, audience engagement, and conversion tracking. In a world where data-driven decisions are paramount, this deep dive into metrics ensures businesses can continuously optimize their strategies.

As many businesses are vying for attention in the crowded digital space, not leveraging a tool as potent as Facebook ads can mean ignoring a massive source of potential income and new customers.

Given that Meta accounts for 3 out of the top 4 most popular social media platforms in the world, you can't afford to miss out on what it has to offer.

Setting up your Facebook advertising account

Before you even think about creating your first Facebook ad, you first need to set up your Facebook Business Account and an ad account.

A Business Account will let you do things like:

  • Organize Pages and ad accounts: If you have a Facebook Page for your business and you want to run ads, you can have both assets in one place, making it easier to manage.
  • Add team members: If you have a team, you can give them different levels of access. For example, one person might be able to create ads, while another can only see how the ads are doing.
  • Keep businesses separated: It helps keep your business assets separate from your personal Facebook account or other side businesses.

An ad account, on the other hand, is the place from which you will run your ads, and it includes things like your billing information, currency to be billed in, and your time zone. You will need to create both of these things before you run your first ad campaign on the platform.

Step 1: Create your Meta Business Account

  1. Head over to https://business.facebook.com/
  2. On the left-hand side of the page, you should see the name of any Facebook Pages you manage. If you click on the dropdown field, you'll see an option to create a Business Account.
how to create a Business Manager account on Facebook
  1. In the next step, add the details of your account.
Create a Meta Business Account
  1. Next, Facebook will ask if you have any existing assets that you want to add to this Business Account. For example, I had a pre-existing Facebook Page that I wanted to add. You can skip this and do it later, or select your assets and hit next.
Claim assets - Business Account
  1. You'll then be asked if you want to add any employees to your Business Account. Feel free to do this now or come back to it later.
  2. In the final step, we're asked to confirm all our information one last time. If everything is good to go, click “Confirm.”
review final step - Facebook Business Manager

Congratulations, your Meta Business Account has now been created! You're one step closer to creating your own ads.

Step 2: Create your Facebook ad account in Business Manager

Next, we'll need to finally create our ad account.

  1. Click on the settings button from your Business Manager page:
Business Manager Settings
  1. From here, select the Ad Accounts option under the Accounts tab.
ad account - Business Manager
  1. On the next page, click on the “Add Ad accounts” button on the top right-hand side of the screen.
create Ad account - Facebook Business Manager
  1. Next, you'll want to choose which method you want to use to connect an ad account. In our case, we want to create a new one from scratch.
ad account creation options
  1. We'll then move on to giving our ad account a name, choosing our account time zone, and finally, our currency.
new ad account creation - Facebook
  1. Lastly, Facebook will ask you to confirm whether you want to use this ad account for your Business Account or for another one. We want to choose the first option here.
Final ad account confirmation

...and now, we're finally finished creating our first Facebook ad account! The last thing you need to do is add a payment method to your account (which you can do by following the steps here).

Then you can move on to creating your first Facebook ad. 🙂

Exploring different types of Facebook ads

There are several fantastic ad formats available on the Facebook ad platform, making it tough to know when (and where) to use each one.

In this section, we'll break down all of the Facebook ad formats, including specs, what they're best used for, and how you can use each one to get your messaging across.

Image ads

The image ad format is one of the most straightforward ad formats available on Facebook. As the name suggests, it involves displaying a single static image accompanied by a caption, headline, and call-to-action button.

This type of ad is designed to convey a message or promote a product, service, or event using just one visual element.

Anatomy of a Facebook ad

When should you use an image ad?

  • If you have a strong, high-quality image that can convey your message without the need for multiple visuals or a video.
  • If you're targeting users in areas with slower internet connections, image ads load faster compared to carousel ads or video ads.
  • For businesses on a tight budget, creating a compelling single-image ad can be more cost-effective than producing videos or multiple images for a carousel.

Best practices for image ads

  • Use high-resolution images: The last thing someone wants to see is a blurry or pixelated photo when they're trying to make a purchase decision. Make sure to use images that have a high resolution and fit the image size guidelines above.
  • Don't advertise too much at once: Space is limited with image ads. If you have a set of products you're trying to advertise, you might want to use something with more 'real estate', like carousel ads or video ads.

