Facebook Ads Basics

Posted September 17, 2014 by Brett Rutecky in Training Articles

Just about all of my readers know that I’m a big proponent of Facebook ads.

The reason is simple. With Facebook ads you can get highly targeted and low cost clicks. You see Facebook knows a lot about its users. They know where they live, what they do, what their interests are, what things they like and do not like. Facebook is a gold mine for the marketer. In fact that’s what makes Facebook so valuable. Think about it. In the US alone there are over 130 million Facebook users. Thought the world there are over 800 million daily active Facebook users. Even better for the marketer is that these users are mostly not children. Most active Facebook users are over the age of 18, this is very good if your selling a product online since people over 18 dont have to ask a parent for a credit card.

All of these users are feeding Facebook a huge amount of data which it gladly stores, indexes, and will use to assist advertisers to deliver ads to the people most likely to take action on the ad.  At the time of this writing Facebook has about 300 petabytes of data stored about its users. In case you dont know a petabyte is 1 billion megabytes! Here let me give you real world examples of how much data Facebook has about their users. If you had a audio MP3 encoded at 1MB per minute it would take 600,000 years worth of non stop audio to full up 300 petabytes. Most computers come with a 500GB hard drive, well you would need 150,000 of these computers to store 300 petabytes.

Ok so now that we are all convinced of the fact that Facebook knows a lot about a lot of people. The question now becomes how do we tap into this data and use that to our advantage. Well of course Facebook is not going to just open up their data center and let us start helping ourselves to all of this invaluable information, however they will let us create ads and help us by showing our ads only to the people most likely to click on them.

The first step is going to be to select what kind of action you want from your Facebook ad.


Im not a big supporter of Facebook fan pages anymore so for this tutorial Im going to focus on website clicks as these are going to generally be what is most useful to people looking to make money online. Also before we get to involved in this training I want to make it clear that Facebook is unlikely to approve any ad that links to a affiliate offer. But really you should be sending people to a presale page anyway and not directly to your affiliate link. If you are sending them to a presale page for an affiliate product you should word your ad to say its a ‘review’ of the product in question. This way you look like a critic to Facebook and not a marketer. Its unfortunate but internet marketers (especially those in the make money online niche) do have a bit of a bad reputation in general. (this is due to some ‘bad apples’ in the business and not because IM is a bad business).


The next step is going to be to enter the URL of where you want people to go to after they click. This normally is going to be your sales page or your squeeze page.

Next you upload your ad image. The image should be something that stands out and that grabs peoples attention.  Also these images need to be quite large. Facebook recommends 1200X628 pixels. Also you can upload up to 6 different images and Facebook will rotate these images in your ads at no charge. This way you can see which images people respond to best and later elect to have the ad only show the images that get a good response. I recommend that you do this, it costs nothing, and it may lead to better conversions.


After your images are uploaded you will need to enter your ad copy. An ad consists of a headline and a body. For each you are limited in the number of characters you can enter. When writing your copy you should always be asking yourself. Does this wording make me want to click on this ad? If the answer is not ‘absolutely yes’ then you might consider further tweaking your copy.

Your also going to be given the option to link a Facebook fan page to your ad. You will need to do this if you want your ad to show in the news feed of your target audience. Putting your ad in a the news feed is a feature you 100% for sure dont want to miss out on so if you dont have a fan page to link to your ad then make one. Keep in mind that the vast majority of people wont be visiting the fan page you link to this ad, its just a requirement to have the ad show in the news feed.

Now that you ad copy is all set up its time for your targeting. You can see that Facebook has a number of options and demographic selections for targeting your ad.


Unfortunately your target audience is going to depend on your niche so its not something I can just tell you how to set up. If you use common sense though you should be able to get your target audience well defined (in the green area). For example when I advertise this blog I target people age 21 and over, who are in the USA, United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand and are interested in ‘internet marketing’ or ‘making money online’. This is a good target audience for me as getting clicks for 16 year old teens in Thailand is not likely to bring me a return on my ad investment.

Once your ad is all set up and you have your target audience defined the last step is going to be to set your budget and decide how to pay for your ad. There are two things I want to touch base with on this step.

First: There is an old saying that you ‘shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket’. Well this is true with Facebook advertising as well. No matter how big or small your ad budget is you should not put it all into one ad. Instead you should make several ads, each one with a fraction of your budget. Then run all of the ads for a day or two and see which ones are performing well and which ones are not. You can then stop running the non performing ads and shift their portion of your budget into the ones that are doing well.

Second: How should you pay for your ads? You have the option to pay per click (CPC) or to pay per thousand impressions (CPM). In my experience I got better results when I paid per thousand impressions. That is my over all cost per click to my website was lower when choosing  CPM over CPC.

