How Do Facebook Ads Work?

How Do Facebook Ads Work?


Facebook’s massive user-base makes the social media platform a level-playing field for businesses of every size.

So, it doesn’t matter if you are a startup or a Fortune 500 company. You can create an impact in your industry if you use Facebook’s ad platform wisely.

And, while you don’t need deep pockets, the more you invest, the better results you can expect. But, thanks to the detailed targeting feature, you can get a great ROI at a lean budget as well.

Before jumping into how do Facebook ads work, let’s see what they actually are.

What’s a Facebook Ad?

Simply put, a Facebook advertisement is a tool for businesses to reach their prospects.

So, if you are a business, Facebook ads can help you get in front of an audience that’s already interested in a business like yours.

Important Things to Consider

But, before creating an Ad, there are a few things an advertiser needs to brainstorm. It can help you create a strategy that leads your business in the right direction.

Think about:

So, you not only need to create your buyer persona but also persuade them to take a certain type of action.

Let’s say you have a baby product in your eCommerce store. Now, you won’t be targeting your ad to kids between the ages of 0 and 3, right?

The right way to go about it would be to target their parents, helping them address a pain point with your product. Once you have narrowed your audience down, you can make them buy your product easily using actionable words and persuasive copy.

Let’s talk about the parts of a Facebook ad now.

Parts of a Facebook Ad

Before jumping into how do Facebook ads work behind the scenes, let’s take a look at their front-end components.

We can take an example of an ad from Digital Marketer, a tools and training company.

  1. The first part of a Facebook ad is “Text”. This is the first chance an advertiser gets to grab users’ attention.

This part of your ad should preferably be short and actionable. You don’t want to grab people’s attention and then lose it because of too many words.

However, it’s not a hard-and-fast rule, and you can make it longer if you think you can keep the user hooked to your ad.

  1. The second part of your ad is its graphics. Visuals are relatively easy to consume and are more attention-grabbing.

But, they require engaging visual elements to be persuading enough.

  1. The third part of a Facebook ad is its headline. It should be concise and actionable. You want your headline to shift your prospects’ attention to your call to action (the 5th element).
  2. Then comes your ad’s description. It provides you with more space where you can explain your offer in a little more detail. But, you don’t have to use it if you think your headline is enough.
  3. The last and arguably the most important aspect of your ad is its CTA (call-to-action). This is where you can make prospects act.

So, keep it actionable and simple.

Understanding Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook Ads Manager is an advertising tool advertisers use to craft, edit, and publish their ads. Let’s see how it works.

To access your Facebook Ads Manager, find and click the “Ads Manager” option on the left panel of your homepage.

Facebook will redirect to the ads manager.

And, when you click on the “Create” button, the platform asks you this:

You can select any one of those options depending on your goal. The first column is for people in the awareness stage. The second is for those in the consideration stage. While the third one caters to conversions.

Let’s go with “Traffic”, a consideration-stage objective.


You can then give a name to your new campaign, set a budget for it, and assign a start and end date.

Going forward, Facebook lets you target your dream buyer. You can narrow down your audience by selecting the age range, location, gender, and other behavioral demographics.

This lets a business target people that are most likely to respond to its marketing message, increasing the probability for conversions.

Now, you’d be creating the ad by adding all of the elements we discussed before.

Facebook Detailed Targeting

Facebook has an enormous user base, which lets the platform serve advertisers better. After all, every business wants to get in front of as many prospects as possible.

Facebook’s massive database and effective targeting features let you serve your ads to the right people. This is exactly why Facebook advertising can easily lead to a pretty high return on investment. Because you are cutting through the noise and talking to your dream buyer directly.

Not only can you target the right prospects, but it also allows you to attract and track website visitors and retarget them.

Facebook allows advertisers to target their prospects based on their:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Behavior
  • Location
  • Online activity
  • Language
  • And, even more

You can even “Include” and “Exclude” audiences to land on the perfect one for your business.

This way, you can include the Facebook users that you want to target and escape the ones that don’t fit your buyer persona.

Facebook Targeting Strategies

Leverage the Purchasing Behavior

How effective would that be if you could get your business in front of the people that bought something like your product in the past?

Not only can you target people that have recently shown interest in buying a related product, but you can also reach a lot of them.

Target People Based on Life Events

This one can be a goldmine for businesses if done right. Often, a life event makes a particular service or product imperative.

For instance, a newly engaged couple might need a photographer for their wedding. If you are in that space, you can target them and maximize your chances of conversions.

Another example would be of a business working in the event planning industry. Your job is to reach people that have prominent life events coming up.

For instance, an audience with their birthdays in the coming days. What you can do is, target those people with compelling Facebook ads and make them your repeat customers.

Increase Your Customer Lifetime Value

Your past customers can be a huge opportunity for your business. And, happy customers are an asset that many businesses overlook.

See, it’s easier to make a sale with a person who has had a good experience with your brand in the past than with a new prospect.

Your happy customers are also an asset because they attract new prospects to your business through word of mouth.

What you can do is, if you have a list of contacts, upload it to Facebook and reach your customers there. Plus, Facebook is a great platform to connect with your customers effectively.

Expand to Look-Alike Audiences

Your primary audience is how you see your target customer. But, those aren’t the only people that you can market your product to.

Facebook’s lookalike audiences feature provides an incredible opportunity to advertise your brand to more right people.

Retargeting with Facebook Ads

Retargeting allows you to appear before people that have already shown interest in your business or offer.

This can be a goldmine for businesses because you aren’t going after cold leads; these are fresh, warm leads that you can easily convert.

For instance, you can retarget a person who visited your landing page or website. They might not have taken an action that you want them to take. It could be an abandoned cart or email sign-up. Facebook retargeting helps you get them to act.

The only thing that you would need to retarget your website visitors is installing the Facebook Pixel on it. Thanks to WordPress plugins, anyone can do it within a few minutes.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve seen a Facebook ad while scrolling down your newsfeed, you already knew how its front-end looks like.

And, if you have clicked on any of those ads, you might have an idea of what works.

We’ve dissected an ad so that you know how do Facebook ads work at the front end. Facebook Ads Manager is something that you need to get comfortable with because that’s where all the magic happens.

Facebook ads platform is a great place to start if you want to reach more prospects. But, before jumping into the action, make sure you brainstorm a few things.

  • Who is your ideal customer (Buyer persona)?
  • What are their pain points?
  • How can you alleviate their pains with your business?

This way, you won’t be taking a shot in the dark. You’d be going with a plan that’s most likely to go in your favor.

If you need any help regarding Facebook ads, get in touch with us here.

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