How To Advertise On Facebook: A Definitive Guide To Creating Killer Facebook Ads

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Advertising on Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) is a huge opportunity for businesses of all sizes and across all industries.

Here at Insane Growth, we’ve used Facebook Ads as our primary marketing channel to acquire leads and email subscribers (very, very profitably) since 2015.

In this post, I’m going to walk you through how to advertise on Facebook from start to finish. Beginner to expert. Newbie to seasoned pro.

After reading this (very long!) post, you’ll have everything you need to deploy Facebook and Instagram ads profitably in your business.

But… before we get into the nitty-gritty of what makes a high-converting Facebook ad and the details behind setting up your first Facebook Ads campaign, let’s take a step back for a second and consider one very important (and often overlooked) question:

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What’s the Strategy Behind Your Facebook Ads?

That’s a question that’s a lot tougher to answer. But this is exactly why we’ve turned to two of the biggest experts in the world when it comes to Facebook marketing.

The brains behind Growth Marketing Systems, Blake Micola and Simon Train, are go-to guys for anything and everything to do with paid advertising.

Ever since their founding in 2016, Micola and Train have worked with some of the biggest brands in the world like Culture Kings, ABC, and F45 with their Facebook ad campaigns.

To date, their agency has helped over one hundred businesses scale and achieve explosive growth through the power of Facebook ads — and they’re currently spending more than $700,000 per month on ads for their clients.

What sets them apart from other agencies is that they don’t just focus on creating a great Facebook ad, but on developing a strategy that demands success.

It’s this focus on strategy that has allowed them to help their clients generate as much as $1,000,000 in monthly revenue just 6 months after starting with Facebook Ads.

It isn’t luck, and it isn’t some fortuitous accident. What Blake and Simon have is a dependable and repeatable formula for achieving success with Facebook advertising.

Recently, while speaking at our Peak Mastermind here in Sydney, Blake and Simon shared step-by-step how they develop the perfect Facebook ad strategy for their clients — and that’s what I’ll be sharing with you today.

Free Bonus Video: Blake and Simon recently presented a 75 minute masterclass to members of Peak (the Insane Growth mastermind) on how to start and scale Facebook Ads profitably, based on their experience spending $700,000+ per month on ads. Watch their presentation here.

The Current State of Facebook Advertising

Facebook is the undisputed king of social media.

Don’t get me wrong, though; I can talk at length (and have) about the benefits of advertising on Instagram or how to take advantage of LinkedIn marketing, but the facts are that Facebook is still the number one social media platform out there.

Simply put, no other social network can match Facebook’s sheer size and diversity of its user base. Currently, Facebook boasts over 2.41 billion monthly active users — that means that literally a third of the entire global population is using Facebook.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Chart Showing Facebook Population Growth From 2008 - 2019

Regardless of what kind of industry you’re in or what your target customer looks like, virtually every business will be able to use Facebook as an effective channel for increasing their brand awareness and generating leads and sales.

One survey by Databox found that 92% of marketers consider Facebook ads at least somewhat effective at generating sales, with 54% claiming that they’re “very effective.”

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook ads effectiveness survey findings by Databox

Image via Databox

Before we go on, let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, Facebook marketing is now pay-to-play, and the days of being able to organically grow your audience and generate leads with Facebook are long gone. Unfortunately, anyone looking to use Facebook for business has to accept the fact that they must invest some money into making Facebook work for them.

But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

For one thing, Facebook advertising is incredibly powerful. Through Facebook advertising, brands are able to ensure their ads are reaching their target customers, with marketers able to target specific customer segments based on everything from basic demographic information to interests, hobbies, and even life events.

And that’s not even mentioning the more advanced audience targeting strategies (more on this later) you can take advantage of, such as Custom and Lookalike audiences.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Types of Facebook ads

Image via IOCEA

From the consumer side of things, one 2017 study found that up to 57% of consumers cited Facebook as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions, and another study discovered that the average Facebook user clicks on eight ads per month.

Read on to find out how Blake and Simon routinely use Facebook ads to generate huge sales and profit for their clients.

Free Bonus Video: Blake and Simon recently presented a 75 minute masterclass to members of Peak (the Insane Growth mastermind) on how to start and scale Facebook Ads profitably, based on their experience spending $700,000+ per month on ads. Watch their presentation here.

Step 1: Understanding Where Facebook Ads Fit in Your Sales Funnel

While we know Facebook ads are incredibly effective at driving leads and revenue for a business, that doesn’t mean you can just put together any old ad campaign and sit back and watch the sales pour in.

It’s important to remember that Facebook ads themselves are a tool — a powerful tool, but a tool nonetheless. When used correctly, they can be a powerful growth driver for your business; used incorrectly, you might as well be throwing money into the wind.

In the same way you wouldn’t use a hammer to cut something, to get the best results, you’re going to need to know exactly where and how Facebook advertising fits into your sales funnel.

