Facebook is not only the biggest social network out there, it’s also one of the largest and results-oriented online advertising platforms we have today.
Right from big brands like Starbucks to small mom and pop stores, you’ll find businesses of all types and sizes advertising on Facebook to grow their customer base.
With 92% of social marketers using Facebook paid ads and 80% of social marketers trusting them, there’s no doubt these ads are working for all kinds of businesses.
And given the kind of growth Facebook is seeing, they will continue to give results to savvy marketers.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Facebook, with its 2 billion strong user base, can help you reach out to a large segment of your target audience. People who are actually interested in doing business with you.
However, in order to get the kind of positive results you want, you need to know what goes into running successful Facebook paid ads. Because when you efficiently use Facebook’s robust targeting features and create the right ad, you can easily get a high return on your investment.
If you’ve never worked with Facebook paid ads before, the whole trial and error process can seem daunting. And sometimes even feel frustrating. Because you’re investing real money here, we know the last thing you want is to burn a hole in your wallet by making avoidable errors.
Fortunately, this article can help you make your Facebook advertising journey a lot simpler, and easy on the budget. Given below are some of the most common yet critical mistakes that you should avoid at all costs.
Ready? Let’s go!
Mistake #1: Not Focusing on the End-Goal
While some may think that the first step to creating profitable Facebook paid ads is creating the ad itself, when it’s the opposite.
The real first step comes before you start on your ad. It’s about choosing your marketing goal or objective and being absolutely clear about it. Since you’ll find more than one option to select, the whole experience can get confusing and you may end up going for the wrong one.
Facebook advertisers, especially the ones who are new to the platform often make the mistake of starting a new campaign without knowing their end-goal. Which will obviously impact your ROI.
While it is okay to plan out the basics of your ad, you should avoid designing your ad unless and until you are sure of your main objective.
Ask yourself, what do you want to achieve from Facebook paid ads?
Do you want to…
- Get more sales for your latest product?
- Generate quality leads that you can nurture?
- Build better and improved brand awareness?
- Increase traffic to your company blog?
No matter what your ultimate objective is, the Facebook paid ads you create and the campaigns you run must be aligned with it — right from the start. This helps you achieve two things:
- You will be able to design more relevant and click-worthy ads that your audience can connect with.
- You will be able to choose the best and the most relevant campaign objective (e.g. Local Awareness, Lead Generation, Conversions, etc.)
Remember, choosing the right objective is integral for your campaign, not only because it’ll stop you from losing your advertising dollars but also because it’ll set you up for better Facebook paid ads campaigns in the future.
Mistake #2: Targeting the Wrong Audience
There are many social media marketing techniques out there that can help you get exposure to your business. However, Facebook paid ads have carved a unique place in the social media marketing arena, and they continue to grow in popularity. Mainly because of Facebook’s superior targeting features that let advertisers work on a budget and still reach out to specific audiences.
However, the sheer size of Facebook’s user base can be defective, especially when it comes to choosing your audience. You cannot and should not target anybody and everybody with your ads just because it’ll fetch you more eyeballs.
Doing so may let you generate a lot of engagement and a ton of paid clicks. But what’s the use if the people seeing your ad if they aren’t actually interested in your offer? Even if they engage and click, they won’t convert because they cannot benefit from your service or product.
And then you’ve just wasted money.
It’s not only important to get your ad seen by a significant number of people, it’s also vital that the ad is relevant to them. The last thing you want is to lose money on your ad just because you went after the wrong set of people.
So how do you go about targeting the right people?
You need to learn and understand your audience more effectively. Here are two ways to do that:
- Use Audience Insights: Right above your Page Insights, you’ll find Audience Insights, which you can use to gauge the interests of your target audience and the common demographics they share with each other, such as the pages they like, how active they are on Facebook, etc.
- Carry out a Customer Survey: In order to understand your buyers better and also to effectively filter through your Ads Manager, you can do a basic survey to learn about your existing customers demographics such as location, gender, age, job position, etc.
Mistake #3: Not Testing Variables Individually
Every marketer knows the value of having insight into what’s working and what’s not. In order to to get this insight, testing and experimenting with different versions of your ad is what you can do.
However, you can only gain true clarity if you test one variable after another instead of testing multiple variables. Effective testing involves the isolation of each testable variable to find out what changes to the ad are making the most difference.
Without isolating the ad variables, you’ll get mixed results. And you’ll have a hard time figuring out which factor worked for your campaign, and which factor worked against.
Let’s say you test three different audiences, along with three different ad copy headlines. And end up getting positive ROI from your test campaign. Even though you’ve created a winning ad, the question is, what made it work? Was it the audience or the ad headlines? Or both?
