Table of Contents

Facebook Ads For Shopify: Set-up Tips That No One Told You

Our operations are supported by commissions earned from affiliates. Details.

Updated on July 2021: Apple recently released iOS14 updates, which radically changed the way we advertise on Facebook. Learn more about the update in this article: iOS14, Facebook Ads and everything in between


Hey Reader,

We will start this blog article assuming that you have set up your facebook and account and set up a facebook pixel to track the activities in your online store. If you haven’t done that yet please do that first . These things are pretty basic and I believe everyone can do that without much effort.

Let's dive in the core idea of this lesson. We will be discussing what you must do before even starting to run your ads. 

Read more: Best Shopify Facebook Shop Examples To Steal From (Analysis)


01. Understand Detailed Targeting

If you are not showing your ads to the right person,  you are wasting your money and time on facebook ads. Targeting is another important factor that will determine the success of your ecommerce journey but dont panic ; We are in this together.

In this lesson We will be discussing how you should be doing your detailed targeting on facebook.

I’ve seen a lot of scammy gurus on youtube and other platforms teaching everything wrong about targeting , basically what that ” GURU ” does is he opens facebook ads manager and under the detailed targeting section on the ad-set level, types in some random keywords that he can think of at that moment relating to the niche and runs ads.

NO, That's not how you should be doing your targeting.

Understand that Facebook ad platform is not a magic machine that will do everything for you , the more precise information you feed onto facebook the better results your ads will drive.

So let's understand what you should do to target the right group of people when you run ads.

Facebook ads targetting

1.1. Understand your customer avatar.

Understanding who your customer is very important. To Build a customer avatar of your potential customer avatar first answer these questions yourself .

  1. What is your avatar name ? For example :- An entrepreneur who is very busy . A dad who loves home cleaning.  A 40+ aged mom who has an interest in cosmetics .  Tip :- Your product should have multiple customer avatars in order to scale it to its highest potential.
  2. What tools does your avatar use?
  3. What brands make these tools?
  4. What online stores do they shop?
  5. Who is your competition?
  6. What apps does your avatar use?
  7. Which softwares do they use?
  8. What else are they buying?
  9. What in person events do they attend?
  10. What online events do they attend?
  11. What online forums/blog posts do they read?
  12. What associations are they part of?
  13. What clubs are they part of?
  14. What books do they read?
  15. What movies do they watch?
  16. What do they like to do in their leisure time?
  17. What magazines do they read?
  18. What TV shows do they watch?
  19. What facebook pages do they follow?
  20. What influencers , educators, entertainers or other people is your avatar following?

Now, try to get multiple answers for these questions because there won't be just one book or one TV show that will relate to your avatar. Try to find as many answers as possible. While you put in the interests on your ad-sets under the detailed targeting section , Use the answers you have found from these questions. Understand that not everything is listed on facebook as an interest but you will find many that are.

There are 2 major benefits of using the answers from these questions as interests on facebook

  1. You will deal with much less competition because many people are not willing to commit their time finding the interests that you have found.
  2. You will have a higher chance of success because you are doing precise targeting , not a random broad targeting.

1.2. Leverage the power of audience insights tools on facebook.

Use the audience insights tool on facebook ads manager to research more about your audience using the data you have collected from your customer avatar.

1.3. Understand this

There is absolutely No Harm associated in stacking up small  interests on top of one another to create a larger audience in the ads manager. The more precise you are the better results you will drive. The ideal audience size for testing a new audience is 500k- 3 million and for scaling is 5 million-30 million.

Start a free trial and enjoy 3 months of Shopify for $1/month
Trusted by over 2,000,000 businesses worldwide

02. The copy and the creative.

The ad-copy is the primary text you write while you create a facebook ad and Creative means the ad that you are running as a whole.

facebook ads

There cannot be one answer on how you should write your ad-copy or what creatives you should use. These things vary from campaign to campaign and can use different formats to talk to different audiences. In this lesson we will be discussing the best practices of creatives and ad-copies.