Your Facebook Sales Funnel

If you want to use Facebook ads to start converting massive amounts of people into paying customers, then you need to have a solid grasp of what your sales funnel looks like.

Depending on who you talk to, a sales funnel can have anywhere from three to several stages. But, for the sake of simplicity, I’m going to stick with your classic ToFU, MoFU, and BoFU format:

  • Top of Funnel. At this stage, a person knows nothing about your brand, and the goal is to introduce them to who you are and what your brand is all about, so you can get on their radar.
  • Middle of Funnel. Now that your audience knows about your product or service, they might be interested in purchasing, but they’ll want to know more before actually buying anything. This is when you can start getting more targeted with your offers, as you now have a clearer idea of who your audience is and what their pain points are.
  • Bottom of Funnel. At the end of the funnel, it’s time to get to the sell. By the time your lead has reached this stage of the funnel, they should already be familiar with your brand and what you offer and be ready to take action. The goal here is to make it as easy as possible for them to do so.

To really take advantage of Facebook ads, you need to be able to align your ad creative and offer with whatever stage of the sales funnel your prospect is at.

Keep in mind that different customers segments will respond to different types of content and messaging.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Content Marketing Funnel by Lucidchart

Image via LucidChart

Ultimately, the overall effectiveness of your Facebook advertising campaigns will depend heavily on how well you’re able to match your ads to your audience’s level of awareness and their purchase intent.

Facebook Ads Don’t Exist in a Vacuum

A common complaint for many brands, especially small businesses that are experimenting with Facebook advertising, is that their ads don’t generate a strong ROI in terms of conversions.

While their ads might be able to generate a high click-through rate, many brands are skeptical of Facebook’s ability to produce actual sales.

A big reason for this complaint is that 62% of Facebook ads are simply “missing the target.”

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Something that Blake and Simon stress with all their clients is that Facebook ads themselves won’t guarantee a strong return on investment.

No matter how compelling or persuasive your ad campaign may be, none of it will matter if the landing page isn’t well-optimized or if the offer is poor.

When developing your Facebook advertising strategy, it helps to visualize what marketing assets comes before and after someone views your ad.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Growth Marketing Systems

For example, if the goal of your ad is to introduce people to your sales funnel by offering them a lead magnet, then your following assets might be to take them to a landing page to claim that offer in exchange for their contact details, where they’ll then automatically receive an email sequence designed to further nurture them.

On the other hand, if you have an ad that fits in at the bottom of your funnel, then you need to consider what information they’ve already learned.

If you know your prospect has attended one of your past events, there’s no point trying to offer them your introductory lead magnet.

If your messaging is inconsistent, then all you’re succeeding at doing is frustrating and annoying your leads. One study by Salesforce found that 70% of customers say that having a connected and personalized sales process is very important to winning their business.

Having a consistent customer experience is one of the fastest ways to build the customer relationship.

The key thing to remember here is that Facebook ads are only one piece of the puzzle that is your digital marketing strategy.

Step 2: Choosing the Right Facebook Campaign for Your Business

At the end of the day, what your Facebook campaign looks like will depend heavily on what industry you’re in, what your social media marketing goals are, and the kind of audience you have.

According to the 2018 Sprout Social Index, the top three marketing goals for Facebook ads are: increase brand awareness, increase community engagement, and sales and lead generation.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Primary Goals for Marketers on Facebook by Sprout Social

Image via Sprout Social

But more than just using Facebook to generate brand awareness, Blake and Simon focus on building Facebook ad campaigns designed to generate high-quality leads for their clients.

Having a high click-through rate on your ad doesn’t mean much unless you’re able to convert those leads into sales.

While there are hundreds of different ways you can set up your Facebook campaign, for Blake and Simon, there are three main strategies that they rely on when it comes to lead generation.

1. Free Report/Book Campaign

How to Advertise on Facebook - Free Report/Book Ad Campaign Overview

Whenever you’re marketing to a complete stranger, the number one thing every marketer must prioritize above all else is establishing that sense of “know, like and trust” within that person as soon as possible.

In order to quickly convince someone of your authority and expertise, you need to be able to offer them something of tremendous value up front.

One of the best ways to do this is to offer a book as a lead magnet. Books are great because not only do they have a high amount of perceived value, but they’re excellent in establishing your brand as an expert on a topic in the eyes of your audience.

At Insane Growth, we’re big fans of this kind of funnel. In fact, the Facebook ad campaign we built around our Sane book is one of our best sources for generating high-quality leads.

In the example below, you can see how we’ve built our Facebook ad around driving as much interest as we can to the book itself, and by extension, to the Insane Growth brand.

As soon as someone clicks on our call-to-action (CTA), they’re taken to a dedicated landing page designed to convert visitors and grab their contact details.

To make the offer as enticing as possible, the landing page includes huge amounts of social proof, from Amazon reviews to customer testimonials.


But of course, it’s not enough to just offer a book and leave it at that. After all, the goal of every lead generation campaign is to not only acquire their contact details but to nurture them as quickly as possible.

