In 2020, when a lot of business owners think of paid advertising, they think of Facebook Ads. There’s no doubt about it, it’s a juggernaut of an advertising platform and offers businesses the opportunity to get their products, services and brand in front of millions of potential customers. But it isn’t just a case of you putting your money into the Facebook marketing machine, and it throwing leads and paying customers out the other side. Think like that and you’ll probably blow your whole advertising budget and have very little to show for it.
It definitely helps to know what you’re doing. But perhaps even more important is knowing what not to do when setting up your Facebook Ads campaigns, which is the reason we created this post. And who better to walk you through this particular minefield than a group of experts that work with the Facebook advertising platform day-in, day-out, and between them have managed a mind-boggling amount of advertising dollars.
In total, we spoke with over 40 Facebook Ads consultants, strategists and specialists, and asked them each the following question: “Can you name one mistake you commonly see made with Facebook Ads, and provide some ideas on how it can be avoided or fixed?” The result? A boatload of insights and actionable advice that should help steer your campaign from frustratingly mediocre (or certain doom…I was being optimistic) to the joyful feeling of “it’s working!!!”
The Most Common Errors Made with Facebook Ads
Before we run through the entire list that we curated for this article, we want to take a moment to highlight the main ones to watch out for. Part of our research process involved asking each expert to name the three most common Facebook Ads mistakes that they encounter. Any that were mentioned more than 5 times made it onto the chart below.
As you can quickly see, in our survey we found that not getting the pixel set up properly, not putting the time in to test the various elements of your ads and not putting your ads in front of the right people are the three most common ways that people slip up when advertising on Facebook.
45 Facebook Ads Mistakes to Avoid
Below you’ll find a pretty comprehensive list of Facebook Ads errors, with some more common than others, and a spread of mistakes that range from “rookie” to slightly more complex. However, they do all share one thing in common…they’ll all harm your campaigns in one way or another.
- Not Using Persuasive Ad Copy (Sarah Sal)
- Not Creating Segmented Retargeting Audiences (Becky Hopkin)
- Using the Wrong Campaign Objective (Kirsty Saint)
- Not Utilizing Captions in Video Ads (Akvile DeFazio)
- Not Excluding Past Purchasers (Hunter Durham)
- Landing Page Issues (Claire White)
- Poor or Unclear Ad Messaging (Leah Mazur)
- Forgetting About Other Marketing Methods and Organic Social Media to Support Facebook Advertising (Ali Wheeler)
- Not Excluding BOF from TOF and Confusing Your Messaging TOF/MOF/BOF (Mel Eilers)
- Not Testing Enough – Creatives, Copy and Audiences (Rebecca Perkins)
- Ignoring the Impact of Relevance on Ad Costs (Annette Clubley)
- Boosting Facebook Posts (Ashley Boston)
- Touching Campaigns Too Soon and Too Often (Miles Bonanno)
- Not Understanding the Power of DPAs in eCommerce Retargeting (Rose Taylor-Brown)
- Too Narrow/Specific Targeting (Paulina Poliszewska)
- Showing the Same Ad to a Person More Than Once (Brian Meert)
- Not Taking Advantage of Custom Placement Aspect Ratios (Aashay Shah)
- Not Using Video View Ads to Build Warm Audiences (Amy Bliefnick)
- Not Using One Ad ID Across Multiple Ad Sets (Terry Foster)
- Using Facebook’s ‘Lowest Cost’ Bid Strategy Like Everyone Else (Robin Brooks)
- Abandoning Your Ads after Setting Up (Rome Nicolas)
- Not Using the Correct Custom Conversion or Event (Jayne Day)
- Not Hooking Your Clients’ Attention in the First 3 Seconds (Yesim Saydan)
- Forgetting to Leverage Existing Customer Data (Ashley Monk)
- Not Making Sure The Fundamentals Are In Place Before Campaign Launch (Sally McInerney)
- Not Doing the Hard Work First in Understanding Your Customer Avatar (Jamie Forrest)
- Not Understanding Facebook Fraud (Dorothy Illson)
- Not Using User (or Influencer) Generated Content in Ads (Sam Weber)
- Failing to Test Ad Copy Hooks (Stirling Gardner)
- Not Installing the Facebook Pixel (Alyssa Ege)
- Huge Expectations from Low Budgets (Rachel Lewis)
- Failing to Hone in on the Benefits of Your Offering (Paula Gilbert)
- Sending Traffic to Slow Loading Website (Debbie Friend)
- The Content Facebook Doesn’t Like in Ads – What to Watch Out For (Suzanne Potter)
- Neglecting the Importance of the Headline (Paula O’Sullivan)
- Not Leveraging Lookalike Audiences (Sandy Sidhu)
- Not Giving the Facebook Algorithm Enough Control (Sufian Asghar)
- A New Pixel Needs to Be “Seasoned” (Natasha Leonards)
- Running One Ad in Isolation and Not Thinking About the Follow-Up (Samantha Pilling)
- Expecting to Win with Your First Campaign (Jonathan Howkins)
- Poor Ad Account Organization (Logan R Mayville)
- Not Building Trust First (Stefan Wesley)
- Changing the Budget to Scale a Campaign (Jacob Malherbe)
- Not Having a Big Enough Budget (Casey Willow)
- Not Re-Targeting Your Website Visitors (Laura Faragher)
Have you made any of these mistakes before? Or perhaps you’ve committed a Facebook Ads sin that we haven’t covered? If so, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section at the end of the article!
What the Experts Said: Facebook Ads Mistakes Examined
In this section, you can read in more depth what our Facebook Ads experts had to say. Each will outline a mistake they commonly see people make when using the Facebook advertising platform, and will then run through some ideas to help you avoid falling foul of the same issues.
There’s a lot of invaluable advice included and tips that will help you move the needle and improve your results with Facebook Ads. So grab a coffee and get learning!
Use the handy filter below if you want to jump straight to something specific.
- Already Seen It
- Wrong Campaign Objective
- First 3 Seconds
- Not Using One Ad ID
- Not Trusting Algorithm
- Relevance Score
- Forgetting Other Marketing Methods
- Custom Placement Aspect Ratios
- Customer Avatar
- Content No-No's
- Facebook Fraud
- Dynamic Product Ads
- Unclear Ad Messaging
- Not Excluding BOF from TOF
- Lowest Cost Bids
- Changing Budget
- Slow Website
- Not Using Video Ads
- Unseasoned Pixel
- Neglect Headline
- Past Purchasers
- Not Testing Enough
- Segmented Retargeting
- Lookalike Audiences
- User Generated Content
- Ad Copy
- Editing Too Soon
- Incorrect Custom Conversion/Event
- Unrealistic Expectations
- Forget Fundamentals
- Abandoning Ads
- Video Captions
- Win with First Campaign
- Narrow/Specific Targeting
- Forgetting Existing Customer Data
- Landing Page Issues
- Missing Benefits
- Boosting Posts
- Ad Copy Hooks
- No Facebook Pixel
- Not Thinking About Follow-Up
- Poor Organization
- Building Trust
- Budget Too Low
- Not Re-Targeting
Sending Traffic to Slow Loading Website – “One thing many smaller businesses should ensure before running any ads on Facebook and Instagram is that they have a fast loading website. There’s thought to be at least a 40% drop off from people clicking on ads and not waiting for a website to load. This is a massive waste of ad spend.
If you optimise for landing page views rather than link clicks when driving traffic, any issues with website loading speed will usually become apparent. When looking at results, if link clicks massively outweigh landing page views it’s often a problem with the website.
Often too many pop-ups or larger images than necessary can hinder loading speed and result in a loss of many potential customers. A healthy, speedy website is definitely a prerequisite for running ads.”
Not Re-Targeting Your Website Visitors – “Without a doubt, the BIGGEST mistake I see business page owners making is NOT re-targeting their website visitors in their ads audiences. They’re really missing a trick!
By re-targeting people that have already been on your website, you are sending your marketing messages and getting your brand in front of people that already know about you, and potentially (as they have been browsing your website), are interested in your products and services.
An added bonus of re-targeting website visitors is that they’re what we call a “warm audience”. So conversion rates are likely to be higher, just as the cost per conversion is likely to be lower!”
Not Understanding the Power of DPAs in eCommerce Retargeting – “Personalisation and relevance are key to customer-centric marketing and, as consumers, we’re all looking for a great experience. So if your Facebook ads eCommerce retargeting strategy doesn’t include Dynamic Product Ads, you’re simply leaving money on the table.
Dynamic Product Ads, or DPAs, are a very powerful tool to tailor your retargeting ads to each potential customer, and the best thing about them is that businesses both big and small are boosting their sales thanks to their potential for personalising at scale.
How Do They Work?
To be able to show the exact products back to people who have viewed them on your site, you first need to be set up correctly.
1. You need a Business Manager account to run DPAs.
2.You need to have the Facebook Base Pixel installed sitewide and need to make sure Facebook can track the key actions your customers are taking. As a minimum, you need to be tracking:
- View Content – this will fire every time someone clicks onto a product page and will share information so Facebook knows which product has been viewed.
- Add To Cart – these people are showing a higher purchase intent than just viewing products
- Purchase – this is the action that, ultimately, you want your customers to take so it’s a valuable action to track. In the case of DPAs, Facebook needs to know who has already purchased so they don’t waste your money retargeting someone who has already completed their purchase within your desired retargeting timeframe.
3. You need to create a catalog which allows Facebook to connect to your website. A catalog is simply a container that holds all the product information from your eCommerce site, such as product IDs, price, descriptions, colours, etc. How to create the catalog feed will depend on the platform your store is built on and Facebook lists some integrations and information on creating the catalog for these. You can also upload products manually but it’s worth noting that you’ll have to manually update it when products go out of stock, and if your store has hundreds of products, this just doesn’t make sense.
Once you have created your catalog and connected it to your pixel tracking in Catalog Manager (under Events along the left side of the screen), then you should be good to go with your retargeting DPAs.
Harnessing the Power
Now you are set up, you create a Catalog Sales campaign and can go through your ad set up as normal, making sure to pull in the correct catalog at the campaign level. However, ideally, you do need to make sure you have a minimum of 750-1000 unique people in your retargeting audience to make DPAs work.
Retargeting people with relevant products not only helps to remove barriers to purchasing – Did they just forget to check out? Did they need to consider the purchase for longer? – but it also helps increase the FOMO/desire for the product by putting it back in front of them and, combined with the right messaging, can help shoppers to get over the line to a purchase. Simply put, breaking down barriers to purchase is what DPAs do smartly and effectively.
And with big enough audiences you can even take your personalisation further by creating DPA retargeting stacks to show potential customers the products they have looked at, at the right time, and with different messaging depending on when they viewed or added to cart. You could consider splitting your DPA audiences down and retarget them with a reminder message for days 1-3 post-viewing, trust copy on days 4-6 and an offer on days 7-10, for example, making the overall customer journey much more personalised to your potential customers.”