Video ads

Videos account for nearly 20% of all Facebook content—and combined with Facebook's powerful targeting capabilities, these ads form one of the biggest powerhouses on the block.

These ads appear in the News Feed and Stories (more on that soon) and can even be placed in between other video content on Meta as in-stream ads. With varying length options, from short 6-second bumper ads to longer, more detailed narratives, video ads are both versatile and dynamic (which is what makes them so popular).

When should you use video ads?

  • Video ads are perfect when you want to weave a narrative around your product or brand, connecting emotionally with your audience.
  • If your product requires showing its use or explaining its benefits, a video can be more effective than static images.
  • With the proliferation of mobile use, short video ads can captivate on-the-go users, especially on Instagram.

Best practices for video ads:

  1. Grab attention early: The first few seconds of your video are crucial. Ensure you have compelling visuals or messages upfront to reduce drop-offs.
  2. Optimize for muted views: Many users browse without sound. Use captions or ensure your message is clear, even without audio.
  3. Create a high-quality video: Ensure your video is of high quality, with clear visuals and sound. A poorly produced video can actually detract from your brand's image and appear more 'scammy.’

Carousel ads

Everyone has their own unique preferences for items based on things like favorite flavors, colors, designs, you name it.

For e-commerce advertisers, showing just one product to your audience means you might lose out on potential customers who just aren't interested in the one thing you're showing off. The solution? Carousel ads.

Carousel ads allow advertisers to showcase multiple images or videos within a single ad placement, each with its own copy and link. Users can swipe and click through these images or videos, making it a dynamic and interactive ad format and giving you more opportunities to make the sale.

Facebook carousel ad example

When should you use carousel ads?

  • If you're an e-commerce brand or have a range of products to display, carousel ads let you showcase more than one item to potential customers.
  • You can use the sequence of images or videos to narrate a story or explain a process step-by-step, making it more engaging for the viewer.
  • If you have a product with multiple features, each card in the carousel can highlight a different feature.
  • Carousel ads can be incredibly effective for retargeting, displaying a mix of products that a user might have viewed or shown interest in before using Dynamic Product Ads (or Meta Advantage+ catalog ads as they’re now called).

Best practices for carousel ads:

  1. Maintain your brand consistency: While each card can showcase different products or messages, having a cohesive visual theme or style makes the entire ad more engaging.
  2. Optimize each card’s description: Each image or video can have its own caption. Make sure these are concise and relevant and add detail or value to what's being showcased.
  3. Use a clear CTA: While each card can have its call to action, ensure there's an overarching action you want users to take after viewing your ad. For example, if you're advertising items in your e-commerce store, your cards should all have the same CTA (shop now).

Slideshow ads

While creating video ads can be great for engagement, teams without design resources (or a good design budget) might not be able to create one in-house.

Luckily, Slideshow ads offer businesses a way to create short video-like ads using a series of still images, text overlays, and even sound through Facebook's slideshow editing tool. This makes slideshow ads a cost-effective alternative to video ads, particularly useful when video production might be out of reach due to budget or resources.

When should you use slideshow ads?

  • If you don't have the means for a video shoot but still want a dynamic ad, slideshows can be your go-to.
  • To convey a story or a sequence of events, just as you would for video.
  • If your target audience is in areas with slow internet connections, slideshow ads use fewer resources than videos while being more visually impactful than a static image.

Best practices for slideshow ads:

  1. Keep it short and engaging: Ideally, your slideshow should be concise. Aim for a duration that keeps the viewer engaged without dragging on unnecessarily.
  2. Use transitions wisely: Facebook allows various transition effects between slides, but adding too many jarring transitions can do more harm than good. Choose ones that align with the mood and message of your ad.
  3. Opt for audio: Adding sound is a great way to make slideshows seem more like a video. Remember that many users might watch without sound, so don't rely solely on it to convey your message.

Collection ads

The mobile eCommerce market in the US made up around 42% of all eCommerce sales in 2022. No matter what you're selling (or where), you need to be using mobile-friendly shopping experiences. A great way to start is with collection ads.

Collection ads are a mobile-optimized Facebook ad format designed to provide an immersive and interactive shopping experience directly within the platform. They usually feature a primary video or image followed by several smaller, clickable product images.