That’s exactly why, as soon as they opt in for our book offer, the lead is then taken to another page, where we provide even more value by directing them to the Insane Growth YouTube channel and podcast.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Insane Growth Facebook Lead Generation Ad Campaign

Once we have their contact details, our leads are then automatically put through an email sequence designed to welcome them to the brand, nurture them, and eventually make an offer to one of our core products.

2. Direct Inquiry Campaign

How to Advertise on Facebook - Direct Inquiry Ad Campaign Overview

The next type of Facebook funnel Blake and Simon routinely use is the Direct Inquiry funnel. As you’ve probably guessed from the name alone, the lead magnet for this funnel is a direct offer to work with the brand and immediately set up a coaching call.

While effective, this type of funnel relies heavily on a business’s ability to sell on the back end through sales calls. That’s why Blake and Simon typically recommend using this type of campaign for retargeting audiences: leads they know are at least somewhat familiar or have interacted with the brand before.

Something else to consider is that, while it’s great to have your ad generate a lot of inquiries, you don’t want to accept every single lead that comes your way.

Not every inquiry is going to be a good fit for your business, so it’s helpful to have a process in place that’ll help you gauge the quality of a lead before you ever jump on a sales call.

This is especially important when you consider that 67% of sales are lost as a result of salespeople not properly qualifying their prospects.

Sam Ovens’ direct inquiry campaign is the perfect example of this type of Facebook ad campaign in action. In the initial ad, he specifically targets leads who have already watched his “More with Less” video and encourages them to move to the next stage of his sales funnel by taking his survey.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Direct Inquiry Facebook Ad by Sam Ovens

The lead is then taken to a simple survey with 12 questions designed to help Sam and his team determine whether or not this is a viable sales lead.

By using this simple survey, Sam is able to shorten his sales cycle while allowing his team to prioritize their efforts on contacting and nurturing the right leads.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Follow up Survey for Facebook AD Campaign

How to Advertise on Facebook - Follow up Survey for Facebook AD Campaign 2

Once the prospect has completed the survey, they’re then taken to a Calendly page, where they can book a 45-minute discovery call with a member of Sam’s team when, presumably, they’ll either close the sale or be moved further down the sales funnel.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Book a Call with Calendly

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It’s also worth noting that Sam has also set up another retargeting ad for the leads who completed the survey but didn’t follow through with booking a sales call with his team.

This way, he can make sure every lost lead is recaptured and he can keep his PPC costs low because he’s only retargeting a specific set of Facebook users.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook Retargeting Ad by Sam Ovens

3. Webinar/Live Event Campaign

How to Advertise on Facebook - Webinar/Live Event Facebook AD Campaign Overview

Perhaps the favorite strategy for Blake and Simon, the Live Event strategy, is one of the best ways for any brand to generate high-quality leads for their business.

The main reason is that there’s just something about live events that digital marketing cannot match.

More than just providing a piece of valuable content, live events allow you to give your audience a unique, one-of-a-kind experience.

No matter how compelling or persuasive your copy may be, nothing beats having a real, in-person interaction when it comes to building a meaningful relationship between a brand and its audience.

According to a study by EMI, 74% of customers say that engaging with a branded event makes them more likely to make a purchase from that brand.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Branded Event Impact on Purchase Intent by EMI/Mosaic EventTrack

For the email marketing platform Active Campaign, they take advantage of this with their Activate Study Hall events.

Each class is a full-day event, and attendees are taught everything they need to know to incorporate email marketing into their business as well as various tips and ideas on how to best use Active Campaign.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook AD Campaign by ActiveCampaign

Not only do these ads serve as an attractive lead magnet for cold and warm audiences, but Active Campaign is also able to keep their costs low by geo-targeting their ads.

After clicking on the ad, the lead is then taken to an external sales page where they can immediately purchase a ticket for the upcoming event.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Ticket Payment Page on Eventbrite

And this is one of the reasons why live events are so powerful at generating high-quality leads for your business. Unlike free lead magnets, live events usually require people to pay in order to attend.

By choosing to spend money to attend one of your live events, you know this lead has already “bought in” to your brand.

Of course, hosting your own live events can be expensive, and not everyone has the resources to do so. That’s why Blake and Simon also recommend substituting a live event for a live webinar or masterclass.

Much like with giving away a free book, online masterclasses are a powerful way to deliver a huge amount of value in a short amount of time.

But unlike a book, your webinars give your audience the chance to interact personally with your brand and get a better sense of who you are and what you do.

You can see how ClickFunnels does this with their Funnel Scripts webinar, which promises to teach attendees how to write professional sounding copy and take advantage of the Funnel Scripts feature.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook AD Campaign by ClickFunnels

What follows is the standard process of capturing that lead’s contact information by having them register for the webinar, whereupon they’ll not only immediately be taken to the webinar, but they’ll also start receiving an automated email sequence designed to sell them on the ClickFunnels product.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Thank You Page for Funnel Scripts Subscription

Free Bonus Video: Blake and Simon recently presented a 75 minute masterclass to members of Peak (the Insane Growth mastermind) on how to start and scale Facebook Ads profitably, based on their experience spending $700,000+ per month on ads. Watch their presentation here.