So thats a quick overview of how to set up a Facebook ad. I hope you found it useful and I hope you consider Facebook ads as a viable traffic source. I have used them with success and I know a lot of other people who have as well. If you put a little effort into targeting, tweaking your ad copy, and running multiple ads at once (and removing the poorly performing ones) you can get targeted  traffic at a cost that is hard to match. Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below. I’m always glad to help if I can.





About the Author

Brett Rutecky

Brett Rutecky is a full time online marketer, web developer, and entrepreneur. He has developed scores of Facebook apps, dozens of custom web sites and hundreds of scripts.


    Great information Brett, thanks! Was wondering if you use Power Editor to help manage your Facebook ads?


      Honestly I almost never use the power editor. I use to use it a while back to create custom audiences that I had pulled from groups members etc. but Facebook does not allow that anymore so now I almost never use it. Also I found the power editor to be a little buggy. For me at least it would often crash or freeze up my browser.


    Fantastically helpful article, Brett! You turned mud into clear, cool water for me. This topic has always befuddled me, but now I can see how to dip my toes into the water. Many thanks! 🙂


    Hi Brett,

    I have produced a video with a call to action.

    What would be your suggestion as far as “boosting” the post, what facebook suggests?


    Harold Nusbaum


    Are you handling the sale of FB Ad Engine? If so, I wanted to buy it from you?



    Great article Brett, thanks for the information.


    Great stuff as usual, Brett.

    I would however argue one point. ( just one! 🙂 )

    For physical products, we have found building out and promoting a Facebook page based on that product nukes a website hands down every time! Anything product based that PICTURES well is probably going to do far better in a Facebook based environment. At least in our experience anyway.

    Most likely the main reason that software and digital type products probably don’t fare well on FB, is because once you have displayed the single graphic representing your product and maybe written a few paragraphs about it, what more is there to show or say?

    For our “countrysigndesigns” product (not meaning to steal a plug here…remove the name if you feel the need), our funnel is Facebook -> website, in that order. We’ve only been at it a short time, and because of FB have enjoyed great success. Our “like to order” ratio is floating at 60 – 70 % for the year we’ve been active. Yes, that isn’t a typo.

    Another one is “woodstabilizer”, a small company that we just sold. Again, a physical product, the marketing was again entirely thru Facebook.

    Neither one of these needed a huge audience to be profitable, but both products inspire passionate buyers. It should also be noted that the growth of both pages growth was entirely organic…we have never run ads for either, (but will be doing so in the near future for the “Countrysigndesigns” page). (Your post above comes at the perfect time! 🙂 )

    Thanks for all you do!
    Michael Rytter


      Grrr…I need to “proof” before I hit send! (LOL!


      Ill admit I have no experience at all advertising physical products on Facebook. I can see how picture posts can do well with a fan page though since picture posts can get some good attention in the news feed. I was of course speaking through the lens of my own experience (which is digital products) Thank you for taking the time to post and let us all know about your experience.



    thanks for such and educative/insightful article on FaceBook advertising; very much appreciated.


    Hi Brett, recently found out some interesting info which I thought I’d share – don’t think too many will know this;

    No doubt you have heard of the software ‘PROMIS’, there’s been a lot about it in the news over the years. Well a commercial version of PROMIS was developed and sold to companies and government entities around the world. Unbeknownst to clients, the software had a built in hack that allowed the CIA or other spy agencies to suck out data on individuals that had been collected by (example) the IRS or the local power or telephone utility.

    On to Facebook;
    In 1998 the CIA gave up the fight to lead the world in IT intelligence software.
    As reported by the CIA’s own website “The leadership of the CIA made a critical and strategic decision in early 1998. The agency’s leadership recognized that the CIA did not, and could not, compete for IT innovation and talent with the same speed and agility that those in the commercial marketplace, whose businesses are driven by “Internet time” and profit, could. The CIA’s mission was intelligence collection and analysis, not IT innovation.”

    Instead of developing software, the CIA set up a company called In-Q-Tel in 1999 to go into venture partnerships with private capital firms to develop and fund promising new technologies that could help the CIA “data mine” for useful intelligence.

    The first CEO of In-Q-Tel was Gilman Louie, and he and his CIA subsidiary were appointed with 7 others to the Board of Directors of the National Venture Capital Association of America in 2004. The chairman of the NVCA was James Breyer of Accel Partners, and one of his first tasks was to give a young student named Mark Zuckerberg US$13 million in venture capital.

    Now we know FOR SURE where all our information which we post on FB is going !!!


    Clyde Skeete

    Brett, your Jack Jacker is awesome. Question? In Marketing your products Is it allowed to Jack your site and send it email friends ,would I get my commissions on all products?


      No if you jack my site, all the links on it are my affiliate links, so all you will be doing is sending me sales. At the end of the demo video I have an explanation of a way to get traffic with this through social posting etc.

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