Facebook Advertising - Getting started with Facebook's paid search & best practices in 2021

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Simple Nguyen, LLC

This article will help your business acquire new customers through paid Facebook advertising. Utilizing paid advertising is one of the most effective tools to grow your business by generating new leads and sales.

Facebook Advertising Overview

Facebook Ads 101

Facebook gets data from its users interacting on the platform. Through these interactions, they are able to process this data and determine who a particular user is and what they are most likely to interact with on Facebook. This allows Facebook to show users a highly-targeted, relevant ad of products or services they would most likely use or have an interest in.


Facebook has a pretty good idea of who I am and what I enjoy doing. I’m sure you can relate. Check out the ad below to see what I mean:

Facebook integrates these targeted advertisements into my newsfeed and shows an advertisement to me roughly every five posts. However, Facebook does a great job in hiding its advertisements and making them unclear to a day-to-day user.



The largest distinguishing feature of a paid advertisement is the “sponsored” tag below the company’s name, Hulu.

Another distinguishing factor is a clear call to action, a button or indicator that prompts a user to take action. In the ad shown above, it shows “learn more,” but could include: sign up, download, contact us, book now, apply now, call today, find store, or many more! 


Getting Started with Facebook

To begin, we would recommend setting up a business manager profile to control your Facebook page. The Facebook business manager is a tool that Facebook has created to help organize and manage your business. It allows you to maintain control over your Facebook page by allowing you to set user permission levels for the different arms of your business, ranging from campaign managers, accounting, to administration. 


Every business looking to begin Facebook advertising should have one set up, whether you are running the campaigns yourself, or working with an advertising agency. If you are currently working with an agency and do not have a business manager account set up, you may be losing valuable campaign data, as they agency owns that data, not you.

Facebook Business Manager

You will need a Facebook profile to create a business manager profile, and you will sign on to the business manager with your profile. Facebook has a fantastic step-by-step guide to creating a manager account here. 

Once a business manager account is created, you will need to:

  – Connect your business Facebook page to your business manager account

  – Create an ad account for your business within the business manager

  – Add the necessary people to your business manager account and give them proper permissions

 Once all that is done, we can begin diving into strategy and get started with your first campaign! 

Facebook Advertising Strategy

For a successful campaign, we need to understand the psychology behind our ideal target audiences and the users within it, and why they are on Facebook. Inherently, Facebook is a content and social media platform, where users go to consume, create, and share content with their friends and family. Creating high-quality, informative, and engaging content will lead to the results you hope for, unlike a screaming billboard that says “buy this product” that will just be ignored. Properly engaging your potential users will lead to inquiries about your product, and shares to their potentially interested friends. 


Treat Facebook for what it is, a social media platform, and it will return the results you hope to see.



Before you get started, we would HIGHLY RECOMMEND completing Facebook’s Blueprint Certified Digital Marketing course and exam. It will take you roughly 6 hours to complete, but you will gain a foundational understanding of the platform. Once you complete that, Facebook has fantastic courses for continued education here


Additionally, Adpresso has a fantastic article introducing Facebook audiences, including saved, custom, and lookalikes. The article will take about 5 minutes to read and will set the foundation for the rest of our article. 


Goal Selection - Keeping The End In Mind

Now that you have a foundational understanding of Facebook ads, and are set up with the proper business manager account as well as ad accounts, we can begin to set up your first test campaign.

So the first step after you have created your business manager is to navigate to the ads manager. By selecting the 9 dots on the far left, you can see all the different settings available to you. 


Once you are within ads manager, you will need to hit the green “create” button to get started. The first prompting that appears is to select a campaign objective, which is a single goal your campaign will work and optimize towards. The four campaign goals I would recommend are listed below: 


Traffic – send users to an intended destination, like your website, app, or company Facebook page or Facebook event page.  


Lead generation – send users to a form in order to collect leads for your business or brand. Allows users to quickly submit their information with the most basic information already pre-filled by Facebook. 


Conversions – serve ads to users who are most likely to take valuable actions, like making a purchase or filling out an interest form on your website or app.


Store traffic – serve ads to users who are most likely to visit your physical store

Audience Targeting - Target People Who Matter


After selecting a goal that aligns with your company’s needs, you will move to the campaign curation screen. This is where you should spend a majority of your time, in addition to the creative curation. You start by naming your campaign, and then moving onto the ad set box, which is where you will set a campaign budget, daily or total budget, and run time.

From there, you will define your audience through a variety of different targeting options:


Locations – target ads to users based on their location, which includes: country, state, province, city, congressional districts, zip, or postal codes. 

Age – target ads to users within an age range

Gender – target ads to users based on their gender.

Language – target ads to users by their selected Facebook language.

Detailed targeting – target ads to users based on criteria, which includes: demographics, psychographics, interests, and/or Facebook interacting behavior

Connections – target users who are connected to your page, apps, or events
Lookalike targeting – target users that Facebook has created based on similar users from a provided source.

Properly defining your audience allows you to reach customers interested in your products and services with relevant messaging. It decreases waste on ad spend from users completely uninterested. 

Ad Creation - How To Create Ads That Work

The ad creation stage is equally as important as the audience curation stage. You should start with a clear vision on the type of content you want to put in front of potential customers. Some companies focus on their unique product and value propositions, while others focus on their customer & feedback, strong community, or unique culture. 



Make sure that your ad works hand-in-hand with the defined audience. We have included a checklist below to follow along to:

Ad Creation Check List

Facebook Campaign Structure Recommendations

Screenshot of my recommended campaign structure for Facebook Advertising

Whether your company is starting advertising efforts from the ground up, or you feel like you don’t have precise data, we would recommend starting with the following campaign structure shown on the left.



It involves doing a 2v2v2 a/b creative test with 8 different creative sets, with 2 variations for the headline, ad copy, and visual.


Run the eight variations for a week, using 20% of your total monthly budget. After a 72-hour period, I take the top 2 performing variations, based on the goal you selected, and create an additional 6 variations from those two, pausing the other 6 ad sets. 

Ideas for Ad Variations

Once the full week has finished, we create new campaigns with eight ad sets, two of the top-performing ad sets from the week-long campaign, and the remaining six with new variables, running for the remaining 3 weeks and budget. You should continue to optimize and shift budgets between ad sets based on performance, turning off ad sets and adding new ones where needed.

Ideas for Campaign Variations

List of variations, ordered from biggest impact to least impact

Examples of Campaign Variations

Most Common Mistakes & Tips To Avoid Them

Well, there you have it! This was our comprehensive guide to Facebook advertising, including a breakdown of strategy, structure, and common mistakes we’ve noticed through the years.


Interested in another paid advertising avenue like Google or Programmatic? Read our paid advertising overview here

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