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5 Steps to Running Your Facebook Ads Correctly

5 Steps to Running Your Facebook Ads Correctly

Have you been running Facebook ads for a while? If you’re reading this, chances are you probably had some foundational to intermediate experience running ads.

Here’s the brutal truth – while most people out there are advertising to get more likes and engagement, only a rare group of marketers are able to drive an ROI-positive Facebook ad campaign. In other words, for every $1 being spent, successful advertisers can generate $5 in sales.

Sounds almost like a reverse jackpot machine doesn’t it?

You bet. And in this post, you’ll discover the exact right steps to run Facebook advertisements the correct way.

Here’s the problem – Most people start running their ads based on some basic demographic, interest and behavioral targeting. More often than not, such ads won’t help to drive direct sales. It may be useful, however, to drive more fans to your Facebook Page.

In fact, it can be even counterproductive as there have been marketers complaining that these fans are of “poor quality” and don’t even look like real people.

Such results happen mainly because of the lack of a solid Facebook advertising strategy. Instead of running ads based on demographics, interest and behavior of your target audience, follow these 5 steps listed on this infographic, and you'll assuredly be on your way to reaching a ROI-positive ad campaign on Facebook.

Step 1: Segment (Website Custom Audiences) WCA

This is one of the most powerful ways to maximize your ad spend, yet it's extremely underutilized by majority of marketers. It’s the secret way of bringing your cost-per-conversion down by 50-85% on average because of the ad relevancy to your target audience.

To do this, your website’s infrastructure needs to be properly segmented based on the visitors’ interests.

Here’s an example of how it works:

Suppose you happen to looking out for hotels in Singapore on Agoda.com. Notice the URL (within the red rectangle).

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Do you notice that the part “/en-sg/”? What Agoda has done is to list all their Singapore hotels on this particular segment of the website.

As a result, what they can do is to run ads towards the same group of people who were browsing for Singapore hotels. That way, the message within the ad can be much more relevant and targeted.

But for a lot of marketers, most of our websites are built with very basic information – information about the business, a little bit about our products and typically, a contact section.

If this step is not for you, the next one might be a more powerful option.

Step 2: Use Website Custom Audiences

If you already have a functioning website with at least a few hundred visitors every month, then this would help to catapult you to drive direct conversions from running ads on Facebook very quickly.

It’s a much simpler method to implement compared to Segmented Website Custom Audience, where your ads are being displayed only to people who have visited certain parts of your website.

For Website Custom Audience, your ads are displayed to visitors who have been to your any part of your website – homepage, contact page, services and so on.

With this targeting method, you would be able to give them another reason to come back to your site. Some ideas:

Provide them with a case study Give them an enticing offer Sell a low ticket priced item Offer a free sample/gift box

The example below shows how a high-end interior design firm provides a case study to people who have visited their website before.

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This ad alone is responsible for driving over hundreds of new leads for their business and drove over $80,000 in sales.

Step 3: Target with Custom Audience

Here’s another targeting method on Facebook to use in tandem with Website Custom Audiences. It works just as amazing when it comes to driving positive ROI ad campaigns.

Statistics have shown that that the probability of selling to an existing customer is about 70%, whereas the probability of successfully selling to a new prospect is only about 20%.

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In other words, to have a positive ROI ad campaign, it is much easier to have your ads displayed towards your existing customers, rather than capturing new prospects.

So if you have an existing database of email addresses, phone numbers of your customers, the next logical step to target your ads would be towards them via Custom Audiences.

While this and the above two steps can give a dominant push to drive high yield returns for any business, there are several limitations with it. The most obvious ones being that with any type of Custom Audiences is that the pool of audience is still very limited.

After all, you’re selling to the same group of customers and after running ads to them for an extended period of time, these audiences may dry out, which is in Step 4 below.

Step 4: Utilize Lookalike Audiences

You already have your existing pool of ideal customers. People who consistently buy from you, over and again, and have never bargained with you on your prices. Now imagine, telling Facebook to find more of such people out there who may be interested in transacting with you.

That is what Lookalike Audiences is all about.

To put it simply, Facebook will identify users with similar behavior pattern as the users whom you have already identified. These could be your customers, site visitors or even existing fans on Facebook.

In most of my experience running millions of dollars of Facebook ads for top brands such as Qatar Airways and 3M, I find this targeting method as one of the most potent when wanting to acquire more direct new customers.

Step 5: Implement Demographic, Interest and Behavior Targeting

Usually, this is the last part of targeting which we will be using when it comes to acquiring more customers directly from Facebook ads. ‘

Most marketers already understand how the basic demographic, interest and behavior targeting method works. Yet, only few are getting direct results from targeting their ads that way.

In most of my experience, most marketers are not seeing a directly positive ROI-campaign because they didn’t use the right set of interests and behavior to target. In many cases, the ads are being targeted towards the fans of competitors’ sites.

For example, if you were to promote an ad for SEMrush, a typical marketer would run ads towards fans of Moz or SpyFu.

But such methods of targeting may end up wasting most of your marketing spend since the quality of your competitors’ fans may not be what you’re expecting them to be.

Good news is, there are tools within Facebook such as Audience Insights and Graph Search that could help you pick the right method of targeting.


Running ads on Facebook doesn’t solely have to be on driving more likes or engagement (although that too, is an important part of the formula to success).

But for most marketers, in order to gain more confidence when running ads on Facebook, it is important to start driving a ROI-positive ad campaign first.

Do you have questions about this process? Did it work for you? Let me know all about it in the comments.

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