Are you making these 8 Facebook ad mistakes?

by Sandra Rand 5 years ago

Facebook has been working on making their advertising platform increasingly accessible for companies of all sizes. But the options available to develop variations of ads, targeted to millions of types of audiences, can get any marketer caught up in what could feel like a menu of trial-by-error possibilities.

With all the resources and tools we have to track performance and scale effectively, some organizations could be spending massive advertising dollars without being fully familiar with the improvements that could bring their campaigns to the next level.

Check out 8 mistakes that your business might be making with your Facebook ads.

1. not using copy in your ad imagery

With Facebook ads, your creative is the first place eyes are drawn to when people are scanning their newsfeed. You’ve got but a split second to capture their attention and give them a reason to stop scrolling. What’s more, you’ve got 20% allotted for a text overlay on that image to make a statement that captures users’ attention. Go bold. That 20% is up for interpretation, so why not see how far you can push things in terms of size and statement.

2. not leveraging custom audiences

Custom audiences allow you to serve ads to people you already have a relationship with off of Facebook. Do you have lists of prospects from a recent sweepstakes or promotion? Custom audiences help you turn those users into customers or Facebook fans. An email newsletter list of past customers? Serve up targeted ads that reengage them and inform them of new features or new products (this even works well for b2b). Users of your mobile game who haven’t played in 30 days? Remind them what benefits they reap if they return to play today. Pixel information based on people who have simply visited your website? Encourage them to go back to your website and register or purchase the item they were viewing.

Using custom audiences allows you to do some seriously smart (re)targeting with incredibly relevant messages. Studies have shown that Custom Audiences delivers 5x more revenue as compared to standard interest targeting.

As if that wasn’t powerful enough, you can use Lookalike Audiences to target users similar to your website visitors. Not utilizing these set-ups to send relevant messages to various audiences is leaving serious opportunity on the table.

3. stuffing too much into the ad

Think about how you use Facebook. Do you stop to read every line written by friends, “friends”, family or even advertisers? Just because you have the space to include every detail about your offer doesn’t mean you should. When it comes to Facebook ads, success has a character limit.

You’re paying for Facebook ads to help you reach certain goals, but no one ad should be expected to move the needle on ALL your KPIs. Don’t confuse the user by including lengthy copy (which may or may not blatantly request users to like, comment, or share, which you shouldn’t do ever), a text URL within the ad copy, and an image. Narrow it down and you’re much more likely to get users to take that one action you’re seeking.

4. ignoring the right hand rail

It’s tough not to believe that mobile users are the beginning and end to your Facebook ad success. Yes, the rising importance of reaching customers on mobile is well documented. Advertisers spent 56% of their Facebook ad budgets on mobile in Q2, but domain ads are one of the three major ad units employed by advertisers.

Domain ads are the “classic” Facebook ads that you see to the right of your newsfeed. Facebook is in the process of making these ads larger in size and updating the layout to mimic the desktop News Feed.  While CPMs and CPCs will likely increase (though stay below costs of News Feed placement), overall ad performance is expected to improve because of the better image quality. Don’t discount these “old school” ad placements because you assume news feed and mobile ads will perform better for you. As with any advertising, test ad placement against demographics, interest targeting, custom audiences, and creative – you might be surprised at the return you get.


5. not thinking through to the post-click experience

Advertising on Facebook doesn’t just start and end with the ad itself. When a user clicks on your ad, it’s crucial that their experience continues to echo the theme and messaging you originally sold them on.

If you’re sending people off of Facebook, be sure to bring them directly into a deliberate and trustworthy conversion path that supplies them with additional information on the offer, product, or app. Break these habits:

  • Sending them to your homepage “for more information”
  • Send them to any other page that doesn’t explicitly and obviously continue the offer and messaging initiated ad
  • Utilizing expired information, a landing page created for some other campaign, inconsistent branding, or requiring users to search for the next step
  • Not testing the URL before placing it in the ad (see “big ol’ 404” story in #7 below) to ensure it renders well on mobile (if you’re targeting mobile users with the ad) and looks and functions as you want

6. not tracking

You probably don’t have to be reminded, but as a savvy advertiser, you know that without tracking the effectiveness of your Facebook ad spend, you’re simply throwing money away.

In working with us, you get access to real-time reporting that tracks predictive lifetime value from people who saw your ad – understanding how much you can earn from that customer over the long term, instead of just equating the cost of what it takes to acquire them. Beyond the tracking of truly valuable metrics, you also get the expert analysis that comes from our team of Optimizers who have years of experience running ads with Facebook.

In addition to your own Facebook ad analytics, you should be tracking performance across a myriad of industries, looking for trends, benchmarks, new features and best practices, and more. All of this helps to make sure you are tracking your Facebook advertising performance to the very limit, ensuring that every dollar you spend is bringing you value.

But even if you’re working on a lower scale within Facebook’s native ad tools, you’re armed with the information necessary to track conversions (however you define them), which will inform how you should optimize ads for bidding and timing of delivery, plus get the feedback needed to determine what type of ads drive the most return.

7. ignoring comments on ads in the news feed

This one’s less about making money, and more about good community management. Or, more about not wasting money. Even News Feed ads that are not previously published as page statuses give audiences the opportunity to comment. I just did this the other day, in fact, as a well-known email marketing platform served up a fairly compelling ad, and when I clicked, the landing page didn’t exist.

Plain ol’ ugly 404 staring right back at me.

So, I commented on the ad to let them know. I haven’t seen anything from their company since, but what if they paid for this error to be public for days without them realizing that the link was dead?

Regardless, comments on your ads can help you build on relationships with people who have questions or feedback. It’s smart to keep a close eye on the contextual responses you get to your advertising in addition to the click and purchase behavior you are directly paying for.

8. assuming everyone’s new at this

Facebook advertising has been around for a while, and the (native and third party) tools to manage and scale campaigns have matured likewise. Brands are continuing to improve and refine their targeting and overall execution when it comes to developing engaging Facebook ads. As a result – Facebook’s users are paying attention and they’re engaging with them. We know this because both CPCs and CPMs are up. When sophisticated strategies bring worthwhile returns, bigger budgets get allotted. Currently, Facebook sees 7% of total digital ad spending in the world.

The mistake isn’t not including Facebook ads as part of your marketing mix; the mistake is only going in halfway and not putting together a well-rounded and effective strategy to be certain of your ROI. You need to make sure your campaigns have a chance of performing well when there are so many experienced brands competing for the same eyeballs.

Time to Make It Right

Seriously considering these changes to ensure you’re not spending ad dollars inefficiently is just good business practice. Based on what we’ve listed, what will you do today to take your Facebook ads to the next level?

Reasons to Hire An Agency (5)