social media how toAre you using Facebook ads?

Want tips to step up your game?

Facebook ads can be highly profitable, and there are countless ways to make them more effective.

In this article, you’ll find seven ways to create an effective Facebook ad campaign.

create effective facebook ad campaigns

Discover seven ways to create effective Facebook ad campaigns.

Listen to this article:

#1: Mine Audience Insights for Target Data

Use Audience Insights to find new potential customers to target based on characteristics and interests of people who already like your page.

First, click on Audience Insights in the Ad Manager.

audience insights in menu

Use Audience Insights to target your ads.

In the pop-up window, select People Connected to Your Page.

choosing people connected to your page

Next, click on People Connected to Your Page.

You will now see your Audience Insights. Demographics is the default on the horizontal menu.

new audience demographics

When you get to Audience Insights, you’ll see your demographics.

Scroll down the page until you see a drop-down menu on the bottom left of the page that says People Connected To. Although you are using Audience Insights for your page, you still need to select your page name in that field.

people connected to settings

Select your page name under People Connected To.

You will now see a variety of metrics, including age and gender distribution among your current page likes, lifestyle, relationship status, education level and job title.

audience demographics

Use what you know about your audience demographics to create targeted audiences for your Facebook ads.

Based on the insights Facebook provides, put together new target audiences to split test against or add to your current audiences. Use what you know about your audience demographics to create meaningful, directed ads.

#2: Align Your Ad With the Campaign Landing Page

The content of the Facebook post should be aligned with the content of the landing page for two reasons.

First, you get a higher Ad Relevance score, and as a result you’ll pay less per click. Over the last couple of years, Facebook ads have become more competitive and consequently more expensive, so it makes a lot of sense to do this.

Second, alignment among ads and landing pages increases your conversion rate. Once people click the ad, they expect to get exactly what the post promised. If they do, your website and brand gain credibility, and potential customers are more likely to trust the company as a whole.

Trust is particularly important if you are running Facebook ads to increase sales of a product or service, because customers are more willing to insert their payment information and complete the purchase if the brand looks trustworthy. Plus, a high degree of alignment among the ads and landing pages typically lowers shopping cart drop-off rates and increases conversion rates.

#3: Test One Ad Element at a Time

Instead of creating different ads and split testing them, create variations of whichever ad currently performs best, and change one element at a time.

For example, take your best ad, make copies of it and change the headline of each version. You now have multiple ads that are identical except for the headline that you can test.

split test examples

Take your best Facebook ad and duplicate it except for the headline to see which gets the best response.

After you determine which ad gets the best response, make copies of it and test another element like description or image.

Remember, also test combinations of different split tests. For example, take the winning headline and put it with various descriptions to determine the winning description. Now put the winning description with one of the other tested headlines to see how it does. It might even outperform the winning headline/description combination.

split test examples

Once you determine your most effective ad, test each element separately to see if that gets an even better response.

#4: Experiment With Different Ad Placement

Instead of just choosing news feed right-column ads or going for all news feed ads, split test the different ad placements. If you have one campaign with news feed right-column ads, as well as desktop and mobile ads, run a placement report to find out how they perform.

Ideally, you would have three campaigns or ad sets: one for news feed right-column ads, one for news feed desktop ads and one for news feed mobile ads. This allows you to control the budget to a much higher degree than if all ad formats were in one campaign or ad set.

#5: Target New People With Like Campaigns

When you set up a like campaign with the Power Editor or in the live Facebook account, you are allowed to exclude audiences such as people who already like your page. Here’s how.

Login and click Create Ad in the top right corner. You then see the regular campaign setup. Next, scroll down to Connections. Click Add a Connection Type and choose Facebook Pages. Then select the last option, Exclude People Who Like Your Page.

excluding people in targeting

Go to the Connections section to exclude people who already like your page.

It is a common best practice to exclude people who already like your page, because the whole point of the campaign is to get additional likes, not to get irrelevant impressions by showing your ads to people who already like your page.

#6: Refine Targeting With Conversion Audiences

If you have installed the remarketing pixel, you can exclude people who already converted to prevent irrelevant impressions and clicks.

