Facebook Ads • Your Ultimate Marketing FAQ Guide

Facebook Ads • Your Ultimate Marketing FAQ Guide

Time for another Ultimate Marketing FAQ Guide! After warming up with Lead Generation and Ads on Reddit, we’re ready to take on Facebook Ads.

We’ll cover the basics plus some creative inquiries like “Are Facebook ads listening to me?” and “What Facebook ads did Russia buy in 2016?

I should be clear: we’re talking about Facebook ads on Facebook.

With Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and recent changes to their ad platform, Facebook now allows you to run ads on Instagram and Facebook simultaneously.

Bear in mind, Facebook and Instragram are two completely different channels with different audiences who have vastly different habits and motivations (look for an Instagram Ads FAQ in the future).

Facebook Ads FAQ

  • Why use Facebook Ads?
  • How Facebook Ads work
    • Where do Facebook Ads appear?
    • What do Facebook Ads look like?
    • What size are Facebook Ads?
    • Do Facebook Ads actually work?
  • How to create Facebook Ads
    • What size are Facebook Ads?
    • Why are my Facebook Ads not approved? (File an appeal)
    • Why are my Facebook Ads not delivering?
    • How do I cancel Facebook Ads?
  • How to make great Facebook Ads
    • Where can I see competitor Facebook Ads?
    • How do I target Facebook Ads?
    • How can I target fans of a competitor Facebook page?
  • How to buy Facebook Ads
    • How much did Russia spend on Facebook in the 2016 election?
    • What is a good cost-per-click (CPC) for Facebook Ads?
    • How can I pay for Facebook Ads?
    • When does Facebook charge for ads?
    • How do I get a receipt for Facebook Ads?
    • How do I get free ads from Facebook?
  • Can Facebook ads hear me?

Why use Facebook Ads?

We like Facebook ads because out of all the channels we use — including LinkedIn, Quora, and Google Search — Facebook gives us some of the most granular audience targeting options (more on that in a moment).

If you can master the tools and creative, which we’ll help you with here, you’ll find Facebook ads can be a powerful tactic to grow your business.


How Facebook Ads work

In general, ads on Facebook consist of a Format (what the ad looks like) and the Placement (where on Facebook the ad shows up). You’ll pick the Audience you want to advertise to, a Budget for how much you want to spend, and an advertising Objective like increasing conversions on your website.

*For our thoughts and experience on how to best leverage Facebook’s intelligent algorithms, check out How Facebook Ads Really Work: Facebook Advertising Demystified

Where do Facebook Ads appear?

Facebook Ad Placements Diagram

Ads on Facebook itself can appear in 6 different places:

Feeds
Your ads appear in the News Feed for people accessing the Facebook from their computers or mobile devices.

Right column
Your ads appear in the right-side columns across Facebook for people on their computers.

Instant Articles
Your ads appear in Instant Articles within the Facebook mobile app.

In-stream video
Your ads appear as short videos in both Live video and Video on Demand on Facebook.

Stories
Your ads appear in people’s stories on Facebook. Ads in stories only appear people browsing stories on Facebook.

Marketplace
Your ads appear in the Marketplace home page or when someone browses Marketplace in the Facebook app on their phone.

What do Facebook Ads look like?

See the 11 different ad types Facebook offers below.

Video Ads
“Show off product features, and draw people in with sound and motion.”
See ad specs | Get creative tips

Facebook Video Ad Preview
Source

Image Ads
“Drive people to destination websites or apps through high-quality visuals.”
See ad specs | Get creative tips

Facebook Image Ad Preview
Source

Collection Ads
“Encourage shopping by displaying items from your product catalog—customized for each individual.”
See ad specs | Get creative tips

Facebook Collection Ad Preview
Source

Carousel Ads
“Showcase up to ten images or videos within a single ad, each with its own link.”
See ad specs | Get creative tips

Facebook Carousel Ad Preview
Source

Slideshow Ads
“Use motion, sound and text to tell your story beautifully on any connection speed.”
See ad specs | Get creative tips

Facebook Slideshow Ad Preview
Source

Instant Experience
“Let people open a full-screen, mobile-optimized experience instantly from your ad.”
See ad specs | Get creative tips

Facebook Instant Experience Ad Preview
Source

Lead Generation Ads
“Lead ads on Facebook and Instagram help you collect info from people interested in your business. A lead ad is presented using an image, video, or carousel, and followed by a lead form when the user engages with the ad.”
See ad specs | Get creative tips

Facebook Lead Ad Preview
Source

Offers
“Offers are discounts you can share with your customers on Facebook. You can design your offer ad to appear as a image, video, or carousel.”
See ad specs | Get creative tips

Facebook Offers Ad Preview
Source

Post Engagement
“Most Page posts on Facebook can be boosted to deliver more likes, comments, shares, and photo views.”
Note: These ads look like standard Facebook posts
See ad specs | Get creative tips

Facebook Post Engagement Ad Preview
Source

Event Responses
“Event response ads can be used to promote awareness of your event and drive responses. You can design your event ad to appear as an image or video.”
See ad specs | Get creative tips

Facebook Event Response Ad Preview
Source

Page Likes
“Page likes ads can be used to drive users to like your page. You can design your Page likes ad with a video or an image masked to a ratio of 8:3.”
See ad specs | Get creative tips

Facebook Page Likes Ad Preview
Source

What size are Facebook Ads?

