[Walkthrough] Exactly How To Setup, Optimize, Target And Go Live With Your First Facebook Ad

You’ve found it!

The quick start, kick in the butt (exact step by step guide) you need to ACTUALLY start running your own Facebook ads and not just talking about it..

Now, if you’re anything like me, I associate A LOT of pain with learning something new and implementing it..

Even when I KNOW for a fact it will help my business and make me money..

The short term pain of the unknown can often stop me in my tracks and keep me stagnant for WAY too long.

FB-pain-thought..and for way too long I was like this with Facebook Ads and running paid traffic in general.

The fear of the unknown and to be honest the anxiety of thinking ‘what if it doesn’t work, what do I do then??’

..and just like most things once you actually do it –  and then look back you realise it’s not hard at all and 90% of the problem getting started was just that..

Getting started, actually sitting down and DOING IT.

A simple mind game, and procrastination is a powerful player you need to overcome.

To take that first unknown step is most definitely the hardest part..

..and if you are in that position now, wanting to tap into the power of Facebook ads for your business but need a push over the edge, well I’ve gone ahead and put together an exact step by step walkthrough on..

Exactly How To Setup, Optimize, Target And Go Live With Your First Facebook Ad

PLUS to turn this push over the edge into a full force front kick to your chest like a true Spartan I’ll also give you FREE access to our brand new Facebook Ad graphics software, Social Ad Suite..

NOTE: Click HERE to get access to the Free FB Ad Graphics Software, Social Ad Suite.

So creating your ad images is no excuse – our software does that for you in seconds.

Ok let’s get to the steps..

STEP ZERO: Set yourself up with a Facebook Business account, read THIS GUIDE on how to do that..

STEP ONE: You need to setup your Facebook default pixel on your squeeze page, and a conversion pixel on your thank you page (don't freak out it's easy)

[RELATED: Want to learn the 7 key elements for a high converting squeeze page? READ THIS]

First go to your Facebook Ad Manager HERE and click on the main menu tab and choose pixels.

fb-pixel-1aWhen the next screen loads, click 'Actions' and then 'View Pixel Code'.


This will open a light box with your code,  highlight the full code and copy it into a .txt file and keep it on your desktop (save you going through these steps again later).


Now take this code and add it into your squeeze page header code..

Wait, what?

The way to add this without messing with the actual page html code varies depending on the page builder you are using, for this example i'll show you where to place it in using Clickfunnels.

In the page editor click on the settings button in the top right, then click on 'Tracking Code' and paste your conversion pixel in the second box as shown below..


(if you are using a different page builder and can't figure out where to put the code, ask below in the comments and we'll help you out)

Ok back in FB Ads Manager, Close the default pixel lightbox and click on 'Create Conversion' and 'Track Conversions With Standard Event'


On the next screen click 'See More' then scroll down and copy the Lead code as shown below.


Now open up the default pixel you already copied to a .txt file earlier, and add in the lead code snippet as shown below in red:


Ok you've now created your conversion pixel successfully, yay!

(By the way, the Sack The Job team is currently developing a software tool that will automate all this for you, stay tuned for it :))

Now you need to take this code and place it on the next page in your funnel (for example the thank you page, tripwire page, webinar confirmation page etc) after someone submits their email..

Follow the same steps as shown above for the default pixel to input the code.

Ok now your FB pixel is setup correctly and you can test that it's working using the FB Pixel Helper, which is a great little chrome extension that notifies you when your pixel has successfully fired (or not) when going through your funnel.

STEP TWO: Set Up Custom Audiences

Back in Ads Manager, click the main menu and then choose 'Audiences'


Next click on 'Create Audience' > 'Custom Audience' and on the lightbox that appears choose 'Website Traffic'


On the next screen you can define the audience of people you want to create dependent on their actions - for this audience we want to capture people that click on our ad and come to the squeeze page but for whatever reason don't opt in, to set this up do the following..

