Facebook Ads Overview

Facebook gives you the ability to reach over 2 billion people, and that’s just through Facebook. Paired with Instagram and the Audience Network, there is no reason you should not be able to reach your ad campaign objectives.

Before you begin, we condensed this module in half, yet, it’s still one of the longest. It is imperative to understand these terms. We tried to spice it up with great copy and images, but this is one you need to schedule 15 minutes to sit down and read. Enjoy!

Module Outline and Objectives:

  • Understanding the Facebook Advertising Policies

  • Do’s and Don’t for your landing pages

  • Text in images (the most common mistakes)

  • Breaking down the full ad campaign process

Advertising Policies

When you create ads, you'll need to obey Facebook's Advertising Policies. These policies provide guidance on what types of ad content are allowed. When you create ads, those ads are reviewed against these policies. We'll cover some common policies taken directly from Facebook, but we recommend you review the entire Advertising Policies site before creating your ads.

Headline and body text use in ads

Personal characteristics:
Ads can’t assert or imply — directly or indirectly — that you know a person’s personal characteristics. This includes a person’s name, race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability or medical condition, financial status, and more. You also can’t call attention to perceived imperfections. Don’t overthink this one.

Vulgar language:
Don’t use vulgar, profane or insulting language. Ad text should never be rude, offensive or bullying.

Deceptive Claims:
Your Facebook ads can’t contain false, fraudulent or misleading claims or content. Any claims that you do make have to be adequately substantiated.

Now that you know what you should and shouldn't do on landing pages, we'll share some policies related to ad creative.

Pro Tip: When you create ads, Facebook may be able to tell you if there's something in your ad creative that violates the Advertising Policies before you submit your ad for review. If this is the case, don’t waste time and money hoping it will “get through”. Why? Even if it gets published, it won’t be effective. This is how you waste money on Facebook.

Landing Pages in Ads

Landing pages are the sites that people are redirected to when they click on your ad. Any landing page must clearly represent the company, product, service or brand that's being advertised.

Your ad may not be approved if the landing page content isn't fully functional, doesn't match the product or service promoted in your ad, or doesn't fully comply with our Advertising Policies.

To create a positive ad experience:


  • Present the content up front and clearly. Make sure the page is easy to navigate.

  • Ensure the content on your landing page is relevant to your ad. Directing people to irrelevant content or an unexpected landing page can create a confusing and negative experience.

  • Clearly connect the branding (the look, feel and style) in your ad with what people will experience when they land on your site.


  • Direct ads to landing pages with minimal original content, low-quality content or content that is difficult to access.

  • Distract from your landing page's original content with excessive embedded or pop-up ads.

  • Bait people into clicking on ads by using overly cropped ad images, or shocking or sexual ad copy.

  • Attempt to monetize Facebook ad views. For example, Facebook ads shouldn't link to a destination page that requires people to click through other ads to access the site's content.

  • Use low-quality advertisements or shocking or sexualized ad imagery.

Now that you know what you should and shouldn't do on landing pages, we'll share some policies related to ad creative.

Misleading buttons (Most common one)

Images that mislead a person into thinking your ad features some functionality it doesn't (like a video play button on a still image) aren’t allowed.

Brand assets

Your ad can’t contain an altered or outdated version of the Facebook logo. It also can't use trademarks, names, domain names, logos, or other content that imitates or could be confused with Facebook. Also, by using the Facebook logo, you shouldn't be implying a partnership with Facebook.

Word of Advice: If you don’t know, you don’t know. If the ad seems appropriate and then gets disapproved due to a policy violation, you may be able to edit the ad and submit it for review again. You don’t have to review the policies every time, nor do you need to be an expert on them. Remember, we want to SAVE you time, not give you more tasks.

Text in Images ********** (MOST IMPORTANT)

Facebook found that images with less than 20% text perform better. When you create new ads, those ads are subject to a review process that looks at the amount of image text used in your ads. Based on this review, ads with higher amounts of image text may get less reach or not be shown at all.

You will get 1 of 4 “rankings” on your ad prior to it being published:

  1. Image Text: Ok

  • Your ad's image contains little or no text. This is the preferred image style.

2. Image Text: Low

  • Your ad's reach may be slightly lower.

  • You may reach fewer people because there's too much text in the ad image. Ad images with little or no text are preferred. Try an image with less text, a smaller font size or without text-based logos.

3. Image Text: Medium

  • Your ad's reach may be much lower.

  • You may reach fewer people because there's too much text in the ad image. Ad images with little or no text are preferred. Try an image with less text, a smaller font size or without text-based logos.

4. Image Text: High

  • Your ad may not run.

  • You may not reach your audience because there's too much text in the ad image. Ad images with little or no text are preferred. Unless you qualify for an exception, try an image with less text, a smaller font size or without text-based logos.

If you're not sure what percent of text your ad image contains, you can use Facebook’s image text check tool before you submit your ad. Use the tool as a guide to help you create and submit ads that are more likely to comply with the image text guidelines.