Showing the Same Ad to a Person More Than Once – “If users see the same ad more than once, they scroll past it because they’ve already seen it and know what it’s about. This hurts your Facebook ad quality score. To solve this, you need to build segments around four areas: top funnel, middle funnel, bottom-funnel, and customers.
The top of the funnel is the first introduction to a customer. Once they interact, they are moved out of this segment. For this stage of the funnel, create an ad that is mysterious, that leaves them wanting for more information. Apple and Tesla are amazing at this.
The middle of the funnel is for users who have been to your website or engaged with your posts in the last 10 to 180 days. These are users who know about your business. Use tools such as Dynamic Creatives to create ad variants that answer questions about your business, such as the way the business works and the benefits to users. Feature testimonials, reviews, blog posts, holiday sales, and more.
Next up is the bottom of the funnel. Here are users who have been to your website in the last 10 days. Focus on running Dynamic Product ads if you’re running an e-commerce store and focus on creating ads that answer one of the five P’s (product, price, placement, promotion, people) for why people should purchase. If you run a larger e-commerce store, you can use Amazon’s approach and set up multiple ad accounts and business pages for each category of your store. Set your bid caps to 5 to 10 times your target CPA — this will allow your customers to see multiple carousel ads of your products per day. You’re now bringing your shopping experience to the customers.
Last up is your customers. Make sure not to forget about them. Leverage your data on lifetime value and create ads that offer customers first dibs on a sale, share exciting news or feature customer reviews. Everyone likes being on the winning team. There is no such thing as a perfect ad. Focus on creating a variety of ads that appear at the right time and help build a stronger relationship with your customers.”
Not Doing the Hard Work First in Understanding Your Customer Avatar – “When it comes to defining their customer clearly (if you don’t know who you’re selling to, it’s hard to speak to them in an appealing way) there are two related/intertwined ways that people get this wrong – and it can be lethal to the results of their campaigns.
- They don’t define their target customer at all in the first place, and just use generic language that (sort of) appeals to everyone.
- If they have defined an avatar, they’ve lumped everyone in together, to some amalgamation of all their customers.
Generic Language Speaks to (and Disqualifies) Nobody
Buying is first and foremost an emotional decision, and if we don’t trust the person selling to us, we’re not going to buy, so you need to show that you UNDERSTAND THEM, and UNDERSTAND THEIR PROBLEMS.
How to Avoid Making the Same Mistake
First, define all the different groups of people that buy from you. There should be at least 3, but if you’ve got loads, then just identify the biggest few.
i.e. a massage therapy client had 3 main groups of clients – 30-45 year old mums, 40-60 year old business executives, and those recovering from injury.
Each of these personas will have different opinions/goals/pains etc, so once you’ve done that, ask yourself the following questions for each one:
1. For each one we want to know the basic demographics that define them:
2. Then the psychographics that relate to what you’re selling:
- What do they want?
- What do they care about?
- Who are their enemies?
- What are their dreams?
- What do they believe?
- What are their suspicions?
- How have they failed before?
- What are they afraid of?
Then when you create an ad campaign, create it for just one persona at a time, and craft your message and your offer to match them.
The same treatment might solve the problem for multiple groups, but saying “a back and shoulder massage can help alleviate pain and aid recovery from injury for anyone” isn’t half as powerful as saying “if you’ve been sat at a desk for 8 hours a day for the past 20 years, you’re likely feeling pain across your lower back and aches when you get out of bed in the morning…” because it talks to a specific person.”
Ignoring the Impact of Relevance on Ad Costs – “Facebook introduced ad relevance scores in 2015 but I still find businesses that don’t know what it is or what to do about it when they find their ad has a low quality, engagement, or conversion relevance score. As a keen analyst, I find it extraordinary that a business will not take advantage of data that could help them improve adverts.
So, what is an ad relevance score? It is a score between 1-10 that Facebook applies to an advert based on positive feedback (people liking, clicking through from or converting from an advert) and negative feedback (people hiding or reporting an advert).
Facebook reports on your advert’s relevance score in Ads Manager, showing results for Quality ranking, Engagement rate ranking, and Conversion rate ranking. Note: ad relevance diagnostics are not shown for ads that have been served less than 500 times.
Below average scores are split into the bottom 35% of adverts, bottom 20% of adverts, and bottom 10% of adverts. Average represents the 35th to 55th percentile and above average is above 55% of adverts.
Why Does this Matter to You and Your Business?
“Put simply, the higher an ad’s relevance score is, the less it will cost to be delivered.” – Facebook
You can see in the example above that a lower quality ranking has increased the cost per result by 2 pence. Across a larger campaign, this can make a significant difference. Making sure that your advert is relevant will reduce your advertising costs.
Ideas on How to Solve It
Thankfully Facebook provides a handy guide on how to fix it if your advertisements have a below-average score. Their advice is to focus on improving low rankings and move them up to average or better than average, as this has more impact than improving an already average ranking.
If Your Quality Ranking is Low – Look at your creative assets to see how they might be improved, change formats and ensure no low-quality images are used. Fine-tune your audience to make sure they are your target market.
If Your Engagement Rate Ranking is Low – Use eye-catching creative ideas to make people stop and look, and think about targeting an audience that you know will be interested in your product or service and engage with the advert.
If Your Conversion Rate Ranking is Low – Make sure that you have a clear call to action for the advert and check your landing page to make sure that it is inviting and quick to load. Target a high intent audience like those who are engaged shoppers.
“If your conversions meet your expectations, you may not need to adjust your ad.” – Facebook
Finally, do not get hung up on it! If you have set an objective or goal for your advertising campaign (you have, right?!) and your advert is meeting that objective then in the words of Facebook ‘you may not need to adjust your ad’.”
Not Having a Big Enough Budget – “We’ve spoken with multiple brand owners who’ve been misled about the reality of creating an ROI Positive advertising campaign using Facebook Ads.
We discovered that the best budget for building a reliable campaign is £5,000 or over. We reached this conclusion during the early days of our Agency when we were working with people who didn’t have an adequate budget.
Luckily there is a formula you can use that can give you an idea of how your budget will perform against your industry-standard conversion rate and CPC/CPA.
To structure your formula, you must first find out what your CPC/CPA average based on your industry is. You can find this information online or use previous campaigns you’ve run (I would recommend using the industry standards found online).
The next bit of data you’ll need is your conversion rate and you can either use the industry-standard or use your website conversion, which you’ll be able to find on your google analytics or website hosting analytics page.
Depending on the type of campaign you’re running, you may want to pick your conversion from either your website or your Facebook channel.
The next piece of data you’re going to need is the revenue you’ll be making per conversion, for example, if you’re selling T-Shirts at £25 per shirt your revenue per conversion will be equal to £25. You can take this a step further, by incorporating your margin to get a figure on your profit per conversion, let’s say you’re selling the same T-shirts which cost you £9.80 to make and ship so your pre-tax profit would be £15.20.
Now we have all of our data lets build a scenario and work through this together.
First, to get this going you’ll have to decide on your budget, like most hopeful online brand owners you pick a budget of around £1,500 per month, not too low, but also not too high ‘just right’.
CPC: As you are in the apparel niche, your CPC is around 70p before optimising.
CPC means your Cost Per Click, so basically how much it costs you every time someone goes from your Ad to your website.
Your monthly clicks are the first part of this formula we calculate.
This is the number of people who go from your Ad to your website/product page.
To figure out our monthly clicks, we take our budget of £1,500 and divide it by our cost per click of 70p(0.70).
£1,500/0.70 = 2,143
Now that we have our monthly clicks we need to figure out how many of those clicks will turn into actual conversions on our site, as I said before you can either use an industry conversion rate or use one from your past data. For this example, we’ll use the industry standard of 4.11% for Apparel.
To figure out your monthly conversions, you take your monthly clicks and multiply them by your conversion rate.
2,143 X 4.11% (0.0411) = 88
That’s 88 purchases. Now let’s figure out how much that would be in terms of ROAS (Return on Ad Spend)
To figure out the Return On Ad Spend we must take your total number of sales and multiply them by your product price of £25 and then take your original budget away from that figure.
ROAS = 88 X £25 – £1,500
£700 is the amount you’ve made in ROAS on this Campaign. However, we can take a step further by looking at your actual profit by factoring in the loss you make per shirt which is around 40%.
So by taking 40% of £700 (£280) away from your ROAS we’re left with a pre-tax profit of £420.
You spent £1,500 to make £420 😐
But as I said we found a sweet spot. Let’s run through the same scenario with a budget of £5,000 and see what happens.
We’ll be using the same CPC, Conversion and Product Price along with the same margin of 40%.
Let’s start with our Monthly Clicks.
£5,000 / 0.70 = 7,143.
7,143 Monthly clicks. Let’s see how many conversion we’ll get with that.
7,143 X 4.11% (0.0411) = 294
294 Sales on your store. Now let’s calculate the ROAS.
294 X £25 = £7,350
£7,350 In ROAS. Nw let’s factor our margin of 40% to see what our pre-tax profit will be.
£7,350 X 40% (0.40) = £2,940
A Loss of £2,940.
£7,350 – £2,940 = £4,410
Let’s look at the noticeable difference between both budget models.
The first budget of £1,500 produced a ROAS of £700, almost 50% of the original spend which turned into a profit of £420, 28% of the original budget.
The second budget of £5,000 produced a ROAS of £7,350, 147% of the original spend which turned into a profit of £4,410, 88% of the original budget.
This formula is in no way a sure way to predict your results, as for that we would need to factor in things like CTR, CPA, website bounce rate along with finding a way to quantify the success of your creatives.
The reason I believe that everyone who is planning to use Facebook as an actual marketing channel needs to understand this formula is because people right now are walking around saying they’ll produce ‘X’ ROI on a £2,000 budget which genuinely negatively impacts our industry. This causes business owners to reject the idea of Facebook becoming an integral part of their online marketing strategy.
Problems with This Formula
- This formula does not take into how good your creatives and copy are. Without testing, you cannot accurately quantify how making the banner, ‘Red’ or ‘Blue’ will affect your campaign.
- This formula cannot predict how the campaign will evolve.
- This formula is limited by not incorporating CTR and other Facebook metrics.
- This formula does not take into account how accurate your base targeting options are.
- This point ties into the evolution of your campaign, but you’ll also be unable to predict how well a retargeting campaign will do using the basic version of this formula.
The main reason we recommend using a budget of £5,000 or higher is that you’ll have a lot more room to play with in terms of testing and changing the campaign variables to better suit your audiences online behaviour.”
Not Excluding BOF from TOF and Confusing Your Messaging TOF/MOF/BOF – “Just a load of acronyms right? Yep.. but important ones, and ones you need to understand when running Facebook Ads. What do they stand for? Top of Funnel, Middle of Funnel and Bottom of Funnel.
TOF is your cold audience, people who have never heard of you and know nothing about what you do or sell. MOF is your warm audience, those who have heard from you, but possibly not bought/worked with you – yet. BOF is your hottest audience. They know who you are, have bought from you or worked with you before.