1. Choose 'People visiting specific web pages but not others' from the dropdown
2. Paste in the full URL of your squeeze page
3. Paste in the full URL of your thank you page (or whatever page you have next in your funnel after the squeeze page, eg. low dollar offer, affiliate product etc)
4. Here you can change how long you want people to be kept in your custom audience if they're not active - 180 is the max.
5. Here just name your audience and give it a description so you can remember what it's for later.

When you're done click 'Create Audience' and this custom audience will be ready. Later on as people click your ad they will be added to this audience dynamically.

Next you want to repeat the steps above and create custom audiences for each page of your funnel - for example create an audience for people that opted in on your squeeze page but didn't buy the low dollar offer on your thank you page and so on..

As people move through your funnel they will dynamically move from one audience to the next allowing you to retarget them with the correct call to action for where they are in your funnel, encouraging them to take to next step and ascend up your funnel (a.k.a buy more stuff).

(The above may seem advanced and takes a little time to set up, but it's best to do it now before you start running traffic so these audiences start building up in the background as you go)

STEP THREE: Set Up Your Facebook Ad [Campaign Level]

Back in FB Ads manager, go ahead and click the green 'Create Ad' button and follow the steps outlined below..

1. Choose 'Increase conversions on your website' as your campaign objective.
2. Paste in the URL of your squeeze page.
3. Choose 'Lead' as your conversion event type.
4. Choose a name for your campaign and then click continue.

STEP FOUR: Set Up Your Facebook Ad [Ad Set Level]

The next screen is your targeting, this is where you choose who it is you want to actually put your ads in front of..

..and it's where most people totally freak out - but you don't have to!

..just follow this simple formula to go broad with your targeting to get some initial results (and once you start seeing actual data roll in you can adjust things to what's working, based on facts and not conjecture)

Let's break it down section by section..


 1. New Audience: This is where you can apply your previously saved audiences (very handy later on once you've run a few ads and tested some audiences out) but for now just leave this blank.
2. Custom Audiences: Here you can apply your custom audiences (these are audiences created using the pixel installed on your site, email lists you've uploaded or people that have engaged with your videos), again for this initial ad you can just leave this blank.
3. Locations: Obvious what this does - for this first ad of yours I recommend you just put in all English speaking countries (if that applies to your niche) So add in United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand (You need to put in at least 1 location)
4. Age, Gender & Language: Also Obvious what this is, but for this initial ad the only thing I recommend you edit is to add 'English (All)' into 'Languages'

Once your ad is live and you start gathering data you can see exactly what demographics are responding - and then fine tune accordingly.

So it'll look like this when you've made those changes:

The next section is the most important, here you'll be refining your audience based on their personal interests..

This is where most people get stuck..

But I've developed a very simple formula that works really well for these initial broad, data gathering ads..

I call it the 'Guru Toolbox Flex Formula', or GTFF - It works like this..

1. Guru: In the interest section start by putting in a list of Gurus, thought leaders or celebrity figures in your niche..You want to put in around 10 - so your potential audience reach is around 1-1.5 Million people (this of course is dependant on your niche and you'll need to do some research)

..for demonstration purposes i'm just using Frank Kern (for the online marketing niche) but make sure you add around 10 as mentioned..

2. Toolbox Flex: Once you have put in your 'Guru' interests, an option will appear saying 'Narrow Audience' - click this and more options will appear as shown in the screenshot below..


Notice the 'and MUST ALSO match at least ONE of the following' - this is huge. It's known as Flex Targeting and is key to refine your audience to passionate practitioners in your niche, and not just random people that may have 'Liked' one of the Gurus because they are well known..

..this is where the 'Tool' part of the formula comes into play - In this new section start putting in the tools people in your niche actually use day to day..

So for example in the online marketing niche following the Frank Kern example I would start putting in tools internet marketers use - Software platforms like Aweber, GetResponse - social media software like HootSuite etc..

Get specific here and do some research so you have enough tools listed that your overall potential audience size shrinks to roughly 750k people.

..and that's your targeting done using GTFF, a great starting point for your data gathering, pixel building first ad.