You should try to isolate each variable and test it out before moving on to the next so that you know exactly what changes worked.
When you use Facebook paid ads, you work on three levels in your Ads Manager account. You can run tests on each level.
- Campaign (conversion, lead generation, etc)
- Advert Set (targeting, placement, etc)
- Ad (image, links, etc)
Testing is an integral part of a successful Facebook ad campaign. However, not having a proper method to test won’t help in any way. You need to be sure of what elements you want to test, and when. That’s the only way you’ll be able to optimize your ads for a better ROI.
Mistake #4: Choosing a Too Broad or Too Narrow Audience
Once you are done telling Facebook of the the type of audience you want to target with your ad campaign, it shows you the number of people you can reach with your ad. When choosing the number of people you want to show your ad to, see to it that you do it carefully and keep your budget in the forefront.
Now, the idea is to avoid going after an audience that’s too broad or too narrow. And finding the sweet spot. When you’re creating your ad take a look at the “potential reach” to ensure you’re headed in the right direction.
A good thumbs rule to know if you’re going too broad is to question yourself. Be realistic in your approach and ask yourself, will you benefit by reaching out to 950,000 people all at once?
Do you think such a large number of people will be interested in your product or service?
Or is your market much smaller than that?
If you feel it is too broad then you can always narrow it by adding more demographics/interests.
On the other hand, try to keep the audience at a considerable size because lowering it too much can stop your ad from being shown. Facebook does not deliver ads to a very narrow audience.
In order to experience a strong return on investment, you need to perfectly balance the following:
- Quality of your audience
- Size of your audience
- The price you’re paying to reach out
Now the obvious question is, how do you know for sure your audience is way too narrow or too broad? How can you be sure that the size is optimal?
- Collect Data by Going BroadStarting off with a huge audience by going too broad is not at all wrong. In fact, it is sometimes recommended. Although a very broad audience is not good for ad targeting, it’s great for gathering a basic amount of data to learn about the people you want to target. It gives you the room to learn and narrow down one step at a time. If you begin with a highly narrow audience, then it’ll be impossible to gain any real data that you can analyze and draw conclusions from.
- Focus on an Efficient Conversion RateRunning ads is all about getting a good conversion rate so that your costs aren’t eating into your budget. Anybody running Facebook paid ads need to remember that the narrower your reach is, the more expensive each click or lead becomes. So you’ll pay more when you’re targeting “People in the U.S. who like Toyota, are male, and live in Los Angeles” instead of “People in the U.S. who like cars”.
The idea is to know when to stop when you’re narrowing down. Because technically speaking, when you reach the right audience size, you shouldn’t be applying more layers of targeting. Having an optimal audience is what you should be aiming for as it allows you to get a good amount of clicks that convert, without going too broad.
- Be Bold & Try Small AudiencesWhen you effectively target your audience with Facebook paid ads, you’ll find the response is higher in terms of the clicks you receive and conversions you get. Because your ad will be highly relevant to the people who see it, you’re in a better position to achieve a better ROI. So if you know your niche well enough, you can actually work with smaller, tightly knit audiences as they are more likely to buy from you.
Be bold with smaller audiences. As you move forward, you’ll learn more about them, giving you the ability to optimize your ads better each time. It’ll also be easier to identify winning ads from the losing ones within your niche audience.
It will take a bit of trial and error before you are able to find your optimal audience. But nevertheless, the effort to discover them will be worth it in the long run.
Mistake #5: Ignoring the Importance of a Quality Image
As of the second quarter of 2018, Facebook had 2.23 billion monthly active users, says Statista. And these users share hundreds of millions of content pieces everyday. Which makes it extremely important for your ad to stand out in a user’s newsfeed.
What’s more, if you analyze the overall performance of a Facebook ad, you’ll find that images make a huge difference (up to 90%). If you’re not focused on using the right creative in your Facebook paid ads, you’re definitely losing money and not getting the ROI you should.
It’s important to understand that a Facebook ad is very visual. Which means if users stop scrolling and look at your ad, the first element they will notice is the image and how interesting it is.
If the creative you use is not going to appeal to your target audience, you risk losing their attention, and their valuable click. Any visual elements including the image you use has to be captivating in order to get people to notice your ad.
There are different types of Facebook paid ads, and most, if not all, let you add an image.
If you go beyond the regular single-image newsfeed ad and choose the slideshow or carousel ad format, you’ll be able to add multiple images. Which can make your ads more attention grabbing and engaging, leading to more clicks and higher conversion rates.
According to a research conducted by David Ogilvy, images hold precedence over text mainly because they are not only viewed but are also absorbed before the text is noticed. Images are obviously a powerful and effective way to add that unique factor to your Facebook paid ads and get people to see them in their newsfeed.