The funnel works by pouring large numbers of cold audiences in at the top, taking them on a journey of your product/service via ads with the appropriate messaging. As they move through the funnel, they get warmer, creating your ‘hot’ audience at the BOF.
Depending on your product or service, your sales funnel may be shorter, or longer. If you were running low-ticket e-commerce ads (products under £50) you may not use MOF. If, however you were running ads for a high-ticket coaching programme that cost £5,000 there would be more stages in your funnel to ‘warm-up’ your audience.
Understanding your different audiences ensures they receive the right message relevant to where they are in their customer journey with you. If you don’t craft your message to where the recipient is in the customer journey, it can be confusing… and annoying!
Let’s say you are a loyal subscriber to a product. Purely for explanation purposes, let’s say it’s coffee. As a subscriber you receive 5 different coffee flavours/products to try each month. You pay a certain price upfront each month and it’s delivered to your door. This would make you part of that brand’s BOF audience – ie. you know the brand, you buy from them.
Then say you’re browsing Facebook and you’re served an ad for one of those subscription boxes. It contains the same products as the box you’ve already received. It talks about all the great coffee flavours, talks about home delivery and provides brand credibility and – what’s this – they get their second month for free?!
So, what’s the problem?
1. Firstly, the brand is spending money on ads that are reaching existing subscribers. The imagery and the messaging is suitable for a TOF audience, but it’s being seen by a BOF audience – an audience that already knows you and buys from you. An audience that doesn’t need to know about brand credibility and/or home delivery – because they already buy from you. How do you stop this happening? If you want to attract new customers – and spend your budget wisely on ads – you need to exclude your BOF audiences from your TOF ads. This will ensure your ads are only being served to potential new customers.
2. The existing subscriber is seeing products it has already received. They don’t need to see these ads – it’s pointless and a waste of money. It’s also annoying – they are likely to just scroll on and totally ignore your ad, because it’s not relevant. They may also be seeing an offer that they were not privy to themselves – which could be annoying. As a brand, you need to nurture your BOF audience. Maybe serve them ads that showcase your brand’s other products – DPAs are good for this. Try to upsell them other products that they might be interested in – with a hook (discount code, one-time/limited-time offer). The messaging here, for example, could read: “As a loyal customer, why not try our exclusive range of coffee syrups? Currently only available to subscribers. Save 10% on your first order.”
Regardless of discounts/offers/hooks (which have their place at all points of the funnel), my point here is that the messaging you use throughout your funnel needs to be appropriate to the audience it is being served to.
TOF of funnel (potential new customers) need to know why/how your products/services will help them, what pain points they answer. You need to make them curious about your brand, wanting to know more about what you offer and – importantly – your brand credibility.
One of the keys to successful FB ads is being able to serve your audience with the right ad at the right time. Once they have bought from you, they need to feel nurtured and valued as a customer. Here, the messaging needs to change. Add value, upsell, maybe create offers purely for existing customers. Serving the wrong message to the wrong audience or – as I also commonly see – using one message to serve all stages of the funnel, won’t do you any favours.
Another of the keys to successful FB ads is planning. Plan your messaging, plan your images. Know your client avatars and write accordingly – and do all this ahead of time, so you can really hone your tone and attract the right people to your brand.”
Touching Campaigns Too Soon and Too Often – “A common mistake that I see when running FB ads is touching / editing / revising new campaigns too soon and too often.
You will need to give the algorithm some time and a reasonable amount of data (1,500 impressions per ad at a minimum) before deciding if it’s a winning ad or if you need to make edits to the audience, creative or offer to see better performance.
Facebook is a data machine and you need to give it enough time to look for the perfect audience, especially for newer ad accounts. If you’ve done your homework on your audience and thoroughly thought of your creative/messaging and offer, you need to trust that FB is doing its part in searching for the right audience and placements.
Keep calm. Sit on your hands if you have to. Better yet, walk away from your laptop soon after you launch a new campaign. Whatever you do, don’t touch a fresh campaign too soon without giving it the proper time to provide you with data for your next point of action!”
Not Using Persuasive Ad Copy – “30% of all Internet users rely on ad blockers, which are overwhelmingly popular as people get tired of ads. Even if our technology doesn’t block ads out automatically, our brains are trained to ignore anything that looks like one. Rather than screaming louder to grab scrollers’ attention, we should write great ads that don’t look like an ad. We’re talking about content that educates, entertains and provides value.
Without education, you are writing an ad and asking the user to take your words at face value.
Many advertisers assume they’re facing trouble with their audience when what they really have is a problem with content & copy.
I once had a call with a SharkTank company. The founder told me: “The problem with our Facebook ad might be targeting optimization.”
I replied: “You think your ads are not targeting the correct audience. Maybe you’re reaching the right audience, but the ad copy isn’t convincing enough”.
Their Facebook ads weren’t profitable. By working on the ad copy, their ad campaigns became profitable, and they also got the most sales in a single day from Facebook.
Below is a screenshot of one of those ads:
Imagine you found the diary of a client that got help from your product or service. Does your ad feel like you’re reading a page from that diary?
What does 46X better ad performance and a free slice of pizza have in common (not pineapple pizza)?
Strategyzer’s a company I helped get 1866% ROI on their ads. On prior ads, they spent $4,433.53 in around 3 weeks and only got 1 sale in return. That was equal to $0.40 for every $1 spent on ads.
The problem was the ad copy just stated that they had an event coming up.
And here’s the screenshot of that ad:
How did I move them from $0.40 for every $1 spent to make $18.66 for each $1 they spent? ($212,000 in sales for an ad spend of only $11,357.26, to be exact)
I knew supermarkets like Mash and Costco got up to 2000% in extra sales by giving away samples. So I used ads to give people a pre-taste of what to expect at Strategyzer’s €2000 upcoming event, instead.
Here is an example of the first ad we ran for them:
Educational content also helps you fight ad fatigue.
Many marketers wonder why their cost per conversion tripled in the last 3 weeks. And that’s because Facebook equals interruption marketing.
You’re not a coffee shop at an airport with 500k new people passing by every day. Those businesses know that brownies are better than waffles at getting passengers to stop and enter their cafe. And you’re not fulfilling the demand, you’re creating the demand.
Think about users as a tourist that goes to London, for example. If ads that promoted London’s hippest night scene suddenly stopped converting, I might switch to a copy that talks about London’s wide gastronomical offer or museums, instead. Not everyone would want to visit London for the same reason. Sometimes changing the ad copy to talk about something different while still promoting the same can significantly help fight ad fatigue.
So, how can you write ads that stand out amidst all the noise on the Internet?
Here are a few ideas:
1. Don’t Just Make Claims. Be Persuasive and Educational:
To be more persuasive, make your ads educational and don’t just make claims. Most people just state what they’re selling. Ad copy works when it’s persuasive, and it teaches something at the same time. A great ad makes the user think: “Even if I did not click on the ad, just by reading the ad text, I’ve learned something new.”
When scrollers stop to read something out of which they’re actually learning something new, ads convert much better. And how do you achieve that?
2. Use the Power of Analogies
Take “37 grams of saturated fat” as an example. Those can teach us a lot about writing better ads. When health warnings to popcorn and coconut oil first came out, popcorn buyers had absolutely no clue what those meant! So advertisers relied on analogies…
In a 1992 press conference, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) announced:
“A medium-sized ‘butter’ popcorn at a typical neighborhood movie theater contains more artery-clogging fat than a bacon-and-eggs breakfast, a Big Mac and fries for lunch, and a steak dinner with all the trimmings—combined!”
That made the front pages of the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. The Washington Post wrote about it. And it was featured on CBS, NBC, ABC, and CNN.
The public response was such a strong one that movie theaters were forced to stop using coconut oil.
In fact, I’m currently reusing this popcorn analogy from an ad on which I paid £0.27 per click with 95 clicks as a result. People spend way more on Marketing per click than these figures, I’m sure you’ll know.
3. Answer Questions You’re Asked All the Time
To write good copy, imagine a question people in your niche keep asking non-stop. Turn what you’re tired of answering into compelling ad copy.
Excellent copy takes what you know your target audiences think, and it puts it on the page. When your prospects read your copy, they feel like you’re inside their head. That’s NOT because you’re a genius, but because you’ve been listening to them for a long time.
Ad copy is not about you. It’s not about your product, even. It’ll ALWAYS be about your customers.
Below is a screenshot of such an ad:
4. Turn Misconceptions into an Ad
All industries are plagued by misconceptions! They affect their image, on top of it all; it’s the reality out there!
If you address a misconception in your Facebook ad copy, that can clear up a customer’s conscious or subconscious objection. Explain your stance and back it up with evidence.”
Huge Expectations from Low Budgets – “Warning – Your budget is too low for your high expectations. Reality check needed.
Facebook is not a magic money tree. Too many people have hugely unrealistic expectations of what is possible when it comes to the Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). Or they simply don’t realise that you need to invest in your ad spend in order to get results.
Yes, it’s possible to get some really great results but your budget needs to be in line with both your objective and your expectations.
Here’s How to Set an Initial Realistic Budget
As a business, you may already know how much you will be willing to pay for a person to take an action from your ads, whether it’s the cost per lead or the cost per purchase but a few simple calculations can help you to decide on a realistic budget for your advertising campaign.
Here’s an example:
Think about the following for your business and campaign.
And use the following simple baseline target stats to make your calculation.
So, to get 50 people over the line on the website, at a rate of 5% conversion, we’d need to drive 1000 people to the sign-up page.
To get 1000 people to the sign-up page at a CTR of 1% we’d need to gain 100,000 impressions.
If every 1000 impressions costs £10 (CPM) then we’d need a budget or £1000.
Which is a little bit higher than £50!
Obviously, this is a rough estimate to the budget needed and any fluctuation in the baseline metrics or the conversion rate of your website will have an impact on the cost per result.
For example, if your website converts at a rate of 2% then your cost per result would rise to £50 and your campaign budget would be a suggested £2500.
The only way to more accurately assess the true cost of your campaign is to begin testing ads so that you can input your own realistic figures into the calculation.
The process of testing is so important as it allows you to find out what elements of your ads can drive the best results with the lowest CPMs and CPCs and which ads result in the best CTRs and ultimately the best cost per result.
Just remember, if you are aiming for a high revenue result, you’ll need to be realistic about your budget expectations. You’ve got to spend money to make money with Facebook Ads.”
Not Installing the Facebook Pixel – “I’ve audited hundreds of Facebook advertising accounts, and one of the most common mistakes I see is forgetting to set up the Facebook pixel. The Facebook pixel is a small piece of code that is installed on your website (or any landing page you are driving traffic to).
The purpose of the Facebook pixel is to track how many people landed on your site from your ad campaigns. Without it installed, it’s nearly impossible to determine the success of your campaign (unless you are only interested in engagement on the platform itself).
Another main benefit of having the Facebook pixel installed on your website is the ability to retarget visitors. In case you’re not sure what retargeting means… Think about the last time you were shopping online but didn’t complete your purchase. And for the next week, that pair of shoes followed you all across the internet. Powerful stuff, right?
