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Zucker Punch

Facebook ads for startups
Facebook ads give you the ability to zero in on your target market and scale beyond inbound traffic. There are many campaign philosophies, but in this recipe we will concentrate on a profitable method for startups.
Email List of Users
Ad Budget
Ad Creative

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Step One

Custom Audiences: The targeting options are what make Facebook an amazing place to buy traffic. This alone has many schools of thought. Lucky for you we are using the easiest to understand and also the most targeted. Using the Power Editor, take your existing list of subscribers and users. Segment and upload as follows: 1) entire list 2) paid users 3) most active users. Once uploaded create a lookalike audience for each of these and title them appropriately. Note: Do this process every few weeks to keep your targeting updated.

Step Two

Conversion Pixel: The way we will be tracking our campaign is using the Facebook conversion pixel. This will track and optimize our campaigns. I suggest using your own tracking as a back up to monitor. Go to Conversion Track and create a conversion pixel. Follow the instructions on Facebook to properly place the pixel on your site and once it’s activated we are ready to move on to step three.

Step Three

Ad Format: We are only going to us the News Feed ads, and not the right-hand ads. Your engagement is so much higher with the News Feed formatted ads that the side ads are equivalent to just throwing your money away. Keep in mind that news feed images cannot contain more than 20% text. You can check your images using https://www.facebook.com/ads/tools/text_overlay

Step Four

Audience Targeting: Select your custom audience lookalike segment that you created. Remember you will be testing your 3 segments in separate campaigns. Do not choose any broad or precise categories, the custom audience will be doing this for us. The settings will automatically choose US only (tweak this whenever relevant). Note: Age, Gender - If you have a minimum age or heavily dominate offer catering one gender, you can select this. Technically based off your custom audience it shouldn’t be necessary, but we do it anyway. For example, we chose 20+ and male, since that matches with our audience.

Step Five

Device: We will want to target both desktop and mobile. Separate these into independent campaigns (not together). It should go unsaid if you don’t have a mobile optimized lander not to target mobile users. Remember: 48% of Facebook users are mobile-only users. Just sayin’...

Step Six

Bidding and Pricing: We will be selecting "optimize for website conversions" and "automatically optimize my bid to get more conversions". We will be buying on a CPM basis and not CPC (CPC will deplete your budget much more quickly). If you’re wondering, at the time of this recipe, CPM for us was running in the neighborhood of a $4-7 CPM.


Now you have a Facebook campaign that targets users that are similar to your existing audience (by uploading email list of current users in the Power Editor), and you're getting their attention by using the News Feed ad format. Best of all, your using CPM so that you're not wasting your budget. That's how you setup a Facebook campaign. (Photo by Jason Rogers)