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12 minute read

When setting up a paid Facebook ad, there are a lot of boxes to be checked.

Are you targeting the right people? Are your image dimensions to scale? Is your video the right length? Are you running the right type of ad? If we’re being honest, it can get a little confusing.

With more than 16 million active Facebook users in Australia, Facebook ads offer your business a unique opportunity over simply boosting your posts. Trouble is, if you’re not going about it the right way, it can cost you both time and money.

To help, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide for creating Facebook ads. These steps are designed to help you get the most from your marketing dollar on Facebook.

Who is this guide for?

If you’ve created a Facebook ad before, this guide is likely going to cover what you already know but if you’ve only ever boosted posts, this guide is for you. If you didn’t know that Facebook ads are different from boosting posts, this guide is definitely for you.

If you’re a visual learner, click on the video above to get a walk through these steps below. Otherwise, read on!

NOTE: In our previous video, we spoke about the differences between boosting posts and Facebook ads. If you haven’t watched that yet, do that now before moving onto these next steps.

Step 1: Create a Facebook ad account

TIP: Follow these steps on a desktop device, as opposed to a mobile device – it will be much easier to follow.

The first thing you’ll need is a Facebook Ad Account. Visit and you’ll be guided through the steps for how to set up your Ad Account.

If you’re using Facebook Business Manager, simply navigate to the Ad Account option in your Business Manager Dashboard, click on ‘Add New Ad Accounts’, and click ‘Create a New Ad Account’ (see below).

Facebook Business Manager

Facebook Business Manager Ad Account

You’ll be asked for either a credit card or a PayPal account in order to start running your ads, but don’t stress, you won’t get charged anything until you start running your ads – just the same as boosting posts.

Step 2: Navigate to the Facebook ad creation tool

You can get there two ways:

Via your Facebook Page: 

Create Facebook Ad

Via your Facebook Ads Manager dashboard: 

Facebook Ads Manager

Step 3: Choose an objective for your ads

The first step in any marketing campaign is choosing an objective – what do you want to achieve?

Facebook gives us a number of options and depending on what you’re promoting, Facebook will automatically optimise your reach depending on what you choose, so choose wisely!

Marketing Objective

If you’ve just opened a new office or re-branded your existing agency: You may choose the Local Awareness objective, to increase awareness for your brand by reaching people who are more likely to be interested in it, and either follow your page or contact you.

If you have a video that you would like to promote: Maybe a market update video, an agent profile or a stunning video of one of your listings? You may choose the Video Views objective to drive more views.

If you have an existing post on your Facebook Page that you’d like to promote, to drive more engagement: You might choose the Engagement objective to keep the conversations going.

Or, our personal favourite…

If you have a listing or a blog post on your website that you would like to promote: You’ll want to choose the Traffic objective.

In our consulting work with some of Australia’s leading real estate brands, we’ve found more success with the Traffic objective, from a business perspective, than any other objective. Simply because when someone leaves Facebook to consume information on your own website, you have their full and undivided attention – something that is extremely rare in business today.

In this tutorial, we’re going to use the example of a new listing, and we’re going to choose the Traffic objective to drive visitors to that listing on your website.

Once you’ve selected an objective, give your campaign a name and click Continue.

Campaign Name

Step 4: Choose your audience

Define who you want to see your ads

Leave your Traffic Source as Website and skip to Audience.

As you know, the key to effective marketing is relevance. By using Facebook’s Audience targeting, you can be very specific about who you want to see your ad. Your goal here is to put your ad in front of only the people who it’s relevant to – instead of the old ‘spray and pray’ approach.

Important: These next few steps include only some (not all) of the audiences you can create using Facebook Ads Manager. You can use each of them on their own, a mixture of all, or try testing Facebook’s other audience targeting capabilities.

You can choose to place our ads in front of people based on their location, age, gender, language or lifestyle interests – which includes other Pages or topics they might be following on Facebook.

These filters are also available when boosting a post, however, when creating a Facebook ad, you have the ability to create a Facebook Custom Audience and target people who have already interacted with your brand.

For example, if you have a list of buyers who are looking for similar properties to the one you are promoting in your Facebook ad, you can upload their email addresses and mobile numbers to target your ads to only those people.

By doing so, you’re telling Facebook to show your ad to the Facebook profiles that match the email address or mobile number you have in your database. When someone signs up for Facebook, they need an email address and mobile number to verify their account. If you have that same email address or mobile number in your database, you can target your ads to their Facebook profile.

To create your Custom Audience, click on Create New > Custom Audience.

Next, choose Customer File.

Click on ‘Choose a file or copy and paste data from your database’.

Upload your data.

EXTRA TIP: Make sure your data is formatted correctly or your ads might not reach your audience. Download Facebook’s file template provided on this screen to make sure you upload your data correctly.

If you’ve uploaded email addresses, ensure you’re mapping your emails to the ‘Email’ field in the drop down menu. If you’ve uploaded mobile numbers, choose the ‘Phone’ field in the drop down menu. If you’ve uploaded a spreadsheet with both, map both fields appropriately.

Once you’ve mapped your data, click Upload & Create.

Once you’ve uploaded your data, click Done.

You can now apply all of the regular filters (if it makes sense to do so) to your custom audience, such as age, location, demographics etc.

If this is the only audience you’d like to target, skip to Step 5 (Ad placements).

Another custom audience you may like to create is people who have already visited your website.

This is called re-targeting, and it works by Facebook knowing that someone has been to your website, and re-target them with your Ads when they next log into Facebook.