Step 3: Audience Targeting

You remember that old saying about how if a tree falls in the woods and no one’s there to hear it, then did it really make a sound?

Well, much like with that poor falling tree, your ads aren’t going to do anything if all you’re doing is showing them to people who don’t care.

One of the main benefits of Facebook advertising, and why marketers love it so much, is how granular you can get with your audience targeting.

Knowing who to target is a crucial element of any successful Facebook advertising strategy. For their clients and their own business, Blake and Simon employ a “three-pronged approach” when it comes to audience targeting.

How to Advertise on Facebook - AD Targeting Strategy

That means that, instead of just relying on one audience segment as the source for their leads, they’ll devise a strategy in which their Facebook ads are only reaching people who fit their ideal customer profile as closely as possible.

Behavioral Targeting

By far, the biggest advantage Facebook advertising has over any of its competitors is the sheer wealth of data it has on its users.

With Facebook, marketers are able to narrow their audience through a number of criteria, from their level of education, to their location, and even their interests and hobbies.

What makes behavioral targeting so powerful is that it allows brands to market themselves directly to people who they know are interested in their product.

Instead of relying on basic demographic information, by fine-tuning your Facebook audiences based on their psychographic information, you’re able to achieve a level of personalization with your Facebook ads you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.

According to one study by HubSpot, ads that contain copy and CTAs that were personalized to an individuals interests generated, on average, a 202% higher conversion compared to those that used a more generic message.

How to Advertise on Facebook - AD Conversion Rate Chart

But don’t just focus on broad interest categories like Entertainment, Pets, or Health, because all they do is drive up your cost and reduce your ROI.

Many brands make the mistake of choosing segments with the highest number of people, when in reality, you’re just getting in front of a group of people who may be, at best, only tangentially interested in what you have to offer.

Get more granular and specific by targeting things such as if they follow a certain brand, groups they belong to, and even life events, such as if they’ve recently graduated or started a new job.

You can also use the “But No One Else Would” trick as described by Digital Marketer. Look for the interests that only someone who truly loves that topic would know.

In their golfing example, Tiger Woods is the most famous golfer in the world, so people might follow him for reasons outside of golfing. But someone like Bubba Watson would only be known by hardcore golfers and enthusiasts.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Interest Targeting by Digital Marketer

Image via Digital Marketer

That’s the kind of specificity you need with your behavioral targeting.

Bonus: Demographic Targeting

Of course, that isn’t to say you should completely ignore demographic information of your target audience as well. But, same as with psychographic information, you want to be as specific as possible with your demographic criteria.

This is why it’s so important that you take the time to create an in-depth profile of your ideal customer.

To really benefit from audience targeting, you need to know what your target customer looks like, the kind of lifestyle they lead, and what their values are.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Buyer Persona Template by Single Grain

Image via Single Grain

Custom Audiences

As powerful as Facebook can be, no one knows your customer better than you.

This is when it’s helpful to take advantage of Facebook’s Custom Audiences targeting, with which you’ll be able to upload your own list of users to target based on your own particular criteria.

The main benefit of using custom audiences is that you can make your ads even more relevant and personalized to your target audience. In one experiment by AdEspresso, they ran the exact same campaign to two different audiences.

The first audience was poorly targeted and only generated 278 click-throughs.

However, when running the exact same ad to their custom audience — users who had visited their website in the past 90 days — they were able to generate 4x the amount of clicks at 1,103 with the exact same ad spend.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Custom Audiences Experiment by AdExpresso

How to Advertise on Facebook - Custom Audiences Experiment by AdExpresso 2

Image via AdEspresso

The most straightforward way to utilize custom audiences is to manually upload a list of customers directly to Facebook.

Usually, this is a list of email subscribers, past customers, or people who have interacted with your website before, or any other criteria that you’ve identified.

If you’re not thrilled with the idea of constantly uploading and sorting through lists of customer information (and really, who is?), Facebook does offer native integrations with most major CRMs like BigCommerce, GetResponse, and HubSpot, for example.

Beyond uploading your own lists, you can also create a custom audience based on information collected through Facebook itself. This is particularly useful for businesses that don’t have a huge email list or customer base yet.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Create Custom Audience

As you can see from the screenshot above, this custom audience is made up of people who have previously engaged with your content on Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook being Facebook, they offer even more tactical options for each traffic source, such as being able to pinpoint the level of interaction a user has had with your content.

For example, you can choose to only target people who have watched at least 50% of your videos, or people who have actively engaged with any of your posts on your Facebook page.

Bonus: Lookalike Audiences

When it comes to attracting new customers and marketing to cold audiences, the Lookalike audiences feature is going to be your new best friend.

