Social media marketing has become one of the most effective ways for businesses to have success in the digital era.

In fact, 95% of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 follow brands on social media. Facebook leads the way in this category. According to Statista, Facebook has 2.2 billion active monthly users.

You can see why it’s so appealing for brands to have a presence on this platform. I hope  your company is on Facebook too.

To have success marketing on Facebook, you need to be active on a daily basis. Post content to your profile. Share photos and videos, and run promotions.

Facebook allows you to broadcast live videos to your followers. You should be taking advantage of that as well.

In fact, live videos are such an effective marketing strategy that it made my list of the top marketing trends to look for. Lots of these promotional tactics can be done  free.

But if you really want to take your social media marketing strategy to the next level, you need to run advertisements on Facebook.

Why Facebook? Well, in addition to having the highest number of active monthly users compared to other social platforms, Facebook ads deliver a high ROI:

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Obviously, running these ads isn’t free. But knowing that such a high number of marketers say  this platform delivers the highest ROI compared to other social media networks should make it worth your while.

That said, nothing is guaranteed. Not all advertisements on Facebook are successful. That’s why I created this guide.

If you are new to Facebook ads or need some improvement running your existing ones, this guide is for you. I’ll show you how to set them up and generate leads for your business.

Set your goals

First things first. Why are you running this ad? You need to determine your goal ahead of time.

There are a few reasons for this. First, you want to make sure the ad you’re creating is aligned with your goals. It’s also much easier to measure the success of a campaign if you have a goal in mind.

But another reason why you’ll need to set up a goal first is because Facebook will ask you what you’re trying to accomplish when you’re putting the ad together.

Here’s a look at different marketing objectives for you to choose from:

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As you can see, there is an option for lead generation under the consideration column.

This will help you collect information from Facebook users interested in your business.

The cool thing about the lead generation campaign is you can set up a split test when you’re running it. I’m a big advocate of using A/B testing to maximize efficiency.

You can run tests of your campaign based on elements such as placement, audience, and delivery optimization. This makes it easier for you to measure your results and make any necessary adjustments. But we’ll discuss this concept in greater detail later.

You can also select one of the choices from the awareness column as an alternative method of generating leads.

Selecting the brand awareness option will aim to get your ad exposed to people who are most likely to pay attention to your message. A reach campaign, on the other hand, will expose your ad to the highest number of people possible.

Identify your target market

Next, you’ll have to determine who will see your ad.

No matter what type of business you have or what industry you’re in, it’s important you know your target market. In fact, knowing how to identify the target market of your startup is one of the first steps of creating a business.

Those of you who have been in operation for a while should have done this years ago.

That said, it doesn’t mean this selection will be cut and dry. You may have a diverse target market. Is this ad for everyone?

For example, let’s say your company sells a wide range of products and services. There’s a good chance you sell items intended for men and women of all ages.

Based on the goal  you’ve previously defined, your ad may be geared toward a specific segment or a larger target market.

Here’s an example of how you could set this up based on your audience:

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As you can see, this ad is targeting men located in California. They are between the ages of 18 to 24 and speak English and Spanish.

Facebook allows you to get specific here. This is great because you can create multiple ads based on different segments of your target market.

Generic ads intended to reach a massive audience won’t be as successful. But if you target a specific group of people with your ads, you’ll be able to generate more leads.

All the information used is based on what each user puts in their Facebook profile. Keep in mind, this won’t be 100% accurate.

You’ll get some people who lie on their profiles about their age, gender, location, etc. But this shouldn’t be drastic enough to skew your results.

Set your budget

After you select your target market, you’ll have to determine how much money you want to spend on the ad.

Facebook makes it easy for you to set this up. Here’s what your options will look like:

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This example uses a daily amount. But you can also use the total amount you’d like to spend on the lifetime of the ad.

Even though I set the daily budget to $20, it won’t always be exact. That’s because Facebook automatically shares your ad based on the most opportunities.

Certain days, the ad spend may be higher, but other days, it would be less to keep the daily average at $20. You’ll get charged based on each impression.

You can also set start and end dates for your ad. Or you can let it run continuously and stop it manually when it’s time.