Facebook advertisers are able to retarget users by tracking their browsing history with the pixel. Retargeting campaigns typically result in the greatest ROI – so make sure you don’t miss out on this!
Installing the Facebook pixel is a simple process. All you need to do is copy the small piece of code Facebook provides and paste it into your website header. If code like this makes your head spin – it’s a simple task to pass off to your web developer.
Changing the Budget to Scale a Campaign – “Scaling Facebook Campaigns has always been difficult for most Facebook managers so here are some suggestions to do it right.
The first rule of thumb is to never, ever just change the budget on a live Facebook campaign as a way of scaling the campaign. When you just do that, the algorithm that is trying to find the right people to show your ad to will get shocked and your campaign performance will go downhill fast — it will not be a good outcome.
Instead, here are two ways of scaling Facebook campaigns that work:
1) The first way to scale a campaign is to duplicate the campaign into a new campaign that would start up with whatever budget you want to run. Now don’t shut down the old campaign – just increase the budget on the new duplicated campaign to whatever you want to scale to cumulatively. The only risk with this strategy is again the Facebook algorithm, as the first conversions you get on the new campaign will determine that campaign’s outcome and if it becomes as successful as the original campaign. If you have started with good targeting then this should be an easy way to scale.
2) The second way to scale is by using Facebook rules. Here you would set up your rules on which conditions need to be met for Facebook to automatically scale the campaign. You can set a target per objective (leads, Sales, etc.) and when the conditions are met FB will automatically scale the budget by your set % each day at 12.00AM. The timing is very important as that is when Facebook starts the new budget. So make sure that has been selected. The maximum suggested scaling with FB Rules is 10% every 24-48 hours at 12.00 AM (midnight).
These are two time-tested ways of scaling your Facebook campaigns.”
Not Hooking Your Clients’ Attention in the First 3 Seconds – “We live in a world where the attention span of a human is less than the one of a goldfish! If you don’t grab your ideal clients’ attention the first 3 seconds, they won’t even watch the rest of your Ad and all your effort will go to waste.
To make sure that we put this into context, let me emphasize that I am talking about the 2nd step here: How to optimize our Ads so they will be watched and engaged with as much as possible. The 1st step before that is to ensure that your Ads get in front of your ideal clients.
To ensure that your ideal clients will see your Ads, you need pay attention to 3 key elements:
- RIGHT TARGETING – Do NOT start a campaign based on Interests! (This should be your last resort after you have exhausted your Custom audiences and lookalike audiences)
- RIGHT OBJECTIVE – Determine in advance what you want to achieve with your campaign. Facebook’s AI is incredibly smart. It will help you reach your goals if you tell it what to do.
- RIGHT MEDIUM – This changes all the time. Right now Short video ads get the best results.
Now that you have the first step taken care of, and we know that your Ad is being shown to your ideal clients, let’s talk about which mistakes most Business Owners are making that waste their whole Ad budget:
- Starting the video with an introduction that is all about themselves or the company.
- Being very salesy, starting with a pitch.
- Talking with little energy.
- Making small talk.
- Being boring and monotone.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO INSTEAD
Remember that you are not only competing with your competitor’s Ads and other FB Ads in general, but also the baby pictures of the friends of your audience!
Your audience is NOT on Facebook to watch Ads. Actually most people hate them.
It’s YOUR job to give them a reason to watch your Ad. And that’s why the hook – what you do in the first 3 seconds – plays a huge role. You need to have something at the very beginning of your Video Ad (in the case of a photo, then use something striking in the photo) that grabs their attention right away!
How you ask?
- Start your video with a relatable question that talks about the pain of your ideal clients and hooks their attention right away. A great example of this is Dean Graziosi’s Ad, where he paid Larry King a HUGE sum of money to introduce him at the beginning of his Ad. Dean thought that he would grab tons of eyeballs, since Larry King had a huge following but the Ad flopped. Why? Because Dean was not famous then. Although he had created a great video, very few people watched the part after the introduction. The beginning of the video was this: ‘I am live here with Dean Graziosi. He is the Author of X, does XYZ.’ Why do you think that the Ad performed so bad, even when Dean used a big Influencer to market him? There was nothing that stopped the audience from the distractions in their lives, so they didn’t pay attention to the rest. But when Dean changed the hook – the beginning of his video – the Ad became a huge success. A tiny little thing that turned it from an Ad that almost no one watched fully to a viral one. What was that little thing? Instead of Larry King introducing Dean, Larry started off the video by saying: ‘Have you ever thought in your adult life that you would be further ahead by now?’ Do you realize how much more impactful that first sentence is? How it would make you stop what you’re doing and want to pay attention to what else he says in the video? We can all relate to that question.
- Talk about the RESULT you can help visitors achieve in one sentence. Don’t go into a sales pitch or your lengthy story yet. People don’t want to buy a pill. They want their headache to go away. Give the audience a one-liner, where they can see that you have the solution to their pain.
- Provide social proof. This may be a result you helped many people get or even just one person in particular that makes a strong case: ‘John lived his entire life with claustrophobia, not even leaving his apartment. And yet after 1 month of trying our X Formula, he is skydiving’
After grabbing their attention with a burning question that occupies the minds of your ideal clients and a sentence that ‘indirectly’ says shortly and sweetly how you are an expert in this topic, introduce yourself and tell them your personal story of transformation.”
Expecting to Win with Your First Campaign – “Are you expecting to win with your first Facebook campaign? If so, you’re in for a disappointment.
Unfortunately many business and brands are under the illusion that Facebook Advertising is the solution to all their problems.
It’s often perceived as a no-lose marketing option where you simply pay the money to Facebook and you instantly get more leads and sales.
Well, the bad news is that it just doesn’t work like that.
In fact, almost all Facebook campaigns lose money initially, because to start with you need to invest some time and money learning more about your audience, as well as refining your targeting and messaging.
The process of converting a loss-making campaign into a profitable one, is all about testing, measurement and optimisation.
Facebook has the technology and data to help you win, but only if you’re prepared to take your time and logically work through a structured process of refinement and testing to discover what really works.
This is an investment you need to be prepared to make. But it needn’t be expensive, or take much of your time.
The beauty of Facebook is that you can easily create simple campaigns, spend very small sums of money, and get some great data to help you refine your targeting and messaging, so you can reach the right people, with the right message, at the right time.
This is when you can really start winning and scaling your campaigns – and start getting some great results!
So, start with some simple Video Views campaigns or Post Engagement campaigns to identify your audience and learn what messages they engage with. You can run these campaigns for just 3-4 days, spending no more than £2 per day and get some useful data to help shape your next campaign.
You can then experiment with Traffic and Conversion campaigns when you’re ready to start testing your messaging and creative.
The journey to profitable campaigns does take a little time and investment (together with some knowledge, experience and expertise), but the long term opportunities and return on investment can be huge.”
Not Taking Advantage of Custom Placement Aspect Ratios – “No doubt, in today’s digital age, we are constantly bombarded with information and advertising with every swipe, click and scroll.
That’s why it’s never been more important for your ads to stand out from the crowd and avoid blending in with the competition.
The versatility Facebook provides throughout its vast network: Instagram, Messenger, Audience Network and so on, is truly powerful to reach a wide audience; however, this also presents challenges for business owners to have creatives that suit every placement that sits within each platform.
Have a quick look below at some of the options available:
Generally what happens is somebody may upload a single square image or video and then let Facebook determine the best placement for it.
This is very easy to set up but sometimes your ad may look like this:
I completely understand that it can become costly to get custom aspect ratio’s for every placement and potentially inefficient if creative bulk campaigns.
Where possible, these are the 3 custom placements I recommend to have different size creatives for:
- Square (most placements)
- IG Feed (1000px x 1350px)
- Stories (1080px x 1920px)
Have a look at an example from HBF Health below.
The IG Story creative takes up maximum screen ‘real estate’ yet is simple and effective.
Not many advertisers are taking advantage of the Stories placements which is why there is a massive potential to stand out in this placement currently.
Since incorporating custom IG Feed and Stories graphics, we’ve found a significantly lower cost per lead or sale for those placements.
Work with your creative team in getting a basic structure for these placements and you may be pleasantly surprised with the results they yield.”
Logan R Mayville
Poor Ad Account Organization – “The biggest mistake Facebook advertisers make is poor Ad Account organization, and the effects can be drastic.
The key to increasing long-term, sustainable performance is the act of organizing your ad account (and subsequent targeting and creatives) into two steps — Prospecting and retargeting.
In prospecting campaigns, you’ll target large groups of cold audiences, so it’s critical that your ad creative catches attention and stops the scroll — if you’re targeting 1 million people, a difference of .5% CTR will have a massive effect on your results down the line. If I had to pick one creative option, I would choose a 15-second video with 1) a hook in the first 3 seconds, 2) a text overlay, and 3) a clear and compelling CTA.
In retargeting campaigns, you’ll target small groups of people with an established interest in your product or service, so the primary objective of your ad creative is to persuade; not catch attention like in the prospecting campaigns. To do this, follow your buyer’s journey from attention to consideration to decision and provide material for each phase — product reviews, testimonials, comparisons, and limited availability notices can all be effective.”
Failing to Test Ad Copy Hooks – “The #1 thing, even the biggest agencies get wrong, is how to write and test their ads so they are set up for maximum profitability.
More often than not, I have found that most Facebook Ads agencies don’t even write the ad copy for their clients. Say what? That’s like buying a brand new car but it doesn’t come with seats or a steering wheel.
Even the agencies that do write ad copy for their clients do 1 or 2 versions and call it a day. They tell their clients they are “split testing” and when the ads don’t perform, they’ll rattle off 100 excuses why. The client knows in their heart something is amiss, but out of convenience, they stick with the agency till several months have gone by and they’ve lost a ton of money (on ad spend and agency fees).
You do not have to suffer through this anymore!
The prevailing wisdom taught by every Facebook ads “guru” is that the success of the ads comes down to the creative (the image or video that goes with the ad copy).
Why? Because adding a bunch of stock photos (or client photos) as a “test” is a lot less effort than testing your ad copy.
But when you test multiple variations of copy “hooks,” (what I call the first 2-3 sentences before a reader has to click “read more”), the extra effort will pay off in spades.
We have seen CPAs (Cost per Acquisition) drop by as much as 6x. Yes, across multiple client accounts in a wide variety of niches.
The Ad “Fix” that will get you 6x the results
When we set out to launch a new ad campaign, the first thing we test are the hooks. We have found that if you leave every other piece of the ad constant (audiences, creative, placements, and even body copy – the copy that comes after the hook) that the hook is the #1 biggest needle mover to profitability.
And here’s the real kicker… the hooks we test aren’t crazy different! The difference in saying “How We Multiplied Our Client’s Revenue 6x Using ‘The Hook Method’” could yield widely different results than “‘The Hook Method’: How We 6x-ed Our Client Results!” Of course, not all of our hooks are that similar, but you get the point.
Here are the steps we use to achieve these types of results:
- We write the entire copy of the ad first… we specialize in longer form ad copy but this method works with short copy, too.