Go to your campaign settings and edit the Targeting & Placement section.

ad targeting and placement

Edit the Targeting & Placement section to exclude people who already converted from your ads.

A window will pop up to allow you to edit your ad set. Click in the Custom Audiences field.

custom audience field in targeting

Click in the Custom Audiences field in the Targeting tab.

Once you click, the word “Include” will appear. Click the arrow next to “Include” to open up the drop-down menu. Select Exclude.

custom audience include exclude menu in targeting

After you click on the drop-down menu, select Exclude.

Facebook will automatically provide audiences to choose from for this field, such as Exclude People Who Like [your page name]. After you select this custom audience to exclude from your targeting, double-check the change in the overview of the settings.

double checking ad targeting

After you exclude a custom audience, double-check your settings.

#7: Use Geographic Targeting

To save money on bidding, set up ad sets according to geographic target areas. Ideally, each ad set should just target one geographic area because the cost per click can vary greatly.

By separating different geographic targets from the start, you can adjust your bids accordingly. Bid higher where it makes sense and use other geographic areas on a seasonal basis or exclude them entirely.

If you are targeting just one country, keep in mind that ad sets can also target cities or zip codes.

Over to You

There are a variety of ways to optimize your Facebook ads. Experiment with audiences, placement, split testing and more to get better results from your Facebook advertising.

What do you think? What do you do to improve your Facebook ads? Have you tried any of these suggestions? Leave your comments and questions in the box below.

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  • Jenny Brennan

    Hey, Rocco! Amazing post. I love how you have made it so easy to follow each step. Sometimes I get boggle-eyed with all the split test campaigns that I am running, but I agree with you about separate campaigns for each ad by placement. It makes it so much easier to distinguish what’s working. Also, audience insights is like a little gold mine of information and helps to focus you on the demographics, interests and likes of people. Mixed with lookalike audiences these can have great results. I also use it to analyze audiences who like other brand pages. GREAT post! Jenny 🙂

  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    Thank you Jenny, I am glad you liked it. Thank you for your commet and input. I definitively support the use of lookalikes together with other targeting options!

  • This was AWESOME Rocco.

    Facebook ads is on our startups calendar to begin this month. We placed the tracking pixel on our site last month in preparation for this month to target visitors over the last 30 days. Any additional tips that you think would make us more successful in targeting previous visitors?

    Definitely going to try some of the other tips mentioned above.

  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    Hello! I would recommend creating a conversion pixel and to upload your existing customer base to create a lookalike audience from it!

  • Sounds like a plan Rocco. Thanks for the advice ~ Mike

  • Luke Tuckey

    Brilliant post, #1 was one that I particularly found intriguing! Shall be testing this one!

  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    I am glad you enjoyed it Luke!

  • Alice

    Hi Jenny, thanks for your comment. May I know how do you analyze audiences who like other brand pages?

  • Raquel M Ramirez

    Very informative. Thank you for the detailed step-by-step process that makes it easy to follow along and implement. Btw, great name (it’s my son’s name too) 😀

  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    Thanks Raquel! I am glad you enjoyed it! Good choice on the name!

  • Valerie Marsman

    I’ve used all of these methods and can attest to their effectiveness! I think the only thing missing, unless I read over it, is re-targeting. I have actually not worked much with re-targeting people who visit a website, because most people I work with are looking to gain more likes or engagement on Facebook. I feel it’s probably a great strategy and I’m excited to look into it soon.

  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    Hi Valerie,

    Yes, retargeting is a great tool. I mentioned it in a previous article and wanted to not sound repetitive. I am glad you agree with the effectiveness of the strategies I described and thanks for sharing your thoughts!


  • Hey Rocco! You rocks. I would like to share my own experience with Facebook ad campaign which i have done for my blog where i spend 1$ and got a CTR near to 9 percent. I was amazed when the ad got approved and started showing the CTR was near to 33 percent but as the day progress the CTR went down and was hanging around for 17-15 percent for 6 hours and then it became stagnant on 9 percent. On contrary i was thrilled when without spending any single penny i got a more than 8k views on my video within couple of hours on facebook.

