How to Set Up & Run Facebook Ads for eCommerce (Full Guide)

Manu Sheen
Manu Sheen
Customer Success Manager at Insense

There’s a lot that goes into owning an ecommerce store. 

You have to put your brand out there and ensure you’re constantly making sales, among other things. 

Simply put, you have to promote your online store and social media marketing has proven to be an effective way to do that

Specifically, Facebook advertising!

This digital marketing strategy allows you to showcase your products to millions of people

Wondering how to get started?

Well, luckily that’s what we’ll talk about in this guide – we’ll let you know:

  • Why you should try Facebook ads
  • How to run FB ads
  • Strategies to ensure a successful campaign 

Let’s get started!

[fs-toc-omit]Table of Contents

Do Facebook Ads Work for eCommerce? 

6 Reasons Why Your eCommerce Business Should Invest in Facebook Ads 

How to Run Ads on Facebook: 5 Simple Steps

The 6 Most Effective Types of Facebook Ads for eCommerce 

6 Top Strategies for Successful eCommerce Facebook Ads Campaigns

Do Facebook Ads Work for eCommerce?

If you’ve ever asked yourself this question, the short answer is yes. 

Facebook ads work for ecommerce businesses and we’ve got proof!

According to a report, Facebook ads’ revenue in the US is expected to go up to $58.1 billion in 2022.

A 15.5% increase from the previous year.

There’s only one reason why marketers would continue to pour resources into Facebook Ads: they’re getting results.

We’ve got more evidence.

Boohoo – a UK online fashion retailer, wanted its range of clothing to be on the minds of fashion-conscious young women in the US and UK. 

boohoo facebook ad on cellphone
Image Source: Facebook

So, what did they do?

Boohoo launched a campaign using Facebook’s catalog ads and saw a 42-point lift in ad recall in the US, a 6.7-point increase in purchase intent in the US, and a 7.7-point increase in purchase intent in the UK. 

Also, Beffino – a Slovenian online retailer wanted to make changes to its marketing strategy to see if it might improve its return on ad spend (ROAS). facebook ad
Image Source: Facebook

Here’s what they got by using an optimized Facebook ad structure:

  • 10% decrease in audience overlap for simplified campaign structure
  • Cost per purchase event went lower by 4x
  • 50% increase in ROAS
  • 60% decrease in ad spend for simplified campaign structure

As you can see, this works really well for eCommerce brands.

Up next, we’re going to talk about why you should be investing in Facebook ads.

6 Reasons Why Your eCommerce Business Should Invest in Facebook Ads

Have you ever seen those sponsored ads on your Facebook feed with only 23 likes and wondered why those brands were wasting their time?

You probably even thought Facebook ads weren’t effective after seeing those posts. 

Why would anyone pay for ads and get 23 likes?

Plus, if we’re being honest, those posts can be not-so-appealing

However, in reality, running Facebook ads for your ecommerce business can turn things around just as we saw in the previous section.

Investing in Facebook ads can help you:

  • Implement micro-targeting
  • Promote your product or service
  • Increase awareness of your ecommerce brand
  • Retarget potential customers
  • Track your campaign performance
  • Showcase your product on different platforms
  • Get in-depth reports and analytics

Let’s discuss them in detail.

  1. Show your ad to a specific audience

If you think running ads on Facebook means your product will be shown to everyone on the social sharing site, you’re in for a bumpy ride..

Creating ads in the Ads Manager means you get to set it to target a specific audience on Facebook so that only that set of users can see the ad.

It’s called micro/nano targeting. 

The idea behind it is simple: if users see a product that’s relevant to them, there’s a good chance that they will engage or buy from you

So, if you’ve ever heard anyone say “you need to know your target audience,” this is one of the reasons why.

  1. Promote products

The Facebook Ads Manager is one of the best online platforms to help you  create, run, and manage your ads

What’s more, with over a billion people active on Facebook and being able to target a specific group of people, you can be sure that enough people would see every ad you put out.  

  1. Raise brand awareness

As an ecommerce brand, people need to see your brand from time to time. 


When users get familiar with a brand, the chances of them patronizing the brand increase. 

…and investing in Facebook ads can put your brand on the digital map and in the minds of users. 

According to a 2018 report, 78% of consumers in the US say they discovered products on Facebook.

That means brands have been leveraging Facebook for a long time now and you can too. 

  1. Retargeting

When people see or hear about your brand regularly, not many of them get to take any action – i.e., engage or make a purchase. 

Those sets of people are referred to as warm audiences. 

 However, you can retarget them by creating Facebook ads unique to them. 

