The Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Ads

New to the world of Facebook advertising? Pretty daunting isn’t it? Our beginner’s guide to Facebook ads breaks down all the jargon and also gives you the inside scoop on why working with an agency could be your quick win.

Facebook launched their paid advertising service in 2007 and it has been a consistently popular advertising platform for businesses ever since… but it’s also got more and more advanced, or complicated – we’ll let you be the judge. 

Saying that, nothing is complicated when you know how and the same applies to Facebook ads. We understand how the depths of the Ads Manager dashboard could look alien to a novice but when you know your DPA from your CBO, it’s a lot more straightforward from there.

This guide is designed to breakdown the jargon, the technical terms and the general noise that comes from those that really know what they’re talking about with Facebook ads.

Facebook Ads Glossary

There’s a lot of words that you need to understand with Facebook advertising because if you don’t, you simply won’t know where to start. So here’s what you absolutely need to know:

Campaign: the top level folder that holds your ad sets and ads

Ad Set: your audience or targeting – who do you want to show your ads to?

Ads: the actual visual advert that will appear on Facebook

Budget: the money you are giving Facebook to spend, be it daily or for the entirety of the ad’s schedule

Copy: the words used on your advert

Content: the visual creatives of your ad, you can use an image, a video or even a GIF

Purchases/Leads/Registrations: all types of conversions you can track

ROAS: return on ad spend, how many times did you make your spend back? 

Those are the absolute basics of Facebook advertising. If you’re new to it, if you understand those, you can probably get something live, spending and if you’re lucky, performing too.

Now, there’s so much more to successfully advertising on Facebook than just putting an ad live and giving it enough money to perform. This is a beginner's guide though, so we’re not going to get into campaign budget optimisation and dynamic product ads just yet.

However, what we are going to get into is the do’s and don’ts of building your first Facebook ad campaign.

How to build a Facebook ad


  • DO have good creatives – your Facebook ad could be seen by thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people. If it doesn’t look good, it simply won’t convert. You need good creatives, so that’s copy and visuals. The better your ad looks, the more likely people are to engage.
  • DO think about your targeting – the key to a successful Facebook ad is to show it to the right people. You can have the best looking ad in the world with creatives that your real customers will love but show it to the wrong audience and you’ll get no traction. Facebook provides options to target cold audiences, such as open ad sets or by targeting specific interests. You can also set up retargeting ad sets to reach people who have engaged with your content, website or even reached checkout.
  • DO implement your pixel on your website – speaking of retargeting, that leads us on to probably the most key rule of all when it comes to running Facebook ads – put your pixel correctly on your website before you spend a penny on ads. The Facebook pixel is a bit of code to be added to the backend of your website to allow Facebook to track conversions properly. You’ll need this for accurate reporting and setting up retargeting ads. 

This guide by Facebook can help you implement your Pixel correctly.


  • DON’T set your budget too high too soon – if there’s one way to make your Facebook ads fail, it’s by spending too much, too soon. Facebook will always do it’s best to show your ads to the most likely converters first and the more past data it has to work with, the more efficiently it can do that. With new ads, particularly on new accounts, Facebook is making educated guesses and using your money to do it. Start off realistic but steady with your budget and scale as you see results.
  • DON’T leave your ads unattended – the number one rule of running Facebook ads is to never leave them running, without checking in, for too long. You can normally tell within 48-72 hours if an ad is going to perform well or not, so setting an ad up and leaving it for a week without checking back is a recipe for disaster… and wasted money.
  • DON’T have too many ads live in one ad set – this one is an easy mistake to make but it can prove detrimental to the overall performance of your account… and become a complete waste of time. You can set your budget in different ways, such as a daily or lifetime budget and at campaign or ad set level. Hey, if you use campaign budget optimisation, Facebook will even allocate budget for you where it sees best.

But the golden rule is to not overload an ad set with too many live ads. They’re unlikely to all spend and perform equally, one or two will probably do well and the rest won’t spend as much and probably won’t perform either. 

If you see an ad set doing well and want to add more ads in, duplicate it and put your new ads in the new version to run alongside the original with a separate budget. 

Understanding Facebook ads a little bit better now? Whether the answer is yes or no, if you’re a business owner looking to take the plunge into the world of social media advertising, we’ve got one last top tip for you – work with an agency.

Now, we’re not just saying this because we are an advertising agency. We’re saying this because of the feedback our clients have given us. No single business owner can possibly have the time, experience and skills that a specialist agency, with teams of paid ad experts, creatives and Account Managers, can bring to the table.

We pride ourselves on delivering a 360 service that ticks all the boxes when it comes to the expertise required to achieve great ad results. We do the hard work for you, keeping you in the loop with full visibility of your account at all times and let you get on with other important areas of running your business. What’s not to love about that?

We hope this guide has given you an insight into how to run Facebook ads, whether that helps you go it alone or understand the chat with your ads agency a little better. 

Need our help? We’re right here. Book a call with one of the team free of charge and let’s talk.