Lookalike audiences work by having you give Facebook a source audience. Then, using their algorithm (and what I assume to be magic), Facebook will identify common characteristics and create a custom audience for you with similar features.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Build Lookalike Audience by Megalytic

Image via Megalytic

The good news is that your source audience can come from anywhere. The simple method is to use your own customer database as a source, but you can also create a lookalike audience based on fans of your competitors, too.


Sometimes people will fall out of your sales funnel. They might have had last-second doubts, suddenly become distracted and left, or maybe they were just browsing.

Regardless of the reason, don’t despair, because they’re not completely lost yet. If anything, they’ve become even more valuable to your business.

According to, retargeted ads on Facebook are 76% more likely to convert than regular display ads. What’s more, according to the 2019 State of Ad Tech report, the average business is planning on allocating 41% of their paid advertising budget just to retargeting.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Chart of Marketing Budget Allocation by Activities

The reason these leads are so valuable is because you know for a fact they’ve interacted with your brand before. More than that, you can make your ads even more effective by meeting them exactly where they are in the customer journey by using Facebook Pixels.

A Facebook pixel is a piece of code you can install on your website that will allow you to track and measure what actions your website visitors are taking.

In short, the Facebook pixel will let you know if your ads are working and what results they’re driving. Then, you can remarket specifically to visitors who didn’t end up buying right then and there.

At its most basic level, retargeting can be as simple as getting your Facebook ad in front of people who have visited your page. But that’s only scratching the surface of what you can achieve with retargeting.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Types of AD Retargeting by Criteo

Image via Criteo

For example, if someone visits your website for the first time and didn’t end up buying, there’s no point showing them an ad that takes them back to your homepage.

They’ve seen it already; they know what it looks like. Instead, direct them to something you know they would find valuable, such as an introductory lead magnet or a recent blog post.

If they’ve viewed a product page but didn’t end up buying, or if they abandoned their cart, retarget them with ads for the same or a similar product.

Maybe they have doubts; then, you can retarget them with positive customer testimonials and case studies.

We already know it takes six to eight touches between a brand and a stranger before they become a qualified sales lead. The key is to know exactly what that prospect needs in order to continue down the customer journey.

Free Bonus Video: Blake and Simon recently presented a 75 minute masterclass to members of Peak (the Insane Growth mastermind) on how to start and scale Facebook Ads profitably, based on their experience spending $700,000+ per month on ads. Watch their presentation here.

Step 4: Your Most Important Metrics

You can’t succeed at what you can’t measure.

With so many different metrics flying around when it comes to Facebook advertising, it can get very confusing to know what metrics you should be tracking, what metrics are just there for vanity, and what metrics you should just ignore.

For Blake and Simon, ultimately, the point of Facebook ads is to lead to direct sales and conversions, which is why they focus on these four key metrics to determine the success or failure of their Facebook ad campaigns:

1. Cost Per Lead (CPL)

This is the metric that often trips most people up. This figure is determined by the percentage of people who follow through with your landing page’s call-to-action, whether that’s downloading a free report or registing for a webinar for example.

To calculate your cost per lead, you take the total amount you’ve spent and divide it by the amount of leads you’ve generated.

Ad Cost Per Click (CPC):$1
Landing Page Conversion Rate:10%
Cost Per Lead (CPC):$10

To make this easier on you, just go into Facebook Ad Manager and find the “Cost per result” column in your lead generation campaign.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook AD Cost Per Result

2. Cost per Application/Attendee

Next, we have cost per application or attendee, meaning the amount of people that actually went on to the next stage of your sales funnel. For example, if you’re running a webinar funnel, this would be your conversion rate of registrants to actual attendees.

Registrant-to-Attendee Conversion Rate:50%
Cost Per Application/Attendee:$20

To calculate your cost per attendee, you need to take your CPL and divide it by this stage’s conversion rate. For example, if your CPL is $10 and 50% of those leads end up attending your webinar, your cost per attendee would be $20.

3. Cost per Call

To calculate cost per call, figure out what your conversion rate is from webinar attendees to qualified sales calls. Using the same formula as before, we can figure out what the average cost per call is.

Attendee-to-Sales Call Conversion Rate:20%
Cost Per Call:$100

Let’s say the conversion rate here is 20%; this would mean the cost per call would be $100.

4. Cost per Acquisition (CPA)

Finally, we come to the most important metric of them all, and unfortunately, the one most business owners tend to ignore. This is the one metric that drives everything in your business, and you should know it back to front.

To calculate the CPA from your Facebook ad campaigns, take the cost per call and divide it by the percentage of people who converted from your sales call to actual clients.

Sales Call-to-Customer Conversion Rate:20%
Cost Per Acquisition (CPA):$500

For example, if only 20% your sales calls became paying clients, your CPA would be $500.

Now, this is all a bit alarming, but let’s say the average order value (AOV) of your business is $2000 — then would you be prepared to spend $500 to acquire a new customer? Because that’s literally a 400% return on investment.

