Updated: Dec 3, 2019
When you speak to most agencies or individual marketers these days, you hear about Facebook Ads somewhere in the conversation. The reason that most people are on the "Facebook Ads" boat isn't just because it's a popular platform. Facebook offers an expansive marketplace full of all kinds of people and businesses that are seemingly waiting for you to reach them.
There are nearly 2 billion worldwide users on Facebook which is a no brainer when it comes to finding places that could be extremely beneficial for advertising. Advertising on Facebook itself is pretty easy if all you want to do is throw a picture or video up, write some text and put it in front of some people. However, reaching the correct people with the right message and converting those people into clients is a whole different ball game.
In this article, I want to discuss how to stop being depressed about your Facebook ads not working and fix the issues. Believe it or not, you CAN fix your ads and increase the click-through rate (CTR), engagement, and conversions.
1.Reasonably Refine Your Audience Selection
Looking at all of the choices for audience selection and other variables while setting up an Ad can be like a kid in a candy store. There are literally millions of ways to segment your audience based on demographics, interests, behaviors, preferences, and so much more. There's no telling how many people deep dive into all of the choices and pinpoint an exact match for their client, not realizing that they are shooting themselves in the foot.
Narrowing down your audience too much can kill any chance at actually reaching the right people. If you have a very segmented, narrow audience selection there's a big chance that you'll exhaust that audience way too fast and your cost per click will go through the roof. You could also leave out necessary people segments by narrowing the location or demographics too much.
While you don't want your audience selection too narrow, making it too broad could also be detrimental to the well being of your campaign. You could be showing your ad to thousands of people who aren't interested in your offer resulting in clicks that go nowhere and higher cost per click because your audience and message don't match.
How do you fix this?
The solution isn't too hard at all. Actually, you only need to go to the ad campaign that is currently not performing well due to an audience that is too narrow or broad and mess with..."and". If your audience selections are too narrow, widen the entire audience profile by not using the "and" setting.
In turn, if your audience selection has been too broad, tighten things up by using the "and" setting.
2. Sales Funnel Issues
When someone clicks on your ad...what happens? The sales funnel from beginning to end is as important as the ad itself. If the planning, design and ad placement has been done well enough for the potential customer to see, respond and click on the ad, it should also be part of the planning to continue through to an in-depth sales funnel, squeeze page or lead page that will guide the customer through a well thought out sales cycle into a conversion.
A few things to think about would be...do I have a funnel that people leave because it is uninteresting and too long? Or maybe people get all the way through the funnel and don't feel enough of an urge to opt into your offer. Is there an offer? How great of an offer is it? Is it irresistible? Does your funnel speak to the potential customer? Are the right kinds of people finding the funnel? Try to form a funnel that consists of the following, in this order:
1. Awareness (Ad)
2. Discovery (Media in ad)
3. Intent (Lead Page)
4. Evaluation (Content on lead page)
5. Purchase (Offer | Ask for sale)
When you're creating your ad and designing the funnel that will follow the ad, make sure you've thought through each aspect of the funnel. Don't ask for the sale too soon but don't drag it out either. There is a balance that can be learned over time. The real secret is that no one gets it perfect the first, second, third, or fourth time. PLEASE TEST YOUR AD! I can't say that enough. So many people say, "Facebook just isn't working for me." I then ask, "How many ads have you run?" Most of the time I hear that they've only run 1-3 ads and after further questioning, they reveal that no tests have been done to see where they could improve the ad or the funnel.
How do you fix this?
There isn't a definitive answer. However, if you focus on making sure the user experience throughout the funnel isn't overly complicated and contains only pertinent information to their issue that you are trying to solve.
Remember, you pulled them off of their time on Facebook...you'd better have a good reason. It should be easy to make a compelling sales funnel if you've done other things correctly like refining your audience and you know exactly who your selling to.
3. Your Message Doesn't Match Your Audience
Don't talk fancy and over their heads. This will guarantee that your message doesn't match your audience. Look at your target audience and speak as they speak. Don't use any messaging that wouldn't be used in an everyday conversation in a room full of your target audience. Every ad will have a specific message format based on the audience.
How do you fix this?
Do your research and ask people that fit your audience. I have actually called friends that fit in an audience segment from an ad I am working on and asked what they thought. No feedback is a waste.
Sometimes people will tell you little tidbits that you can use in your messaging that ends up making an ad like gold.
4. Not Easy After the Click
How awful is it when you see a great ad on Facebook, something you are really interested in but when you click on it you feel like you've walked onto a car lot and you're surrounded by half a dozen car salesmen? It also sucks when you click on an ad and it is so hard to navigate and understand what they are even selling.
