Digitree Digital

Facebook ads guide for startups and small businesses: Setting up for Ecommerce

In the last part of the Facebook ads guide for startups and small businesses we covered:

  1. The advantages of using Facebook ads
  2. Who should use them
  3. Which were the right formats for various kinds of businesses (B2B and B2C startups & small businesses)
  4. How much to invest in these ads and
  5. How to calculate return on investment or ROI

Now in this part, we move on to exploring how to set up and get the most out of these ads for a specific type of business – ecommerce. We’ll look at the end to end setup and running process of Facebook ads for both startups and small businesses for ecommerce.

Before you setting up for ecommerce you will need to create a Facebook ads account, which is very simple to do. Just log in to your Facebook account and click on this link www.facebook.com/ads/manager

You will be asked a series of questions, including your mode of payment. Just provide whatever information is required to set up your Facebook ads account.


Setting up your website for running Facebook ads for e-commerce

If you’re into the e-commerce business, you’re in it for 1 reason – to drive transactions or conversions. To get those conversions, you need people to click on your ads. Hence many marketers make the mistake of assuming that getting clicks will automatically yield conversions. This is a completely incorrect assumption! Trying to get traffic will get you just that – empty traffic at a low rate per click but it won’t necessarily give you any conversions.

Creating a Facebook pixel

To setup the ads system to give you conversions, you need to take a small bit of code that Facebook provides to your site. To get this small bit of code, click this link www.facebook.com/ads/manager/pixel/ . Then click on the create a pixel button and on the next option the subsequent prompt.


Installing a Facebook pixel

Once you’ve done this much, you need to now install the code by using an integration or tag manager or just by copy pasting the code the old fashioned way into your website. For the sake of this post, we will consider the second option – copy pasting the code (or pixel as Facebook calls it) into your website. So select that option. This part of the process is best left to your webmaster or a technical guy who knows how to work with code and can ensure that an error free installation takes place.

Copy-pasting the base pixel code

There are two parts to the pixel code. There’s a base code which goes on all pages of your website & there’s a specific addition to the base code which goes only on the add to card and payment confirmation pages. The block of base code will look something like the below image. Just copy it and mail it to your webmaster or tech guy. Ask him to install it between the <head> </head> tags on all pages of the website.

The blacked out parts of your code will contain your unique code ID. Don’t worry, the code block contains this ID by default and you don’t have to insert it into the block.

It is very important to paste the code as it is into the website and not to make any modifications to it. Modifications make it a non-standard implementation and cause problems in the tracking and measurement of your ad performance.

Copy-pasting the event code(s)

Events are any actions that people can take on your website. E.g. viewing an item, adding to cart, making payment etc. Your tech guy will have to configure 3 kinds of events into the pixel code.

  1. View Content

    This is when a user views any item on your e-commerce site. The event code for this is as below & should be added to all pages which contain items for sale.

  1. Add to cart or add to basket

    This is when a user adds any item to their cart. The event code for this is as below & should be added to the “add to cart” page(s) of your website.

  1. Purchase

    This is when a user adds any item to their cart. The event code for this is as below & should be added to the “Thank You” page which people see after their payments have been processed.

These event codes will have to be pasted just below the </head> tag on the respective pages, as per the example in the image below.

Once you have installed the pixel, it’s ideal to test the installation using the Facebook pixel helper available for Chrome browser over here https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/fb-pixel-helper/fdgfkebogiimcoedlicjlajpkdmockpc

Setting up Facebook ads for e-commerce

Once you have completed the pixel installation process, you can now move on to actually creating the ad. You can either use Facebook’s ads manager or power editor. Since power editor can be overwhelming for new users, we will focus on ads manager instead.

Go to https://www.facebook.com/ads/manager/creation/ and select conversions as your objective & hit continue on the next screen.

Ad set creation

Choosing the right pixel event

Now in the ad set creation screen, in the first block, check the website or messenger option and choose the purchase pixel which you had installed earlier.

Choosing the targeting

Next is the most important part of this whole process – targeting selection! Targeting can make or break a campaign. Choose the right target audience and you can be well on your way to a successful ecommerce operation. Choose the wrong one however and your ad budget could very well go up in a puff of smoke.

