Your ultimate guide to Facebook advertising

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Cut-through is the ultimate goal of any brand, especially as consumers have access to more options for products and services online. While it’s possible to organically connect with your customers via social media(opens in a new tab or window), the ever-changing algorithms of social media platforms make it increasingly difficult to stay ahead of the game. Facebook advertising(opens in a new tab or window) can add another effective string to the bow of your brand, keeping you relevant to the right audiences.

Whether you’re an established or new brand(opens in a new tab or window) when it comes to reaching relevant audiences on Facebook, here’s everything you need to know about designing your Facebook(opens in a new tab or window) advertising to success.

What is Facebook advertising?

Facebook advertising is the placement of ads or promotions in the Facebook news feed. Your ad won’t appear in every news feed, however; where your ad appears depends on the specific targeting methods you can channel within Facebook for Business and this is one of the reasons Facebook ads are so effective; it’s a bit like knowing the mailboxes you’re putting flyers in are best placed to take you up on your offer.

Why should I advertise on Facebook?

Image by Prateek Katyal via Unsplash.

There are a few reasons you should be incorporating Facebook advertising in your strategy. Firstly, as the digital world moves towards personalisation, the targeting demographics of Facebook could prove incredibly important for your business. These specific options allow you to home in on users that are more likely to be aligned with your product or service, with options as sharp and focused as user age, demographics, location and online behavior.

Secondly, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to capture the attention of an audience, even on a digital platform. Social media users are captive, however — users spend upwards of 34 minutes a day on Facebook, recent statistics explain.(opens in a new tab or window)

Finally, for the user base alone, Facebook is without parallel. As a platform, Facebook has over 2.6 billion active users worldwide, according to data(opens in a new tab or window) acquired from the first quarter of 2020. Of these users, 1.6 billion of them are connected to a business(opens in a new tab or window) with Facebook. This is the most convincing argument for getting started:you’ll have access to an enormous global network.

The pros and cons of Facebook advertising

Is creating Facebook ads(opens in a new tab or window) right for you? Here are a few things to consider when evaluating this decision.


  • Facebook ad campaigns are extremely easy to track and easy to budget for with a daily maximum budget, as well as being sharply specific with targeting.
  • Increased, targeted reach with a near-immediate influx of traffic and trackable return on investment.

Factors to consider:

  • Facebook advertising can be a little expensive if you’re unsure what you’re doing and provides little benefit for brands and services that don’t have scalable options to meet larger and more widespread demand and the lack of ability to choose times of days for when your ads can appear.

Types of Facebook advertising

The first thing to understand is that there are types of Facebook ad formats, as well as types of ads themselves. That is, there are different ways your ad can look in addition to the ways you can promote them. First, let’s deal with the main formats.



Image via Facebook.

This ad is the placement of a simple image(opens in a new tab or window) with the ability to drive audiences directly to your website or mobile app.



Image via Facebook.

This allows you to post a Facebook video(opens in a new tab or window) or Facebook video ad(opens in a new tab or window) in the newsfeed or Stories sections with sound and motion.



Image via Facebook.

This ad is a display of a ‘collection’ of images(opens in a new tab or window), with a cover image or video with a collection of images below.



Image via Facebook.

E-commerce businesses often opt for the carousel Facebook ad(opens in a new tab or window), that allows you to add up to 5 images or videos in a single ad. You also have the option to add an individual link to each image or video to drive people back to your website to directly purchase the depicted product.

The type of Facebook ads you’ll choose will depend on the outcomes you’re hoping to achieve as a result of them; if you’re hoping to achieve more sign-ups for your app, you might opt for the ‘get installs’ option. If you’re wanting to promote your brand more generally, you might choose the ‘send people to your website’ option. Here’s our guide to the different types offered in the Facebook for Business(opens in a new tab or window) platform.

Format:Video polls

Appearing only in mobile formats, this interactive video polls(opens in a new tab or window) is said to be more effective in generating brand awareness than video ads.

Types:Lead Generation ads

Lead ad type presented in the form of image, video, carousel or lead form. Lead generation ad type on Facebook and Instagram to gather audience contact information who are interested in your business product/services.

Types:Dynamic ads

Like a nudge for your audience, dynamic ads track the preferences of a user on your site and uses it to make suggestions the next time they’re on Facebook. If someone has added one of your products without checking out, for example, the dynamic ad will show the products left behind in Facebook, acting as a reminder.

How to create a Facebook advertising strategy

Define your target audience

Don’t miss out on the biggest benefit of Facebook ads:its super granular targeting system. Understanding who the specific people are who are more likely to buy your product or be interested in your service is the first step towards being able to market to them. You can target for parameters as specific as age, interests, location as well as demographics as pointed as relationship status. Once you understand who your best audience is, you can start to understand the process of pushing ads to them.

