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    Facebook Ads

    Creating the Perfect Facebook Ad

    We’ll just tell you straight off there’s no formula for the perfect Facebook Ad. But, there’s plenty you can do to make sure your ads are quickly approved by Facebook and give you the most bang for your budget. From there, it’s all about refining your process, testing new ideas, and keeping your eyes open for new insights, trends, and inspiration. 

    For now, use the following to get started. And at the end, you’ll find loads of inspirational Facebook Ads from brands who seem to get it.

    How to create Facebook Ads

    This section goes over the mechanics of actually getting your Facebook Ad created in Facebook. The next section will cover some of the best practices when it comes to creating a strong Facebook Ad. If you already know how to create ads, skip down to that section. 

    When it comes to running Facebook Ads, everything happens in Ads Manager. When you go into Ads Manager to create a brand new ad, Facebook will offer you two workflows — Guided Creation and Quick Creation. 

    • Guided Creation: Step-by-step instruction that walks you through how to create a campaign to completion.
    • Quick Creation: Lets you set up the campaign and then create ad sets and ads later. Anyone already familiar with setting up ads and campaigns on Facebook should choose this option. 

    Note that whatever workflow you choose the first time becomes the default choice each time you select +Create. Change the default by clicking the Switch button at the top of the creation flow.

    Now we’ll go more into detail on what you’ll find within each of the available ad creation workflows. 

    Creating Facebook Ads with Guided Creation

    When using the Guided Creation workflow you will have to create a complete campaign and ad set before you can publish an ad.

    Create a Campaign

    Like some other PPC platforms, Facebook makes you first define your campaign's overall objective. Once you’re in the Guided Creation workflow you’ll be taken through these steps:

    1. Choose an objective from the list
    2. Enter a descriptive name in the Campaign Name field
    3. Option to create a Split Test at this level
    4. Option to turn on Campaign Budget Optimization at this level

    Create an Ad Set

    Here’s where you'll define targeting, budget, schedule, bidding, and placement.

    1. Enter a descriptive ad set name in the Ad Set Name field
    2. Choose your audience
    3. Select your ad placements — this is where you want your ads to appear across Facebook, Instagram or Audience Network
    4. Choose how you want Facebook to deliver ads from the Optimization for Ad Delivery drop-down menu. 
    5. Set your budget and schedule.

    Create an Ad

    This is where you'll select your ad's creative and add text. Here’s what that process looks like:

    1. Select your page
    2. Select an ad format, including Carousel, Single Image or Video, or Collection
    3. Choose the creative you want to use for your ad
    4. Add the display text 
    5. Preview your ad and select Confirm. Note the first time you run an ad you’ll be asked to enter payment information. 

    Once Facebook reviews and approves your ad, your campaign goes live.

    Create Facebook Ads with Quick Creation

    Once you’re in Ads Manager, go through the following steps to create an ad via Quick Creation: 

    1. Click Create
    2. Fill out your campaign, ad set, and ad elements. 

      1. Campaign: you can create a new campaign or select an existing campaign.
      2. Ad set: if you chose a new campaign, you can create a new ad set or skip this step for now. If you chose an existing campaign, you have the option to select an existing ad set or create a new ad set.
      3. Ad: depending on your campaign and ad set selections, you can either create a new ad or skip this step for now.
    3. Select Save to Draft.
    4. In the editing pane, you can edit your campaign elements in any order by selecting the Ad, Ad Set, or Campaign icons in the left navigational tray.
    5. Once you've edited your campaign details, you have three options:
      • Select Publish to publish your campaign immediately.
      • Select Close to save your campaign details as a draft. You can edit and publish your drafts later by selecting Review and Publish from the action bar on the main page of Ads Manager.
      • Or select Discard Draft to discard all changes.

    How to create a strong Facebook Ad

    The best marketers are constantly testing, tweaking, and refining their ads, but you want to start off on a pretty good footing regardless. It’s much more cost-effective to turn a strong piece of creative into a super performing ad than to try to figure out how you can completely overhaul weak creative. Here are some pro tips to create good ads from the start. 

    Include just one CTA

    Remember that if you have more to say, make sure your landing page is rock solid. Your Facebook Ad is the compelling carrot to get people to click. 

    Start with audience certainties and refine from there

    Facebook offers so many targeting options, but don’t let them lead you astray. Set up your targeting based on what you absolutely know, and refine and add from there. 

    Write for your audience

    Knowing who you’re trying to go after is a huge help for how to craft your creative. If your audience is primarily Gen Z, your language should be much more casual than if you’re targeting Baby Boomers. 

    Write a clear and appealing headline

    Often, the headline is the only thing people read, so make it count. Your copy here should be simple, easy to understand, and direct. Being too cutesy or vague probably won’t earn you the engagement you’re hoping for. 

    Your copy and image should complement each other

    The text and image should tell a whole story, and not one that feels jumpy or repetitive. Even if you’re opting out of image copy, as they say, an image speaks a thousand words, so make sure your copy tells the rest of that story. 

