How to Use Facebook Ads Manager to Create Custom Reports


Kevin Urrutia


Facebook Ads, Social Media


May 05, 2024

There is no doubt about it – with over 2.3 billion monthly active users worldwide, Facebook still remains the biggest social media site today. This makes the platform potentially effective not just for connecting with friends, but also for raising awareness about your brand through ads. Imagine being able to tell even just a fraction of Facebook’s users about what you’re selling. The response could be phenomenal.

In fact, Facebook users interested in buying are increasingly clicking on ads, with e-commerce click-through rates having tripled in the last two years. The social network also trumps other popular advertising media in terms of building brand awareness – it costs just .29 to make a thousand impressions with Facebook ads compared to and more with television commercials.

But just having the ads won’t get you the results you want. To ensure that your ads are working as intended, you need to analyze them while they’re running. And for this, you will need Facebook’s Ads Manager and its custom ad reports.

Ads Manager is a handy tool that gives you insights on your ad campaign’s performance. The reports provided are standard by default, but you can customize them to filter out information you don’t need and highlight the stats you do want to see. These custom ad reports are useful in identifying the changes or improvements needed to maximize the effectiveness of your campaign.


We focus on direct response and customer acquisition in e-commerce, lead gen, and mobile. When it comes to results and leads, we speak your language.

That said, here are steps to follow in creating custom reports and getting the most out of them:


1. Master the core metrics in ad analysis

How do you know your Facebook ads are performing? Marketers usually look at four metrics to gauge the performance of their campaign. These are:

  • Cost per result

Contrary to what its name implies, cost per result does not indicate the overall amount you spent on your campaign. Rather, it is the cost you spent to get the objective of your campaign that you optimized your ads for.  

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In a conversion campaign, for instance, every purchase made through your site after the delivery of an ad could be set as a success. Cost per result is computed as your budget divided by the number of successful actions, so a decrease in this metric is interpreted as an increase in your campaign’s performance.

  • Relevance score

Facebook assigns your individual ads an estimated score from 1 to 10 depending on how they fit your audience. The scores tend to vary during the first 72 hours and stabilize as the campaign settles into the algorithm. A higher relevance score usually coincides with a low cost per result and is indicative of good campaign performance. By the way, Facebook tends to stop delivering ads with very low relevance scores, so this metric is very important.

  • Frequency

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This metric shows how many times your intended audience has seen your ads. It usually starts at 1 and begins to increase along with your spend. You need to watch out for the phenomenon called ad fatigue, which happens when people begin to get tired of seeing the same ad. This causes an increase in your cost per result and a decrease in your relevance scores. Conversely, even an improving campaign will show an increase in frequency, albeit in slower increments.

  • Cost per Mille (CPM)

This metric measures the cost of 1,000 impressions or your ads’ appearance on your target audience’s screens, making it a good determiner of your campaign’s visibility. Ad fatigue from high frequency tends to increase CPM, along with cost per result.


2. Set up your assets

Ads Manager allows you to manage your assets conveniently. How you plan and set up your assets will inevitably affect the performance of your campaign. Under the Assets tab in Ads Manager, you will find the following items:

  • Audience


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This lets you assign audiences for your ad. You can create three types: Custom (people who have already visited your page or website), Lookalike (people who are similar to the people who have visited or liked your page), and Saved (people you have found using custom combinations of demographics, interests, and behaviors, among others).

  • Images

This is a repository of all the images you have uploaded to Ads Manager. You can choose to upload in bulk instead of uploading one by one.

  • Catalogs

This section is especially useful if you have an e-commerce site. It lets you view purchase events, product sets, and other relevant product data.

  • Business locations

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If you have stores or businesses in different locations, you can input the addresses here. This section is handy for when you want to customize the location of your ads.

  • Block lists

The block list allows you to prevent your ad from running in domains or apps you specify.

  • Video

The section is similar to Images, except it contains all the videos you have uploaded to Ads Manager over time.


3. Create your campaign in Ads Manager

In Facebook Business Manager, click the link to Ads Manager. From here, you can create your very own campaign by clicking the green button that says Create Ad. Next, follow these steps:

Step 1: Indicate a campaign objective

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You can choose from several preset objectives, which include Awareness, Reach, Engagements, Conversions, and others. Facebook helps optimize the delivery of your ads, among other benefits, depending on which objective you select.

Step 2: Name your campaign

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This part is self-explanatory. A piece of advice: indicate the date range when naming your ad campaign. If you have multiple campaigns running, the date range will make looking for the right ads easier.

Step 3: Define audience targeting

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Remember the Audience section discussed above? You can use any of the audience types you have created in this section.

Step 4: Define your ad placement

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This lets you choose where the ads will appear. You can opt to show the ads on all platforms and formats or just a select few of Facebook’s digital real estate. Needless to say, the number of placements will affect the final cost of the campaign.

Step 5: Define your budget and bidding

In this section, you decide how much you’re allotting for the campaign. There are several options you can use to ensure that you are not overspending on your campaign. This is also where you can bid against your competitors for the best placement and keywords.

Step 6: Construct the ad

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This section lets you create the ad that will be shown to your audience. You can build new ads or select existing ones you’ve made in the past.


4. Use the right attribution window

Keeping track of what influenced your customer to buy your product is essential to creating successful campaigns. But if you’re using several advertising channels at the same time, attributing the successful action to the specific ad or marketing channel can be hard. Facebook’s attribution window can help you trace the conversion process, giving you a clear picture of the journey that customers took before making the purchase.

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There are several attribution models – how attribution is credited to which channel – to choose from. The same is true for attribution window, which pertains to the data recorded for actions attributed to your ads.


5. Measure and compare

Just looking at your campaign’s performance one day at a time may not give you a clear enough picture. Keeping track of the campaign’s progress day by day by comparing reports would be more effective for analysis.

Comparison reporting is easy to do in Ads Manager, as long as the campaign, ad, or ad set has run longer than one date range. To do it, just follow these steps:

Step 1: In Ads Manager, select the ad or campaign you want to view.

Step 2: In the top right, click on the date drop-down menu. This often shows the Last 30 Days by default.

Step 3: Go to the Compare icon and click it.

Step 4: Using the Calendar view, select the specific dates you want to compare.

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Facebook ads are among the most effective ways for a business to increase brand awareness, engagements, and conversions today. And with custom ad reporting, it has become easier to keep track of the ads you’re running and ensure that your business is getting your expected returns.

What do you like most about custom ad reports? Tell us in the comments.


Author’s Bio: Aaron Chichioco is a digital PR / business columnist. He has a vast experience in overseeing daily operations of several online businesses since 2011. He is currently the managing editor of You can follow Aaron on Twitter.

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