Let's start with creatives, Your ad creative should be catchy enough to have a person stop scrolling on facebook and click on your ad to visit the website. Usually the best practice is using videos for products that require demonstration and image ads for products that are self-explanatory. Always try to make the first 5 seconds of your ad the most interesting part . While using image ads, you can use free tools like canva to create different designs.

For the ad copy , make your copy sound like you are someone who belongs to the niche you are selling. Try to come up with different hooks and marketing angles for your product in your ad copy without making it too salesy. You must try to highlight the product benefits instead of features. Try to make your ad as native as possible to your target audience. You should try to speak in your customer’s language. The more native an ad looks to the consumer the better engagement it gets . More engagement increases the total score of your ads and helps to win auctions.

There is no- defined metric of how many words you should be using . It can be anything between 10 words to hundreds . Test different ad-copies to understand what works the best for you.

Read moreiOS14, Facebook Ads: All things You Need to Know for your eCom Marketing

03. Campaign Structure

While testing you can use the following structure: 

-> 5+ ad sets with an audience size of 500k – 3 million.

-> 4-6 ads in each ad set ( Test 3 ad-copy variations and two creative variations )

-> Set budget at the ad set level

While you are scaling you can use the following structure;

-> 3- 5 ad sets with an audience size of 5 million – 25 million.

-> 4-6 ads in each ad set ( Use 50% your previously well performing ads + 50% of new ads to help fight ad-fatigue )

-> Set budget at the Campaign level ( CBO )

While you are retargeting you can use the following structure;

-> Use 1+ ad set depending upon the retargeting audience size.

-> 2-6 ads in each ad set.

-> Set the budget at the campaign level (CBO )

FAQ: What should be my budget for testing and scaling?

Allocate at least breakeven cost of your product / ad set while you are testing the audience. Let each adset run for at least 3 days before turning it off ; if it doesn't work for you. If it works , gradually increase the budget by 30%-40% every 4-5 days.

While you scale , start with $50-75 / Campaign and increase the budget every 4-5 days by 30%-40%.

04. Custom Audiences and Retargeting

Custom audiences are those people who have previously interacted with your brand or your ad in any way. It is a matter of fact that many potential customers don't buy the product at the first time an ad is shown to them. You need to create custom audiences and set up retargeting campaigns on facebook to reach these people again and again.

Start a free trial and enjoy 3 months of Shopify for $1/month
Trusted by over 2,000,000 businesses worldwide

4.1. Types of custom audiences

  1. Custom audiences from customer list / email list.
  2. Custom audiences from your website
  3. Engagement custom audiences

Go to the audiences page in your facebook ads manager and click on create a new audience.

create engagement audience

4.2. Create an engagement Custom Audience

The people in the engagement custom audience are those who engaged with your facebook/instagram page in any kind.

You can create different engagement audiences like 95% Video viewers, page engagers , instagram page engagers etc.

creating custom audience

create custom audience for facebook ads

1. Click Engagement.

A new pop-up will open asking you to choose whether you want to create your engagement audience based on interactions with your videos, lead forms, Facebook Page, Instagram business profile, or event, or people who have opened your collection or Canvas Facebook ad. Click on the option you prefer.

2. Choose the appropriate options:

  • For video, choose how much of your video people have watched: from a minimum of 3 seconds to at least 95% of the video. For retargeting create an audience of 75% video viewers and 95% video viewers.
  • For your Facebook Page or Instagram profile, choose which kinds of interactions you want to target: visits, messaging, clicks, and so on.

3. Choose the timeframe you want , up to 365 days.

4. Give your audience a name you will remember and click Create Audience

4.3. Create a website visitors Custom Audience

facebook ads website visitor audience

1. Click Website Traffic, then choose the pixel you want to use to build your audience.

2. Choose who to target: all website visitors, people who visited specific pages, or people who spent a specific amount of time on your site. Then set your desired timeframe, from 30 to 180 days. You can further define your audience using rules, which allow you to specify the number of times someone has visited your website and the specific device that they use.

