Ads on Facebook

Use this lesson to:

  • Learn how Facebook ads are structured, and how ad delivery works
  • Create Facebook campaigns, ad sets and ads

The Facebook ad creation process is broken down into three levels: campaigns, ad sets and ads. At each step, you can add specific information.


Ad Set


Select an ad level to learn what information you’ll provide at each step.


A campaign can contain multiple ad sets, and each ad set can contain multiple ads. If you edit a campaign, those changes apply to all the ad sets and ads within it. If you edit an ad set, those changes apply to all affiliated ads.

Define your ad objective

Facebook simplifies ad creation and delivery by selling ads based on an objective you choose at the campaign level. Selecting an objective sets the business goal you want your campaign to accomplish. This helps Facebook deliver your messages to the right people by determining the best ad placements, formats and calls to action.

To get started, go to Ads Manager and select + Create.Note: If any of your ads are targeted to a US audience and offer credit, employment or housing opportunities, you’ll need to choose the correct category for your campaign. This is an important part of following Facebook’s Advertising Policies. These types of ads are considered Special Ad Categories, and the audience selection tools are limited to help protect people on Facebook from unlawful discrimination.


To create an ad campaign, select your objective and give the campaign a meaningful name so that you can identify it later.

Tip: Try abbreviating the objective for the name.

Ad sets: Define your strategy

At the ad set level, you choose your delivery preferences. You can define your audience, choose placements and establish a schedule and budget.

Specify an audience

Facebook allows advertisers to target their ads to different audience types:

  • Core Audiences are new audiences you create manually within an ad set. Targeting options include location, gender, age, language, interests and behaviors.
  • Custom Audiences let you securely input your customer data or use Facebook engagement information to reach people you already have a relationship with. For example, people who’ve visited your website, provided their contact details or liked your Facebook Page.
  • Lookalike Audiences find people with similar characteristics to people who’ve engaged with your ads or Page by using information from your Custom Audiences or saved audiences.

Select placements

Your ads can appear in multiple places across the Facebook family of apps and technologies.

The available placements may vary depending on which ad objective you select, but will include at least one of the following:

  • News Feed
  • Stories
  • In-stream
  • Search
  • Messages
  • In-article
  • Apps and sites

Brand safety

If you run in-stream video ads, or ads on Audience Network or Instant Articles, you can restrict the types of content that your ads appear alongside. You can exclude categories like gambling, mature content and debatable social issues. Advertisers can also create block lists of apps, publishers, websites and Facebook Pages where they don’t want their ads to appear. Remember that these types of restrictions will limit the number of places where people can see your ads.

Choose a budget and schedule

Set a daily or lifetime ad budget, and a start and end date for your ad set. Ads Manager will tell you how many people are likely to see your ad (estimated reach) based on the budget you select.

Note that your payment schedule and some optimization options may vary based on the campaign objective and placements you select.

Ads: Get creative

At the ad level, select your ad format and connect the ad to a Facebook Page or Instagram account that you manage. Give the ad an intuitive name so you can find and evaluate it in Ads Manager and in reporting.


Your ad objective and placement can affect which formats are available. They include:

  • Carousel: a scrollable sequence of 2-10 images or videos
  • Image: a single photo or graphic
  • Video: an ad anchored by a single video
  • Slideshow: a looping video ad composed of up to 10 images or frames extracted from a video, to which you can add transitions and music
  • Collection: a primary video or image with four smaller images in a grid-like layout

Check out the Facebook Ads Guide for details about ad format and placement availability by ad objective.

Marketers can add an Instant Experience to some ads based on the objective they select. This fullscreen post-click experience, optimized for mobile, encourages playful exploration and interactions within the ad itself.

Knowledge Check


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