The image or video size for Facebook Ads depends on the ad format.

Video Ads: Any size

Image Ads: 1,200px by 628px

Collection Ads: 1,920px by 3,240px to 5,400px

Carousel Ads: 1,080px by 1,080px

Do Facebook Ads actually work?

Absolutely. Here are two great results we’ve seen from Facebook ads:

You just have to be willing to test and learn.

As with any ad execution, showing the wrong ad to the wrong people with the wrong goal in mind are bound to lead you astray. Facebook ads are no different. To run good Facebook ad experiments, make sure you set up your tracking correctly.

READ: A Smarter Way to Track Campaigns in Google Analytics


How to create Facebook Ads

To get started with Facebook Ads, log in to your Facebook account and find “Create Ads” in the dropdown menu to the far right of the menu bar.

From there, Facebook does some pretty thorough hand-holding.

They take you through setting your campaign objective, creating your ad account (or choosing one you’ve already establish), putting together your ad set — which includes traffic, audiences, placements, budget, and schedule, then choosing and actually building your ad.

Facebook Ad Creation Welcome

Why are my Facebook Ads not approved?

There are a number of possibilities why your Facebook Ads were rejected, including:

  • Violation of Community Standards
  • Prohibited Content (Illegal Products or Services, Drugs & Drug-Related Products, etc.)
  • Restricted Content (Alcohol, Dating, Financial Services, etc.)
  • Sexually Suggestive Content
  • Ads targeted to “discriminate against, harass, provoke, or disparage users or to engage in predatory advertising practices”
  • Ads that are irrelevant to to the product or service being offered and the audience viewing the ad
  • Excessive text in ad images
  • Requesting the wrong kind of info in Lead Ads
  • Misusing Facebook brand assets
  • Abusing data collected through Facebook or your ads

Facebook will typically send you an email explaining why they disapproved your ad. You can either modify your ad (or create a new one) for approval, or file an appeal if you think your ad meets Facebook’s standards.

👉 Facebook Ad not approved? File an appeal here 👈

Why are my Facebook Ads not delivering?

Throughout your Facebook ad campaign, your ads can stop (or fail to start) delivering for many different reasons, including:

  1. Ads Weren’t Approved
  2. Ads Are Stuck in “Pending Approval”
  3. Ads Edited Too Many Times
  4. Results Are Delayed
  5. Spending Limit Reached
  6. Billing Failed
  7. Throttled Ads
  8. Bid Is Too Low
  9. Ad Set Budget Is Too Low
  10. Audience Too Small
  11. Low Relevance Score (this is very important)
  12. Too Many Ads
  13. Overlapping Audiences
  14. Slow Delivery

Each one has a fix. See how over at Online Advertising School.

How do I cancel Facebook Ads?

To delete an ad, follow these instructions.

To deactivate your Facebook ads account, go here instead.


How to make great Facebook Ads

There’s no magic bullet. Learning how to use Facebook Ads effectively takes time and testing.

Here’s 22 Creative Facebook Ad Design Tactics to get you started.

If you’re looking to create Facebook Ads that work, you should also check out the Ladder Playbook for all our Facebook-related ad tactics (there’s a ton).

Where can I see competitor Facebook Ads?

I like the way you think!

What better way to get ideas of what to do (or not to do) than scope out the competition?

In 2018, Facebook released a new “Info and Ads” section on Pages, which allows users to see the active ads currently running on Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger by that brand or business, and provides additional information about that brand or business, including the date their Facebook Page was created and any previous name changes.

Facebook Page Info and Ads Section

It’s a game changer.

Read about all the cool stuff you can do with the Info and Ads section.

How do I target Facebook Ads?

On Facebook, you target ads by creating audiences.

Facebook allows you to target based on location (ex: country, state, province, city, congressional district, zip or post code), Age, Gender, Language, and even Interests and/or Behaviors.

For instance, you could target college grads who are frequent travelers and interested in cooking.

One of the best Facebook ad targeting tactics is Lookalike Audiences.

How Lookalike Audiences Work

Here’s a riff from our post How Facebook Ads Really Work: Facebook Advertising Demystified.

For example, maybe you know that people who use your product are Entrepreneurs who like Gary Vaynerchuk, use Mailchimp, are 25-35 years old, and are living in New York.

BUT do you know that there are tons of small pockets of entrepreneurs living in places like Texas and North Carolina?