Next is your placements, this is simply where on FB your ads will be shown..

I recommend for this initial ad remove 'Instagram' and 'Audience Network' as shown above and leave the rest - so we can just get this ad live and start gathering data.

Finally for this section we have our budget, you don't need to do much here..

1. Set your daily budget - whatever your feel comfortable with. Obviously the more you spend the faster your results - but keep it mind changing budget up or down later on drastically messes with how the FB algorithm works and will hurt your ad delivery (if you want to scale ads up, do so by 50% only - every 3-4 days)
2. Leave all this as is for this initial ad.
3. Give your ad set a name you'll remember and then click continue..

STEP FIVE: Set Up Your Facebook Ad [Ad Level]

OK you're on the final stretch - Now you need to set up your ad copy and image and you're done.

First go download our ad graphic software 'Social Ad Suite' (if you haven't already) by clicking the button below:

SAS UI Demo No Badge [MED]

Click Here To Download The Social Ad Suite Software

Install it on your computer (works on both Mac & Windows) and use the templates inside to create a graphic for your ad, then export the completed image to your desktop.

Make sure to use the 20% text checker in the software so your ad doesn't get denied by FB for too much text.

Then set things up as follows:

1. Choose this option as you are creating a static image ad.
2. Click this option and upload the image you created using the Social Ad Suite software.

Next is your actual ad and how it will appear to your audience on FB, let's break down the options and exactly what each one is for..


1. Choose the FB page you want shown as the owner of the ad (if you haven't yet created your FB page do so HERE or click the + button). The 'Turn off Newsfeed Ads' means you won't associate a FB fan page with your ad and only display your ads in the Newsfeed Sidebar.
2. Put your headline in here, this will show below your ad image. Try to keep this short - State your main benefit and call to action.
3. Put your body text here. This is the text that appears above your ad image (like a normal personal newsfeed post).
4. Choose a button option from the dropdown, or remove it completely - pick something that makes sense for your niche/offer.
*Click 'Show advanced options' to display options 5-8.
5. Add your description here, this shows below your headline. Simple reiterate your offer here and main benefit.
6. Here you can edit the URL link that will display on your ad, you can use this to restate your offer if you want - it doesn't have to be your actual URL.
7. This area is to track each individual ad using google tag manager (just leave this blank for this starter ad).
8. This is just re-stating that you have connected your ad to your FB pixel to track and optimize for conversions.

For what you actually write in the ad - to get started just keep it simple and don't try to be too clever. Keep the language casual and to the point for what you have to offer/ why they should click and leave Facebook.

Key thing to remember is to match your ad to your squeeze page - so use the same images, same headline and same benefit/feature statements (as close as possible) so when people do click your ad and leave Facebook, they feel like they've arrived in the right place.

If your ad and squeeze page mis-match A LOT of of your traffic will simply hit the back button and be lost forever.

Once you've put in all the text above you're ready to go live, click the 'Place Order' button and your ad will be sent to Facebook for approval (can take several hours) and you'll be notified once it's approved.

Once approved it can still take several hours to start seeing results so just be patient.

AND when you do start seeing results don't worry if your cost per conversion is high, FB takes 3-5 days to properly optimize their algorithm for conversions, so as long as your relevance score (people responding positively to your ad or not) is above 5 you should see your cost start to drop and more leads roll in..

[NOTE: If you go on to create multiple ads within your ad set they will share the budget defined at the ad set level, not add to it]



You made it all the way.. I'm sure all the steps above seem over whelming (specially if you just scrolled down here without going through them)

..but once you do actually implement and get this stuff live it becomes second nature and a new campaign can be set up in less than 10 minutes.

Like anything practise makes perfect, so go get stuck in and you'll be looking back on this in a few weeks stoked you actually sat down and DID IT.

For a little perspective and inspiration..

In the last week and a bit we've generated over 1000 fresh, targeted leads from Facebook for FREE using exactly these steps I've laid out for you.

How free?