Choose the format for your ad

Not all ads are the same. Facebook lets you choose which type of advertisement you want to run. Here are your options:

  • video
  • image
  • collection
  • carousel
  • slideshow
  • canvas

Video and image are both pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll explain what the others mean.

A collection displays different items from your product catalog. It encourages users to shop by looking through a few items. Based on what you’re selling and the target market, these items will be customized for each person.

This is a great strategy for sales and conversions—but not necessarily lead generation. You can still use it as a marketing strategy.

Carousels allow you to display up to ten different videos or images within one advertisement. Each one would have its own link.

Slideshows use images, text, and sound to showcase your ad.

Canvas ads can be opened as a full-screen display, and they are fully optimized for mobile devices.

Mobile ads are Facebook’s highest source of revenue:

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That’s because businesses recognize how many Facebook users access the platform from their mobile devices.

In fact, as of January 2018, more than 95% of users access this social media network from smartphones.

But let’s get back to selecting your format. Each format has certain rules and restrictions. I’ve highlighted some of the top specifications for each one you need to keep in mind when designing your ads.


Max length: 240 minutes

Ratio: 9:16 to 16:9

Text: 125 characters

Headline: 25 characters

Description: 30 characters

Sound and captions are both optional for your ads; however, it’s highly recommended that you include these features. Also, if your video thumbnail has more than 20% text, it may not have high delivery rates.


File: png or jpg

Ratio: 9:16 to 16:9

Text: 125 characters

Resolution recommendation: minimum 1,200 x 628 pixels

Just like with videos, if your images contain more than 20% text, it can negatively impact the delivery rate. Make sure to limit the text on your picture ads.


Minimum image width: 600 pixels

Minimum image height: 600 pixels

Aspect ratio tolerance: 3%

Headline: 25 characters

Text: 90 characters


Minimum cards number: 2

Maximum cards number: 10

Maximum video size: 4GB

Resolution recommendation: minimum 1080 x 1080 pixels

Link description: 20 characters


Text: 125 characters

Minimum video length: 1 second

Maximum video length: 240 minutes

Bitrate limits: no limit for files under 1GB with 2-pass encoding

If you’ve got a vertical video ad with an aspect ratio taller than 2:3, it needs to be masked to 2:3. It’s recommended that you upload the highest possible video resolution based on the file and ratio limits.

Determine the placement and measure your results

Next, you’ll decide where you want your ads to be placed. Here’s a visual representation to show you what I’m referring to:

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You can place your ad on a mobile newsfeed, desktop newsfeed, or right column advertising bar.

Mix this strategy up. This relates back to A/B testing you’d need to run to see which version delivers the best results.

Keep track of everything. See which ads are working and which ones aren’t generating enough leads.

It’s important that you constantly rotate your ads. You don’t want your audience to keep seeing the same ads over and over again.

You should also try to market to different audiences. Just make sure everything always looks professional. Focus on your call to action. Change that as well to see how that changes the results.

Advertise on Instagram

In case you didn’t know, Facebook owns Instagram.

It’s really easy for you to run Instagram ads from the same place where you’re setting up your Facebook campaigns.

Instagram has become such a popular marketing medium that 70% of hashtags on this platform are branded. Furthermore, 71% of businesses in the United States are using Instagram to promote their companies:

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They’ve surpassed Twitter in this department.

If you want to stay competitive, you should be running paid ads on Instagram in addition to running them on Facebook. It’s easy to do since you’re setting them up through the same platform. You’ll just need to make a few extra clicks.


Having an active social media presence is an effective way to promote your brand at little to no cost. But if you want to take your social media marketing strategy to the next level, you should consider running Facebook ads.

These ads are perfect because Facebook offers tools specific for lead generation.

They are easy to set up as well. Just follow this guide as a reference to steer you in the right direction.

Start with your goals. Identify your target market. Set a budget.

After that, you’ll have to figure out which type of ad you want to run and where you want to place it. Keep all the ad specifications in mind when you’re going through this process.

Measure your results. Rotate your ads and make adjustments based on how successful they are.

You should also consider running ads on Instagram. Since those ads will be controlled from the same platform as your Facebook ads, it will be just as easy for you to set up.

If you follow these tips, you can turn your Facebook marketing strategy into a lead generation machine.