- We then brainstorm 15-20 hooks to test.
- We put each of those ads with different hooks (keeping everything else the same: creative, audiences, etc) in one campaign with one only one ad per audience (or ad set as Facebook likes to call it). To simplify… if we want to test 20 hooks, we create one campaign with 20 ad sets and one ad with a unique hook per ad set.
- We leave everything else the same, run it for 3 days and voila! You are going to see something incredible… 1-3 of those hooks will stand head and shoulders above the others when it comes to performance.
- We shut down the other 17 ads and scale the winners.
- From there, we will start to test creative and then finally audiences.
We have seen winning ads run for literally years. So, no agency can ever use the “your ads fatigued” excuse again.
Good luck testing and experiencing truly high-performance ads!”
Not Using User (or Influencer) Generated Content in Ads – “One of the biggest mistakes I see from Facebook advertisers is not using user (or influencer) generated content in their ads.
Especially at the bottom of the marketing funnel, UGC/IGC is pivotal in building trust with the audience.
We often forget that people are on social media, primarily, to connect with their friends in an authentic manner.
So why break up their consumption of content with a salesy, emotionless ad?
Time and time again, across the thousands of Facebook Ads I’ve run, the organic-styled, iPhone shot creative of someone using the product or service significantly outperforms the more polished and production-heavy one.
And not just for clicks.
But quality leads and purchases.
Don’t forget that it’s significantly cheaper (most times even free) to generate this content than the typical polished photo/video. So as well as reducing your marketing expenses it’s simultaneously lifting your revenue.
Social media users today see through bulls**t – so show them reality.”
Forgetting to Leverage Existing Customer Data – “Facebook advertising is simplified and lumped together with organic content by nonmarketers. But unfortunately, the platform couldn’t be more robust.
One of the greatest mistakes I see on the platform is lacking to leverage existing data.
Even if you’ve never run or optimized a campaign, your existing customer data may be your greatest asset.
So often, companies make assumptions about the target demographic they aspire to reach. But those assumptions are guesswork until tested & proven.
One of the most essential components of our onboarding process to ensure this area is addressed is by creating personas.
Before we draft a campaign, we see market research as a critical component. Through surveying & gathering existing data, we design every element of the campaign based on the customer journey & avatar up until this point.
Perhaps the most effective sample to build the best audiences that is SIGNIFICANTLY undervalued is building custom audiences.
One of the most powerful aspects of Facebook is its ability to track offline events – which comes from leveraging contact information from past customers.
By uploading this information to Facebook, the data is slashed for confidentiality, but the datapoints are mapped perfectly to create Lookalike samples.
But more importantly, uploading such information makes retargeting actual purchasing customers seamless. It also allows for even more information to track past purchase behavior.
The process is simple: simply create a custom audience directly within the ad set level. Then, download the sample CSV file provided by Facebook to accurately map your existing data to upload.
Though the step may seem tedious, it’s far greater of a cost to omit it than take the extra time to incorporate this into your campaign.”
Not Testing Enough (Creatives, Copy and Audiences) – “When Facebook ads don’t deliver stellar results quickly, businesses often conclude the platform isn’t for them. But this is rarely the case. Sadly, securing tangible results from ads isn’t as straightforward as choosing an image, drafting an ad, picking a few interests, and watching the money roll in.
You might get lucky, but usually it takes weeks, if not months, of testing to really optimise campaigns and to get the results you’re looking for, whether that’s sales, leads, donations, or something else.
It’s a good idea to treat the first couple of months of any campaign as a data-gathering exercise: you’re getting valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t, and these can set you up for consistent returns in the future. As long as you have the Pixel correctly installed, the data you gather can also be used to build audiences that you can retarget in the future.
There are lots of different variables to test: copy, creatives, audiences, campaign objective, placements, the inclusion of call to action buttons, different headlines. Don’t do it all at once! It’s important to have a strategy so that you can disentangle how each variable affects the results.
How many audiences you can test comes down to your budget. With less budget, it will take you longer to get results. That’s fine, but I would advise not spreading the budget you do have too thinly across lots of different ad sets. It’s a better bet to test audiences concurrently and to draw conclusions that way.
So what might a sensible testing strategy look like? Supposing you had a budget of £50 a day, you might want to test five audiences in five different ad sets. Within each of these, you could have three or four different ads. The crucial thing is to just change one variable at a time. So perhaps start by focusing on the creative – maybe testing a video, single image, and carousel – and keeping the copy, headline, and everything else exactly the same across all the ads.
Once you’ve gathered enough data, you can then optimise where you need to, switch off the ads and audiences that aren’t getting good results, field in more creatives, switch up the copy, or whatever else you decide to test next.
Sometimes there’s a clear winner that gets great results across all ad sets, but often the results are surprising. Different creatives appeal to different audiences and sometimes what’s been a surefire success for one account, won’t necessarily translate well to a different sector or product. It’s only by trying things out and analysing the results in a strategic way that you can really optimise your digital advertising campaigns.”
Not Using Video View Ads to Build Warm Audiences – “The biggest mistake I see is advertisers driving new, cold audiences straight to a purchase page expecting people to buy right away. While this can work, it is VERY rare. There are many different components that go into making a campaign successful, and it just takes some testing to get it dialed in. It helps to think of it as buying data and information so you can make informed decisions.”
In order for someone to want to buy from you, there must be some trust there – trust in you (the offer) and trust in themselves. To help them trust you faster, I recommend utilizing video. Video helps people to connect with you or your product faster than any other form of content.
In Facebook Ads Manager, you can target your new, cold audiences (people who have never heard of you before), with a Video Views campaign objective.
If you already have video content or you are doing Facebook Lives, you can easily repurpose them to run as ads.
Once you have built up some views on your videos, you can create Custom Audiences of people who have viewed your videos for 25%, 50%, 75%, and 95%. You can also retarget ThruPlays, but those are either 15-second views or viewed to completion.
The more people you have in the 50%, 75%, 95% views audience, the better as they tend to be “warmer” or more engaged with the content you are sharing. Especially if your videos are on the longer side, but provide a ton of value.
To build these warm audiences, click on the menu icon in the top left, and then click on “Audiences”
Click “Create Audience” and then click on “Custom Audience”
Then pick which Video View percentage you would like to retarget. Again, the longer the warmer.
Then click “Choose videos…” to pick the video ads that have the views that you would like to retarget.
Enter the number of days you would like to go back and retarget. The closer the warmer, the longer the colder. I recommend doing one for last 30 days and then another for 60,90, and/or 180.
Name your audience, and click “Create Audience” – and you’re done!
Now when you are setting up your ad set, you can select this custom audience to target as a warm audience who hopefully knows, likes, and trusts you better after watching your videos!”
Using Facebook’s ‘Lowest Cost’ Bid Strategy Like Everyone Else – “Using Facebook’s ‘Lowest Cost’ bid strategy like everyone else – Having worked in Facebook Advertising for almost a decade, I see this mistake happen all the time.
What is the Lowest Cost Bid Strategy? – It’s essentially Facebook’s default setting and the ‘auto bid’ setting where you search for all lowest-cost opportunities while spending your budget. Sounds good right? The only problem is everyone else is doing the same. Facebook is an auction after all.
One of the greatest advantages of being a Facebook Ads Freelancer is that I get to see thousands of different campaigns and how advertisers manage them. One very common misconception that I come across is the use of cost controls. To my surprise, a growing number of large-scale advertisers use automated bids and refrain from using bid caps. Instead of setting bid caps, they limit campaign or ad budgets to “control” their cost per result.
How to Solve This – Change your bid strategy from ‘Lowest Cost’ to ‘Bid Cap’. Start off by setting your stakes high, set your bid cap to twice the price of the conversion. As long as your targeting is on point and your creative is average or above, your ad will feature in front of the right people ahead of everyone else who is using lowest cost bidding. You’ve done it, you’ve broken free of the rest of the ‘auto advertisers’ out there and put your ad in front of someone who wouldn’t have seen it originally.
Naturally, you aren’t out of the woods yet. You still need to monitor and optimise as you usually would, check frequency, competition and saturation, but you have given your adset the edge.
Parting thoughts: Stay competitive, don’t follow everyone else and test, test, test.”
Not Using the Correct Custom Conversion or Event – “When business owners start using Facebook Advertising they often set up their custom conversion incorrectly or use the wrong one when setting up their conversion event in their ad sets, which greatly impact the results that they have.
For example, you may be using Facebook Ads for lead generation and to build your email database. To do this you may be offering a lead magnet such as an eBook. You need to have the campaign set up with the conversion objective and then have the custom conversion created to track the URL that people land on after they submit their email address and not the landing page before they submit their details.
If you don’t have this set up correctly Facebook just assumes you want people to land on that page and not take the desired action of submitting their details.
This then affects the people that Facebook shows your ads to and won’t necessarily show it to people that are more likely to take the entire action we want them to.
Another example is if you have an ecommerce store and you want to drive sales – you want to ensure you have the custom conversion or event set for completed checkout and not just add to cart. It is the final sale that you want and this is what you want Facebook to optimise your ads for.”
A New Pixel Needs to Be “Seasoned” – “The pixel is the piece of data generated by your Facebook ad account to place on your website. This tracks all of your website visitors and their actions on your website. When you have a new pixel installed on your website, it is worth spending the time and budget running a traffic campaign to “season” it. This then gives Facebook data to work with and saves money, as it means Facebook then does not need to work so hard finding the right people to serve your ads. 10k pixel fires is the optimum amount of fires to season a pixel.”
Not Understanding Facebook Fraud – “Have you been a victim of Facebook fraud?
No, I’m not talking about fake clicks, duplicate traffic, or illegal data sharing…
… I’m talking about CREDIT.
Specifically, Facebook taking credit for conversions they aren’t responsible for.
Here’s why this happens:
Facebook’s default attribution window is 28-day click and 1-day view.
It’s the 1-day view that matters here.
Because when you allow Facebook to take credit for view-through conversions…
It’s almost guaranteed to over-report.
Remember: Your Facebook pixel is going to fire on every purchase – whether or not that person saw an ad.
But when Facebook sees that purchase…
They’re going to ask themselves “did we show this person an ad?”
If yes, then they’ll take credit for the sale.
Even if that person never stopped to read the ad or click on it.
What You Can Do About It
So, here’s a way to get a better idea of what Facebook is really responsible for.
Go into Ads Manager > Customize Columns.
In the bottom right corner, under Attribution Window, click on Comparing Windows.
Then create presets to show you the 1-Day, 7-Day, and 28-Day Click.
This will give you a much clearer picture of what Facebook has really contributed to.
It will make your numbers look worse…
But it will also give you better ammunition to scale the ads that are actually working for you.”
Running One Ad in Isolation and Not Thinking About the Follow-Up – “Imagine this…
You’re single. You’re looking for love. So, you decide to go to a bar in the hope of meeting someone special.
As you order your drink someone catches your eye across the room. In a heartbeat, you dash across the room, drop to your knees and propose marriage… without even asking their name!
None of us would dream of doing this in real life, would we?
