Facebook Advertising 101: How to Build an Ad

a woman looks at a dental facebook ad targeted at her


So, you've decided your practice is going to try Facebook advertising. You determined your goals, set a budget and narrowed down your target audience. Now, it's time to start creating.

In part two of our Facebook advertising series, we explain how to build an ad, step-by-step.

Choose your objective
One of the first things you need to do is determine what the objective of your ad will be. This might sound like an intimidating first step, but it is an important one, as this will help Facebook determine how to distribute the ad across your chosen audience.

When you begin to build your ad, you will see three primary objectives: AwarenessConsideration and Conversion. You’ll notice these titles align with the sales cycle process: raising awareness of your brand, prompting the consumer to consider your brand and converting the consumer into a customer. You will also see a series of sub-objectives under each primary objective that allows you to drill down to a more specific advertising goal.

Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through it:

These types of ads get people’s attention and introduce them to your practice. “Brand awareness” will cast the net more widely across Facebook users while “Reach” will seek out people in your ideal audience that are most likely to be interested in your practice.

At this stage, your audience is now familiar with your brand and the next step is to have them consider your practice for dental care. You will see a variety of sub-objectives that will help find the audience that matches the action you want them to take. For example, you can choose to drive more traffic to your website, encourage a download of an app or find people who are more likely to engage with your ad.

This type of ad’s goal is to drive action to various platforms, including your website, Facebook's Messenger for your practice's profile or a mobile app. This type of ad is a little more complicated, as it requires more technical knowledge (such as placing a pixel on your website).

If this is your first time advertising, we strongly recommend starting with awareness ads. Once your audience has seen your ad several times, they will begin to recognize you and may be more likely to act on a consideration objective later (such as an ad encouraging people to make an appointment on your website).

Select your audience
Remember the audience you created in part one of this series? Now is the time to put the plan into action! This is where you select the various criteria that will help bring your audience to life. This includes geographic location, gender, age and interests.

Choose your placement
When you run an ad on Facebook, it can show up in more places than just someone’s mobile newsfeed. You can choose from over a dozen placement options across Facebook’s network, including Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) and the Audience Network, which runs ads beyond the Facebook platform.

If that sounds overwhelming, don’t worry-- you don’t have to put all the spices in the soup at once! Facebook has an “Automatic Placements” option that will optimally choose your placements for you to maximize your budget.

Set your budget and schedule
This is where you will let Facebook know how much you will be spending, how you would like that money to be spent and how long the ad will run. To help you out, we will highlight a few key pieces to this puzzle.

Daily budget vs. lifetime budget: A daily budget lets Facebook know the exact dollar amount you want to spend each day. A lifetime budget refers to the dollar amount Facebook will spend across the ad’s run: the exact amount spent per day will vary, but never exceeds your lifetime budget.

Scheduling options: You can either choose to run your ad for a set amount of days or have the ad run every day until the budget runs out.

Choose your ad format
Facebook offers six different formats to help you tell your story, including photo, video and Stories. If you are just starting out, we recommend a photo ad due to its versatility. We will cover best practices for creating an ad in a future post!

Then, you’re done! Once you submit your ad, Facebook will then deliver it to users who best match your criteria and goals. You will then be able to track your ad’s performance in Ad Manager, which we will break down for you later in this series.