    Facebook Ad guidelines

    You can’t just throw up any old ad on Facebook. The platform has a pretty extensive list of guidelines about which ads are acceptable and unacceptable on the site. Facebook uses these policies when reviewing submitted ads. You can see the full list here, but some of the prohibited topics include:


    1. Illegal Products or Services
    2. Discriminatory Practices
    3. Tobacco Products
    4. Drugs & Drug-Related Products
    5. Unsafe Supplements
    6. Weapons, Ammunition, or Explosives

    Quick guide to Facebook Ad specs (from FB’s Ads Guide)

    Facebook offers many different ad units to help advertisers better reach their objectives. Here’s a quick hit list of the specs and sizes for the most popular ad units.

    Video: 

    • Video Ratio: 9:16 to 16:9
    • Recommended Resolution: Upload the highest resolution video available that meets file size and ratio limits.
    • Video File Size: 4GB Max
    • Video Length Minimum: 1 second
    • Video Length Maximum: 240 Minutes
    • Video Captions: Optional but recommended
    • Video Sound: Optional but recommended
    • Text: 125 characters 
    • Video thumbnail images that consist of more than 20% text may experience reduced delivery. Learn more about text in images.
    • Vertical videos (with aspect ratio taller than 4:5) may be masked to 4:5

    With Link

    • Headline: 25 characters
    • Link Description: 30 characters

    Image: 

    • File type: jpg or png
    • Image ratio: 1.91:1 to 4:5
    • Recommended resolution: Upload the highest resolution image available.
    • Images that consist of more than 20% text may experience reduced delivery. 
    • Text: 125 characters

    With Link

    • Image ratio: 1.91:1 to 1:1
    • Recommended resolution: at least 1,080 x 1,080px
    • Headline: 25 characters
    • Link Description: 30 characters

    Collection:

    • Image or Video: The cover image or video that displays in your collection ad uses the first media asset from your Instant Experience. Vertical images or videos may be masked to a max 1:1 ratio in Feed.
    • Headline: 25 characters
    • Text: 90 characters

    Carousel: 

    • Minimum number of cards: 2
    • Maximum number of cards: 10
    • Image file type: jpg or png
    • Video file type: Supported file formats
    • Video maximum file size: 4GB
    • Video length: up to 240 minutes
    • Image maximum file size: 30MB
    • Recommended resolution: at least 1080 x 1080px
    • Recommended ratio: 1:1
    • Text: 125 characters
    • Headline: 25 characters
    • Link Description: 20 characters
    • Images that consist of more than 20% text may experience reduced delivery.

    Slideshow:

    • Video Ratio: 9:16 to 16:9
    • Recommended Resolution: Upload the highest resolution video available that meets file size and ratio limits.
    • Video File Size: 4GB Max
    • Video Length Minimum: 1 second
    • Video Length Maximum: 240 Minutes
    • Video Captions: Optional but recommended
    • Video Sound: Optional but recommended
    • Text: 125 characters 
    • Video thumbnail images that consist of more than 20% text may experience reduced delivery.
    • Vertical videos (with aspect ratio taller than 4:5) may be masked to 4:5

    With Link

    • Headline: 25 characters
    • Link Description: 30 characters

    Instant Experience/Canvas: 

    Images use the full width of the screen by default.

    • Multiple Images: Up to 20 images are supported.
    • Width: Full width is 1080px @3x.1
    • Height: Full height is 1920px @3x.
    • Sizing: Images have two sizing options
      1. 'Fit-to-width' ensures the image is full width and allows for variable height.
      2. 'Fit-to-height' forces the image to fill the screen top to bottom. If the image has horizontal overflow, 'tilt-to-pan' behavior will occur.
    • File Type: png and jpg supported. Videos should be used to emulate an animated gif.
    • When Using Collection: If you do not designate a cover image for your Instant Experience, the Collection hero image will be shown at the top of your Instant Experience. In the aforementioned case, the image must adhere to these requirements.

    Facebook Ad examples

    If you haven’t yet heard of Facebook’s Ad Library, prepare to lose yourself down a very interesting rabbit hole. The library lets you search any brand currently advertising on Facebook and see all of their current ads. It’s a great place to spy on the competition, get inspiration from brands you love, and start your own list of what you think would work for your company based on what you come across. Here are a few of the favorite ads we came across in a recent search. 

    Screen Shot 2019-07-28 at 8.08.39 PM

    Screen Shot 2019-07-28 at 8.04.17 PMScreen Shot 2019-07-28 at 8.09.46 PMScreen Shot 2019-07-28 at 1.18.26 PMScreen Shot 2019-07-28 at 1.23.03 PMScreen Shot 2019-07-28 at 1.22.10 PMScreen Shot 2019-07-28 at 1.24.04 PMScreen Shot 2019-07-28 at 1.20.04 PM

    There’s tons more to dive into when it comes to creating the perfect Facebook Ad. Check out some other topics we’ve covered that delve more into the creative side of things:

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    Breanna Lambert

    Breanna has 10+ years’ experience in marketing, though the tides & trends have pushed her almost exclusively into digital. She lives in the hills above Boulder, CO and spends her downtime outside exploring with her husband, son, and pup.