“Facebook Ads Don’t Work”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that old chestnut! So let me assure you that this is not true! Facebook ads DO WORK! If they didn’t then savvy global brands wouldn’t be ditching traditional advertising in favour of Facebook and Instagram advertising.

In the UK alone, businesses are investing over £3.8 Billion on Facebook ads!

But if you are using them and finding they don’t work for your business, it’s important to uncover why that might be. You can then make adjustments to increase their chances of success and start to see a return on your ad spend.

Here’s 8 reasons your ads aren’t working:


1. You are using the boost button.

Let’s be clear here, there is a big difference between a Facebook ad and a boosted post. And it is important to choose the right one, depending on your goals.

Boosted posts can only go so far and if you are trying to generate leads or increase sales then they just aren’t going to offer you the targeting or campaign objectives that you need.

If you have a well performing post and are considering boosting it, you will get more options by taking that post into ads manager to create a targeted ad with it.

This post will explain more about why you should step away from the boost button.

2. You’ve chosen the wrong campaign objective.

With 11 campaigns to choose from when setting up your Facebook ad it can be confusing to know which one to pick. So start with your end goal in mind and work backwards.

Each campaign objective will send Facebook out to find the people within your audience who are most likely to take the action you want.

For example, if you simply want people to visit your website, you’d choose traffic and Facebook would find the people most likely to click onto the link to visit your site.

But if you want sales, then conversions would allow Facebook to find the people most likely to make a purchase once they land on your site.

Get the campaign objective wrong and you could find your ad costs rising without much in return. The wrong campaign objective can lead to Facebook showing your ads to the wrong people.

Unsure on which campaign to pick? This guide might help.

3. The targeting is wrong

Facebook offers so many great options to create audiences for your ads, and when used right you can get great results.

However, get it wrong and you’re paying to show your ads to the wrong people.

When advertising to cold audiences it can be tempting to stick to interest based targeting. Defining your audiences by demographics, job title, interests etc is a great way of finding the ideal person. But to get this right you need to know a lot of detail about the people you are trying to find, and some of it will be down to guess work.

Tools like Connect Explore can help you to uncover some great targeting options and keep an eye on the ones that are working for you.

It is worth remembering that Lookalike audiences can sometimes work better than interest based audiences, if you have a good ‘seed’ audience to build one from.

If you are trying to increase sales, creating a lookalike audience of past purchasers will allow Facebook to go out and find the right people for you. So you don’t have to spend time considering what your customers all have in common with each other.

Lookalike audiences will be more accurate, the larger the ‘seed’ audience is as

Facebook will have more data points to consider.

Which audience works best? That differs for each business and the only way to know for sure what works for your business is to test.

4. You aren’t retargeting

Your warmest customers are always likely to be the ones who will take your desired action. They already know you and don’t need warming up so always consider using custom audiences when retargeting.

Custom audiences can be created from a range of data sources including your social media fans, (GDPR compliant) email lists, website visitors and existing customers.

If you aren’t retargeting your warmest leads you are leaving money on the table.

5. The copy sucks

So often poorly performing ads can be improved with a few tweaks to the copy and Facebook ads are all about testing so nothing needs testing more than the ad copy.

When writing copy for ads it is important to remember to talk directly to your ideal customer, in language they use.

Consider the transformation and sell the sizzle, not the sausage! We don’t really care what 10 steps your digital download will take us through, but we do care what will happen if we follow these steps.

Also, please stop using hashtags in ads!

6. The call to action isn’t right

Unless your audience know what action they need to take next, there’s a good chance they just aren’t going to take it.

So if you want them to download a lead magnet, tell them to hit the download button (and make sure you use the right button!)

Make it simple and easy for your audience to do whatever you need them to do.

Don’t confuse things by having more than one call to action in an advert.

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7. The budget isn’t big enough

Your budget needs to be realistic, you can’t expect to get great results if you are only spending £1 or £2 a day. Remember that Facebook is running out of space, and you are competing against other brands to get your ad in front of people.

As a baseline you should be expecting to invest a minimum of £10 per day per audience.

The cost of your product or service needs to be taken into account to understand what your budget should be.

If you are expecting people to spend £1000 with you, you need to be realistic about how long it might take to build the know, like, trust factor and convert them. It won’t be an immediate decision so you may need a retargeting funnel which means a bigger budget.

8. You don’t understand the data

If you don’t understand the data then you can’t ever know if your ads are performing well or not. Your sales may not be increasing, you may not be getting the leads you need, but that might not be down to the ads!

Facebook’s ads manager gives highly detailed data so you can see exactly what it costs per click, find out your click through rate, understand your ROAS (return on ad spend). Understanding the data allows you to understand the whole user experience and see where the journey is breaking down.

For example, ads manager may be showing you that the click through rate is high but the landing page views are low, which could highlight an issue with your sites load speed.

Your Facebook ads may be driving lots of traffic to your website, but if the user experience on the site isn’t good, or the postage costs are too high then you’re not going to get the sale.

Understanding the data allows you to carry out testing and then optimise and scale your ads to get the most out of them.

Still not sure why your ads aren’t working? Or wondering how to understand the data to see if they might be working better than you think?

Find out how you can spend 60 minutes delving into Facebook ads and getting your better acquainted with ads manager in a 1:1 POWER HOUR

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by Laura Moore

Laura is a Facebook marketing consultant specialising in Facebook and Instagram ads.  She works with businesses to help generate leads and increase sales.  To find out more about how Laura can help you click here

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