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My Facebook Ad Creation Process

Documented for myself n perhaps others who might benefit. This ignores the whole prep work of designing the offer, brainstorming the target audience, creating the landing pages, installing analytics, tracking phone numbers and split testing, finding legal and tasteful ad pictures etc.

1) Create a spreadsheet with the targeting criteria for the various campaigns. What variables do I expect to have an influence such that they deserve their own campaigns for testing? Some defaults: geo, gender, age, interests (specific), buckets. Later there can be optimization on day-parting but you need full data on all days and times to start.

So there’s a column for each variable.
Each row represents a campaign and the setting for a given variable.

2) Input the destination url and ensure it has the right tracking parameters.

Facebook ignores any modification made to the external destination URL once it has crawled the landing page (and generated the ad preview so you know the page is crawled). So you can’t just use example.com/?utm_campaign=abc , allow Facebook to crawl the page and then change the url to example.com/?utm_campaign=xyz , because Facebook will ignore the change. If you submit the ad, the destination URL for traffic will be example.com/?utm_campaign=abc .

This matters in particular when you click “Create similar ad.” Chances are that you’re creating a similar ad but changing the creative or the targeting. In either case, you need to update your tracking parameters, in the first case you’ll be changing utm_content and in the latter utm_campaign.

You need to START with changing the URL and only LATER change the creative/targeting! Otherwise you’ll have 2+ ads (the original plus your “new similar ad”) whose performance will be reported by Google Analytics as a single ad’s performance, and you’ve defeated the whole point of split testing.

3) I just start with 2 ads.

I’m a small advertiser for now and don’t have the budget to get data on 100s or even 10s of ads, let alone enough budget to then optimize on that data. The downside obviously is that I need to wait more patiently to collect results and improve. I’m hoping to be successful enough early so that I can test more variables, and in less time.

As Shoemoney has shown, pictures are the most important aspect of the ad, so I keep the copy identical and just try different ads. Currently I’m testing an attractive smiling woman, holding a glass of wine on her own vs two somewhat older (closer to the demographic) smiling people, one of them pouring wine for the other.

Posted in Business.


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