Ad Cost Per Click (CPC):$1
Landing Page Conversion Rate:10%
Cost Per Lead (CPC):$10
Registrant-to-Attendee Conversion Rate:50%
Cost Per Application/Attendee:$20
Attendee-to-Sales Call Conversion Rate:20%
Cost Per Call:$100
Sales Call-to-Customer Conversion Rate:20%
Cost Per Acquisition (CPA):$500
Average Order Value (AOV):$2,000
ROI from Ad Spend:400.00%

By using this simple formula, you can remove the emotion from the equation and get straight to the cold hard facts and understand how profitable your Facebook ad campaigns really are.

Step 5: Experimenting and Testing Your Facebook Ads

Rarely will you ever create an ad campaign, or anything else for that matter, that will be perfect right from the start. I guarantee you, no matter how good you think your ad campaign is, there will always be room for improvement.

More often than not, the key to increasing your ROI from Facebook ads isn’t to spend more money but to learn how to spend it smarter. Before you even begin to think about scaling your Facebook ad budget, make sure you have a winner on your hands first.

For those of us who are new to Facebook advertising, Blake and Simon recommend you get started by running several small campaigns at once to get a good idea of what works for your particular audience.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook AD experiment Tree by Lyfe Marketing

Image via Lyfe Marketing

Now, there is a lot you can do with Facebook ads, and there’s no shortage of different tips and tactics out there that you can use to improve your ad campaigns. But, for the sake of simplicity, here are the three top elements you should always experiment with first.

1. Split-Test Your Ad Creative

The first thing you should always be experimenting with when it comes to your Facebook ad strategy are the ads themselves; after all, this is what’s going to entice people to click.

While there are certain best practices to follow when it comes to Facebook ads, it’s important to still experiment with different copy, images, and even video to find out what works for your own audience.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook Ad Copy Elements Rated by Order of Importance

Image via Databox

In the following example, you can see how MindValley split tests six different versions of the same ad, experimenting with every aspect of the ad to figure out what the right combination is for them. See if you can notice the difference between each ad combination, from the copy it uses to the pain points it targets.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook AD Variation Split Tests by Mindvalley

For a less obvious difference, check out the ad variants for AdEspresso’s eBook. Even though the only change between the two is the color of the call-to-action button, the variant with the green button achieved a 13% higher CTR.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook AD A/B Testing by AdExpresso

Image via AdEspresso

While there is no hard and fast rule on how many ad variations you should create, I can tell you how we do it at Insane Growth. For our own Facebook ads, we’ll go through up to five different rounds of testing with over 20 variations on the same ad before we finally find our winner.

Each ad will have its own UTM code so we can check the performance of each variant. Then we’ll let each ad variant run for 48 to 72 hours (making sure to take advantage of Facebook’s split-test option, so people aren’t seeing multiple versions of the same ad) before looking at our key data points to decide on the winner.

PRO TIP: Use Facebook’s own Ad Library when you’re looking for inspiration. Just type in the name of a competitor to see what kind of ads they’re running and get some ideas.

2. Test Different Ad Types

Another reason marketers love Facebook advertising so much is that they’re not limited to one type of ad. Depending on your audience and marketing goals, you can experiment with a variety of ad formats to find out which one works best for you. Each has its own pros and cons, so let’s take a quick dive into what you can do with Facebook ads:

Photo Ads

By far the most common type of Facebook ad you’ll see, your standard Facebook photo ad can be leveraged at every stage of the sales funnel.

While having good headline and copy is important, your number one focus should always be the visuals of your ad. Remember that we humans are primarily visual creatures, and a good picture will capture our attention faster than any piece of text.

Understanding this, AdEspresso gets straight to the point with their photo, immediately drawing your attention to their CTA.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook Image AD by AdExpresso

Video Ads

For the majority of marketers out there, video marketing is where it’s at these days.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook AD Performance by Format (Databox)

Image via Databox

Time and time again, we’ve seen how video ads generate a stronger ROI than their static image counterparts, the reasons being that video content is easier to consume, more engaging, and able to communicate a large amount of information in a short amount of time.

Take a page out of StitchFix’s book and keep your videos short and sweet:

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook Video AD by Stitch Fix

The key to using video ads effectively on Facebook is to make sure you always open with movement. The human eye is naturally attracted to motion, and coupled with the fact that Facebook autoplays videos, opening with action means your audience is far likelier to stop and watch your video when scrolling through their newsfeed.

Something else to consider with Facebook video ads is that 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. Make sure you get your message across by adding subtitles to your videos, such as how Bellabox does in the following example:


Carousel Ads

The carousel ad is a format in which you’re able to use a number of “cards” within one ad, with each card showcasing a different image or video of your choice. The best thing about carousel ads is that you can attach each card to its own unique CTA or link.

The most common way to use carousel ads is to show off your product catalogue, with many retail brands using carousel ads to retarget warm leads with products they might be interested in. You can see this being used by the watch company MVMT with their own carousel ads:

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook Carousel AD by MVMT

Another way you can use carousel ads is to target a variety of pain points or marketing messages for a single product.

