How to Create Facebook Messenger Ads in Eight Simple Steps

Facebook Messenger ads are a type of advertisement designed to start instant message-based conversations with potential customers. They are used primarily because they feel more personal than standard display ads and are therefore known for having higher-than-average conversion rates and response rates. Messenger ads are ideal for businesses in competitive industries such as e-commerce.

Types of Ads

There are two main types of Facebook Messenger ads: sponsored messages and click-to-Messenger ads.

  • Sponsored Messages – This is the more common Facebook Messenger ad type that appears directly in a user’s Messenger chatbox. These ads can be retargeted, making them great for sending warm leads reminder advertisements, news, and special promotions. These ads are meant to prompt a conversion.
  • Click-to-Messenger Ads – These are standard Facebook ads that can be displayed within the Facebook news feed, but include a call to action (CTA) that opens a Messenger dialogue. These ads do not lead to a landing page.

How to Create a Facebook Messenger Ad in 8 Steps

Facebook Messenger ads are created using the standard new campaign creation process in Facebook Ads Manager. Messenger ads are selected in the “Ad Set” stage by choosing “Messenger” as your ad’s traffic source. Follow the prompts to finalize and launch your Facebook messenger ad. Here is how to create Facebook Messenger ads for your business in eight simple steps.

Create a New Campaign in Facebook Ads Manager

1. Log in to Facebook Ads Manager and click “+ Create”
Start by logging into your Facebook Ads Manager account. If your Ads Manager account is linked to your personal Facebook page, find Ads Manager by clicking the drop-down menu in the upper right-hand corner of the screen and selecting “Manage Ads” from the options. From the “Campaigns” tab, click the “+ Create” button to start the new campaign creation process.

Marketing Objectives for Facebook Messenger Ads

2. Select Your Marketing Goal
In order to have Facebook Messenger ads as an option, select one of the following Facebook marketing goals: brand awareness, reach, traffic, app installs, messages, conversions, or catalog sales. If you’re not sure which to choose, go with “Messages,” as it is the most direct marketing goal for a Messenger ad.
After selecting your marketing goal, a pop-up box will appear at the bottom of the screen. Input the name you wish to call your campaign—used as a reference—and click “Continue.” This is only for your recording keeping, so use a campaign name that you can easily identify.

Choose a Page for Facebook Sponsored Message

3. Select Messenger Ad Type
Input the ad set name, typically identified by the target audience, then choose your message type. Select “Messenger,” then click the drop-down arrow to open the two Messenger ad options. Choose “Click to Messenger” if you want to create an ad that uses a call-to-action that directs users to Facebook Messenger. Choose “Sponsored Message” if you want to create ads that display directly in the user’s Facebook Messenger messages.

Message Destination for Facebook Messenger Ad

If you’re creating a Sponsored Message ad, you will be prompted to choose which Facebook page your messages will come from. Choose the business that corresponds to the ad you are creating.

Audience Targeting Settings in Facebook Ads Manager

4. Define Your Audience
Use Facebook’s ad targeting options to identify the precise users you want your ad to display to. If you aren’t sure exactly who would be best suited for your ad, a good place to start is by creating customer profiles. This allows you to identify your ideal customer by defining their demographics, interests, hobbies, and behaviors, enabling you to then create audiences to match that user.
Select user location, age range, gender, and even more sophisticated targeting options such as user behavior (e.g., frequent online shopper, recently traveled internationally, and more), interests, life events (e.g., upcoming anniversary or recent home purchase), and more. Read more about the best Facebook audience targeting.

person using laptop browsing facebook application
Image Source: Nghia Nguyen

Ad Placement Options for Facebook Messenger Ad

5. Select Ad Placements
Messenger ads will pre-populate placements based on your Messenger ad type. For example, if you choose the Sponsored Message ad type, then your ad placements will already be selected in this stage to include inbox, stories, and sponsored messages. You can customize this, however, so consider where you want your ad to display.

Facebook Ads Manager: Budget & Schedule Settings

6. Input Budget & Schedule
Now tell Facebook what your ad budget is and when you want your Messenger ad to run. Facebook ad budgets are based on lifetime ad spend—the most you want to spend over the entire run of an ad. Set the maximum amount allotted for your Messenger ad campaign in this box.
Below this, you will input your bid per impression, which is the most you are willing to pay for 1,000 views of your ad. If you have selected a highly competitive target audience, then it will cost more to reach 1,000 users and you will use up your ad budget more quickly. For more information, read our article on Facebook advertising costs by industry.
When you’re ready to schedule your ad, you can run your ad continuously or set a fixed schedule. Keep in mind that you can stop running an ad at any time, but if you’re running a short-term campaign with something like a promotion, you may want to input an end date when you create your ad.

