The anatomy of the perfect SMB Facebook ad campaign.

Perfect advertising campaign for SMB

You're running a SMB or you've been kindly asked to manage the Facebook ad campaign for a friend, a colleague or a client who's running a SMB? Here's how I've been doing it over the past 2 years, pretty successfully, for multiple clients in various industries.

First you have to understand the basic structure of a Facebook advertising campaign, split in 3 levels:

Facebook Ad Campaign SMB

The campaign level: where you choose your aim (visit a website, download an app, generate conversions,...). Give it a clear name, it will be easier when you move to the gardening part of your endeavour (read my Medium piece about the gardening approach of my advertising practice).

The advert sets level: where you'll define your budget AND target (it can be based on users' preferences / behaviour (people who like XYZ, from a specific location, etc) OR on a remarketing list / custom audience (using the Facebook pixel or a list of existing customers) OR on a LookAlike audience compiled by Facebook, which is the extrapolation of a custom audience).

The adverts level: where you'll upload your creatives.

Most advertising gardening will take place at the sets and ads levels.

You can create as many ads as you want at the adverts level, which will be distributed - following Facebook's secret sauce - to (try to) reach your daily or overall budget threshold, defined at the advert sets level. If you don't see enough velocity in your campaign distribution (not enough impressions), you'll have to fine tune your targeting and possibly your bidding strategy (start by letting Facebook algorithm figure it out, then set your limit. It's better to prime the reach pump).

You can use the same link for all ad creatives (so all links from one advert set will point to the same destination) or try different tracking links for all your creatives. Usually I start with one link for all creatives.


Practically you start by creating a campaign, define your target & budget at the advert sets level, create a first ad and then duplicate this ad and change the creative, adapt the copy if necessary, etc. to test different ads and see what's delivering the best results. Then, if you notice under-performers, you can deactivate them and let the best creatives scoop the reach.


Usually I create two advert sets per campaign, one feat. single images (1200*630 pixels) and one with carousels of images (usually 3 per ad). Most of the time, carousels perform better.

I also publish a traditional post in the feed of the business page (feat. a URL illustrated with a 1200*630 pixel image: let Facebook fetch the link & replace the image with your creative, to have it clickable. Otherwise you're wasting a click opportunity.) AND boost it, usually to fans of the page & friends of fans or a custom audience (e.g. list of website visitors).

I also create a short video using published as a feed post, which I also boost to a specific audience (depending on the audience I selected for the link/photo post: either fans & friends of fans OR remarketing custom audience). The idea is that I dedicate my feed posts to more organic audiences, always boosting them.

Typically I invest an overall budget of $50 per day to these campaigns (ad campaign feat. 2 ad sets + 1 link post + 1 video), aiming at a cost per lead of $1 to $10 depending on the product.

facebook ad campaign

I always use Typeform for my "landing pages" (which are multistep forms, performing much better than native Facebook lead gen forms, very expensive to run).

And now, it's your turn to craft your Facebook ad campaign! Enjoy the ride.