How to create Facebook Ads for Online Courses

As more and more people turn to online courses and e-learning platforms, it’s critical for creators and educators to have a marketing strategy to promote their offerings and reach their audience. One of the most effective ways to do that is through Facebook ads. With over 3 billion monthly active users, Facebook offers cost-effective, objective-based advertising that lets you target specific demographics, interests, and behaviors. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to create Facebook ads to sell your online courses and drive awareness, sign-ups, and revenue for your business.

Why advertise on Facebook?

Before we dive into the details of creating Facebook ads for online courses, let’s first look at why Facebook is an effective advertising platform. Here are some of the benefits Facebook offers:

  1. Objective-based targeting: Facebook ads allow you to create campaigns with specific objectives that align with your business goals, such as building awareness, increasing traffic, or driving sales.
  2. Demographic targeting: With Facebook, you can target users by age, gender, location, interests, and behaviors. This lets you hone in on your ideal customer and show your ads to people who are more likely to be interested in your courses.
  3. Cost-effective advertising: Facebook ads can be highly cost-effective, as you only pay for the clicks or impressions you receive, and you can set your own budget for each campaign.
  4. Simple setup and management: Facebook’s Ads Manager makes it easy to create and manage your ad campaigns, with detailed analytics and reporting on your performance.

Now let’s look at the step-by-step process for creating Facebook ads to sell online courses.

Step 1: Set up your Facebook Business Manager account

To advertise on Facebook, you’ll need a Facebook Business Manager account. If you don’t already have one, you can create one by following these steps:

  1. Go to and click Create Account
  2. Follow the prompts to set up your account details and connect your Facebook Page (if you have one).

Step 2: Create a Facebook Ad Account

Once you have your Business Manager account set up, you’ll need to create a Facebook Ad Account to manage your ad campaigns. Here’s how:

Go to your Business Manager Settings, click Ad Accounts

Click the Add button and then click Create a new ad account, follow the prompts to create a new ad account. You’ll need to provide some basic details, such as your Ad account name, time zone, and currency. Then you will have the opportunity to Add payment info.

Step 3: Choose Your Ad Objective

When you’re ready to create your first ad campaign, navigate to the Facebook Ads Manager dashboard and click Create.

You’ll then be prompted to choose your objective, which will define the goal of your ad campaign. Here are the six ad objectives you can choose from:

  • Awareness: Reach the largest number of people to build familiarity with your brand.
  • Traffic: Increase traffic to a destination, such as your website or course landing page.
  • Engagement: Increase engagement with your brand and business, such as messages and clicks.
  • Leads: Obtain more leads by getting more signups or messages.
  • App Promotion: Increase installs to a mobile app or in-app purchases.
  • Conversions: Find people who will likely purchase your course or other offerings.

Choose the objective that best aligns with your overall goal for your ad campaign. Then you will want to select Manual Setup.

Next you will need to give your Campaign a name and click Next, then give your Ad Set a name.

Step 4: Set Your Conversion, Budget & Targeting Options

Next we will focus on conversion, budget and targeting options.

For conversion location, you will want to specify website. The objective is to send people to your course’s landing page. The performance goal should be set to Maximize number of clicks. For now, don’t worry about Cost per result goal (you can set that later on if you want). When running your first ad, I recommend setting a budget of $2 – $5 per day. This is so that you can tweak on your ads to see if you can optimize them and get the most out of your ad. Once you begin increasing your click through rate, you can then increase your budget. I also recommend setting an end date so that you don’t accidentally leave your ads turned on and forget about them 🤪.

Now it’s time to set set our target. Facebook attempts to take over your targeting options. I personally don’t trust that Facebook has my best interest at hand, and therefore I don’t trust it will give me the best results for targeting.

In order to take over the targeting options, scroll down to the Advantage+ Audience and click on Switch to original audience options. You will then get prompted with a popup, simply select Use original audience.

There will be an option to Create new audience or Use saved audience. If this is your first time creating ads, you likely don’t have any saved audiences. For this demonstration you will select Create new audience.

You can target users based on their location, age, gender and language. You can also target based on Demographics, Interests, and Behaviors.

You will also have the opportunity to save your selections as a saved audience.

For now, don’t worry about placements. Click Next. Now it’s time to create the ad. Give your ad a name and then make sure you select your Facebook page and Instagram page (if you have one).

Step 5: Choose Your Ad Format

The next step is to choose your ad format. Facebook offers several options, including:

  1. Image Ads: Use your own photo or stock images to share high-quality visuals.
  2. Video Ads: Share videos, either in-stream, in user feed, or as Stories.
  3. Carousel Ads: Combine images and videos to highlight product features or explain a process.
  4. Collection Ads: Show a video that leads to a grid-like layout, where users can see multiple products or offers.

Choose the format that best suits your marketing goals and messaging for your course.

Step 6: Create Your Ad Creative

Now that you’ve set up your ad targeting and format, it’s time to create your ad creative.

Your ad creative consists of the images or videos that will appear in your ad, as well as the ad copy or messaging you’ll use to catch the viewer’s attention and entice them to take action.

Make sure you have a clear understanding of your target audience and what messaging will resonate with them. Ad copy should be concise and compelling, and images or videos should be eye-catching and relevant.

First you will need to choose your media type.

Next you will then set a Primary text description which is 125 characters or less which tells people what your ad is about. You can create up to 5 options for Primary Text. [HINT] You could use ChatGPT or CopyAI to create the copy for you or you could use the Text Suggestions that Facebook produces.

The headline can be up to 255 characters and you can create up to 5 headline options. The description and the headline do not show up on all ad placements.

Lastly, you can configure your Call to action. Simply select the CTA that best fits your ad.

Step 7: Monitor Your Performance

Once your Facebook ad campaign is live and running, it’s important to monitor your performance and track your results. Facebook’s Ad Manager provides detailed analytics and metrics to help you track how your ad is performing and make necessary changes.

Check your ad metrics regularly, such as click-through rates, engagement, and conversions, and make adjustments to your targeting, creative, or budget as necessary to optimize your campaign.

Facebook advertising tips for course creators:

  1. Look to the data: Use Facebook’s detailed analytics and reporting to make informed decisions about your ads and target audience.
  2. Don’t be afraid to experiment: Test different ad formats, targeting options, and ad creatives to find what works best for your audience.
  3. Keep your copy concise: Make sure your messaging is clear and to the point, with a strong call to action.
  4. Think about mobile users: Most Facebook users access the platform through their mobile devices, so make sure your ad creative is optimized for mobile viewing.
  5. Use high-quality visuals: Invest in high-quality images or videos that will catch the viewer’s attention and encourage them to engage with your ad.
  6. In my personal experience, videos with people tend to produce the best engagement.

Final Thoughts

By following these seven steps, you can create effective Facebook ad campaigns to promote your online courses and reach your target audience quickly and cost-effectively. Remember to focus on your marketing objectives, target your audience carefully, and create eye-catching ad creatives that resonate with your viewers. With a bit of experimentation and monitoring, you can drive course sign-ups and revenue with Facebook ads.

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