So why are we doing this with our Facebook Advertising? Why do we expect a total stranger (who has never heard of us before) to make a big commitment on having only seen one Ad?
What we need to do is consider our marketing efforts (including Facebook) as a long-term-relationship, and not a one-night-stand.
How do we go about having a long-term relationship with potential customers?
1. Firstly You Need to Get on Their Radar
One of the fantastic things about Facebook Advertising is just how targeted you can get with your adverts. If you want to target 50+ year old women within a 20-mile radius of your business who love Knitting and Horror Movies – you can do it on Facebook!
So, the first step is to research your ideal clients – what do they love? How old are they? Where do they live? Are they a specific gender? And so on.
Create ‘Interest Targeting’ lists on Facebook and run ads to them using content they’ll love. Is there a video you can share that will entertain or educate them?
Consider running ‘Engagement’* or ‘Video View’* campaigns with the simple objective of getting on their radar (and at the same time building warm audiences of people who have expressed an interest in what you do).
* At the time of writing this tip, there has never been a better time to do this. Not being a vulture and picking over anyone’s misfortune, but many people are still in lockdown and have turned to Social Media to stay connected. This means that the cost of running Video View and Engagement campaigns has dropped.
2. You Need to Woo Them!
Depending on what you do or what you sell, one piece of great content may be enough to warm your audience to you. For ‘higher ticket’ companies (where more awareness and consideration is needed) then you may need to woo them for longer!
Always bear in mind that they are not on Facebook to be sold to.
They’re here for social connection, to catch up with friends, to have a gossip, and to be entertained.
Add value to their day with content that really resonates with them.
3. Don’t Forget to Propose
Now, we don’t want to stay in the ‘friend zone’ forever, so there comes a time when you need to get down on one knee and ask them to commit to being your customer!
We do that through retargeting your warm audiences.
These warm audiences might include…
- People who have viewed one of your videos
- People who have engaged with your content on Facebook
- People who have visited your website
- People who have put something in their Shopping Cart on your website but didn’t complete the purchase
- People who have expressed an interest in your event
- People on your email list
- People on your Chatbot list
4. Just Because They’re in a Relationship with you, It Doesn’t Mean the Work Stops There!
Once they’ve become your customer, don’t neglect them! If they’ve had one great experience with your business they are likely to come back for more.
Upload your Customer List to Facebook and create a Custom Audience of existing customers. Send them great content, add value to their day, give them offers, and tempt them back to buy again.
And here’s one final Pro Tip for you… Create Lookalike Audiences on Facebook based on your Customer List! That’s saying to Facebook “These are my customers, go and find other people just like them!”
And Facebook will go off and do the hard work for you!”
Abandoning Your Ads after Setting Up – “It’s an original sin to create an ad and abandon it for more than two weeks or so, then realize that you should have been checking the ads daily to see if there are any drastic changes.
In optimizing a newly created ad, allow the ad to fully utilize the algorithm for three days. But, after that, the real job of optimizing an ad begins.
If you don’t check your ads on a daily basis, you won’t know if people are seeing the same ads for several times already. You also wouldn’t know if the campaign is achieving the objectives you’ve set it up for.
Monitoring it would certainly help you make the necessary changes to avoid wasting your money for nothing.
*Ideas on How to Solve It: After the initial three days of letting the Facebook algorithm do its magic, it’s time to monitor your ads on a daily basis and consider making changes, if needed.
In checking the quality of your ads, keep in mind the following metrics:
- Ad frequency
- Click-though-rate vs conversion rate
- Clicks by interest
- Number of leads
- Ad performance by placement
- Relevance Score
When making changes, make sure it is data-driven and not based on a random gut-feeling.
The data you see in your Facebook Ads Manager will help you improve your productivity and ensure that you have a successful campaign.”
Using the Wrong Campaign Objective – “Be careful what you wish for with Facebook, because you just might get it!
Facebook’s advertising platform is incredibly sophisticated in finding the people you tell it you’re looking for. What most advertisers don’t realise, however, is that not all campaign objectives are created equally.
In Business Manager, there is an array of objectives to choose from when creating a campaign, shown below in ‘guided creation’, and ‘quick creation’ mode.
Facebook knows the usage and activity-based behaviours of people on its platform. It will show your ads to people who are likely to take the action you choose, based on their past behaviour.
A common mistake that inexperienced advertisers make is to choose the wrong campaign objective for what they hope to achieve. Let’s say you’d like people to click through to your website and fill out an enquiry form. I often see this set up with a ‘Traffic’ objective, because the thinking is ‘we’re sending people to the website’.
Interestingly, the people who click through to your website from your ad posts are not always those who will actually purchase your services. Facebook knows who is more likely to simply browse your website, and who is more likely to make a purchase or fill out the enquiry form (a conversion).
if you want web traffic, ask for traffic. if you want conversions, ask for conversions.
Ideas on How to Solve It:
The most important step in creating any ad campaign is to define the objective you seek to achieve.
- For awareness, so people know you exist, or to reaffirm your existence in the marketplace? (Brand awareness objective)
- For engagement, where you want as many people as possible to comment, like or share your social media post? (Engagement objective)
- To drive visits to your website so people read more about your services or a blog article? (Traffic objective)
- To encourage visits to a physical store? (Store visits objective)
- To encourage people to subscribe to your email list through a free download? (Conversion objective)
- To prompt prospective customers to book a call with you? (Conversion or lead generation campaign)
- To achieve online sales of your products or services? (Conversion or catalogue sales campaign)
Without first getting clear on what is important to you, your campaigns might not deliver the results you’re after if you choose the wrong campaign objective.
Secondly, if a ‘conversion’ objective is right for your campaign, make sure you have the other components in place to make it work.
You’ll need to have the Facebook Pixel installed on your website, with a conversion event set up (e.g. ‘complete registration’ or ‘lead’) on the Thank You page, for example. This is how Facebook knows a conversion has occurred, and continues to try to find more people in your target audience who are likely to take that action. When you create your ad in the Ad Set level, you will then need to select the conversion event that matches your Thank You page.
Also, be aware that it might not be the best option to optimise for conversions in your ad set. This is because the Facebook algorithm prefers to have at least 50 conversion events in the past week to know what these events look like.
If you’re working with a low budget, or just starting tracking conversions, Facebook might struggle to find the right people if you optimise for conversions, and you could end up with a very high cost per click (CPC). Optimising for landing page views or link clicks might give you a better result, at least to start. You can then switch your optimisation to conversions later.
Advertisers who set up the correct campaign objective and optimisation will have a greater chance of success with Facebook Ads, by attracting the right visitors for the right action.”
Not Creating Segmented Retargeting Audiences – “Getting the Facebook Pixel installed on your website is a must-do before you run any Facebook Advertising campaigns. The pixel is a powerful piece of code that lets you measure, optimise and build audiences for your advertising campaigns.
Many marketers, having installed the pixel, plan to run a retargeting campaign to push Facebook Ads in front of people that previously visited their website. This is a solid strategy; after all, where the average website conversion rate is just 2.35%, this means 97.65% of your website visitors are leaving without doing anything.
When you’re investing time and money to drive traffic to your website, you really want to do everything you can to nurture those visitors to a point where they’re ready to convert. Retargeting ads to those visitors is one way you can do this.
The problem is too many marketers simply set up a single retargeting campaign to target all of their past website visitors with a generic message, and they then expect this to draw people back.
Whilst the mere reminder of who you are and what you’re offering might bring some people back to the site, for many this approach will be ineffective.
Retargeting becomes much more powerful when you spend some time building segmented custom audiences based on things such as the type of product or service they viewed on the website and how far down the purchase funnel they got.
This way you can better tailor ad messaging based on the type of potential customer you are speaking to, making it much more likely they will engage with the ad and ultimately convert off the back of it.
You can build your own custom audiences in the audiences section of your Business Tools, and you can create audiences using criteria such as specifying certain pages the audiences should have viewed, the time spent on the site, the event actions they have taken, and how recently they have been on your website.”
Neglecting the Importance of the Headline – “The best Facebook Ad campaigns pay attention to ALL the elements of the creative, especially the headline text. This is the large, bold text directly under the image or video, and when written well, can help increase engagement with your ads.
While this text is not the part of the ad seen first (especially on mobile), the headline copy is what can make someone ‘stop the scroll’ and really take a look at your offering. It’s a way of reinforcing your key message before the Facebook user moves through the rest of their feed.
My top 3 tips for creating an eye capturing headline:
1) Be Clear and Concise – This is not the place for long, flowing sentences. Get to the point, and fast.
2) Inspire Curiosity – While I never recommend ‘clickbait’ type copy, you have around 5 words to grab their attention, so use them well.
3) Tell People What You Want Them to Do – Give them a clear call to action.”
Not Giving the Facebook Algorithm Enough Control – “Many advertisers and brands make the mistake of not taking advantage of giving Facebook more control, this means using what is known as the Facebook Power 5 which are the following:
- Dynamic Ads
- Account Simplification
- Automatic Placements
- Auto Advanced Matching
1. Dynamic Ads – The first step in allowing Facebook more control in order to get the best results for you (by using the millions of datapoints and years of learning that the algorithm now has which allow it to optimize ads better than humans can) is using dynamic ads. This allows Facebook to deliver the right ads featuring the right products to the right people based on their specific engagement with products or services in that specific niche.
2. Account Simplification – Account simplification is one of the most powerful tools when running Facebook Ads, as fewer ads and fewer ad sets equal quicker learning phases and better optimization. Gone are the days where you need 20 or 30 campaigns in your ad account – simplifying the ad account will simplify your optimizations and make your life a whole lot easier.
3. CBO – CBO refers to campaign budget optimization whereby instead of budgets being set at the ad set level, you can now set them at the campaign level. This means that in real-time Facebook will determine which ad sets in your campaign have the best chance of generating conversions and allocate spend that way throughout the day, allowing you to spend less time in your ads manager constantly tweaking things.
4. Automatic Placements – Many advertisers and brands still use manual placements and the truth is, Facebook knows a whole lot better than you do – where to show your ads in order to get you results. By isolating placements and restricting Facebook you end up with a significantly higher cost per result than you would if you had chosen automatic placements.
5. Auto Advanced Matching – Auto advanced matching allows for better data exchange between Facebook and your site in order to assign conversions to the correct source and allow you to make better data-driven decisions for your future ad spend.”
Not Building Trust First – “Having a great funnel or website is all well and good, but in order to generate a lead and/or sale, we first need to drive the customer from our Facebook Ad.
There is a common misconception that the offline sales process is completely different from the online sales process? Let’s take a minute to think about this, when we go into a high-street store we are usually greeted by a member of staff who will introduce themself and direct us to what we are looking for. After this, they will usually take time to listen and then educate us about the product they feel is right for our needs. If they have done this correctly we will make a purchase, right?
Think about the last 3 purchases you have made from a Facebook Ad… Were the brands totally new to you? Did you make a purchase the first time the Ad appeared on your newsfeed?…. or had you seen content from them over a period of time and then taken advantage of a great offer that they put in front of you?
