How To Set Up Facebook Messenger Ads In 10 Minutes Or Less

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I’ve been writing a lot about Facebook Messenger lately; in particular about how to use Messenger chatbots to automate your interactions with your fans.

But did you know you can actually advertise your business on Facebook Messenger?

Given the increasing popularity of Messenger (there are now 1.2 BILLION people who use it regularly), this can be an amazing way to reach a whole new audience.

Let me introduce you to my newest program, The Facebook Messenger Bot Academy. The complete A-Z system that will simplify the process of creating your bot marketing strategy and turning it into a list-building, revenue-generating machine.

This post will look at how you can set up Facebook Messenger ads for your business in 10 minutes or less!

But first…Choose from the 3 types of Messenger ads

Before you start creating your Messenger ad, you’ll first need to decide which type of ad you want to create.

There are three options to choose from:

  1. Advertise in the home screen of the Messenger app. These ads will show up when people first go to their Messenger to view or send messages.
  2. Create a Click to Messenger ad. These ads can be shown anywhere regular ads are shown: in people’s Facebook feeds, in their right sidebar, even on Instagram. When people click on this type of ad, they’ll be taken directly to a one-on-one conversation with you in Messenger.
  3. Create a Sponsored Message. These are ads that actually get sent to people via a private message. You can only send Sponsored Messages to people who have already connected with you via Messenger.

I’ve outlined the process for each type of ad below!

Ad Type #1: Display Ad in the Home Screen of the Messenger App

This is the type of ad you’re likely most familiar with, and what you probably had in mind when you started reading this post. This is simply a display ad that gets shown when people open up their Messenger app.

It looks something like this:


Following are five steps to setting up this type of ad.

1. Go to Ad Creation to start setting up your Messenger ad

Make sure you’re logged into Facebook, and go to Ad Creation to start setting up your ad. Under Marketing Objectives, select either Traffic or Conversions (Messenger ads are only available when using these two objectives).

Click Continue, and then give your campaign a descriptive name.

2. Select your ad placement(s)

Scroll down the page until you get to Placements. You can select either Automatic Placements or Edit Placements.

Automatic Placements will ensure your ad gets shown where it’s going to perform best: this means it could be shown anywhere on Facebook (including Messenger, in-stream videos, right sidebar, etc.), on Instagram, or in Facebook’s Audience Network.

If you choose Edit Placements, you can manually select where you want your ads shown. To make sure your ad gets shown in the Messenger home screen, select Home.  You’ll also need to select Facebook Feeds.

3. Choose your audience, budget and schedule

You can now set up your ad the way you normally would. Decide who you want your ad shown to: target by age, location, gender, language, interests, behaviors and more.

Alternatively, you can used a saved audience that you’ve already set up, OR set up a new custom audience of people who have interacted with your business in the past.

Not sure where to start with setting up your audience? Here’s one of the strategies I use: How To Build A Rockin’ Facebook Ads Audience In 5 Quick & Easy Steps.

Finally, select your budget and schedule. Keep in mind you don’t have to break the bank to see results! Check out my post Get Amazing Results With Facebook Ads And $10 A Day!

4. Choose a format for your Messenger ad

For Messenger ads, you have two options for placements: Carousel or Single Image (Facebook has indicated more formats will be added in the future).

5. Design your ad and choose a destination.

If you’ve created a Facebook ad before, this part of the process is all the same. You’ll be asked to add an image*, headline, text and call to action for your ad.

*Facebook recommends using a 1.91:1 ratio for single image ads, and a 1:1 ratio for carousel ads.

You’ll also be asked to choose a destination URL – the URL where people will be taken when they click on your ad. You can choose either an URL on your website, or you can have them sent to Messenger where you can continue a one-on-one conversation with them (more on this below).

Once you’re happy with your ad, click Place Order and your ad is ready to go!

Ad Type #2: Click To Messenger Ads

These are just regular ads that take people directly to Messenger where you can continue to interact with them one-on-one.

These ads can be shown in the home screen of the Messenger app, in people’s Facebook feeds, or even on Instagram.

Because most of the steps are identical to the ones above, I’ll move through them very quickly.

1. Start by following the five steps listed above under Ad Type #1

(display ad in the home screen of the Messenger app)

 2. Again, choose Traffic or Conversions as your goal

 3. Select the format type for your ad

For Click to Messenger ads, you can select single image, single video or carousel on Facebook or Instagram, as well as slideshow if you only want to advertise only on Facebook.

 4. Choose Messenger as your destination

 Instead of a website URL, select Messenger and then click Set up messages.

 5. Customize your Messenger conversation

The final screen will let you set up the conversation you’ll have with people once they click on your ad.

You’ll probably want to stay on the Quick Creation tab, as the JSON tab should be reserved for those who have some serious coding skills!

From this page, you can customize your:

  • Introductory text
  • Message format (text, video or image and text)
  • Image (should be 1.91:1 aspect ratio)
  • Message title and subtitle
  • Quick replies OR buttons




 Under Actions, click the drop down box to access Buttons. You can then customize buttons to include in your Messenger conversation (e.g., Learn More, Sign Up, etc.).


As you fill in the fields, you’ll see a preview of what your Messenger conversation will look like. Once you’re satisfied with it, click Done.

Ad Type #3: Sponsored Messages

Want to advertise directly via a message (not just in the Messenger home screen)? You can do this through Sponsored Messages.

The only differences are as follows:

1. Choose the page you want the message to come from

Your sponsored message will show as coming from your business page, so this is super important. Keep in mind you’ll only be able to create and send a sponsored message to people who have already sent you a message in the past.

2. Choose Sponsored Messages as your placement

 Under Placements, select Sponsored Messages.

Once you click the radio button, you’ll get a popup that says, “Delivering an ad of Sponsored Messages will turn off all other placements”. Click Turn On.

(The reason for this should be obvious. It wouldn’t make much sense for your message to show up in people’s sidebars or anywhere else but Messages!).

3. Create a custom audience of people who have messaged you in the past

(Don’t worry…it’s easy.)

Under Audience, and Custom Audiences, click on Create a Custom Audience.

Under How do you want to create this audience, first select Engagement.

Then select Facebook Page.

Finally, select People who sent a message to your Page.

You can also select the amount of time people will stay in your custom audience after messaging your page. The default (and maximum) is 365 days.

Now give your audience a descriptive name, and click Create Audience.

*If you’d like to narrow down your audience even more, you can set up even more detailed targeting by age, country, gender, etc.

4. Create your Messenger ad

This will usually be a brief message that promotes a certain product, event or offer. Just like a regular ad, it will include a headline, image, text and call to action (e.g., Learn More, Sign Up, Apply Now, etc.).

Note: You will only be able to select Single Image for a Sponsored Message.

Once your ad looks the way you’d like it to, click Confirm.

That’s it!

Final thoughts

Hopefully this post has inspired you to create some Facebook Messenger ads for your own business. While the feature is still relatively new, many businesses are finding Messenger ads extremely effective!

New to Facebook ads, or looking for a little more guidance? These resources should help:

15 Simple But Powerful Ways To Optimize Your Facebook Ads

The Facebook Ads Recipe: 7 Ingredients For Building GREAT Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads Launch Pad: Everything You Need To CRUSH Facebook Ads Today

Have you tried Facebook Messenger Ads? How are they working for you? Share in the comments below!

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4 years ago


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