You can do this because Facebook keeps track of everything (if you have Facebook Pixel installed) on your eCommerce site including:

  • Consumers who follow you 
  • Their behavior after they click your ad
  • Their visit time
  • What they added to the cart
  • Newsletter signups
  • Purchases  
  1. Market your products on different platforms

As you know Facebook and Instagram are sister companies which makes it easy for users to go back and forth between them. 

That also means you can create new ads on Facebook Ads Manager and promote your products on Facebook, Instagram, and even Messenger

  1. Access to detailed analytics

Running ads on Facebook also gives you access to an in-depth analysis of your campaign

You get to make better decisions based on information from the data. 

Here are performance and campaign metrics you can track in real-time:

  • Conversion rates
  • Impressions
  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Cost per purchase
  • Cost per click and more

Alright, alright! 

We’re pretty sure you’re hyped up about running Facebook ads so let’s show you how to get that done.

How to Run Ads on Facebook: 5 Simple Steps

To enjoy the benefits we spoke about in the previous section, you need to have ads constantly running on Facebook.

So, let’s explain step-by-step how you can get started.

1. Create a Facebook Ads Manager account

Facebook Ads Manager is a sophisticated tool that allows you to create and run ads on all the Meta siblings (Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger).

meta ads manager page

The platform has different sections and organized columns that give you an overview of your campaigns. 

It also makes it easy for you to navigate through the creation and monitoring process.

To use Facebook ads, you need to have a Facebook page up and running

Once that’s settled, you can follow these steps:

  • Visit this page
  • Click on “Go to Ads Manager”
  • Verify the information on the setup page
  • Create your preferred payment method
  • Save changes and your Ads Manager account is all set up 

2. Start creating your ad

Now that you have access to the Ads Manager, you can start creating ads. 

The first thing you should see is a performance dashboard with campaigns, ad sets, and ads listed.

Just like this:

meta ads manager campaign page

If you’ve not created an ad for your brand, the dashboard will be empty so you should consider creating a new ad. 

How do you do that?

Click on the Create button in green in the top left corner of the page (see screenshot) to get started. 

3. Personalize your campaign

The next step you want to take is to personalize your campaign.

What do we mean by that?

Well, personalizing your campaign means considering:

  • Campaign objectives: When creating ads, Facebook will ask you to choose an objective for your campaign. 

Selecting an objective allows Facebook to provide you with ad options suited to you. 

There are 11 objectives for you to choose from:

  1. Brand awareness
  2. Web traffic
  3. Engagement
  4. App installs 
  5. Reach
  6. Lead generation
  7. Video views
  8. Messages
  9. Store traffic
  10. Catalog sales 
  11. Conversion
  • Ad placement: There’s a breakdown of places where you can place your ad in the Ads Manager. They include Facebook feed, Facebook Stories, Instagram Reels, and so on. 
meta ads manager placement page
  • Budget: There are two budget types you can choose – daily or lifetime.
meta ads manager budget page

A daily budget is a good option if you want your ad to run for a day. The lifetime budget, on the other hand, is the option you go for if you want ads running for a specific length of time.

  • Ad format: Lastly on personalizing, you want to choose what format your ad will be in. You can decide to run image ads, videos, carousel ads, instant experience, or collection ads.

It’s good practice to study your audience and know what they want before deciding which ad to use. That way, you will be sure your audience will engage with what you put out. 

4. Launch your ad

Your ads will soon be live.

All that’s left is to add payment details if you’ve not done that already. 

meta ads manager payment information page

Next, hit the “Publish” button. 

…your ad is live and almost complete. 

What’s left for you to do?

You need to…

5. Manage and monitor your ad’s performance

With your ads running, the next thing you want to do is keep track of how it’s performing. 

You can do so from your Facebook ad account. 

Metrics to monitor as recommended by Facebook include:

  • Performance
  • Engagement
  • Video views
  • App install
  • Settings 
  • Clicks and more

Also, adding Facebook Pixel to your website’s checkout page can facilitate conversion tracking on your site and optimize ads for better results.

Let’s move on!

The 6 Most Effective Types of Facebook Ads for eCommerce

With over 2 billion monthly active users on Facebook and many brands competing to get users’ attention on the social site, finding a way to stay ahead of the competition is crucial.

One of the ways to do that is to find which type of Facebook ads have proven to be the most engaging and effective.

We’ve put together a list of effective FB ads for you below.

Let’s look at them in detail.

Type # 1: User-generated content (UGC) ads

UGC refers to any form of content – such as images, videos, reviews, text, etc. – created by regular people and uploaded online. 

