16 Cornerstone Meta Advertising Guides

My goal is to build the most thorough, comprehensive, and helpful resource for Meta advertisers. While I believe I’ve done that during the past 13 years, one problem is surfacing all of the most helpful content.

Yes, it’s all helpful. But, I’ve created so many guides during the past year alone that are cornerstone articles for any Meta advertiser that it may be difficult to sift through. I want to aggregate all of that content into one place.

This isn’t all beginner content. It’s beginner, intermediate, advanced, and even more advanced.

The title of this post is misleading. While there are 16 cornerstone Meta advertising topics included below, there are a total of 27 guides in all. Most of it was written during the past year, but all of it is relevant and current as of today’s publication date.

No, you won’t be able to read all of this in one sitting. But you should peruse what you need right now and save the rest for later. You will need it.

1. The Auction

Do you understand how the Meta ad auction works? Maybe you know that it involves bids and ad scores. But if you’re like most advertisers, the explanation gets fuzzy from there.

Let’s clear up the confusion…

READ: How the Facebook Ad Auction Works

2. Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns

Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns

If you run ads for an e-commerce brand, you absolutely must experiment with Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns. And even if you don’t, you should consider it. This is Meta’s most advanced machine learning driving a single campaign type.

Once you understand Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns, you will have a much better understanding of where Meta advertising is headed.

READ: Get Started with Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns

3. Campaign Objectives

Meta Ads Campaign Objectives

You have six options, so you’d think this is simple. But so many advertisers mess this up. They completely misunderstand what the campaign objective actually does — and doesn’t do.

Don’t let that be you…

READ: Meta Campaign Objectives: Best Practices

4. Special Ad Categories

Special Ad Categories

If you promote anything related to credit, employment, housing, politics or social issues, you need to declare a special ad category. That will impact the options available to you.

READ: Special Ad Categories: A Guide for Meta Ads

5. Advantage Campaign Budget

Advantage Campaign Budget

Should you set your budget at the ad set level or use Advantage Campaign Budget and allow Meta to distribute optimally between ad sets — assuming you use multiple ad sets?

READ: Advantage Campaign Budget Best Practices

6. Performance Goals and Ads Optimization

Performance Goal

Now that targeting inputs matter less in the current stage of Meta advertising, the Performance Goal is now the most important. In fact, I’d say it replaces targeting as your way to determine who sees your ads.

Understand how optimization for ad delivery works, which performance goals you should select, and the mistakes you must avoid…


7. Attribution

Attribution Setting

Attribution is how Meta gives credit to an ad in your reporting. But it’s so much more than that. The Attribution Setting impacts optimization and reporting, and knowing how to properly decipher your results is critical.

So many mistakes start with attribution…


8. Conversion Events

Advantage+ Shopping Conversion Events

Proper attribution is heavily reliant on your standard events, custom events, and custom conversions. Do you know the differences between them and how they are used? Do you know how to set them up and test them?

This is so important…


9. Bid Strategies

Bid Strategies

You may not even know that bidding happens with all campaigns. By default, you will typically use the Highest Volume bid strategy. But there are several others that you could use — but only certain times when you should use them.

Start here with bidding…

READ: Bid Strategies Best Practices for Meta Advertising

10. Targeting

Advantage+ Audience

Targeting is where Meta advertising has changed the most during the past few years. It’s also where advertisers remain stubborn, resisting change. They make countless mistakes in this area.

Do you?


11. Budget

Budget and Schedule

Your budget impacts results far more than advertisers like to admit. What’s an appropriate starting budget? How do you determine your budget? How do you get results without breaking the bank?

Let’s try to answer those questions…


12. Placements

Advantage+ Placements

There was a time when it made sense to manually change placements in nearly all cases. Those days are in the past. But, there absolutely are times when you should use Advantage+ Placements and times when you shouldn’t.

Do you know when it makes sense to remove placements?


13. Breakdowns


Breakdowns may be the most awesome and underutilized advertising feature. You can uncover absolute gold with just a couple of clicks.

If you aren’t using breakdowns now, it’s time to start…

READ: A Guide to Breakdowns in Meta Ads Manager

14. Automated Rules

Automated Rules

Automated Rules are a great way to automate what are otherwise manual processes to increase efficiency and improve performance. Use Automated Rules to automatically increase your budget based on performance. Or create rules to manage Audience Fragmentation or Auction Overlap.

READ: A Guide to Automated Rules

15. Split Tests

Meta A/B Test

A/B Tests are the one way to create a truly scientific split test without overlapping audiences to find what works best. Do you use them? Do you know how?

READ: How to Create an A/B Test in Meta Experiments

16. Spending Limits

Account Spending Limit

There are some spending limits that you may apply yourself. There’s another that Meta may enforce without you knowing. Regardless, these could be causing you problems.

READ: Campaign Spending Limits, Account Spending Limits, and Daily Spending Limits


Okay, there are more than 16 topics and 27 guides. I’ll try to add new guides as I create them.

READ: A Guide to Custom Metrics in Meta Ads Manager

Your Turn

Okay, after all of this… What guides are missing?

Let me know in the comments below!