10 Reasons Advertisers Fail at Facebook Advertising

10 reasons advertisers fail at facebook advertising

With close to 2 billion users on Facebook, businesses are jumping at the opportunity to leverage the robust advertising platform. When ads are set up and executed effectively, advertisers can see very positive results. But if you’re new to the platform or inexperienced with advertising in general, there are millions of reasons why you might not be seeing the click-through-rate (CTR), engagement, or conversions you were expecting. Here are some of the common reasons marketers fail at Facebook advertising:  

Too Narrow of an Audience

Some marketers are inclined to think the smaller the audience, the more effectively they can focus the messaging and relevance of the ad. However, a number of problems could arise using this strategy.

A smaller audience could:

  • Become exhausted too quickly
  • Lead to a higher CPC (cost-per-click) because Facebook can’t serve more people at a given cost
  • Omit key individuals by narrowing specific locations or demographics too much
  • Limit your campaign if the Detailed Targeting settings incorporate “and must also match at least one of the following”

facebook detailed targeting

Solution: Consider going wider than what you feel is the most ideal target. When creating your audience, consider not using the “and” settings that appear in the example above if you need to widen the audience.

Too Many or Not Enough Placements

The default placement in Facebook ads is Automatic Placements, which serves your ad on any network including Facebook, Instagram, and the Audience Network. But trusting Facebook to decide where your ad should appear may result in wasted spend.

facebook placements

Solution: You’re more familiar with your customer base than Facebook is. If you know your audience is not likely to convert from Instagram, consider excluding that placement.

Too Much, Too Fast

When setting up your bid strategy, you’re presented with a few options for ad delivery. These will vary depending on the type of ad you’ve chosen to run.

Once you’ve selected your Optimization for Delivery, you’re presented with two bidding options: Manual and Automatic. With manual bidding, you choose the amount you’d like to spend per link click. Choosing automatic allows Facebook to determine the bid that will get you the most clicks at the best price. Selecting the wrong option for your type of business and audience can result in wasted spend, or an under-delivered ad.

Solution: If you’re using manual bidding, use these tips to avoid under-delivery and more qualified clicks:

  • Test different combinations of delivery and bidding strategies, but avoid over-adjusting.
  • Avoid bidding up too fast as this could confuse the Facebook bid optimization system.
  • Bid the maximum you’d be willing to pay for a click to start.
  • Avoid splitting your budget across too many campaigns.
  • Ensure you’re not targeting an audience that’s too small.
  • Work on your ad relevance.

Too Long of a Funnel

What happens after someone clicks your ad? Do they embark on a long sequence of campaign events that ultimately leads to them to the perfect sales page? If the number of actions required to convert is too many, you won’t see the results you’re hoping for. There isn’t an ideal number of clicks that results in a higher conversion rate as it will depend on your business, website, products, and audience. You’ll have to test and see where and how much traffic drops off.

Solution: Reduce the number of clicks required to convert to the bare minimum. Ideally, a customer should be able to find the information they expected to see within the page they land on after clicking your ad.

Too Short of a Funnel

Even though we just made a recommendation to streamline your funnel, expecting instant sales from an ad click is unrealistic. Remember, Facebook is primarily a social media platform where people are looking to engage with one another in a meaningful way. While the platform presents an enormous opportunity to convert, your ad strategy needs to maintain engagement with people until they are ready to buy.

Solution: Lead with value. If achieving a quick sale isn’t realistic, create multiple campaigns to align with the buyer’s journey. Start with building awareness to give the user time to engage and familiarize with the brand. This can also be achieved with boosted posts or retargeting.

Guiding Users to Your Homepage

Driving users to your homepage after clicking an ad might be hindering your conversion rate. Individuals will then need to go searching for the offer, product, or content they were promised in the ad. If your website isn’t easy to navigate (or even if it is), they could lose interest and bounce.

Solution: Create a specific landing page for each campaign that has the same messaging that they saw in your ad. So if your ads talks about a specific offer or product feature, make sure the landing page speaks to that offer or feature. If there is an ad that promises a result, or certain information, make sure they can find it on the page they land on.

Too Much Text in the Image Ad

Overlaying text on an image in your Facebook ad is typically not recommended. This suggestion also applies to your logo! While Facebook may approve the ad, they’ll show you a warning in your portal. Don’t ignore this warning! Facebook will choose to under-serve your ad. Originally, there was a rule that an image would not be approved if it contained more than 20% text. This rule has since changed, but images with no or very few words are still favored, as Facebook claims text on images creates a lower-quality user experience.

Solution: Play around with the description and headline character limits to include your copy in there. You can also try using the carousel format which gives you more opportunities to include text in the image descriptions. If you’re not sure whether your image will meet the requirements and be served as often as possible, use the Text Overlay Checker Tool.

Poor Ad Copy

Quality ad copy requires copywriting skills. You’ll notice a low CTR if your ad copy is:

  • Not benefit driven — What’s in it for me?
  • Not user focused — Why should I care?
  • Unclear — Why am I reading this?
  • Doesn’t include any actionable words or verbs — What am I supposed to do?

Solution: Look through past email campaigns, social media posts, or landing pages that have been successful for your company. Identify common phrases or messaging and use those in your ad copy.

Asking for a Sale Too Early

If your CTR is low, you may be asking too much of your audience, too soon. Presenting your products or services without building awareness first can ruin your relationship with your audience.

Solution: Rather than asking for a sale, create campaigns that engage your audience based on other factors like education, comedy, erotica, or entertaining dramatization. According to Stuart Clark Rogers’ book, Marketing Strategies, Tactics, and Techniques: A Handbook for Practitioners, choosing one of these attributes to focus your ad on can lead to a more successful campaign. Approach your entire funnel with this strategy when coming up with ad campaign ideas and creatives.

You Don’t Have a Specific Goal for an Outcome

Without any hard metrics to work towards, how will you define whether or not your campaigns are successful? How will you know if you need to make adjustments?

Solution: Identify SMART goals for each campaign. These can include things such as Likes, clicks, purchases, sign ups, downloads, and comments. Example: I’d like to get my FB page to 1000 likes.

Brands use Facebook to advertise in so many different ways, so while there are best practices to follow, there are no specific rules that will always result in a successful campaign. The best way to determine which settings and strategy to employ for your ads is by testing. Run split tests and monitor what’s working and what’s not to find the winning combination for your business.

Need a hand with troubleshooting your Facebook ad campaigns? We’d love to help! We are a Facebook Blueprint Partner and Facebook Ad Professional agency helping businesses achieve the best ROI from their ads.

About Andrea Moxham

Creative, driven marketing and communications leader with a proven track record in strategy and implementation. Entrepreneurial spirit and experience with inbound marketing, social media, digital marketing, and public relations.