And user-generated content is a good way for your ecom business to gain social proof. 

But, I can’t just grab people’s content off the internet and promote it. Isn’t that illegal?

Well, there are two ways to go about this type of ad:

  1. Source the content, obtain permission from its creator, and go on to Ads Manager to create ads.
  2. Reach out to creators (more on this later) to create content about their experience with your product and go on to create the ad in Ads Manager.
UGC ad example
Image Source: Instagram

What’s so special about UGC? 

According to reports, UGC has become one of the most trusted and memorable content types that marketers can use to run ads.

About 60% of consumers consider it to be the most authentic form of content. 

And 79% say their purchasing decisions are influenced by UGC.

So, you might wanna consider using user-generated content for your next ad campaign. 

Type #2: Creator-licensed ads

This kind of ad is a little like user-generated content; what’s different is that the promotion will be run from the user’s account

So, instead of seeing an ad featuring a user from the brand’s page just like this:

creator-licensed ad example

It will be run from the creator’s page so your audience will see something like this: 

creator-licensed ad example

So, it’s safe to say that creator-licensed ads are UGC ads displayed from the creator’s handle.

Why should I invest in creator licensing?

There are multiple reasons but one of the biggest is the fact that you can reach new and larger audiences. 


By creating lookalike audiences using the creator’s first-party data.

In other words, you can set your ads to target your current audience, the creator’s audience, and the audience beyond both parties’ reach. 

We have a more detailed guide if you’d like to learn more about creator-licensed ads.

Type #3: Dark Posts Ads

Dark posts are targeted Facebook ads that only appear in the timeline of a targeted audience. 

They also carry the ‘sponsored content’ label like creator-licensed ads.

Here’s howdark post ads can help your ecommerce business:

  1. You can carry out detailed targeting: If your product appeals to multiple audiences, you can create different ads to target the various audiences.
  2. They’re great for creative testing: With multiple ads for different target audiences, you can test which ad is performing best in terms of engagement, clicks, conversions, and more. 
  3. Create better content: Through testing, you get to identify the best-performing ads and with that, you get to create great content.

Type #4: Product hype videos

Hype videos describe your product in such a way that it captures your audience's attention.

You know how glued we are to our screens when watching a movie trailer and thinking how we can't wait for the movie to be released?

Well, that's what creating hype videos can do for your product.

A good example of a product hype ad is this teaser video for iPhone 13 Pro.

man shooting a youtube video on his phone
Image Source: YouTube

In this video, Apple highlights notable features of their new device. 

The video went on to have over 22 million views on YouTube and we all know how popular the iPhone 13 Pro is today.

You're probably using one yourself.

So, this is a great content type you can use  to run Facebook ads.

Type #5: Product demo ads

Product demo ads are ads that visually describe what your product is and how it works.

It teaches your audience how to use your product and explains the value of your product.

Did you know that 73% of consumers who watch a product video end up making a purchase?

Also, about one-quarter of marketers in a Hubspot survey said they invest in product demo videos.

As an ecom brand, using this type of ad can show people who aren’t even your customers why they should be using your product. 

If you decide to create product demo videos, here are some benefits you'd get:

  • Showcase your product features: You get to market your product without actually selling it. 
  • Provide authenticity: A product demo provides credibility and clears any doubts your customers might have about the product.

Type #6: Unboxing video ads

Just like the name says, unboxing videos feature a fresh product being taken out of its packaging.

Everyone loves getting something new and unwrapping it for the first time. 

It’s an experience that most people can relate to. 

…and by creating an unboxing video for your Facebook ads, you’re selling that experience to your audience.

unboxing video ad

“Is it worth my time and effort?”

Well, yes!

Remember how excited we got as kids whenever it was time to receive gifts – especially during Christmas?

That feeling doesn’t go away now that we’re adults – we still want to tear up our new package when it arrives.

Unboxing videos give viewers that experience.

55% of consumers who watch unboxing videos say that it convinced them to buy the product.

Aside from that anticipation and delight that people experience, an unboxing video is a great way to show off your packaging.

According to an IPSOS survey, 72% of American consumers say packaging design influences their purchasing decision. 

Let’s continue!

6 Top Strategies for Successful eCommerce Facebook Ads Campaigns

If you're still here, it's because you're convinced that running Facebook ads is a step in the right direction for your eCommerce marketing.

Even though we've already shown you how to create and run ads, we want you to get the most out of it

That's why in this section, we're going to talk about strategies you can implement to maximize your results.

