10 Facebook Ads You Should be Running Right Now

10 Facebook Ads You Should be Running Right Now

Last week I asked a few selected members of my ‘Facebook Ads Course‘ what is the hardest part about learning how to do Facebook Ads as part of your online marketing.

I had already formulated 3 alternatives for them to select:

  • The creative part of building the ads
  • Understanding who you need to target
  • Understanding the technical aspects of using Power Editor

But I didn’t expect the answer most of them came back with: Creating an advertising strategy.

Alright, I’ll give you the long version:

  • I don’t just want to run an ad, I want to have a plan that I can implement on an ongoing basis
  • I want to figure out which ads I should be running, when, and who I should be targeting
  • Understanding what campaigns to run at different stages of the sales funnel

So I decided to put together a set of 10 ads you should be running regularly, at different stages, to target different audiences. These are some of the ads we run for SocialMouths.


Facebook Ads to get Page Likes

Ad Campaigns to get Page Likes

1) Recent visitors of your website

  • Ad: Page Like
  • Audience: Website Custom Audience

A Page Like Ad that targets recent visitors to your website. You can do this by creating a Website Custom Audience, this is a simple as placing a little code snippet called “Custom Audience Pixel” into your website. It’s provided by Facebook and you can install it on all pages across your website or on one or more specific pages.

A Website Custom Audience can be configured to target users that visited your site on the next day or keep them in your audience for as along as 180 days, after that they are automatically removed.

This is a great option because you know these are people that have an interest in what you do, they have already been to your site and they will probably recognize your business when they see it on their news feed.

2) Your email subscribers

  • Ad: Page Like
  • Audience: Your email subscribers

A Page Like Ad that targets individuals that have previously signed up for your email list. You need to export your email list from your service provider, they usually offer the option to export into a CSV file. You will need to create a Custom Audience and import your email list to Facebook. These records are then matched with Facebook users and an audience is created for you to use in your ads.

You can read the step-by-step tutorial on how to do this here.

A match is successful only when the email address the person used to sign up for your email list is the same used for Facebook, so chances are the match will not be 100%.

This Audience is highly targeted, these individuals have expressed interest in your business by signing up to your email. But you already know what I think about email marketing.

3) Fans of Similar Pages

  • Ad: Page Like
  • Audience: Based on Interest – Similar Pages

Another great option is to target people that have Liked a page that is either your competitor or it complements your business.

This is as simple as selecting the name of the desired Facebook Page under Interest. This will obviously be a little less targeted than the other 2 options but you can still target people that has some interest in your niche or type of product.

Facebook Page Like Ad Campaign

Important: Always remember to exclude your Fans from the Audience.

Facebook ad audience connections

Facebook Ads to grow your Email List

Facebook Ad Campaigns to grow your Email List

4) Turn your Fans into Email Subscribers

  • Ad: Page Link Post
  • Audience: Your Fans

One of the most important steps in your marketing funnel is to turn your Fans into email subscribers. This can be easily achieved by promoting a free product such as an Ebook or running a promotion or a contest that requires participants to register with an email address.

Targeting your Fans is probably the most effective audience you can have on Facebook, so you should expect a higher conversion rate.

5) Promote your free product to Fans of similar Pages

  • Ad: Page Link Post
  • Audience: Based on Interest – Similar Pages

A little less targeted than tapping into your own Fanbase, but still some level of interest if you target the right prospects. Again, in this case you are targeting people that Like other Pages that complement your business in some way or be more aggressive and go for Fans of your direct competitors [Insert evil laughter here].

Facebook Ads to sell your products

Facebook Ad Campaigns to sell your products

6) Sell your products to Fans

  • Ad: Page Link Post
  • Audience: Fans

This is the one ad every marketer wants to be successful at. Things are not as easy as they sounds, ideally by the time your Fans sees this ad, you have already been providing value and earning their trust. This is probably not an ad that you want to be running permanently, but be strategic about it.

7) Sell your products to your email subscribers

  • Ad: Page Link Post
  • Audience: Your email subscribers

When you launch a new product, usually the first audience to get hit with the offer is your email list, after all this is most qualified lead you can have in your business today. I like running an ad on Facebook targeting this same group, it works great as a follow up.