When choosing the targeting for Facebook ads, it helps to select older, more mature audiences. These people not only have the purchasing power, they also have decision making authority, in case you’re selling something expensive like a smartphone.

Once you’ve decided upon the demographics for your ads, it’s time to choose the interests and behaviors. There’s a specific interest group called “Shopping and Fashion”, which has several sub-interest groups like beauty, clothing, fashion accessories etc. Choose whichever interests and sub interests match your desired target audience’s profile. E.g. if you’re targeting a young female audience, you may want to target all the three sub-interests mentioned above.

You can also target based on behaviors. There are plenty of behavioral options available such as people approaching anniversaries, people who are users of specific mobile devices etc. So for example, if you’re selling jewelry online, you could target people whose anniversaries are just around the corner. On the other hand, if you’re selling the newest iPhone you may want to target people using iPhones that are 1, 2 or more generations behind the model.

You could also adopt a combination of interest and behavior based targeting. For example, if you were selling high end designer cases for the iPhone you’d want to target people interested in fashion accessories AND people who’re using the models of iPhone that your cases are available for.

There are other options available under targeting e.g. people in relationships or people who are approaching certain life events like birthdays or anniversaries. It’s generally recommended to do A/B testing by creating different ad sets with different targeting criterial. This helps you to compare the performance across different sets of audiences and zero in on the right audience for your business.

Choosing the placement

Next you have to choose the placement or in other words, the places within Facebook’s properties where your ads will be displayed within. Choices include Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network and Messenger. Facebook recommends automatic placement i.e. it will place the ads wherever it feels you will get the most amount of conversions. But you shouldn’t blindly trust Facebook to do placement for you. Instagram placements almost never account for conversions, so it’s a good idea to disable them. You can also safely disable the right column ads as more often than not, they don’t have much impact either.


Choosing the budget

Finally under budget and schedule, you need to specify how much budget you are willing to spend either on a daily basis (daily budget) or over a certain period, say a month (lifetime budget). Whichever type of budget you choose (depending upon how long you intend to run the campaign), make sure to provide for at least ? 1000 per day. That’s the minimum you’ll need, at least to start with to get decent results. Later on as you’ve fine-tuned your campaign, you may reduce it to a lower figure.

Leave the other options under budget and schedule and hit continue.

Ad creation

Now we finally come to the ad creation. Facebook offers several ad formats such as carousel, single image, single video, slideshow etc. The carousel format provides the best bang for the buck. It allows you to add up to 9 photos and videos in a tiles like format & generally has the best reach of all available formats. You don’t have to use all 9 slots, but try to have at least 5, made up of at least 1-2 videos. Even better if you can have more videos, but videos are generally more expensive and difficult to make, so people generally rely more on images.


Once you’ve selected the carousel format, put in the text that you’d like to have in the ad, along with the product page URLs and the images in the different slots provided and voila, you have created your very first Facebook ad for e-commerce!

Image selection for ads creation

Now you need to keep in mind that you can’t use images with more than 20% text in the ad. There was an old Facebook rule that your ad would be disapproved if the image(s) had more than 20% text. This rule has now been phased out. But the reach of your ads will still be negatively impacted if you include images with more than 20% text. Hence the best thing to do to get maximum return on investment is to use images with little or no text.

Getting results

You may be wondering how long before you start running ads and get results. Well, it’s not going to happen overnight, that’s for sure! You’ll have to keep making subtle changes for around a month before you start seeing some tangible results. Apart from the ads themselves, you’ll have to factor in things like incentives, site performance (page load times) etc.

We at Digitree have been at this since the inception of Facebook ads and have done successful campaigns for many of our customers. We understand how the ads platform works, how to manage the ups and downs of the campaigns and most importantly, how to bring results!

That’s all for this part of  Facebook ads guide for startups and small business. Setting up and running these ads can be tricky, but Digitree is here to help! Let us help you out with your Facebook ads campaigns! Or tell us what else you’d like to see in our blog posts! Get in touch with us at info@digitree.in

Check out the next part – setting up Facebook ads for lead generation!