If a shop assistant approaches you as soon as you enter the store and puts a random product in your face, closely followed by the words “BUY THIS NOW!”, I’m betting the chances that any of us actually purchase the product is slim to none. We don’t “Know, Like or Trust” the seller yet!
This is the No.1 Biggest Facebook Ad Mistake I see from advertisers. A brand that creates a Sales Ad and Targets a fresh audience of 1.2 million people that they think fits their target demographic without first taking the time to introduce themself or build rapport.
How to Fix it
Make sure to segment your Facebook Ads into 3 key content pillars:
- Entertaining and Motivational
- Educational and Value Adding
- Lead Gen and Sales.
Firstly, use Entertaining and Motivational Facebook Ads Campaigns targeting a wide audience to generate an initial round of engagement from potentially interested Facebook Users. But remember, DO NOT TRY AND SELL THEM ANYTHING…YET!
Secondly, show ONLY Facebook users that have engaged with your Entertaining and Motivational Ads, longer-form content such as videos about your brand. A great way to do this is to tell a story. I don’t care about the lovely chair your company is selling, but I can relate to Bob who has been building them by hand for 18 years. Tell me about Bob, why he loves what he does, his family, and not only will I buy your chair, I’ll tell all my friends about Bob and how he built it when they come round for dinner. Another way to do this for the service industry is to offer free training sessions, literally showing people you can help them by actually helping them, But once again remember, DO NOT TRY AND SELL THEM ANYTHING…YET!
Last but not least it’s time to close the sale, but now you’re negotiating from a position of strength. Humans are reciprocal creatures and because you have already given them something for free or “at your expense”, they will feel a natural desire to reciprocate. This means they now know who you are, understand your brand, and what you have to offer that suits their needs and trust you to deliver on it. YES… NOW YOU CAN SELL THEM SOMETHING!
Close the sale with a selection of great offer ads BUT only show them to Facebook Users that have watched at least 50% of your video content and watch the sales start flying in!
Good luck and go and show people you can help them, by actually helping them!”
Forgetting About Other Marketing Methods and Organic Social Media to Support Facebook Advertising – “If you’re relying solely on Facebook & Instagram advertising to sell your products or services – you’re in for a rude awakening.
Plenty of clients come to me and hope that Facebook Advertising can make them millions of dollars, but one of the first questions I ask them is “What other marketing and advertising are you currently doing for your business – or planning on doing”?
Many of them say “Oh I know I need to be posting on Instagram more” or “I don’t have an email list”, or “Other than posting on Instagram, nothing”…
It’s then I hear alarm bells ring in my ears. You see, my most successful clients are those that have an engaged social media following, an engaged email list or have quality leads ready to target.
In order to have successful social advertising campaigns, it is imperative that business owners don’t put all their eggs in the one basket. Facebook Advertising is a way to amplifying your other marketing efforts.
Here are six other marketing ideas you can implement to support your Facebook & Instagram Advertising:
- Set up automatic abandon cart and system emails for your ecommerce store: this will automatically decrease your abandon cart rate, increase customer life-time-value and loyalty (hello birthday vouchers!)
- Develop a realistic cadence of marketing emails: regular marketing emails – providing opportunities for your audience to engage, interact and buy from you via your email marketing provides another touchpoint for your business.
- Regularly post on your social media channels: creating an engaged community online will support your Facebook Advertising efforts by creating custom audiences of engaged users to retarget with Facebook and Instagram Ads.
- Check your engagement rate on your social media: A great way to check your Instagram engagement is using Phlanx – it’s quick and easy, and gives you a good sense of if you need to improve. A good benchmark is around 1.6% (source)
- Set up Google Advertising: Google advertising can be an effective way of driving relevant, qualified traffic to your website exactly when people are searching for the types of products or services your business offers.
- Get a solid SEO strategy: This can improve your search ranking and website visibility – which has a flow on effect in driving more traffic to your website.
The benefit of having an omni-channel marketing strategy, is all about optimising your audience size. If you are using Facebook & Instagram advertising with ‘warm’ audiences, and relying on your website pixel data alone – you’re limiting the number of custom audiences you can target. The time it takes to generate sales and conversions can take a lot longer – and you’ll also be missing out on creating killer lookalike audiences also!
Here are three examples of custom audiences created from other marketing efforts – to get the most out of your paid social activity:
1. Customer List: You can upload a list of customers who’ve interacted with your business. The most common is an email list, but it also could be an event list, or a list of leads from a market or exhibition (hello – real-world events). The benefit here is you can retarget them based on their prior interaction with your business and move them to the next stage of the sales funnel.
2. Video Views (from IGTV video): If you’re a regular video content creator, and uploading video to your social media accounts – creating a Video Views audience is a must! One of my favourites is creating an audience based on IGTV video views – some of the businesses I work with have thousands of people watching their IGTV video content, and being able to retarget them with conversion campaigns or website traffic campaigns is absolutely priceless!
3. Facebook Page: Creating an audience based on interactions with your Facebook page (or Instagram account) is one of the first audiences I set up for new clients. If they’ve got an engaged following on their social media – that is people interacting with organic posts, or previous ads – why not create a custom audience to retarget to. The options here are extensive, and based on varying levels of engagement including targeting people who’ve visited your page, right through to people who’ve saved your page or any post.
Before jumping headfirst into Facebook Advertising, take a step back and look at your other marketing efforts and see what can be improved or turned on first.”
Not Leveraging Lookalike Audiences – “When it comes to Facebook ads, one of the areas that leaves a lot of business owners scratching their heads is: targeting.
While many know they can target based on interests, location, demographics and behavior, Lookalike Audiences are often overlooked.
What Exactly are Lookalike Audiences?
ookalike audiences are audiences that are similar to a source audience that you provide Facebook.
- Email List
- Customer List
- Page Engagement
- Website Visitors
- Video Views
With a Lookalike Audience, you choose a source audience and Facebook will do the rest of the heavy lifting and find more people like them, within the selected location and audience size.
Facebook will then deliver your ad to the audience of people who look like your source audience.
Things to Consider
When creating your Lookalike Audience, you can choose the size of your audience.
The smaller the size the closer it will be in terms of similarity to your source audience.
Facebook recommends the source audience be at least 1000 people.
A source audience must also contain at least 100 people for the country you would like to target in order to use it as a Lookalike Audience.
Here are some examples of Lookalike audiences that you can create:
Upload an existing email list and then create a lookalike audience off of that.
You can create a custom audience of people who have engaged with your page and then create a lookalike audience.
Upload your customer list and assign a value and let Facebook find people like your most valuable customers.
Once you set-up your lookalike audiences, you can then use them in your ad-sets.
Ultimately, with Facebook ads, it all boils down to testing and looking at the data to determine your next move.
While Lookalike audiences are still “cold” audiences, they take a lot of the guesswork out of targeting since Facebook is doing the work for you.”
Not Excluding Past Purchasers – “I’ve seen a lot of ad accounts consulting with 100+ businesses during my time at Facebook. My role was to coach my clients on how to spend most efficiently in the Facebook ads eco-system. One of the most common mistakes I saw is people not excluding past purchasers from their customer acquisition campaigns.
This Presents Two Problems:
- Facebook is optimizing acquisition campaigns off past customers, not new customers who are buying for the first time.
- It is hard to understand true acquisition costs because repeat purchasers are being included in your campaigns. And Facebook is really good as finding and attributing past customers.
When I am conducting audits, it is always a difficult conversation with the client (or even agencies) when I tell them that their performance most likely is not as good as Facebook is reporting. I recently reviewed an account where customer acquisition costs were about 3X higher than they thought because proper exclusions weren’t being applied.
How to Identify and Solve It:
When reviewing performance, one of the very first things I do is break out Facebook’s reporting window into 1-day view, 1-day, 7-day, 28-click.
What this does is allow me to see the breakdown of how Facebook is reporting the purchase event. If there is a large amount of view-through conversions, it may mean that too many past purchasers are being attributed to campaigns. View-through conversions are still important but too many likely means the results are skewed.
From a campaign level, I generally set up 3 types: Prospecting (Top of Funnel/Cold Audiences), Retargeting (Middle of the Funnel), Loyalty (Bottom of Funnel/Retention). For my prospecting and retargeting, I exclude all past purchasers 3 different ways: CSV list from E-commerce platform, Custom Website Audience, and Email Service Provider.
The reason I do it multiple ways is each type might have a separate match rate. Additionally, the pixel only collects data for 180 days. So if you have only excluded it with a 180 Past-purchaser audience with the pixel, past purchasers will be included after 6 months.
Past purchasers are still a really important targeting audience in your Facebook strategy especially during sales and key times of the year. When I do want to target past purchasers, I put them into a separate loyalty campaign, that way I can break them out from my standard reporting.”
Landing Page Issues – “You’ve decided to run a Facebook ad, you’ve picked your objective, targeted like a laser, got your offer nailed and the creatives are looking super good and you’re feeling pretty pleased with yourself. How’s your landing page looking though?
First off, is your landing page relevant to the message you are sending out in your ad? If you’re a Pilates studio targeting beginners in your ad, don’t send them to the advanced class booking page. Consistency is the key. It needs to match up with your ad.
So, you know the rules about before and after shots – you can’t use them in your ads. Ok, that’s fine but surely it doesn’t matter if they’re on the landing page? I’m afraid it does my friend. Your landing page will be looked at too during the ad approval process and your ad may, as a consequence, not be given the chance to get out of the gates. The same goes for wild promises that can’t be proven (make £10k a day guaranteed – that sort of thing).
Does your landing page load in a timely manner? We are not a patient species in general and you may be losing leads/sales. Your sales page needs to be loading in under 5 seconds in an ideal world.
So, if you skipped straight to the end, make sure your landing pages match up with your ads, load quickly and you’re not promising anything you shouldn’t be.
Boosting Facebook Posts – “Boosting posts is one of the biggest no-no’s when it comes to Facebook advertising. Most people aren’t aware that when we “boost” a post we are asking Facebook to optimise for engagement on that post. Boosting posts won’t increase website traffic or increase your sales and this is why it is key to make sure you have a strategy in place and that you are using the Facebook ad account to create your ads.
You want to ensure you are seeing a ROAS on your ad campaigns, so if you are wanting to generate more traffic to your website, use the Traffic Objective for a cold audience and then you want to ensure you have a follow-up campaign to remarket to your website audience using the Conversion Objective and optimise for Purchasers.
Say goodbye to boosting posts and hello to profitable and scalable ad campaigns.”
Not Making Sure The Fundamentals Are In Place Before Campaign Launch – “Facebook ads are too often seen as a panacea for growth and profits.
“Experts” make wild claims about their “secrets” to making money via Facebook ads. It’s all too easy and tempting to fall for this over-simplified solution to successfully running ads.
Whilst it can be pretty lucrative for many businesses – there are a number of other REALLY important factors which you must consider before attempting to invest in ads…
Here are a few of them.