8) Sell your products to recent visitors of your Sales Pages

  • Ad: Page Link Post
  • Audience: Recent visitors to your sales/product pages

We talked about Remarketing before in this post, what’s different in this case is that instead of targeting website visitors, we will be targeting people that visited an specific sales page or a product page within your site.

This works because we know this person showed interest by visiting that specific page.

Important: When you run ads with the objective of a website conversion, you should set up a “Conversion Tracking Pixel” in order to track sales completed as a result of your ad. This pixel is a small piece of code provided by Facebook for you to install on your website, more specifically, it should be install on the success page where the user lands after completing a purchase on your site.

Facebook Ads to promote your content

Ad Campaigns to promote your content

9) Promote your posts to your Fans

  • Ad: Page Link Post
  • Audience: Your Fans

This specific ad is more important than ever, since the decline of Organic Reach. I want to make sure I reach as many Fans as possible. Why? In my case, these are usually blog posts from SocialMouths, this is how I deliver value, build trust and authority. That content is what earns me the right to make an offer later on.

Consider promoting all your content to your Fans. Of course we are excluding content from other sources.

10) Promote your posts to Fans of similar Pages

  • Ad: Page Link Post
  • Audience: Based on Interest – Similar Pages

This is not something you should run on a permanent basis. I like promoting a post to other audiences, in this case people that Like similar Pages, when I think it’s an important piece of content, something that has an specific goal.

Like I said before, under Interest, target people that Likes specific Pages.

Other Alternatives

Like I said at the beginning, these are some of the ads we try to be running most of the time at casa de SocialMouths, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add other pieces. For example, Lookalike Audiences can be a good option to try.

You can test creating a Lookalike Audience after your Email Audience.

Many people don’t consider “Categories” a good option, I think it really depends on your type of business. If you run an online Pet Shop, wouldn’t you like to test targeting people that have a history of buying pet food online?

The point is, you business might be a little different, so feel free to adjust, eliminate or add other ads.

How about you?

Are you running ads on Facebook? Do you have a strategy or a set of ads you are running permanently? Share your secrets in the comments below.

If you will like to learn more about Facebook Advertising, my course Likeable to Profitable is currently open. You can check it out here: Likeable to Profitable

  • Shayan Naveed

    This is an awesome post. Just what I needed! i have never run ads
    ever…mostly because clients never want to pay for ads but definitely
    useful in the future. BOOKMARKED.

  • Thanks Shayan, glad you liked it.

  • Betsey

    Thanks for this, Francisco! This post really gets to the MARKETING part of social media marketing that so many people miss; the strategy behind each of these tactics is very forward-thinking, clever and on-point. I agree with Shayan: BOOKMARKED!

  • brian botkiller

    Prove to me, right now, please, what the ROI was on all of these different ads. I’m talking about real money back in the pockets of those advertising, not just page likes. Page likes do not equal money made. This article is filled with the usual misleading ideas that simply paying for ads on facebook and getting likes will equal income for a small business. More often than not, it will not. Back up your “research”, please.

  • Francisco! Great, simple break down. I think people get so scared of Facebook Ads because so many say they aren’t worth it. But for me Facebook ads have converted quite well.. Kudos.

  • I’m good Brian, thanks, how about you?

    Let me start by saying that, besides the accusations of being misleading, I agree with you in almost everything you said.

    1) Likes, Reach, Engagement… those are not business metrics. Check.
    2) Simply paying for ads and getting Likes does not mean you will make money. Check.
    3) Most people are not successful running ads. Check.

    On the other hand…

    1) I did not promise to share the ROI of my ads at the beginning of the post, I don’t know where you are getting that. Perhaps you should read the post again.
    2) I can’t back up my “research” because this is NOT research, I’m simply sharing with you the ads I *successfully* run for this site.

    And most importantly, I really don’t know who you are, and I doubt that you know me. I always welcome comments, positive or negative feedback, I love it when you disagree with me because that *usually* triggers a good conversation, as long as it’s done respectfully.

    Have a good day =)

  • veepopat

    Hey Francisco. Extremely useful and well organized post. I’ve been running FB ads for a year or so, but this info helped me learn a few new tactics that I’ll be implementing in client campaigns today. Perfect post to share as well. Cheers.