Adriel does this with one of their lead generation ads. Notice how they use each card to hit upon different messages, incorporate testimonials, and encourage even more consideration for their brand.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook Carousel AD by Mindvalley

Lead Form Ads

The tricky thing with generating leads from Facebook is that, more often than not, you’ll end up taking them to an external landing page, where you’ll need to sell them again in order to collect their contact details. That’s a lot of actions you’re asking someone to make, and studies have shown that the more actions someone has to take, the less likely they’ll follow through.

This is exactly where Facebook lead ads come into play. Unlike regular Facebook ads, a lead ad simplifies the whole opt-in process and collects your lead’s information without having to take them to an external landing page.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook Leads AD by WordStream

Image via Wordstream

This is especially useful for mobile ads, where being able to gather someone’s contact details within the app itself greatly simplifies the whole process. In one experiment by AdEspresso, they found that their mobile lead ads were able to generate a 67% conversion rate.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook AD Results

Image via AdEspresso

Facebook Messenger Ads

A relatively new feature that has all the marketers salivating is Facebook Messenger ads.

Currently, there are two main ways you can use messenger ads. One way is to send sponsored adverts directly into your user’s inbox. When used properly, this can be a great way to get even more personalized with your ads, allowing you to be even more focused and targeted.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook Messenger ADs

Image via Digital Marketer

The next, and most popular, way to use messenger ads are of the “click-to-messenger” variety. Instead of clicking on your standard CTA of “Download Now” or “Learn More,” the audience is presented with the option to “Send Message.”

Digital Marketer takes advantage of this by combining their messenger ads with an automated chatbot, which has been programmed to answer their most common questions. Then they’ll retarget leads who have visited the sales page but didn’t end up buying with an ad inviting the user to ask Digital Marketer any questions they might have.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook Messenger ADs by DigitalMarketer

Image via Digital Marketer

3. Experiment with Timing and Frequency

Often the most overlooked elements, make sure you’re experimenting with the timing and frequency of your ads as well.

One of the most common mistakes brands make when starting off with Facebook advertising is forgetting to set a frequency limit with their ads. This causes the same ad to be shown to the same person over and over again, which not only drives up your CPC rates but also leads to potential customers developing a negative attitude towards your brand.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook AD Frequency Test

Image via AdEspresso

To keep your costs low and avoid annoying potential customers, the general rule of thumb to follow is that your ad shouldn’t appear more than five times to the same user. Make sure you’re experimenting with the frequency of your own ads to find the right balance for your audience and prevent ad fatigue.

Another aspect of ads all marketers should do well to experiment with is the timing of your Facebook ads.

Unless you have an audience of dedicated insomniacs who spend their every waking moment on Facebook, there’s no point in having you run Facebook ads all day, every single day. For example, you might find out that most of your sales come through on Wednesday and Friday, so it’d make more sense to run your highest-performing ads during those times.

For marketer Claire Pelletreau, she noticed that she made the most sales for one of her courses on Sundays and Mondays and only in the afternoon. Knowing this, she adjusted the schedule of Facebook ads, which allowed her to lower her overall advertising costs while still maintaining a high conversion rate for her ads.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook ADs Frequency Scheduling Table

Image via Claire Pelletreau

PRO TIP: Lookalike audiences are always a great test group whenever you’re looking to experiment with something new. Keep in mind that lookalike audiences can become oversaturated over time, so refresh your lookalike audiences whenever you see your performance start to decline.

Free Bonus Video: Blake and Simon recently presented a 75 minute masterclass to members of Peak (the Insane Growth mastermind) on how to start and scale Facebook Ads profitably, based on their experience spending $700,000+ per month on ads. Watch their presentation here.

Step 6: Scaling Your Facebook Campaigns

Alright, so you’ve been working on your campaigns for a while, and they’re doing well. You’ve run your experiments, done your split tests, and managed to land on a winning ad campaign. Now what?

Now it’s time to bite the bullet and invest some more money into Facebook ads to start generating some serious results.

But it isn’t as easy as increasing your ad spend and magically watching your profits increase. There’s still a right and a wrong way to scale your Facebook ad budget, and it’s vital you know what the right way is, so you don’t end up tanking your entire Facebook ad strategy.

When it comes to scaling the Facebook ad budgets of their clients, Blake and Simon mainly focus on three strategies for scaling.

Vertical Scaling

This one’s pretty obvious, but the easiest way to scale anything is to simply pump more money to it. After running through a series of experiments and tests, you should have at least one or two ad campaigns you’re confident will produce a strong ROI.

But, and this is very important, don’t just increase your ad budget. It’s akin to pouring gasoline over an open fire: You’re more likely to burn everything down than increase your results.

