Guides and Templates

Facebook Advertising Guide

A practical guide to the opportunities that exist for advertising on Facebook

How will this guide help me and my business?

You will know that Facebook is comfortably the most popular social network with over two billion users, so offers tremendous reach to influence both consumers and businesses.

Yet Facebook like other social networks has updated its algorithms so that organic reach levels are at an all time low. Brands need to pay if they want better visibility of their social updates in the newsfeeds, even to their own fans.

Brands can still set up Facebook Pages and enjoy some organic exposure free of charge, but as a platform, Facebook is now very much “pay to play”.

This also means that advertisers can reap the benefits that the Facebook Advertising platform can offer. For example, retargeting your messages to previous site visitors is only available via advertising.

So does this mean you need to invest a lot of money in Facebook?

No, it doesn’t mean that you need to make a huge investment in Facebook advertising – it can be more cost-effective than many other promotional opportunities and offers great opportunities for targeting. With over 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook is not a platform which marketers can afford to either ignore or to get wrong.

What if I don't invest in paid Facebook activity?

Without a little monetary investment, you simply aren’t going to get the visibility you potentially could.   There have been a number of recent changes to how ads are set up and reported on within Facebook. This guide will update you with all the latest changes and give you practical advice on setting up and optimising your Facebook ads to get the best possible results. It is packed full of examples of good and poor practice, so you can avoid costly mistakes and get better ROI from Facebook.

Who is this guide for?

This guide is aimed at marketing professionals involved in setting media strategy including those working in:

  • Customer acquisition
  • Digital marketing
  • Social media
  • Advertising
  • Public Relations
  • E-commerce

The guide is also helpful for small and medium businesses who may want to consider the options for investing in Facebook Advertising. For our other guides to Facebook marketing see the guides for Facebook re-targeting and organic reach covered below.

How is this guide structured?

This guide follows a comprehensive 9 step structure:

  • Step 1: An introduction to adverting on Facebook
  • Step 2: What goals can we achieve using Facebook advertising?
  • Step 3: Targeting using Facebook
  • Step 4: Placement: Where and when will my ads appear?
  • Step 5: Ad types and what they offer
  • Step 6: Bid types: What are the options on bidding?
  • Step 7: Tools – How are ads created? Understanding the Ad Manager, Power Editor, and Business Manager
  • Step 8: Creative Best Practice
  • Step 9: Tracking and Reporting: How do I know if my ads have been effective

Resource Details

About the authors

Marie Page

Marie Page

This Guide was first produced by Marie Page who you may know as a regular Expert Commentator contributing to Smart Insights focusing on social media marketing and in particular Facebook. Marie is co-founder and senior consultant at The Digiterati, a collective of specialist digital marketing consultants providing actionable training and proven tactical marketing input to clients.

Rhian Harris

Rhian Harris

Rhian Harris is a copywriter and blogger helping businesses with content for their marketing collateral. Starting out in the shiny new digital world in 2004, Rhian gained experience in all areas of digital media and e-commerce, working in utilities, travel, charity and retail sectors.

IDM qualified, Rhian is an online marketing all-rounder with a passion for words. She is a regular expert commentator for Smart Insights as well as other expert sites, as well as her own business Sparkly Content and her personal blog, From Tum To Mum.

You can follow Rhian on Twitter and Instagram.


Individual or Business members get full access to this and 14 other guides in the Social media marketing Toolkit.

Learn more about membership Already an Individual or Business member?
Login here
Look Inside

The Facebook Advertising Guide is included in the

Social media marketing Toolkit

Individual or Business members can access this and 14 other guides and templates in this toolkit

Learn more about individual or business membership options Already an Individual or Business Member? Login here

...or take a look at the other Guides and Templates in this Toolkit

Trusted by marketers all over the world

Since 2009 our toolkits have helped thousands of marketers in over 100 countries to hit - and exceed - their targets.
Will you be next? over 150,000 consultants, agencies, entrepreneurs and SMB's in over 100 countries.

Get better results

"A goldmine of digital information on digital marketing that can help you get better results"

Make your job easier

"I'd recommend signing up to Smart Insights for a suite of useful tools
from planning templates to strategy docs and a variety of other guides to make your job easier."

Tenfold improvement

It's my digital marketing go-to Bible Tenfold improvements in digital marketing results."

Learn more about Individual or business membership options