  • Thanks a lot man, I appreciate that. So you run Facebook campaigns for clients?

  • Thanks Scott, always a pleasure to have your input dude!

  • veepopat

    Yes I do. One day I’ll start to run them for myself haha.

  • brian botkiller

    I’m a guy who knows that ROI on advertising is the ONLY metric that matters.

    You SHOULD share the ROI of your ads if you’re going to post about how people should run ads the same way that you do – sorry, you need to back it up with how your roadmap works. I’m not saying that yours doesn’t – what I’m saying is that the roadmap you’ve proposed here would cost the average person a lot of money per month, and if there’s no ROI on that, then it’s money tossed down a huge black hole.

  • Jessica C.

    Thanks for sharing this! Just curious – I didn’t think you could target your competitor’s fans… not unless your competition is something general like… NFL… Monopoly. Am I missing something?

  • Hey Francisco,

    This is really great – because you covered most of the ad options that are helpful for businesses that are just starting out to build a fan base and a list to those who are already converting fans into sales.

    I’ve a question about the part when you said to “Consider promoting all your content to your Fans”. Do you promote every single one of your blog post? For example, if you’re posting once a week, do you run the ad every week? If so, may I also ask for how long do you usually do that?


  • Great post! Facebook advertising is very effective. You just have to target the right audience.

  • Hi Francisco – great article I have used custom audience before and can’t wait to use web audiences when our new website is launched, but I cant seem to use “based on interest – similar pages” Is it that we don’t get that option in the UK?



  • Francisco,

    Excellent write! I think you nailed it and to be honest, the question was the one I least expected!

    Kudos on sharing and bookmarked on Pocket for future reference.

    Keep it up.

  • Junaid Ahmed

    Well, it’s a great post. I am not running any ad on facebook yet as a beginner I am yet following organic social media strategies. But I’ll start it in a very near future, for that I have bookmarked this page as it worth a lot for me. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hey Fracisco,

    I love this blog post – so succinct and acts as a helpful list for me to work from.

    I just have one question: how to do you target ‘Fans of similar pages’? For example, I want to target people who like a page called ‘The Inertia’ which is a surfing community, but when I type this into interests it doesn’t appear, only people who like ‘Inertia’ (seriously, is ‘inertia’ a likeable thing?!).

    Is there any way to get to target specific pages or is it just a pot luck?

    Thanks for your awesome info – keep it coming!

  • Great post. I love your breakdown on which type of ad vs which type of audience and goal. A lot of posts just focus on “how to run this or that type of ads..”. This is a great strategy overview, which will then point readers to what else they need to learn to actually implement each part of the ads strategy. With new ads structure in Facebook it’s a lot easier to group ads in a way like you structured the post too.

  • Hey, I think you’re doing the right thing. But Facebook doesn’t populate every single Page so there are some Pages that remain “untargetable”.

  • Tim

    Hi Francisco, great post and thanks for all the great info as ever. However I’m struggling to find the ‘Audience:Based on Interest – Similar Pages’ option. Typing in the interests box seems to bring up only interests but no competitor sites which was my understanding. Maybe I’m missing something ?

  • Yes, well written post. I have had great success recently 30+ likes in less than a week while running an ad for likes. I understand the remarketing but don’t know how to do it since I work with a direct marketing company and the site I use “is theirs.” I do have my own domain but not sure how to construct something that would give me the info I need.

  • Excellent ideas Francisco. Custom audiences and remarketing are two of my favorite tactics of the ones you cover. Why not market to those that have already expressed a level of interest in your brand? Powerful stuff!

  • Hi Francisco, Just came across you on G+ and glad I did. I am starting a Facebook Ad Campaign. Did all my homework and ready to put it into action. Sure there are still questions in my head, but you have given me great suggestions and I appreciate that. Right now I’m researching fans of similar pages.
    Thanks again, Donna

  • Thank you Donna, I’m happy you got some suggestions here. Hey, let me know how it goes please. 🙂

  • Mabyn, that means you don’t access to your site’s code? Is this a content management system?

  • http://LA.Nerium.com
    Yes, no access to my site’s code. I am a Brand Partner in a company called Nerium.