So how do you really choose an image that helps you reach your goals? How do you make sure your ad looks unique amongst other Facebook paid ads?
When it comes to selecting the image for an ad, you should always try and connect it to the “why” behind your ad. In other words, if you’re running a Facebook campaign, you obviously have a purpose behind it. Your ad has an offer for your audience. And that’s the “why” part you need to take seriously.
Every single image that you choose for your Facebook paid ads campaign should be relevant to your offer. If you’re promoting a product or a service, then the image should be in sync with it.
Sure, you can always buy a random stock photo to fill the void. But using an image just for the heck of it may backfire and give you a poor ROI. Grabbing the attention of your target audience isn’t the only goal. It’s also about getting them to click and take action.
Make sure you choose an image that is relevant. We suggest taking a minimalist approach to designing your ad. Which means the image should be less distracting and more enticing with minimal amount of text.
If you want, you can use a free graphic designing tool such as Canva to enhance images and customize them for your campaign. Remember, using the right image result in great engagement. So spend time creating one.
If you’re just not one with colors and graphic design, then we have a full staff specializing in Facebook advertising that can not only create them but also run your ads for you. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about our services.
Mistake #6: Tweaking or Pausing Your Ad Too Early
Patience is an important virtue, especially when you’re running Facebook paid ads. Since you’re investing money into your Facebook advertising campaign, it’s easy to get impatient and expect to see quick results. You may feel like you’re only losing money in the beginning.
This can push you to change your ad copy or tweak the image in order to take control of your ads. However, your effort to optimize the campaign can backfire because the initial stages of your ad is about gathering key data and getting more insight.
So in order to make things simpler and to ensure you’re comfortable with your ad spending, you need to be clear about how much you can spend to gain a single customer.
For example, let’s say you’re selling a widget for $30 that cost you $12 to manufacture and package. Then you might be willing to spend up to $18 to acquire a customer. This would be a break even point – not necessarily a profitable point (at first).
The more you optimize Facebook ads, the better results you will see. It just takes testing the waters to find a winning campaign.
It’s a good idea to not tweak your Facebook paid ads or even pause them until and unless you have reached an audience of 1,000 – 2,000 people. This should give you the needed data to learn from your campaign. If you made a good return on investment, you can continue improving the ads that worked. And if you lost money, then you’ll have to analyze what went wrong.
Mistake #7: Not Using the Facebook Pixel
The Facebook paid ads system is designed to help advertisers gather data and work with it. The advertising program uses a code called the Pixel that lets you learn more about your audience and what actions they took based on performance data. This lets you improve your overall targeting efforts.
For instance, if your campaign’s objective is lead generation in the beginning, Facebook doesn’t know what lead generation means to you when you haven’t generated any leads. Once you start gathering leads, Facebook starts showing the needed data.
The Facebook ad pixel is a highly effective way to measure and collect data from your website. These are the results that will tell you more about the habits of your audience and how they engage with your brand on Facebook. Which allows you to create and deliver more customized ads and convert better.
Never used the Facebook ad pixel on your site before? No worries. The pixel is nothing but a snippet of code connected to your ad account. Here’s what it looks like…
All you need to do is follow through the prompts in order to create a pixel when setting up your ad. If you don’t know how to do this, one of our expert ad specialists can install your pixel for you. It’s included in our Facebook advertising services.
There are three main reasons as to why you should use the pixel:
- It helps you build “custom audiences” by keeping tracking of your website visitors so that you can re-market to them using Facebook paid ads.
- It lets you effectively optimize your ads so that you’re converting more clicks into leads/sales.
- Above all, it allows you to track conversions on your site so that you know how much of your paid traffic is converting.
Every business owner that is using Facebook paid ads needs to start using the pixel. Without one, you’re not simply getting the most out of your advertising. People who have already visited your website or your landing page but didn’t convert are your prime audience. And the pixel allows you to tap into them.
These people are not only familiar with your brand but are also more engaged when compared to new users. When you target an ad towards them, you improve your chances of getting better conversions at a lower cost.
The Worst Mistake
Aside from the 7 mistakes we already mentioned, probably one of the worst mistakes you could make when it comes to advertising your business on Facebook is not working with a professional. You, as a business owner, are clearly talented in many ways. Promoting your business may be one of them. But unless you have years of experience and stay informed on the continuous Facebook updates, then you won’t be able to produce top notch ads.
Take the next step and choose to work with a professional advertising company like ours. We provide you with a dedicated designer and specialist to create, monitor, and optimize your Facebook paid ads. Contact us today if you’re ready to stop making mistakes.