The reason for this is that the Facebook algorithm doesn’t like major changes, and suddenly 10x-ing your budget, or even just doubling it, will cause Facebook to go into “shock” and throw off the optimization of your ads. To prevent this from happening, make sure you increase your budget incrementally at around 25% to 30% a day.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Editing Budget for ADs

Keep a close eye on the size of your audience and the frequency of your ads. At a certain point, you’ll start saturating your audience, and as we mentioned earlier, you’re going to annoy them if they’re continuously subjected to the same ads over and over again.

Another tactic for vertical scaling is to increase the budget spend on your most profitable audience segments. Instead of just increasing the budget overall, find out who in your audience is spending the most money, and target that specific segment.

Jason How of Agency J recommends going into your Facebook ads manager and breaking down your audience by “Delivery.”

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook ADs Breakdown by Delivery in Facebook Manager

Image via Social Media Examiner

From here, you should be able to view how effective your campaign is across a variety of demographics, such as age.

For one of his campaigns, Jason noticed that females between the ages of 25-54 were the most likely to convert. With this knowledge, he duplicated his ad campaign and adjusted the targeting so it only targeted that specific customer segment.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook ADs Results Breakdown by Demographics

Image via Social Media Examiner

Horizontal Scaling

On the other hand, with horizontal scaling, the goal isn’t to increase the ad spend but to widen your funnel. This means taking your winning ad campaign and introducing new audiences and leads to your ad.

The easiest way to do this is to take advantage of lookalike audiences. With lookalike audiences, you can let Facebook do the heavy lifting for you and by finding users who they think will be interested in your offering.

Facebook offers up to 1% to 10% accuracy with lookalike audiences, and while it’s best to stick with a 1% (the closest match to your ideal customer) lookalike, don’t be afraid to increase that to 2% or 5%. While this might lower your overall conversion rate, it also means you have a larger audience to market to, and you’ll generally have a lower CPC rate as a result.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Creating Lookalike Audience

Another thing to try with horizontal scaling is to play around with subtle variations of your ad creative. Unlike with what we were doing with split testing earlier, here, you want to effect small changes such as switching up the image or changing the headline ever so slightly.

You’re not changing up the main marketing message, just introducing subtle shifts in the ad creative.

This is important because, when you’re introducing new audiences into your funnel, there will be some overlap between your new leads and your pre-existing ones. Doing these micro-variations allows you to continue using the same proven marketing message while preventing ad fatigue.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook AD Variations by Growth Marketing Systems

PRO TIP: Try building lookalike audiences based on pixel events when possible. Customer lists are good, but pixel events are dynamic, and your lookalike audiences will automatically update in real time.

Cross-Platform Scaling

Don’t you wish you could just duplicate the results from a winning funnel? Well, who’s to say you can’t?

With cross-platform, sometimes known as cross-medium, scaling, what you’re effectively doing is taking a proven ad funnel and applying it on a different channel. Facebook may be the biggest kid on the playground, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play with the other children.

For example, if you have a campaign you know works on Facebook, then take that exact same campaign and try it out on something like LinkedIn or Instagram. There might be some small change you need to make to make it fit on a different platform, but there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

How to Advertise on Facebook - Facebook AD Variations by Growth Marketing Systems

Another way to get even more value out of your proven ad campaigns is to change up your offering.

I don’t mean coming up with a completely new offer — just switch up the media format for that offer. For example, if you have a webinar that works very well, offer the exact same knowledge but through a series of training videos.

If you have a Facebook photo ad that’s doing really well, change up the ad format and turn it into a video ad or a carousel ad, and see how that works.

Exact same value, different medium.

By using cross-platform scaling, you don’t have to constantly come up with new content for every single ad. Rather, all you need to do is look for ways to create different versions of something that’s already proven successful.


Even though we all understand that Facebook ads are one of the most powerful marketing tools out there, not everyone knows how to use them correctly. As you can see, there is a lot you need to consider when it comes to developing the right Facebook advertising strategy for your business.

Fortunately, Blake and Simon have demonstrated that creating the perfect Facebook advertising strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it can be quite easy if you know what you’re doing.

Hopefully, this guide has given you some much-needed clarity on how you can turn Facebook ads into a powerful driver for your business.

What does your Facebook advertising strategy look like? How do you optimize your Facebook campaigns? Let us know in the comments below!

Free Bonus Video: Blake and Simon recently presented a 75 minute masterclass to members of Peak (the Insane Growth mastermind) on how to start and scale Facebook Ads profitably, based on their experience spending $700,000+ per month on ads. Watch their presentation here.

Our new course, Accelerant, is now open. If you want to learn the only 3 skills you need to explode the growth of your business, you should check it out. Enrollments close soon. Learn more.
Show CommentsClose Comments


  • Victor
    Posted November 4, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    Exhaustive guide, Jonathan. So good I bookmarked this one.

  • Mrityunjay Saini
    Posted November 11, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    Very long post but very informative.

    I stopped reading at scaling section as I realised that this is an learn and apply guide written with so much great information. .

    Thanks a lot for sharing

  • Nina
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    A lot of great information. Very useful. Thank you.

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