More than 9 million businesses are now relying on or experimenting with Facebook advertising. The platform has solidified itself as a premier place to affirm brand loyalty, drive traffic to a website and convert prospects.

With that said, many businesses are unsuccessful with their ads. The issue isn’t generally with the platform itself, but how the platform is being used. If you’ve experienced disappointing Facebook ads, don’t give up just yet. You may be making one of the following costly mistakes that can be easily fixed.

Fixing these mistakes will:

  • Lower Cost Per Click (CPC) and Cost Per Result (CPR), meaning you spend less to reap more benefits
  • Increase Click Through Rate (CTR), which results in more traffic to your website, landing page or form
  • Increase Return on Investment (ROI), bringing more money to your bank account

Mistake 1: Letting Ads Run on Autopilot

As much as we’d like it to be, Facebook Ads Manager is not a “set it and forget it” platform. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. A trained eye should monitor your Facebook ads frequently to not only weed out the failing aspects of the campaign, but also provide insights into what is working so that those successful aspects can be implemented in the next campaign.

Letting Facebook ads run on autopilot also leads to Facebook ad fatigue. Ad fatigue happens when your ad frequency increases and the same audience sees the ad over and over again, causing them to detest the ad and brand. Ad fatigue has a negative effect on all other metrics, including Cost Per Result (CPR).

Mistake 2: Lack of Clear Goals

Every campaign needs a goal. If you don’t know the goal of the campaign, then you can’t accurately measure the Return On Ad Spend (ROAS). Every goal has different Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). An example of a KPI would be an ad metric offered by Facebook such as Cost Per Click (CPC). In order to assess the correct KPI for your goal, it is imperative to know your goal.

For example, if the goal of a campaign is to drive traffic to a website, metrics like Engagement Rate and Cost Per Engagement wouldn’t be relevant to track because they don’t correlate to the overall goal of getting people to the website. Instead, metrics like Click Through Rate (CTR), Cost Per Result (CPR) and Cost Per Landing Page View would truly indicate the success of this campaign because they directly track how many people are going to the website from the ad and at what cost.

Lastly, it is essential to ensure the proper tracking tools are set up in order to fully assess the success of a campaign and gather more data for future campaigns. The Facebook Pixel is a powerful tracking and analytics tool that provides important insights into how your campaign is doing relative to your goal. The Facebook Pixel can track conversions, gather data for retargeting campaigns, offer opportunities to create lookalike and custom audiences and is a key piece to taking your ads from flopping to fantastic.

Mistake 3: Weak Value Proposition

What makes you click on an ad? Most likely, it’s the value proposition. What makes an ad irresistible is the way it perfectly marries delightful copywriting, catchy imagery and most of all, a juicy offer.

It’s important to test your value proposition to optimize its effectiveness in driving qualified conversions in order to see positive conversion rates. The value proposition is one of the most important aspects of Facebook ads because it is your why. Successful value propositions are clear, connect with your audience’s pain points and offer a solution.

Mistake 4: Not A/B testing

While most ads that you see may come off as one perfectly finished product, most advertisers don’t spawn a successful ad on the first try. They fine-tune the ad through testing, testing and testing!

The fall of many businesses is that they assume the first ad they run will be wildly successful. But the reality is, success requires testing multiple variables on an ongoing basis.

Some variables to test include:

  • Creative (copy and imagery),
  • Call To Action (CTA) (Get Offer, Learn More, Get Quote, Sign Up, Order More)
  • Demographics (geography, job titles, gender, education, etc.)
  • Behaviors and Interests (engaged shoppers, entertainment, family and relationships, etc.)
  • Placement (where your ad is shown on different platforms)
  • Ad format (still image, carousel, video, etc.)

Mistake 5: Teeny Budget or Limited Time

One of the most enticing reasons to use Facebook ads is how cost-effective results can be in comparison to other advertising channels. Given how affordable the platform is, it may be tempting to run ads on a small budget for a very limited time just to test the waters. While this strategy can work in certain types of A/B tests, it mostly yields disappointing results if it’s the only tactic being implemented.

One of the reasons that low-budget and short-term ads underperform is because of the Facebook Learning Phase. In short, Facebook puts all ads through a Learning Phase that can last for up to 30 days. In this time frame, Facebook’s algorithm is learning about your ad, its audience and how to deliver the best results. During the learning phase, the results will be inconsistent and possibly more expensive. It may be tempting to consider the ads a flop and turn them off during this phase. However, it’s important to let the ads exit the learning phase before making any major decisions.

For a Facebook ad to exit the learning phase, it takes time and sufficient budget. It is typical for Facebook to achieve 100 conversions before exiting an ad from the learning phase. Limited budget and time can inhibit Facebook from achieving a sufficient number of conversions to exit the learning phase, and therefore, give off the illusion that the ad was unsuccessful.

It is possible to achieve stellar results with Facebook ads on a limited budget; it just takes thoughtful strategy, patience and a curiosity to truly monitor and analyze the ads.

We know Facebook ads are complex. If you’re overwhelmed and need help, learn more about our social media advertising services.