1) Website/Landing Page Conversion Rate – If you have an ecommerce store you need to look at an average site conversion rate of 2%. If you are trying to convert traffic that lands on a landing page – it will need to be converting at 20%. These are really important metrics as even if you have the best quality traffic landing on your site – if it’s not converting that traffic – you are wasting a ton of your investment. This metric is the biggest influencing factor in driving a good ROAS for your ads.
2) Abandon Cart Rate – Ideally, you shouldn’t have any more than 68% abandoned carts. If you do – there is an issue at cart level (shipping, payment options, lengthy checkout). This is a very common bottleneck to experience and is usually down to high shipping costs.
3) A Good Offer/ Hook – You HAVE to give people a reason to give your service or product a go. Don’t under-estimate the power of a great discount for new customers, a really generous free gift or some incredible reviews that give instant trust to your brand. Although you may be reluctant to give large discounts – if you want to grow your brand’s sales online – its something you must have worked into your strategy. Remember – the important metric here is to look at Lifetime Value of a customer – it may mean you break even on their first purchase, but then you need to focus on building that lifetime value and suddenly that initial CPA looks pretty good!
4) Promote Tested, Winning Product – You might have a whole range of product/services and it’s easy to think the best plan would be to promote EVERYTHING so that you cover all bases. WRONG! Pick that product that you know flies off the shelf and is an easy consideration for the consumer. Once you focus on that winning product, you can focus your targeting, copy and messaging on exactly who that product serves and what their pain points and desires might be. Once you’ve converted customers with the no brainer product – you can up-sell all your other items!”
Failing to Hone in on the Benefits of Your Offering – “If you’re going to get one key thing right with Facebook ads do this: work out the BENEFITS OF YOUR OFFERING to your target audience.
DON’T SKIP THIS STEP!
Think about what all good posts do on Facebook – they offer VALUE to the user. They entertain, inform or educate.
So many businesses struggle with this step. They are stuck thinking about why they want to sell their product.
And when an ad is created solely from a business’s point of view, the offering can seem spammy or promotional, and people disengage.
So forget about why YOU want to sell your product and why you think it’s the bee’s knees. You need to think about it from an outside-in perspective.
Map out your audience and then work out the main reasons why they’d want your product. What are the benefits?
Here’s how to do it:
1. Build out a profile of your ideal customer. Here are some ways to do this:
Look at your users on social media, think of buyers you know, look at reviews on Amazon for similar products (this is a great one), if you can – look at Audience Insights in Business Manager (it should show if you have over 1k followers on your page). Map out your target user with demographics and their interests.
2. Now focus on this person, their hopes, dreams, their stage of life. You want to get inside their heads.
Then ask yourself – how does your product or service fit into this…What are the benefits to the user? And what problem does it solve? FRAMING YOUR CUSTOMER’S PROBLEM AROUND YOUR PRODUCT HELPS YOU FIND THE ‘FIT’.
3. Now work this into your copy, your creative, your call to action.
Remember, when a great ad really ‘speaks’ to you, it’s because the business has honed its marketing and shows empathy.
Get this stage right and your ad won’t just talk, but will sing to your audience.”
Not Using One Ad ID Across Multiple Ad Sets – “This is a mistake that is definitely overlooked by many – and it can be costly.
When you duplicate an ad set in Ads Manager you will create duplicate ads BUT the Ad ID will be different. The problem with this is that it negatively impacts your social proof.
You can verify your Ad ID’s by clicking on “Page Posts’ in Ads Manager. You then want to view ‘ad posts’. Take a look at an example I was able to dig up on a client’s account.
This is the exact same ad but it has two different ID’s.
This means that each one will separately track its reach and engagement.
It also means that you are losing out on an opportunity to garner more social proof by having all of the engagement tied to one ad.
It is much better to have 1 ad with 100 likes than to have 10 ads with 10 likes. When people engage with your ad that is a positive sign to Facebook.
As a result, your ads will be delivered cheaper. It is also easier to manage the comments on an ad if there is only one Ad ID.
How to Win
- Create your “BASE” ad.
- Locate the post id of your “BASE” ad.
- Duplicate your ad sets, but afterwards, you will need to update the ad to ‘Use Existing Post’ and supply the Ad ID that you just created.
Now all of the ads will be tied to the same Ad ID and your social proof will be amplified!
If you would like to see me demonstrate this via a video then just click here”
The Content Facebook Doesn’t Like in Ads – What to Watch Out For – “Bill Bernbach said “Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make”
So, the question is, how do you make a good impression? A lot of advertisers will consider this question and think of the end-user, forgetting there’s somebody else crashing the party – the bots and moderators who will approve your ad before it even gets in front of your audience.
So how do you write and design your ad so that it flies through the approvals process and starts delivering?
One of the first things to remember is that Facebook ultimately aims to put the user experience at the heart of the platform. So that means it’s looking for ads that fit nicely into the users feed, attract attention in a positive way and don’t make the reader feel bad in any way.
Where Do I Start?
The first thing to do is to make sure you aren’t using any of the red flags that Facebook looks for when your ad goes to review. Some of them really are common sense – don’t swear, discriminate or use any type of sexual imagery or innuendo, but others are a little less obvious.
Let’s take a look at some of the things to avoid in your ads and how to create some workarounds that will get your ad through the all-important approvals process.
It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It
Misleading or false claims are a big no-no when it comes to Facebook Ads copy, and rightly so. So that means no exaggerated claims, miracle cures, or talking about unrealistic outcomes within a certain time frame.
This can make ads in the healthcare or weight loss space tricky, no more “7 Quick and easy ways to lose your middle-age spread!” headlines. Instead, tone it down and talk about “Tips to tone up”. It makes it far less accusing and isn’t going to make somebody feel bad about themself.
It’s All About You
Facebook doesn’t say you can’t put “you” in your ad copy. But you do need be careful about how it’s used.
The problem comes when you write the ad copy in a way that makes it feel like the ad is directly targeting somebody and calling them out in a way that is against their advertising principles (and polite conversation).
So, for example, you can’t write “Have you been declared bankrupt?” or “Are you single and looking for romance?”, it’s way too direct and has the potential to make the reader feel bad about themselves.
Instead, try and craft your copy to call out your audience so that they relate to what you’re saying, but in a more general way; “Our financial products have everything you need”, or “Meet like-minded people online”.
Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep
Not many people realise that when you send your ad for review, Facebook also looks at a host of other elements, including the landing page you’re sending your traffic to. So if you’re advertising 67% off everything, but your landing page makes no mention of this discount, they will see it as an inconsistency and a sneaky way to drive traffic to your website. Not cool.
That also goes for the imagery you use on the ad – advertising beautiful jewellery which actually turns out to be cheap, cheerful plastic rubbish once you hit the website will get you a red mark too.
So, the upshot is that ads need to be as clear and transparent as possible, with landing pages to match.
Strike a Pose
How do your images look? It should go without saying that they should be clear, and in line with all the usual content restrictions. But the one that commonly catches people out is the 20% rule. This essentially guides the advertiser not to have more than 20% of the image as text as Facebook really likes an image to be an image.
Although it’s not enforced as strictly as it used to be, it’s still worth knowing because it could be a reason why your ad is being held back or rejected.
Mind Your P’s and Q’s
It may seem trivial, but you’ll also be held back if your spelling, grammar or punctuation aren’t up to scratch. In fact, poor grammar falls under Facebook’s list of prohibited content.
And don’t try and sneak in a swear word by replacing letters for symb*ls, as it’s a red flag to the bots and is highly likely to be rejected. Instead, make sure you check your spelling and grammar before the ad goes out to give yourself the biggest chance of success.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the “don’ts” when it comes to ad copy, but it should give you a good start point. If you want to know more, a good place to look is the Facebook Business Help Centre pages where you can find the full list of guidelines and rules.
And if you’ve done all this and your ad is still stuck in review, remember that it can take up to 2 days to get through the process. If you haven’t had any luck, there is a form here (https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/186912391909649?hc_location=ufi) you can fill in for help, or try duplicating the campaign and sending to review again – sometimes it speeds things up.
So when you’re crafting your ads remember the golden rule that Facebook puts the user experience at the heart of the whole platform and make sure you avoid the red flags to help you run a successful campaign. Good luck!”
Too Narrow/Specific Targeting – “Many inexperienced advertisers try to reach their customers by narrowing the targeting to a very specific group of people. E.g. advertising a beauty product only to people who live in particular cities, who are between 25-40, who like similar cosmetic brands and ALSO like Kim Kardashian.
Although it looks like you have defined your perfect audience, typically your highly-targeted ads will reach a very small number of people. This way, you will not only quickly saturate your audience, but miss out on many sales opportunities, which will likely increase your CPA, lower the sales volume and effectively sabotage your campaign results.
- Avoid applying multiple restrictions – choose interests that are relevant to your product, you might even group them if they are similar, but avoid narrowing your audience further.
- If you can, keep the age and gender targeting open and geotargeting – countrywide.
- Keep an eye on the audience size – if it’s less than 200k, try to broaden it.
- Test completely broad targeting (no targeting settings).
Most of all, learn to trust the Facebook ad algorithm. Facebook’s algorithm looks for the cheapest way to reach your goals within your audience. Depending on your campaign objective, it allows you to find the lowest cost conversions/clicks/engagement within the audience you are targeting – so the bigger the audience, the more chances you get to reach customers and the faster you can scale.
The algorithm is smarter than the most experienced advertisers so let it work its magic :-)”
Poor or Unclear Ad Messaging – “An engaging message and a clear offer are the most important things for effective Facebook ads.
No one is going to stop to read an ad that’s not interesting, and if it’s not clear, they won’t take the time to try to figure out what you are offering.
Spend time on your ad copy and visuals to make them communicate your message simply and clearly, and in a way that focuses on what’s in it for THEM.
Your ad copy should include:
1. An Engaging Way to Capture Attention in the Newsfeed
The first sentence of your ad copy is crucial for catching interest from your ideal prospect. Don’t use this to talk about yourself. Find an attractive hook to pique interest.
2. Messaging that Qualifies the Audience
Keep your exact audience in mind when writing your copy so that they know it’s for them. If the right people don’t find it relatable, you could be attracting the wrong people. For example, if your ad copy mentions feeling broke but you’re selling a high-ticket item, you’re probably not going to attract people who want to invest the price of your product.
3. A Clear Description of the Offer
What exactly are you offering, and what are the benefits for the audience? Why should they care? I often use bullets in my copy to convey what’s included in an easy to read format.
4. A Call to Action to the Next Step
Finish with instructions for what you want them to do next. You should make it as easy as possible for them to take you up on your offer. For example:
- Click to download the free guide
- Start shopping today
- Install the app to learn more
This tip isn’t as straight-forward to implement as something more technical like a change to targeting or the pixel. But I truly believe that the messaging is where most advertisers mess up with their ads and where I’ve seen the biggest improvements to campaign effectiveness.
You can be targeting the perfect audience, and have all your configurations set up properly, but without copy that attracts the right people and encourages them to take the next step, it’s likely your campaign will flop.
If you want to really move the needle on your campaign results, focus on your messaging!”