When users tap on the ad, it opens up into a full-screen visual display, often called the Instant Experience, where they can browse and interact with a variety of products without leaving Facebook.

When should you use collection ads?

  • The format is tailor-made for businesses that want to convert browsing users into buyers directly from the ad.
  • If you have a new product line or want to highlight multiple products at once, collection ads are a great way to do it.
  • By using the primary video or image as a captivating intro, brands can tell a story and then directly link that narrative to products. Think of it like a magazine feature in virtual form.

Best practices for collection ads:

  1. Hit 'em with your best shot: Feature bestsellers or products relevant to the story you're telling with your primary visual—these are the items users are most likely to buy.
  2. Keep it speedy: Ensure any linked product pages load quickly. Users on mobile devices are less patient with loading times.

Messenger ads

Meta platforms account for 2 out of the top 3 most popular chat apps worldwide, making Facebook Messenger another hotbed for brand reach—which is why so many advertisers have started to add Messenger ads to their marketing strategy.

Messenger ads can appear in several variations, though they all have the same goal of connecting you with your audience. They can appear in between messages on the Messenger platform:

As ads with a CTA that directs the user to send your business a message:

Or even as a targeted promotion sent directly to your audience's inbox (provided they've engaged with your business on Messenger before).

No matter what variation of the above you use, Messenger ads can give a more personalized and immediate form of engagement with your target audience.

When should you use Messenger ads?

  • When you want to interact with potential or existing customers one-on-one and offer personalized solutions, recommendations, or support.
  • If a user has shown interest in your product or service but hasn't converted, a direct message can remind them or offer additional incentives.
  • To notify users who've already engaged with your brand before about special promotions or exclusive discounts.
  • To get direct feedback on products, services, or overall customer experience.

Best practices for Messenger ads:

  1. Only send the good stuff: Since you're entering a personal space, ensure your ad provides clear value. Whether it's an exclusive discount, a helpful tip, or an important update, make it relevant.
  2. Keep it short: Messenger is a platform for quick chats. Keep your messages short, engaging, and to the point.
  3. Use interactive elements: Messenger supports various interactive elements like quick replies, buttons, and even carousels. Use them to make your ad more engaging or easier to reply to.
  4. Don't leave them on read: If a user engages with your ad, ensure you have a system in place to respond promptly. This could be via a human customer service representative or a chatbot for initial queries.

Stories and Reels ads

Facebook is known for moving fast and adopting features that are similar to their rivals'—and the arrival of Facebook and Instagram Stories and Reels are a testament to that.

Originally made to be a competitor for Snapchat Stories, Instagram Stories at one point were even more popular than Facebook feed advertising in all demographics aside from non-millennial men. Since its creation in 2017, Facebook has continued to push the Stories feature, even adding an ads component.

In the same vein, Reels were added to rival TikTok’s content style. While organic Stories are typically gone within 24 hours and are for quick snapshots, Reels stay on the platform and tend to be a little longer and more edited.

Given the rising popularity of the short video format across social media platforms, Stories and Reels ads offer brands a way to engage users in a more casual, yet immersive manner.

When should you use Stories and Reels ads?

  • The full-screen vertical format is immersive, making it excellent for grabbing attention and introducing new audiences to your brand.
  • The Stories format is particularly popular among younger users, making it a prime space to engage this demographic.
  • To show a different side of your brand by offering sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes views, or other less polished, more 'real' content.

Best practices for Stories and Reels ads:

  1. Engage instantly: Start with a bang! Your opening seconds should capture attention, given the quick, swipe-happy nature of Stories consumption.
  2. Optimize for mobile: Remember, Stories and Reels are primarily a mobile experience. Ensure your ad is optimized for vertical viewing and looks good on mobile screens.
  3. Use clear, bold text: If you're using text overlays, they should be concise, legible, and big enough to be easily read on mobile.

Creating your first Facebook campaign

Now that we know how Facebook advertising works and what ads we can use, it's time to put it all together and create our first campaign!

Defining your campaign objective

A Facebook campaign objective is the primary goal you want to achieve with your Facebook ad. It's like setting a clear mission for what you want your ad to do, whether it's getting people to visit your website, like your page, buy a product, or sign up for a newsletter.

