A Beginners Guide to Facebook Ads Manager

There is a whole world BEYOND hitting the “Boost Post” button to advertise on Facebook. And we get it… Facebook Ads Manager can be intimidating.

That’s why we are here today, to walk you through our Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Ads Manager. Try and follow along while you read, and let’s get you comfortable with all that Facebook really has to offer an advertiser!

A Beginners Guide to Facebook Ads Manager

We are going to start with the most frequently used (and useful) sections of ad manager for someone just starting out.

Note that this is not a comprehensive list (because that would be so very long). Also, keep in mind that some sections will not apply to your business. For example, only stores who sell online will need the catalog feature.

ADS MANAGER MENU (starting on the left side)

menu frequently used

SECTION – Frequently Used 

In this section, you will find the areas of Ads Manager that YOU use the most. Think of it as a handy shortcut! This section will look different for everyone.


This is where you will find Audience Insights, which is essential! Creative Hub is a great tool but not relevant to get started.

Audience Insights– Learn more about your fans and their interests. This information is essential for targeting ads and creating content. It also gives you an idea of what your fans are interested in.

  • What you will find here:
    • Demographics
    • Page likes – top pages by category that fans like
    • Location
    • Activity – types of activities they perform on FB (Liking, commenting, sharing)
    • Household Information
    • Purchase Behaviors

audience insights

SECTION – Create and Manage

Though there are several options in this section, the Ads Manager section is the MOST important one to understand at the beginner’s stage.

Ads Manager – See an overview of your ads.

  • Account Overview has 2 options: Overview, and Creative Reporting. These will both give you an at-a-glance-view of your ads.
  • The following tabs show you the actual ads that are running categorized by Campaigns, Ad Sets, and Ads.

ads manager account overview

SECTION –  Measure and Report

This section contains options for more advanced analytics and testing function, but the most important part is Ads Reporting. It will give you as much information as you could possibly want or ever need to use!

Ads Reporting – This is where you can create custom ad reports to analyze how well your ads are performing. Essential if you have to show ROI to your higher-ups OR you’re super smart and know that success must be measured.

SECTION – Assets

Audiences are by far your most important asset. They are an essential part of a successful ad campaign.

Audiences – This is where any audiences you have created live. You will create audiences if you use Ads Manager with any frequency. It’s one of the keys to placing successful Facebook ads!


SECTION – Settings

In this section, under Setting, you will find another sub-set with the following options –

  • Pages – Find the pages you have access to and see what role you’ve been assigned.
  • Payment Settings – How are you paying for your Facebook ads? This is where that info is stored.
  • Notifications – You can customize how Facebook sends you notifications about your current ads.


Now that we’ve gone through the important menu sections, what are your options when choosing to run an ad through Facebook Ads Manager?

This is where you find you have a LOT more options besides “Boost Post”.

Facebook Ad Types:


How do you choose which Ad Type is right for a campaign?

  • The answer should always be based on the GOAL of the ad. What actions do you want your audience to take?

Let’s look at some of these ad types more closely to help you decide.


Goal – To get people interested in your product or service.

Types of Awareness ads:

  • Brand awareness– Target people that are more likely to recall your ads to increase awareness for your brand.
  • Reach – Get the most people (in the selected audience) to see your ad.


Goal – To generate interest in your business so that people will seek out additional information about who you are.

Types of Consideration ads:

  • Traffic – Get people to visit your website or to use/install your app.
  • App Installs: Send people to an app store (like iTunes) where they can download your app.
  • Engagement: Get more people to see and engage with your post or Facebook Page.
    • Engagement Options:
    • Page Engagement- Boost your posts to get more people to see a specific post you created.
    • Page Likes – Get more people to like your page.
    • Offer Claims – Get people to claim an offer on your page.
    • Event Responses- Get more people to RSVP to an event on your page.
  • Video Views – Get more people to watch a video.
  • Lead Generation – Collect lead information (like email addresses) so that you can convert potential customers into actual ones.
  • Messages – Get more people to have conversations with your business to generate leads, drive transactions, answer questions or offer support.


Goal – encourage people to purchase or use your product or service.

Types of Conversion ads:

  • Conversions– Get more people to use your website or mobile app.
    • To measure what actions people took, you will need the Facebook pixel installed.
  • Catalog Sales– Show items from your catalog.
  • Store Visits – Promote multiple business locations to people who are nearby.

Now that we’ve covered the most important parts of Ads Manager to know right now, we also realize that some terms may be confusing. Below is a glossary of some standard terms that you will see throughout Ads Manager and when speaking to experienced Ads Manager users.


  • Ad Creative: The image(s), video(s) and text that make up your ad.
  • Targeting: The people (audience) you have selected to see your ad.
  • Placement: Where on Facebook (or via partners) your ad will be shown to people. What actual place will it appear?
  • Bid: The amount of money you are willing to pay to have customers see your ad and take the desired action on it (like click to a website link).
  • Budget: The amount of money you have allocated to spend on an entire campaign.
  • Schedule: The amount of time that you want your ad to run.