Create a goal

The second part of your strategy should encompass what you’re trying to achieve by using Facebook ads. Facebook for Business can assist in achieving very specific outcomes, from simple brand awareness to more involved conversions and which one you choose will be determined by your goals. Facebook offers 11 marketing outcomes to suit your ads:

  • Brand awareness (bringing your brand to a new audience)
  • Reach (increasing the amount of people within your audience that sees your ad)
  • Traffic (driving traffic to your specified endpoint such as your website or app)
  • Video views (increasing views of your videos)
  • Lead generation (finding a new audience for your brand)
  • Messages (funneling customers through to Facebook Messenger to contact you)Conversions (encouraging your audience to take action such as buy a product or subscribe to a page)
  • Engagement (increasing the amount of people within your audience that interact with your content)
  • Page likes
  • App installs
  • Catalog sales (the delivery of ads for products they have previously expressed interest in)
  • Store traffic (promoting your bricks-and-mortars store to your audience members in the area)

If you’re trying to increase engagement, for example, consider what format would achieve this the best:would a video help catch the attention of your audience, or would a carousel work better?

Don’t neglect your organic reach

The most powerful approach for your marketing is a social media strategy that combines effective ads and organic reach. While the targeted marketing strategy might strengthen your conversions or awareness, it’s the continual investment in organic reach that will build the underlying relationships between you and your audience and these relationships are priceless.

Still looking to build your organic reach? One way of doing this is to streamline all your assets, keeping them on brand and relevant. Try incorporating templates from Canva, such as Mountain Photography Studio Facebook Cover(opens in a new tab or window) and Now Open Facebook Post.(opens in a new tab or window)

Choose the right ads for your audience and brand

Like any marketing channel you choose, your Facebook ads should always accurately reflect your brand and its objectives. If you’re trying to increase engagement, for example, consider what format would achieve this the best:would a video help catch the attention of your audience, or would a carousel work better?

How to create your own Facebook advertisements

Capture attention with graphics

Image by Alexander Schimmeck via Unsplash.

Want 2.3 times more engagement(opens in a new tab or window) on your Facebook posts? Simply adding a photo can garner this. Facebook's advertising guidelines stipulate that ads should be predominantly visual, with images or photos comprising at least 80% of the content.

Imagine what an eye-catching graphic can do? Creative graphics can help you achieve all the main principles of advertising through visuals; relevance, value proposition, and a single call to action. Whether it's adding text to an image(opens in a new tab or window), an icon(opens in a new tab or window), or a logo(opens in a new tab or window), graphics play an important role in capturing attention—and capturing attention is the first thing you need to do when designing your Facebook ads(opens in a new tab or window). Creating these unique and personalized graphics doesn’t need to be difficult, either—all you need to do is find the right resources to help you do so. Choose Facebook ad templates(opens in a new tab or window) that are simple in layout for easy personalization of colors and concepts(opens in a new tab or window) that fit your specific branding and audience.

You’ll find exactly what you’re looking for in Canva’s wide range of templates for Facebook. Start with something like Tan Minimalist Promotion Bed & Breakfast Inns Facebook Post(opens in a new tab or window) or White Simple Mountain Great Outdoors Activity Facebook Post(opens in a new tab or window) and get personalizing.

Include a call to action

If your audience isn’t sure what to do or doesn't understand what's in it for them, your ad is a failure from an advertising perspective. An enticing call-to-action (CTA)(opens in a new tab or window) or incentive can successfully communicate the advantages or required actions.

An effective CTA can consist of just a few impactful words with a clear message. The language used should be purposeful and elicit a specific response, often utilizing commanding language. In essence, these commands include words like 'buy', 'shop', 'call', 'learn' and 'download', which serve as clear directives, motivating customers to take the suggested action without any ambiguity.

Consider an example from a well-known shoe brand launching a new product line on sale. Which promotional post would be more likely to entice you to click:"New collection available"or "Click through to browse our new collection"? The latter is more compelling, as it provides a clear call-to-action, prompting you to follow the recommended course of action.

Use people in your images

Netflix does very detailed research into the behaviors of their audience and none was so telling than that from a few years back; faces were the most effective generators of engagement on their platform.

This is the case for Facebook, too. Social proof, the theory that people mimic the behaviors of others, has been proven to have positive results in specific marketing, too. It’s particularly effective when we view others as similar to ourselves. If you do decide to use people in your ads, use people that represent your customer. You can segment your ad by demographics so male customers see a male and female customers see a female. That's the power of targeted ads.

Apply overlaying text

Facebook's 20% text rule(opens in a new tab or window) limits the amount of text you can feature in your ads, so it's important to make the most of the space you're given. When users scroll their News Feed, your ad needs to tell them why they should stop scrolling and investigate further. This is where adding some copy to your image is powerful.

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