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A Brief Guide to Facebook Ad Strategy

Ever wanted to know how to set up and run successful Facebook campaigns? Then check this out. We’ll guide you through the process of setting up and managing ad campaigns and introduce you to the Special Ads Category and what it means for your campaigns. 

When it comes to advertising on Facebook, there are a ton of different ways to do it and it can get pretty confusing. In this article, we want to give you some good old fashioned honest advice that will help you to navigate many of the pitfalls and give you a head started when setting up your initial campaigns. 

One of the most common pieces of advice you’ll hear from people when starting out on Facebook is to plan wisely and choose your audience carefully. This seems logical enough, however, it’s actually pretty bad advice. 

You could spend hours working out who your target audience is and thinking about the lives they live, the decisions they make and the things they like in minute detail. But, what if you’re wrong? Well, then you’re back to square one. However, if you make no assumptions when starting out and run a few campaigns that don’t target specific audiences, then the data you collect should start to shed light on who your target audience really is. 

The trick to getting a running start with Facebook is always to improve the precision of your targeting. Therefore, you should always start wide and then narrow your audience. Otherwise you’ll waste a lot of time and money fumbling around in the dark hoping that at some point you’ll hit the right audience. Instead, you should be letting your audience come to you.  

Make sure you select the right objective 

As with any path you take in life, you need to know where you’re going if you want to get there. The same goes for your Facebook campaigns. Whether you’re looking to get conversions, clicks, shares, likes, leads or followers, you’ll need to set up your campaigns accordingly. 

Facebook has a lot of different Campaign Objectives, and they will affect how the algorithm works. Therefore, be sure that you know what it is that you want people to do and then decide which objective you need. Sometimes you might find that there is more than one objective that suits your needs, in which case, test them to see which works better. 

One example of multiple possible objectives is lead generation. If you already understand a bit about affiliate marketing, then you’ll already know that CPA and CPL sometimes cross paths.  If you’re new to these terms though, here’s a quick overview. 

CPA refers to Cost Per Action, whereas CPL refers to Cost Per Lead. CPA covers all actions, and this can include lead generation. Therefore, the objective in a CPA campaign can really be anything you want it to be. The aim of any CPA campaign is to reduce the amount it costs to get people to commit to an action. 

In affiliate marketing, the action from which you get paid is where you make your conversion. In a CPL campaign, when you get a lead, you get a conversion. However, Facebook has two options



Lead Generation


It might seem obvious to choose lead generation, however, while this is good for collecting leads for your own business, it’s not so good at collecting them for third parties. Therefore, for affiliate marketers, it’s usually best to opt for conversions, as that’s ultimately what you get paid for. 

With Lead Generation, Facebook can help you to collect leads with an instant form that doesn’t take people away from the platform. This can be great if you are collecting your own leads that you will later contact, but it won’t be effective for targeting people to convert once they leave the site as Facebook will optimize differently. 


Your ad objective matters on Facebook, and it’s not just about some centering your own thoughts about what you want to achieve with your campaign for simple categorization purposes. It actually has an impact on your campaigns.

Don’t Hide the Pain Harold!

There are a lot of ways to get creative with your ads, however, from experience, there are 2 things you should and shouldn’t do. You should try to get to the heart of what people want as soon as possible, but you should do it authentically, which means you shouldn’t use stock images. 

People like ads to be relatable, therefore, if you are able to get real people with real stories about what you’re selling then definitely test that out as an angle. Otherwise, you can, to an extent, make it up. After all, Red Bull doesn’t give you wings, and Gillette is not the best a man can get. 

One thing you should never do is take real people and suggest that they are personally promoting your products when they are not. However, you can work with people who are willing to test your products out and react to them. Similarly, you can get people to pose for pictures with your product and use those images. It’s not always easy to do, and sourcing good creatives that work is a difficult task but, in the long run, it will be worth it. 

Your campaign success ultimately relies on getting people’s attention by stopping them while they’re scrolling. This is heavily dependent on the image. After that, you’ll need to guide them and interest them with your ad copy. 

Keep Testing and Always Follow the Data

The key to running successful Facebook campaigns is constant testing and challenging the algorithm. The more you test, the more data you have. Think something is working perfectly? Then keep testing it and see if something can beat it. No matter whether you are a beginner or a veteran, your campaigns can always be improved. If you keep clear goals in mind, know what it is you are testing and why and don’t shut down campaigns prematurely, then you’ll be on the road to success. 

One of the major mistakes people make is that they stop testing when they start losing money. The problem with this is that you simply won’t get the data you need to know something doesn’t work. There will be good days and bad days and you won’t know if things really work unless you give them time to work. 

A good rule of thumb is to test on approximately 2x-3x the conversion amount per day. If you run for a day and see very few clicks and no conversions, then it’s probably time to turn it off as you’re not really getting the data you need. However, if you get a decent number of clicks or a conversion, then hold on a bit longer, even if you are losing money, because something is working. You can then see where you got those clicks/conversions and why and then begin to test more things in that area.  

If you are still losing money after a few days then turn the campaign off, but be sure to focus on the data that you got to try and optimise your new campaigns. 

Special Ads - What does it mean for your campaigns?

Facebook restricts advertising in certain areas, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t advertise products that fall under the special ads category, it just means you’ll have more limited options. 

Here’s what you can and can’t target in Facebook Special Ads campaigns: 


Can Target -  geographic locations including country, regions/states/provinces, and towns and cities. (specific locations such as towns/cities will limit you to a 15-mile radius around the location.  

Can’t Target - ZIP/Postcodes

Age: You can’t target by age

Gender: You can’t target by gender. 

Detailed Targeting: 

Detailed targeting is a bit more complicated. A lot of options are available, but a lot aren’t. In detailed targeting, the options are less specific than they would be if you were not running a special ads campaign. For example, if you are selling loans, you can target people interested in cars, but not people who are interested in specific makes and models. 

Audience Expansion: Not available in Special Ads Category.

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