First, you’ll need your web developer to install the Facebook Pixel on your site. You can email them your code via the Custom Audience creation tool.

Once your Facebook pixel is installed on your website, you can now choose to target your website visitors with your Facebook ads.

Choose Website Traffic.

Choose your domain name, how long ago people were on your site, audience name and click Create Audience.

Extra Tip: If you’re promoting a listing, you may wish to target only those people who have visited pages on your website that relate to your listings. You can do that in the drop down menu provided. You will just need to add the URL of the page that your visitors were on.

You can now apply all of the regular filters (if it makes sense to do so) to your custom audience, such as age, location, demographics etc.

Once you’re happy with your Audience targeting, it’s time to choose where they will see your ads.

Step 5: Ad Placements

Where do you want your audience to see your ads?

Now it’s time to choose where you want to display your ad within the Facebook network. If you leave this set to automatic, Facebook will show your ad to people based on where your ad is likely to perform best. This might include someone’s newsfeed, the right column within their profile, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, or the Audience network which displays your ads on approved third-party websites and within certain games or apps on someone’s mobile device.


You may want to edit/test these placements depending on the type of ad you’re running.

Click here to learn more about the various Facebook ad placements.

EXTRA TIP: If you’re using a video to promote your listing,  and the video runs for more than 60 seconds, you will need to go into Edit Placements and turn off the Instagram placement. At the time of this guide being created, you are unable to use videos longer than 60 seconds on Instagram.

The next step before you start creating the ad itself is to assign a budget.

Step 6: Budget & Schedule

Define how much you’d like to spend, and when you’d like your ads to appear.

Daily Budget: Facebook will spend up to the amount you specify, per day, over the lifespan of your campaign.

Lifetime Budget: The maximum amount you want to spend over the lifespan of the campaign and Facebook will automatically try to evenly spread the amount you spend across the period of time that you’ve selected. A Lifetime Budget does not apply a daily limit.

Schedule: You can run your ad continuously or choose a start and end date.

As you start to play with your budget, you’ll notice that Facebook is giving you an indication of how many people your ad is likely to reach each day. Increase your budget and you’ll reach more of your audience each day.

How much should I spend on my Facebook ad?

We often get asked, “how much should I be spending on my Facebook ad?”. The answer will depend on what you are promoting and for how long, but we’ve included a list below of the 3 most common Facebook ad types we’re seeing right now and a budget range for each:

Promoting a property: The average spend we see in the market right now is $250-$350 for a 28-day campaign. 

Promoting a blog article: The average spend we see in the market right now is $10-$15 per day over a 7 to 14-day campaign.

Promoting a “Request Appraisal” type ad: The average spend we see in the market right now is $10-15 per day for an ongoing campaign.

The settings below Budget & Schedule relate to how you want Facebook to ‘bid’ for your ads. These are automatically assigned based on your Campaign Objective you chose in step 1. If you’re new to Facebook ads, leave these alone and click Continue.

Final Step: Building your ad

Firstly, you’ll need to choose a format – you can only choose one:

  • Photo: Use beautiful images to convey your message.
  • Video: Tell your story with sight, sound and motion.
  • Carousel: Show multiple images or videos in a single advert.
  • Slideshow: Create lightweight video adverts to connect with people across connection speeds.
  • Canvas: Build a custom, fast-loading mobile advertising experience to tell your story beautifully.

Extra Tip 1: At the time of this video being recorded, we are finding the best results with Single Video ads. If you’re promoting a listing on Facebook, and you have a video for the property, you’ll likely see more reach with video. This could change in the future as more and more people use Facebook’s video platform but right now, agents who are using video are seeing much better results than image based ads.

Extra Tip 2: If you decide to use an image based ad, avoid the temptation to use overlay text, logos or watermarks on top of your images. Facebook’s algorithm is trained to detect text and logos in your images, and it will likely decrease the reach of your ads if you put too much text over your images. Our tip is to avoid using any text or branding elements on top of images.

Next, tell Facebook where you want people to go when they click on your ad.

Extra Tip: If you’re promoting your listings, use the URL/link from your website. If you’re paying for ads on Facebook, take people to your own website, rather than the portals. This might sound so simple, but you’d be surprised how many agents we see sending traffic to the portals from their Facebook ads.

Next, add some text above your ad, give it a snappy headline, add a compelling description and choose a relevant call-to-action to display as a button on your ad.

You’re almost ready to go live with your Facebook ad!

Just before you do, check out what your ad will look like on all devices, to make sure it’s going to look its best wherever it appears i.e. no cut-off text etc.

You can preview your ad on the placements you’ve selected in the Ad Preview window on the right-hand side.

Extra Tip: Be sure to make any changes before going live. If you make changes after your ad goes live, Facebook will start your ad again and remove all the engagement (i.e. Likes, comments, shares etc).

Once you’re happy with how your ad looks, it’s time to publish your Facebook ad by pressing Place Order at the bottom of your screen.

Once you’ve placed your order with Facebook, they will review your ad to ensure it meets their terms and conditions and if everything checks out, your ad will be up and running in as little as a few minutes.

That’s it! You’ve just created a Facebook ad.

A little different and lot more powerful than just boosting a post, right?

Oh, and if you’re wondering why your Facebook ad isn’t appearing on your Facebook Page, this is because Facebook ads only appear in the Ad Placements you selected. They don’t appear on your Page feed, unlike a boosted post.

Has this guide been helpful? Please share it with someone else or leave your comment and questions below.

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