Choosing the right campaign objective is crucial because it guides Facebook on how to show your ad and even the format available to you. Overall, there are 6 main objectives on Facebook:

Facebook campaign objectives

Awareness - This goal shows your ad to a lot of people who will likely remember it. Think of it like introducing yourself at a big school gathering.

Traffic - Used to get people to visit a destination, like your website or online shop.

Engagement - This one is used to get engagements like video views, messages, or event RSVPs.

Leads - Great for getting contact information from your audience for things like eBook downloads, demos, or appointment bookings.

App promotion - If you want to drive app installs or in-app usage, this is the objective for you!

Sales - Anyone with an online store should be using Sales to drive more product purchases.

Once you've selected the right objective, you can move on to the next phase—audience creation.

Targeting the right audience

I'm an avid gaming nerd who loves to hide from the sun—but no matter how great your golfing ad may be, I'm never going to be tempted to battle 18 holes in the bright Florida sunshine.

That's why when advertising on Facebook, making sure you're selecting the right audience to target in the first place is going to be one of the biggest hurdles you need to overcome to be successful.

Luckily, Facebook provides us with a TON of targeting options that allow us to identify and segment those who would be a perfect fit for what we have to offer. The types of targeting options fall under one of two main buckets: interest targeting or custom audiences.

Interest targeting allows advertisers to reach people based on their interests, hobbies, behaviors, and more, which Facebook determines from user activities, profile information, pages they like, and other interactions they have on the platform.

Custom Audiences, on the other hand, allow you to target a specific set of people with whom you have already established a relationship—on or off Facebook. This could be people who are in your current email database, have visited a page on your website, or even those who have engaged with any of your Facebook content. You can also create lookalike audiences—or cold audiences who have similar characteristics to a specific custom audience—which are a sort of middle-ground approach to the two methods.

To TL;DR it for you: Interest targeting focuses on reaching new audiences, while Custom Audiences are all about reconnecting with an audience you've already had some form of interaction with.

The first question you might be wondering is which is best and what you should use for your ad campaign.

The honest answer for both is it depends on what your goal is and who you're trying to reach.

As consumers, we usually don't buy something the first time we see it. In fact, some estimates say a B2B cold prospect (someone who's never seen or heard of your business before) takes an average of 20-50 touchpoints before making a purchase.

Therefore, the campaign objective and audience you use should be tied to where they're at in the buyer's journey.

The marketing funnel

The Acquisition prospecting stage is all about finding new people who do not yet know about your brand; therefore, interest targeting and lookalike audiences work best here.

The rest of the funnel is built off of retargeting people who have interacted with your brand in one way or another, and this is where Custom Audiences truly come in handy. (More on those soon).

Choosing ad placements

The next place people usually get stuck in is the ad placement part. Given that there are 15+ placements available, it's not hard to see why it's so confusing.

Facebook ad placements

Since each ad placement has a completely different cost and can bring you a different amount of revenue, there's no right answer for every advertiser available. If you're just starting out, we recommend using Facebook's Advantage+ placements instead of selecting them manually.

With Advantage+, Facebook will try to optimize your ad placement to show your ads in places that will give you the best results. After your campaign has had some time to run, you can then use tools like Madgicx that will give you an overview of your best ad placements and show you which is best for you.

Madgicx ad placement

Setting an adequate budget

Nobody wants to overpay for something, especially in the advertising world. This is why paying attention to your budget is such an important part of your Facebook ad strategy.

What you might not know, however, is that Facebook ads are essentially a giant auction house with each advertiser bidding against each other to get their ads seen on the platform. And while you do set an overall spend limit for your campaign, what you're actually doing is bidding on the specific actions you want users to take.

And just like an auction house, the person with the highest bid is the winner.

While the exact cost of your campaign can vary depending on what action you're bidding on, what your objective is, who you're targeting, and even the time of the year, one thing you should always keep in mind is how much revenue you need to make in order to be profitable. This metric is commonly called your break-even ROAS.

Depending on things like your Conversion Rate, Click-Through Rate, and Cost Per Click, there will always be a certain amount you need to spend to get the amount of revenue you need to remain profitable with your ads.