    Lesson learnt here is “content and context matter when it comes to any format of advertising”. If your content is soothing,informative and engaging i think you don’t require to pay for the facebook ads. Nevertheless i must say Facebook ads deliver better CTR than google adwords. Just waiting to see the ad war between Google and Facebook soon where advertisers will benefit for sure.


    Amardeep and Friends call me (Lucky)
    Follow me on twitter @luckydude06

  • I can’t understand about Geographic Targeting, can you let
    me know..

  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    Thanks Amardeep. Lovely case study!

  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    Hi Vikas,

    Breaking down your ad sets by geographic locations will make you increase performance.

    This is done to save you money and convert better!


  • Great blog. Really looking forward to read more.

  • Great post, Rocco! Thanks for ginning it down so well. I’m sharing this post! Do you have, or recommend, a split test tracking spreadsheet?

  • Hi Rocco. Great read. I can also attest to this… this can put you in a position to be very effective. I highly recommend this article to anyone… these are the things one must be knowledgeable in order to excel in their field. The info above lets you in on a lot of things that will allow you to make better decisions and execute it better. 🙂

  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    Thanks Lily!

  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    Hi Lisa,

    I usually create my own spreadsheets and break down columns into: Ad Name, Post text, Post Title, Description, Display URL and Image. I will then add all of the performance and move forward from there!

    I hope it helps!


  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    I am glad you enjoyed reading the article!

  • Steph Bongiorno

    Hello! I have a question regarding the budget that is set for an ad. Say we invest $50 into an advertisement, what do we get out of the $50 dollars? For example, if one person interacts (clicks, views, etc.) with the ad, does the budget then decrease by “x” amount per interaction until it reaches the $50 budget?

  • Rocco, Thank you for this reply. I appreciate the info and will set mine up per your recommendation. You rock!

  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    Hi Steph,

    You pay per interaction, whether that’s a click, a like or another action. If you have a lifetime budget, it works exactly as per your description.


  • Hi Rocco, thanks for another insightful article!

    Just a quick note regarding #6 – I believe that should be the remarketing pixel, rather than the conversion pixel, that advertisers need to install? People would then be create a custom audience and exclude that, which isn’t possible with the conversion pixels. 🙂


  • Anil Gohil

    Rocco… Thanks for sharing great ideas… Will try to optimize my campaign.
    But I am still struggling for the conversions for Travel domain.

  • Steph Bongiorno

    Great thank you very much!

  • Horse riding n beautful girl ❤

    hi sexy 🙂

  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    Hi Adomas,

    Yes, correct! I was referring to the conversion audience you can create using the a sublist of a remarketing campaign. I must have been thinking about pixels while writing that!

    Have a great day!


  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    You are welcome!

  • Patcharin Allpre

    Thank you

  • Louie Luc

    Great post, as usual!
    When my Facebook Ads campaigns are still “fresh”, I’m always on top of them, checking how they are performing, stopping them if need be and tweaking them around.

    I check what’s working and exclude what’s not. E.g.: Stop targeting a country if I’m not getting any results; or changing the time of day to advertise.

    (Facebook Ads should have Time reports per hour too; we could then grasp better what’s the preferred time of day to have ads running.)

    Finally, I would advise people that ad’s stats are not quite on real time. You need to wait a few moments to see the actual results and how your ads are performing before thinking about comitting any changes.


  • DN

    Hi Rocco, I’m having trouble with #1 Audience Insights.

    I can’t seem to find the screen with Ad Manager – Audience Insights dropdown.

    Please advise how do I get there?

    I am using desktop PC.

    Thanks loads.

  • LisaDJenkins

    Hi DN, From the Ads Manager click on the Tools dropdown menu (the 5th option found at the top of the page) and you’ll see Audience Insights as the second option down.

  • mdd71

    This doesn’t work for new businesses though. We have a new Facebook page with only 61 likes at this point. When I sign into Ad manager, and select our page from the People Connected to Your Page drop down, Facebook says they will not give us data for less than 1,000 people in order to protect their privacy. Is there a way around that?

  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    Unfortunately not. The tool builds estimates based on data sets that is owned by a business. It requires data to work properly