Did you know that 40% of marketers who were recently surveyed think that they waste 20% of their ad budget every month?
Stats like that can be scary. But, you can prevent a lot of wasted ad spend (and frustration) by avoiding these top Facebook ad mistakes.
Read until the end because we’ve got a free tool for finding your audience that you may not know about.
It’s one of the best-kept secrets in marketing – and it’s not even a secret.
Today, we’ll be going over the top Facebook ad mistakes that new businesses make and how to avoid them.
If you’ve tried paid ads and it didn’t work out, consider giving a Facebook marketing agency like LYFE a try.
So let’s get started!
Top 6 Facebook Ad Mistakes To Avoid
Mistake #1: Making changes too frequently
The first on our list of Facebook ad mistakes that most marketers make is wanting to make adjustments or changes to ads too often.
When you’re running or posting ads on Facebook, of course, you want to see results and you want to see them quickly.
So what do you do when you’re spending and not getting sales as quickly as you want?
Well, you may be tempted to make tiny changes every day or two until something works.
But don’t. Take a deep breath.
We understand the desire to keep throwing darts at the board until something sticks, but that’s not the best strategy when you’re not playing darts.
Your ads, as hard as it is, just need time to learn, and any changes you make lengthens this process.
“But how much time?” you might be wondering.
It will depend on your business. But you’ll want to leave ads running for a couple of weeks to really see how they’re doing.
You can use the learning phase as a guide.
If your ad is in the learning phase, we recommend leaving it alone and not making any more changes until it exits the phase.
Your ad will exit when you reach 50 optimizations in a 7-day period.
The learning phase is your friend.
When you let your ads hang out in the learning phase, the Facebook algorithm (which uses machine learning to make decisions) has time to learn the:
- best people to target,
- best time of day to show the ads,
- where to show the ad, and
- which creative versions of the ad will get the best results.
Making frequent edits can result in the ad, ad set, or campaign not exiting the learning phase.
And this will increase your overall spend and limit future performance.
Let your ads run for a week or more after they exit the learning phase before you make more changes, so you can properly assess how they’re doing.
When you do make changes, batch all of them so you can maximize the time spent in the learning phase.
Mistake #2: Spreading your budget too thin
The next one on our list of Facebook ad mistakes is something that everyone is concerned about – budget.
Budget can be one of the most intimidating parts of marketing.
This is especially true since many small businesses don’t have thousands or tens of thousands to spend on ads every month.
The good news is, you don’t need to spend thousands or tens of thousands a month to see success on Facebook.
You just need to use your small social media budget wisely.
We’ve found that a $500 a month budget is great to start with if you set up your budget properly.
When you assign a budget to your ads in the Facebook Ad Manager, you can set your ad spend at the campaign level or ad set level.
If you choose to use a campaign budget, you set a spending limit…
…and Facebook uses Campaign Budget Optimization to decide where to spend your money to provide the best results.
Here’s how to select Campaign Budget Optimization while you’re creating your campaign:
- Turn on the campaign budget optimization toggle.
- Choose if you want your campaign budget to be a daily budget or lifetime budget.
- Set a budget amount.
- Choose a campaign bid strategy.
- If you use a lifetime budget, you can choose to run ads on a schedule. You’ll set the specific schedule within each ad set.
If you have simple advertising needs, a campaign budget will work well. However, campaign budgets have their limits.
For example, if you’re splitting your budget in a campaign between an ad set that’s targeting a large existing audience…
…and an ad set that’s targeting a new target market, you may notice all of your money going to the existing audience.
That’s because Facebook knows they’ll be the less expensive conversion.
But, Facebook isn’t thinking about the long-term value of the new customer.
In these instances, ad set budget optimization is your best friend.
You can control exactly how much money goes to each ad set, so you can work on those long-term goals or cold audiences.
Mistake #3: Forgetting your off-Facebook funnel
The reason you pay to advertise is to get people to your business, right?
When you advertise on social media, you have a huge opportunity to reach anyone in the world.
But you’re also competing with all of the other things happening on their timelines, from current events, to family news, to funny videos.
What if you were able to guide your customer to a space away from all those distractions?
You can! That’s what your off-Facebook funnel is for!
When someone clicks on your ad, they’re showing intent, however faint it may be.
Maybe they’ll buy, maybe they won’t, but if you don’t reach out to them to try to earn their attention, you’ll never know.
So how do you make sure you don’t lose this customer?
- Build a “funnel” on your landing page like an email sign-up or a chatbox
- A members-only area on your website
- A free community, group, or event
You won’t capture everyone, but you will capture people with a higher level of intent.
Create as many touchpoints as make sense for your business and customer needs.
It can be as complicated as a 15-series drip campaign or as simple as a free group.
Whatever it is, use that avenue to reach out to your customers regularly to build trust, establish expertise, and provide solutions long-term.
If you want to learn more on how to advertise your business on Facebook, then read this post next.
Mistake #4: Sending visitors to a landing page/website that doesn’t function well
So, you’ve captured their attention with a great ad and they clicked.
Congrats! You did it! You’re done!
