5 lessons we've learnt from Facebook ads


Struggling with Facebook ads? Yep, that has been our life for the past 12 months. In fact, we would go as far to say it’s been a bit like solving the Da Vinci Code.

We have wasted a lot of time and money running ads that were…well, just a bit crap! This was one of the many things we thought we could teach ourselves and unfortunately one of the many things we quickly realised that we couldn’t, but like my mum says “God loves a trier”...

Fortunately for us, we swallowed our pride and decided to pay an actual professional to teach us all about facebook ads - here’s what we learnt…



  • Campaigns: The campaign houses all of your assets.

  • Ad sets: If you're targeting separate audiences with different characteristics, you'll need an individual ad set for each.

  • Ads - Your actual ads live within your ad sets. Each ad set can hold a variety of ads that vary in colour, copy, images, etc

  1. out of all the options, we only ever use 3 campaigns

Traffic - to drive people to our site, if we want to show them our services or portfolio.

Conversion - to get people to sign up to our newsletter (we will always give a free download or offer to entice them)

Brand awareness - to get more people to know of us (and trust us).


Brand awareness - you won’t see results straight away, you can’t actively see conversions or the number rising from traffic but it is a great thing to constantly run, the results come over time as opposed to instant wins.

2. you won’t have a successful ad if you don’t target it correctly

To do this successfully, you have to know your target market. If you don’t know who you are advertising to, your ad won’t be successful. You need to know your audience and their pain points before you can even begin to target them.


We created an audience using our target market and advertise in the places where our audience positively respond to our ads.

Always check your results:

Even though we lived in Sydney for 4 years - we recently learnt that our ads don’t do well there, this was massively increasing our advertisement spends. Now we have stopped advertising in Sydney, we have lowered our cost from $1.50 per email sign up to around $1.

3. it will take time and money before you see any results

Start small, only spend what you can afford to loose because we guarantee it’s going to take a few tries to get it right - we usually start on $5 a day and run it for 4-5 days to get a good idea on how well it performs - if it performs well, we’ll up the budget and run it continuously.

*Before we created a successful ad we spent around $250 and ran over 30 ads to be patient - it won’t happen overnight.

4. once you find something that works you’ll have immediate results



Make sure your website has a Facebook Pixel so that you can see a more detailed overview of your analytics, you can see things like how many people came from the ad and who signed up.

5. your ad will be so much more successful with a landing page

Stumptown Coffee

If your goal is to have them sign up to your newsletter, you need to lead your audience to something that is directly focused on getting their email. 

Always have your advertisement title to match the title that is on your landing page (otherwise your audience might get confused and click off) and aways show them what you are offering them (in our case a free e-book).


The most important things to keep an eye on:

• Cost per conversion - keep it as low as possible - we aim for no more than $1.30 for a email sign up.

• Relevance score - Don’t run an ad if it drops below 7. Your audience isn’t finding it useful enough and you will loose money.

• Frequency - We try and keep it around 1-1.5 frequency. You don’t want people getting fed up of seeing your ads.

• Region - Look at the places you are running your ads, if a region is increasing the overall cost of your ads, you should think about taking it off so that your budget goes further.


“Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like.”

– brian cheksy


Let’s round it up…

Facebook Ads have so far been the most frustrating thing we have learnt. They are unpredictable, confusing and down right irritating…but they do work!

Our advice - spend a little on each and roll out as many as you can, it might take some time but you will find one that works eventually. Once you have found your prize pig, roll it out continuously for as much and as long as you can afford.


Notes to take away

  1. It will take time to figure out what works.

  2. Start small - only spend $5 a day on each so that you can compare the ads without loosing too much money.

  3. If the relevance score is less than 7, don’t run it, your audience doesn’t find it useful enough.

  4. Make sure you are speaking to your target market’s pain points.

  5. Make your ad as disruptive as possible, you need it to stand out in a busy newsfeed.