And since that number is different for every advertiser, we've created a Facebook Ad Cost Calculator tool to help you determine exactly how much you need to pay for your Facebook ads.

Facebook ad cost calculator

By inputting some of your common marketing metrics above, we'll give you a breakdown of what you need to spend daily (or monthly) to achieve your objectives.

If you don't have any of these metrics just yet and this is your very first campaign, you can always use industry benchmarks from companies similar to your industry and niche.

Enhancing your Facebook marketing strategy

When you've got all the basics of a good campaign under your belt, you might ask yourself what you can do to improve the results you have. That's just what we'll cover in this section.

Implementing A/B testing in Facebook ads

When your campaigns underperform, it's hard to know if it's the offer, the ad itself, or the targeting that's the problem. One way to know for sure (and to reduce your Facebook costs overall) is through A/B testing.

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a method of comparing two versions of your Facebook ad creatives against each other to determine which one performs better.

Essentially, you create two ads that are identical in every way except for one variable, which could be the headline, image, call-to-action, or any other element. By running these ads simultaneously to similar audiences, you can measure their effectiveness in achieving your specific goals, such as clicks, conversions, or engagement.

The importance of A/B testing your Facebook ad creatives cannot be overstated. It removes the guesswork from your advertising campaigns and provides data-driven insights into what resonates with your target audience.

This, in turn, maximizes your ad performance and ensures that your advertising budget is being spent efficiently.

If you want to A/B test an ad you already have, just head over to Ads Manager and move to the Ads tab. Select the checkbox next to the ad you want to test, and click the A/B test button in the toolbar.

A/B test Facebook ads

From there, just select the ad you want to test, choose what tests you want to run (in this case, a creative test), and then edit your new ad. Make sure to choose the right key metric that determines performance (in our case, we'll be using Cost Per Click, but you can also use specific conversion events or other engagement goals).

set up A/B test Facebook ads

After your ads have had some time to run, you'll be able to see which ad performed the best (according to the key metric you selected) in Ads Manager.

And while running creative tests is a great way to get started, you don't have to stop there. You can also A/B test things like placement and even the audience of your campaign.

Using custom audiences

As we discussed before, interest targeting has a lot of power to it on the Facebook platform. The real money to be made, however, is with retargeting campaigns that use custom audiences.

In fact, retargeting campaigns perform approximately 10x better than campaigns going to traditional cold audiences.

Facebook has no shortage of ways for us to create these audience segments, all of which are very helpful depending on your marketing strategy and the stage of the funnel you're targeting:

  1. Customer file: Upload a list of contacts such as emails or phone numbers. Facebook matches this data with its user base to show your ads to these specific people.
  2. Website traffic: By installing a Facebook Pixel on your website, you can target users who have visited your site or specific pages. This is useful for retargeting visitors who haven't yet taken a desired action, like making a purchase.
  3. App activity: If you have an app and it's integrated with Facebook, you can create audiences based on actions people take in the app. This could be reaching a certain level in a game or viewing a product in a shopping app.
  4. Offline activity: This allows you to target people based on interactions that happen outside the internet, like in a physical store.
  5. Engagement: This includes people who have engaged with your content on Facebook or Instagram. Engagement can range from liking a post to watching a video or interacting with a Facebook Page.
  6. Lookalike audiences: Though not a Custom Audience in the traditional sense, once you have a custom audience, you can create a lookalike audience with it. Facebook identifies the common qualities of your custom audience and finds new people who are similar to them.
  7. Video views: Specifically target people who have watched your videos on Facebook or Instagram. You can even specify the percentage of the video that people have watched.
  8. Lead form: Create an audience of people who have filled out a lead form on your Facebook or Instagram ads or, conversely, people who have opened the form but have not completed it.
  9. Events: Target people who have interacted with your event on Facebook. This could be people who are interested, going, or have interacted with the event in some way.
  10. Instant Experience: Target people who have opened your Instant Experience on Facebook or Instagram. Instant Experience is a full-screen experience that opens after someone clicks your ad.
  11. Shopping: Create audiences of people who have viewed your products, added any products to their basket, or purchased any products on your Facebook or Instagram shop.

While we don't have time to cover every single strategy for every custom audience in this article, we do have a fantastic custom audience guide that can help you improve your targeting strategy ASAP.