Facebook Messenger Ad Creation

7. Create & Launch Ad
Now it’s time to design your actual ad. You can use text-only or both text and an image. Make sure your ad is concise and speaks to your audience. Use language that resonates and clearly gives your audience something of value. If you wish to use an image, choose one that is eye-catching, meets the image specs, and coincides with your ad’s message. For more information, reference Facebook’s ad spec guidelines and recommendations.
Once your ad is created, launch it through the Ads Manager. You can track the engagement of your ad through Facebook Insights, the built-in analytics platform.

Getting The Most Out Of Your Ad

8. Monitor & Optimize Your Ad
Once your ad is completed and launched, monitor and optimize it. This allows you to better understand what works, creating better ads with higher conversion rates and a higher return on ad spend. To optimize ads, update one aspect of the ad at a time and then test the new version’s performance.
For example, a local fitness center might be using Facebook Messenger ads to share a holiday promotional offering a free month for new members. To optimize their ad, they could start by switching the image from a shot of their facility to a member transformation photo in order to discover which leads to more conversions. For more guidance, read our article about how to optimize Facebook ads.
It’s also worth noting that if you are using a link within your ad to push users to a webpage/URL, it is advised to use a landing page instead of linking to your website. Landing pages are single web pages designed specifically to coincide with your ad, which greatly improves conversion rates. You can easily build an effective landing page using a landing page builder such as Leadpages or Instapage.

Benefits of Facebook Messenger Ads

Facebook Messenger ads give businesses a unique way of connecting with their target audience in a personal way. They are affordable and can help a business reach new customers, connect with existing customers and warm leads through sponsored messages, and grow their business authentically.

television showing man using binoculars
Image Source: Glenn Carrie

The benefits of using Facebook Messenger ads include:

  • Increased Personal Communication – Direct messages feel more personal than news feed ads, helping to create a better connection between advertisers and audiences.
  • Ability to Market in Real-Time – Messenger ads, and specifically sponsored messages, pop up as a user is active on your page, allowing you to engage with them the moment they show an interest in your business.
  • New Sales Opportunities – Starting a conversation via Facebook Messenger helps drive users further through your sales funnel as you are able to quickly address any questions or concerns they have. For example, your Messenger ad could include a demo of your product or service, giving users more information and serving as a sales conversation in a simple, direct way.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Much Does Facebook Advertising Cost?

How much a business spends to advertise on Facebook is up to them. Costs are determined on a cost-per-click basis, with CPCs ranging from pennies to over $5 per click. Facebook ads are generally considered an affordable digital marketing channel. Learn more about Facebook advertising costs with industry averages and ways to estimate your return on investment.

Should I Use Facebook Ads or Facebook Messenger Ads?

To determine whether your business should be using Facebook ads or Messenger ads will depend on your business, your marketing goals, and what you are actually marketing. Remember that Messenger ads are a way of starting a conversation. Not every ad needs to do this, but if it makes sense for your goal, then use them. For example, Messenger ads are great for promoting sales to warm leads who need more tailored information about your products and services.

How Do I Target Warm Leads with Facebook Ads?

Targeting warm leads, also known as retargeting, is a great way of marketing to audiences that are more likely to convert. To create retargeting ads on Facebook by displaying ads to users who have visited your website, you will need to start by using the Facebook Pixel. Learn how by reading about the Facebook Pixel.

Can I Hire Someone to Manage Facebook Ads for Me?

Yes, there are a number of Facebook ad management companies and services. For a fee, they will professionally build, manage, and optimize your Facebook ads for you. By having expert Facebook ad management, businesses typically see a higher return on ad spend, making them a good investment while saving you time.

Bottom Line: Facebook Messenger Ads

Facebook Messenger ads appear in a Facebook user’s direct messages or have a click-to-chat function. They are an effective digital marketing tool and are particularly good at promoting sales and specials. Facebook Messenger ads are a cost-effective way of marketing for small businesses, particularly in the e-commerce and service industries.

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