1. Work with creators in your niche

Creators are social media users or in this case Facebook users, who have experience creating content for their followers and brands

People look up to creators and consider them experts in their field. 

Working with a creator for your ad campaign makes it:

Your viewers take one look at your ad and want to buy your product because it doesn’t give off the ‘brand ad’ vibes.

Here’s an example of a brand working with a creator for FB ads:

modcloth ad using a creator
Image Source: Facebook

So if you want a successful Facebook ad campaign, working with creators in your niche is a strategy you should consider. 

That leaves the question of where you can find creators to work with.

The answer should be simple – social media. 

However, finding the right fit for your brand and target audience can be challenging.

That’s where Insense comes in – it’s a platform that optimizes working with experienced creators.

We have creators across different locations and various niches who you can collaborate with.

2. Use dynamic product ads

Dynamic product ads, also known as Advantage+ catalog ads are considered one of the most personalized options for retargeting potential customers.

You can target consumers who have shown interest but never bought from you nor visited your website or who’ve shown interest and have purchased or visited your website

What are some benefits of using dynamic ads?

  • You will be delivering relevant content to your audience based on their interests
  • Optimize and promote your ad continuously 
  • Retarget to remind consumers of products they viewed but have not purchased yet
  • Reach out to people who’ve shown interest in your product

So, how do you create them?

  • Log in to Facebook Business Manager
  • From the menu at the top left corner, click on CatalogCreate Catalog  
  • In the new page that loads you’ll have four options, select “eCommerce.” 
  • Next, enter your product catalog (using a form or connect it to an eCommerce platform such as Shopify)
  • Head over to the Ads Manager and launch your dynamic ad by selecting the “Catalog sales” objective.

3. Create a Lookalike Audience

A lookalike audience is a way for your eCom business to reach new audiences, specifically those who have shown interest in your product.

Lookalike audiences share similar characteristics with your current audience

Why do you need a lookalike audience?

Well, you get to show your products to a wider audience – different but similar to your current audience.

Facebook helps you create a lookalike audience from a custom audience you’ve created so you can remarket to it.

It extracts information from the existing audience such as:

  • Demographics
  • Behaviors
  • Interests

…and uses it to find new customers who share similar characteristics with the existing ones. 

Other interesting things about using lookalike audiences is that:

  • You get to create up to 500 lookalike audiences using a single source audience
  • You can use a lookalike expansion to show ads to customers not included in your lookalike audience
  • You can simultaneously create different lookalike audiences for a single ad set. 

4. Take care of your copy

Copywriting is an important part of your Facebook ad campaigns. 

It helps you keep customers and potential customers interested in your ad

Copy plays a crucial role in compelling people to proceed to purchase on your website.

While having an ad creative goes a long way in convincing people to buy from you, good copy is the cherry on the cake. 

So, how can you ensure your ad copy is great?

  • Ensure it complements whatever visual you’re using
  • Let it speak to a specific audience
  • Ensure you include a call-to-action (CTA)– it shows people what step they should take next
  • Keep it short, engaging, and sweet
  • Test regularly

5. Monitor and optimize your ad campaigns 

There’s more to your campaign than just publishing ads – it’s important, but there’s more.

As such, you need to monitor and optimize the campaign from time to time. 

Monitoring helps you determine if your ad is performing so you can optimize it if it’s not.  

As stated earlier, you can keep track of your campaign from your Ads Manager dashboard

What should you be monitoring?

Well, that depends on what the objective of your campaign is

Nonetheless, you should be able to monitor the performance of your ad including engagements, clicks, etc.

6. Test your creatives

Creative testing is the next step you should take after monitoring your ad campaign. 

It involves finding out which of the creatives you’ve used in your ads is performing best. 

Creative testing lets you know what’s working and what isn’t. 

That means you become more aware of how to scale your business. 

So, how do you test creatives?

There are several ways to do this, but here’s a good way to start with creative testing:

First, you need to have lots of user-generated content, and Insense, a creator marketing platform is the place to go.

Next, you want to test all the ad creatives against a particular target audience, document the performance, and find the winning creative. 

Then, determine the key elements that made it successful. 

Once you’ve done that, you can rearrange the losing ads to match the structure of the winning ads and add these elements. 

You can go through this case study to see how a brand like yours tested its creatives.

…and we’re done, let’s tie this up!

Now Over to You

We know you’ve got some publishing to do so we won’t take any more of your time. 

Feel free to come back to this guide whenever you get stuck. 

If you'd like to work with creators who can come up with content for your ad campaign, don’t hesitate to book a demo with Insense.

We’ll be thrilled to help you on this journey.

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Manu Sheen

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