We used our thank you page after our squeeze page for a low dollar offer, those sales have completely paid for the ad spend and then some.

What could 1000 targeted leads added to your list every week mean for your business?

Think about it, then go get your ad live 🙂

Stuck on any steps, want an ad critique? Let me know in the comments below.

NOTE: Want more quality templates, resources and in depth video training to help with your marketing? Check out our 'Sack The Job' membership program HERE and fast track your online marketing success story.


About The Author

Sam Finlay

I am a full time online marketer, software creator and video specialist with extensive experience launching digital products into the marketplace. I have Bachelor and Master degrees in Design and Digital Media/Animation and create tools and training to make digital marketing easy.


  • Keshav Maheshwari

    Reply Reply May 26, 2016

    Very nice tutorial 🙂 I am exited about the software you are creating to make this task even more straightforward.

    Facebook pixels had always confused me. Always. 🙂

    In any case, just a confirmation,
    We need to put in our pixel in both the pages i.e. squeeze page and also thank-you-page or just that thank-you-page?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Sam Finlay

      Reply Reply May 26, 2016

      Thanks Keshav, happy you found it helpful. Yes you need pixels on both pages – on your squeeze page put the default pixel code, and on your thank you page put the edited pixel code that includes the added LEAD event code.

      • keshav maheshwari

        Reply Reply May 26, 2016

        Thanks a tonn 🙂

      • Keshav Maheshwari

        Reply Reply May 31, 2016

        I followed every instruction carefully. Checked the pages with facebook pixel checker plugin. Its shows no error.
        In squeeze page, it shows event id: page view
        and in thank you page: it shows 2 event id as page view and lead.

        in my ad, I received 368 website click and really very few sign-ups (less than 10)
        [I must mention that I had selected Instagram and mobile site also as an ad display platform]

        As per instruction, had created custom audience as well, but that si less than 20 (audience too small)
        I must mention here that the custom audience seems active (there is a green button, but audiences are not created)

        Can you think of any error?

  • Richard Dacker

    Reply Reply May 27, 2016

    Hi Sam,

    Proud operator of Social Ad Suite here. Good reading clear steps to facebook ads setup I have seen so far. Muchos gracias for that. I was wondering if your expertise in sales and marketing could extend to me a marketing strategy for a while label product I have which is specifically for storage and url generator to fire pixel codes for facebook, perfect audience and adroll. Created videos on youtube but no wins. Would facebook ads do the trick for advertising a pixel platform software. I know your a busy man..do doubt. Any feedback is appreciated. If you want to see inside the platform I got an animated gif or setup up a login for you. Thanks.

    • Sam Finlay

      Reply Reply May 27, 2016

      Hey Richard,

      Thanks man glad you found it useful.

      Absolutely FB ads would work for your software but don’t try to sell it directly..

      Put together some free content on a related topic and send traffic to that first. This could be checklist, template, report etc – Something simple but helpful and easily consumed by the user.

      Offer the freebie in exchange for their email, and once they opt in make them an offer on your software (discount) If they don’t buy follow up with them via email taking them back to the salespage (and of course deliver the freebie via email as well)

      In the free content also have calls to action back to your software salespage.

      Build in some urgency into your follow ups too – maybe a countdown timer that once expires re-directs people to the full price version of the software so your urgency is real.

      Also use custom audiences as I described in the post to retarget people and ascend them through your product line.

      Don’t fake the the urgency it’ll kill trust.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  • John Banks

    Reply Reply May 27, 2016

    Totally awesome tutorial dude. Don’t use clickfunnels yet but really considering it of late…

    Seems to make the processes simplified.

    Thanks for a great post!

    • Sam Finlay

      Reply Reply May 27, 2016

      My pleasure buddy, glad you liked it. Highly recommend Clickfunnels best page builder I’ve used by far and I’ve used all of them pretty much over the last 2 or so years. Any CF questions let me know 🙂

  • Hey just a quick comment.

    Don’t buy any other “software” for images creation ’til give these guys a try.

    Thanks for sharing

    Talk soon,

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