  • tiffany

    How do you do this? This is as simple as selecting the name of the desired Facebook Page
    under Interest. This will obviously be a little less targeted than the
    other 2 options but you can still target people that has some interest
    in your niche or type of product.

  • Guest

    @greatthings:disqus you need to insert a pixel into your website code, that’s how Facebook tracks the retargeting. We run an ongoing ad that says “Thanks for visiting our website” using that method

  • @greatthings:disqus you need to insert a pixel into your website code, that’s how Facebook tracks the retargeting

  • Hi Tiffany, You are absolutely right, targeting Fans of other pages is less targeted than your own website visitors or email subscribers. It also depends on how much traffic you get on your site or how many subscribers in your list.

    Targeting Fans of other pages also allows you to tap into an audience that doesn’t know you yet.

    Thanks for your comment ! =)

  • But I cannot do it since I have no access to the website code… right? This is my site http://LA.Nerium.com

  • Kristy Schnabel

    Thanks Francisco. I’m enjoying studying this, and you’ve given me some ideas. I’m having the most luck with dark posts with conversion pixels to get email addresses. I’ve been discouraged with “like” ads because I haven’t been getting ideal client fans that way. However, you’ve given me some ideas there too. I’ve just begun creating ads for my original content (blog posts) and am pleased with the exposure there. Other posts that aren’t promoted hardly get seen though. Any ideas there would be welcome. (Congrats on having your post shared by Mari Smith.) ~ Kristy P.S. I did a SlideShare on the ROI of social media because, as we know, it isn’t always a direct path: http://www.slideshare.net/KristySchnabel/slide-share1-32955831

  • A topic about Facebook and comments using Disqus. I see this a lot.

  • Super article Francisco. I’ve shied away from FB ads except for a few experiments. Your strategies make sense and are give me some renewed interest in doing more testing. Do you have recommendations for budgeting and how long to run ads for getting new page likes? I’m also curious about your opinion on Offers for list building. h/t to Mari Smith for bringing your article to my attention. Seems like I follow you everywhere but missed this article.

  • Siddesh Rane ت
  • Carole@RusticArtistry.com

    You can use a software called Social Lead Freak. This allows you to enter the name of the FB page you want to target, and it will create a list of the user I.D.’s for people who have Liked/Commented on their posts. You save as a CSV file and then create a custom audience in FB from that. I have about 30 audiences I’ve created from competitor’s pages. I got my Social Lead Freak through Fiverr.

  • lisa milne

    HI Francisco, having read your feature I am filled with renewed enthusiasm for facebook ads particularly aiming ads at fans of competitors and similar pages. However, I have tried to do this and not working. When I put the page name of my competitor- whose fans I want to target- into the interests section, Facebook does not seem to recognise it ( or the page name certainly does not come up in the drop down menu of suggestions) Am I missing something?! Would be wonderful if I could do this! Hope you might be able to help, Thank-you.

  • As usual great stuff. I am just beginning to to ramp up FB usage, as it is obviously (and research has shown) the social media site that an overwhelming % of my target demographic chooses to do their “socializing” – for now at least:)

    My plans are to continue to trudge along with your email course and I have started testing ad ideas on FB

  • Annette A. Penney

    Lisa what I do is open up a separate Facebook tab in my browser and check the FB URL of that particular business/organization whose fans you want to target. Some businesses for instance, have not yet claimed their vanity URL. Copy and paste their URL from the one tab over into the tab where you are creating your ad. Give that a try and let me know how it works 🙂

  • lisa milne

    Hi Annette, thank-you for your response. i have tried to copy and paste URL but no joy! I have been doing some research and it seems I’m not alone in not managing to do this. Such a shame as it would be fab to be able to target the fans of competitors! Thank-you again for trying to help.

  • Annette A. Penney

    Lisa if you email me privately at annette@inspireandacquire.ca with the name of one of the competitor pages you are trying to create an ad with, I’ll try setting one up (without processing it of course) and see if it works on my end. So far I haven’t had trouble with this… I would like to help if I can 🙂

  • Ella Ique

    Hi there,

    I have a quick question. If I go for CPA solution, I would need to pay the “conversion value”.

    But why does Facebook ask me for “a budget” and “then” tells me about the cost per click?

    Thanks for your help!