The biggest mistake you can make is sending potential clients to your homepage with ZERO calls to action. So many businesses send potential clients to a page that wasn't even designed to sell anything. DON'T DO THIS.
How do you fix this?
Users should be sent to a page that is branded and feels just like the ad they just came from. The page should be clear, concise, easy to navigate and the messaging should be easy to understand.
If a potential client can't see that they will be able to get what they came for in the near future they will disappear off your page. The ad must lead them to a page that's even better than the awesome media and content in the ad.
5. Text Filled Images
As you know, Facebook is in control of the algorithm that ultimately decides exactly who your ad gets put in front of. Part of doing everything you can to get your ad in front of the right people means not putting lots of text in your ads.
Facebook seems to sometimes deprioritize ads with excess text in the images. This can negatively impact your reach and even increase your CPC (cost-per-click).
How do you fix this?
Heed the warnings. The lovely individuals at Facebook have done a great job of warning us when anything seems off with our ad...before we publish it. If you see any warning when you upload an image with text, take it seriously. Too many people ignore it. Simply edit the image until there is no warning.
Use the headline and description area to put your awesome message instead of the image. Make clean images that are so in sync with your messaging that you don't need any text in the images.
6. Creative Lacks Creativity
How creative is your ad? Will your image jump through all of the media on Facebook as their scrolling? Does your text make them want to read through to the end?
Facebook is full of ads. Yours has to stop them and make them want to engage...and do it!
How do you fix this?
There is a simple answer. If you're not good at creative...practice. There isn't a substitution for experience.
If you aren't good at writing copy, hire someone. If customers are dropping out of the sales funnel and your click-through rate is low...your creative needs more creativity.
If you have no idea about what photos/videos would capture attention, ask people withing that audience segment. Hire a professional photographer or videographer or marketing team who has done it before. Even paying someone the first few times can teach you a lot about what works and what doesn't.
7. Choosing the Wrong Bidding Method
Don't get worried! It sounds complicated...but we can work through it.
A lot of people let Facebook do its thing when it comes to the whole bidding section of setting up an ad. Sometimes it works out fine. However, if things aren't going as well as you'd hoped with your ad, you may want to consider tweaking the bidding through selecting manual bidding.
How do you fix it?
Test, test, test. Once you turn on manual bidding, try different scenarios and tune it in small increments. Test different delivery and bidding strategies without over-adjusting.
You have to be careful not to go too far away from what Facebook's system automatically set based on everything you told it you were trying to accomplish.
Figure out how much your willing to spend on a click and start with that bid. Try to spend your budget on only a few campaigns so you don't decrease the potential for each campaign.
8. Choosing the Wrong Objective
When you are initially setting up your campaign, choose your objective correctly. This is entirely based on your goals and strategy with each campaign. This is laying the foundation for your campaign. Choosing incorrectly can cause the entire ad to fail.
Facebook offers several main groups called Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion. Withing these are several objectives that can confuse you if you aren't careful. They are Brand Awareness, Reach, Traffic, Engagement, App Installs, Video Views, Lead Generation, Messages, Conversions, Catalog Sales, and Store Traffic.
How do you fix it?
Ensure that you are crystal clear on the objectives and goals of your campaign. Then use Facebook for Business to make sure you understand exactly how your objectives match up with the campaign you are about to set up.
9. Expecting Too Much
Sometimes it seems as though we forget that people on Facebook are just talking to their friends and casually scrolling through their news feed...NOT actively shopping on Google. When someone scrolls across your ad they aren't looking for your product...they are happening upon it, so to speak.
The key to introducing someone to your brand is first understanding that if this is the first time they've seen it you must start with a casual introduction and not a hard sell. If this is the first time it may even be a good idea to strictly get them to sign up for emails or get page likes to increase brand awareness. Then follow-up with some retargeting.
This is part of discussing and coming up with a rock-solid strategy that includes a thought out funnel.
10. Failing to Manage and Monitor
The things that we've discussed are worthless without managing and monitoring. You can be perfect at setting up an ad, choosing everything correctly, designing perfect media and writing an incredible message. However, if you want a GREAT campaign with GREAT results, follow these suggestions to get the most out of your ad.
Check the Ad on Multiple Devices - You can actually set which devices you want your ad to be seen on. If you want to run your ad on all devices then you'd better check it on ALL devices. To only show it on certain devices click Manage Placements.
Choose the Platforms - Under the ad setting pick which platforms besides Facebook you want it shown on. (ie: Instagram)
Demographics - Figure out which demographics your ad performs best in front of and optimize.
Checking Performance in Ads Manager - Check to see how your performance compares to past ads. Also, use this information to determine whether or not you are reaching your target audience. This is the information that will determine how you will make decisions for optimization and future ad campaigns.