How to avoid text in your ad images:

  • Make sure most of the text you use is in the body text instead of directly on the ad's image.

  • If you need to include text in your image, use fewer words or reduce the font size of your text. Keep in mind that if your text is too small, it may be difficult to read.

  • Avoid spreading text all over the image.

Sometimes, you'll need to use an image with essential text in your ad. For this reason, your image may qualify for an exception. Infographics are common examples.

You can find other examples about text in images in this article, about text in ad images.

Next, we're going to learn more about audiences and why they are vital to the success of your Facebook ads.

Ad Creation Process

Facebook breaks down the process of ad creation — across all our tools, and all our apps and services — into three distinct steps. At each part of the process, you can add specific information.

Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

1. Campaign

  • Define your ad objective:

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

To get started, access Ads Manager by visiting https://www.facebook.com/ads/manager, and look for the green +Create button.

Facebook Ad Campaign

To create an ad campaign, select your objective and give the campaign a meaningful name.

Ad Campaign Facebook

Evaluate the 11 ad objectives available on Facebook

  • Awareness: Drive Attention and Interest

    • Facebook offers two awareness objectives:

      • Select Brand awareness to display your ad to people most likely to be interested in a specific product or service

      • The Reach objective shows your ad to the maximum number of people.

  • Consideration: Engage and Persuade

    • Consideration is the middle stage of the consumer journey, when people are aware or your brand, but not yet ready to make a purchase or sell their home

      • The Traffic objective drives people to a website, app or Messenger.

      • Engagement ads are intended to increase post engagement, Page likes, or event responses.

      • If you’d like people to install your mobile or desktop app, try the App installs objective.

      • The Video views objective shows your content to people who are most likely to watch it.

      • Lead generation ads encourage people to share their contact details via a mobile-friendly form.

      • The Messages objectives encourages people to have conversations with your business in Messenger to complete purchases, answer questions, or offer support.

  • Conversion: Encourage Meaning Results

    • Conversion ad objectives drive action — such as a purchase or donation.

      • Ads using the Conversions objective ask people to do something in a website or app.

      • The Catalog sales objective is ideal for real estate companies: You can link to images of every house you sell, and Facebook will display different items to different people, based on broad targeting criteria or how they've engaged with ads in the past. **This is also commonly referred to as Dynamic Retargeting.

      • The Store traffic objective encourages people to visit your brick-and-mortar locations.

2. Ad Sets: Define Your Strategy

Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

At the ad set level, you set delivery preferences by defining the audience, choosing placements, and establishing a schedule and budget.

Specify an audience

Facebook allows you to target different audience types.

  • New audiences you create manually within an ad set are called Saved Audiences. The targeting options include location, gender, age, language, interests, and behaviors (however, your ads should not violate The Fair Housing Act). Use them to target ads using Facebook data.

    • The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing because of:

      • Race

      • Color

      • National Origin

      • Religion

      • Sex

      • Familial Status

      • Disability

  • Custom Audiences let you securely input your customer data — or leverage Facebook engagement data — to reach people you already have a relationship with, such as 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 combining Custom Audiences or Saved Audiences with Facebook data.

  • Select placements 

    • Your ads can appear on multiple platforms across the Facebook family of apps and services. The placements available to you may vary depending on which ad objective you selected, but will include at least one of the following:

      • Facebook ads can appear in News Feeds, Instant Articles, In-stream Video, Stories, Suggested Videos, Marketplace, and in the Right Column on desktop.

  • Choose a budget and schedule

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

Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

3. Ads: Get Creative

At the ad level, select the ad format and connect the ad to a Facebook Page or Instagram account that you manage. Give the ad an intuitive name to easily find and evaluate it within Ads Manager and in reporting. Several Examples on the side >>> We will cover these all in depth in future modules.


Your ad objective and placement can impact which formats are available. Generally, they are:

Free Home Report Ad
  • 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 and/or frames extracted from a video to which you can add transitions and music

  • Collection: a visual and immersive way to promote your business or products

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

Facebook Ads Event Responses

Lead Generation Ads

Lead ads on Facebook and Instagram help you collect info from people interested in your business. A lead ad is presented using an image, video, or carousel, and followed by a lead form when the user engages with the ad.


Offers are discounts you can share with your customers on Facebook. You can design your offer ad to appear as an image, video, or carousel.

Facebook Ads Like Page

Post Engagement

Most Page posts on Facebook can be boosted to deliver more likes, comments, shares, and photo views.

Event Responses

Event response ads can be used to promote awareness of your event and drive responses. You can design your event ad to appear as an image or video.

Page Likes

Page likes ads can be used to drive users to like your page. You can design your Page likes ad with a video or an image masked to a ratio of 1.91:1.

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

Campaigns, ad sets, and ads are collectively referred to as ad objects.

Remember, you have the ability to market to two billion people on Facebook every day.

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