Employing the power of the Meta (Facebook) Pixel

I'll put it very plainly: if you can't track how much revenue you make as a result of your advertising efforts, you might as well give up before you start.

And the best way to do that is through the Meta (or Facebook) Pixel.

The Pixel is a small piece of code that you place on your website to track user actions and interactions. This powerful tool serves as the eyes and ears of your Facebook advertising campaigns, capturing valuable data that can be used for a variety of purposes, from tracking conversions to creating some of the custom audiences we just mentioned above.

The Facebook Pixel is indispensable for marketers for several reasons.

  • It allows for conversion tracking, meaning you can see what actions users take after clicking on your ad. This data is crucial for understanding the ROI of your campaigns and optimizing for better results.
  • Secondly, the Pixel enables retargeting strategies by identifying users who have interacted with your website but have not converted. You can then create highly tailored ads to nudge them towards a purchase or other desired action.

Unfortunately, relying solely on the Facebook Pixel can leave some gaps in your data tracking due to some privacy-related restrictions that come from Apple's iOS 14 update. This is because browser-based solutions like the Pixel can be limited by factors such as ad blockers, cookie restrictions, and privacy settings.

The Conversions API Gateway complements the Pixel by capturing server-to-server events, thereby filling in the data gaps and providing a more comprehensive view of user interactions. It allows you to manage data privacy concerns more effectively, and offers a more resilient approach to data tracking that is less affected by browser limitations.

We understand that not everyone is a developer, and that’s okay too. That’s why we created Madgicx Cloud tracking Services to help solve your attribution woes.

With MCT, we’ll help you set up tracking that increases your retargeting audience size and captures 20% more data in as little as 3 days.

The best part? You can try the service for free for 14 days!

No matter which way you go about it, implementing both of these tracking setups is a key way to make sure you're never spending more than you earn with your Facebook ads.

Analyzing and optimizing your Facebook ads

Analyzing and optimizing your Facebook ads is a lot like fine-tuning a race car. You need to keep an eye on all the dials and meters to know what's working and what needs adjustment.

The first step in analyzing your ads is to understand your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These could range from click-through rates to conversion rates or even customer lifetime value (and, in fact, usually include all of the above AND more).

For beginners, it can be difficult to know what to look for and especially hard to know what to do when you see things underperform.

Luckily for you, that's where we here at Madgicx come into play :)

Madgicx's AI Marketer acts like an expert pit crew for your ad campaigns. Utilizing artificial intelligence, it auto-optimizes your campaigns by making real-time adjustments based on performance data. It considers factors like ad placement, audience behavior, and creative effectiveness to automatically allocate your budget to the most promising ads, thereby improving your ROI.

Simply put, it's a game-changer for those looking to get the most out of their ad spend without constant manual tweaking.

Madgicx AI Marketer

And if you'd rather take the wheel yourself, Madgicx offers one of the best ways to monitor your ad performance wherever you are with the Madgicx One-Click Report.

Madgicx’s One-Click Report is like your race car’s dashboard, giving you all the vital stats at a glance. It compiles a comprehensive report of your campaigns' performance metrics in one click, saving you the hassle of sifting through multiple data points (and platforms).

One-Click Report features metrics from Google Analytics, Shopify, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Google Ads all in one place, making it a true one-stop analytics shop.

In reality, analyzing and optimizing your campaigns is never a one-and-done adventure. By using tools like Madgicx's AI Marketer for optimization and One-Click Report for analytics, you're not just keeping up in the race; you're staying ahead of the pack.

Facebook advertising policies and regulations

Every place you visit online has a set of rules you need to follow, and Facebook ads are no different.

Facebook's advertising policy (or the Meta Advertising Standards) provides guidelines to ensure that ads displayed on its platform are safe, appropriate, and respectful to its audience. While the policy encompasses a wide range of rules, there are some fundamental principles and key rules to follow:

  1. Prohibited content: Facebook does not allow ads that promote illegal products or services, discriminatory practices, or misleading/deceptive promotional tactics.
  2. Restricted content: Some content is allowed but with restrictions. For instance, ads for alcohol, dating services, or financial services have specific criteria that need to be met and might require prior approval.
  3. Quality and relevance: Ads should be of high quality and directly relevant to the product or service being offered. Misleading or false content is prohibited.
  4. Targeting: Advertisers must respect Facebook's guidelines on targeting, ensuring that they don't engage in discriminatory practices or overly invasive targeting.
  5. Safety and privacy: Ads should not promote harmful or negative behaviors and must respect user privacy. For example, ads should not contain spyware or malicious software.

