Before you Get Started

The following tutorial describes how to create a Facebook campaign focused on directing traffic to an external website with the intention of “converting” the visitor.  Do yourself a favor and have the following ad specs and demographic targets solidified before you begin the process of creating a campaign in Facebook’s interface – it will save a lot of time in the long run!

  • Images:  Facebook gives advertisers the option of uploading up to six images for a campaign.  For best results, size the images 600 pixels by 315 pixels.  Make sure to include a strong call to action and engaging imagery within the graphics/text.
  • Ad Copy Headline (25 characters): Add a headline that grabs people’s attention.
  • Ad Copy Text (90 characters):  Enter compelling text that lets people know what you’re promoting.
  • News Feed Link Description (200 characters): Describe why people should visit your website.   This is optional, but I find it helps to take up more “real estate” in the news feed which may in turn improve click through rate.
  • Age: Available ages of 13-No max.
  • Gender: All, Men or Women.
  • Budget:  Define your daily budget beforehand.  Facebook will usually spend your budget in it’s entirety, so be certain you can afford it.
  • Geographic Targets:  Facebook allows for geographic targeting on the Country, State, City and Zip code level.
  • Demographic Targets:  The luxury of targeting people based on interests, behaviors and connections is uncommon in most mediums.  Take advantage of this by doing some research beforehand to find out exactly who your audience is.

Step 1: Create your Campaign Type

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Log into the Facebook account you would like to set up with an Ad campaign. Click the down-arrow in the upper right hand corner of Facebook’s interface, and then choose “Create Ads”.

You’ll then need to choose what kind of results you want for your ads.  Because “Page Like” campaigns can be difficult to monetize, my preferred option is “website conversions”.  These ads will direct the click to whatever external URL you specify, such as a landing page designed specifically for your upcoming campaign.

Step 2:  Tag the URL (optional)

Tagging URLs allows for better tracking capabilities within web analytics services, which will assist in making educated Ad budget/performance decisions.  Try using Google’s URL Builder for an easy way to create tags for a specific URL:

  1. Find the URL you want to drive traffic to (e.g. http://buymystuff.com/t-shirts)
  2. Campaign source:  facebook.com
  3. Campaign medium:  cpc
  4. Campaign name: whatever name you’d like to use for this campaign

Then hit “submit”, and it will give you the URL to add as the destination URL for your Facebook Ad, which will resemble something like this:  http://buymystuff.com/t-shirts?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=yourcampaignname

Step 3: Place the Conversion Tracking Code (optional)

Placing the Conversion Tracking code allows Facebook to properly track “conversions” (sign ups, purchases, leads, etc).  Follow the instructions provided by Facebook at this step, and allocate this task to someone that has access to your website.  If the code is not placed, then Facebook will not be able to notify you when a “conversion” has occurred as a result of a click on your Ad.

Step 4: Campaign Settings

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Your target demographic should be pinpointed already, so most of the fields here are self explanatory.  If you choose to create your own audience, then we recommend either using “Interest” targeting or “Custom” targeting.  With “interest” targeting, it’s best to NOT use the interests already provided by Facebook. Instead, use the search function and start typing interests that are relative to your target audience.

With “Custom” Audiences, Facebook allows you to upload a CSV file of email addresses.  Facebook will then scrub this list of emails against their database and only show your Ads to the email addresses they possess data for.

The campaign should be ready to go live at this point.  Attempt to briefly check your stats everyday – and confirm everything is running smoothly.  Good luck and happy conversion hunting!