3. Give your audience a name you will remember and click Create Audience.

4. Wait. Facebook will prepare your Custom Audience, which should be ready in about half an hour.

Learn More: How To Create A High-Converting Landing Page For Your Facebook Ads

4.4. Create a email list custom audience

email list custom audience

4.5. Retargeting

After you have created  different custom audiences , follow the retargeting structure as discussed before. Allocate at least $3 for every 100 people in your custom audience while you do your retargeting.

05. Benchmark For Your Facebook Ads

These are some benchmarks of facebook ads . You must understand ; this is just for reference.

Cost per thousand impressions :- Between $5-45 dollars for Purchase ads.

Cost per link click <$1

Unique link click through > 2%

Website conversion rate > 1%

If your ads results don't meet these benchmarks but are performing good for you , Do not stop them . Every product, campaign, ad is different .

06. Lookalike audiences

Lookalike audiences are similar audiences created by facebook based on the seed audience you provide them. You can create lookalike audiences from pretty much any data you have on facebook like 95% video views, Landing page views, add to cart , initiate checkout etc.

lookalike audience

Lookalike audiences are one of the most important assets that  facebook provides to its advertisers. To create a lookalike audience you must first have a custom audience / seed audience. Go to Ads manager -> Audiences -> Create audience to create a custom audience in your facebook ads manager. However, Value based lookalikes can be built without manually creating a custom audience.

You can start creating a lookalike audience if you have at least 100 people in your custom audience . Less data in the seed audience will result in degraded longevity of the lookalike audience.

We recommend creating lookalikes and testing them once you have any of the following data.

1) 5000+ 95% video views.

2)1000+ landing page views/ website visitors.

3)50+ Add to cart, Initiate checkout.

4) 300+ Purchases.

Try creating many custom audiences and different lookalikes from each of those custom audiences. Treat a new lookalike audience the same way you would treat a new audience from detailed targeting.

07. Troubleshooting

Running facebook ads is buying media. The best media buyers are made when they understand troubleshooting and the reasoning behind it. To run a profitable business and to scale it you must have everything right from the creative to the website. These are some troubleshooting tips.

  1. If your CTR is less than 2% , consider changing your ad copy or your creative.
  2. If your website conversion rate is less than 1% ; you are not doing your messaging right on your sales page. Optimize that. To understand what visitors are doing on your website use a visitor recording software like HOTJAR.
  3. If your CPM is higher than $45, test a different audience.

Understand that no business can drive optimized results from the day of launch. Running a profitable online business is all about finding where the problem exists and troubleshooting it.

Consider this before running facebook ads in 2021.

The buyer psychology of 2020 was highly influenced by the pandemic. This year we saw a huge shift of buying behaviour from offline to online due to the coronavirus lockdown . Let me point to the 5 most prominent things to consider while running facebook ads in 2021.  

  1. Match your ad with your audience’s news feed: Always try to make your ads look organic and something that your audience might actually be interested in. Instead of saying Buy these awesome shoes at 50% off to an audience that has never known about you before , say these shoes are changing many morning runs. Learn more .
  2. Tone down the voice of your company to match your audience’s voice : A lot of time advertisers tend to be formal and professional in their ads, but remember facebook is a platform that people use to hang out with their friends, loved ones etc. Your ads need to sound friendly, comforting and curious. Try to be as friendly as possible.
  3. The importance of video content : With the rise of underdogs on social media like Tiktok it has become more clear that people enjoy video more than any form of content. Your videos should be interesting , informing and entertaining. Try to include in your videos wherever possible. Another benefit of using videos in facebook ads is that you can create a 95% Video Viewers audience that you can later use in creating lookalikes as well as custom audiences.
  4. Use real life like photos : Static images can be great for retargeting and loyalty campaigns. Instead of going for a professional shoot consider hiking up the hill to take some breathtaking shots if you were to use those photos for facebook and instagram ads.
  5. Experiment with chat bots : Customers are more likely to try to communicate with a brand in 2021; more than ever. It is advisable to experiment with facebook chat bots in your Page.

Related Reading: How To Optimize Your Facebook Ad Landing Page For Maximum Conversion Rate


About Author

Aditya Bhandari - He remains curious and loves being in the mountains

Explore Now

Explore the #1 Shopify Page Builder today

Try PageFly Free