Remember, this is just a brief overview, and the actual policy is much longer and more detailed. Every Facebook advertiser should regularly review the ad policies and keep track of any changes to make sure you're always in compliance.

Trust me, you don't want to wake up one day to find your entire ad account has been restricted from the platform entirely.

Common reasons for ad disapproval

While it's true that there are several pages above about all the policies you need to adhere to, in my experience, 90% of the ad disapprovals or bans come from one of the following issues:

  1. Misleading or false content: Any ad that promotes false or deceptive information, offers, or claims beyond a reasonable doubt will be disapproved. That means 'get rich quick’ and 'every person is a winner' style spam just won't cut it.
  2. Prohibited products or services: Ads promoting illegal drugs, weapons, adult services, counterfeit goods, or crypto won't be approved.
  3. Inappropriate or offensive content: Any ad that contains or promotes hate speech, discrimination, violence, or any form of inappropriate content is a no-go.
  4. Low-quality or disruptive content: Blurry images, excessive capitalization, incorrect grammar, or any content that interrupts the user experience.
  5. Privacy violations: If your ad collects user data without proper disclosure or consent, it can be banned.
  6. Third-party infringement: Violating intellectual property, copyright, or trademark rules.
  7. Engagement bait: Encouraging users to engage with your content (like, share, comment) without providing meaningful interaction or using deceptive tactics.
  8. Restricted content violations: Even if certain content isn't entirely prohibited, it may still require special permission or adhere to particular guidelines (e.g., ads for alcohol, financial services, or political campaigns).
  9. Improper use of Facebook's branding: Using Facebook's name, logos, or trademarked terms or implying a direct endorsement from Facebook.
  10. Payment issues: If there are issues with the payment method associated with the ad account, your ads might be paused or disapproved.

Appealing against Facebook’s decision

Luckily for us, most of these issues can be solved by simply fixing the issue in the first place. But as Facebook isn't perfect, sometimes you can get flagged for disapproval even if your ads do meet the policies above.

In that case, your best bet is to appeal the decision through Facebook.

Go to the Business Support Home and select the account that has the disapproved ads.

  1. Select the ad, ad sets, or campaigns that you believe were incorrectly rejected.
  2. Click Request review and select Submit.
rejected Facebook ad

This will then send your request back to Facebook, where it will be manually viewed (and hopefully approved).

P.S. We have a full guide on how to deal with disapproved Facebook ads if you need some extra help!

The future of Facebook advertising

While social media platforms can come and go in an instant (R.I.P. Vine), Facebook has remained at the forefront, pushing the boundaries of what's possible and keeping its audience on the platform.

As we look to the future, two key technologies are set to redefine Facebook Ads: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented/Virtual Reality (VR).

But where AI brings depth, VR and AR promise to expand on what we know and love about ads in the first place. These technologies are set to elevate the advertising experience from mere viewing to immersive interaction.

Picture this: Instead of passively observing an ad, users might find themselves stepping into a virtual showroom, trying out clothes in a digital trial room, or even getting a 360-degree view of a holiday destination before booking.

AR, with its ability to overlay digital information onto the real world, allows users to visualize products in their own space – be it a piece of furniture in their living room or a pair of shoes they're contemplating buying.

To me, the combination of AI, VR, and AR in Facebook's advertising realm paints a picture of a future where ads are not just a momentary distraction but a comprehensive, personalized experience.

As these technologies continue to intertwine with Facebook, advertisers and brands are poised to engage with audiences in ways previously deemed the domain of pure science fiction.

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Sep 6, 2023
Sep 6, 2023
Tory Wenger

Tory is a digital marketing specialist and the current Marketing Manager of Breadcrumbs.io. She's been featured in various high-profile marketing blogs like Hootsuite, AdEspresso, and Databox and holds certificates for both Google and Facebook Ads. In her spare time, she gardens and paints from her house in the Florida panhandle.

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