Do you have a list of every single startup influencer or email service provider?

Can you identify the occasional 45 year old who would also like your product?

Facebook can do all of the above. They have several orders of magnitude more data than you do. More importantly, they can decide what’s more relatively important to predict whether someone will convert.

That’s why lookalike audiences work so well, why Facebook is one of the best ad platforms ever created, and why we still use them daily.

Also, with Facebook’s custom audiences tool, you can easily target super fans.

Facebook Custom Audience

You have five options to help you create a custom audience:

Customer File
This method allows you to create a custom audience by uploading your customers’ phone numbers or email addresses via a CSV or TXT file.

Website Traffic
This method allows you to use the Facebook Pixel installed on your website to target people who visited your website or specific pages within the last 180 days.

App Activity
This method allows you to create a custom audience based on user’s app activity within the last 180 days.

Offline Activity
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, this option allows you to target people who interacted with your business in-person, over the phone, or through other offline channels.

Engagement
This method allows you to create a list of people who engaged with your posts on Facebook or Instagram. This includes activities like visiting your Facebook page, liking a post, or viewed a video.

Another super awesome tactic? Retargeting ads. Deploy them to engage inactive users, upsell current customers, and converting website visitors into paying customers using Facebook.

How can I target fans of a competitor Facebook page?

Simple. Using Facebook’s Guided Creation option, find “Detailed Targeting” in the Audience step and enter your competitor’s name. While you’re not targeting strictly fans of the page, this wider net doesn’t necessarily hurt your efforts, especially with Facebook’s knack for finding people who are likely to convert.

Facebook Ads Detailed Targeting


How to buy Facebook Ads

You purchase ads on Facebook auction-style. That means you’ll bid on your target audience along with other marketers. To see strategies around bidding and buying Facebook ads, check out our post demystifying Facebook ads.

How much did Russia spend on Facebook in the 2016 election?

Answer: $1.25 million per month

And while there’s plenty about their efforts that you shouldn’t emulate, there’re also a great deal of things marketers can learn from the most effective Russian Facebook ads from the 2016 Election.

What is a good cost-per-click (CPC) for Facebook Ads?

We audited all our PPC ad campaigns and in the spirit of transparency — a cornerstone value for us Ladder — you can see the full details of our Facebook escapades.How much we spent, what our CPCs and CPAs (cost per acquisition) were, and what our clickthrough rates were.

Our CEO provides his own commentary to give you context for what you should expect.

How can I pay for Facebook Ads?

Tons of ways. Go to Settings > Payment Settings > Add Payment Method to see what payment options are available to you. My account is in USD, so here’s what I’m seeing.

Facebook Select A Payment Method

Can I pay for Facebook Ads with debit card?

Yes.

Can I pay for Facebook Ads with PayPal?

Sure — as long as the currency you want to pay in is accepted by PayPal. Otherwise, you have more of a challenge ahead of you.

If the currency you want to pay in isn’t an accepted currency for PayPal, you can still make your payment through PayPal in a supported currency. You’ll first need to convert your currency through PayPal to change your balance to a currency that we accept. Please note that you’ll incur a PayPal fee to do this conversion. Visit PayPal for more details on currency conversion.
Add PayPal as a payment method for Facebook ads

When does Facebook charge for ads?

Depends on whether you’ve set up automatic payments or manual payments.

Automatic payments
Automatically charge you whenever you spend a certain amount known as your billing threshold and again on your monthly bill date for any leftover costs. This is how you’ll pay if you use PayPal or most credit and debit cards to purchase ads.
Manual payments
Manual payments: You’ll add money to your account first, and then we’ll deduct from that amount up to once a day as you run ads. This is how you’ll pay if you use a manual payment method (like PayTM or Boleto Bancário) to purchase ads. With manual payments, you won’t have a billing threshold.
When you’ll pay for Facebook ads

How do I get a receipt for Facebook Ads?

You can find your receipts in the Billing section of Ads Manager.

Facebook Billing

How do I get free ads from Facebook?

Coupons for Facebook ads exist (I’ll let you Google around for them), but if you’re looking for ways to gain organic traction on Facebook, I recommend you check out these Facebook Growth Hacks. They’re super simple, and you should be doing them way before throwing down any cash on Facebook ads.


Can Facebook ads hear me?

No. But it sure seems like it, right? Those eerily relevant ads that are showing up — they’re just an example of how eerily great at behavioral and predictive targeting Facebook has gotten.

All the more reason to advertise there, right?

Even if Facebook isn’t recording your conversations through a hidden microphone hijack in their app (or a second, well-disguised mic secretly embedded in your smartphone).

Not convinced you can be truly alone with your phone around?

See what happens when a vegetarian starts chatting about her desire for Domino’s Meat Feast.

What’s the business case for advertising on Facebook?

Here’s a few articles where we document the great impact Facebook’s has had in our experimentation: