Interested in running a Facebook advertising campaign but not sure where to start?

In this article, I’m going to cover the three main things you need to do before you start actively advertising on Facebook.

1. Install your Facebook pixel

First and foremost, we need to get the Facebook pixel installed on your site. The Facebook pixel is a piece of code (don’t panic!) that you place on your website which allows you to track what people do on your site. It also allows you to create retargeting ads, lookalike audiences and dynamic product ads as well as various other things.

In essence, if you’re sending people to a landing page or website, you need to have a pixel installed.

I created this video to show you how you can install the pixel on your website.

Once you’ve installed the pixel, you can use a Google Chrome extension called PixelHelper to see if it’s working or not!

2. Create your custom audiences

Once you’ve set up your Facebook pixel, we can start to create audiences. A Facebook Custom Audience is a type of audience made up of existing customers, website traffic, app activity or Engagement on Facebook. I’m going to focus on Customer file and website traffic here.

To create a custom audience, head to the ads manager and click on audiences. When there, click on create audience.Facebook Create audience

On the drop down, select Custom Audience. That will bring this box up:

Facebook Setup: Custom Audience

Customer file

Uploading your customer file can be so powerful. A customer file custom audience allows you to import your customers emails and phone numbers (anonymously), and then target those people with Facebook ads.

A good example of this in use might be an e-commerce store who has 1,000’s of emails from people who have bought from the store in the past. We could upload their emails and remind them about a certain offer, with the hope that they come back to the site.

Facebook will take the emails you uploaded and will try to match those to Facebook accounts with the same email. You can typically expect about 30-70% to match. Keep in mind that your Custom Audiences must have at least 20 people in them.

To get started, click on customer file, bringing up this box.

Customer File Facebook

From there, copy and paste your email addresses or phone numbers into the box. Name your audience and voila! Facebook might take some time to create your audience, but it’ll do this in the background.

Website traffic

This is where the pixel (as discussed above) come into it’s own. We can create an audience from the people that visit our website. I like to see this as a bit of an “invisible list”. The people that visit out site obviously have some interest in what we do, or they wouldn’t have visited. And due to the pixel, we’ve “pixeled” them. We can now target them with ads.

To create our website traffic audience, simply click on the website traffic button, as seen in the custom audiences image above. This box will appear:

Facebook Setup: Website traffic audience

From there you can change the anyone who visits your website option to people who visit specific web pages. You can also choose how many days you want it to build the audience. 30 days is the default option. Name your audience and that’s you!

Then, when you create your advert, you can target people who visited your website, as seen here:

Facebook Marketing; Targeting website visitors

You should now have an audience for your current customers/mailing list and your website traffic. Now it’s time to make those audiences bigger…

Free Facebook advertising blueprint: Click Here to see how we use Facebook Custom Audiences for our client campaigns.

2. Create Lookalike audiences

Lookalike audiences are a way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business, because they’re similar to the people you imported to Facebook, or similar to the people who visited your website. You can also base lookalike audiences on people who liked your page, but for this article, I’m going to focus on customers and website traffic.

Lookalike audiences are brilliant because sometimes our customers files or website traffic might not be very big. Creating a lookalike audience can take our audience size from 100’s or 1000’s to upwards of 1 million.

To create a lookalike audience, simply go to audiences in the adverts manager, click on create audience and then choose lookalike audience.

Facebook Create audience

This box will pop up:

Facebook Ads: Create Lookalike Audience

Choose your source, which will be your customer file or your website traffic. Then choose the country you want to target. You can only choose one, so choose the country which is most relevant for you. Then you can slide the the circle to increase or decrease the lookalike audience size.

I’ve tested different sizes and have come to no conclusion to what works best, it really depends. It’s worth testing.

Do this for both your website traffic and your customer file. That should leave you with 4 audiences:

– Customer file
– Website traffic
– Customer file lookalike
– Website traffic lookalike

3. Create custom conversions

This step isn’t going to be relevant for some people, because if you’re reading this, I’ll presume you’re just starting your Facebook ads journey. Creating custom conversions allows you to track how much you’re paying to acquire a new lead/customer/whatever you deem as a conversion.

For example, if we’re sending people to a landing page, asking them to sign up to a lead magnet, we want to track how much it’s costing us per lead magnet sign up.

To do this, we need to go to the conversion page in business manager. Then click on create custom conversion.

Create custom conversion

This box will pop up. As I said above, insert your URL into the box. When someone lands on that URL, that will be classed as a conversion. You’ll want to put in your thank-you page here, or order confirmation URL.

Facebook Custom Conversion

For example, if someone signs up to your ebook, they should be redirected to a thank you page. Facebook then knows whenever someone lands on that thank you page, there’s been a conversion.

To use the custom conversion you created, you will need to choose the Website conversions objective when creating your campaign. It’ll then ask you what conversion you want to use. You simply select the one you created.

Choosing conversion

Those are the three main things you need to do when starting Facebook ads. As I mentioned, custom conversions are maybe slightly more advanced and depending on what your campaign is and what the goals are, you might not need to create one. However, if you’re actively trying to sell something or get sign ups/leads, you’ll want to use it.

Gavin