How to get started with Facebook ads – the boost your business needs

5 min read
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What’s QuickBooks got to do with advertising on Facebook? It’s a great question, but think about it in a different way. We’re a business too, and we have our own marketing department. As it happens, we use Facebook quite a lot, which is why our in-house marketing team has some great ideas to help support you.

If you don’t already advertise on Facebook, there are some very good reasons to start. With over 2 billion users, Facebook offers huge advertising opportunities.

It’s also highly targeted, which means you can reach the right audience. This makes it affordable and effective.

With fewer people clicking on organic Facebook posts (that’s the ones you don’t pay for), it’s getting harder to reach your audience this way. Facebook ads fills the gap and gets your message seen – and acted upon.

It’s easy to get started

Good news for small businesses - anyone can get started with Facebook ads, but first you must set up a page. More good news? £5-10 can buy your first results and show you what’s possible.

But before you start, you just need to be sure about what you want to achieve. So let’s see what you have to do to start getting those results.

Find Facebook Ads Manager

Before you do anything at all, you’ll need to use Ads Manager. People tell us they find this hard to find (and we agree!). Don’t worry, here’s how:

Access Ads Manager via your Facebook account.

From a desktop: Look for the small black downward arrow in the top right-hand corner of the page. Click on this and select “Manage ads” from the dropdown.


From your mobile: The easiest way of doing this – so you can always find it – is to download the Facebook Ads app.

Start with Ads Manager

Once you’re in Ads Manager, you’re ready to create your ad. It’s all set out in simple, easy steps:

1. Set your objective.

Ask yourself what you want to achieve. You have three options.

  1. Awareness. As a new small business, your priority may be to increase brand awareness and reach a wide audience.

  2. Consideration. If you sell services or large-ticket items, you might want to generate leads or traffic to your page or website.

  3. Conversion. It might be right for you to go straight for sales.

The interface will ask you to refine your choice, but there are clear instructions to help you get this right.

2. Get specific and target your audience.

Facebook offers excellent targeting tools - you can select your target audience according to location, age, interests, profession, or browsing and spending habits. This is good news for measuring your ROI.

Custom audiences are another excellent targeting tool for advertisers. This lets you create your own group of people to target with your ads. For example, if people sign up for a newsletter on your blog, you can then export a list of their email addresses, upload them to Facebook marketing and target those people with a specific ad. Just make sure you have their consent first, though.

3. Decide how your ad will appear. Your ad could look like a post in the news feeds, a banner, right column, or even appear on Instagram and Messenger.

4. Set a budget. You can go for a daily, or a lifetime budget.

The daily budget is an average daily amount spent over the life of the campaign, capped by day. The “lifetime budget” is a set amount for the whole campaign which may vary from day to day.

Bidding for Facebook ads sounds more confusing than it really is. When getting started, we recommend you let Facebook take care of this with its default Automatic bidding setting. Once you’re more comfortable with the whole process, you can try Manual bidding.

5. Create the ad. You can use an existing post or go for one of Facebook’s 5 formats - image, video, carousel, slideshow, or canvas. Just follow the simple instructions they lay out. When you write your ad, make sure you match your headlines and copy to your objectives.

Track your success

Once you’ve confirmed your settings and the ad is live, you can track your ad’s performance right away. This is measured against the objective you specified at the start. Analytics will tell you what’s worked best, such as which audiences have clicked through most. You can follow this up by increasing your budget in successful areas.

Test what’s best

If your ad is working, leave it be. If you feel it’s not, you can easily go back and change things. A word of warning – do this one step at a time so you can get to the bottom of any problems. Start with the image maybe and test that for a while before changing the text. The beauty of this is that you can test it easily any number of times and get immediate feedback.

Once you’re up and running with Facebook ads, you’ll soon see how it’s a cost-effective and powerful tool which can help you grow your business and learn about your audience.

Find this article about Facebook advertising useful? Our QuickBooks Blog covers a wide range of business-related topics designed to help you grow and develop your business.

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