Not exactly. And this is one of the most common Facebook ad mistakes that many marketers do.
You’ve got the customer on the website – but now you need to get them to sign up, make that purchase or engage in some other way.
If your customers are landing on your website but leaving without completing your desired action, something may be wrong with the landing page.
We like to follow these landing page best practices from Facebook. Your landing page should:
- Load quickly and have high-quality images, video, and design.
- Be directly related to the ad (no tricks or switcheroos – FB gets angry and so do customers)
- Be clutter-free and easy to navigate (if a customer can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll leave)
- Have a clear call to action (buy, sign up, join) visible above the fold.
- Be focused (your company may do a lot of cool things, but this ad and landing page should be very focused, so it’ll be an easy “yes” from your customer)
The best ads in the world won’t convert if your landing page isn’t relevant and functional.
Here are some of our tips on landing page optimization that you can read after this.
Mistake #5: Targeting a huge audience
Audience targeting can seem pretty straightforward, but it’s easy to get wrong. (That’s why it’s included in our Facebook ad mistakes list!)
You may think, “Okay, I’ll target 100 million people who like ‘hats’ and 200 million who like ‘summer’ and I’ll sell all of my sunhats.”
But that’s not necessarily the case.
You may very well sell all of your sun hats – but it may cost you so much money to get there that you don’t even break even.
Your goal with audience targeting is to try to narrow it as much as you can (but not too much).
If you’re starting out from scratch, you’ll begin with a cold audience (people who don’t know you or your business yet).
You’ll target based on age, location, interests, and behaviors.
If you’re an established business that is new to Facebook advertising, don’t worry, you’re not at 0 again.
Upload your customer data list from your CRM or email provider.
From here you can target the customers on the list and find people who behave like them (which is called a lookalike audience).
You may be thinking, “Well that’s great for businesses who already have customers. But what about me? I”m a brand new business.”
You start with your best guess and make adjustments from there.
There’s a great tool from Facebook that helps you get a head start and it’s completely free.
Audience Insights is our go-to for finding audiences for our clients.
Enter your best-guess audience demographic, interests, behaviors, location, etc. and you can see that audience compared to everyone on Facebook.
Use this information as a starting point for your targeting.
The Page Likes tab gives you an idea of where your audience hangs out online.
It’s a good idea to live like your ideal customer online, in a way, so follow the pages that they follow and visit the websites they visit.
Use this collected information as a starting point for your targeting.
Mistake #6: Only using Facebook targeting to find new audiences
Now we’re down to the last one on our list of Facebook ad mistakes.
Remember how we said audience targeting is important but easy to get wrong?
Facebook’s built-in targeting is fine, and if you’re a brand new business, it’s often your only choice.
But as soon as you can, you need to be utilizing Facebook’s Custom Audiences.
You can use custom audiences to retarget ads to folks engaging with your business.
And you can also use custom audiences to create Lookalike Audiences.
These are folks who haven’t interacted with your business, but behave similarly on Facebook to the folks who have. Let’s look at those now.
You can create a custom audience using a few different sources:
- Website activity
Facebook uses information gathered from the installed Facebook Pixel to find these folks on Facebook.
The pixel helps track the user on your website and back to Facebook.
You can get really specific here, targeting people who visited any page on your website, or who visited specific pages.
You can also target folks who viewed a product but didn’t buy it, or folks who abandoned their carts.
- App activity
Similar to website activity, using app activity will track users through your app to see what they’re engaging with.
- Engagement activity
When you choose engagement, you’re selecting people who have already shown interest in your business.
This includes those who interacted with your Facebook and Instagram pages, posts, and ads.
You can target specific types of engagement like:
- Page likes
- Video views
- Lead form completion
- Previous shoppers
- Event attendees
- Customer list upload
If you have an existing customer list, like from your CRM or email subscribers, you can upload that to Facebook.
Facebook will use this list to find those customers, and you can create a lookalike audience to find users who behave like your customer list.
Here’s an example from a client we’ve helped.
This client started with us in September of 2019. In that time they’ve spent $200,000 on ads and brought in $1.4 million dollars in conversions.
We achieved this mostly with custom audiences, including their email list.
Here’s how you’ll create a custom audience on Facebook:
- In the Audience section, below Custom Audiences, select Create New.
- Choose Custom Audience from the dropdown.
- Select a source. In this case, we’re using an email list, so we’ll upload the .csv file.
- Enter the criteria for your ad set’s Custom Audience.
- Name your audience.
- Select Create Audience.
- Select Done.
No More Facebook Ad Mistakes!
There you have it.
Those are the top Facebook ad mistakes that we see most often, and how to avoid them (or fix them when you notice them).
Don’t be frustrated with yourself if you’ve been making (or have made) these mistakes. It’s all a learning process.
You’ll figure out something new every time you run a campaign, and you’ll get better as you go.
The important thing is to keep making adjustments, pay attention to your results, and try new things.
But if you want to avoid wasting your ad budget and skip the learning process, then work with the experts.
LYFE Marketing offers various social media advertising services, including Facebook advertising for businesses like yours.
Simply get in touch with us today to schedule a meeting.